The good old days weren't all that good.

Submit and discuss your ideas for the MUD.
Yayaril
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The good old days weren't all that good.

Postby Yayaril » Fri Nov 14, 2003 1:35 pm

8)

What is with some of these old Sojourn/Toril concepts that outwear their flavor? For instance, dragon breath. What is with this? Why does dragon breath destroy items? Don't tell me it's because the breath is so damaging, because it's not. I take more damage from a sandblast than the spewing breath of a dragon. On average, I take a little over a 100 damage per blast of a dragon's breath. So why can it destroy equipment? Why can't inferno destroy equipment? It does hundreds of damage. Why can't the bite of the dracolich, which can do over 1k damage simply sheer your armor into multiple pieces?

With the removal of many prots from items and the caster mobs flinging prism around, the chances of equipment loss has increased significantly and I think it's about time for some more change. Remove that dusty piece of breath-weapon coding. While you're at it, implement some other ideas I have:

Saving throws. These things are a throw back to 2nd edition DnD. WHile they worked for that system, where you might be making saves versus death, petrification and polymorphing, they don't work for Toril so well, which lacks these dangers. A lot of the uses of saving throws are totally non-intuitive. The gods had to invent uses for the ones that aren't used that don't make any sense at all. Like sv_petrify helping your stone skins be stronger and sv_para helping you resist poison. Not to mention that whole thing about sv_breath helping illithids resist their own psionic feedback. The whole system should be cleaned up and revamped like in 3rd edition dnd. They siphoned all the old saving throws into 3 categories: fortitude, reflex, and will.

The saving throws in 3rd edition DnD are actually intuitive and you can guess which one you need based on the situation. Also, with only 3 saving throws that are all equally valuable, the players will have to make more decisions about what gear to wear for saves instead of just all Sv_spell, and throw on some save breath when fighting dragons.


Elemental protection spells. If the equipment burning affect gets removed from dragon breath, then the protections seem not as useful. This is where the protections should get revamped. Why not change them so that they have different levels of protection? Change protections so that they are both a flag on an item, and a possible stat. An item with protection from fire would give a base 10 point fire damage-prevention shield. Then the item might also have the stat of: affects elemental resist by 10. This will increase your fire resistance by 20 when wearing this item, absorbing the first 20 points of fire damage you take each round. For obvious reasons, items should not stack with each other. With the advent of new protections, you can develop a new line of priestly spells for use in protecting people from elemental damage. These would stack with items, but not with each other. Again, this would open up a whole new line of equipment for players to figure out what they want, without the items being an 'absolutely necessary thing'. This brings me to:

Stats. With the new roller, and the ease at which one can achieve high stats in general, +stat items are rather boring. The whole stat system is boring. Increasing your stats don't seem to do enough to really make getting stat increasing gear worth it. Max_stat increasing gear matters a bit more, with mages and priests coveting the wisdom and intelligence increasing stuff, but in the end, this doesn't really seem to sway a tough fight. I've played human mages, who have, according to the elves, really slow mem times, but it doesn't seem like it matters, since the group will wait for everyone to finish memming before they go anyhow. Then there's constitution, which does nothing for anyone but warriors. This is based on old 2nd edition DnD rules where constitution doesn't increase the hitpoints of anyone but the fighter classes after a certain point. You can focus your equipment towards max strength, dexterity, and agility gear and see very little for your efforts. Maybe an extra point of damage or hitroll, maybe 3 more AC. Big deal. Not worth it.

I propose you remove the stat caps and ditch the max_Stat gear. Then remove the silly racial stat system and make everyone use the same stat levels. Then your racial modifiers can be tossed on that like in DnD. From there, smooth out the bonuses for increasing your stats so that you see a benefit every 10 points or so. Constitution could add hitpoints for everyone, strength would add in carrying capacity and damage, agility would add in armor class and dexterity would add hitroll and lower fumble chances. Power can add extra psps, intelligence can add extra spell slots for mages, wisdom can add extra spell slots for priests, and charisma would add extra spell slots for bard types. Again, this change would shift people's attention from the gear they normally want (hps hps hps) to other things that normally wouldn't get attention.


