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ID Category Severity Reproducibility Date Submitted Last Update
0003791 [DCSS] FR: Gameplay Balancing minor always 2011-04-11 01:38 2011-04-20 02:18
Reporter reid View Status public  
Assigned To Kate
Priority normal Resolution done  
Status resolved   Product Branch 0.8 ancient branch
Summary 0003791: Remove staff monks
Description The addition of staff monks is in direct contravention of the principles that have given us the cleaned-up backgrounds in 0.8 (e.g., the CK split):

* It introduces a new secondary choice.

* It groups together two dissimilar character types into a single background. (Unarmed combat is weak early but extremely strong at high skill levels, while a quarterstaff is a good early weapon but base damage for a staff weapon caps out at 14 (lajatang); staff users are likely to want to melee with enhancer staves, which implies branching out into magic to some extent, while unarmed fighters can viably play without casting; etc. Basically, unarmed combat and staves are two of the most dissimilar melee skills.)

If a background that starts with a quarterstaff is desired, it should go under Fighter and/or Gladiator. Those backgrounds already have a wide array of weapon choices. I don't have any particular opinion about whether staff fighters/gladiators should exist.
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-  Notes
XuaXua (reporter)
2011-04-11 02:01

Is this a bug or a suggestion? Is this more appropriate to be discussed in The Tavern under Game Design or in the Developer Wiki under... {topic yet to be named}?
elliptic (developer)
2011-04-13 03:42


Staff monks might be reasonable if staff+unarmed was a reasonable playstyle, but it isn't. Currently staff monks just clutter up the monk background with an extra start option (between two completely different characters). Given the recent changes to other classes, I don't think this behavior is desired.

Besides, people can always play a priest if they just want to start with a staff and a robe... this should be encouraged so that more people will try out new Recite. ;)
galehar (administrator)
2011-04-13 10:19

Staff is inappropriate for fighters and gladiators because of the shield. It fits the monk background flavour wise. Starting with a god being the only way to start with a staff doesn't make much sense.
due (developer)
2011-04-13 14:24

We could always create a new background that starts with the staff -- "martial artist", perhaps? Flavour-wise monks + staves goes together in an excellent manner -- so excellent it could almost be construed as stereotypical.
minmay (reporter)
2011-04-13 15:59

It fits the monk background flavour-wise but not gameplay-wise, as has been explained. It is not inappropriate for fighters and gladiators; they can just start without a shield if they choose a quarterstaff. It might be considered flatly inferior to weapon + shield, but short swords are already considered inferior to other starting weapons.

Alternatively, staff could be a choice for the other martial backgrounds that don't start with shields (zealots, crusaders).
Kate (developer)
2011-04-13 17:27

I don't think there's anything wrong with "starting with Zin is the only way to start with a quarterstaff" at all - starting as a Healer is the only way to get potions of healing, starting as a Chaos or Abyssal Knight is the only way to get a +2 weapon, etc. Different classes get different starting perks, and that doesn't mean they should all be available to everyone necessarily.

Although staves might fit monks flavour-wise, I agree with elliptic that it's problematic to have an extra choice on the character selection screen that changes how the class is played quite noticeably (a staff monk might branch into enhancer staves, or use a lajatang if they find one, or crosstrain to a different weapon... whereas previously Monk simply implied "unarmed fighter").

(Incidentally I'm already working on a plan to fix Conjurers, which are the only other class left with a similar problem now :P).
reid (reporter)
2011-04-15 18:18

It sounds like where to put an additional background which starts with a staff (besides Pr), or whether there should be one at all, is a discussion best left to the wiki. Like I said, I don't really have an opinion about this.

The place for a staff background is not Monk, though. My recommendation is to remove the staff option for monks in 0.8 (reverting to the 0.7 behavior) and then consider possibly adding a staff option elsewhere for 0.9.
Curio (reporter)
2011-04-16 20:23

Goodbye staff monk. It was short passionate love. You will be missed in my heart ='(
danr (reporter)
2011-04-16 21:38

This is not a bug, let alone a major one. It may be a good or bad idea, but this is not the place for this discussion.

