Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude


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Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 12:51

Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

We have two big races. One of the biggest traits these size has is that they can wield large weapons and throw large rocks.

I understand the reason why Ogres currently have -1 Aptitude for M&F, and I do agree there are more ways to play it now. Investing towards M&F all game long also makes it feel more rewarding when you finally get there, as opposed to just taking it for granted from the get go.

Currently they have the same aptitude for large weapons - meaning if you want to go for large clubs (ignoring the fact you should really use UC as a Troll) both races will play virtually the same with them (Trolls will be the same, except better with Regen). To me this is a wasted opportunity.
If both big races have the same relationship towards their unique size trait then you are not squeezing as much gameplay potential out of that trait as you possibly could.

The other issue UC is a no brainer for Trolls currently. Giving them an alternative to UC that is not an utter joke creates more ways to play them. They will play similar, but not exactly the same. UC gives you massive firepower with the possiblity of wielding a shield, but with a big skill investment. M&F gives you big firepower and the possibility of brands at a lower XP cost, but you won't get Shields. Either way you are still a big dumb brawler, you just get an alternative that is not obviously worse than UC now - it doesn't fundamentally change the race.

If we were not comfortable with Ogres using Maces exclusively, why is it ok for Trolls to use UC exclusively?

The other weapons could stay at low Aptitude, to emphasize UC and M&F as the good options. Obviously, +3 would be too good considering their intrinsic traits. Maybe even +2 is too much, and +1 would be better. I just want to be able to play M&F Troll without feeling I am shooting myself in the foot repeatedly by not picking UC
Last edited by Pereza0 on Friday, 28th September 2018, 13:52, edited 2 times in total.

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Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 13:22

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

I replied to you on the reddit but you didn't seem to get it there so ill say it here not only would +2 apt make 0 sense on a troll (all around low apts is part of their thing and using clubs isn't) but it would also completely defy the design goal (garbage apts but regen 30% hp and claws) which intentionally gives them a very basic design goal which is to make a very linear one direction race that has intrinsic racial abilities that severely buff that direction not every race needs to have more than one option and trolls were intentionally designed not to
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Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 13:34

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Quezel wrote:I replied to you on the reddit but you didn't seem to get it there

I thought you might want to read it again here
Quezel wrote:so ill say it here not only would +2 apt make 0 sense on a troll (all around low apts is part of their thing and using clubs isn't) but it would also completely defy the design goal (garbage apts but regen 30% hp and claws) which intentionally gives them a very basic design goal which is to make a very linear one direction race that has intrinsic racial abilities that severely buff that direction not every race needs to have more than one option and trolls were intentionally designed not to
I got it

Repeating more or less, what I said there.

I am talking gameplay, not "sense" or "their thing". I don't know Troll's explicit design goals as I have not seen them written anywhere, but I do know DCSS's philosophy. Troll having an option as good as UC doesn't sound bad to me. You are also giving up the claws intrinsic by using M&F, so the only advantage over Ogres is the Regen

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Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 16:51

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

I agree with the OP that currently it is a nobrainer for trolls to choose UC. This is against the design goals (which Pereza0 has linked to above :)). I think it might be fair to increase all weapon aptitudes to 0. I expect UC would still be the default choice because of innate claws 3, but other options would also become viable. I think +2 m&f would be too good, probably more attractive than UC. Trolls get good Innate Abilities compared with Ogres, even if they don't go UC, because of regen, free AC, and being carnivore.

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Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 17:23

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

I do think that with Trolls UC will always be the best choice - only M&F would be able to compete.

Giving other weapons good aptitudes risks turning them into noobtraps. Imagine them giving +1 to Axes - someone might look at the aptitude table and think that Axes are good on Trolls, but in fact they are a terrible choice. Claws are superior to every 1H Axes and also every 2H Axes. I think its important to convey that these are NOT good choices and to actively disencourage it through aptitudes (I would agree otherwise)

I think +2 m&f would be too good, probably more attractive than UC.


I disagree. M&F would have the advantage of getting to max skill way faster and having more leftover XP, but you would have to deal with weapon hunting/enchanting/branding and by the end you would not be able to wield a shield with a GSC.

