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Old June 13, 2013, 02:46   #11
ussgordoncaptain
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I'm surprised you rate Controlled retreat so low Debo, I put it as one of the best evasion skills in the game. As you get 2 hits for every 1 your opponent gets assuming equal speed. My standard strategy is spam (flaming) arrows at the opponent until they get to melee range then take 1 step back and hit 1 step back and hit
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@M
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Attack M then go one space left getting a free hit, then hit him again. With so many free hits in that setup you should almost never be hit.
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Old June 13, 2013, 03:16   #12
debo
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Just a couple of things to clear up, as I was quite ranty in my post and my points didn't really come through

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Originally Posted by clouded View Post
* Controlled retreat, I disagree about. Maybe I am the only one who likes it, as I never see other people use it and after I told elliptic to try it, he didn't like it either, but it can reduce the amount of attacks you take by half given a good place to use it and it has good synergy with a lot of other skills (blocking, flanking, focused attack, concentration, probably works with some other stuff like polearm mastery, knockback).
I agree that controlled retreat is strong, I just find it tedious to use because of the way you have to invoke it.

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* Song of Lorien, disagree in the strongest terms! Tell my song/stealth only character it's weak. You're right that it has a disadvantage against a pack of shouting things, that's why you put them all to sleep before they notice you. I felt that it wasn't that great when I was first trying it too, but the key moment was when I began to recognise that it is not its strongest as an emergency song, it is something you use premeditatedly.
I agree with a high-stealth character it's very strong. My main complaint is that it only works for high stealth characters. I think my 0 stealth guy should be able to sing Lorien and not have enemies wake up on the very next turn. The way the song is described, it sounds like they'll stay asleep for at least a few turns no matter what I do (short of attacking them).

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* Knockback. This maybe isn't that bad but frankly I never use it. It doesn't give enough incentive for me to. For the final power based ability it is quite underwelming, maybe it could have stun rolled into it?
Rolling stun into it is a great idea IMO -- maybe make the stun a separate check after you succeed the knockback check, I think it would be too strong if it happened every time you knocked back. Then again, big-weapon builds have fewer gimmicks than light-weapon builds right now, so this might not be a bad thing.

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* Strength in adversity. Fun sounding but Str/Gra is not too exciting, now if it gave Str/Gra/Dex it would be much more appealing. (I guess it can't give Con, it would probably have some weird effects if it did)
I totally forgot about this one. Don't have much to say here, but I do agree that I'd never buy it.

It might be fun if you had a chance to burst into rage anytime you were damaged below half HP, but that's not very thematic nor does it fit well into the Will tree. But if we did have that, I could take it and song of este and a couple regen sources and create a Wolverine build lol

Edit: The one reason strength in adversity bothers me is that I'd expect it to help my survivability when i'm at low HP. Adding to str only helps that a little bit and only if I have a weapon too heavy for me to use optimally, and adding to gra basically helps not at all. It would be nice to get a boost to evasion (or just raw dex), as you said, or to protection, but neither of those really make sense thematically in the context of the ability, I don't think.

What if it reduced the number you require for criticals as well, like how subtlety does? Basically any kind of hack to make you kill things faster would be thematic, I think, it's just a matter of integrating it elegantly with the current rules. It would be cool to be at 5HP and suddenly start seeing a bunch of !!!!s as your guy freaks out and goes Rambo on everything around him

Last edited by debo; June 13, 2013 at 03:24.
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Old June 13, 2013, 03:36   #13
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Weakest in my opinion are:

Throwing Mastery - Just too much of a pain to carry around throwing weapons plus the bonus isn't that great. Would be nice if throwing weapons had some kind of quiver. Not worth the xp atm.

Polearm Mastery - Would be a nice ability if there were better options on polearms. I like the idea of a polearm build but not really any polearms worth building around. Think there's only one artefact polearm I'd even bother using.

Whirlwind Attack - Now, I really do love this ability but Herbs of Rage are just so much better it's hard to justify spending the xp on this ability.

Careful Shot - If you use Flaming Arrows, this one is pretty useless. Even if you don't it's not really worth it. I just grab Weaponsmith and make all the arrows I need anyway.

Point Blank Archery - Not really bad but not very good either. Better things to spend xp on if you are using the Archery tree.

Channeling - Think enough people have bashed on this skill already. Just gonna say it's not something I'd ever use.

Mind Over Body/Curse Breaking - Not really weak but very situational. No one is going to spend xp on them unless they have to but nothing wrong with that.

Strength in Adversity - Never have found much use for this ability.

Majesty - Causes monsters to flee and you have to chase them down. Sounds annoying. I'd never use it but maybe some others find it more useful.

As for the Song tree, I really only use Slaying, Sharpness, Unwavering Voice, and Woven Themes. Can't say the other songs are bad but most of them don't fit my play-style very well. Might be better if some of the requirements were different. Like why does Freedom require Elbereth? Or having to get Trees for Este? They don't seem to go together in my opinion. Been a few games when I might have grabbed Este or Freedom because they are useful but their requirements weren't so just went without.

Controlled Retreat - I used this skill for the first time not too long ago. Never thought it was that great before but after messing around with it a bit I loved it. Very useful.
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Old June 13, 2013, 03:38   #14
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*Whirlwind attack: you have to let the enemy surround you and can't even put your back to the wall. Sil abilities are usually very generous about their conditions but this one is rough.

*Eye for detail: Finding traps is nice, but not worth an ability just to get +5 for it.

*Lore-keeper: exists only to make Lore-master more expensive. I understand the thinking but it's lame. Should give a bonus to use-ID too, not that that would help.

