How is unarmed still a thing?


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Post Thursday, 26th January 2017, 18:20

How is unarmed still a thing?

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Base damage is 3 + UC skill (+2 per claws level (so +6 Tr, +2 Gh), +X for forms); delay 1.0 - UC/54.0; +2 to hit.


Seems too nobrain for me, you dont even have to worry about hydras and there is no interesting decisions like when you find really good 2h weapon when using 1h and shield.
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Post Thursday, 26th January 2017, 18:27

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

for much of the game(especially the most dangerous parts of the game) weapons are strictly better

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Post Thursday, 26th January 2017, 18:30

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

In the early game, the damage is terrible. You also lose access to brands. In the late game, you have no need to find a weapon and damage is ferocious.

If you have claws, early game UC often is not a terrible choice, especially if you have the aptitudes for it.
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Post Thursday, 26th January 2017, 18:38

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

Shard1697 wrote:for much of the game(especially the most dangerous parts of the game) weapons are strictly better


Unarmed starts to outscale starting weapons at 4-5 skill, and before that you still can use that dagger of venom

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Post Thursday, 26th January 2017, 19:19

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

First, looking at UC without transmutations:
(a) +0 two-handed weapons out-damage UC at a similar skill level for low-to-medium skill level. Try fsim with +0 dire flail, fighting 10, skill level 14 for m&f and UC.
(b) Can't enchant your fists.
(c) No artifact fists.
(d) No brands on your fists.
(e) No fist gimmicks like reaching, cleaving etc.
(f) Highest weapon apt is typically better than UC apt. Top 2 weapon apts are comparable to UC, so you even have a some weapon choice.

If you take all of the above into account, weapons typically do much more damage than unarmed until much later in the game (ignoring Trolls).

With transmutations, UC can do comparable or more damage, but it has its own disadvantages, the main ones being restricted armour choice and high XP investment.

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Post Thursday, 26th January 2017, 22:37

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

bel wrote:First, looking at UC without transmutations:
(a) +0 two-handed weapons out-damage UC at a similar skill level for low-to-medium skill level. Try fsim with +0 dire flail, fighting 10, skill level 14 for m&f and UC.

just looking at the formulae, without claws/forms UC only really pulls ahead even higher than that.

At skill 20, UC does 23 (3 + 20) damage, modified by Strength and Fighting.
At the same skill, a great mace does 23.8 (17 * 1.4 for weapon skill), likewise modified by Strength and Fighting.

Unarmed is a bit faster (.63 vs. .7 delay) and has the off-hand punch, but the mace has enchantment and a brand. So before the endgame victory lap, weapons are as good or better.
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Post Thursday, 26th January 2017, 23:39

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

Some of the races with unarmed aptitudes start with extra abilities and resistances, so that losing the weapon slot egos isn't always as bad as that might sound. It's also not all that difficult by end game to also substantially train a new weapon, especially a single hander that lets you keep the shield but gains you the egos/brands for particular situations.

Of course, ultimately it's a lot of play style: Do you like to hit harder and progress faster (including occasionally running away sooner when surrounded/outmatched without a shield), or do you like to slug longer while soaking more damage and maybe worry more about the order you have to fight stuff in?

I see the difference pretty drastically when I consider playing an ogre/giant clubs versus ghoul/shield+claws. I enjoy both but the flow is really different.
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Post Friday, 27th January 2017, 22:44

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

Why would you compare UC to two-handers? One of the biggest pros of UC is that its great with shields.

The only UC I would bother comparing to two-handers is Dragon Form UC which does completely crazy damage. No two handed weapon can compare to the damage output of high end Dragon form, even max tier top end two handers. If you add on the auxiliaries of dragon form, which you should, not only can the main hit do over 200 damage but you often get one or two auxs for 2! of about 30 damage, Which is essentially like having a brand of some sort.

One of the biggest reasons to soldier through the rougher start of UC is because its possibly the best weapon to use with a shield if you have good strength. Might be one of the major one-handers wins out with low str. I am not sure about a Holy Wrath eveningstar its pretty close when you take speed into account, but maxed out UC/Fighting can hit for over 100 damage at around 25 STR. A sacred scourge I think might do more damage on a low STR guy but probably about equal on a decent strength guy.