Claws 3 outdamages GSC at 27 Skill, so in the long term Claws beat clubs and you don't have to deal with weapons, plus you keep your Shield. So I think it would be necessary for M&F to have a positive aptitude to compete with UC. Here is a handy post from Tasonir:

fsim is a simulation which runs a trial X number of times, there's some random variance in it. Once you hit min delay the increase is pretty small and was apparently lost in the noise...

Also while blade hands will increase your damage over claws, try an fsim of statue form if you want to see it really beating GSC's ;)

edit: Got unlazy, ran a few.

Because ctrl+F fsim isn't working for me, here's some single results from f with fighting, unarmed, and maces and flails all at 27:

20 str, 10 dex, vs stone giant
unarmed: 102.0 average hit, 312 max hit, 7.5 auts, effective damage: 131.3
GSC: 108.4 average hit, 461 max hit, 10.5 auts, effective damage: 96.7

30 str, 20 dex, vs stone giant (same order as above, auts omitted, it doesn't change)
unarmed: 149.5, 523, 190.5
GSC: 136.5, 618, 122.4

40 str 30 dex vs stone giant (go go chei powers)
unarmed: 188.1, 684, 240.4
GSC: 161.6, 830, 145.1

So when going with chei, and using statue form as you properly should, claws can be around 55% more (30 str) to 65% more (40 str) than a +9 freezing GSC. Also, since you're slowed in statue form, claws attacking at 7.5 auts means you won't see double actions from monsters (unless it's something very, very fast). Shields would remove the offhand hit, but these tests were done in a melded robe/no shield.

Bonus: Necromutation, 40/30 str/dex:
unarmed 95.2, 371, 184.0. Not as good as statue but hey, decent damage still. I'd do 152.4 in base troll form, so I assume most of that damage is the draining brand, which wouldn't work in extended anyways. Ah well. I am still playing that troll lich...

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Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 17:54

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Pereza0 wrote:Giving other weapons good aptitudes risks turning them into noobtraps. Imagine them giving +1 to Axes - someone might look at the aptitude table and think that Axes are good on Trolls, but in fact they are a terrible choice. Claws are superior to every 1H Axes and also every 2H Axes. I think its important to convey that these are NOT good choices and to actively disencourage it through aptitudes (I would agree otherwise)
Why not just...make them into good choices? Axes at +1 would suck compared to UC or maces but axes at +4 wouldn't, same for the other weapon classes (except short blades lol).

(Trivia: when I proposed changing Og apts I proposed changing Tr at the same time, to have higher melee weapon aptitudes and lower HP.)

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Post Friday, 28th September 2018, 18:07

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

duvessa wrote:
Pereza0 wrote:Giving other weapons good aptitudes risks turning them into noobtraps. Imagine them giving +1 to Axes - someone might look at the aptitude table and think that Axes are good on Trolls, but in fact they are a terrible choice. Claws are superior to every 1H Axes and also every 2H Axes. I think its important to convey that these are NOT good choices and to actively disencourage it through aptitudes (I would agree otherwise)
Why not just...make them into good choices? Axes at +1 would suck compared to UC or maces but axes at +4 wouldn't, same for the other weapon classes (except short blades lol).


IMO, because its somewhat misleading (high aptitudes usually draw people towards them and most of the time its the right thing to do).

Though crazy apt would make up for it for most of the game it will hurt you once you max out since the best Axe/Sword you can get will be worse than Claws/GSC. Just seems a little bit wonky to say "Trolls are super good at Axes because there is not a Giant Spiked Axe in the game, but you can be sure the day there is the will get way worse at them"

I think Troll can stay as the fat minotaur without being good at every weapon class. I just think you cant make weapons classes without a GSC compete with UC without looking wonky

I like your post too. Ogres have had their damage cut by a lot, they could certainly use a bit more HP (its not like it would make them too good all of a sudden)


Also, since GC and GSC are only used by Ogres and Trolls, you can also just change those instead of changing aptitudes. Problem with that is that they would both still have the same relationship towards them, and they might become too good for Ogres again
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Post Friday, 24th January 2020, 15:17

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Self Necrobump.

