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Old October 24, 2019, 22:34   #1
sanedragon
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One stat to rule them all

Speed. It feels like as a global rate of all actions, speed is everything. It controls how much damage @ deals, how much damage @ receives, whether escaping is possible. It seems like my characters' success has a lot to do with whether they find an early speed boost item.

Attack speed and shot speed have been around for a while, and the addition of fast casting and movement speed boosts seem to be pushing in the direction of separating into different rates of action for different actions. Could these be alternatives to a global action speed?
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Old October 24, 2019, 23:48   #2
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I believe that's pretty explicitly the intent, yes. Speed has been the ne plus ultra stat since at the very least the first versions of Angband, when the best artifacts (e.g. Ringil, Cubragol, Feanor) were the best in no small part because they gave speed bonuses. The addition of diminishing returns on speed reduced the gap between speed and other stats but did not close it.

I can't remember Moria well enough to say if speed was a top-tier stat in it. I don't think Moria had permanent speed sources except maybe from Boots of Speed, though, and if so those capped at +1 (which is equivalent to +10 these days).
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Old October 25, 2019, 00:24   #3
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Speed and CON. A 250 HP mage with speed 15 (hasted) still has plenty of risks until he gets more HP and/or ESP.
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Old October 25, 2019, 00:44   #4
DavidMedley
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The "Pair of Leather Boots of Wormtongue" grant "MOVES[1]." When I had them, it looked like movement cost 50 energy instead of 100. Is that right?
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Old October 25, 2019, 01:16   #5
Nick
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OK, such a short thread, so much to think about.

Yes, it does look like we're heading in the direction of splitting up the speed stat. No, that wasn't explicitly the intent, or even consciously. Both fastcasting and movement speed came about as local features - fastcasting to give mages a buff to their casting, and movement speed originally to support druids' eagle form. So thanks for putting that together, I'm not sure how long it would have taken me to realise.

Yes, MOVES[1] halves movement energy; more generally MOVES[n] divides movement energy by n+1.

It's worth noting I think that "attack speed" is different from the others - extra blows is a better name for it, because it doesn't reduce energy use per turn, it adds blows.

So the obvious questions are:
  1. Do we keep splitting the speed stat, and presumably reduce the number of items with + to overall speed?
  2. Should attack speed be changed to be like the others?
  3. If yes to 1, what other individual action speeds would we add and what classes or objects should they be given to?

This really opens up the game's design space, or a can of worms, or both.
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Old October 25, 2019, 01:31   #6
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It seems odd to me to experience this, but the more I play Angband the less I enjoy speed bonuses in their current state. It's much more fun for me to find super powerful weapons or other stats than +15 speed item. I'm not sure why this is; maybe because they are just too overpowered since they affect *all* aspects of the game, and not just one? Or maybe its because speed eventually hits a "speed cap" in diminishing returns making it go from the most powerful stat early on to almost trivial later when you have more of it than you need (which just doesn't feel right).

I've been wondering if maybe instead of speed having a diminishing return cap (which no other stat has) instead, speed bonuses would be much less overall (say, half of what they currently are). So instead of boots of speed capping at +10 (non artifact) they'd cap at +5, and the code for rings of speed would remain the same in principal, but instead of speed up to +15 being relatively common, the number at which speed would become rare would be around +7. To compensate, all incredibly fast monsters' speed would be reduced from +30 to +20 and very fast from +20 to +10 and fast from +10 to +5 (and the new 'somewhat fast' to 2 or 3). In this way, speed in general is less powerful in the game, Morgoth would be made a bit more powerful and separate from the rest of the monsters, and diminishing returns from speed would thus be able to be removed, as demonstrated with the following example:

If you got Feanor, Ringil and Cubragol and two rings of power your speed would stack up something like:

Faenor: +8
Ringil: +5
Cubragol: +5
RoP Fire immunity: +2
RoP Lightning immunity: +3 bringing your total speed to +23, only a little bit faster than Morgoth (whose revamped speed would be +20 instead of +30).

