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Old March 20, 2017, 05:02   #1
Nick
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High resists

Currently, high resists (aside from Poison) have a damage reduction of between 3/7 and 2/3 (Light and Dark), between 2/7 and 7/12 (Sound) or between 1/7 and 1/2 (the rest). My feeling on this is that it makes choices difficult and a bit arbitrary, both as a player and as a maintainer.

So what do we do? My preferred solution is to go with fixed damage reduction, of maybe 1/3 or maybe 1/2. What does everyone else think?
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Old March 20, 2017, 06:14   #2
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The unpredictability makes the high resists more dangerous. I don't see a benefit to strengthening the resistances.
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Old March 20, 2017, 08:22   #3
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Even if we want to keep the unpredictability, I would suggest making those numbers all equal, so that they are easier to remember.
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Old March 20, 2017, 13:23   #4
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I agree with Grotug's view from the Randart plans thread that a resist that only resists 1/7 of the damage is a bit silly; but (as also noted by Grotug) there are other ways to fix that besides removing randomness. If the damage caps for the higher elements went up a bit (say, 20% to 30%) and the resists were made slightly stronger (but not necessarily non-random), I think that would be good.

Suppose an element now has a 500 cap and can do anywhere between 250 and 428 resisted damage. If we adjusted the cap to 650, the HP divisor to 5 and the num and denom to 4 and 6+1d4, the resisted damage would be between 260 and 371; high resists would be more useful, and slightly more predictable, but still somewhat unpredictable and still dangerous.
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Old March 20, 2017, 14:57   #5
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My gut instinct is to say that randomized damage reduction is not a fun mechanic. Effectively it just capriciously kills players who don't know about it, and forces players who do know about it to treat the resist as if it will always "betray" them (by rolling low). I'd say just make high resists a 25% reduction, which is close to the "always betray" behavior but more consistent. On balance this would make the game harder, in that monsters would usually deal more damage with resisted attacks, but it'd be less unfair.

It's also worth considering indicating the amount of damage reduction you get from resists somewhere in the GUI. I'm not sure where we have room, though.
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Old March 20, 2017, 15:03   #6
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I don't honestly see what the randomness is adding. It's unclear to the player - and fairly counter-intuitive - that there is randomness (logistically it feels like fluctuations in damage ought to be due to varying attack strength, not varying defence) and the numbers are all so arbitrary and awkward to work with that you can't really take them into consideration beyond "resisted = better than not resisted".

Consistent fixed-level damage reduction across all the higher elements makes for more interesting and better gameplay, IMO, since it allows the player to make more intelligent decisions about whether to wear a piece of equipment and if they can tackle a given monster.
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Old March 20, 2017, 15:06   #7
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@sideways-
That makes the resists necessary. 650 is a lot of damage, approaching poison levels. I suspect a lot of thought went into making them the way they are. The unpredictability makes them more interesting. The average benefit of 30% or 60% (light and dark) makes them useful.
I'm of the 'it ain't broke' school on this one. One reason sound, dark, light, and--once--confusion--are different is because those were the ones with serious status effects.
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Old March 20, 2017, 15:06   #8
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The UI for resistances in O and O-based variants seems good to me. O calculates resistances in a completely different way, which might be worth thinking about as well, but the way they're displayed on the character listing is somewhat orthogonal to the way they're calculated, so you could copy just the UI.
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Old March 20, 2017, 17:32   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
@sideways-
That makes the resists necessary. 650 is a lot of damage, approaching poison levels. I suspect a lot of thought went into making them the way they are.
Probably; but they were made the way they are in the context of a completely different game. Most damage caps have changed little if at all since Angband 2.x.x, and today's Angband has a very different game balance. As you know better than I do, 2.x.x was harder to beat by slow, careful play and MUCH harder to beat by speed-diving; and the many many changes between 2.x.x and 4.x.x have generally helped divers compared to slower players.

Raising the caps for higher elements would (I think - I could be completely wrong...) do the opposite, and so bring the game closer to its original balance. A 650 cap for, say, chaos probably wouldn't hurt a slow, grinding player all that much; by the time he got into GWoC territory he'd likely have either high HP or rChaos or quite possibly both; and if he had rChaos, the lower max (and avg) damage from a resisted breath would make things easier for him. Power divers, on the other hand, would be in even greater danger of insta-dying than they already are until they got the most important high resists covered... yet even so, power diving in 4.x.x would still be easy compared to when the damage caps were originally set.

Beyond that, I think players would spend more time solving item puzzles, figuring out what they need and what they don't need and which items to carry as swaps; which was what Estie wanted in the randart plans thread. In that thread, Estie suggested bringing high elements' damage in line with the base elements, and Grotug suggested having Great Wyrms of Chaos breathe for 900 unresisted damage. I didn't want to go that far; taking, say, 600 damage from disenchantment or 650 from chaos would only be an insta-kill if you're diving or the monster's way out of depth; and in both cases 500 would already be very bad news. I figured a 20-30% cap raise would make the high resists more important without making them completely necessary.
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Old March 20, 2017, 18:54   #10
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High resists do two things, they block the effects and the reduce the damage (somewhat). There is precedent for separation of the two effects. Having Hold Life blocks the effect of Nether, even if it does not reduce damage. Pblind stops the effects of light and dark. Pstun blocks the effect of plasma, etc.

So in my mind, the first step would be to fully separate all of them into effects. Most of these are already set, I think maybe Hallucinate is the only one that you can only get from the Rchaos resist. Other effects like inertia (gravity, inertia) or Time cannot be resisted. So the change here is to add a Rhallucination, or just leave that as completely unresistable (dangerous).

Then the higher resists can be damage reduction only. This would require some rebalancing. (understatement).
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