We still don't have a race that can have big club funtimes

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Post Friday, 24th January 2020, 18:31

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

If you want a species where using giant clubs is optimal you have to nerf throwing. Giant clubs are already the best melee option for ogres but melee still just sucks for them compared to throwing.

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Post Friday, 24th January 2020, 19:40

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Throwing in general might be overpowered, especially relative to Slings which are another 1-handed ranged weapon.

I think there's a good case for playing Trolls with a shield. Trolls are really good with large shields and fix all penalties at skill 15. This makes their regeneration more effective because you have more time to regenerate, but you turn Unarmed Combat into 1-handed (loss of off-hand punch).
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Post Friday, 24th January 2020, 20:51

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Giant clubs are lame and should be removed. Can't believe people are still interested in this nonsense.
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Post Friday, 24th January 2020, 21:33

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

What about the opposite approach? Expand the set of giant weapons. Giant swords (stone, frost, fire giants), giant axes.

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Post Friday, 24th January 2020, 23:21

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

even as a big club lover, who has enjoyed a big club or two back in the day, I cannot imagine wanting to add even more weapon base types to the game.
Remove spell hunger.

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Post Saturday, 25th January 2020, 07:29

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Do you want large races removed from the game too? I can't think of many ways to better distinguish large folks from small ones. Small/Normal/Large was never my favorite Crawl subsystem.

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Post Saturday, 25th January 2020, 15:59

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

bcrawl buffed Giant Clubs by giving them cleaving, which also works to make them viable.
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Post Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 14:44

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

duvessa wrote:If you want a species where using giant clubs is optimal you have to nerf throwing. Giant clubs are already the best melee option for ogres but melee still just sucks for them compared to throwing.


It doesn't need to be the best option for the race (I still think UC would remain better for trolls because of the crazy damage, guaranteed availability and shield compatibility - same for throwing), I just would like it to be a better option compared to what it is now


Added a pull request
https://github.com/crawl/crawl/pull/1266

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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 16:22

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Aaand closed.


Have to say I disagree with the response (you can't just gloss over the fact that shields are a thing, specially for Tr and Og) and that it doesn't really seem consistent with Crawls own philosophy

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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 16:59

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

This is intended to provide a replacement for Ogres old big club
aptitude and playstyle in Trolls.

This way Ogre stays more of a versatile fat human, while Trolls get an
alternative melee style that is not so clearly inferior to Unarmed
Combat. It also helps differentiate their relationship to big clubs.

Compared to unarmed combat, big clubs give Trolls a road that requires
less XP investment, and that rewards them with the possiblity of brands
and using god gifts - but punishes them by removing the possibility of
using shields like they tipically do with UC.

Right now, big clubs are usually not really worth pursuing for Ogres,
and simply inferior to UC for Trolls. This should help bring the
playstyle back for those that enjoyed it.


Using a giant club is not a "playstyle." What are you talking about? They are just a kind of melee weapon. No special attack pattern, no special features. It's literally just some graphics from the Flintstones and numbers in a table.

I don't know why I care, but it just blows my mind that anyone thinks changing a number in the aptitude table by 3 makes a substantial difference in this game. Literally the only way people seem to be able to conceptualize a different kind of crawl is by reference to old versions and changes made since.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 17:09

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

By that logic, OP's case that M&F giving trolls two viable options (one more defensively oriented than the other) is better than one holds more credibility than the refutation that high M&F aptitude would suddenly make big clubs too strong or effective on trolls. The shield point is strong; right now UC on trolls is a "no brainer" in a way that...for example...the regeneration spell could not compare.

Maybe a species built with a no-brainer path (UC and throwing for offense, put on a shield) is okay, but that's inconsistent with the design rationale given for spell removal and changes to other species, so it is not coherent to say that troll design is okay while those things are not okay. Coherent preferences imply consistent valuations/standards.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 18:12

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Buddy, let me know when you have logic of your own to lay on me.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 18:29

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

tealizard wrote:Buddy, let me know when you have logic of your own to lay on me.


If you honestly cared and it had a chance of changing something I'd take this on good faith and try. But mutations have stayed in their present form since .22 so it's hard to believe that.