*Channeling: most staves don't even care how high your will is really so that's lame. If you told me it turned Trumpet of Terror into a force to be reckoned with I'd have to believe you but I doubt it.

*Mind over Body: There's really plenty of food! Even the gear that causes hunger you can just swap out while exploring and then the food cost is marginal.

*Strength in Adversity: Situational strength bonuses are troublesome in that to get the most out of them you need to carry around swap weapons. Grace bonuses are nice but probably not the biggest thing on your mind when you're below 25% hp.

*Song of Staying/Este: With Song of Slaying/Sharpness mandatory it's hard to justify buying these to sing in combat instead.
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Old June 13, 2013, 03:41   #15
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Song of Este nearly killed me one time when I got it on an artifact with a song of like 3 and sang it while poisoned and it turned off all my healing and ability to recover from poison. I guess the bug has been fixed now but I still don't remotely trust it.
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Old June 13, 2013, 06:50   #16
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Thoughts

-What if Mind over Matter didn't just slow down hunger, but also sped up hunger when gorged (maybe ultra-sped up, to the point where being gorged is very difficult)? Maybe it would still only be a for newbies skill, but it wouldn't be as big of a newbie trap.

-What if Careful shot allowed you to recover flaming arrows sometimes?

-What if Strength in Adversity also gave you some kind of protection against dying, such as 'you can't die if strictly above 10% hp, instead you go to 1 hp'? To make it possible to strategize around having the bonus status without fear of splatting hard. Or even giving a con bonus too, as suggested earlier in the topic (it would work ok, I think, as long as hp % remains the same when changing con and strength in adversity is % based, however you'd have to make sure rounding is done right - e.g. if you heal an hp and lose some strength in adversity, you'd have to not immediately go back into strength in adversity, and same for the opposite situation)

-What if Channeling (sometimes? predictably?) let you use the item for a free turn?
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Old June 13, 2013, 11:09   #17
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I strongly disagree with the comments on Vanish. I love it. My only winner would have been dead for sure without Vanish. The 10 points difference is huge. Yes, with high stealth they usually don't notice you, but even pacifists don't want to die every time they do notice you. And with an archer build - you actively attack monsters and make them aware of you - if you have no way to disengage that would be disastrous. Most obviously in the throne room.

If you want to improve Strength in Adversity (which I believe can be good on some builds, high CON, heavy weapon, charge - i.e. you have the spare weight to use additional str - and knockback) I would rather change the threshold of the bonus to 2/3 and 1/3 than adding a lot minor conditions, effects. Simplicity people!

Majesty: There are builds that don't want enemies to come too close - or to come close and then leave again. (Archers, maybe Polearm mastery / Opportunist?) A lot of people take it for the ascent afaik.

Throwing mastery: Did anyone try this e.g. with throwing axes when throwing weapons still had the "auto-momentum" strength bonus per 0.5lb?

Last edited by taptap; June 13, 2013 at 11:16.
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Old June 13, 2013, 13:09   #18
HallucinationMushroom
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I like eye for detail, but it probably made more sense when trap doors were way more common. Trap door for ironman is brutal. Also, for characters fleeing Morgoth, a bonus to doors and traps and trap doors is nice... where efd saved my life once. Situation-wise, it's hard to buy this early since five points in perception is probably enough at the beginning, but at the end of the game is when I start to consider it since buying the ability is likely cheaper than raising perception. So, position wise, it's odd. Perhaps make it a +10 bonus and put it toward the bottom of the tree?

I love strength in adversity. It's great for imagining, and it's useful. +1, then +2 to str/gra during a tough fight? Awesome. It's like, I WILL NOT DIE, RARGHH! I've had some good times with this. Suddenly getting better crit resistance and protection from the will bonus, and of course, the damage, THE DAMAGE, Gandalf!

On their own, I think these abilities are just fine... but of course they become prohibitively expensive because both the will and perception trees are just so good. I could list off several that I don't take because of cost issues, but that I think are just fine.
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Old June 13, 2013, 14:33   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taptap View Post

If you want to improve Strength in Adversity (which I believe can be good on some builds, high CON, heavy weapon, charge - i.e. you have the spare weight to use additional str - and knockback) I would rather change the threshold of the bonus to 2/3 and 1/3 than adding a lot minor conditions, effects. Simplicity people!
I like this.

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Majesty: There are builds that don't want enemies to come too close - or to come close and then leave again. (Archers, maybe Polearm mastery / Opportunist?) A lot of people take it for the ascent afaik.
So the best ability in the will tree is basically only useful to high-will archery specialists?

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Throwing mastery: Did anyone try this e.g. with throwing axes when throwing weapons still had the "auto-momentum" strength bonus per 0.5lb?
Yup, I killed about 100 such characters. I think a couple of them even made it to the ladder. It was far more reliable to just take my normal melee weapons and use throwing weapons for support, but if I'm just going to use them for support, the cost isn't really justified IMO
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Old June 13, 2013, 20:05   #20
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Quote:
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Throwing mastery: Did anyone try this e.g. with throwing axes when throwing weapons still had the "auto-momentum" strength bonus per 0.5lb?
I remember trying some characters who would take Throwing Mastery with Polearm Mastery and Focused Attack, and focus-throw forged 2.0lb spears. I would get some pretty large hits this way sometimes but not enough to make an improvement where it matters in the more dangerous encounters. I may give it another try.

I think a fundamental problem with polearms is that the two main paths for raising melee damage in Sil is by stacking criticals on light weapons or increasing damage sides on multiple-dice weapons. High-end polearms, being heavier weapons with 1 or 2 dice, don't go well with either strategy.
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