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Old January 23, 2012, 21:28   #1
Old Coach
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mage early game

Been running mages. Early game I always seem to find a maul, which the mages can use. Maul does better damage than any spell. I just keep pounding things with the mauls instead of mm or stink etc.
Are mauls found at too shallow a depth?
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Old January 23, 2012, 22:04   #2
Derakon
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Given the mage's rather pathetic finesse and prowess stats, the maul should only be doing slightly more than its 4d4 damage dice in terms of damage per round. Doesn't magic missile start at 3d4 and ramp up with level? And of course you don't have to stand in melee range to use it. Granted that running out of mana is an issue with spells.

If the mage really is better off standing in melee and bashing things over the head in the early game, then we might want to tweak things. Your mage should be barely able to swing that maul, which should manifest itself as a penalty at some level. Hit chance is the obvious possibility.
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Old January 24, 2012, 03:38   #3
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With the starting dagger, I can't ever do damage to anything. With a whip, small weapon, or anything else you find in DL 1-5, I also can't even scratch a centipede. Same thing with a ranger using the dagger or small weapon. However, with a maul, I can actually do damage when I connect. I like the new combat system, but maybe we need to tweak it a bit. Just a bit, like making the heavy weapons a bit deeper.
Also, I usually give my mages a strength of 14 or 15 at the cost of con and dex so I can carry lots of stuff.
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Old January 25, 2012, 00:57   #4
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Need to play the new v4 soon...but is dagger really horrible for a ranger ? It should be the most damaging weapon for finesse (dex) charcters, no ?
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Old January 25, 2012, 02:05   #5
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Daggers are 1d4, 80/20 finesse/prowess. Rapiers are 1d6, 90/10, so they should be superior to daggers for any character with more finesse than prowess.

The problem appears to be that monster AC is now absorption instead of a chance-to-hit reducer, and centipedes have an AC of 2. Thus any attack that deals 2 or less damage will deal 0 damage -- and all attacks deal 2 less damage than they "normally" would. For a ranger with a dagger, that means your damage options are 0, 0, 1, 2; given that giant white centipedes have 9HP on average that means you're looking at 12 rounds of combat to kill one, again on average.

I think what happened here is that fizzix underestimated the utility of absorption on early monsters. Here's absorption values for the 50' monsters:
Code:
Grey mold: 1
Grey mushroom patch: 1
Giant yellow centipede: 2
Giant white centipede: 2
White icky thing: 2
Clear icky thing: 1
Giant white mouse: 1
Large brown snake: 3
Large white snake: 3
Small kobold: 1
White worm mass: 1
Floating eye: 1
Rock lizard: 1
Jackal: 1
Soldier ant: 2
Fruit bat: 1
I'd recommend changing everything that currently has absorption of 1 to absorption of 0, and everything that has absorption of more than 1 to absorption of 1.
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Old January 25, 2012, 05:23   #6
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So rapiers are higher ratio than daggers ? ok...

Im not sure reducing absorption of early monsters is going to solve, because later in the game the absorption will have at least the same impact if not more. Doesnt finesse need a bit more oomph with the absorption change ? Like, "more attacks" or something.
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Old January 25, 2012, 15:17   #7
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We're also going to need to tweak the damage dice on weapons, yeah. Currently the weapons that you want to make single heavy blows with already get big dice, while the weapons you want to make lots of light blows with have small dice, which makes prowess qualitatively way better than finesse. Ideally they should have roughly similar dice.

But the default amount of absorption should IMO be 0, just as the default amount of evasion should be 0. Against most monsters you should deal full damage with your strikes, and the exceptions should be carefully scaled by dungeon level -- which means that 50' monsters with good absorption should still have almost none.
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Old January 25, 2012, 22:51   #8
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Hmm, this may well be behind the reports, in the other thread, of problems with rangers and the inability to do damage with archery.

Absorption has an inherent problem, tho. Its net impact is highly dependent on how many individual attacks are involved; ergo it's not, and indeed cannot be, consistent. It favors big, heavy, few-attack weapons. It doesn't matter how you manipulate damage dice; this will be true regardless. It's a consequence of the fixed amount of reduction. If it was a percentage reduction, this effect wouldn't exist.
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Old January 25, 2012, 23:10   #9
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Percentage reduction would be boring though; exactly the fact that absorbtion affects the damage differently is adding another dimension. The basic idea is that finesse characters have no problems with evasion monsters, but hard time with absorbing ones, and prowess characters other way around.

Seeing as we have all kinds of distributions between finesse and prowess, which dont do that much - you cannot really pick your exact favourite base type, you just have to take what you find with the best mods - would it be bad to classify all swords as 80/20, all polearms as 50/50, and all hafted as 20/80 ?
Each of those classes have damage dice rising from lower level (dagger, spear, whip) to highest (BoC, SoS, MoD) so that would be ok.
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Old January 25, 2012, 23:12   #10
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The effect is currently magnified by the dice biases, though. Finesse weapons typically have a max per-blow damage of around 8 or so, while prowess weapons can go much higher. Then the multipliers kick in (extra blows / extra per-blow damage) which only magnify that difference.

If we want finesse and prowess characters to be capable of equal damage, then we either need to make the damage dice on the weapons equal, or we need to magnify the effect of finesse (or nerf the effect of prowess). Personally I'd prefer tweaking the damage dice.

Then you have e.g. a 2d3 dagger and a 1d10 rapier vs. a 2d4 mace and a 5d2 great hammer. And, yes, the prowess weapons will still be more effective against monsters with absorption -- but the finesse weapons will be equivalently more effective against monsters with evasion. Assuming the two groupings represent equivalent threats the game should still be balanced either way.
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