As it stands, the people doing the work on the game are the ones who ultimately get to choose. My criticism is that some of the choices made are incoherent by measure of inconsistent standards. The regen spell logic + troll logic amount to making the proposition:

X = Y = Z > X

No matter what preferences or standards you have, that proposition is false. It dictates that the design goals stated are not the design goals actually used. If we hold that the stated design goals are desirable, that's objectively bad. It leads us to making conclusions like "freeze is a no-brainer and should be removed because it steps on Makleb's toes" or "the blink spell is a no brainer and should be removed because it steps on Lugonu's toes".

One could presumably flood the design discussion with such suggestions, and it would be fully consistent with the reasoning given for removing regeneration. Similarly, the reasoning given for that contradicts the reason refuting M&F here since it's reasonable to reject a refutation that ignores shields + access to claws 3 before moving. By both player choice stats and "using the rules of the game", a troll training UC is one of the most no-brainer choices for species development in all of crawl. I'm willing to put money down that more people train UC on trolls than invest in the regeneration spell on trolls, for example. Would you put money on the opposite? Would anyone?

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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 20:25

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Can you stop derailing threads with lesswrong sloganism mixed with (willful?) misrepresentation of devteam positions. Regen was not removed because it was like Trog's hand. Regen was removed for the combination of reasons presented in the commit message taken together as a single conjunct. The design philosophy is an aesthetic philosophy—not a set of axioms ; crawl development is not analytic philosophy (I'm being charitable here, your post doesn't rise to that level).

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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 20:46

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Pereza0 wrote:Aaand closed.


Have to say I disagree with the response (you can't just gloss over the fact that shields are a thing, specially for Tr and Og) and that it doesn't really seem consistent with Crawls own philosophy


You said yourself earlier in the thread that your goal wasn't to make big sticks optimal, just "more viable" compared to UC. I closed your PR because in terms of XP investment big sticks compare pretty well with UC in a straight up "XP for comparable damage" contest.

"What about Shields?" What about them: using a shield or not has its own set of trade-offs that interact with the items and spells available to a character and what other things a character might want to train. What is better: use a shield 0 skill and put the xp into UC training; train to remove the shield penalty; or invest the xp in something else (armour/evo/dodge/spells)? The answer is "it depends please post a dump".

I'm not glossing over shields existing; it's just that comparing the equipment and training options compatible with a given weapon tends to be futile because it is so character dependent. Damage potential for XP invested, on the other hand, can be looked at easily.

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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 20:59

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

tealizard wrote:Using a giant club is not a "playstyle." What are you talking about? They are just a kind of melee weapon. No special attack pattern, no special features. It's literally just some graphics from the Flintstones and numbers in a table.

I don't know why I care, but it just blows my mind that anyone thinks changing a number in the aptitude table by 3 makes a substantial difference in this game. Literally the only way people seem to be able to conceptualize a different kind of crawl is by reference to old versions and changes made since.


Mhm... how many gods gift a weapon brand? Aren't there two scrolls that interact with weapons? And aren't there scrolls that can gift them? What about gods that gift weapons? What about hydras? Brands like antimagic?

Playing with a weapon IS different from playing hand-to-hand. Playing isn't just positioning, there also are long term decisions.

I personally find trolls already playable with m&f, but, if there is a desire to make the two plays equals, I don't see a problem in raising m&f aptitude. I think I proposed it a few years ago, albeit it probably was with +1.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 21:29

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

"What about hydras?" lmao

Actually, straight UC is the same as using M&F. It does not matter that there are different ways to slightly modulate the qualities of your melee attacks with a giant club. These factors are insignificant compared to the overwhelming similarity in the mechanics of the attacks. You may have a real good time flipping the switches and hitting the buttons associated with your club, but the fact is it works the same in combat as claws.
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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 23:30

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

ebering wrote:Can you stop derailing threads with lesswrong sloganism mixed with (willful?) misrepresentation of devteam positions. Regen was not removed because it was like Trog's hand. Regen was removed for the combination of reasons presented in the commit message taken together as a single conjunct. The design philosophy is an aesthetic philosophy—not a set of axioms ; crawl development is not analytic philosophy (I'm being charitable here, your post doesn't rise to that level).

