Dodge-the forgotten defense

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Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby Kreador Freeaxe » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:22 am

Okay, so I'm trying Book 2 currently with a character whose primary defense is dodge. With careful attention and some tricky playing, I've raised his skill to 40 so far. With any other means of defense, this level would make the character nearly untouchable, but with Dodge it's finally starting to get to the helpful stage.

I really think that this skill should be revamped as mentioned several times. First, I think that Speed should be linked to it (the way Speed is described in Eschalon, I always think of it as Agility, anyway), with a natural dodge ability of 1% or 2% for every 5 Speed above 10. Also raise the Dodge skill to 2% per level. That would bring it in line with the other defensive skills. On the other side, I would make the unbalancing of opponents the special "over level 10" effect for Dodge. Alternately, you could give Dodge over level 10 a chance to riposte melee opponents (Player must be using a melee attack skill at the time, no ranged weapons). Basically a free swing (I'd still make it a to-hit roll, though, not a guaranteed hit or it has the likelihood to become too powerful).

Those changes would, I think, make the rogue assassin and martial arts character types more playable and interesting.
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby IJBall » Fri Dec 31, 2010 10:33 am

Kreador Freeaxe wrote:Okay, so I'm trying Book 2 currently with a character whose primary defense is dodge. With careful attention and some tricky playing, I've raised his skill to 40 so far. With any other means of defense, this level would make the character nearly untouchable, but with Dodge it's finally starting to get to the helpful stage.

I really think that this skill should be revamped as mentioned several times. First, I think that Speed should be linked to it (the way Speed is described in Eschalon, I always think of it as Agility, anyway), with a natural dodge ability of 1% or 2% for every 5 Speed above 10. Also raise the Dodge skill to 2% per level. That would bring it in line with the other defensive skills. On the other side, I would make the unbalancing of opponents the special "over level 10" effect for Dodge. Alternately, you could give Dodge over level 10 a chance to riposte melee opponents (Player must be using a melee attack skill at the time, no ranged weapons). Basically a free swing (I'd still make it a to-hit roll, though, not a guaranteed hit or it has the likelihood to become too powerful).

Those changes would, I think, make the rogue assassin and martial arts character types more playable and interesting.

Note that I don't disagree with anything you've said here (esp. making the SPD Attribute complimentary to the Dodge Skill), but for completeness of this discussion, I should mention BW's original defense of the Dodge skill as implemented:

BW's defense of Dodge can be found, starting here.

Now, having included that, I don't see anything in BW's original points that would lead me to think that he would have a problem modifying the system so that SPD would complement Dodge...

Also, if having every level in Dodge increasing your Dodge percentage chance by 2% is too much, then perhaps increasing the chance by 1.5% per level could be a possibility...
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby Kreador Freeaxe » Fri Dec 31, 2010 11:19 am

Hi, IJBall,

Thanks for linking that in. A couple things from BW's post that don't hold true, though. First, there's no trainer for Dodge, so you can get 2 bonus levels from the skill book (or use the book to get the skill and then add levels with your own skill points if you didn't start with Dodge). Everything else comes from your limited skill-point pool. Second, if you've been putting all your skill points into Dodge, your weapon skill and To-Hit will have suffered. Particularly in the case of an unarmed fighter or knife wielder, since there is no trainer for those skill, either. Also, when you dodge an opponent, they are not AUTOMATICALLY off balance, just a chance for them to be, so your strike back is neither an automatic hit, nor does it happen every time you dodge (at level 40 in Dodge, it's a little more than half the time with the mire trolls and a little less than half the time with the dwarves).

At the same point with my Shield specialist, I was effectively untouchable (thanks in no small part to the corner-square = ranged glitch when determining if the shield could deflect a blow). Also, there is a pendant to assist with Shields, but not with Dodge [EDIT: Scratch that, there are the Dodge rings I blanked for a minute].

Clearly, I agree that not every build and every skill needs to be absolutely equal. There need to be trade-offs that give players reason to try different modes. As it is, the relative weakness of this character has caused me to do some interesting tactics (like carrying around explosive barrels to use to barricade myself in so I can wait for my power-punch to refresh--my unarmed skill is only 12 since I've put every other leveling skill point into Dodge since level 2, and the only skills I've bought are support skills--Forage, Cartography, Alchemy, Repair).

Anyway, try the build sometime if you get the chance. It's very challenging to figure out ways to kill some of the opponents (like the boreheads--you can't dodge if you're stunned).
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby Antigrav » Sat Jan 01, 2011 7:56 am

I'm having a good time with my monk-like character. No alchemy, as he has no gear to improve, but the 5 points divination certainly help (Bless, Enchanted Weapon, Cat's Eyes, Divine Heal), and will be even better once I find the stoneskin spell.

Divination - 5
Cartography - 5
Dodge - 17 (one Wind Ring)
Foraging - 5
Spot Hidden - 4
Unarmed Combat - 27
Thrown Weapons - 12

And 1 point each in various other skills picked up on the way. I get by. He's in Hammerlorne right now.

While he has some runs of luck with dodging, it's nowhere near as effective as parrying all those sentinel stalk darts with a dagger or hammer (?). At least hands never, ever break.
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby IJBall » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:28 pm

Antigrav wrote:dodger.tiff [ 213.32 KiB | Viewed 11 times ]

Please remember, folks, that .tiff is a Mac-only image format that a number of browsers don't support. Please post up your image attachments as either .jpgs or .pngs, please! :mrgreen:
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby Antigrav » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:17 pm

Re-attaching as a JPG.
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby KillingMoon » Tue Jan 11, 2011 6:53 am

I think some of these defenses of Dodge are missing the comparison with damage limitation that other skills give.

