Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

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Farwalker
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Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Farwalker »

Edit note: Here is my most current list of suggestions, moved to top of the topic for easy reference.

Revised Feat Suggestions

Bow: Auto hit, 3x damage, can’t be used against an adjacent target.
Throw: Auto hit (at least one hits the selected target), volley effect, 50% chance for either a slow movement or fear effect (random one of the two not both) per hit, can’t be used against an adjacent target. Fear duration equals number of missiles in the volley for regular foes, number of missiles divided by 2 (round down) for “powerful” foes.

Unarmed: Auto hit, 4x damage, carry over damage (beyond what was needed to finish off your foe) to additional adjacent target(s).
Bludgeon: Auto hit, 2x damage, armor reduction (by 50%), 50% chance of stun for 2 rounds.
Cleave: Auto hit, multi-target (a full spin, all adjacent targets), 33% chance (each adjacent target) of stun for 1 round.
Sword: “Force Advance” - Auto hit, 2x damage, target is immediately pushed away to a different space not adjacent to player, and if no such space is available target is overwhelmed and takes 8x damage instead. No one else can move into vacated target space this round (ie, if target dies or is moved the space remains clear so that the player can choose to move into it next round).
Pierce: Auto hits, 2 attacks, ignore armor (specifically any armor damage reduction is ignored), bleed (twice the damage of the second attack applied over 20 rounds).
Shield: “Shield bash” - Auto hits, stuns (100% chance) target adjacent enemy for 2 rounds, 50% chance (each) to stun up to two other adjacent enemies (must be either side of target) for 1 round, should probably do some damage as well (some basic damage, plus benefit for shield skill, plus benefit for weight of shield).
Dodge: “Feint” – Defensive benefit (invulnerable to melee or ranged attack for this round) plus 50% bonus to hit and x2 damage for a melee attack immediately following the feint.

Revised Feat Cooldown:
I recommend requiring more skill investment to minimize the cooldown of feats across the board. Currently it's something like 100 - (skill level * 3), with a minimum level of 5. If it were adjusted to 100 - (skill level * 2) instead, our bow feat spamming friends can still do their thing, but it will require another 5 levels worth of skills for them to get there.
That also emphasizes the whole point of the feat - big benefit, spend it wisely you only get it once in a while.

Additional Suggestions for Thrown Weapons:
Thrown weapons should not cost a round to equip. (Reasoning: if start with it in hand, during round you throw and draw new weapon. It takes no more time to draw new weapon and throw. Therefore there should be no time penalty to moving thrown weapons around. If a thrown weapon launcher is ever added to the game, such as a sling, it should have a penalty to equip similar to a bow.)

Thrown weapons could be implemented with a “quiver” similar to arrows, and throwable any time the player has a free hand (either hand). With thrown weapons in this ammo bag gameplay is greatly simplified, because any left click at range can throw one of these weapons if a hand is free. (Throw from hand first if thrown weapon there, ammo bag second). You need to actually put the thrown weapon in hand if you want to use it for a point-blank attack.

Suggested further combat skill benefits (at skill level 15):
Bow: Missile conservation – chance for arrow reuse, the arrow stacks up in the backpack (if there is room) instead of being consumed. See chart below based on weight. (Optionally there could be a delay between the use and the recovery, perhaps they only show up once combat ends, or they show up but are shaded or labeled and can’t be used until combat ends. They should be dumpable though, in case the player needs the space to pick something up prior to combat end. If you leave the map while combat is going you lose them.)
Thrown: Missile conservation – chance for thrown missile reuse, the missile stacks up in the backpack (if there is room) instead of being consumed. Does not apply to thrown potions / demon oil. See chart below based on weight. (Optionally there could be a delay between the use and the recovery, perhaps they only show up once combat ends, or they show up but are shaded or labeled and can’t be used until combat ends. They should be dumpable though, in case the player needs the space to pick something up prior to combat end. If you leave the map while combat is gong you lose them.)
Unarmed: "Kick" - 10% chance of a bonus unarmed attack with any melee attack (with any weapon type) (ok, it's not necessarily a kick per se, maybe an elbow smash or whatever cool move you can imagine)
Bludgeon: “Smash” - 10% chance to stun for 2 rounds with any bludgeon attack or 1 round with any cleave attack
Cleave: “Cut” - 10% chance for x2 damage with any sword or cleave attack
and at this skill level x4 damage to objects with any cleave weapon
Sword: “Counter” - 5% chance of a "free" counter attack in response to any melee attack on the player while a sword is held
Pierce: “Bleed” - 10% chance of double attack plus bleed effect (twice the damage of the last attack applied over 20 rounds) with any pierce attack, or just the bleed effect for any cleave or sword attack;
and at this skill level all pierce attacks ignore armor (armor damage reduction does not apply)