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It's not clear how discussing the refutation of OP's suggestion being valid vs not is derailing the thread. The reasons to make or not make the change IS the topic, so any discussion about the validity of the reason(s) given for making the change vs not is on topic by necessity.

The crawl manifesto does not say anything about "aesthetic philosophy". It does state some major and minor design goals. One of which is to avoid no-brainer decisions, which OP presented troll UC to be. Is that in dispute? For most of the game UC will outdamage everything they can possibly use other than throwing at range. It's guaranteed available instantly. It allows one of their more efficient defensive tools (shield). On the flip side, using large clubs/GSC now looks pretty rare even for the species that *doesn't* start with one of the strongest melee options in practice instantly as an alternative.

And actually, "internal consistency" is also listed as a design goal, albeit a minor one. The discussion about troll's getting M&F boosted does not appear to meet either the major or minor aspects of the manifesto. That "combination of reasons in a single conjunct" involves exactly two reasons: 1) duplicates a god ability and 2) no brainer. Going for ad hominem with "willful?" misrepresentation doesn't change that. The standards for #2 are clearly not consistent, since players who pick troll *nearly always* train UC, while for regen the "can cast it" isn't guaranteed and it might not have merited the spell slots. I don't see how I've made a mistake in my argumentation, though I welcome pointing out where I did so more precisely if I did rather than sarcasm. I *do* want crawl to be more replayable and fun rather than less, and snide remarks because I let another site influence my style a little too much don't get us there.

I'm not asking for some kind of *rigorous* analytic philosophy, I'm pointing out that the standards being used recently aren't consistent, and that's led to a few questionable changes.

I'm not glossing over shields existing; it's just that comparing the equipment and training options compatible with a given weapon tends to be futile because it is so character dependent. Damage potential for XP invested, on the other hand, can be looked at easily.


It also does not inform player choice effectively in practice. Which is more likely:

- Most players picking trolls don't know about the secret that M&F are actually already competitive with just using UC.
- UC is actually more useful for trolls in nearly every case, and players choose it for that reason.

We can go with raw usage data or we can go by "rules of the game" or whatever is sometimes emphasized as an alternative here. You don't have a GSC on D:1, and it will be half of the game before you swing a GSC at < 10 aut, including the entirety of it where player death is most likely. Meanwhile, there is an alternative option with more immediate damage, less equipment restriction, far less RNG to access and use to potential, and less swingy in individual attacks...

If we are really, seriously working with the manifesto then the standards aren't consistent. Trolls right now have as much a focused build dictated by their aptitudes/starting position as even the old ogres. Maybe more so. In principle, this should be an issue with "meaningful decisions" and "replayability". Troll is one of my least-played species, and even THAT is front-loaded. Glancing at others' stats, it's not quite at the bottom of their pick rates, but it's in the neighborhood pretty often. This despite that it's one of the strongest species to pick for a 3 rune win.

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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 23:32

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

TheMeInTeam wrote:One of which is to avoid no-brainer decisions, which OP presented troll UC to be. Is that in dispute?

You should read the PR, in particular ebering's reply, which does dispute this.

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Post Friday, 31st January 2020, 23:36

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

chequers wrote:
TheMeInTeam wrote:One of which is to avoid no-brainer decisions, which OP presented troll UC to be. Is that in dispute?

You should read the PR, in particular ebering's reply, which does dispute this.


I read it, but it isn't plausible unless we're willing to accept "damage potential for XP" as reasoning in the future consistently. But that gives some really weird conclusions that don't mesh with actual player decision-making in crawl, to put it mildly, and doesn't seem to inform probability of winning either. I strongly suspect similar to the regen rationale that this won't be accepted reasoning should we discuss altering other weapon aptitudes significantly, especially if someone else states the reasoning.

Edit:

In most cases 2h weapons do more damage than 1h options for a reason especially as xp investment goes up. If UC is keeping up with a 2h option, compare that to 1h vs 2h vs UC weapon damage for every other species. If we're to accept the above rationale, shouldn't 2h weapons completely dominate for other species?

