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Old May 3, 2021, 20:58   #1
Tom Warner
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Blackguard first impressions and missing docs

Just downloaded 4.2.1 last night, have played 3.x extensively but this is my first time with the v4 classes and all, figured I'd make a thread for what I've been finding out.

I like the new online help and it's definitely a great direction to go in, but I think there's a bunch of missing information, particularly in terms of class overviews. I have a bunch of experience playing older versions but there were still a whole bunch of surprises:

- Combat-based SP regen doesn't get mentioned at all. When I started off in the town with 0 SP, I first tried resting to bring it up to full, and didn't figure out what was actually happening until I noticed the points went up while fighting early monsters. Similarly there's no explanation of any of the other mechanics, like SP decay or the healing it gives.

- Similarly the shield-bash mechanic doesn't really have any explanation--seems it gets a random chance to stun or confuse an enemy in melee? Does shield size or AC have any effect on this? Sometimes I 'stumble' when attempting a shield bash but it's not clear what effect that has either.

- There seems to be some inverse relationship between max SP and WIS? I'm playing a half-troll so INT and WIS are both very low, but when I got wisdom-drained by a rot jelly I'm pretty sure it gave me an extra point of SP that went away when I went up to the next level and my WIS restored. Currently trying to find another rot jelly to replicate.

- Leap Into Battle requires a specific enemy to target, but you can't just aim it in a direction and have it target the closest enemy in that direction, like most other spells. This seems like it should work.

- The light-level thing seems neat, but I've not found any explanation on how it works or is relevant to my character, except some mention that Necromancers don't like light.

- Same with the new hunger mechanics -- interesting that the Gorged mechanic came back but it seems kind of weird that you get gorged at 90% instead of by going over 100%. It's also not clear if there's any way you can escape being gorged without waiting for food to digest--are there still potions that make you puke? Do remove hunger scrolls reset your fed level downwards too?

- What happened to the search mechanic? It seems there's no way to just specifically search for hidden stuff anymore, but secret doors appear as soon as you stand next to them. But if I suspect I'm standing next to a trap, would I just stand still for a few turns to see if it shows up?

I'm gonna keep going with this HT Blackguard, honestly have been really enjoying the mechanics as I figure them out. Currently at CL11,DL10 so I'll update with anything else interesting I find--especially excited to see how the higher-level rituals work. But since I've spent so much time complaining about documentation I'm happy to help with that--maybe there should be a top-level help page for character classes, with a detailed explanation of the mechanics for each, plus some tips and tricks?
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Old May 3, 2021, 21:15   #2
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Another one: the rune-based ID thing seems really cool, but it's also a departure from the old ID system and not explained that well--basically you only have to learn each rune once, and any new object you pick up with known runes is already IDed for you?
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Old May 3, 2021, 21:19   #3
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Also there seem to be 'webs' now, since monsters are mentioned as able to clear them? No mention in the online docs, or 'available symbols' under the help menu.
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Old May 3, 2021, 21:27   #4
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Following on with item ID, is there some other way to ID stuff like potions/scrolls/etc without using it? ID Rune only IDs runes (logically enough) but I have seen no sign of anything that works like a traditional ID scroll, that I could use on wands or whatever.
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Old May 3, 2021, 21:31   #5
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Ok finally found a spider to fight and the web mechanic is really neat, great addition gameplay-wise and theme-wise

I also love that apparently doors and such do not change state when out of view, so you can't use them to tell where monsters are walking around anymore. That one always felt cheap to me.
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Old May 3, 2021, 22:28   #6
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Haha, this is like a live stream Tom.

Keep on ploughing through. Things get really interesting once bloodlust kicks in! I love that spell
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Old May 3, 2021, 23:09   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
you only have to learn each rune once, and any new object you pick up with known runes is already IDed for you?
Exactly that! And even if you only know some of the runes, you can see what you do know when you 'I' the item.

And I'm afraid there is no way to ID potions and scrolls. You just have to use them - which can be a pain when it's Life. Or, for most characters, contemplation. But you get used to it. Nice thing is, if you see something like *Healing* in the BM, the cost is effectively paying for two, because you don't waste the first un-ID'd one.
And wands/staffs/rods are easier to ID by use than they used to be, as the criteria for successful ID seem to be relaxed. You rarely get a {tried} tag. And if you do, it's probably something to do with doors or traps.
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Old May 3, 2021, 23:22   #8
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OK, let's go:

First, you should get 4.2.2 from here - it has bugfixes and improvements, and it's savefile compatible. Rephial is no longer updating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
Combat-based SP regen doesn't get mentioned at all. When I started off in the town with 0 SP, I first tried resting to bring it up to full, and didn't figure out what was actually happening until I noticed the points went up while fighting early monsters. Similarly there's no explanation of any of the other mechanics, like SP decay or the healing it gives.
The 'S' (see abilities) command has a description of all the special abilities for your race and class; look at Combat Regeneration. You're right, some mention in the help would be good too.

