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Old April 20, 2011, 23:52   #1
Timo Pietilš
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Reducing value of CON

There are two things in game that are main survival keys: Speed and HP.

This means that if item improves either it goes in very high in value.

Unfortunately high CON is relatively rare outside of rings and if there is an equipment slot that has only one or two items that give that bonus, it is guaranteed that that item is being used there. Notable example is Thorin. It is only shield that gives CON bonus, and in addition to that that bonus is a big one, with competition being weak at best compared to it (think about it: only shields of preservation are real competition, and if you are lacking CON, can you really even consider using those over Thorin?). So that makes Thorin a no-brainer.

Other examples of high CON items are Caspanion, Crowns of might, Gondor, Dor-Lomin and Hammerhand. Cambeleg for handgear with only one competition: Fingolfin, but Cambeleg is almost always preferred for STR and CON bonus over Fingolfin DEX bonus even that it has only +2 PVAL.

This made me thinking, maybe problem with CON having too high value is not with the gear but with CON itself. How about lowering effect of CON to HP and make clvl affect more, so that at clvl 50 with maxed CON you still have same HP. This makes also character development a bit higher priority than just getting best possible equipment.

(on the side note: how about magi staves that are weapons instead of staves with charges with 1d2 damage dice, but with PVAL to increase mana? Just like handgear without DEX/FA reduce mana, these would increase it? Great for mages and priests, bad for anybody else).
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Old April 21, 2011, 00:09   #2
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The difficulty is coming up with a CON-independent way to increase hitpoints such that the character still has the "right" amount of hitpoints at each level. You can't just say "Okay, CON bonuses are reduced and everyone has bigger hitdice" because then characters have too many HP early on. There needs to be some kind of sliding scale.

I'd say the first thing to do is to decide how much of an influence CON should have. Should it be able to double your HP? Only increase it by 50%? 25%? Then pick some target HP values for different race/class/level combinations. From there it should be possible to come up with an appropriate function to determine hitpoints for all levels.
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Old April 21, 2011, 00:19   #3
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
The difficulty is coming up with a CON-independent way to increase hitpoints such that the character still has the "right" amount of hitpoints at each level. You can't just say "Okay, CON bonuses are reduced and everyone has bigger hitdice" because then characters have too many HP early on. There needs to be some kind of sliding scale.
How about doubling the clvl max with half the XP requirement / each step? Max at clvl 100? Then every /level change needs to be adjusted as well, but it would be doable.

I have no problem with high starting HP (or more accurately very fast increasing HP early on). Later that still equals out.
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Old April 21, 2011, 00:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
How about doubling the clvl max with half the XP requirement / each step? Max at clvl 100? Then every /level change needs to be adjusted as well, but it would be doable.

I have no problem with high starting HP (or more accurately very fast increasing HP early on). Later that still equals out.
IMO there is no need to change CON, and we should instead change the standarts to make more interesting competition for the CON items.

I like the staves-as-weapons idea btw. I think d_m had some similar thoughts a long while back. I think we even talked about artifact staves at one point. A pval flag which adds directly to mana (instead of via INT/WIS) is also cool IMO. As would be one that added to saving throw, come to that.
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Old April 21, 2011, 01:12   #5
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I would do the following :
1)Reduce the value of the upper end of the Con table.Currently until 18/160 each category increase is worth 0.5 and the final 4 increases are 1, 1, 1, 1.5 for a total of 4.5. Knock those all down to 0.5. That lowers max HP by 2.5/level, or 125 points at level 50.

2)Gradually increase the size of each classes HD peroidically.
At level 11, +2 for an average of 40 HP by level 50 (40 levels * 1/level)
At level 21, another +2 for an average of 30 more. total 70 (30 levels * 1/level)
At 31,another +3 - average 30, total 100. (20 levels * 1.5/level)
At 41, a final +5 - average 25 points, total 125. (10 levels *2.5/level)


Net effects :
Reduces the value of the final points of Con down to a level more in line with the others.
Keeps average end-game totals the same (assuming maxed stats).
Increases overal variability of HP totals.
Smooths out the rate of increase throughout the game.

Note : I started the increases earlier than a character would actually be reaching those stat levels so that I could use smaller numbers. While the few extra HPs in the teens and twenties will make that portion of the game a little more survivable, a modest increase in the damage of monsters one is likely to encounter at those levels could be added as an offset.