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Post Saturday, 1st February 2020, 00:45

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

For what it's worth, ebering's math in the PR comment is wrong because it equivocates weapon base damage to unarmed base damage, which is only accurate when weapon skill is 0.
tealizard wrote:Using a giant club is not a "playstyle." What are you talking about? They are just a kind of melee weapon. No special attack pattern, no special features. It's literally just some graphics from the Flintstones and numbers in a table.
There does seem to be some sort of de facto consensus among the devteam that, at some point in the future, melee weapon classes will be made meaningfully different from one another. Otherwise, it seems statistically unlikely that cleaving, riposte, and inherent polearm reaching all would have been added.

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Post Saturday, 1st February 2020, 02:36

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Frankly, there's more potential in moving beyond "weapon classes" as traditionally conceived in crawl (basically a parallel of the weapon proficiency concept of AD&D, surprisingly poorly executed). It's the same as the old six flavors of bolt spell situation. In the misguided pursuit of feature completeness as understood from some AD&D manuals and handbooks, you throw in a bunch of parallel, functionally identical features to fill out supposedly distinct classes -- distinct mainly in that they correspond to different skills. That this still impresses anyone 25 years later is kind of amazing.

Some of the ideas in brogue about attack patterns and combat maneuvers have merit, but there's no reason to have so many kinds of weapons in crawl in the first place. Consolidate these weapons skills, scale back the number of weapon types, think in terms of combat mechanics, not interaction with the skill menu.
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Post Saturday, 1st February 2020, 03:05

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

tealizard wrote:Frankly, there's more potential in moving beyond "weapon classes" as traditionally conceived in crawl
Cool, still not going to happen

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Post Saturday, 1st February 2020, 03:13

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

duvessa wrote:For what it's worth, ebering's math in the PR comment is wrong because it equivocates weapon base damage to unarmed base damage, which is only accurate when weapon skill is 0.


Yes, I left out the skill modifier to damage for weapons that unarmed doesn't get; I also left out the impact of enchantments and brands. However, examining base damage and calling 20 base with a weapon vs. 28 base with UC "comparable when you account for the variation in enchants and brands" is a Very Good approximation.

Indeed, if you prefer the cult of fsim, test vs a death yak at the skill values I used (18 M&F vs 19 UC). You'll see that a +0 unbranded giant club is worse than unarmed but a +9 vorpal giant club is better; and that at 15 UC unarmed is comparable to the +0 unbranded giant club. Against a dodgy target (like a spriggan berserker) the unenchanted giant clubs struggle to hit (the damage comparison remains accurate), but the +9 clubs get a UC comparable accuracy.

The opacity of crawl's formulas makes it hard for players to get this information, which contributes to player perceptions that "giant clubs are useless in m&f". Perceptions so strong that some people assert that this is in fact a consequence of the rules of the game.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Saturday, 1st February 2020, 04:32

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

ebering wrote:
Pereza0 wrote:Aaand closed.


Have to say I disagree with the response (you can't just gloss over the fact that shields are a thing, specially for Tr and Og) and that it doesn't really seem consistent with Crawls own philosophy


You said yourself earlier in the thread that your goal wasn't to make big sticks optimal, just "more viable" compared to UC. I closed your PR because in terms of XP investment big sticks compare pretty well with UC in a straight up "XP for comparable damage" contest.

"What about Shields?" What about them: using a shield or not has its own set of trade-offs that interact with the items and spells available to a character and what other things a character might want to train. What is better: use a shield 0 skill and put the xp into UC training; train to remove the shield penalty; or invest the xp in something else (armour/evo/dodge/spells)? The answer is "it depends please post a dump".

I'm not glossing over shields existing; it's just that comparing the equipment and training options compatible with a given weapon tends to be futile because it is so character dependent. Damage potential for XP invested, on the other hand, can be looked at easily.


I mean, I can't disagree that its far easier to assess XP invested/damage to something like how impactful the availability of shields is on a character. This doesn't mean there isn't an impact, and that it can be huge even if it can't be measured so easily.


If we made any character able to wield Triple Swords with a Shield tomorrow, the XP/Damage graph would be the exact same, but we can all agree it would be extremely impactful even if not as straightforward to measure. UC is to Big Clubs what a Triple Sword that you could use with a shield would be to a regular Triple Sword. Sure, it probably wont make much of a difference early on when you are strapped for XP to be able to barely swing a sword. But it will make a big difference later.


