Remove steel ammunition


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Swamp Slogger

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Post Wednesday, 3rd February 2016, 17:50

Remove steel ammunition

Remove steel ammunition - it's just slightly better plain ammunition that takes an inventory slot.
This will be slight throwing/xbows nerf, but just a very slight and thus doesn't require any balancing actions.

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Dis Charger

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Post Wednesday, 3rd February 2016, 19:02

Re: Remove steel ammunition

  • It's rarer and you need to use an extra inventory slot to carry it. These things balance it.
  • Damage x1.3 isn't exactly slight. It's on tier with Flaming/Freezing.
  • If you don't want to use it; you don't have to carry it...

[I don't support this change.]
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Post Wednesday, 3rd February 2016, 22:05

Re: Remove steel ammunition

bcadren wrote:If you don't want to use it; you don't have to carry it...


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Post Wednesday, 3rd February 2016, 22:10

Re: Remove steel ammunition

bcadren wrote:
  • It's rarer and you need to use an extra inventory slot to carry it. These things balance it.
  • Damage x1.3 isn't exactly slight. It's on tier with Flaming/Freezing.
  • If you don't want to use it; you don't have to carry it...

[I don't support this change.]


The fact that its rare is even more justification to get rid of it, I thought at first you were adding MORE reason to get rid of it, not saying things that go against the change. Taking up an inventory space for something that is so rarely needed and uncommon is kind of annoying.

I think branded ammunition period should be removed, aside from needles obviously. I don't think its a great justification to say its power makes it worth staying, although you are right that it is far from slight.

You do HAVE to use it, anything that is strictly better and increases survival or damage output by even a little bit without hindering the player is defined as "have to use" in the eyes of most players.

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For the record, I am neither for nor against the removal of steel ammunition. It doesn't really go against any of crawls design goals(unless you count tedious behavior, which is sort of a stretch imo). Additionally, I kind of like the feeling of finding steel ammunition since its so rare, its kind of like a special little treat like finding a branded barding on a centaur. In otherwords, I respect your stance and don't think you are "wrong" to want to keep it in the game.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 3rd February 2016, 22:55

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Ammo brands should definitely go away. Launchers are better than melee even when they just have one brand at a time, they certainly don't need two.

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Barkeep

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Post Wednesday, 3rd February 2016, 23:54

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Lasty has been theoretically working on ranged reform for awhile now, and it sure sounds like he'd remove branded ammo.

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 01:12

Re: Remove steel ammunition

archaeo wrote:Lasty has been theoretically working on ranged reform for awhile now, and it sure sounds like he'd remove branded ammo.


Lasty would (will) butcher/nerf the hell out out of ranged. Basically turning it from a weapon type like polearms to a support item like damage wands. I expect that will be in .19 or .20 at the latest.

So, before that happens, it would be great if we could get a stable version of crawl where ranged is still as effective as it's traditionally been, but without the ease-of-use problems it's traditionally had:

- having to pick up ammo after firing for reuse
- worse yet, having to carefully avoid losing ammo to water/lava/plants
- inventory filling up with stacks of branded ammo that are only marginally better than unbranded, especially once the launcher is branded.
- autofight being terrible at aiming shots

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 02:52

Re: Remove steel ammunition

"as effective as it's traditionally been", i.e. "strictly and flagrantly better than melee"
of course lasty wants to nerf the hell out of it

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 06:01

Re: Remove steel ammunition

The damage (not counting throwing) is way less than melee.

It could probably use a damage-reduced-by-distance effect.

Swamp Slogger

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 06:54

Re: Remove steel ammunition

By the way my motivation for this proposal was that if you worship ammo-gifting god and have trained throwing and carry a blowgun, you will be gifted:

Javelins of:
Penetration
Poison
Returning
Silver
Steel

Needles of:
Poison
Sleeping
Slowing
Confusion
Paralysis
Frenzy
Curare

Tomahawks of:
Dispersal
Poison
Silver
Steel
Returning
Exploding

And possibly large rocks.

