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Old February 11, 2008, 10:40   #1
slashme
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Fear!!!!

I think fear is kind of broken in Angband. If you frighten monsters, they run away. If they frighten you, you can stay around and shoot. I would say the guy who stands toe-to-toe with a nether wraith calmly loading his heavy crossbow has more balls than the daily lottery, and is most certainly not mortally terrified.

I would think fear would be much scarier and more interesting if it made you move randomly away from the last monster to cast fear on you, unless you have no way past another monster. Then of course, you fight like a cornered rat. Basically just what the monsters do. Of course, this would make fear very dangerous (about as bad as confusion).
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Old February 11, 2008, 16:07   #2
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Monsters are not prohibited from using ranged attacks/spells while afraid, if they have them. They just don't do so more frequently.

Properly rebalancing this is tricky.
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Old February 11, 2008, 19:38   #3
Big Al
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I wrote a patch a few months ago that kind of fixed the fear in Angband (or at least I think I does); I changed it so that the chance of successfully attacking a monster (via ANY means - melee, ranged or attack spells) is based on how close you are to the nearest hostile monster. Eg. you would have a 5% chance of attacking if there was a wakened monster right beside you, and a 95% of attacking a monster if the nearest awake monster were, say, ten squares away. The chance reduces linearly between the two. This way, it keeps the current system where you can't really melee when you're afraid, and you can still use ranged/spell attacks from a distance, but fixes the incongruities of being able to shoot an arrow at point blank but not attack. I had to add another flag in spell.txt to say whether a given spell is an 'attack' spell or not.

It adds more tactical strategies to fighting; eg. a mage might phase door away to get a better (farther) shot on a monster. Also, it makes the really weak monsters on the level important again - if a high level monster casts fear on you from a distance and there happens to be a mouse right beside you, the mouse there will prevent you from attacking the high level monster. I tested this out on the first thousand feet or so and it seemed to work ok, though it might need some tweaking.

I think that having a (very small) chance to melee the monsters when feared is much more interesting than the flat out all-or-nothing it is now. (EDIT: changed 'not melee' to 'melee')

Last edited by Big Al; February 11, 2008 at 21:00.
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Old February 11, 2008, 19:53   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
I wrote a patch a few months ago that kind of fixed the fear in Angband (or at least I think I does); I changed it so that the chance of successfully attacking a monster (via ANY means - melee, ranged or attack spells) is based on how close you are to the nearest hostile monster. Eg. you would have a 5% chance of attacking if there was a wakened monster right beside you, and a 95% of attacking a monster if the nearest awake monster were, say, ten squares away. The chance reduces linearly between the two. This way, it keeps the current system where you can't really melee when you're afraid, and you can still use ranged/spell attacks from a distance, but fixes the incongruities of being able to shoot an arrow at point blank but not attack. I had to add another flag in spell.txt to say whether a given spell is an 'attack' spell or not.

It adds more tactical strategies to fighting; eg. a mage might phase door away to get a better (farther) shot on a monster. Also, it makes the really weak monsters on the level important again - if a high level monster casts fear on you from a distance and there happens to be a mouse right beside you, the mouse there will prevent you from attacking the high level monster. I tested this out on the first thousand feet or so and it seemed to work ok, though it might need some tweaking.

I think that having a (very small) chance to not melee the monsters when feared is much more interesting than the flat out all-or-nothing it is now.
Sounds like a nice patch...probably something that could be incorporated into Vanilla...
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Old February 12, 2008, 07:08   #5
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...so that the chance of successfully attacking a monster (via ANY means - melee, ranged or attack spells) is based on how close you are to the nearest hostile monster....
Sounds very interesting. I'd still also like a saving throw each turn to determine whether you do what you intended, or run away one space. Sort of "I'll frost bolt that Ancient Red Dragon now. Shit, no. He's too scary. Run away!"
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Old February 12, 2008, 08:41   #6
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[hypothetical] I figure it'd be nicer to let the user decide how to run away then for the computer to force you to. I mean, if you, a mage, were scared for your life, would you try to take a step or two back, or teleport away? There are many ways to get rid of fear, or to get yourself out of a fearful situation; why limit the tactical options? Most realistically, the game would roll a saving roll at the start of your turn; if you succeed, then you can do anything you want that turn; if you fail, then you're only allowed to do 'fearful' activities (eg. moving away, healing yourself, teleporting away, etc.) - however this is rather unrealistic to implement, I think. [/hypothetical]

It might also be interesting to make it so that if the player loses, say, more than half his or her HP in a single round, they get afraid, much in the way that monsters do the other way around now. Then again, that would only make the big breathers even more dangerous than they already are, which is probably not a good thing.