Armor class. Every tank walks around with -100 ac and after they achieve it, they go for: that's right, hitpoints. Everyone wants hitpoints because it's easy to see what affects it has on the fighting experience. The more hps you get, the longer you live. You don't see tanks going for as much armor class as they can get, because it's useless after a certain point. This needs to change by revamping the armor class system. Remove the armor class cap. If tanks could go beyond the armor class cap, they might actually start valuing the armor class stat on gear more. This will add yet another decision in what equipment to get that wasn't previously there. They can easily give up on being able to hit in order to be the best tanks around, or they can decide to have a worse armor class in exchange for doing damage. This will also make those more agile tanks races more useful. You might want an elf tank if they can get better armor class than the dwarf.


I know I'm going to get a lot of fire for being a proponent of such radical changes, but I think this would be a very good time to change things, since the mud is undergoing such a large change as it is, and if implemented, I think the changes will be for the better and will create a more intuitive world with greater options in character customization than ever before.
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Postby Ashiwi » Fri Nov 14, 2003 2:27 pm

Can we get a dragon that has breath so magically delicious that it destroys all Yayarils in a 3000 room radius... whether they're logged in or not?
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Postby Ambar » Fri Nov 14, 2003 2:30 pm

o m'lucky charms!!! mmmm food!!
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Postby Thilindel » Fri Nov 14, 2003 2:44 pm

Hrm, roller has been dg'd already in my experience of messing w/it. The frequency of hitting relative 'mega' rolls .vs old roller are much less now (compared to the following couple days it came out). The racial mods w/o max_eq is what old sojourn was, right? So, an ogre w/girdle of giant strength would actually mean something? Would eq be set notches or ..what I mean is would a halfling w/girdle own or what?

I fully agree that breath shouldn't whack eq, considering your very accurate dracolich argument. Something needs to be reconsidered in exactly what nukes eq. Imho, nothing should except mega extremes, like your inferno illustration. I assume mobs don't inferno players cuz we just flat out don't have the hps to withstand it.

For armor class (someone correct me if know otherwise) I assume it's like this: A) 200 pts of possible eq AC B) racial agility is 'bonus' so an elf could possibly hit -149 AC w/o spells C) Barkskin, Armor, Phantom armor, Blur, etc. stack upon existing AC - So cited elf with -149 AC while barked, armored, blured, etc could totally whip ass. **I assume that's why Hildy is such a good tank (with his 55 innate ac). D) racial agility supposedly reduces damage of critics or frequency thereof. I'm not sure why AC isn't just AC if the agility myth/reality is absolute. In that, when in AD&D you roll a 20, the guy takes a whack. I don't know of a check that 'Oh, it's an ogre...baaad news for him!!'

Regardless, what baffles me is warriors are hard pressed to have more hps than mage/clerics here. Rogues really get screwed in that department. I have no clue how to fix this, nor would I try to offer since I'm pretty clueless how that works - I'm feelin sorry for the rogues tho!
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Postby Cirath » Fri Nov 14, 2003 6:28 pm

Great ideas Yaya, I like 'em. And Thilindel, don't feel sorry for us. Rogues get by just fine in the hp department.
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Postby Dacer » Fri Nov 14, 2003 10:12 pm

Awesome ideas...
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Postby Yayaril » Fri Nov 14, 2003 11:20 pm

8)

Actually, THilindil, if you have -100 ac, you get no additional bonus for adding on armor and barkskin, because these just modify your ac. You do get a bonus for blur, since this modifies the innate code of how hard it is to hit you. The only difference between a gnome with -100 ac and a less agile race with -100 ac is the agility critical modification and any other hidden code bonuses that the gods might have popped in for fun.

As for what makes Hildibble a good tank- did you look at his equipment? He pretty much totally threw his hitting skills into the garbage and went full hitpoints. He wore a ton of mage gear. If you remove the ac cap, you'll see tanks going for thicker and heavier armor (like platemail) instead of wearing a bunch of hp gear that people generally identify with mages.
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Postby Elseenas » Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:18 am

Agree with everything here.