The changes could be done only at later levels with bigger numbers to make a closer match to current HP progression.
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Old April 21, 2011, 07:30   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
This made me thinking, maybe problem with CON having too high value is not with the gear but with CON itself. How about lowering effect of CON to HP and make clvl affect more, so that at clvl 50 with maxed CON you still have same HP. This makes also character development a bit higher priority than just getting best possible equipment.
It definitely feels like stats are too powerful relative to character level, and CON is certainly a big part of that. I don't have a good sense of exactly how to adjust it but it might be interesting to try it out.

Quote:
(on the side note: how about magi staves that are weapons instead of staves with charges with 1d2 damage dice, but with PVAL to increase mana? Just like handgear without DEX/FA reduce mana, these would increase it? Great for mages and priests, bad for anybody else).
Magnate remembered correctly: I've wanted staves to be wieldable weapons (in addition to being activated via (u)se) so I'd love to see something like this. It might be too weird for V though, I'm not sure. But again I'd love to try it out.
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Old April 21, 2011, 08:30   #7
Timo Pietilš
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Originally Posted by d_m View Post
Magnate remembered correctly: I've wanted staves to be wieldable weapons (in addition to being activated via (u)se) so I'd love to see something like this. It might be too weird for V though, I'm not sure. But again I'd love to try it out.
It would be quite easy to make, just make a new weapon type in object.txt, don't allow it to be ego, and allow it to have % increase of mana just like handgear decreases mana (this requires coding, but OTOH it could be one thing that could be moved outside of code to the item flag, so that other things could affect mana directly as well. Amulets of Magi comes to mind immediately).
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Old April 21, 2011, 09:09   #8
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Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
This made me thinking, maybe problem with CON having too high value is not with the gear but with CON itself. How about lowering effect of CON to HP and make clvl affect more, so that at clvl 50 with maxed CON you still have same HP. This makes also character development a bit higher priority than just getting best possible equipment.
Replying to myself.

Just made a debug-mode Elf mage. You know, the combination that should be good as mage, but not too easy like Hi-Elf.

Elf has -2 CON, Mage has additional -2 CON. Hit Die is d8.

To be comfortable at deep in dungeon you want to have at least 700HP. At clvl 50 for that combination that means +12 CON. +14 would make that 18/200 increasing HP to 850 or so, so you want that +2 too.

Lets see, Caspanion, Thorin, Cambeleg, helmet of might +3. That's +12. Doable. Add Amrod for additional +2 to get it to +14 and patch basic 4 resistance hole.

Without Thorin this either is not possible, or it makes other gear choices really limited so Thorin becomes no-brainer. Without Caspanion it is very close to impossible, but there we have other items to give CON-bonuses.

However with that combination you don't have 18/200 INT. Makes things difficult. Maybe Thror + Thranduil instead of Might (to get ESP too), but then you would need to dismiss BoS. CON from weapon-slot becomes important, if you want speed from rings. Without Caspanion you are in trouble getting your INT to 18/200. You need cloak of magi or amulet of magi to fix that handicap.

If you compare that to hobbit mage (hobbit has +2 to CON, d7 hit die) you need +8 from CON to reach 700 HP, with +10 that is over 800. Even with one point less in hit die, hobbit gets nearly same final HP and +2 CON allows much better overall flexibility for gear.

That feels wrong. Elves with -2 CON have so severe handicap that it makes them challenge-race compared to others no matter what class you choose. No other stat has this huge impact on survival.
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Old April 21, 2011, 15:55   #9
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Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
That feels wrong. Elves with -2 CON have so severe handicap that it makes them challenge-race compared to others no matter what class you choose. No other stat has this huge impact on survival.
As I've pointed out earlier, elves (with current stats) are probably the worst race. If you exclude +CHA then they are the only race whose bonuses end up being negative.
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Old April 21, 2011, 16:08   #10
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Originally Posted by d_m View Post
It definitely feels like stats are too powerful relative to character level, and CON is certainly a big part of that. I don't have a good sense of exactly how to adjust it but it might be interesting to try it out.
I fear grinding. I think the balance in Angband has always been in favour of stats over xp, because xp is so easy to come by - just go a few levels shallower and kill more orcs/trolls/whatever. Quickly boring, but xp doesn't tail off fast enough to prevent it becoming necessary if level gain becomes too important.
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