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Old October 9, 2012, 00:02   #1
Malak Darkhunter
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Monster Spell and experience changes

So I've been changing a few things in my V variant, in monster.txt, and upon looking through all the coded descriptions I notice 2 things that stands out.

1. Some experience rewards do not fit the challenge presented by the monster in comparison to higher experience reward monsters that are about the same challenge wise. Expereince is not balanced out, some exp for some monsters are too much, and some is clearly not enough. For my variant I tried to balanced this out, based on monster hp and how deadly spell wise the challenge monster presented itself as. Ie- some monsters and uniques are closer together, if they are very similar.

2. Some very common spells have become somewhat too common, and take up room for more interesting spells. In example, blindness, comfusion, scare, is way to common, many, many monsters have this. While some monsters you would expect to see lightning balls from, don't have those spells.

I took a few well known casters and tweaked their spell lists.
instead of (A Lich) casting spells like |BLINK|HOLD|CONF|SCARE|BLIND|TELE_TO|TELEPORT|

I created a lich with these spells- |BLINK|HOLD|BO_ELEC|BO_COLD|BO_FIRE|TELEPORT|SCARE |MISSLE|

and some spellcasters needed their spell frequency's upped abit in my opinion,
I changed novice mages from having a 1_in_12 spell frequency into 1_in_8, and you get just a little more action out of them spell wise.

My goal here is to make spell casting monsters more interesting and fun and deadly, and removing some of the more redundant spells you see for 50% of the game, and to balance exp out.
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Old October 9, 2012, 00:59   #2
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I think these are all very good ideas, although I've been pushing for systematic changes to the monster list for a while now, so I'm a very sympathetic ear.

One point to note is that for lots of monsters the more boring spells (hold, slow, etc) serve as a way to weaken the monster. It lessens the frequency of the more dangerous spells. This is why Sauron is sometimes a pushover when compared to Morgoth. The danger for lichs is not so much their damage as much as it is that they have some bad side-effect melee (drain charges and dex drain).

That being said, I would love to hear more of what changes you made and how they played out. Especially if you have some that you think are really great ideas.
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Old October 9, 2012, 12:51   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malak Darkhunter View Post
1. Some experience rewards do not fit the challenge presented by the monster in comparison to higher experience reward monsters that are about the same challenge wise. Expereince is not balanced out, some exp for some monsters are too much, and some is clearly not enough. For my variant I tried to balanced this out, based on monster hp and how deadly spell wise the challenge monster presented itself as. Ie- some monsters and uniques are closer together, if they are very similar.
IIRC there's a command line option that automatically does this as well as rebalancing the whole monster.txt file: "-r".
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Old October 9, 2012, 19:25   #4
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Originally Posted by PowerWyrm View Post
IIRC there's a command line option that automatically does this as well as rebalancing the whole monster.txt file: "-r".
That's very interesting and didn't know about, how exactly does it rebalance the monster list? I changed alot more than monster exp, and spells, so will have to playtest to see if it's more fun or not.
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Old October 9, 2012, 19:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fizzix View Post
I think these are all very good ideas, although I've been pushing for systematic changes to the monster list for a while now, so I'm a very sympathetic ear.

One point to note is that for lots of monsters the more boring spells (hold, slow, etc) serve as a way to weaken the monster. It lessens the frequency of the more dangerous spells. This is why Sauron is sometimes a pushover when compared to Morgoth. The danger for lichs is not so much their damage as much as it is that they have some bad side-effect melee (drain charges and dex drain).

That being said, I would love to hear more of what changes you made and how they played out. Especially if you have some that you think are really great ideas.
I changed alot and don't have all the bugs worked out yet, still need to playtest.
One example is instead of wererats casting cold bolts, I made them poisonous, if you think they are nasty creatures, and with the ability to cast poison balls ala like wormtounge.
I changed monster spells to be more (type specific) based on my love for d&d and using that knowledge to make adjustments.
My idea behind Liches are from D&D lore where they are ancient powerful spellcasters.
One thing I'm trying out is my view on less group monsters, and more powerful types of monsters instead. For some monsters for example like Black Ogres/giants/ trolls not appearing in groups but getting about a 50% bonus to hp and experience. I think makes the monsters tougher and dangerous. I hope to eliminate some tedium and hopefully make game a little faster. I feel you have to up the experience value for tougher solitary monsters to keep level gain steady.( I still have to test this idea) and then I think you will still have monster nests, if you want the challenge, they just won't be a cake walk to more powerful characters anymore.
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Old October 9, 2012, 19:48   #6
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Originally Posted by Malak Darkhunter View Post
That's very interesting and didn't know about, how exactly does it rebalance the monster list? I changed alot more than monster exp, and spells, so will have to playtest to see if it's more fun or not.
I would assume that it uses the monster's calculated power rating to decide how much experience it is worth. The power rating is also used when calculating the value of different brands (e.g. so that Slay Orc is worth less than Acid Brand), and probably in a few other places.
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Old October 9, 2012, 20:01   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malak Darkhunter View Post
I changed alot and don't have all the bugs worked out yet, still need to playtest.
One example is instead of wererats casting cold bolts, I made them poisonous, if you think they are nasty creatures, and with the ability to cast poison balls ala like wormtounge.
I changed monster spells to be more (type specific) based on my love for d&d and using that knowledge to make adjustments.
My idea behind Liches are from D&D lore where they are ancient powerful spellcasters.
One thing I'm trying out is my view on less group monsters, and more powerful types of monsters instead. For some monsters for example like Black Ogres/giants/ trolls not appearing in groups but getting about a 50% bonus to hp and experience. I think makes the monsters tougher and dangerous. I hope to eliminate some tedium and hopefully make game a little faster. I feel you have to up the experience value for tougher solitary monsters to keep level gain steady.( I still have to test this idea) and then I think you will still have monster nests, if you want the challenge, they just won't be a cake walk to more powerful characters anymore.
You might want to look at some of the rebalancing efforts I did to the monster list in v4. The changes fall into two groups. One is shuffling monsters around in the dungeon and spreading the monsters deeper. The second is changing speed bonuses so monsters have -5, +5, +15 options also.

These changes should work well in parallel with yours since I did not mess around with EXP gains or abilities. (you could port the v4 changes over directly to V, but it would require some work to keep the armour field correct.)
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Old October 9, 2012, 22:26   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I would assume that it uses the monster's calculated power rating to decide how much experience it is worth.
It changes two things: the XP value and the native depth, both according to the calculated power rating. It doesn't change the monster's stats or abilities at all.
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Old October 11, 2012, 01:10   #9
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Playtesting my fork of V, ran a half-troll warrior, first 10 levels where predictably easy, found Elvagil from Smegaol on level 6, might playtest a human mage next to see where the difficulty lies. First WOW moment was getting caught in a fight with a stronger Golfimbul and getting cross fire from 3 baby dragons in a room, very fun. I must admit a certain pleasure in taking on stronger solitary monsters. The best way to describe this ( enjoying the monster more, because it's more 1 on 1)? Once you start running into better mages( Dark-Elven mages) the increased spell frequency makes you more catious, you stick your head around a corner and BOOM poison ball, the mages sling much more spells at you. Priests cast fear and heal themselves a little more quickly. This has certainly made the 10-20 levels a little more appealing IMHO.
I also made a change to eliminate activation on dragon scale mail, the armour is only good for it's resistances and lesser weight now.

Exp wise so far been working out well, on DL17 and am at CL16, so about average,but game has been going quicker with less monsters running around.

I'm really interested in levels 30-50.
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