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Old March 19, 2011, 18:16   #1
Magnate
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Making the game harder, take three

So, I've been thinking on and off for a long time about object flags. In fact I have an essay all ready for the angband-dev blog when I manage not to balls up the registration. It started when takk said he would remove ring brands as a temporary fix to them being overpowered. I thought, hey, what if the brand was only temporary, part of the activation (along with the temp resistance and the ball spell). Not only would that limit the duration of the brand, but the extra turn to activate it creates some additional tactical overhead that the permanent brand doesn't have.

But then I started getting really EMFH, inspired by Eddie's thread about acid and armour. If we're going to the trouble of temporary flags (and I'm not saying we are, but the gory details are in the essay and my recommendation is that we should), there's no reason that all temporary flags have to be additions ....

... when ?restore_item was introduced it immediately elicited complaints that disenchantment was effectively nerfed, no longer a concern. But what if disen were expanded - instead of just affecting +hit/+dam/+ac, that it could remove *any* property from an object? So your cap of ESP just lost, er, the ESP flag ...

Is that the sort of challenge that seems interesting, or just annoying? Before your knee hits the keyboard, think about the number of disenchanters who breathed on or hit your last character ... most of my characters die before that number hits double figures, so it's not as if we're talking about changing something very common.
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Old March 19, 2011, 20:01   #2
Netbrian
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Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
Is that the sort of challenge that seems interesting, or just annoying? Before your knee hits the keyboard, think about the number of disenchanters who breathed on or hit your last character ... most of my characters die before that number hits double figures, so it's not as if we're talking about changing something very common.
I think it would be really, really annoying, moreso than the actual amount it hurts your character. It honestly sometimes feels worse to have your equipment destroyed than to have your character killed, despite the illogic of it.

ADOM will regularly destroy powerful equipment like that, and doesn't really make the game feel more intense or precarious -- just obnoxious.

I like the change to ring brands though, and wouldn't mind stuff like ESP being removed temporarily, even if it happened somewhat often. Imagine a somewhat deep but weak monster that cast spells to temporarily nullify random resistances or something.
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Old March 19, 2011, 20:08   #3
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I think temporary loss of item flags would be interesting so long as restore item scrolls put the flags back...with the caveat that losing fire resistance right before getting breathed on by a great hell wyrm or some such could easily be deadly. Sure, that probably wouldn't happen in one turn, but if you aren't carrying restore item it could happen before you manage to recall.

Actually, that probably wouldn't be too bad - it would mean that if you were lacking disenchantment resistance, stacking multiple items that give the same basic resistance would finally have a use, and it would be prudent to carry around sources of temporary resistance. Strategy!

Temporary ring brands also sound like a good idea, since branding rings were fun but overpowered items. One question, though - do timed item activations automatically wear off if you take off the item in question? They probably should if this is implemented, to prevent players from benefiting from brands on rings they carry as swaps.

...hi.
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Old March 19, 2011, 20:34   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wellan View Post
I think temporary loss of item flags would be interesting so long as restore item scrolls put the flags back...with the caveat that losing fire resistance right before getting breathed on by a great hell wyrm or some such could easily be deadly. Sure, that probably wouldn't happen in one turn, but if you aren't carrying restore item it could happen before you manage to recall.

Actually, that probably wouldn't be too bad - it would mean that if you were lacking disenchantment resistance, stacking multiple items that give the same basic resistance would finally have a use, and it would be prudent to carry around sources of temporary resistance. Strategy!

Temporary ring brands also sound like a good idea, since branding rings were fun but overpowered items. One question, though - do timed item activations automatically wear off if you take off the item in question? They probably should if this is implemented, to prevent players from benefiting from brands on rings they carry as swaps.

...hi.
Well, your first para is precisely what I meant: that disen attacks could "damage" an item by removing a flag/property, which could then be restored by ?restore_item. So your second para is spot on too.

At the moment temporary effects stay active if you unwield the item, but I don't think it's too abusable: it already takes a turn to activate an elemental ring, so to take another turn to swap it out is dramatically reducing its usefulness. Think how many fights you get >2 turns to prepare for, and how many you don't ...
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Old March 19, 2011, 20:46   #5
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Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
... when ?restore_item was introduced it immediately elicited complaints that disenchantment was effectively nerfed, no longer a concern. But what if disen were expanded - instead of just affecting +hit/+dam/+ac, that it could remove *any* property from an object? So your cap of ESP just lost, er, the ESP flag ...
My response for that would be: "Do you really want to commit suicide [y/n]? Please verify SUICIDE by typing the '@' sign"

In many many cases there is only one item in your selections that has some vital feature. Resist poison, ESP, see_inv, FA, confusion. Losing any of those would make game unplayable (unless you like challenge games).

Unless you make restore item guaranteed town object that costs very little that you can carry small stack of those at all times with you that would just ruin the game. In fact even with restore item as guaranteed object it would still ruin the game, because with them in the game and this change disenchantment becomes like aggravation, it either hurts too much to be useful, or it doesn't matter at all.

If not restore item that would lead to scum for disenchantment resistance at 1000' or so. At least for me. I might be able to dive a bit deeper with immediate bail out of level/destroy everything in sight escapes available with 100% detection of distance-disenchanters in sight. Melee-disenchanters would become "never ever melee with them without disenchantment resist, not even when you don't have any permanently damaging items equipped".