Though one thing that might be good is that instead of even having a stat roller ditch it entirely and let us assign points. Even having a roller is more a test of patience than anything constructive.
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Postby kiryan » Sat Nov 15, 2003 3:41 am

i zoned caz pre change at 1100 hps -100 ac -20 ss with ebony

all hit/dam was byproduct of great hp gear
and tonights winner in the Toril EQ lottery is demi belt and skull earring!
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Postby Hyldryn » Sat Nov 15, 2003 4:49 am

Since ya brought him up. Hildibble does not find changing the AC system to be a good solution unless good AC gear is harder to come by. He wore way below -100 AC without spells. However, Hildibble has been benched in favor of a certain lesbian elf. As for Yaya's points, I agree with all the point he brought up, but disagree with most of his solutions.
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Postby Yayaril » Sat Nov 15, 2003 1:42 pm

8)

And if my solutions are implemented, all of Hildibble's ac that extends beyond -100 will actually do something.
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Postby Thilindel » Sat Nov 15, 2003 10:40 pm

When you're -100 ac, quaff armor and have Lilithelle Barkskin you (as Stamm has definitely seen) even huge mobs don't hit nearly as often. As Shev said in another post, you can have other means of spanking -100 and beyond.
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Postby Yayaril » Sun Nov 16, 2003 10:34 am

8)

Shev also said that anything that gives you a bonus to armor class won't cause your armor to go below -100, where other things which innately change the way defense work will, such as displace and blur, so unless Shev is lying to us all, then I don't see how getting that armor and barkskin spell over -100 ac would do anything..
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Postby Stamm » Sun Nov 16, 2003 7:19 pm

Nobody is wrong...

AC does not go below -100. However... certain things can modify your AC. On your stats sheet it shows your base AC, I believe being prone may make your effective AC higher than -100, so being lower than -100 would help. I don't know if it's being prone that does it, it's just a guess.

I'd put money on AC of -140 being better than -100, because I have noticed a difference. I've also had my AC at least -230, so I know that it either experiences diminishing returns, or it really does cap off at between -120 and I'd guess -150.

I've said elsewhere a few times that I'm not 100% happy with the way AC works.

As you can see it's not difficult (for me at least) to get my AC to -100. Fire embody is great for it, and barkskin and armor stack, that's, what, a -125 modifier already. Most people have a -30 modifier to start off with. So your average Joe needs only 45 AC in equipment to reach -100. (Evils don't have access to barkskin, but they do have superior tanking races, so it's swings and roundabouts there)

I'd say the two biggest things making AC too easy are fire embody and full body armour. Fire embody already gives haste, fly and nice hps, does it need to give -50 to AC? Perhaps the AC bonus shouldn't stack with both barkskin and armor, this would mean that a solo elementalist doesn't lose out completely here (although I'm sure they will use armor potions, barkskin potions aren't so easy to get hold of in bulk as far as I'm aware) but warriors wouldn't get the benefit of the AC, which I honestly think is too much. As for full body armour... well, the idea is that it replaces arm leg and on body slots. Arm, leg and on body at the very best are 10,12 and 26 ac, giving a total of 48 AC. I've seen armour which is easier to get that the three of those combined which gives -75. There's long winded difficult quests that give -100 AC, and I think there's a set that gives -125 out there. I've not checked them after eq changes though.

Object 'armor red dragon intricate', Item type: ARMOR
Item can be worn on: BODY
Item will give you following abilities: NOBITS
Item is: NOLOCATE NO-MAGE WHOLE-BODY NOBITS
Weight: 20, Value: 0
AC-apply is 75
Can affect you as :
Affects : SV_BREATH By -4

That just isn't difficult to get. It's even usable by thieves. While the stats on it _are_ punishing to lose 3 slots for, as a tank in a zone you can get the save breath and save spells in other slots and the AC makes it more than worth it, well it would if you couldn't get the AC from other places.

So as Hyldryn rightly said, AC is _not_ hard.

So... what's the solution?

Well, embody and full body armour can be looked at. That's not a massive involving thing. However, going back through all the equipment in the mud just to look at AC is obviously not going to happen. In addition to that, I don't really see many items that shouldn't give AC but do. I know it was in the equipment guidelines that the areas team looked at. Things like the turban which had silly AC were fixed. Things in general that had really nice AC have lost the AC. But it's still not difficult for people to get -100, especially when there's -50 given by spells right away.

