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Old December 17, 2011, 16:16   #71
Estie
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There is a problem here, a flaw with the whole system I think:

The damage done is the product of damage per blow and number of blows. You can imagine it as a rectangle where the one sides length denotes the damage and the other side the amount of blows.

Damage then is proportional to the area. Given a constant length of the sides, the rectangle with the biggest area is the square. What this means is that, in order to maximize their damage, the extreme ends of finesse and power characters will prefer an increase in their opposed stat, because it shapes their rectangle closer to a square. So the troll paladin is going to wear rings of finesse/dex, the hobbit rogue str/power.

I dont like this at all. In current vanilla, this doesnt surface because in the early game we have a combat table thats dominated by str (everyone wants str first, dex later), while the lategame takes place at the capped values for attacks (more stats wont give more blows). A relic of it is still apparent in the fact that a weapon with extra attacks is more useful to a 4 base attack mage than a 6 base attack warrior.
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Old December 17, 2011, 16:26   #72
Mikko Lehtinen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estie View Post
There is a problem here, a flaw with the whole system I think
I thought about the same thing (but wasn't sure, so I didn't write about it).

If I'm getting this right, somehow the damage should be multiplied by the sum of Finesse and Prowess, not by Finesse multiplied by Prowess.
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Old December 17, 2011, 17:19   #73
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I didn't do the math but it this might help:

Critical hit chance is:
(Modified Finesse * Modified Finesse) + (Modified Prowess * Modified Prowess)

Then developing only one skill would lead to potentially devasting critical hits, with the price being lower normal damage.

This works better if the two styles have distinctive criticals.
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Old December 17, 2011, 18:04   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estie View Post
There is a problem here, a flaw with the whole system I think:

The damage done is the product of damage per blow and number of blows. You can imagine it as a rectangle where the one sides length denotes the damage and the other side the amount of blows.

Damage then is proportional to the area. Given a constant length of the sides, the rectangle with the biggest area is the square. What this means is that, in order to maximize their damage, the extreme ends of finesse and power characters will prefer an increase in their opposed stat, because it shapes their rectangle closer to a square. So the troll paladin is going to wear rings of finesse/dex, the hobbit rogue str/power.
Good observation, and one I hadn't noticed myself. Still, I don't think this is such a huge issue that it needs to be addressed before we see how the game plays. I say this for several reasons:

* These characters will tend to be using weapons that favor investment in their "favored" stats. A hobbit rogue will probably be using a rapier, dagger, or the like which would give only relatively small returns on each additional Prowess point -- but larger returns on each Finesse point.

* Balancing your blows and multipliers towards a square is not a trivial thing to do, especially since the balance point is different for each weapon. Thus the equipment decisions are interesting, which is a big part of Angband's gameplay.

* Why shouldn't a character want to fill in their deficiencies rather than overemphasize their strengths?
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Old December 17, 2011, 18:23   #75
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I agree it's not a huge issue. That's why I originally got confused when I thought about this. I noticed the issue in theory, but then all my example cases told me that it wasn't an issue after all.

You may want to limit the damage dice of "balanced" weapons, though. Otherwise balanced warriors with balanced weapons might get too powerful.

... except again my test cases tell me they won't. That's because there's the minimum multiplier 1 that helps the "unbalanced" warriors.

In many cases all the points you put into your lower skill are simply wasted with an "unbalanced" weapon. So the system is very interestingly "flawed" in two ways that balance out each other.

EDIT: It will probably be very fun to try to "game" this system in actual play.

Last edited by Mikko Lehtinen; December 17, 2011 at 18:42.
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Old December 18, 2011, 01:01   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
* Why shouldn't a character want to fill in their deficiencies rather than overemphasize their strengths?
On the flip side, stats are good for more than combat. A rouge will want high DEX to aid him in other ways, which will lead him to prefer a rougish weapon.
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Old December 18, 2011, 04:32   #77
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Progress so far:

* Objects now have optional Balance and Heft ratings (scored in hundredths, e.g. "50" means .5x multiplier). These names were chosen to distinguish the finesse multiplier from the bonus to the finesse skill, since both will be on all weapons. All weapons have default values of 50/50 filled in. Artifacts can optionally specify their own values; if they don't, then they inherit the values from their base types. So you could change e.g. Haradekket to have a 1.5x finesse multiplier if you wanted to (wanted to be insane, that is), instead of the current +2 blows.

* Renamed SKILL_TO_HIT_MELEE to SKILL_FINESSE_MELEE, added SKILL_PROWESS_MELEE right after. No skill behavior changed yet.

* Semi-arbitrary skill levels and growths have been created for races and classes. For races, I took the existing to-hit skill and made it be either finesse or prowess, then flipped the sign on it and made that the other skill. So for example, elves had -5 melee skill, so I gave them -5 prowess and 5 finesse. Half-trolls had +20 skill, so I gave them +20 prowess and -20 finesse. Etc. This will all need to be tuned. Later.

* Renamed all 500+ instances of "to_h" and "to_d" (and "dis_to_h" and "dis_to_d") to "to_finesse", "to_prowess", etc. There are still plenty of areas that refer to hit/damage bonuses, especially when it comes to parsing info files.