Currently the above overpowered setup grants as follows:

Feanor: +15
Ringil: +10
Cubragol: +10
RoP Fire Immunity: +5
RoP Lightning Immunity: +5 bringing total speed to +45. Both are similar relative to Morgoth, but the former example doesn't have the cheesy diminishing returns that this example suffers heavily from.

Speed bonuses from spells, mushrooms, and potions would be +5 instead of +10.

This revamping also seems like super powerful rings of speed wouldn't be useless, as they almost always are in all my games when I find them, because I generally always can get enough speed from my other gear and the uber speed ring just puts me into diminishing returns.

Rings of damage becoming obsolete to very good rings of speed doesn't seem like such a bad thing. Or.. maybe rings of damage could have a similar generation code to rings of speed (they currently cap at +15).
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Old October 25, 2019, 01:45   #7
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It is because speed boots are so common in comparison to 3.0.x. Back then, speed boots were a huge find. Kany games you never found any, and ended up using Boots of Thror.
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Old October 25, 2019, 02:45   #8
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If each blow today was a separate action it would make playing as a warrior rather tedious, so including that here would probably involve rebalancing melee to fix the warrior-starts-with-a-dagger issue. But that's a whole other kettle of fish.

It would probably help for fast movement/casting/etc to have more possible values like overall speed does today, so that there are intermediate values between normal speed and double speed.
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Old October 25, 2019, 03:53   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanedragon View Post
If each blow today was a separate action it would make playing as a warrior rather tedious, so including that here would probably involve rebalancing melee to fix the warrior-starts-with-a-dagger issue. But that's a whole other kettle of fish.
Cthangband did the "one press = one blow" thing, and I remember thinking what you said -- that's going to make combat a lot more tedious. But I don't remember it being an issue.

What it does do is introduce the same "bullet time" of high-speed archery to melee. If each blow takes 1/5th of a normal-speed turn, say, while casting, breathing, etc. take full turns, then you're much less likely to get two-shot without getting a turn in-between, so long as you're hitting things in melee.
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Old October 27, 2019, 04:58   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
OK, such a short thread, so much to think about.

So the obvious questions are:
  1. Do we keep splitting the speed stat, and presumably reduce the number of items with + to overall speed?
  2. Should attack speed be changed to be like the others?
  3. If yes to 1, what other individual action speeds would we add and what classes or objects should they be given to?
Well, consumables are a big part of Angband, so it makes sense to me that we'd have a speed that dictates how quickly you can drink potions, zap rods/staves and read scrolls. Could even split this up into two: drink/read, and zap. Seems to me that gloves and rings would mostly affect this speed.

You could even give fighters a buff to their consumables speed at a certain level (like 40), much like how they get protection from fear right now.

I don't think there's necessarily a reason why we couldn't have both attack speed and blows per round. However, blows per round could be smaller and rarer (i.e. fighters get the ability to have a natural 2 blows per round, but everyone else needs a weapon of extra attacks). That way, instead of fighters having six *press the button*, fighters only have three, and those three each attack twice.

You could have an early-game consumable "Potions of Gump" or something that gives you a temporary movement boost, like TOME4's Movement Infusion. Could be a useful way for fighters and paladins to close on an enemy, or rangers to keep their distance when phase door is risky. Also good for escaping before TO.

Something that could also be interesting is if you had spells or consumables that let you reduce one speed to increase another. Maybe one of the hybrid casters has an early game spell that lets them increase their attack speed at the cost of their spell casting speed. Maybe one of the full casters has a spell that lets them increase their device speed at the cost of casting speed.

Most (early to mid) speed enhancing equipment could also buff one speed type but reduce another. Awesome endgame stuff could buff one or more speeds without reducing others, but those would be Awesome endgame stuff. In most of Angband you're making tradeoffs, and I'd like to see that be a thing with speed as well.

However, I don't think speed modifiers should be any rarer or less effective than they are now. Indeed, they might actually need to become more common if we balkanize speed. In my experiences in TOME4, speed is mostly not a thing because speed-enhancing equipment is so rare and inconsequential. Being able to attack an extra time every ten rounds really isn't a big deal.
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