Missile Conservation Probability versus Weight
Since the game has already built in a weight trend for missiles, presumably for balance reasons, a weight-based system seems feasible for missile conservation:

Weight Range --- Chance to Lose Missile (else can reuse it)
0.1 to 0.2 --- 2/3
0.3 to 0.5 --- 1/3
0.6 to 0.9 --- 1/4
1.0 to 1.9 --- 1/6
2.0 to 3.9 --- 1/8
4.0 to 7.9 --- 1/12
8.0+ --------- 1/20


-------------
(Orig. 1st post)
I'm interested to hear from other players on how feats are actually working, pros and cons of various feats, and how things might be improved.

Just how over-powered is the bow feat? (Is it really auto-hit, x3 damage, and using the maximum damage to boot?) Is there any ramp up to that or is it like that from level 10?

What about piercing - is it capped at two attacks per round, or can it increase to higher numbers of attacks per round? (Regardless of comments that two attacks per round can add up to so much, compared to other feats it seems pretty wimpy. And it seems to me piercing needs a bit of help from its feat to make piercing weapons somewhat attractive.)

Unarmed - a 4x attack, does this ramp up to 4x, or higher perhaps? Is it an auto-hit? If only it were easier to get some decent bonuses for unarmed to help out... Maybe making it maximum damage as well might help here? Still wouldn't quite catch up with Bow feats (especially considering they are ranged). To really show a bit of love, without unbalancing it too much, how about maximum damage x4, and if you don't need all the damage it can be continued onto other adjacent enemies if there are any?

Thrown... I so much want to like this skill. Supposedly thrown should be able to crank out much better damage than a bow shot, enough to make it worthwhile to lug around all that weight... but that doesn't at all seem true in the game. Then the feat - nice idea, but if I am skilled enough to hit multiple targets with shots shouldn't I be able to hit the same target with multiple shots? Ideas to make thrown feat better? (Multiple shots or damage multiplier? Some kind of cripple / slow effect?) Ideas to help throwing in general? (Perhaps launchers, such as slings, which could hold bonuses similar to a bow? Magical thrown weapons that return and can be reused - and enchanted like melee weapons or bows?)

Ok there's a whole bunch of stuff to get things started!
8)
Last edited by Farwalker on June 27th, 2010, 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Randomizer »

Farwalker wrote:Just how over-powered is the bow feat? (Is it really auto-hit, x3 damage, and using the maximum damage to boot?) Is there any ramp up to that or is it like that from level 10?
It's probably the most over-powered feat, because if you can retreat, then you can get away to repeat.

The damage is randomly generated, but it's easy to get this into the 75-100+ range.

You don't get it until level 10 and increasing bows speeds up when you can use it again.
What about piercing - is it capped at two attacks per round, or can it increase to higher numbers of attacks per round? (Regardless of comments that two attacks per round can add up to so much, compared to other feats it seems pretty wimpy. And it seems to me piercing needs a bit of help from its feat to make piercing weapons somewhat attractive.)
It's capped at two attacks per feat and each attack is rolled to see if it hits. It's still pretty nice and can easily kill most early monsters.
Thrown... I so much want to like this skill. Supposedly thrown should be able to crank out much better damage than a bow shot, enough to make it worthwhile to lug around all that weight... but that doesn't at all seem true in the game. Then the feat - nice idea, but if I am skilled enough to hit multiple targets with shots shouldn't I be able to hit the same target with multiple shots? Ideas to make thrown feat better? (Multiple shots or damage multiplier? Some kind of cripple / slow effect?) Ideas to help throwing in general? (Perhaps launchers, such as slings, which could hold bonuses similar to a bow? Magical thrown weapons that return and can be reused - and enchanted like melee weapons or bows?)
The closest thing to a non-magical area of effect attack. It only affects targets next to the main one and each hit must be rolled. You really need high base damage thrown weapons to be effective.

