Parry VS Shields


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Blades Runner

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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 21:46

Parry VS Shields

Everybody who won the game at least once or play a lot of high-level characters knows that shields are good. Maybe even too good. It gets to a point where pure spellcasters and unarmed combatants also use them (in my opinion – biggest offenders flavorwise).
In gamewise terms it’s no better. It is nobrainer for melee character to use a shield if he wants to live. Twohanded weapons in most cases are left behind because it doesn’t matter how much more of a punch they have. Another line of defense is always better.
So, before combat moves go in and parry goes as one of such moves for some weapon type, I have a proposal to submit.

Add a new skill – Parrying.
Depending on a weapon type wielded and skill level character will have PR (parry rating) which replaces SH on a display. (When shield is wielded, character will block instead of parrying for balance sake). So, when there is equipped a two handed weapon or a single one-handed weapon – there will be displayed PR instead of a SH.

I don’t really know how works attack on an opponent after a block with a shield, but I suppose it should slow next attack of a character. While parrying lets you counterattack an opponent immediately after successful deflection.

Each weapon type have hidden multiplier for parrying and can be displayed in a way “This weapon is bad/good/excellent to parry with”
It goes in such order (from worst to best):

Daggers, Whips (1) – Useless for parry

Unarmed (2-4) – special cased*. About that a bit later.

One-handed flails, maces and axes; sabers (3)

One-handed swords (4)

Two-handed flails, maces and axes (5)

Two-handed swords (6)

Polearms and staves (7)

*Unarmed combatants learn to grapple opponent’s limbs to interfere with it’s swing instead of actual parrying of a weapon. Imagine a kobold swinging a club at your monk. Your character quickly grabs it’s hand and twists it away from himself, dealing a powerful kick in the groin meanwhile. In another scenario, monster’s blow can be avoided by preemptive hit to attacker’s hand/tentacle/pseudopod which will deflect direct hit from a character.
For unarmed PR should scale not only with Parry skill but also with UC skill. The more character is skilled in martial arts – the more chances he will be able to deflect blows with his bare hands.


For actual combat situation not only skill and weapon should play a role (PR). Size of a character and opponent also very important. The bigger the monster – the harder to parry its attack and vice versa – small monsters’ blows are easier to parry. Same applies for a player species – spriggans are awful with parrying (they can have great aptitude though, but size makes it very hard to parry a minotaur’s axe). While Ogres can withstand stone giant’s attack by parrying it.

PR should be weighted by Dex. As far as I know, SH influenced with Str so it would be quite symmetrical.

Now for bad news. 27 Parry with best weapon type is still worse by a notch than 27 Shield with large shield, BUT it adds choices, alternatives and some line of defense for users of twohanded weapons and UC.

Lastly here is comparison of two skills:

SHIELDS:
Pros:
Good defense in melee
Good defense against ranged attacks
Cons:
Hard to find shield in early-game
Slower attacks after blocking
Interferes with dodging (should be more severe than right now)
Interferes with spellcasting (should be more severe than right now)

PARRY:
Pros:
Decent defense in melee
Easy to find proper weapon to train with in early-game
Do not interfere with dodging
Do not interfere with spellcasting
Do not slows attacks after parrying
Cons:
Inferior defense against ranged attacks (effectiveness gained only around 10+ skill level)
Worse defense in melee without skill investment.

I was unable to find similar proposal in the devwiki so after some feedback I’ll add it there maybe.

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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 21:51

Re: Parry VS Shields

Last edited by mumra on Saturday, 16th July 2011, 22:02, edited 1 time in total.

Vestibule Violator

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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 23:11

Re: Parry VS Shields

I don't think parrying is a good idea. There is already dodging for defense without a shield. Also there's condensation shield for blocking without having a shield. I don't think parrying would add meaningful decisions to the game, it would just give shieldless chars some extra defense.