So I'd say it means moving the goalposts. There's 2 ways this could be done. Recode combat and extend AC to go below -100. And secondly recode players and have base AC to be, for example, 150. This would mean that Stamm naked had 120 AC and not 70. He'd have to wear higher AC gear to go back to the same position he is in now. It'd make it tougher on dwarves and barbs mainly, trolls have very very nice agility, as do elves and gnomes. Ogres apparently do not tank.

And again I've said it elsewhere... but this is what I envisage the ideal position to be...

A midlevel warrior would be wearing really nasty heavy stuff, forgetting stats, saves, everything, just to bring down that vital armour class.

A highlevel warrior would be wearing similar stuff, he'd get a lower AC because he had access to better stuff, and some of his stuff would have prots on it, saves, a little hps.

A stacked highlevel warrior that's had his pick of every item from every zone would have even lower AC (but not a great deal lower) but his gear would have added stuff like extra hitroll, hitpoints, saves, prots, maybe even damroll.

I think about this point in a long post is the part people skip, they read the start and then the end, so thanks if you've taken the trouble to get this far in to it!

When you're the main tank in a group of 15 people you simply do not consider damroll or damage procs. At best you try to get 20-25 hitroll and use a spelldown proc'cing weapon (like an ebony), or the mithril bastardsword that sometimes stuns. I don't see any way to change the game that would mean warriors would be required to make a significant damage impact as part of that big group. However, I do see a position where a warrior wasn't there as main tank, he was there to bash and to backup rescue, he might then be expected to do his part in damaging mobs, much like what is expected of a decent ranger in a group, just with a lesser focus on damage and more on backup tank/bash/rescue. So then we might see warriors making compromises, and going from wearing 15 ac 5 hps 2 hitroll stuff to wearing 10 ac 2 hitroll 2 damroll stuff for example. But given the current melee system warriors don't really have that option, sure they can switch to damage gear, but even rangers don't make a big impact, so warriors aren't going to either.

Just something else I'm throwing in to the mix here... I dislike the constant reference to AD&D rules. We've evolved past them here, sure the mud at the start was based loosely around them, but we're beyond that now.

As for saves, yes, I agree there. Save spells and breath work fine, but some things perhaps should be moved to other things, or saving throws renamed.

Edit : Dires get barkskin at 7th circle. And while this means evils do have access to it, they certainly don't have the same access that goodies do. But either way my points are still valid :)
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Postby Yayaril » Mon Nov 17, 2003 5:02 am

8)

Being the most popular fantasy paper and pencil game with a solid player base, D&D can't just be ignored as an example of how a successful roleplaying system can be set up. I figured since Toril is based in Forgotten Realms, and uses a system that is very similar to DnD 2nd edition, the mud as a whole could benefit from the changes to DnD that makes 3rd edition so much better of a system. I don't dispute that the mud has taken on a life of its own beyond DnD, but we would be foolish to ignore anything that DnD can offer to make the game better. As you've stated- getting -100 ac is no big deal, and when fighting level 50+ mobs, your ac doesn't really seem to matter as to whether you are hit or missed. Removing said cap would open up armor class as a more desireable trait for tank type classes to get, thus removing the want for only hps and prots.
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Postby Bilraex » Mon Nov 17, 2003 2:36 pm

ya the way 3.0 and 3.5 changes to D&D made it so much better of a system, they really expanded the 2nd ed really boring fighter type into something than can be molded with feats into so many diffrent types of fighters, can be a straight up tank with lots of ac but lacking in the offense dept, or could become a finesse fighter able to deal out alot of dmg or a mixture of both.

The best thing about the new way to look at warr types in 3rd ed is no matter which way you go with your fighter type, they always "tank" better than a spellcaster.
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Postby moritheil » Mon Nov 17, 2003 4:38 pm

Interesting ideas.

I'm not sure that everyone uniformly agrees that 3ed is far better than 2ed, however, which is what you're assuming.
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Postby mynazzaraxxsyn » Mon Nov 17, 2003 4:51 pm

moritheil wrote:Interesting ideas.

I'm not sure that everyone uniformly agrees that 3ed is far better than 2ed, however, which is what you're assuming.


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Postby Yayaril » Tue Nov 18, 2003 2:46 am

moritheil wrote:Interesting ideas.

I'm not sure that everyone uniformly agrees that 3ed is far better than 2ed, however, which is what you're assuming.