BW's suggestion was volley feat using demon oil III flasks. :)
Farwalker
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Farwalker »

Bow:
Randomizer wrote: It's probably the most over-powered feat, because if you can retreat, then you can get away to repeat.

The damage is randomly generated, but it's easy to get this into the 75-100+ range.
Ok, good to know it's not maximum damage roll as well (which is what the player's manual indicates).

Piercing:
It's capped at two attacks per feat and each attack is rolled to see if it hits. It's still pretty nice and can easily kill most early monsters.
Still underpowered to my mind... would like to see this an attractive prospect (not just early game) for a lower strength thief/fighter type character among other things. I saw some discussion by BW regarding a possible three attacks at skill level 20 or something like that, hoping he decides to go for it!


Thrown:
The closest thing to a non-magical area of effect attack. It only affects targets next to the main one and each hit must be rolled. You really need high base damage thrown weapons to be effective.

BW's suggestion was volley feat using demon oil III flasks. :)
Oil threes would certainly look cool thrown that way, and if you used that incinerator oil stuff that would be pretty fun at least once! But that doesn't make for a solid skill option.

Another angle on thrown weapons, perhaps if the ammunition didn't always disappear... I mean, does it make sense that I can whack at something with a copper spear over and over again and it's still good to go - or at least I can repair it; but throw my mithril harpoon and somehow it self-destructs into something completely unrepairable (or disappears into an alternate dimension?) Meh. Of course, I have no idea how difficult it might be for BW to deal with those thrown weapons all around the map. Or perhaps there's some other way to handle that?

What about the bludgeoning feat, devastating blow? Is it an automatic hit? Does the full effect appear at level 10 or can it get better with higher skill (other than shorter refresh time)? I read in a post recently that it reduces armor by 50%, but the player's manual states 20%... what does it actually do?
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Buckets
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Buckets »

All I know about first hand so far is the Great Cleave. I can hit up to 3 creatures at once and each one is rolled for. They have to be right beside each other though. I like it a lot. Makes me smile each time :D
Farwalker
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Farwalker »

Buckets wrote:All I know about first hand so far is the Great Cleave. I can hit up to 3 creatures at once and each one is rolled for. They have to be right beside each other though. I like it a lot. Makes me smile each time :D
Cool! Do the extra two creatures have to be right next to you as well, or can you catch a creature behind the main target with the Cleave?
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Buckets »

They have to all be beside you and beside each other.
Farwalker
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Farwalker »

Now, the sword feat... any comments on this one, and exactly how it works?

From the description in the player's manual, I was very impressed with this one. (Auto-hit, followed by "perfect parrying" of all attackers and "sword's base damage" to all attackers that were parried). Still, I'd like to understand the details.

I'm assuming perfect parry means guaranteed they miss you. Is that correct, and does it only apply to melee attacks? What about an arrow or javelin? An arrow at point blank range?

Also, what constitutes the "sword's base damage"? Is it rolled or fixed? Does it include any bonus damage on the sword (+3, or +3 fire for example)? Bonus damage from other equipment or buffs? Strength damage bonus? Does it only apply to melee attackers, or perhaps only to attackers right next to you?

Does this one ramp up in capability with skill level at all (other than refresh rate) or do you get the full effect at level 10?

