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Old December 13, 2010, 21:50   #181
Magnate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
A normal dagger is better than a longsword as long as your strength and dexterity are in the right range. Too weak/clumsy, and you don't get multiple blows, so you opt for a big weapon instead -- my priests often end up with flails or morningstars early on, for example. Too strong and you can get multiple blows even with the heavier weapons, so daggers again lose their shine. It's only in the very early game, for non-caster classes, that daggers are remotely automatically better.
But Lord Fell's point is that V's blows system, and in particular the way it fails to treat weapon weight properly, is fundamentally broken with respect to any sort of "fantasy realism".

Lord Fell: you are correct. Yes, V combat is broken. We all know this, and have done for decades. This is why Leon re-wrote combat entirely when he wrote O, and why "O-combat" is used in many variants, and is cited a lot as a "more realistic" combat model. This is all good - but there are no plans to introduce it to V, or otherwise move V combat in that direction. I'd love to bring it in, but then V wouldn't be V, it would be more like O ...

This is why people's advice is to play variants if you want more realistic combat, ok? No need to go round the houses again.
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Old December 14, 2010, 07:26   #182
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One possible addition to combat: allow certain weapons to be wielded two-handed. You gain combat bonuses (damage, hit, +1 blow, whatever seems appropriate) when you wield the weapon two-handed. You can't use a shield while wielding a weapon in both hands.

This is how Hengband does it. I like it a lot, because it balances out the inherent "light weapon bias" in the current model with the option of getting more punch out of a heavy weapon if you're willing to forgo the shield. Depending on what kinds of shields and weapons you have, sometimes there are interesting strategic choices to be made.

Last edited by Djabanete; December 14, 2010 at 09:26.
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Old December 15, 2010, 06:15   #183
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Quote:
Lord Fell: you are correct. Yes, V combat is broken. We all know this, and have done for decades. This is why Leon re-wrote combat entirely when he wrote O, and why "O-combat" is used in many variants, and is cited a lot as a "more realistic" combat model. This is all good - but there are no plans to introduce it to V, or otherwise move V combat in that direction. I'd love to bring it in, but then V wouldn't be V, it would be more like O ...

This is why people's advice is to play variants if you want more realistic combat, ok? No need to go round the houses again.
I can definitely be sympathetic about keeping Vanilla separate and distinct from Variants. If someone adds wilderness regions, creates secondary dungeon areas, switches from a Class Base to Skill Based character system... this is all Variant, I don't want it in my vanilla.

On the other hand, I think that if a coder/maintainer of a Variant produced code that was an improvement on Vanilla, that Vanilla would adopt this code. Refusing to adopt superior code just because it originated in a Variant seems needlessly elitist to me.

I think this is more a case of the 2nd sort.
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Old December 16, 2010, 17:13   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Lord Fell: you are correct. Yes, V combat is broken. We all know this, and have done for decades. This is why Leon re-wrote combat entirely when he wrote O, and why "O-combat" is used in many variants, and is cited a lot as a "more realistic" combat model. This is all good - but there are no plans to introduce it to V, or otherwise move V combat in that direction. I'd love to bring it in, but then V wouldn't be V, it would be more like O ...
So we won't change something that we think is "broken"? It's been in V for decades, but so was the ID mechanic, and that was changed - in Vanilla first, wasn't it?

I think changing the combat system to something more intuitive would have a smaller effect on V than the ID changes have (which I point out merely to illustrate that V can change a fixed tradition without becoming not-Vanilla). This would make Angband more newbie-friendly in that their natural inclination to buy that big weapon is beneficial rather than detrimental. This would make things easier for new players without reducing real difficulty (after balancing the new system, of course).

Vanilla combat needs to go. It is silly (from an immersion point of view) and counter-intuitive, and a better system exists (o-combat). It won't make V Oangband, Oangband has levelling perks, four spell schools, and other changes.

Last edited by EpicMan; December 16, 2010 at 17:14. Reason: Changed "know is broken" to "think is broken"
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Old December 16, 2010, 17:36   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EpicMan View Post
Vanilla combat needs to go. It is silly (from an immersion point of view) and counter-intuitive, and a better system exists (o-combat). It won't make V Oangband, Oangband has levelling perks, four spell schools, and other changes.
Fractional blows was recently added to V, and this makes significant changes to the acceptability of various weapons at various points. It might in fact satisfy most of your complaints. Give it a shot first and then see if you think additional changes are necessary.
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Old December 16, 2010, 18:53   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CatH
"The critical hits system has been redone for most classes. While mages have the same ol' system as before, other classes can now get crits more frequently and with more power, depending on the weight of their weapons (the heavier the better). For warriors and paladins, this factor could now make large axes and such a more attractive proposition than the extra-blow generating whips and such that get used in Vanilla."
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Sadly, every character ever created in Angband was given a magnifying glass by their eccentric uncle for their fifth birthday...
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Old December 16, 2010, 20:47   #187
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here's an idea to make the game instantly harder. have an alternate monsters.txt file with much higher monster hit points, combine with altered file for reduced probability of objects and artifacts, etc.

if you wanted to mod code for it, introduce a "difficulty" multiplier for the above scenarios.
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Old January 11, 2011, 18:05   #188
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So let's bring this back to the front page.