So that's a lot stuff, and you'll have to repeatedly make decisions like "should i drop 6 exploding tomahawks, 3 steel javelins, 10 regular javelins or 2 javelins of returning" which isn't very fun.

I'd say for ammo type to justify it's existence, it should do something interesting. So i'll broaden the proposal a little bit:
- Remove poisonous ammo (leave it as needle exclusive)
- Remove returning ammo (because it's just regular ammo that.. returns)
- Remove steel ammo, because of the reasons in the first post

IMHO penetrating and dispersal should definetely stay, because they're interesting tactically.
Silver could stay, because it's not extra damage versus everything.
Possibly not every ammo type should not have silver.

Not saying much about needles, except that some of types (for example slowing, confusing and paralyzing) could be combined to "bufotoxin needle" that will randomly produce one the effects (if effective).

That would leave:

Javelins:
Regular
Penetration
Silver

Tomahawks:
Regular
Dispersal
Silver
Exploding

Bolts:
Regular
Flame
Frost
Silver
Penetration

Arrows:
Regular
Flame
Frost
Silver
Dispersal

Bullets:
Stone
Regular
Flame
Frost
Silver
Exploding

Large rocks
Nets

Which seems like definitely enough of ammo types.
Possibly also remove flame&frost, because launchers can do that trick.

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 11:18

Re: Remove steel ammunition

hannobal wrote:Possibly also remove flame&frost, because launchers can do that trick.

Good list, I would definitely also remove flame and frost, and exploding tomahawks (they just don't make sense to me).
...MiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}
DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu
{DgWnGnBe}FeIE{MiEnMfCj}SpNeBaEEGrFE{HaAKTrCK}DsFESpHu{FoArNaBe}FeEE{HOIEMiAE}GrGlHuWr

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 11:33

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Sprucery wrote:exploding tomahawks (they just don't make sense to me)

Image

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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 13:43

Re: Remove steel ammunition

OK, I'll buy that if exploding tomahawks are capitalized :)
...MiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz{OgGlTrMo}{CeWnMfBeMiSk}DrEE{GrFiFoGl}
DgEnFeNe{OpGlHuSu}DDArHaCKSpAEGrTmDgFEDsCjGhMoHuVM{HaAMBaEn}{HuMoHOWn}DsWzDDHu
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Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 14:42

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Rast wrote: it would be great if we could get a stable version of crawl where ranged is still as effective as it's traditionally been, but without the ease-of-use problems it's traditionally had:

- having to pick up ammo after firing for reuse
- worse yet, having to carefully avoid losing ammo to water/lava/plants
- inventory filling up with stacks of branded ammo that are only marginally better than unbranded, especially once the launcher is branded.
- autofight being terrible at aiming shots


I put together a branch for that, and it ended up working pretty poorly overall. I wasn't satisfied with the result, which is why I'm now aiming for something more different-y.

Also, fwiw, ranged weapons generally have comparable XP and base damage to melee weapons despite the much greater range, the ability to double-brand, and gloves of archery. Slings with bullets are tridents; greatslings with bullets are scimitars; short bows are tridents with better accuracy; long bows are glaives (probably with better accuracy); hand crossbows are armor-piercing daggers; arbalests are armor-piercing broad axes that take more XP; and triple crossbows are armour-piercing greatswords that take more XP.

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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 14:55

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Wait, do crossbows have special interaction with AC?
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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 15:06

Re: Remove steel ammunition

No, they just have high base damage and high min delay. So a hand crossbow that has 10 base damage and 10 AUT delay does the same damage/time as a 5 base damage dagger with 5 AUT delay, except that the damage is delivered as one chunk, making it more effective at getting past AC.

Wait, daggers have base damage 4, so the hand crossbow is even better.