While Antigrav's Cypher is still dodging attacks, a competent ranger may have already killed his opponant, and dead opponants don't deal any damage!
The same can be said when Basilisk Wrangler is stating that a dodger with 20 skill points is receiving 20% less damage during the game; this is only true in comparison with a character who has spent nothing in anything, which isn't how people play.
Without going too deep into the maths, just look at a ranger again as an example. With only 10 points invested you already get that triple damage shot. I've read several times on the forums that players wait with attacking for that special feat to reload again, which means that you can be dealing with opponants 3x as quick, so only a third of the time you will be exposed to enemies. That's just looking at the feat shot alone, which comes on top of the extra pnewage you're already getting from investing in archery.
Then you can still mention the fact that melee units can't even reach your archer when distance is kept, and that in Book II there's a trainer in Bow.
I can't speak from experience, as I haven't invested much in Dodge, but if I take Basilisk Wrangler's statement for true, meaning that 20 skill points in Dodge would roughly mean 20% less damage during the game, then this is only a fraction of what Bows would give you.

So I wasn't surprised at all, reading Kreador Freeaxe's piece, and I believe I agree with all of that. Except I don't mind too much that Dodge is a bit of an afterthought, as a passive trait it'll always remain a bit boring. Some of those ideas to spice the trait up by giving a guaranteed counterstrike and such, yeah, that sounds very good, that would make it more interesting.
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby SpottedShroom » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:18 pm

Dodge as implemented is just not really possible to balance. As-is, it's too weak: you'd be better off putting the 40 skill points it takes to get to where Kreador is into many other skills, weapons being the most obvious. At the same time, increasing the miss chance to, say, 2% per level could make later parts of the game a cakewalk for dodge specialists.

Dodge's real problem is that it's equally good against all enemies. With a dodge of 25, you have 1/4 chance to take no damage from any attack, be it from a rat or a stone golem.

As I've said elsewhere, I'm in favor of a grand unified theory of defense. There are three ways to defend yourself: armor/shields, armor/shield skill, and dodge. They should all feed into the same AR stat.
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby erikrick » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:45 am

OK, I know this is a dead horse, but I feel that dodge deserves a few points. Not a primary skill, but as a secondary it can be a good help.

First, spend NO points on it until you get the book. After you use the book to get level one, then (and only then if you ask me) it makes sense to add an additional point.

One point to go from 1/100 chance to 1/50 dodge? That's twice as likely for just one point!
Compare that to the difference between 28 Heavy Armor and 29 Heavy Armor.

Adding one or two more points after that stills sees a significant improvement in the chances when compared to the minor changes at the upper levels of a weapon/armor skill.

I am not saying dump 40 points into dodge, but 4 points after reading the book? Come on, you can spare four points for a starving skill right? In exchange you will dodge 5% of all melee attacks. That... well... that's still not very good is it... but it's not too bad either.
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby SpottedShroom » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:55 pm

erikrick wrote:One point to go from 1/100 chance to 1/50 dodge? That's twice as likely for just one point!
Compare that to the difference between 28 Heavy Armor and 29 Heavy Armor.


To say nothing of the difference between 2 Heavy Armor and 29 Heavy Armor :)

Dodge is a questionable skill, but (after 1 rank) Heavy/Light armor are really awful.
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby Lightzy » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:07 pm

Just PLEAAAAAAASE don't make it a 'monk ninja' character where dodge is seperate from wearing armor.. it's stupid and not realistic either, since armor was always DESIGNED for mobility as well as absorption and deflection.

Make it like it is now.. a way to completely avoid damage that is unrelated to armor worn, so that you don't penalize players for finding cool armor or pigeonhole ninja monks to wearing no armor or getting 'super magic monk robe that is just like armor but for monk'... grrr the stupidity
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby Necromis » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:49 am

Um armor was made for mobility? Havwe you actually ever worn chain mail or plate armor? I have worn chain mail and trust me by weight alone it is not made for mobility. Dodging was not really the thing to learn when wearing armor, parry is as your arms are meant to be mobile, not your whole body. Take a boxer in no armor and a boxer in chain mail I will give you 100 to 1 odds that the former will dodge more hits than the later. Dodge should not work with armor. It should be an un-armored skill set only.
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby Lightzy » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:16 am

Necromis wrote:Um armor was made for mobility? Havwe you actually ever worn chain mail or plate armor? I have worn chain mail and trust me by weight alone it is not made for mobility. Dodging was not really the thing to learn when wearing armor, parry is as your arms are meant to be mobile, not your whole body. Take a boxer in no armor and a boxer in chain mail I will give you 100 to 1 odds that the former will dodge more hits than the later. Dodge should not work with armor. It should be an un-armored skill set only.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm11yAXeegg
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby CrazyBernie » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:29 am

Sorry, but that video proves nothing, and that armor looks paper thin.
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Re: Dodge-the forgotten defense

Postby ManusDei » Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:27 am

Well made and well adjusted, an armor doesn't impede movement. But it gets tiring very quickly if you don't train (it's heavy), so once you are tired, you can't dodge as well.

So armor were made for mobility, providing you have lots of muscles to carry it.
It's like carrying lead weights.
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