Shields are a little too strong, so they can be nerfed a little. Casting spells could take 15 aut instead of 10 aut while wielding a shield. Irrelevant for long buffs and other out of combat spells, a very small penalty for short duration buffs, and a big problem for spammy damage spells and hexes. So this would not affect skalds and the like much, it would be a big problem for conjurers, and somewhere in between for enchanters and summoners. A meaningful shield penalty that does not disappear when you train shield skill would make people think about using a shield.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 16th July 2011, 23:30

Re: Parry VS Shields

Galefury wrote:Shields are a little too strong, so they can be nerfed a little. Casting spells could take 15 aut instead of 10 aut while wielding a shield. Irrelevant for long buffs and other out of combat spells, a very small penalty for short duration buffs, and a big problem for spammy damage spells and hexes. So this would not affect skalds and the like much, it would be a big problem for conjurers, and somewhere in between for enchanters and summoners. A meaningful shield penalty that does not disappear when you train shield skill would make people think about using a shield.


Giving dedicated casters perma-slow, as you propose, is probably going too far in the other direction, though.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 17th July 2011, 01:48

Re: Parry VS Shields

Parry for a given weapon should be an aspect of that weapon's weapon skill.
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Halls Hopper

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Post Sunday, 17th July 2011, 04:07

Re: Parry VS Shields

The only thing I really dislike is how daggers are useless for parrying. Being small and easy to maneuver would help in the ability to parry, no?

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Post Sunday, 17th July 2011, 11:26

Re: Parry VS Shields

KoboldLord wrote:Giving dedicated casters perma-slow, as you propose, is probably going too far in the other direction, though.

Numbers can be tweaked, but 15 aut was a serious proposal. I don't think it would be too bad for hybrids, and pure casters really have no business walking around with a shield in my opinion. Bow and Crossbow users also get slowed strongly when wielding a shield (and usually don't use one because of this), so why should casters be allowed powerful ranged attacks at full speed with a shield? Every extra aut of casting time means one extra monster move per 10 casts. 10 casts are usually roughly enough to empty your mana pool with your "main gun" and hopefully kill all the enemies. Going down to 13 aut could work, but lower than that the penalty seems hardly noticeable. A spider form/blade hands style penalty to spell success could also work (success penalty after everything else is calculated). I prefer needing a bit more casting time to actual spell failure, though. Generally I think having a shield casting penalty that does not disappear with shield or spell skill would be good.

About daggers and parrying (yay, on topic!): actually an offhand dagger was used in middle-ages fencing for parrying. These parrying daggers had larger guards or other special features however. A regular dagger made for attacking and stabbing people in the back would not offer a lot of defense. Especially when you are only wielding one weapon and are actually attacking with it. This is another problem with this proposal, slower attacks after a shield block but not after parrying just don't make sense.
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Blades Runner

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Post Sunday, 17th July 2011, 12:10

Re: Parry VS Shields

@mumra
I know. That's why I mentioned it in a first post. It just seems odd to be able to parry exclusively with one weapon type.
Two-handed weapons are competitive with shields once you get to the point where you can actually use them effectively.

How? In a means of saving your ass from that pack of yaktaurs, how is two handed weapon will help? I'm talking about pure melee fighters right here. Those who, you know, don't have fancy magics to protect himself. Only dodging OR armour. So it's no wonder that any melee fighter wants ALSO a shield.
The main problem is that shields are a so-called no-brainer for a lot of characters, namely unarmed melee fighters and those who don't do significant non-magic combat at all. The best way to fix this is probably to make shield penalties more meaningful.

agree

I don't think parrying is a good idea. There is already dodging for defense without a shield. Also there's condensation shield for blocking without having a shield. I don't think parrying would add meaningful decisions to the game, it would just give shieldless chars some extra defense.

I can't grasp your logic here. There is also armour for defense without shield. So what? Everyone still chooses to wield one. Dodging characters very quickly overcome initial penalty and use shield with EV just fine.
Condensation is for magic users. Pure melee is left out as always. Extra defense can be then counterweighted by nerfing something other that needs nerfing badly :D

Parry for a given weapon should be an aspect of that weapon's weapon skill.

You mean, without adding new skill? Valid idea. Will make weapon skills more relevant.

@Zuboki
Well, Galefury already answered that. I have nothing to add.