That said, I have checked in fsim and before UC is fully online, Giant Clubs are definitely better than I thought they would be. Basically comparing taking a few exp potions, and investing them into M&F exclusively and a 66%/33% split between UC and Shields I saw that at different breakpoints they mostly performed closer than I thought for a +3/+4 enchanted brandless club (which seems something you can reasonably get in almost every run with a few scrolls relatively early, nothing crazy). Of course there was more damage taken without a shield, but the extra damage dealt kept it pretty even. There definitely isn't as much of a gap between the two before lategame. So yeah, they are definitely an option.

However, once UC is fully online and you can take your shield with you the amount of damage you dish out is comparable, but the damage you are receiving is a lot less. Of course, you have had to invest on the shields, but we know that past a certain point XP is not that scarce of a resource. So yeah, M&F does has its perks right now, are they anywhere as good as what UC offers later on though?


Characters that have some sort of handicap in their defenses tend to lean heavily on whatever alternative they have. Shield availability is probably a massive boon for UC over M&F for large races, because evasion has bad return for investment, quality armor is not available early on and more HP works best with some damage mitigation on top. I feel crawl tends to reward diversifying defenses because of diminishing XP returns too.

Honestly I am just rambling at this point, and I do feel I have been misled somewhat by that -1, but at the same time I do think some points still stand
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Slime Squisher

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Post Saturday, 1st February 2020, 04:42

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

tealizard wrote:Frankly, there's more potential in moving beyond "weapon classes" as traditionally conceived in crawl (basically a parallel of the weapon proficiency concept of AD&D, surprisingly poorly executed). It's the same as the old six flavors of bolt spell situation. In the misguided pursuit of feature completeness as understood from some AD&D manuals and handbooks, you throw in a bunch of parallel, functionally identical features to fill out supposedly distinct classes -- distinct mainly in that they correspond to different skills. That this still impresses anyone 25 years later is kind of amazing.

Some of the ideas in brogue about attack patterns and combat maneuvers have merit, but there's no reason to have so many kinds of weapons in crawl in the first place. Consolidate these weapons skills, scale back the number of weapon types, think in terms of combat mechanics, not interaction with the skill menu.


Giant Clubs are different because they are intrinsically tied to large races. Its not just about oogabooga tab tab, its about how it plays different to be a fat glass canon on his quest to get acceptable defences than to be a well armored melee dude that is struggling with other things entirely.

And honestly, Crawl is a roguelike. You know, tile based, 2 degrees of freedom... There is a limit on how many things you can do when your character can't even spin on himself. Its obviously harder to make a hammer different than a sword with these limitations, than it is going to be in dark souls or whatever. That is... without making people want to pull their hair out or get carpal tunnel syndrome from repeating a handful of optimal moves over and over
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Slime Squisher

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Post Saturday, 1st February 2020, 10:51

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

duvessa wrote:
tealizard wrote:Frankly, there's more potential in moving beyond "weapon classes" as traditionally conceived in crawl
Cool, still not going to happen


A year ago, I would have said there's no way they'll ever get rid of all the bolt spells. If the horizon is changing the aptitude table, it's all that'll ever happen.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 23:50

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Pereza0 wrote: To me this is a wasted opportunity. If both big races have the same relationship towards their unique size trait then you are not squeezing as much gameplay potential out of that trait as you possibly could.


I think your heart is in the right place here - I agree with the sentiment, for sure - but I disagree with your proposed solution. I like trolls - trolls are in a good place thematically and mechanically. They are meant to be one trick ponies which are somewhat modifiable by gods. The real solution here is to revert the ogre change. Unfortunately the change really did very little other than make ogres, and by extension DCSS, less interesting. Even with their old school mace apt, going maces was almost never the optimal play with ogres, so nerfing it was a very strange decision indeed.

duvessa wrote:Giant clubs are already the best melee option for ogres


This is simply false. Attacking slower than 1.0 speed is pretty much always a bad idea because it opens you up to getting double hit by enemies. Giant clubs have a massive 1.6 base attack delay. To bring that down to 1.0 attack delay, you'd need to train 12 maces & flails, which, while relatively low, is not fun to do on -1 aptitude and you'll be well into lair (i.e. past the hardest part of the game) by the time you get there. For optimal early game ogres should start with a polearm and probably switch to axes. Your assertion that giant clubs are the best melee option really only makes any sense if you assume the player is doing nothing but tabbing into enemies in hallways and is completely unable to retreat or kite to regain his hp. I haven't even brought up the absolutely massive effect that shields bring to the table - if you take that into account as well, GC starts looking like a truly terrible option.

tealizard wrote:
I don't know why I care, but it just blows my mind that anyone thinks changing a number in the aptitude table by 3 makes a substantial difference in this game.


