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Old April 26, 2013, 23:14   #21
Nick
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Only counts if first age

nyahhhhhh
OK, Azaghal stabbed Glaurung with a dagger
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Old April 27, 2013, 01:13   #22
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OK, Azaghal stabbed Glaurung with a dagger
While still harping on the dwarf thing -- I forgot to mention that I often use throwing axes as _melee_ weapons in the early game, since it's pretty much the only useful weapon that dwarves will get a net +1 to melee with. Especially if you get a 2d5 one, that's not really that much different than wielding a longsword.

Might be worth considering changing "throwing axes" to "hand axes" and keeping the "efficient to throw" flag on them, just like daggers in the sword tree. This conflicts with the idea of bucketing throwing weapons so they stack easier, but I'm happy to have one or the other.

I'm not even sure that 'throwing axes' are thematic -- I don't remember ever hearing of them in any of the Tolkein books? They're the last weapon in the list that is sort of a 'thematic clash' for me.

And that also reminds me -- it bothers me that daggers suck so bad for stabby characters. Shortswords are basically always superior. Daggers are also arse throwing weapons, so I think there's room for some cleanup here.

Finally -- blunt weapons are still pretty lamoid. No one has a proficiency in them, war hammers are probably the only remotely useful ones and they require huge strength to use effectively -- and now, with momentum, there are plenty of other options in the one-handed megadamage realm.

Quarterstaves are pretty lol -- +2 evasion is nice, but that's really only useful for archers, and a shield + a longsword would get you to the same place with protection bonus to boot. Those new sceptre things are cruft IMO even with the early brands, since the damage sides are so so pathetic. Every time I find a sceptre of fire, i find myself wishing it was a different weapon/ego combo
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Old April 27, 2013, 10:27   #23
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Since we are at balancing issues, I use only very rarely hauberks and those 1d6 (-2) shields -- the penalty seems too harsh for what they provide over a corslet or a small shield. Is it only me? Maybe my judgment is skewed, but they look like they could use an adjustment.
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Old April 27, 2013, 12:18   #24
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Some really useful replies here: thanks, and keep them coming! We'll definitely give some serious thought to ways we might address some of these concerns.

In response to a couple of the recent points on equipment balance, I just wanted to explain a little of the reasoning behind the way things are.

A major factor behind equipment balancing is to make thematic choices and effective choices coincide. We want elves to use axes sometimes and dwarves to use swords sometimes, so the bonuses for using a preferred type are kept pretty small. Of the blunt weapons hammers and mattocks are occasional martial weapons mentioned by Tolkien, so we want them to be worth using occasionally. This means that they are typically a little worse than swords, but in the right circumstances or with the right hammer, they'll be worthwhile. Sceptres and Quarterstaves just aren't martial weapons, so shouldn't compare well for that. The image of an adventurer descending with a sceptre is an unusual one. I think that there are enough interesting reasons to use one occasionally. It might be nice if there were just a couple of similar reasons to use quarterstaves. (Note: this isn't meant to address debo's comments on throwing axes or daggers! Daggers in particular are a known issue, but it's interesting to find out how much this irks others.)

In a similar way, we don't think -- thematically -- that everyone should want to use the heaviest armour available. Hauberks and Kite Shields are deliberately at the top end of that. They are perfect in some cases and for some builds, but often not wanted by others, and it sounds like your (fph's) characters fall into the latter bucket. If they're almost never used over a variety of builds and situations, on the other hand, that's an indication that we've got the balance wrong. Having read ladder entries I don't think that's what you're suggesting, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Let us know to what extent that explanation deals with the problems or if they still feel wrong!
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Old April 27, 2013, 14:30   #25
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Quote:
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A major factor behind equipment balancing is to make thematic choices and effective choices coincide.
Which is why I never would have brought it up unless specifically asked for negative feedback

