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Old February 20, 2020, 01:05   #1
Glorfindel
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Lightbulb An idea for the overpowered dagger issue

I have been thinking about the infamous knife-does-more-damage-than-sword issue. I am sure I am not the first person to propose a solution here, and I am even inclined to suspect that someone has suggested this particular idea before. Still, there seems no harm in bringing it up in case no one did, and it would be a pity to keep it back on the assumption, if it did happen to work.

My idea is that each weapon should not only have a weight, but a length as well.

I reason thus: It is true that you can get in more blows in a given unit of time with a knife than with a sword. However, in reality, it rarely happens that way, because of the constraints of fighting with a short weapon. If you are fighting with a dagger, then every time you move to stab your enemy, you have to move in right up close and open yourself up to any attacks he may make. Because of this, most of a given knife fight will be spent with the two fighters facing off, swaying and looking for an opening to make an attack more or less safely. They could give six blows in a turn, so to speak, but to do so they would have to be very, very good at knife fighting.

So the idea is that while you need a high level of strength to get the maximum number of blows from a heavy weapon, you similarly need a high level of dexterity to get the maximum number of blows from a short weapon. It would scale according to the length of the weapon, so that the longer it was, the less dexterity you needed to get full blows, while the shorter it was, the lower the number of blows if you had insufficient DEX. Most beginning characters would not have the necessary dexterity to get that many blows from their daggers, and instead might be drawn to rapiers, which are very long and pretty light.

I have checked this by my brother, who likes to study historical swordsmanship, and he says it makes sense to him, but I am not sure whether it will sound so good to people with a more intimate understanding of the game mechanics than I have. I know it won’t solve everything (the issue of how you are supposed to get multiple blows with a lance in the first place comes to mind), but I hope it wouldn’t make anything worse.

Please tell me what you think; if it has possibilities, I have a couple of ideas for effect on specific items.
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Old February 20, 2020, 01:51   #2
Pete Mack
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This has a trivial work-around: use a rapier. They are as long as many other swords, but don't weigh much more than a dagger.
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Old February 20, 2020, 02:01   #3
Glorfindel
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Well, rapiers could be altered to match real life, where they are the same weight as most swords, but longer (it's a popular misconception that rapiers are light swords; the whole point is length). Even if it does do nothing more than shift the beginners best weapon from main gauche to rapier, it would still feel less ridiculous preferring a rapier over a longsword for fighting trolls than choosing a dagger.
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Old February 20, 2020, 02:06   #4
Glorfindel
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One of my specific item ideas actually related somewhat, as I thought that if my idea took off it might make the introduction of the smallsword, which is what most people seem to think of a rapier as being like, a possibility. They served primarily as dress swords, but were decent for self-defense, too. They were almost as long as a normal sword, but ultra-light. They would be pretty poor against any kind of armour, and so might translate into the game as doing pretty small damage per blow (less than a dagger, probably, as they bent easily), but having the length to make them an easy beginner's weapon by their attack speed.
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Old February 20, 2020, 05:40   #5
Estie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
This has a trivial work-around: use a rapier. They are as long as many other swords, but don't weigh much more than a dagger.
I believe what you describe is a small sword; historical rapiers (not todays sport fencing utensils) were full blown swords of a weight similar to a longsword, only longer and thinner due to advancements in metallurgy. Of course the weight/damage ration of the game rapier also suggests a small sword.
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Old February 20, 2020, 07:26   #6
wobbly
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I think you could go even simpler & limit the starting dex for warriors, blow range to 2. Then you get rid of the class minimum weight/multiplier silliness & put every class on the paladin progression, with warriors getting an extra blow. This gets you something like:

Warriors: 3 dagger blows, 2.x sword blows
Rogues: 2.x dagger blows(from the +dex for class), 1.x sword blows
paladins:2 dagger blows, 1.x sword blows

& pretty much the normal progression once you hit stat gain.

Last edited by wobbly; February 20, 2020 at 07:31.
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Old February 20, 2020, 19:40   #7
Glorfindel
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I don't think I quite understand what you are describing, wobbly. I don't know what the paladin progression is, and I don't know what is meant by 'limit the starting dx for warriors, blow range to 2.'

Even if I don't have the experience to understand the mechanics you suggest, I can, I hope, make out the results you propose, which amounts to a severely restricted number of blows for starting characters, apparently not raised until stat gain begins. Would that really improve the situation? Caps feel a little arbitrary to me (although, since I do not understand the proposed mechanics, perhaps I am mistaken in thinking a cap is being proposed), and I wonder whether the blow arrangements you have put down would really make a dagger do less damage than a sword.

Could you go into more detail?
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Old February 20, 2020, 20:41   #8
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So currently every class has a different str multiplier & minimum weight used to calculate blows. Mage is 2, Priest is 3, Rogues/Rangers are mult 4, Paladins & Warriors mult 5. The easiest way to think of it is the weapon is effectively 2.5x heavier for mages then warriors in the calculation & 1.25x heavier for rogues. So they all have different blow progressions & I'm suggesting it would be simpler to just use 1 & give the warrior an extra blow. I didn't realise the paladin was actually already on the warrior progression.

The dex bands used in the blows table are discrete, they increase at 10, 17, 18/20, 18/40, 18/60, 18/80, 18/100, 18/120, 18/150, 18/180 & 18/200. A human warrior with the suggested stat layout is 18/20 dex & can get up to 4.6 blows (at 18/50 str with a dagger). I'm suggesting there'd be less problems if it didn't go that high at starting dex in the first place. There'd be only so much str would help the dagger without getting more dex.
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Old February 22, 2020, 19:22   #9
Glorfindel
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I think that makes sense. Of course, I have the same nagging feeling as I had with my own idea, that if it was as simple as that to solve this infamous problem that people have seemingly been complaining about since the game's first release, it would have been fixed long ago.
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Old February 22, 2020, 20:48   #10
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I've been a proponent of the "everyone uses the same table" approach for years. I just haven't gotten up off my butt to submit a pull request that actually does it. I think the same holds true for a lot of things about Angband, as with most volunteer projects.

Certainly I don't recall ever seeing someone object to the proposal.
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