Thanks in advance for your input!
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by ManusDei »

Randomizer wrote:
What about piercing - is it capped at two attacks per round, or can it increase to higher numbers of attacks per round? (Regardless of comments that two attacks per round can add up to so much, compared to other feats it seems pretty wimpy. And it seems to me piercing needs a bit of help from its feat to make piercing weapons somewhat attractive.)
It's capped at two attacks per feat and each attack is rolled to see if it hits. It's still pretty nice and can easily kill most early monsters.
You sure about that ? With me the feat always hits. The damage is rolled every time, but damage is dealt every time. And I didn't see any "touching" roll.
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Slarty »

The problem is that due to the way damage and to-hit are calculated, the differences between different weapon types, and between different individual weapons, are mostly negligible. Basically we have:

Meaningful differences:
1) Ranged (bow, thrown) vs. melee
2) Easy to keep in stock vs. takes a little effort to keep in stock (thrown)
3) Feat strength (bows > bludgeoning/unarmed > piercing > swords > cleaving/thrown)

Mildly meaningful differences:
1) Free training vs. no free training (unarmed/piercing)
2) Power/bonuses from weapons vs. no such bonuses (unarmed)
3) Max damage of different weapon types (thrown > bows (due to arrows) > bludgeon/pierce/sword/cleave > unarmed)
4) One-handed vs. two-handed so no shield/torch (bows)

Totally insignificant differences:
1) Named weapon bonuses (most are irrelevant, the relevant ones amount to no more than +1 or 2 to total damage or to-hit)
2) Weight of different weapon types (the rules for spellcasting seem to be more lax than previously)
3) Bonuses from equipment (these are mostly comparable)
4) Which stats are relevant (DEX and CON are the better options, but bonuses from stats are so small compared to skill and buff bonuses it doesn't matter)

Notice that bows come out ahead on all of the meaningful categories except the last one (shields). Meanwhile, piercing, swords, and cleaving weapons have absolutely nothing to recommend them ahead of bludgeoning weapons.
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by CrazyBernie »

Farwalker wrote:Now, the sword feat... any comments on this one, and exactly how it works?

From the description in the player's manual, I was very impressed with this one. (Auto-hit, followed by "perfect parrying" of all attackers and "sword's base damage" to all attackers that were parried). Still, I'd like to understand the details.

I'm assuming perfect parry means guaranteed they miss you. Is that correct, and does it only apply to melee attacks? What about an arrow or javelin? An arrow at point blank range?

Also, what constitutes the "sword's base damage"? Is it rolled or fixed? Does it include any bonus damage on the sword (+3, or +3 fire for example)? Bonus damage from other equipment or buffs? Strength damage bonus? Does it only apply to melee attackers, or perhaps only to attackers right next to you?

Does this one ramp up in capability with skill level at all (other than refresh rate) or do you get the full effect at level 10?

Thanks in advance for your input!
The swords base damage is just that... the base damage listed for each weapon (so it's a fixed amount). The riposte parry's every single attack(physical... as far as I recall it doesn't block spells, but that was early in the beta testing) for that "round." Additionally, every enemy in melee range that attacked you gets your sword's base damage dealt as a hit. I see the sword feat as more of a defensive feat than anything else, as it allows you to ignore a round of damage. It would be nice if it was the minimum total damage that the weapon could deal with a chance to crit, but... *shrug* None of the feats "get better," they just get more frequently available.
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Farwalker »

That's a good way to consider the weapon skills Slarty. Part of my hope for feats is to see them tweaked to provide even better variety while also shoring up overall value for some skills that seem disadvantaged.

Personally I consider power/bonuses from weapons and perhaps also ability to buff to be major differences. The latter I mention partly because I'm not sure just how unevenly buffs may apply across the options. I know in some ways it may be easier to buff a bow than a melee weapon (damage and to hit with one stat buff versus two), and in particular I'm not sure all buffs work for unarmed (can anyone comment on that?) As for the former, I could have a sword with +4 damage, +4 special damage and an additional benefit (maybe +3 to hit). Unarmed gets nothing, that's a pretty big difference. Throwing in general gets nothing (although I understand it is possible to enchant throwing weapons one at a time - that's a lot of effort though, and a smaller selection of benefits). Bow comes out on top again - bonuses on the bow itself, then I expect you could enchant the arrows one by one similar to throwing weapons (I read something in the forum that suggested this, but can anyone confirm?)

Regarding feats so far I agree that bow is at top and cleave/thrown at bottom, but I'm not sure I understand the details well enough to place the others in the middle. Piercing should be low though. Sword seems like it should be better than piercing, especially if the defensive benefit works well.

