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Old November 4, 2014, 22:21   #1
Mark
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More significant AC

So a while back there was discussion around making AC more significant - making it a bigger factor in helping players withstand melee attacks. Or at least, making its existing benefit more apparent.

One way to making AC more beneficial, especially to the casters (which is sort of everyone bar warrior), would be for AC to provide a physical saving throw.

Physical Saving Throw would reduce the chance and/or duration of
  • Stunning
  • Cuts
  • Poison

It feels approximately appropriate that wearing heavier armour would reduce the chance of such physical attacks successfully hurting you. (Admittedly, armour wouldn't really help against poison *gas* but would against poison needles). As I understand it, Saving Throw only affects the mental adverse status (conf, hallu (?) fear, blind, slow, paralysis). So there is a 'gap in the market'.

The degree to which AC should help protect against the adverse physical affects would need to be carefully considered and relatively slight, so we aren't simply reducing the chances of interesting (albeit 'bad') things happening to the player. A relationship like:

0 - 50 AC negligible affect
50 - 100 AC mild affect
100 - 150 AC - moderate effect
150 - 200 AC - makes a massive difference.

Another way to make AC better for most classes (although very hard to communicate) would be if it protected against confusion, fear, blind, or slowing from melee attacks, whereas Saving Throw only does this from spells. Perhaps it already does this implicitly by reducing the chance you get hit by such an melee attack? (although given the frequency of melee attacks perhaps it offers negligible protection and the melee attack landing the the status affect being successful could be separated out)
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Old November 5, 2014, 03:44   #2
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I don't know how PosChengband's AC works, but it is way more important in that game than it is in vanilla, even though the mechanic is roughly the same. Normal melee monsters will just wreck you at low AC, whereas in V it doesn't really seem to matter much at all.
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Old November 5, 2014, 03:54   #3
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AC makes a bigger difference than you think in Vanilla. If your AC is low then standing in melee range is extremely painful; if it's high then you can last a noticeably longer amount of time. However, it doesn't have the kind of stepwise effects that resistances or protections do, where you either have them or you don't. And, aside from body armor, most gear has basically the same AC. Thus people don't tend to base their equipment decisions on AC.
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Old November 5, 2014, 05:14   #4
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AC doesnt matter in vanilla. While it protects somewhat against physical damage, most of the threats are elemental in nature and the top physical damagers ignore AC. Add to that that in the early game AC comes in a "mixed blessing" form, that is wearing heavy armor reduces your speed, and you can safely ignore AC. I do for the most part.

I see 2 ways to change this:

1. make AC protect from other things than physical damage - for example, some amount of elemental damage absorbed by an amount proportional to AC.

2. Change the threat distribution to more physical, by for example making more and more damaging archers.

Personally I would like the latter, because I feel the game has over the time become far too magic heavy in an attempt to keep the difficulty up. Breath weapons are the most effective attack, so devs gave it to everything and their hound. However, it would mean a great change to go back on that and probably change the game in a big way, and of course it would be a lot of work.
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Old November 5, 2014, 07:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
AC makes a bigger difference than you think in Vanilla. If your AC is low then standing in melee range is extremely painful; if it's high then you can last a noticeably longer amount of time. However, it doesn't have the kind of stepwise effects that resistances or protections do, where you either have them or you don't. And, aside from body armor, most gear has basically the same AC. Thus people don't tend to base their equipment decisions on AC.
So matters, but doesn't matter enough to effect your choice? To me that's not an interesting choice. I'd prefer melee to be more dangerous, otherwise melee (which is a large portion of the game) is not interesting. Currently it's only dangerous to melee breathers or around breathers. Breathers/casters/etc. of course.
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Old November 5, 2014, 08:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estie View Post
AC doesnt matter in vanilla. the top physical damagers ignore AC.
Is this true?! Are these attacks like "butts", "kicks" etc. Does AC only protect against "hits you" type physical attacks?

Which physical attacks ignore AC?
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Old November 5, 2014, 10:56   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
Is this true?! Are these attacks like "butts", "kicks" etc. Does AC only protect against "hits you" type physical attacks?

Which physical attacks ignore AC?
It's not true as far as I'm aware. All physical attacks are checked against player AC.
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Old November 5, 2014, 11:22   #8
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AC affects chance to hit of all monster attacks and damage of normal and "shatter" attacks, damage of e.g. titan's "hit to confuse" is not affected.
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Old November 5, 2014, 14:28   #9
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OK, to clarify:
  • Every physical attack needs a check against AC to hit at all
  • Some physical attacks (normal hit and hit to shatter) then get further damage reduction from AC
  • Elemental (bite to burn, etc) melee attacks potentially get damage reduction from resistance and/or from AC
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Old November 5, 2014, 15:17   #10
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The reason AC is less important in Angband is because the big damage comes from breath/spell attacks that bypass AC. Yes there are monsters with big melee attacks, but after the early game (and even in the early game if you're a mage or have a ranged weapon) you can attack from a distance.

If you want AC to be important, then you need to weaken ranged attacks (for both players and monsters) first. Otherwise, you're putting a lot of effort in for little gain. One quick area where improvement could come about. Angband only has one range for attack spells, max distance. Having the more powerful spells have shorter range might help.

Of course there's the whole decoupling of evasion and armor...
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