@Galefury
Yeah, I'm aware about that style of fencing. Spanish fencers was notorious for their "dirty" fight style that among many tricks included off-hand dagger. When blocking with main sword, fighter could strike quickly with dagger.
Also, swordbreakers and trident daggers from that wiki is very deliciously flavourful for crawl.

This is another problem with this proposal, slower attacks after a shield block but not after parrying just don't make sense.

Its takes time to put one hand before you to block, then get it away to open for your own attack and swing with other hand.
It takes less time to deflect a weapon with your own (two handed especially - use a leverage) and while opponent is lost it's balance - attack immidiately.
Makes perfect sense to me

Anyway, I'll wait a Word of God to say that this idea sucks. Worth a try nevertheless.

Abyss Ambulator

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Post Sunday, 17th July 2011, 12:13

Re: Parry VS Shields

This isn't directly related to parrying, but it is related to casting with shields, so can probably go here.

We could say that casting spells requires some kind of 'mystical' gestures, and so give a penalty for having no free hands when casting. So it would be the lack of a free hand that gave the penalty, rather than specifically wearing a shield, meaning you could wield either a weapon or a shield with no penalty but not both. There could then be a meaningful choice between a weapon with good resistances, one that is good for attacking in melee, an enhancer staff, a shield for the increased defence, or both if you could live with the penalty.

This is similar to what has already been suggested, but what if the penalty was independent of shield/weapon skill, but got worse with higher level spells - then if you wanted to use low level utility spells or melee buffs, a shield would be no problem, but if you wanted to cast Controlled Blink, you would have to think twice about the shield, and if you wanted to cast Tornado you would probably have to ditch it.

This penalty would not necessarily have to apply with 2-handed weapons, as we could assume you could take one hand off the hilt of the weapon while casting and only use both when actually attacking with the weapon.

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Post Sunday, 17th July 2011, 13:41

Re: Parry VS Shields

Jeremiah wrote:So it would be the lack of a free hand that gave the penalty, rather than specifically wearing a shield, meaning you could wield either a weapon or a shield with no penalty but not both.

Weapons can quickly be wielded and unwielded, so I think a weapon penalty is not a good idea. It would encourage tedious switching.

This is also related to the way I rationalize weapons, even twohanded ones, not having a casting penalty. To use a shield it has to be strapped to your arm tightly, not just filling your hand but essentially making the whole arm useless for casting and even affecting your overall balance for very big and heavy shields. You just hold weapons in your hand, this allows flexible movement even if the weapon is big and heavy.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Sunday, 17th July 2011, 17:49

Re: Parry VS Shields

Galefury wrote:This is also related to the way I rationalize weapons, even twohanded ones, not having a casting penalty..

According to the wiki, weapons do have a casting penalty. Apparently, spell success is reduced in proportion to weapon speed for weapons slower than 120%.
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Dungeon Master

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Post Sunday, 17th July 2011, 18:14

Re: Parry VS Shields

DivineHammer wrote:
Galefury wrote:This is also related to the way I rationalize weapons, even twohanded ones, not having a casting penalty..

According to the wiki, weapons do have a casting penalty. Apparently, spell success is reduced in proportion to weapon speed for weapons slower than 120%.

It was insignificant and has been removed.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Thursday, 28th July 2011, 21:15

Re: Parry VS Shields

Here is where I can find Parry info on the wiki:

https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php? ... n_reform&s[]=parry

- - -

There is a lot of information there and several varying proposals for Parry (focuses on Dex) or Block (focuses on Str) concepts, including

- only allowing long blades
- actively parrying
- a whole breakdown of weapon skills and ability to block vs other weapon skills

- - -

To me, that makes it unnecessarily complex; even making a Parry skill seems overcomplicated.

Combat is abstracted as a single directional keypress. Excluding very special cases, it should stay that way.

This is not the grognard in me speaking, but just trying to view this rationally and as someone who does see the defensive capabilities of hand weaponry (all of them, including unarmed combat and holding your crossbow up in front of you).

My, granted INCOMPLETE, proposal for parrying is an iteration on those proposed before, but tries its best to stay within the established Crawl system so as to ease implementation.