* Updated the damage display when 'I'nspecting weapons and on the character screen to show the prowess damage multiplier and to calculate blows correctly. Actual damage dealt is still spotty though.

* Multiplied all brands and slays by 100 and then divided by 100 when damage is actually dealt -- i.e. laid some groundwork for fractional slays.

There's plenty of places where the old combat system and the new one are butting heads (e.g. criticals, to-hit chance calculations), and there's plenty of bugs, but this is a good start.

If you want to check this out for some reason, the branch is on Github here.
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Old December 18, 2011, 07:20   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Progress so far:

* Objects now have optional Balance and Heft ratings (scored in hundredths, e.g. "50" means .5x multiplier). These names were chosen to distinguish the finesse multiplier from the bonus to the finesse skill, since both will be on all weapons. All weapons have default values of 50/50 filled in. Artifacts can optionally specify their own values; if they don't, then they inherit the values from their base types. So you could change e.g. Haradekket to have a 1.5x finesse multiplier if you wanted to (wanted to be insane, that is), instead of the current +2 blows.

* Renamed SKILL_TO_HIT_MELEE to SKILL_FINESSE_MELEE, added SKILL_PROWESS_MELEE right after. No skill behavior changed yet.

* Semi-arbitrary skill levels and growths have been created for races and classes. For races, I took the existing to-hit skill and made it be either finesse or prowess, then flipped the sign on it and made that the other skill. So for example, elves had -5 melee skill, so I gave them -5 prowess and 5 finesse. Half-trolls had +20 skill, so I gave them +20 prowess and -20 finesse. Etc. This will all need to be tuned. Later.

* Renamed all 500+ instances of "to_h" and "to_d" (and "dis_to_h" and "dis_to_d") to "to_finesse", "to_prowess", etc. There are still plenty of areas that refer to hit/damage bonuses, especially when it comes to parsing info files.

* Updated the damage display when 'I'nspecting weapons and on the character screen to show the prowess damage multiplier and to calculate blows correctly. Actual damage dealt is still spotty though.

* Multiplied all brands and slays by 100 and then divided by 100 when damage is actually dealt -- i.e. laid some groundwork for fractional slays.

There's plenty of places where the old combat system and the new one are butting heads (e.g. criticals, to-hit chance calculations), and there's plenty of bugs, but this is a good start.

If you want to check this out for some reason, the branch is on Github here.
And that's in one day. Awesome. Such is the advantage of professional coders on the devteam - that would have taken me weeks! (In fact only me / fizzix / takkaria are not pros - though I guess I ought to honour myshkin's distinction as sysadmin rather than programmer!).
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Old December 18, 2011, 09:48   #79
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Impressive indeed!

I had another though about to-hit. Maybe you could use pure Finesse for to-hit calculations without making it too powerful. Like this:

Normally, to-hit chance is 90%, as per Estie's suggestion. Only in special conditions, like when trying to hit monsters that are good dodgers, would hit chance be reduced. Finesse skill could be used to eliminate these special hindrances, but not to bring to-hit higher than 90%.

That would give Finesse a similar edge against evasive monsters that Prowess gives against armored ones.
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Old December 18, 2011, 13:49   #80
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Some general comments on things stated in the thread.

* While I generally agree that it's frustrating to have a lot of misses in combat, it's ok to have specific monsters that are very hard to hit or very hard to damage. Think of a mithril golem that can't be scratched except with the most powerful (prowessest?) of weapons, or a will o' the wisp which is fragile but almost impossible to hit.

* Not every character needs to be able to hit every monster with their most ideal weapon. There should be expectations that early-midgame characters will have two options for damage, and midgame - endgame will have 3 options. The options can be filled by either finesse/prowess swaps, launchers, spells/devices. In this way spells/devices work as a way of compensating for ineffectual combat. They do less damage for each connecting hit, but always hit.

* As swap weapons become more important, streamlining their use is probably necessary to avoid annoying gameplay. It may be desirable to allow the bow slot to be filled with a generic swap weapon. For streamlining, if the player has a weapon equipped in the swap slot, the game automatically chooses the weapon that is best against any given monster. Of course sometimes you don't know enough about a monster to make a good decision, so then you use the primary weapon.

* There will be a lot of monsters in the game. There is no need to worry about killing every one. However, Morgoth and Sauron should both be killable using all prowess/finesse/magic. Furthermore, any important monsters (spellbook holders for example) should be killable by at least 2 methods. (priest enemies should be killable by prowess, mage enemies by magic.) With those exceptions, there could be monsters that are extremely difficult to kille by certain characters.

* I'm perfectly willing to go through monster AC values and adjust them to match whatever values are necessary for the new combat system (assuming it's more difficult than a simple multiplication factor). And then redo everything again to add absorption/evasion for monsters after the effects refactor.

* I haven't heard much about slays/brands. Are they working the same as before? If dice are very important a 3x damage due to a brand seems very powerful. On the other hand, brand/slay damage could be added as a separate effect, one the refactor comes in. You could imagine an acid/cold branded dagger that does 10 damage to monsters, 5 additional damage if the monster does not resist acid, and 5 additional damage if the monster does not resist cold. so 20 to monsters vulnerable to both.
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