Going naked against Mim or his sons would be painful. Maybe doable with shoot & scoot tactics, but melee even with items that don't matter now would be hurt with that change. You *really* don't want to lose any resists from armors of resistance or FA or STR/DEX/CON bonus from westernesse, losing few points of AC or to_dam/to_hit don't matter, especially if they already are low enough that you can fix them with enchantment scrolls.
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Old March 19, 2011, 21:11   #6
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Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
My response for that would be: "Do you really want to commit suicide [y/n]? Please verify SUICIDE by typing the '@' sign"
So much for knees and keyboards.
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In many many cases there is only one item in your selections that has some vital feature. Resist poison, ESP, see_inv, FA, confusion. Losing any of those would make game unplayable (unless you like challenge games).
Really? So every time you fall through a trap door with that longsword(4d5) in sight, you quit and start over? Or at least if it's an "essential" like something with ESP or FA? Or does it not matter if you never had the item in the first place?

I'm not going to try and change your mind, and I'm not surprised you don't like the idea. Personally I haven't fought Mim or either of his sons for about four years - ever since I learned from Eddie that I don't have to fight everything I see.
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Old March 19, 2011, 21:23   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timo Pietilš View Post
In many many cases there is only one item in your selections that has some vital feature. Resist poison, ESP, see_inv, FA, confusion. Losing any of those would make game unplayable (unless you like challenge games).
Well, that's a little over the top. rPois, maybe, ESP maybe, rConf, maybe. FA, I usually have half a dozen sources of FA, and lack of one or two of the others isn't instant death, or an irrecoverable loss, not in Vanilla. and you'd have to be pretty careless to lose more than one of them.

If the traits can be restored, I don't have a problem with it. Think of it as a "curse" that can be removed. I'd throw in a percent % of destroying the item upon attempted restoration, but that's just me... and give artifacts an extra saving throw (or immunity) vs disenchantment.
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Old March 19, 2011, 22:05   #8
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So much for knees and keyboards.Really? So every time you fall through a trap door with that longsword(4d5) in sight, you quit and start over?
That doesn't matter one bit because it is not something I'm already relying to. I have something as weapon.

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Or at least if it's an "essential" like something with ESP or FA? Or does it not matter if you never had the item in the first place?
If you are somewhere around 3000' with single item with FA and lose it you can no longer recall to that depth. That's the problem. If you are warrior and don't have detection rods or have only few of them and lose ESP you might as well quit. If your Caspanion armor suddenly loses CON bonus you are suddenly going with 150-250 or so HP less. If it loses resist poison next drolem is deadly. If you lose INT/WIS from that same Caspanion you suddenly can't rely on your spells anymore. Or if your BoS +10 suddenly loses speed you are suddenly going +10 slower than your fastest opponents, double-moves everywhere.

You might as well quit the game. It bugs too much to scum for replacement. Or if you have restore item that can fix all ego s well as artifacts then disenchantment doesn't matter at all. Either way this is bad. Unless you also introduce infinite home to store every single item with any feature you ever need, which in turn is also a bad thing.

This was just a bad idea not belonging to Angband. You could make it a variant and call it annoyoanceband
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Old March 19, 2011, 22:38   #9
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I could see a place for temporarily removing abilities from equipment, but messaging of the player's current ability set would need to be improved. "Your gauntlets 'Cammithrim' have lost Free Action!" Okay great, but am I still covered from another source?

I'd be more inclined to allow disenchantment to temporarily target stat boosts, though. Have disenchantment create a static field around the player which reduces the total stat boosts (sum of all bonuses) they're getting from gear by X%, with the strength and duration of the field being increased as more attacks get through, and slowly going away with time. Or something along those lines.

Why do you think every single newbie gloms onto the first Amulet of Resist Acid they find and doesn't let go until they learn that permanent resists don't stack? Permanent equipment damage is considered hugely cruel and unfun by many people. So you can either choose to "educate" them about how it can be a good thing (and have them be resisting the whole way), or find other ways to make the game hard; it's not like we're short on those.
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Old March 19, 2011, 22:45   #10
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You could make it a variant and call it annoyoanceband
I LOL'd at this.

Actual constructive comments:

In theory, I don't think this is a bad idea.

Quote:
think about the number of disenchanters who breathed on or hit your last character
Without rDis, probably 0.

1. Minor disenchantment currently isn't that big of a deal - AC is not that relevant and losses to melee bonuses are the only downside. This change would make disenchantment more relevant in the early to mid game.

2. If you're at the point of fighting disenchant breathers (balance wyrms, the Tarrasque), you probably have rDis for the damage reduction, so this change doesn't impact the end game.

3. Certain properties are required (e.g. rbase, rpoison, and FA). Loss of these could lead to very likely instant death. Conversely, certain properties, (e.g. slay xx, fire brand, blessed) are less critical but still noticable when gone. Giving the specific tags different inherent resistances, similar to what artifcats now have, would address this.

4. Stat and speed boosts should be treated like melee bonuses, such that boots of speed +10 would need to be hit 10 times before being worthless.
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