PARRYING, THE ABILITY
What is Parrying, the ability, but yet another iteration of Shields, albeit more or less than using a shield depending on varying factors (weapon skill, fighting skill, attributes, type of weapon held).

PARRYING, THE EFFECT
What is Parrying, the effect, but simply the abstracted ability to deflect an incoming attack using a melee ability.

The proposal is as follows:

Create a separate value, called Parry or Block, not unlike the Shields skill has a Shield value.

EV is to avoid getting hit at all.
SH is to block with a Shield.
PA is to block with a Weapon.
AC is to suck up damage if hit.

Instead of replacing shields, this PA value will work in concert with SH shields.
An attack comes in; EV fails to dodge, SH fails to block, then PA will try to block.

BASE PARRY ABILITY FACTORS
The base Parry ability of a wielded weapon, to set as PA, are as follows:

1) What is the intrinsic parry ability of the defending weapon?
Each weapon, including Unarmed Combat and... RANGED WEAPONS... carries its own parry ability, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

2) What is the magical bonus to hit of the defending weapon?
Intrinsic Parry ability of weapon is adjusted by the "to hit" of the weapon.

3) Is the defender carrying a shield?
Some defending weapons (daggers) parry better with a shield; some defending weapons (staves) parry worse with a shield; some weapons (unarmed) may not be affected by a shield.

4) Determine the adjusting attribute of the defending weapon.
For simplicity, I prefer to just use DEX for all weapons, but some wiki proposals prefer STR or a mix of DEX/STR, depending on defending weapon. To appease them, a parry attribute could be based on percentages of DEX and STR (example: Daggers 80% DEX + 20% STR; Battleaxes 80% STR + 20% DEX). That may overcomplicate it, but that's why it is up for debate.

5) Calculate the base parry ability
Some factor of adjusting attribute + fighting skill + weapon skill + intrinsic parry ability of weapon +/- shield use.

6) Optionally adjust current PA value based on state of mind.
Potentially affected by a penalized percentage due to altered state of mind (confusion, berserk, starving, etc.)

COMBAT PARRY ABILITY FACTORS
The following would affect parry in combat:

1) Is the incoming attack one that a shield might normally block?
Yes? Use PA if the check to block using SH either fails or is nonexistent (no shield held).

2) Is the incoming attack ranged/spell or melee?
Unlike SH, PA is penalized by some factor against ranged attacks.
You can block ranged attacks with PA, but the probability of doing so is low without high PA.
This penalty might not be a flat penalty, but intrinsic based on the weapon type. To be decided.

3) I see no need for other factors; this section is open to additional factors.

EFFECTS OF PARRYING
This section is optional; it shows what might happen if you successfully parry. It is not necessary as anything but to provoke ideas.

1) Parrying attacks affects speed of next immediate attack/action.
For each parry, weapon attack speed is penalized by a factor (+10%) for the very next melee attack if the next immediate action is a melee attack. This may be a pain in the ass to calculate and is not necessary.

2) Weapon breakage
Parrying may potentially break your weapon - NAH.

3) Brand Damage against attacker
Optionally, a successful parry may apply the damage of a defensive weapon brand (flaming, freezing, electric, drain, pain) against an attack made with unarmed.

- - -

Do note
1 - that I listed ranged weapons. I think someone could block a local attack (poorly and unreliably) with a crossbow or regular bow, but should be penalized by weapon attack speed.

2 - that monsters get PA.

Things to do in order:

1 - feedback - see if people like this version of parry

2 - create a chart of intrinsic weapon parry abilities (with shield, without shield)
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Dungeon Master

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Post Thursday, 28th July 2011, 22:49

Re: Parry VS Shields

The downside of not using a shield is that you don't get to block things. The upside is that you get higher damage output with two-handed weapons. That seems like a good distinction to me, and it'd be much better to work on making it be more noticeable and meaningful than it would be to add an entirely new and unnecessary extra layer of defence to combat.

Perhaps something like it would work as one weapon class's passive ability, but not as a global mechanic.

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