Max damage of thrown is better than bow only if you don't consider the bonuses on the bow (which you already mentioned elsewhere so fair enough), but also only if you consider the really heavy-weight thrown weapons. It's possible this may change by end of game, I haven't seen everything yet, but by the time I got to the dwarves I saw a petrified bow and diamond tip arrows for 9+4 vs dwarven steel harpoon at 15: but that's 9 pounds per harpoon! (I think I saw a mithril harpoon too, so that would be 16). Cutting the weight down at least some, Javelins are around 9 to 11 or so by this point at 2.8 pounds. (The 9 is for tempered steel I believe.)

The basic flavors of feats seem to be:
1) Does it auto-hit?
2) Is damage maximized?
3) Is damage to a single target multiplied, and times what?
4) Is damage applied to multiple targets, and how hard is it likely to be to line up the multi-target shot?

Additional twists to make feats interesting, both implemented and possible:
1) Armor reduction (bludgeon)
2) Defensive benefit (sword)
3) Damage carry-over to additional targets (I'm thinking unarmed)
4) Other crippling effects (reduce to-hit chance for example)
5) Slow movement rate (consider this for throwing, or alternately add this effect to certain thrown weapons, or an entangle-like effect for nets or bolas, and so forth)
6) Stun (since you already have something interesting for bludgeon, consider a shield bash feat for shields that includes this effect - that will certainly make shields more worthwhile to invest in!)
7) Bleed (Piercing or maybe cleave)
8 ) Ignore armor (Piercing or maybe cleave)

I mentioned a feat for shields in 6... I'd really like to suggest a feat for dodge as well, "Feint". The idea of it would be to avoid all attacks for one round, and set yourself up for a multiplier on the next attack. The multiplier just needs to be times 2 (max). This is powerful, because used alone it reduces the damage you take without reducing your overall damage output rate, and chained with another feat (I suggest melee feats only, not bow or throw) it enhances the benefit of that feat.

With these ideas I think the feats can be tweaked so that every weapon skill becomes strong, but with unique twists to suit different play styles and situations. (For cleave, balancing it might be as simple as extending the the multi-attack to more targets, making it essentially a "spin" attack. No auto hit though, maybe max damage to give it some value against a single opponent).

For example, it could look something like:

Bow: Auto hit, 3x damage
Throw: Auto hit, volley effect, 50% chance slow movement effect, separate 50% chance reduced to hit effect
Unarmed: Auto hit, max damage, 4x damage, carry over to additional targets
Bludgeon: Max damage, 2x damage, armor reduction (by some amount), and I would probably add a stun chance to this as well.
Cleave: Max damage, multi-target (up to full spin)
Sword: Auto hit, defensive benefit (parry all, and make this include missiles), damage to all parried (preferably including range attackers who are at point blank)
Pierce: Auto hit, 3 attacks (so 3x damage), and either ignore armor or bleed
Shield: Sheild bash, stun up to three adjacent enemies. If added to attack stun can be shorter, if implemented as substitute for a regular attack stun should be longer.
Dodge: Feint, effect as described above, defensive plus x2 on next melee attack. (Originally I said must be beside an enemy to execute this move, but have changed my mind on that...)

(Note a couple of these may be unchanged from current, but I'm not sure exactly how some of these are actually working.)

Whew, long enough post I think! :D
Last edited by Farwalker on May 29th, 2010, 12:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Farwalker
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Farwalker »

CrazyBernie wrote:None of the feats "get better," they just get more frequently available.
Doesn't throw start off with something like max three in the volley, and then ramp up to max 8?
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Randomizer »

Volley is based upon available targets and weapons that can be used since you might not still have 8 thrown weapons in your hand.
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by Slarty »

You cannot enchant arrows, even individually, in my copy of book 2.
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Re: Feats and Weapon Skills Discussion

Post by carrotghoul »

I played a sword man the first time through,and I find the feat for sword is negligible.with some basic buff,the two-horned thingy has ony16% chance to hit me,and mine 98%.So why do I need parry?I think I'll go bludgeoning or bow the next time.
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