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 18:45

Re: Remove steel ammunition

If you're going to overhaul ranged combat consider differentiating skills, and eradicating any possible redundant/conflicting ammo-launcher conflicts; something along such lines:
bows: only status/non-elemental ammo; has elemental launchers
crossbows: has elemental ammo; only non-elemental launchers
throwing: change to mostly darts and javelins (tomahawks redundant); focus on inflicting statuses
^ one of these can be made very powerful but limited by scarce ammo, with plain ammo removed; like evo/invo skill sometimes is
slings: no ammo (because rocks), infinitely spammable, launcher can have any brand
blowguns: remove or merge with throwing to work analogously to enhancer staves
hannobal wrote:slowing, confusing and paralyzing) could be combined to "bufotoxin needle" that will randomly produce one the effects (if effective).

Agree; Crawl doesn't have enough mini-randomization like this.
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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 19:40

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Those overhauls fail to really grapple with the issues Lasty and duvessa have identified, however. Not that the perfect should be the enemy of the good here -- I'd welcome any reforms that combat inventory bloat, after all -- but ranged combat is straight up broken in Crawl, and I tend to think we're better off starting from scratch than trying to fix it incrementally.

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 19:52

Re: Remove steel ammunition

So is it just that physical ranged numbers are off (e.g. damage/accuracy/delay/range/mulch, the damage brands add) or are conjurations straight up broken too, and do we need to rethink them from scratch too?
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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 20:18

Re: Remove steel ammunition

To be fair, "conjurations, except you train one skill instead of two or three and there's nothing that resists and you effectively have unlimited MP" is kind of a fundamentally problematic design space. Going Trog? Hey, you can't use spells but he'll grant easier access to something that's way stronger anyhow.

I know this is a terrible, horrible, "stupid remove" idea, but Crawl might be OK if bows, crossbows, slings, and throwing weren't things for player characters. Maybe ranged could do way way less damage and it would be OK (that might make hybridizing into conjurations a more reasonable choice?) but I think it's really hard for ranged spells and ranged physical combat to occupy the same niche. They both break down to "this does damage" or "this debuffs a monster" and conjurations and hexes are already a lot more diverse and interesting.
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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 20:21

Re: Remove steel ammunition

... on further thought, if ammo were rather strictly limited for players, it'd serve to differentiate between ranged and conjurations / hexes (as it does with crazy needles now) but then I kind of feel like it's sitting in the same space as wands and evokers. They could have very limited ammo that would recharge over time, which would make them work like rods.... but then we already have rods...
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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 20:24

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Conjurations have the following features that help make them work better than ranged weapons:

* MP is a good implementation of limited use -- it refreshes between fights and runs out during fights; it's a tactical resource. Ammo you either have a functionally-infinite supply of or have to guard jealously, because it depletes as a strategic resource.
* Many of them have differing ranges and targeting patterns, making positioning matter to a larger extent.
* Many of them work differently against different targets, causing the player to have to consider when it's best to use them.
* Conjurations mostly require considerably more XP to make useful than ranged weapons, and the minigame of obtaining better spells for your current levels of skill and your current goals creates interesting tensions.
* Most conjurations don't feel like melee combat with an infinitely-long polearm.

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 21:13

Re: Remove steel ammunition

I would like it if ranged weapons could not hit things 1 or 2 spaces away, that would serve to slightly differentiate them from conjurations and melee weapons regardless of the numbers attached, I also hereby replug my quiver suggestion from a while back.
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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 21:45

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Lasty wrote:* MP is a good implementation of limited use -- it refreshes between fights and runs out during fights; it's a tactical resource. Ammo you either have a functionally-infinite supply of or have to guard jealously, because it depletes as a strategic resource.
* Many of them have differing ranges and targeting patterns, making positioning matter to a larger extent.
* Many of them work differently against different targets, causing the player to have to consider when it's best to use them.
I contest these. MP is too plentiful to be a serious tactical resource the way HP is. Working differently against different targets doesn't add anything interesting, since you're just going to prefer the one that does more damage against this specific target - it's no better than swapping flame/frost ammo.