Generally speaking, I see two ways to make Angband harder: reduce the margin for error, and make the tactical game harder to optimize. The margin for error is already pretty dang slim in the late game, but maybe we could step it up earlier by introducing some nastier monsters in the 1500'-2000' range.

As for hardening the tactical game, the way I'd see doing that is to identify current "default" strategies -- ones that practically everyone makes use of because they are clearly dominant -- and weakening them so that less dominant strategies become worth considering. One example of this is archery: previously archery massively out-damaged melee and spells, so it was a no-brainer. We've identified that, weakened the multipliers, and now it seems to still be worth using, but not as your sole source of damage. This is good.

Another one I've seen mentioned is branding rings. In particular, acid and electricity brands are useful since relatively few monsters resist those elements, but they don't show up often on weapons. Having the ability to brand any weapon with those elements, even at the cost of losing a ring slot, is pretty powerful; assuming you have, say, a 3d4 weapon, you get an increase of 15 damage on average against vulnerable monsters. That's pretty awesome, but many players have even stronger weapons in mind. A 4d5 weapon gains 24 damage on average, and an 8d4 gains 40!

What I'd suggest here isn't removing the off-weapon brands outright, since they're a neat concept. But they do need to be brought down to size. I suggest introducing "strong" and "weak" elemental brands at x3 and x2, with the branding rings only giving the latter. That should weaken the brands enough that they aren't an obvious play, while still making them useful in some situations.

Also, patch Sauron's acid vulnerability.

What other dominant strategies are you guys aware of, that should be made less overpowering?
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Old January 13, 2011, 13:48   #189
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
So let's bring this back to the front page.

Generally speaking, I see two ways to make Angband harder: reduce the margin for error, and make the tactical game harder to optimize. The margin for error is already pretty dang slim in the late game, but maybe we could step it up earlier by introducing some nastier monsters in the 1500'-2000' range.

As for hardening the tactical game, the way I'd see doing that is to identify current "default" strategies -- ones that practically everyone makes use of because they are clearly dominant -- and weakening them so that less dominant strategies become worth considering. One example of this is archery: previously archery massively out-damaged melee and spells, so it was a no-brainer. We've identified that, weakened the multipliers, and now it seems to still be worth using, but not as your sole source of damage. This is good.

Another one I've seen mentioned is branding rings. In particular, acid and electricity brands are useful since relatively few monsters resist those elements, but they don't show up often on weapons. Having the ability to brand any weapon with those elements, even at the cost of losing a ring slot, is pretty powerful; assuming you have, say, a 3d4 weapon, you get an increase of 15 damage on average against vulnerable monsters. That's pretty awesome, but many players have even stronger weapons in mind. A 4d5 weapon gains 24 damage on average, and an 8d4 gains 40!

What I'd suggest here isn't removing the off-weapon brands outright, since they're a neat concept. But they do need to be brought down to size. I suggest introducing "strong" and "weak" elemental brands at x3 and x2, with the branding rings only giving the latter. That should weaken the brands enough that they aren't an obvious play, while still making them useful in some situations.
I'm sure we were separated at birth. Last weekend I pushed to staging a refactor of slays and brands which enables adding additional brands with one line in src/object/list-slays.h (and an extra flag in src/list-object-flags.h).

There is some more work to do to remove the clunky defines OF_BRAND_MASK and friends, but we're nearly there.

I agree that x2 brands are a good idea. I'll put it on my to-do list. We'll need different names, so I propose that we steal from sangband (though it only has fire and poison doubled):

fire brand x2, flame brand x3
frost brand x2, ice brand x3
poison brand x2, venom brand x3

I am inclined to simply reduce acid and elec brands to x2 only, and not have a x3 version.
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Old January 13, 2011, 16:26   #190
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Poor elec brand, down to x2 from its heady days as x5 way back when. How times have changed.

More seriously, why treat them differently? It's not like on-weapon acid/elec brands are called out as being particularly overpowered. Just call them acidic/corrosive and sparking/shocking.
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