Therefore, I won't comment on the actual suggestion here.
OG17 (reporter)
2011-04-17 06:03

Give artificers a starting quarterstaff, there's actual synergy there past "flavor" and it's currently a dry class.
Hushed (reporter)
2011-04-17 23:23

To say that having staves and unarmed on monks combines 2 dissimilar character types in one background is to treat backgrounds like classes. Unarmed may be a viable playstyle throughout the game, but it should be treated as a playstyle choice and not a class, and it does not obviate allowing staves as a choice.
galehar (administrator)
2011-04-19 17:01

taking the staff from the monk and giving it to the artificer sounds good to me.
KiloByte (manager)
2011-04-19 17:13

Artificers get rods, which are maces (too weak for any serious use) not staves.
OG17 (reporter)
2011-04-19 17:26

Quarterstaffs can transition into elemental staffs, which are staffs.
KiloByte (manager)
2011-04-19 17:34

It would make sense if we turned rods into staves. It's kind of weird to have an OBJ_STAVES which comes from a rod acquirement be a "mace". Such a change would make artificers with this well.
OG17 (reporter)
2011-04-19 17:51
edited on: 2011-04-19 17:52

Rods aren't melee weapons as far as enchantments or brands go, so melee shouldn't be encouraged like this, and only one artificer starts with a rod anyway. Making rods melee like quarterstaffs and giving the others an actual quarterstaff wouldn't be terrible or anything, but the rod start would still want to replace it with the first random quarterstaff that shows up, so it'd make more sense to present rods as tools and give all artificers a quarterstaff as an explicit melee weapon. If anything, I'd demote rods to bashing items to finally get rid of this lingering ambiguity, it just leads to confusion.

Kate (developer)
2011-04-19 18:28
edited on: 2011-04-19 18:29

Rods as staff-class weapons (with the same stats as a quarterstaff like enhancer staves, or different stats, or whatever is best, I have no idea) or just as non-weapons again both sound good to me, whichever is easiest I guess.

KiloByte (manager)
2011-04-19 18:34

A little-known thing: a rod with +9 enchantment has not only recharge rate of +9, but also works as a +9,+9 weapon. The base stats are just acc:3, dam:5, delay:13 so it's not something you'd want to use as your primary way of dealing damage, but it's 1. one-handed (1.5 for spriggans), 2. enchanteable, so they're not useless.
galehar (administrator)
2011-04-19 18:40

I don't think it's necessary to change the rod's base type, since its use as a melee weapon is quite insignificant. Besides M&F crosstrains with staves.

The real synergy comes from the ability to train both staves and evocation right from the start and be able to use effectively an elemental staff as soon as one is available.
OG17 (reporter)
2011-04-19 18:58

An unbranded club/staff is still pretty useless since anyone would swap it out with a branded weapon, and it's not enchantable with EW so even early on an unbranded non-rod weapon of the same type would be better, but if rod enchantments do affect melee it should be mentioned somewhere since people were talking about this on the wiki a while ago and no one knew about it.

Also wizmode &f claims rods use unarmed skill?
Kate (developer)
2011-04-20 02:17

Done, and given artificers quarterstaves. Not sure if rods need adjustment really, but tweaking them would be a separate issue anyway.

- Issue History
Date Modified Username Field Change
2011-04-11 01:38 reid New Issue
2011-04-11 02:01 XuaXua Note Added: 0012380
2011-04-13 03:42 elliptic Note Added: 0012447
2011-04-13 10:19 galehar Note Added: 0012451
2011-04-13 14:24 due Note Added: 0012463
2011-04-13 15:59 minmay Note Added: 0012464
2011-04-13 17:27 Kate Note Added: 0012469
2011-04-15 18:18 reid Note Added: 0012595
2011-04-16 20:23 Curio Note Added: 0012624
2011-04-16 21:38 danr Note Added: 0012627
2011-04-17 06:03 OG17 Note Added: 0012635
2011-04-17 23:23 Hushed Note Added: 0012651
2011-04-19 17:01 galehar Note Added: 0012688
2011-04-19 17:13 KiloByte Note Added: 0012691
2011-04-19 17:26 OG17 Note Added: 0012692
2011-04-19 17:34 KiloByte Note Added: 0012693
2011-04-19 17:51 OG17 Note Added: 0012694
2011-04-19 17:52 OG17 Note Edited: 0012694
2011-04-19 18:28 Kate Note Added: 0012696
2011-04-19 18:29 Kate Note Edited: 0012696
2011-04-19 18:34 KiloByte Note Added: 0012700
2011-04-19 18:40 galehar Note Added: 0012701
2011-04-19 18:58 OG17 Note Added: 0012702
2011-04-19 18:59 XuaXua Issue Monitored: XuaXua
2011-04-19 18:59 XuaXua Issue End Monitor: XuaXua
2011-04-20 00:13 KiloByte Severity major => minor
2011-04-20 00:13 KiloByte Category Bug Report => FR: Gameplay Balancing
2011-04-20 02:17 Kate Note Added: 0012725
2011-04-20 02:17 Kate Status new => resolved
2011-04-20 02:17 Kate Fixed in Branch => 0.9 development branch
2011-04-20 02:17 Kate Resolution open => done
2011-04-20 02:17 Kate Assigned To => Kate

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