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Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
- Similarly the shield-bash mechanic doesn't really have any explanation--seems it gets a random chance to stun or confuse an enemy in melee? Does shield size or AC have any effect on this? Sometimes I 'stumble' when attempting a shield bash but it's not clear what effect that has either.
There's an entry for that under 'S' too, but it's not very helpful. Basically if you're a shield-bashing class (warrior, blackguard, paladin) and you're wearing a shield you will sometimes bash monsters with it, it does give a chance to stun or confuse, and sometimes (especially at low DEX) you stumble and get less blows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
- There seems to be some inverse relationship between max SP and WIS? I'm playing a half-troll so INT and WIS are both very low, but when I got wisdom-drained by a rot jelly I'm pretty sure it gave me an extra point of SP that went away when I went up to the next level and my WIS restored. Currently trying to find another rot jelly to replicate.
You're imagining it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
- Leap Into Battle requires a specific enemy to target, but you can't just aim it in a direction and have it target the closest enemy in that direction, like most other spells. This seems like it should work.
Yes, that could be made to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
- The light-level thing seems neat, but I've not found any explanation on how it works or is relevant to my character, except some mention that Necromancers don't like light.
Necromancers' spells fail more if they're in light. Also, some monsters have a "dark radius" (like the player's light radius), and you can't see them until you shed enough light on them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
- Same with the new hunger mechanics -- interesting that the Gorged mechanic came back but it seems kind of weird that you get gorged at 90% instead of by going over 100%. It's also not clear if there's any way you can escape being gorged without waiting for food to digest--are there still potions that make you puke? Do remove hunger scrolls reset your fed level downwards too?
Yes, there are potions of salt water and mushrooms of purging. Remove Hunger scrolls set your fed-ness to 50 if it's below that, but otherwise do nothing. So you don't want to go over 90%, but if you do you'll digest fast until you're down below 90 again (in 4.2.2, at least).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
- What happened to the search mechanic? It seems there's no way to just specifically search for hidden stuff anymore, but secret doors appear as soon as you stand next to them. But if I suspect I'm standing next to a trap, would I just stand still for a few turns to see if it shows up?
Yep, it's gone. You're right about the secret doors; traps you get one chance (depending on perception skill) to see them when their grid first comes in sight. As a HT blackguard, expect to be hitting a few

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
I'm gonna keep going with this HT Blackguard, honestly have been really enjoying the mechanics as I figure them out. Currently at CL11,DL10 so I'll update with anything else interesting I find--especially excited to see how the higher-level rituals work. But since I've spent so much time complaining about documentation I'm happy to help with that--maybe there should be a top-level help page for character classes, with a detailed explanation of the mechanics for each, plus some tips and tricks?
I think the current way with a rough description in the help and more detail under 'S' is probably OK in general, but both could use some more attention (always).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
Another one: the rune-based ID thing seems really cool, but it's also a departure from the old ID system and not explained that well--basically you only have to learn each rune once, and any new object you pick up with known runes is already IDed for you?
Yes - once you know a rune, you will always recognise it on future gear. You can see whic runes you know from the knowledge menus '~' - which are another big source of information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Warner View Post
Following on with item ID, is there some other way to ID stuff like potions/scrolls/etc without using it? ID Rune only IDs runes (logically enough) but I have seen no sign of anything that works like a traditional ID scroll, that I could use on wands or whatever.
Use or give (sell if you're playing with selling) to shops are the only ways.
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Old May 3, 2021, 23:43   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Use or give (sell if you're playing with selling) to shops are the only ways.
Only a lunatic would give an un-ID'd potion to a shopkeeper. It will invariably be Life.
Likewise, 99 times out of a hundred, an un-ID'd scroll will be Mass Banishment.
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Old May 3, 2021, 23:59   #10
Tom Warner
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First, you should get 4.2.2 from here - it has bugfixes and improvements, and it's savefile compatible. Rephial is no longer updating.
Interesting thank you! I'm running Linux and didn't feel like compiling from source so I grabbed a 4.2.1 that someone had made into a .deb -- is there any plan to update the versions in the official Apt repo (3.5 currently iirc) or otherwise make a Linux release that doesn't require compiling from source? I can do it if I have to, but I'm very lazy and haven't written much C and compiling it is always a huge pain.

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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
The 'S' (see abilities) command has a description of all the special abilities for your race and class; look at Combat Regeneration. You're right, some mention in the help would be good too.
That's a wonderful command that I did not know about! Super useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
You're imagining it
Wouldn't be the first time!

....general thanks for answering a few of the other minor questions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Yep, it's gone. You're right about the secret doors; traps you get one chance (depending on perception skill) to see them when their grid first comes in sight. As a HT blackguard, expect to be hitting a few
Yes I have been finding all kinds of traps lately, mostly with my face It seems that sometimes even tripping one doesn't update the display though, so I can walk through a trap, trigger its effect, and then it will still display as an open floor grid but I can walk into it again and eat the effect again.


Rune knowledge is neat--still not sure how I feel about the use-ID on consumables though. There are a few potions I would really rather not ID by drinking, for example, and a few others (like Life mentioned above) where losing the first one you find, or having to buy it back from a shop, is not fun.

Otherwise I'm gonna see about contributing to the online docs -- a bunch of the new terrain features aren't documented at all (for example lava, webs, passable rubble....) and that seems like a good place to start.
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