I'm not assuming that everyone likes 3rd edition better. From what I've read on the Wizard's DnD BBS, the vast majority of people like 3rd edition better, but there are still people who like 2nd edition, 1st edition and other forms of DnD better.

Either way, it is my opinion from experience that 3rd edition is better from running countless adventures using the different DnD systems.
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Postby omrec » Tue Nov 18, 2003 5:33 am

I think we should implement a new max_ac flag for equipment.

Another stat to differentiate eq, and if it actually helped a lot warriors would probably appreciate it. And it seems like it would be a quick and easy solution, rather than re-working the whole system (which is better in the long run, but harder in the short term).

Oh, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought dires had barkskin? So evils have access to it now? Or am I on crack again?

Oh, and my personal preference is towards 3rd edition, because they focused so much on balance. Which is something we're trying to get here, which would probably make stealing their ideas a useful starting point..:)
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Postby Elseenas » Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:47 am

Third ed, from an actual game standpoint--working with things such as balance, simplicity, available choices, realism, and intuitiveness--is superior in virtually every respect to AD&D 2nd ed.

Balance--a great deal of focus has been put on this. Most of the classes are close in balance within a level of most of the other classes and the syncing of experience requirements has been nothing but positive. A fighter and a wizard spent the same time to get to the same level and, while they have different specializations, each has something (or many somethings) on the other--particularly when you consider the magical items each might pick. At long range, the wizard is going to dominate, up close, the fighter is going to have a few advantages.

This fixes a lot of balance issues by itself. A 50th level warrior and a 50th level enchanter have different power levels and this can be justified by saying that the 50th level enchanter had a harder climb. From a balance standpoint, since the warrior class maxes out at 50th level, this sucks. They had an easier climb, but will never be able to compete on any level.

The experience point differences only work for short term systems early after wipe. As the system tends towards its long equilibrium (which this one has) the scarcity control that higher experience requirements give vanish.

A lot of focus has been put into balancing the classes and, while there are still some issues the classes are fairly well balanced and playtested. We would do well to emulate them or at least see what they do that works.

Simplicity. Three saves, each one obvious. Each stat has only one modifier to consider, that modifier is the same for everything it affects, and there are no changes based on the class. Perfect. The lack of class division makes particular sense.

Available Choices. You can put your skills/feats where you like. You aren't nearly as locked in as you used to be. Want to wear armor as a mage? Sure, you can do it, comes with a penalty. Wield a sword? No problem.

Realism. Let's face it, DnD has never been the ultimate realism game. If you want realism play Rolemaster or Shadowrun. That said, compared to 2nd ed (unless you through eight thousand mods on top of it) was a realism nightmare. A thief with a dagger could not ever pose a threat to a 20th level fighter--too many hit points--even if caught completely unaware.

Now, a 20th level rogue can have +10d6 damage and it doesn't matter if that is with a dagger, a long sword, a rapier, or a bow. An assassin gets a chance just by having the element of surprise.

More, using their extra attacks or their offhand if their opponent can't turn to face them.

Intuitiveness. If I take a guess at how something works, more often than not I'm right.


DnD 3rd is far from perfect, but as was put previously, it is very popular and it does have a long list of things to commend it at least as a study point to see "what works and what doesn't."
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Postby Lenefir » Tue Nov 18, 2003 11:02 am

My only thought on this is that it would probably be a nightmare to code into the already existing codebase, and a lot of eq would have to be changed (again) and probably a lot of mobs too...

But then, I'm just guessing...
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Postby Bilraex » Tue Nov 18, 2003 2:26 pm

i think what this post is trying to say is that we dont need to change all the code and model the mud after 3rd ed, just saying that we have to look at the way 3rd ed changed the basic d&d model to provide some sort of balance, and that if we are going to attempt to balance the classes we are gonna have to look at the mud's basic model a bit diffrent.

Yes drastic code changes can suck, but if this mud is going to continue to evolve there will have to be drastic changes at some point. Eq changes are a start.
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Postby Stamm » Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:08 pm

Right. That's all I meant. Sure let's look at the changes AD+D has had, but let's not do something just because they've done it.
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Postby Treladian » Thu Nov 20, 2003 9:21 am

It's also worth noting that we already HAVE implemented at least some of the changes 3rd edition made. Just take a look at evasion on rogues. Heck, even the rogue class's name itself.

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