If you are going for a very high STR shield melee guy I am pretty sure UC is the best you can do for damage. However you lose out on all the other side benefits that a nice artifact wep can give (resistance, +inv etc).

I know on my GhFi of Chei hellcrawl run that using gloves (so no claw bonus), he could occasionally hit for 120+ damage with a single attack when I was doing extended and had maxed out UC/fighting. I believe he had 40-ish STR. A sacred scourge hitting for 3! is about 60 damage and the brand can do another 60 for high end hits of maybe 120 (probably kind of optimistic but as an upper end its ok). Bump STR up even high and the scourge benefits way less than the UC so it will edge out even farther ahead.

If you get lucky and find a nice weapon early on, even just +5 of just about any weapon type, UC is not nearly as good in the start. But its pretty decent by 15/15 skills, very comparable to other one handers by 20/20 and for certain character setups the best option with a shield in extended. If you can't use Holy wrath brand and have even 20 STR I don't think you can beat its damage when using a shield.

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Post Friday, 27th January 2017, 22:53

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

It's always fun watching people demonstrate that they have no idea what strength does

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Post Friday, 27th January 2017, 23:02

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

duvessa wrote:It's always fun watching people demonstrate that they have no idea what strength does


Could you perhaps elaborate or do you just like being smug?

Finding any real formula about what Strength now does is rather obscure without code diving. I had thought that it operated on the base damage of the attacker. Is this wrong?

Learndb says its something like:

Approximately: 1d(base*strength_bonus)*skill_bonus + random2(to_dam + slaying + 1) + various bonuses. Weapon {brand} is applied after monster AC reduction.

Since UC has very high base damage it should get more from strength than something with low base damage going by this formula. Is this wrong? And if it is wrong, how is it wrong?

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Post Saturday, 28th January 2017, 00:33

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

severen wrote:A sacred scourge I think might do more damage on a low STR guy but probably about equal on a decent strength guy.
Someone who understands what strength does would not say this. If A > B, then for any positive C, A*C > B*C. Different strength values will only change the comparison between two weapons if there are other unaffected-by-strength factors at play - but you can't claim slaying/auxes/brand/etc here since you chose a strictly multiplicative brand and two weapons with identical delay (27 skill unarmed and presumably-at-least-12 skill sacred scourge). The only way this statement could ever be true is if the sacred scourge's enchantment is within a very specific range, and I doubt that's what you were thinking of.

Not to say the rest of your post isn't nonsense in the first place. Why are you comparing unarmed at 27 skill to a weapon that reaches min delay at 12 skill? If you are training your weapon skill to 27 you are (in addition to making stupid skilling choices) using a weapon that reflects that.
severen wrote:Why would you compare UC to two-handers?
To be charitable to UC. If you're not an octopode or a troll there's really no incentive to use a shield if you want to use UC, and there's definitely no incentive to use UC if you want a shield: at one-hander skill levels and for quite a while after, actual one-handers outdamage untransformed (even shieldless untransformed) UC by a ridiculous margin already. To make UC's damage output actually good you have to use forms, and of the viable forms only statue form can use a shield at all, and shields are almost never worth the xp investment if you use spells and aren't a troll.
severen wrote:The only UC I would bother comparing to two-handers is Dragon Form UC which does completely crazy damage. No two handed weapon can compare to the damage output of high end Dragon form, even max tier top end two handers.
Dragon form with high unarmed skill does more damage than weapons for the same reason fire storm does more damage than weapons. It's far, far more expensive to get.

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Post Saturday, 28th January 2017, 06:12

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

severen wrote:Why would you compare UC to two-handers?
Spoiler: show
One of the biggest pros of UC is that its great with shields.

The only UC I would bother comparing to two-handers is Dragon Form UC which does completely crazy damage. No two handed weapon can compare to the damage output of high end Dragon form, even max tier top end two handers. If you add on the auxiliaries of dragon form, which you should, not only can the main hit do over 200 damage but you often get one or two auxs for 2! of about 30 damage, Which is essentially like having a brand of some sort.

