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Old December 13, 2016, 22:00   #1
Nick
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Randarts, again

A quick post to try and get a bit further on randart design.

Currently there is an object power algorithm; every object gets a power. It is used to get shop prices, and to value randarts. Randart generation (except for lights and jewellery) works by taking a standard artifact, working out its power, then trying to construct a completely new artifact with the same power by adding properties (chosen so as to try and mimic the spread of abilities on the standard artifacts).

Questions:
  • Should we decouple power for prices and power for randarts?
  • Should weapons and armour be treated differently in the power calculation?
  • Should attacking power (dice, to-dam, slays, etc) and defensive power (resists, ac etc) be treated separately?
  • Are there any other obvious fundamental changes to be made?

It should be emphasised that all these calculations have a lot of "constants" (ie fudge factors) in them to make the numbers accord with what feels right; this question is more on the deeper structure of how the whole thing works than on tweaking the numbers.
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Old December 14, 2016, 01:22   #2
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1. Decoupling: I think shop prices are almost irrelevant compared to artifact powers; I would work on the latter, assign shop prices as a function of the resulting power values and only decouple if somehow prices behave in a way you really cant live with.

2-3. My approach would be to not make value dependant on slot. We have a structure in modifiers, for example, armor can easily get resists, gloves combat boni and boots speed. To keep this structure intact, assign probabilities differently; for example, armor, gloves and boots could pick up their favoured mods with 80% probability and unfavoured ones with 10% (tweak values to taste).

What would you gain by assigning slot dependant values ?

You would better preserve the value of the single artifact. For example, Ringil is valuable because it has a speed modifier in a non-speed slot (weapon); it can easily turn into junk if that speed modifier gets morphed into an equivalent amount of stats and resists, but not if you take slots into account. Likewise, Azaghal can become great if its fire immunity is turned into speed. So Ringils value number would be higher in a system that takes slots into consideration, while Azaghal would be lower.
As a whole, the sets would look the same though, so I dont see why this would be desirable since taking slots into consideration makes the system less resistant to game changes.

As for other fundamental changes, make AC valuable and uncap stats (:
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Old December 14, 2016, 08:26   #3
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No.
Yes.
Yes, this follows from the above.
I like Estie's idea of probability of bonus type based on slot.
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Old December 14, 2016, 12:01   #4
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There is already a small amount of slot dependence. There is also considerable weight given (in terms of what gets allocated, rather than power) on where things usually appear - so, for example, gloves are more likely to get FA.

I'm currently leaning toward not making major changes yet, but rather just continuing to simplify and clarify.
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Old December 14, 2016, 14:16   #5
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I have the impression that currently randarts are all about finding that one broken OP item and make do with the rest.
Either make them less random ( less variance on the default stats; so ringil can be +12 speed, azgal can be acid immune), or build a pool of powers that the artis can fish from - so you can't have ringil, cubragol AND gloves with +10 speed.

Ex: the longbow of whoops! X6, +2 fire rate, (+0, +30) +10 speed. + some useless curse thats irrelevant and easily broken.

Also in my last game i found two items which were apparently both based on BT, as they offered an endless list of resists, but due to the low AC they were relatively low in power level and easily found.
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Old December 14, 2016, 15:14   #6
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Personally, I'd love it if there was an option to have both the standard set of artifacts and an equivalent set of randarts based on them in the game, at the same time. And yeah, I'd second Estie's idea of having a low chance of "off-slot" modifiers (speed on a weapon, free action on a helmet etc.) so every once in a while you can find interesting stuff. It would also be great to transfer that system to ToME 2.3.5's randarts, which are mostly boring because e.g. there, all you ever find on a randart weapon is slays and brands but never other interesting things like resistances...
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Old December 14, 2016, 15:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
Also in my last game i found two items which were apparently both based on BT, as they offered an endless list of resists, but due to the low AC they were relatively low in power level and easily found.
Maybe randart generation should try to roughly match the "level" of the base object used for the original artefact, or at least split off top-level base items into their own group? e.g. Since Bladeturner is based on Power DSM, an artefact derived from it should grab from the pool of Great Weapons and higher DSMs, rather than sticking a Bladeturner-equivalent host of properties on some leather armour.

Alternatively, I guess there's the approach of ignoring the base object completely: e.g., when you're evaluating Bladeturner's power level as an artefact, strip out all the properties that are already inherent to ordinary PDSM and only assess the value of the extra properties it has; then when you pick a new base object and try to raise it up to equivalent power, ignore any inherent properties that item brings to the table as well. (Which I guess is an approach that would require the decoupling from the pricing algorithm Nick suggests.)
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Old December 14, 2016, 16:10   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
I have the impression that currently randarts are all about finding that one broken OP item and make do with the rest.
I've never found an artifact that would be that great. Off-weapon +blows and shots is off, so I don't think there's anything left that I would call OP. Keep in mind, randart power is based on artifact power. Sure, randart Ringil is great, but so is Ringil.

Quote:
*snip*

Also in my last game i found two items which were apparently both based on BT, as they offered an endless list of resists, but due to the low AC they were relatively low in power level and easily found.
That's not really how artifacts are currently generated, AFAICT. One base artifact -> one randart. Calculations based on power and slot, but not on original abilities. AC isn't valued that highly, and even if it were, the power level is based only on the calculated power level of BT. I'm not certain what rarity is based on, but I think it's the rarity of the original artifact, and takes into account base object generation chance.

As for the four questions:
1) Doesn't matter, shops are trivial.
2) Sort of. Slots aren't created equal, because of base objects and egos, which should be taken into account for calculations. Also, see below.
3) Yes, offensive powers belong on weapons and should be more valuable on armor, defensive powers belong on armor and should be more valuable on weapons (but somewhat less so, in keeping with how objects behave).
4) Possibly. Are randarts going to get themes? There are arguments both ways - it makes them more like standarts, which is what people use randarts to get away from. On the other hand, it means they make more sense.

Concerning themes, I was thinking of two ways to handle it. Either each randart (or some of them) gets a theme at the start of generation, and they're more likely to get powers from that theme. Or you have powers that become more or less likely to get added according to the powers that are already on the artifact. I think they'd play out pretty similarly.
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Old December 14, 2016, 19:44   #9
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In that same game i *possibly* found ringil, longsword +10 speed, but it had no slays, 2d6 +11 damage (260/turn compared to 560/turn). I did not use it.

The thing is, some combinations are strong, some are bad. High dmg dice + slay evil is good, same with slay animal is bad. Boots with acid immunity but no speed, not endgame gear. +shots AND +power = OP.
I had armor, gloves, and amulet all with +dmg, so i could melee pretty much anything short of bone golems and gw.law .

If you want this, keep randarts random. If you want a more balanced game, make rendarts more like the default.
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Old December 14, 2016, 19:57   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky View Post
In that same game i *possibly* found ringil, longsword +10 speed, but it had no slays, 2d6 +11 damage (260/turn compared to 560/turn).
Again, this is not how randarts work. Randarts do not pull any specific abilities from their source artifacts, with the sole exception of light sources replicating the activated abilities from their source randarts. Each standart gets boiled down to a single number, its power, and then a randart is constructed that aims for roughly the same power. That's it. Your longsword might have been the Glaive of Pain or Thorin or the Ring of Barahir or whatever.
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