Part of the problem is that 95% of the player fear in Angband is caused by magical means, not physical/mental ones. I guess there's nothing really wrong with the current system if you interpret "the novice paladin casts a terrifying illusion" to mean "the novice paladin casts a spell that makes you forget how to use your melee weapon" -- to fix the problem instead of fixing the solution.
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Old February 12, 2008, 12:39   #7
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Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
[hypothetical] I figure it'd be nicer to let the user decide how to run away then for the computer to force you to. I mean, if you, a mage, were scared for your life, would you try to take a step or two back, or teleport away? There are many ways to get rid of fear, or to get yourself out of a fearful situation; why limit the tactical options?...
I'd prefer the pseudo-confusion thing: It would simulate blind panic more accurately. Maybe a really bad saving throw gets you the message "you are petrified with fear" and you stand still for a round, and a normal failure gets you "you run in terror" moving you away from the monster. "Yes, I know I have a teleport staff right here, but right now I can't keep my legs from running." Maybe a really good saving throw cures the fear?

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It might also be interesting to make it so that if the player loses, say, more than half his or her HP in a single round, they get afraid, much in the way that monsters do the other way around now. Then again, that would only make the big breathers even more dangerous than they already are, which is probably not a good thing.
I like this suggestion! Once again, make it a saving throw thing. Anyway, by the time you get to the real heavy breathers, you'll probably have resist fear.
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Old February 12, 2008, 15:01   #8
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I'd really like to see this idea implemented, it would add flavour to the game.

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I'd prefer the pseudo-confusion thing: It would simulate blind panic more accurately. Maybe a really bad saving throw gets you the message "you are petrified with fear" and you stand still for a round, and a normal failure gets you "you run in terror" moving you away from the monster. "Yes, I know I have a teleport staff right here, but right now I can't keep my legs from running." Maybe a really good saving throw cures the fear?

I like this suggestion! Once again, make it a saving throw thing. Anyway, by the time you get to the real heavy breathers, you'll probably have resist fear.
Paralysis by fear is already present in O, but only from very few really big breathers: http://angband.oook.cz/ladder-show.php?id=5679

Having the same effect from deep wraiths and ghosts (both spells and physical attacks) is a nice idea.

Dario
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Old March 5, 2008, 18:37   #9
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I think I would prefer to keep my poise while experiencing fear. After all, aren't our characters supposed to be heroic? Anyone apt to go all crazy-legs after seeing a scary monster would probably be happier staying in town, arm-in-arm with the happy, singing drunk, rather than scurrying down, level after level, deeper into the monster pits.

Confusion is nasty enough! I don't need another reason to bounce off the walls haphazardly. Knowing my luck I'd get scared by some wicked thing and then start bouncing back and forth between every nearby monster, like a pinball bouncing from bumper to bumper! Ding!...Ding!...Ding!...

I believe characters should experience fear but I don't believe they are the sort of characters that should lose their sense of self-preservation.
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Old March 8, 2008, 18:56   #10
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I think I would prefer to keep my poise while experiencing fear. After all, aren't our characters supposed to be heroic? Anyone apt to go all crazy-legs after seeing a scary monster would probably be happier staying in town, arm-in-arm with the happy, singing drunk, rather than scurrying down, level after level, deeper into the monster pits.
This is one of the main reasons why I'm a proponent of giving all classes natural fear resistance after a certain Clvl (a la current Warriors at lvl30). I find it rather odd and unfair that after all that time staring vile and unspeakably evil monsters in the face, a Warrior naturally stops being scared of Poltergeists, but mages and paladins don't.
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