One of the biggest reasons to soldier through the rougher start of UC is because its possibly the best weapon to use with a shield if you have good strength. Might be one of the major one-handers wins out with low str. I am not sure about a Holy Wrath eveningstar its pretty close when you take speed into account, but maxed out UC/Fighting can hit for over 100 damage at around 25 STR. A sacred scourge I think might do more damage on a low STR guy but probably about equal on a decent strength guy.

If you are going for a very high STR shield melee guy I am pretty sure UC is the best you can do for damage. However you lose out on all the other side benefits that a nice artifact wep can give (resistance, +inv etc).

I know on my GhFi of Chei hellcrawl run that using gloves (so no claw bonus), he could occasionally hit for 120+ damage with a single attack when I was doing extended and had maxed out UC/fighting. I believe he had 40-ish STR. A sacred scourge hitting for 3! is about 60 damage and the brand can do another 60 for high end hits of maybe 120 (probably kind of optimistic but as an upper end its ok). Bump STR up even high and the scourge benefits way less than the UC so it will edge out even farther ahead.

If you get lucky and find a nice weapon early on, even just +5 of just about any weapon type, UC is not nearly as good in the start. But its pretty decent by 15/15 skills, very comparable to other one handers by 20/20 and for certain character setups the best option with a shield in extended. If you can't use Holy wrath brand and have even 20 STR I don't think you can beat its damage when using a shield.


I don't want to get into the debate about two-handers and Str and so on, but simply say that you're mostly talking about end-game, while I was talking about the earlier parts of the game. Instead, I'll directly address the question in the OP from another angle.

UC exists to provide another viable playstyle. If it was always better than weapons, then weapons don't have any reason to exist. Assuming that the devs (and other players) are not totally stupid, if no weapons was simply better than weapons, perhaps someone would have noticed this odd state of affairs in many years - and there would be clamouring for UC to be nerfed, or weapons to be buffed?

There can be "market failures" in crawl, but to have one of this magnitude strains credibility.

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Post Saturday, 28th January 2017, 06:24

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

bel wrote:UC exists to provide another viable playstyle. If it was always better than weapons, then weapons don't have any reason to exist. Assuming that the devs (and other players) are not totally stupid, if no weapons was simply better than weapons, perhaps someone would have noticed this odd state of affairs in many years - and there would be clamouring for UC to be nerfed, or weapons to be buffed?


Not necessarily. Some weapons are balanced by rarity (see staves).
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Post Saturday, 28th January 2017, 06:48

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

I don't get your point. UC is not rare, everyone starts with it.

The set of "all weapons" is not rare, which is all I require for my argument that the proposition "UC > all weapons" doesn't make sense.

If we weaken the proposition to "UC > all weapons except the rare ones", it still doesn't make much sense because a one cannot count on a rare item to spawn during the game, therefore, one would always train UC.

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Post Saturday, 28th January 2017, 06:51

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

bel wrote:If we weaken the proposition to "UC > all weapons except the rare ones", it still doesn't make much sense because a one cannot count on a rare item to spawn during the game, therefore, one would always train UC.


I think you did get my point :)
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Post Saturday, 28th January 2017, 22:16

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

duvessa wrote:
severen wrote:A sacred scourge I think might do more damage on a low STR guy but probably about equal on a decent strength guy.
Someone who understands what strength does would not say this. If A > B, then for any positive C, A*C > B*C. Different strength values will only change the comparison between two weapons if there are other unaffected-by-strength factors at play - but you can't claim slaying/auxes/brand/etc here since you chose a strictly multiplicative brand and two weapons with identical delay (27 skill unarmed and presumably-at-least-12 skill sacred scourge). The only way this statement could ever be true is if the sacred scourge's enchantment is within a very specific range, and I doubt that's what you were thinking of.

