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Old December 2, 2018, 21:14   #11
fph
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Thanks! Does the decoy disappear if I try to cast another spell? I've seen it mysteriously vanish a couple of times...
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Old December 2, 2018, 21:29   #12
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Thanks! Does the decoy disappear if I try to cast another spell? I've seen it mysteriously vanish a couple of times...
OK, two things:
  1. It seems that I was lying upthread - the decoy vanishes if the player gets more than maximum view distance (20 grids away)
  2. Otherwise it's only if it's attacked, but it looks like I've made it that it's destroyed when the player has an increase in the time of any status condition (including, eg, quaffing !Resist Heat) rather than just when a monster casts a spell to do that (at the decoy)

I've filed that second one as a bug.
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Old December 3, 2018, 00:06   #13
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OK, that explains all the disappearances. The spell I was casting was Speed, indeed, which increases a timer. Thanks!

Some more feedback on the ranger spell list: I haven't managed to do anything remotely useful with Cover Tracks (but that might be just me). It does not seem very intuitive for a new player. Decoy seems fun, but I'm still experimenting with it. Haste Self, of course, is my bread and butter. Herbal Healing is rather disappointing, for being the ultimate ranger spell that I waited 40 levels to get. The idea of timed healing is nice, but it's too little for too much mana cost/failure rate at the point where it comes. Also, it is timed with game turns, not with player turns, so the healing bursts arrive only every few moves (depending on my speed). In the endgame I'm typically at speed 20+, so it's quite slow.

Maybe the effect could be doubled, so that at least it becomes a slow and expensive heal(300)? Another option would be having an early timed-heal spell instead, based on % of HP, so that it arrives earlier in the game and gives more flavour to the ranger gameplay. Something like drinking 5 CLWs in successive turns.

Apart from Cover Tracks and Herbal Healing, the other spells are a nice package overall; all of them are fairly useful all along the dungeon.

(Another thing I have already noted in another thread is that Satisfy Hunger arrives *very* early; basically rangers never have to touch any food, not even the ration they start with. Not that I'm particularly fond of the food minigame, but this spell completely nullifies it even in the early game.)

Overall the ranger doesn't seem too strong anymore. I just killed Sauron, but I think I don't have enough damage to tackle Morgoth yet. I have no Holy Might arrows nor +shots randarts, so I can get only about 350 dmg/turn with archery, which frankly isn't much --- I could probably do better in melee, with appropriate gear; my main weapon does 300 atm. And all the old uber-strong shooters like slings of Buckland are now nerfed with the change to +shots.
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Old December 3, 2018, 14:13   #14
Ingwe Ingweron
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Overall the ranger doesn't seem too strong anymore. I just killed Sauron, but I think I don't have enough damage to tackle Morgoth yet. I have no Holy Might arrows nor +shots randarts, so I can get only about 350 dmg/turn with archery, which frankly isn't much --- I could probably do better in melee, with appropriate gear; my main weapon does 300 atm. And all the old uber-strong shooters like slings of Buckland are now nerfed with the change to +shots.
A very nice summary analysis you've made of the Ranger changes. I agree the missile attacks have been nerfed much too much. All of my "new" Rangers have ended up with melee as the best option for fighting. Arrows as the highest and best use of a Ranger's time have become secondary instead.
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Old December 3, 2018, 16:52   #15
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I'm not entirely convinced that archery needs to have better DPS than melee. The tradeoffs are, more or less, that melee is available in unlimited quantity, but means that you take more damage (and deal with melee side-effects, like charges drain, lost stats, etc.). Archery is limited by carrying ammo, and ammo may break, but is quite safe otherwise.

The other two main options for killing things are magic devices (similar issues as archery) and spells, which are safe and don't break, but are limited by your mana pool. I forget exactly how much damage Mana Storm does, but isn't it around 300 with a ~85% "hit rate" (a.k.a. spell failure chance)? And that's 300 per player turn; there's no equivalent to +shots for mages.
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Old December 3, 2018, 18:59   #16
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I'm not entirely convinced that archery needs to have better DPS than melee.
My suggestion is, play the feature branch with a bunch of warriors and a bunch of rangers, alternating between the two types, and then see if you still feel the same way. Personally, I've found the changes to rangers have made them barely distinguishable. As for the other classes, finding a great launcher, a great sling of buckland for example, used to be a moment of excitement. Now no launcher ever brings a blip of anticipation.
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Old December 3, 2018, 19:12   #17
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I definitely think that different classes ought to feel different, no question there. I was more bloviating about the hypothetical ideal balance between the various methods of slaughtering Morgoth's minions.
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Old December 3, 2018, 19:32   #18
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Thanks, that's helpful feedback. I think rangers need work, but I'll think a bit more about exactly what it is they need.
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Old December 3, 2018, 19:52   #19
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rangers

Mages spell advantage is/was that ball spells reach monsters which are hiding behind other monsters and/or have no straight line of sight (example: a ball spell can hit a monster just around a corner), which an arrow can't.

I always felt that enchanting your ammo is a painfull and mana intense job which basically can only be done in town. And leaving stairs by recaling to/back from town always increases the risk to land in some unwanted situation.

Overall there are only two things which realy matter in angband - speed and your own damage output. Damage output is all ... and priest and mages are currenlty realy at disadvantage here. ManaStorm has no 0% failure rate and priests just suck.

Any change that decreases damage output will make all old players feel frustrated i guess.
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Old December 3, 2018, 20:56   #20
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Dude, not even Morgoth has 0% fail on Mana Storm.

Anyway, i always melee Morgoth anyway even with a mage, i keep my manapool for MBan and Rune. Sword chops are free.
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