Well, the original M&F apt change certainly made a substantial difference for people who liked to play ogres. 3 aptitude points is an awful lot. It's the difference between something being an extremely solid option and something being not really viable at all.

tealizard wrote:
A year ago, I would have said there's no way they'll ever get rid of all the bolt spells.

Ah, but you've forgotten the vaunted bolf of hands.
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Lair Larrikin

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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 00:42

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

I've never seen "Bolt of Hands". And now I want "Bolt of Hands", dammit, from the name alone...

Curse you *shakes fist, smacks head to dislodge meme* !

Temple Termagant

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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 01:31

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

Can we stop pretending that using shields is really a choice at this point in crawl? Or even using the biggest-shield-available (unless you are say a pre-lair caster).
(Sure you can do 2 handers for style points. I sometimes cant resist the manly charms of an executioner axe either, but that has little to do with strategical choices.)

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Zot Zealot

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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 02:45

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

To be honest, I'm not sure if you're suggesting shields are either mandatory or never used. About 75% of winning games have shields skill >15.0, which is not really either of those extremes.

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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 07:44

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

I was suggesting that it is easier to win with a shield than without one for literally any character who can wear one. Ogres totally included.
I was not suggesting that you actually need to train the skill to 15, though it might be a good idea depending.
I was also not suggesting that it is not possible to win the game using all kinds of ridiculous items like giant clubs, dark maul, other two handed weapons, short blades, robes etc.

----
Back on the topic a bit: it was mentioned in the thread that bcrawl gives GCs cleave and restores the +2 mace apt on ogres. Even with this change GCs remain sort of a niche but at least a fun niche (really it is just very very hard to beat broad+ls for ogre or claw+ls for troll). I dont expect anything of the sort to happen in mainline (since not a single one of the much more significant and obvious improvements in the fork was merged), but if they did it i would support it. It would make even more sense with increasing the mace apt for trolls as well i guess.

As for the original suggestion, i do not think giving trolls higher mace apt would be harmful in any way, but i feel i would end up going uc anyways most of the time. Training maces on them (without any other changes to how melee works atm) would be like betting on finding an eveningstar so i have at least somewhat competitive damage with high uc claws. That is sort of a big gamble. Your big troll fists are always there for you.
----

In before somebody points out how this thread ironically attracts trolls.

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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 16:31

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

MalcolmRose wrote:Well, the original M&F apt change certainly made a substantial difference for people who liked to play ogres. 3 aptitude points is an awful lot. It's the difference between something being an extremely solid option and something being not really viable at all.


Also, if we take the statement "3 aptitude points doesn't make a substantial difference" at face value, then there was no justification to change the ogre aptitude, either. Heck, if it isn't significant anyway why not just toss a bunch of different aptitudes into a 3 point difference one way or the other?

But the ogre aptitude was changed, so there must be someone making changes that concluded that it is a substantial difference after all.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 17:33

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

By that token, changing a single aptitude by any multiple of 3 makes no difference, right? What a clever, worthwhile thing to post.
This is where mechanical excellence and one-thousand four-hundred horsepower pays off.

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Post Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 21:16

Re: Give Trolls +2 Maces & Flails Aptitude

tealizard wrote:By that token, changing a single aptitude by any multiple of 3 makes no difference, right? What a clever, worthwhile thing to post.


If you feel it isn't, your own arguments could use some self-reflection re: "blows your mind" earlier. Rationale doesn't become more or less valid depending on who makes the case. Even if it's design rationale/discussion.

If it's not significant there should be no harm in increasing the aptitude. Or decreasing it.

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