Not to say the rest of your post isn't nonsense in the first place. Why are you comparing unarmed at 27 skill to a weapon that reaches min delay at 12 skill? If you are training your weapon skill to 27 you are (in addition to making stupid skilling choices) using a weapon that reflects that.
severen wrote:Why would you compare UC to two-handers?
To be charitable to UC. If you're not an octopode or a troll there's really no incentive to use a shield if you want to use UC, and there's definitely no incentive to use UC if you want a shield: at one-hander skill levels and for quite a while after, actual one-handers outdamage untransformed (even shieldless untransformed) UC by a ridiculous margin already. To make UC's damage output actually good you have to use forms, and of the viable forms only statue form can use a shield at all, and shields are almost never worth the xp investment if you use spells and aren't a troll.
severen wrote:The only UC I would bother comparing to two-handers is Dragon Form UC which does completely crazy damage. No two handed weapon can compare to the damage output of high end Dragon form, even max tier top end two handers.
Dragon form with high unarmed skill does more damage than weapons for the same reason fire storm does more damage than weapons. It's far, far more expensive to get.



Since you declined to explain what strength actually does and isntead tried to explain how simple multiplication works instead. Let me ask a very simple and direct question.


Does the strength bonus multiply the base damage of a weapon?

I can do the rest on my own.

I didn't ask about the rest of my post; I don't care about your opinions on my loosely constructed opinions or anything else really. Nothing you said was helpful or anything I hadn't considered. You are just a nasty person who likes to throw aspersions so I don't give these things much credence.

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Post Saturday, 28th January 2017, 22:39

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

severen wrote:Since you declined to explain what strength actually does and isntead tried to explain how simple multiplication works instead.

That's exactly the thing - strength does the simple multiplication of damage. Multiplying sacred scourge damage and unarmed damage by a positive strength multiplier does not change their relation.

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Post Sunday, 29th January 2017, 00:44

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

Except that the damage scaling will mean more on UC because enemies have AC.
I'm with tasonir on this one.

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Post Sunday, 29th January 2017, 01:44

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

UC base damage maxes out at a whopping 30. But it isn't directly comparable to weapon base damage, because UC lacks one multiplier in the damage formula, weapon skill modifier, which according to wiki is ~2% per weapon skill level. So all weapons at max skill have an additional 27*1.02=1.54x damage modifier.

So the 30 UC base damage is equal to hypothetical 30/1.54=19.5 weapon base damage at 0.5 turn min delay.

Because of the weapon skill modifier, UC and a sacred scourge of holy wrath are quite close:

UC at skill 27: base damage 30

Scourge at skill 27: 12 * 1.75 (avg holy wrath modifier against vulnerable monsters) * 1.54 (~max weapon skill modifier) = ~32.

Scourge at skill 14: 12 * 1.75 * 1.28 = ~27.

As this number gets multiplied with the strength modifier, we can see that the effect of strength is very similar.
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Post Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 13:13

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

The scourge is also affected more by AC because damage reduction is calculated before brands.
I'm with tasonir on this one.

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Post Wednesday, 1st February 2017, 01:54

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

Also it depends on form, but for most forms you'll use strength adds a flat bonus to base damage, so strength does more for transmutated UC than it does for weapons. I think blade hands is (str + dex) / 3 and statue form is just str/3; so that 40 strength ghoul adds another ~13 base damage to their attacks *before* the multiplier effect that strength has. This is primarily the reason why transmutations damage gets so insane in the end game on characters with high stats, but hey, I think that's great.

So I think the whole A*C vs B*C thing is actually outright wrong; strength changes your base damage value if you're transmuting. It's accurate if you mean just UC alone, though.

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Post Wednesday, 1st February 2017, 01:57

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

We were quite clearly and explicitly talking about untransformed UC.

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Post Wednesday, 1st February 2017, 02:07

Re: How is unarmed still a thing?

Fair enough, although I still think it's worth mentioning that things change significantly if you add transmutations, as many UC characters will do that. I'd use transmutations on any UC character who doesn't have claws, really. Trolls/Ghouls/DS with claws might have bad enough casting and high enough damage with their claws to not bother. It isn't mandatory, but ignoring the option seems a bit like you're arguing over a hypothetical rather than the more common scenario (that a UC character will use some transmutations).

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