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Sceptres and Quarterstaves just aren't martial weapons, so shouldn't compare well for that. The image of an adventurer descending with a sceptre is an unusual one.
I can't remember offhand which egos appear on sceptres -- if they were all passive buffs of some kind (majesty, defiance, light, etc) then this would be fine, but pretty much the only one I've ever seen are vanilla ones (useless) or fire (also, largely useless). I would also personally like it if crowns and sceptres were basically guaranteed to roll with an ego attached, but that's probably asking too much. I guess having vanilla crowns and sceptres scattered about the dungeon is thematic, in a way

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In a similar way, we don't think -- thematically -- that everyone should want to use the heaviest armour available. Hauberks and Kite Shields are deliberately at the top end of that.
I personally think these are fine. I also think that I only tend to use them when the melee penalty has been blunted by 1 or 2 b/c of the generation roll, but that's just me. Kite shields, in particular, are a godsend if you find them before archers show up, regardless of the melee penalty.

I should note that, compared to most people who seem to play this game, I am not a very clever player. I don't tend to find niche uses for things etc, I just sort of elbow my way through the game with stuff I think is cool. I'm guessing a lot of these equipment snags are just things I haven't put the energy into using yet because, in my mind, this Bigass Sword of Head Cleaving is just way simpler to use.
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Old April 28, 2013, 04:16   #26
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In terms of flavor, the monsters on the upper floors feel a bit generic. I can imagine seeing worms, molds, and so on in Angband, but they aren't particularly evocative of Tolkien. Once you get below about 200' or so, the mix is much more like what I would imagine encountering in the fortress.

I would dearly, dearly love to have just one or two more inventory slots. It doesn't seem like it would make a big difference, but I often feel like I need to pass up a useful backup weapon because I'm fully stocked on potions.
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Old April 28, 2013, 13:01   #27
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On the subject of worms, I find there tendency to spiral out of control so quickly a little frustrating. . Particularly clear worms. Lost a couple of promising characters when I tried to flee, only to find myself in a room full of clear worms. Possibly dropping their spawn rate or their perception (they don't seem like they should be paying as much attention as they do).

Perhaps a little more diversity in the early level monsters also, so repeat play of the 1st couple of levels is a little less dull & repetitive.

I too wouldn't mind seeing leather be a little more common early on, surely there's no need to have a level full of filthy rags & no leather. Maybe the early orc soldiers could have a chance to drop one, or a round shield?

Also agree on the comment earlier about songs being a little expensive if you wish to diversify. I find myself wondering whether to avoid useful early songs because of costs to later songs I might need.
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Old April 28, 2013, 16:24   #28
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The comment on many songs being expensive to take is spot-on I think. In my opinion the skills mechanic is the only one in the game which isn't perfectly thought-out and working like a Swiss clock. The fact that multiple skills on the same tree are more expensive discourages too much specialization. Often the characters end up looking very similar because, well, you should pick at least 1-2 skills from most groups since the first ones are almost free, and you can't pick too many of them because they quickly become too expensive.

On the other hand, I do not see an easy solution for this.
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Old April 28, 2013, 18:07   #29
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The comment on many songs being expensive to take is spot-on I think. In my opinion the skills mechanic is the only one in the game which isn't perfectly thought-out and working like a Swiss clock. The fact that multiple skills on the same tree are more expensive discourages too much specialization. Often the characters end up looking very similar because, well, you should pick at least 1-2 skills from most groups since the first ones are almost free, and you can't pick too many of them because they quickly become too expensive.

On the other hand, I do not see an easy solution for this.
Maybe some sort of specialisation bonus? Like once you have, say, five skills from the same category, or more skills from one category than all the others put together, then further skills from that group could be reduced in cost.

Or even the option to pick a specialisation at character generation (although for balance purposes it should probably be set up so you don't get any benefit immediately, only when it comes to the cost of later skills).
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Old April 28, 2013, 19:40   #30
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The obvious alternative is to make all skill points come from the same source, so that any skill point makes others (slightly) more expensive, while skill points in the same branch still become significantly more expensive...
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