I view conjurations as redundant with missiles. I think one should be removed and missiles are a better target for that, since they have the worse interface, balance, etc.

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Post Thursday, 4th February 2016, 22:17

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Regarding steel ammunition: I'm on the side of reducing brand types given that launchers can be branded.

Regarding ranged in general: I think there are ways to make ranged both more distinct from melee and conj

1. I like the idea of a min range.
2. Make them have perfect accuracy against sleeping enemies, better-than-melee accuracy against other forms of distracted enemies, and worse accuracy than melee against moving enemies. This pulls a primarily ranged player into more of a hunter/sniper role, while a primarily melee player can use them to initiate a fight or take out a high EV enemy from afar.
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Barkeep

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Post Friday, 5th February 2016, 14:27

Re: Remove steel ammunition

I have never agreed more with duvessa ;-)

The thing about a minimum range is that it doesn't really distinguish missiles from conjurations very much -- and it could just as easily, and more thematically, be a property for some conjurations. It already kind of is with OOD. Missiles still give you unbranded damage at the cost of training one skill.

My vote would be something like:

* Launchers are removed from the game
* Skills for Throwing, Slings, Bows, and Crossbows are removed
* Monsters do not require launchers for missiles, and spawn with branded missiles a bit more often than they do now
* Ammo always mulches (and mulches on monster death) and is never generated on the ground or in shops

I like missiles -- I really do -- but mostly it's because I enjoy doing a lot of ranged damage at the cost of training a single skill.
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Post Friday, 5th February 2016, 14:30

Re: Remove steel ammunition

duvessa wrote:MP is too plentiful to be a serious tactical resource the way HP is.

It is at least a single, fairly small number, that could be made smaller more easily than missile quantity can be balanced.

There are generally a ton more knobs to tweak to balance conjurations than there are with missile combat.
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Post Friday, 5th February 2016, 16:13

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Could be bias from my recent Vehu game, but Im going to go against the grain and say that conjurations is actually better than missile weapons. At the least, its usefulness-cap is higher than missile weapons'. Missiles cannot AOE an entire room or clear a downstair in Hell/Vault5/Pan entrance or deal with a whole batch of summons when the summoner is a Pan/Hell lord. Also, no inventory space needed.

I love the idea about reducing the number of ammo types - hannobal's post is on the right track there. Frankly, I would just remove all ammo types, and have all brands be on launchers. Removing penetration/explosive ammo and 2-brand-stacking is already a heavy nerf to missiles and differentiates from conjurations by removing all the AoE capability.

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Post Friday, 5th February 2016, 17:36

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Being able to shatter an an entire room feels wonderful, but it takes an insane amount of experience and only happens endgame. (You're talking about Hell/Vault5/Pan here). In contrast, launchers need training in only one skill (and don't have lvl9 spell skill requirements), so they get to high power much earlier. No one is concerned about launchers being cheap in extended; everything's cheap in extended. We're talking about early to mid game.

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Post Friday, 5th February 2016, 18:03

Re: Remove steel ammunition

ydeve wrote:Being able to shatter an an entire room feels wonderful, but it takes an insane amount of experience and only happens endgame. (You're talking about Hell/Vault5/Pan here). In contrast, launchers need training in only one skill (and don't have lvl9 spell skill requirements), so they get to high power much earlier. No one is concerned about launchers being cheap in extended; everything's cheap in extended. We're talking about early to mid game.


Ah, thanks for the clarification. Doesn't the lack of ammo tend to hinder one at those levels? I did a CeHu recently and arrows didnt really feel plentiful until late mid game (vaults). Ie, about the same time a dedicated blaster starts being able to cast end game spells.

Granted, there is always slings... maybe rocks should do a lot less damage.

Also, arrows just aren't that good compared to statue form + UC or berserk + any melee. Only large rocks can really compete with a properly buffed melee char's DPS.

