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Old May 21, 2014, 11:20   #11
half
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Quote:
Originally Posted by locus View Post
With a 3lbs greatspear and finesse, you do 1d13 extra damage per 9 you go over the target number, or about .78 damage per point. With a 1lbs shortsword, finesse, and subtlety, you do 1d7 extra damage per 5 you go over the target number, or .8 damage per point. They're very comparable, and the greatspear has the advantage that you don't have to buy subtlety and that it does higher base damage.

One major advantage the shortsword has, though, is that it does more total criticals, which is important for Cruel Blow and for the morale effects. Also, you're more likely to find an appropriate magical/masterwork/artifact shortsword as loot than to find a similar greatspear.
This is a very nice analysis!
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Old May 21, 2014, 16:49   #12
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Originally Posted by taptap View Post
I encourage all fencer and polearm builds, but average bonus damage per skill point is misleading as critical hits come in discrete units. With subtlety there are simply more of them leading to more average damage, even if numbers are close when you hit the critical hit exactly without "wasting" points in the roll.

The whole point of 0 strength / 0.9 lb for fencers is not the slightly increased critical hits compared to 1 lb, it is subtlety+rapid attack without penalties. You can simply not do a spear build based on rapid attack not affecting average damage. That is why there is no intrinsic reason, other than the challenge, to make a 0 strength polearm character.

When starting 0 strength chars as fencers I found it useful to make a glaive at the first forge until I got sufficient accuracy and subtlety to do damage that way. You do not have to build the whole character at the first forge.
Yeah, I thought a bit about the granularity issue. A shortsword will "waste" 0-4 points on any given roll, whereas a lance will "waste" 0-8. But this effect is pretty small - the shortsword loses 1.6 damage on average to granularity while the lance loses 3.1, for a difference of 1.5 damage. And note that the granularity loss doesn't scale with number of criticals - the worst you're ever going to do is roll 9n+8 over the target number. So the 1.5 damage lost to granularity is always going to be small compared to the 3 extra points of base damage the greatspear deals.

0.9 lbs weapons are dead, for people playing current versions. The OP might be able to use them, but for the purposes of up-to-date games, the only way you'll be able to Rapid Attack without a strength penalty is with daggers.
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Old May 21, 2014, 20:19   #13
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@the other obvious weapon:

2 lb deathblades do 1d9 / 6 points, which is slightly better than great spears or shortswords it seems + 1 extra point base damage + better granularity.

@granularity:

I thought less about averages - the differences are after all not equally likely with opposed rolls - and concluded that I am very unlikely above the double critical difference margin against most enemies during the game. There will be double critical hits, but the most likely hits will be slightly less. (After all, I know shortswords work, I have yet to see a plain great spear user.)

@shortswords vs. spears:

There is another relevant difference, say if you have 1 pt. strength instead of 0 or a damage ring or an increased weapon damage, the larger number of critical hits suddenly matters directly for damage.

@0.9 lb shortswords:

I know, still it is relevant to the OP. Every time I contemplate about playing a 0 strength fencer I deplore this change, in fact I may reinstall 1.1.1 to do such a char myself, people who play 1.1.1 should definitely try this out.

The change was made according to mpa-Sil where people had wicked 0.5lb / 1d7 daggers lying all over the place and still did not use them - of course you do not see the utility in 0.9lb shortswords under such circumstances. I am not hardcore enough to go with daggers (1d5 ones) with a non-stealth char in Sil, however. Maybe I try with Nargil or Angrist, if I have a suitable char that finds it early.

Last edited by taptap; May 21, 2014 at 20:35.
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Old May 21, 2014, 20:46   #14
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I've never mentioned on forum, or posted any characters of it, but I too have thought a "subtle axe" would be wonderfully fun. I never got one off the ground... but I'm absolutely horrible at anything other than the same thing I play over and over again.

As far as drops, I have rarely seen 2d6 throwing axes... The first time I saw one was the inspiration for a subtle axe character, but you surely can't count on finding one... I think I've only ever seen two. Don't know the cost to smith one... probably high... 2 upgrades on damage dice is expensive IIRC.
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Old May 21, 2014, 22:50   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taptap View Post
@the other obvious weapon:

2 lb deathblades do 1d9 / 6 points, which is slightly better than great spears or shortswords it seems + 1 extra point base damage + better granularity.

@granularity:

I thought less about averages - the differences are after all not equally likely with opposed rolls - and concluded that I am very unlikely above the double critical difference margin against most enemies during the game. There will be double critical hits, but the most likely hits will be slightly less. (After all, I know shortswords work, I have yet to see a plain great spear user.)

@shortswords vs. spears:

There is another relevant difference, say if you have 1 pt. strength instead of 0 or a damage ring or an increased weapon damage, the larger number of critical hits suddenly matters directly for damage.

@0.9 lb shortswords:

I know, still it is relevant to the OP. Every time I contemplate about playing a 0 strength fencer I deplore this change, in fact I may reinstall 1.1.1 to do such a char myself, people who play 1.1.1 should definitely try this out.

The change was made according to mpa-Sil where people had wicked 0.5lb / 1d7 daggers lying all over the place and still did not use them - of course you do not see the utility in 0.9lb shortswords under such circumstances. I am not hardcore enough to go with daggers (1d5 ones) with a non-stealth char in Sil, however. Maybe I try with Nargil or Angrist, if I have a suitable char that finds it early.
The differences are not all equally likely with opposed rolls, but given the wide variety of enemy evasions and the way your own melee will change over the course of the game, a pattern is hard to establish. Uniform distribution was a simplifying assumption.

I think you underestimate how frequently one will beat the target number by 18+. It's technically possible even with a melee score equal to the enemy's evasion, and a fencer build will of course try to have melee well in excess of the enemy's evasion. In particular, many of the really tough enemies you need to do large amounts of damage to have low evasion - it doesn't matter too much how many crits you get against a dragonfly.

Yes, once you start getting masterwork/enchanted/artifact weapons, the math gets worse for the greatspear. Note though to be fair, the greatspear can benefit from up to 3 points of extra strength, while the shortsword can only benefit from 1. The greatspear has a greater total potential to be boosted by strength.

I like the change, making 0.9lbs shortswords always felt gamey to me. A matter of taste, though.

@HM: A 1lbs 2d6 throwing axe is 29 difficulty, and requires artifice.
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