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Old April 24, 2010, 00:10   #1
Derakon
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Balance ranged attacks: remove all extra shots

This was inspired by Eddie's post in the "Ranger magic" thread suggesting that they should lose their extra shots. After a little reflection, it seems to me that all extra shots in the game are unbalanced as it currently stands. That is, the game is currently reasonably balanced if you can fire one shot per round, but as soon as you take that to two, it becomes unbalanced. Consider that a +10 bow with an x3 damage multiplier and +10 branded bolts (not a difficult accomplishment) can deal 3 * 3 * (1d5 + 20) = 189-225 damage. As damage over time, that's not really comparable with melee; you can achieve 400 damage/round in melee moderately easily. Melee tops out at, what, around 600 damage/round? A top-of-the-line bow/missile combination would probably be doing on the order of 3 * 4 * (4d5 + 35) = 468-660 damage. That's good enough that you probably wouldn't bother with melee much for big targets, so long as you had the applicable brands available. Of course, without brands (or with lesser brands) your missile damage is reduced much more than your melee damage is. Still, you're staying out of melee range, so the bow continues to have major tactical advantages.

As soon as you add an extra shot, though, ranged attacks double in effectiveness. What's more, the world effectively slows down as long as you keep shooting (since each shot takes a half-turn), basically eliminating the threat of getting double-turned. Get +2 shots and you may as well throw your melee weapon away. Therefore, I propose removing all extra shots from the game. None for rangers. None on equipment. We'll just do without.

Any other approach to rebalancing missile weapons that I can think of would require far-reaching changes and would be difficult and finicky work. This, however, seems straightforward and has obvious balance implications. It does mean that most of the time, if you need to kill them quickly you'll get into melee, but is that a bad thing?
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Old April 24, 2010, 01:08   #2
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What about just removing ONE of the extra shots for Rangers? Currently they gain a shot at Clv 20 and another at Clv 40. Perhaps just gain one at Clv 30 as a compromise.
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Old April 24, 2010, 01:10   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
A top-of-the-line bow/missile combination would probably be doing on the order of 3 * 4 * (4d5 + 35) = 468-660 damage.

As soon as you add an extra shot, though, ranged attacks double in effectiveness.
I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with your main thrust, but I wanted to address those two points.

(1) Top of the line damage is Umbar, coming in at 3 * 7 * (18 + ammo), could exceed 1000 for highly enchanted seeker ammo. Artifacts have gotten crazy.

(2) When I get around to implementing fractional blows, I intend to give warriors a 20% energy advantage over mixed classes. So if a rogue would use 25 energy per blow, a warrior with the same stats would use 20 energy per blow. You could imagine giving archers or egos a similar sort of energy modifier that would not be as grossly unbalancing as an entire extra shot.


Is there some reason you prefer your system to the equally obvious nerfing using consistent branding damage, by which I mean applying brands to base dice only?
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Old April 24, 2010, 01:21   #4
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Thanks for the correction on missile weapons. I hadn't realized how powerful Umbar is. An x7 multiplier is insane. I suppose these are the lengths we're going to to make aggravating weapons attractive.

The main reason I like this approach is that it reduces the total number of missiles you have to fire (and thus, the number you have to pick up). It's a minor reduction in tedium. Tweaking energy costs would probably work as well, but how do you plan to inform the user of how much energy it takes to perform different actions?

The secondary reason that I like this approach is that we know that, barring absurdities, single-shot missile weapons are currently balanced. It's only when extra shots get added in that things get insane. I suppose, going with your tweaked energy costs, you could make bows of Extra Shots into bows of Fast Shots that reduce firing time by 10%, 20%, etc.
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Old April 24, 2010, 01:51   #5
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
The main reason I like this approach is that it reduces the total number of missiles you have to fire (and thus, the number you have to pick up).
I was planning to do autorepeat on firing the same way as for melee blows, so multiple shots wouldn't be so many keypresses at least if you are as fast as your opp. I hadn't thought of the pickup issue, but I use autopickup so I don't think about pickup much.

Another line of attack is to put brands only on launchers, and never on ammo. Going further, remove all enchantments from ammo. Have you considered anything along that line? I thought about this initially as a way to avoid needing a quiver, but now that the quiver is implemented this idea has lost some appeal.

I never came to any conclusions about anything related to missiles, so you should ignore me if you managed to reach any conclusions you feel strongly about.
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Old April 24, 2010, 01:53   #6
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An x7 multiplier is insane.
What's truly insane is when you pair it with +1 shots from the shield of the Haradrim.
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Old April 24, 2010, 02:00   #7
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What's truly insane is when you pair it with +1 shots from the shield of the Haradrim.
2040 damage/round on undead/demons would have been possible with my last character with some bolts I had.

1400 damage/round against evil
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Old April 24, 2010, 02:05   #8
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I haven't given any serious thoughts to missiles. Removing brands from them would mean that branded damage becomes much less of an issue, since there's no way we're going to have launchers with slay evil/undead brands on them...right?
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Old April 24, 2010, 07:15   #9
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I'd vote for no extra shots from anywhere change. They break current missile damage. Without extra shots, missiles aren't that badly out of balance, and could be slowly brought to a good balance. Now it is just silly with extra shots (though I haven't played ranger since 2005 or so, ranger was my first winner though) ...

Though the x7 multipliers are "fun" even with single shots. A version back my warrior winner "accidentally" killed Tarrasque with lightning bolts with a randart 7x crossbow (pre Umbar), he killed every other unique except T and some early orcs with melee, but hitting T for over 1k per bolt I was just flabbergasted and didn't stop doing it till T was dead. =P

I'm not sure what I think of the idea of having missiles be just "arrow", "mithril arrow" etc with no dice bonuses or brands. Part of the lure of missile weapons is the multiple brands available, and frankly if we skip multishots totally, it's almost needed for competitive damage with missile weapons. It's an idea, but initially I'd say keep brands and bonuses on arrows too.
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Old April 24, 2010, 08:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
I haven't given any serious thoughts to missiles. Removing brands from them would mean that branded damage becomes much less of an issue, since there's no way we're going to have launchers with slay evil/undead brands on them...right?
Only on randarts, and it's easy to remove those if we want.
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