Now, vanilla melee is admittedly worse than missiles... but who really uses vanilla melee all by itself?
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Post Saturday, 6th February 2016, 08:01

Re: Remove steel ammunition

  Code:
<Sequell> ranged reform[1/1]: 1) give launchers their own equipment slot;


Here's a cute idea for this: launchers are not equipped but quivered and have infinite invisible ammo.

So you quiver either a finite stack of throwing missiles or a launcher.

Melee dudes would use ranged in most encounters, with skill + missiles/launcher determining whether ranged is your primary attack or just something strictly optimal that you do while waiting for monsters to come to you.

It would not make sense for artefact launchers to have any properties other than brand and enchantment, so those would need to be scrapped, as well as the evasion brand.

It should be easier to balance, and less irritating to play, if it's like this.

I guess that without changes, monsters would look funny, switching to launchers and back, when the player doesn't have to.

So something like this but less pessimistic:

Lasty wrote:The condensed version (currently available from learndb as "ranged_reform") is:
  Code:
<Sequell> ranged reform[1/1]: 1) give launchers their own equipment slot; 2) ammo always mulches; 3) keep skills the same (at least for now); 4) goldify ammo. Optional: overhaul throwing & blowguns & ammo brands; condense skills; maybe remove slings for ammo consistency in condensed skills.

Part of giving launchers their own equipment slot is removing most artefact properties from ranged randarts to limit power creep. The goal is to make ranged relatively painless to use and then balance the damage around the idea that most characters will have a launcher equipped. Ranged skill will be something that's useful but not required for all characters, much as Evocations and defensive skills are now. It will still be optimal to use ranged combat to soften up approaching melee-only monsters even if unskilled, but just as now probably most people won't bother. Ammo will be an actually-somewhat-scarce resource for characters who don't worship gifting gods.
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Post Tuesday, 9th February 2016, 20:56

Re: Remove steel ammunition

HardboiledGargoyle wrote:Melee dudes would use ranged in most encounters, with skill + missiles/launcher determining whether ranged is your primary attack or just something strictly optimal that you do while waiting for monsters to come to you.
They're not really "melee dudes" then, are they? The reason I mainly play "melee dudes" is because I don't like ranged combat, not just in gameplay but also in flavor. If that's changed to rely upon ranged, I'm no longer interested in the character type I spend most of my time playing in Crawl.

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Post Wednesday, 10th February 2016, 08:52

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Umm, in reading your words, I guess by "melee dude" you mean "dude that abstains from ranged combat under all circumstances"? Both in current Crawl and in my cute idea, it's a good idea to use ranged even on primarily melee fighters. So what you "rely upon" doesn't change. It just removes swapping and ammo considerations, making the no-brainer of ranged combat support easy, rather than convoluted, to follow. Like how you used to take all daggers, clubs, and spears on early D to throw at gnolls and adders, and now you don't. Take the logical next step.
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Post Monday, 15th February 2016, 04:21

Re: Remove steel ammunition

If we're going to specifically define the difference between "melee dude" and "ranged dude" in a game like crawl, I don't see how it could possibly go any other way than "a melee dude is a dude who usually kills stuff via melee combat, while a ranged dude is a dudes who usually kills stuff via ranged combat".

In other words, if a dude "would use ranged in most encounters", he is not a "melee dude". If a dude "would use melee in most encounters", he is not a "ranged dude".
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Post Monday, 15th February 2016, 05:44

Re: Remove steel ammunition

Oh yeah? If you just throw stuff at a mob and it's only enough to whittle away half of one monster's HP, and you melee the rest of the encounter, I'd say you're still a "melee dude". You can use ranged in 99% of encounters but have 90% of your damage be melee, and it may be optimal. That's a kind of Crawl I can envision, where everybody's a hybrid. I honestly don't see where you're going with your distinctions.

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Post Monday, 15th February 2016, 07:00

Re: Remove steel ammunition

General ranged-vs-melee discussion seems to to have been split to another topic:
https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=19067

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