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Re: CF: Successful experiments - commit to CVS?

Mark Wedel wrote:
> David Andrew Michael Noelle wrote:
> > 1) attacktype: psionic

>  I'm still not convinced this is a needed/desirable feature.  There are already
> 23 different attacktypes (although, some are fairly specialized.  Ghosthit
> should probably go away (or get renamed), since it more describes an effect
> (attacker disappears) than the actual attack.
>  While I don't really have anything against new attacktypes, I would like to see
> something new/interesting they add.  Currently, from the description you give
> above, it just seems like sort of a composite attack.  But furthermore, with the
> restrictions of what is actually affected (either too stupid or too dumb), it
> seems like the overall usage of this spell would be quite limited.

    Actually, in testing, I've found it quite useful.  For one thing, it's a
non-elemental attack, so it may be useless against slime and not
particularly effective against demons and wizards, but there are a lot of
less powerful creatures who are valid targets, and may be carrying equipment
an elemental attack would destroy.  One of the disadvantages of the raw mana
spells is that it destroys almost everything.  An advantage of these mental
attacks is that they leave all the treasure unharmed.

    And you're right about this being a composite.  My original
implementation of the same spells used five attacktypes: confusion, fear,
slow, paralyze, weaponmagic.  There are two differences between that
composite and AT_PSIONICS:

1) This way, the damage could be reduced by helms and amulets that grant
protection from / immunity to psionics. while protection from weaponmagic is
not desirable.

2) Future expansion: when monsters are given meaningful Int scores, the
relative intelligence of the caster and target could be used to determine
damage, possibly resulting in the caster taking damage if he is less
intelligent than his target.

> > 2) raw mana spells
>  I personally think there are already enough spells, but a few more won't hurt.
> I would think the implementation of these should be pretty trivial.

    It was.  I'm still tweaking the spell parameters for balance, though.

> >
> > 3) grenade spells
> >     Another way to balance this extension of priestly attacks to general
> > damage would be to make it a particularly slow spell to cast, as the priest
> > must count three before throwing the grenade.  Ye must not count four, nor
> > two, but that thou goest right on to three.  Five is right out....
>  Still not really sure these are needed either.  The holy handgrenade sounds
> very powerful.  Plus, it seems like a very close version of the mage spells,
> which also seems duplicate.

    These two spells are very similar, and they are both very similar to
Create Bomb.  Holy Handgrenade isn't as powerful as it sounds, though.  At
least it isn't right now.  I'm still playing with the parameters on that

>  I think casting speed foris not a good balancing effect, because as of now,
> many servers probably have that feature disabled.

    That suggestion was less than half serious anyway.  The reference to the
Holy Handgrenade of Antioch in Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail is
one of my main motivations for creating these two spells.  If we want to
keep the game more serious than that, I just won't commit them to the CVS

> > 5) animated weapons
>  If it is a spell animating the object, I don't necessary see the players
> skill/stats adjusting the weapon.

    They don't.  Only the weapon's own magical stat bonuses are applied to
itself.  Perhaps they shouldn't be, though.  A weapon that amplifies its
user's strength might not hit any harder when there's nobody actually
swinging it.  Weapons that enhance their owner's agility might not be any
more accurate if they don't have an actual hand and eye to improve the
coordination of.

> It more likely should be magical power (high level caster == more powerful
> animated weapon) Otherwise, if those stats do adjust it, then the experience
> should probably be split be magic and physical or something.

    The magic level of the caster is the main factor in determining the
strength, speed, accuracy, and durability of the animated weapon.  The
caster's physique level, wc, dam, etc., are not part of the equation.  Base
levels are established, then bonuses are added for the caster's magic level,
then for any magical attributes of the weapon itself.  Highly magical
weapons animated by high level wizards can cause some serious carnage.

> > 6) overgeneration
> >
> >     I removed the 1 point/tick maximum on sp/hp regeneration, but I'm
> > thinking of either reinstating that maximum and raising the basic
> > regeneration rate for spell points, or setting a new maximum of two points
> > per tick.  Powerful mages with enough +Pow and +Magic items, and unlimited
> > spell point regeneration speed, can be seriously unbalanced.
>  2 points/tick is probably reasonable.  That should be less controversal than
> increasing the regen rates.

    Okay.  I've set the maximum to 2sp/tick for now.  I'll see how that
works.  The other half of this problem could be solved by giving certain
player races (as opposed to the current classes) inherent sp_regen bonuses.

> > 7) damage descriptions
> >
> >     Just out of curiosity I changed the descriptive text for attacks to pick
> > an adjective based on the percent of damage done rather than the straight
> > number of points of damage.  I'm not sure yet whether I like this any
> > better.
>  I don't like this - many monsters have huge number of hit points (in the
> thousands).  Under a percentage system, I have a feeling many attacks on tougher
> monsters will result in the same generic messages.

    That's what I'm starting to notice.  As levels progress and monster hit
points increase significantly faster than weapon damage, the messages get
more and more the same, serving more as an indication of the creature's max
hp than of the damage you're doing.  Exactly which message keeps getting
repeated does give an idea of how many times you'll have to hit the beast to
kill it.

>  Although, to be honest, I don't bother to look at most the messages it prints
> out. (only time I really notice is if I see 'You missed' scrolling down the
> side, which means it is immune to my weapon.

    As an attempt to make those messages more interesting, this wasn't much
of a success.  In most cases, things are happening too quickly to read the
text anyway.
>  The other fact is the stuff you have for less than 1% damage by default isn't
> going to show up very often, if at all.  And the things in the 0.001 to 0.009 is
> likely to never show.

    I've already seen plenty of those.  The 0.001-0.009 message shows up
when you do 10 damage to a creature with 5,000 hp.  It's the other end, the
messages above 50%, that don't show up often.  By the time you can do that
much damage, creatures with that few hit points are deemed uninteresting and
nothing is printed.

            -Dave Noelle,       
            -the Villa Straylight,
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