Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength


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Temple Termagant

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Post Friday, 15th February 2013, 00:23

Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

hello, complete noob to the forums here, though i've been playing crawl and games like it off and on for the better part of 30 years.

I have a suggestion for melee combat that I think may be helpful, and have not seen suggested yet:

Cap weapon (effective) base Damage at the chars current Str.

So anyone with a str of 5 or more can use a basic club at full effectiveness, but an ogre with only 5 str would be so overwhelmed by his Giant Spiked Club that he couldn't actually hit any harder with it than with the wee stick version. At Str 14, a broad axe would be clearly better than battle or executioners, but at Str 20, the Executioners axe is better, as is currently the case.

This obviously makes smaller, quicker weapons more attractive to weaker chars, and bigger, slower weapons more effective for those with more strength. It's not at all difficult to explain in-game, and the impact on game play should be reasonably easy to predict and balance. I think it would help make different weapons "better" for different characters, and add interesting decisions without adding undue complexity. It also makes Str as a stat more useful, at least up to a point.

Including something like this could make adjusting the speed formulas easier, since it would make weapon damage/size more orthogonal to speed/skill.

anyhoo, I hope the idea is useful, or at least interesting, and many thanks to everyone here who has put in the effort to make this game such a fantastic and fun experience!

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Friday, 15th February 2013, 01:12

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

I can't say I like the idea of a weaker weapon dealing less damage then a stronger weapon - especially if your hitting with a Two Handed Weapon. However, capping the damage by Strength might not be a bad idea - it might do well to encourage people to raise the stat over Dexterity or Intelligence if they can't do any damage in melee because of low Strength. Just come up with a formula where if you hit with a Club you'll at least do as much damage with a Hammer or a Mace - and if you are wielding Two Handed Weapon you still do more since you are using both your Hands.
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Temple Termagant

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Post Friday, 15th February 2013, 09:14

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

Davion Fuxa wrote: Just come up with a formula where if you hit with a Club you'll at least do as much damage with a Hammer or a Mace - and if you are wielding Two Handed Weapon you still do more since you are using both your Hands.


I believe my proposed "formula" [base dam = min(weapon dam, str)] does just that - if your strength is 5, you have an effective "base damage" of 5 with whatever weapon you choose to use. Better weapons just give room for improvement once you have the strength to use them properly. i.e.: with str 8, the club still does 5, but a mace now provides 8. I don't personally see a need for two-handers to get extra damage, since they are big and bulky, and using both hands is just a requirement to wield them at all. It wouldn't be hard to give them a bonus if desired though (two-handers cold use str+3 or str*2 or whatever was felt to be best) I just think it probably isn't needed.

with str capping weapon base damage:
low str chars would hit for the same low damage whatever weapon they used, making low delay weapons shine.
high str chars would hit for higher damage with bigger weapons, making weapon damage more important for them.
str would matter (at least up to 20 or so in the current stable of weapons) for chars wanting to do high melee damage.
two-handers would no longer be the obvious choice for everyone, but would still have an important role.
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Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Friday, 15th February 2013, 15:01

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

This is somewhat similar to how str works for armour right now, which is probably the only thing for which str is actually relevant. It would also tie in with the proposed changes to weapon skills and mindelay - everything would take 27 skill to reach mindelay, but the bigger weapons (and therefore better in the new system, since the "less damage but faster to hit mindelay" tradeoffs would disappear) would still have an extra requirement (in the form of str) to be really better (or even worth using at all if the cap is made an actual hard cap like in the OP).
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Dungeon Master

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Post Friday, 15th February 2013, 18:46

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

If the math had one-handed weapons' base damage capped to str and two-handed weapons capped to 2*str (or 0.5*str and str, alternately), then it would open up design space for high-damage one-handed weapons that would only see their full damage potential on very strong characters . . .

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 15th February 2013, 18:52

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

This proposal would kill unarmed combat if it applied equally to unarmed combat. Unarmed combat gets a very high base damage to make up for the lack of brands, is dex focused (not that that matters) and tends to be done in light to medium armor (ie, you won't be raising strength for your GDA).

Not that the proposal couldn't apply to actual weapons and not apply to unarmed, but definitely don't apply this to unarmed without modification. Very few unarmed users (who aren't trolls) will ever have 30 str. Would claws increase the requirement? Even a troll might not reach 36 strength.

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Saturday, 16th February 2013, 01:16

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

I use lajatangs often on less than 16 str characters so this would make me sad. But I don't see any real problems with this idea besides making weapon choice more restrictive for low str characters who can't afford to put points in str. This might be bad of course. Rings of str might actually matter because it could let you wield a bigger weapon which is kind of like a ring of slaying. One handed weapons should become more common and shields too. I wouldn't mind shields being desirable more often because my opinion is that shields are quite bad except for certain races.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 16th February 2013, 01:44

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

I don't like it because crawl doesn't need more magic numbers.

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Crypt Cleanser

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Post Saturday, 16th February 2013, 02:53

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

In regards to Dexterity base weapons (or Unarmed Combat), it might be a good idea to weight the Strength you need versus the ratio on the weapon.

Going with Lajatangs, lets say you need 16 Weapon Damage x 30% Strength Weighting = 4.8 >>> rounded to 4 Strength needed for maximum damage on the Lajatang
As for say a a weapon like a Great Sword, you need 16 Weapon Damage x 60% Strength Weighting = 9.6 >>> rounded to 9 needed for maximum damage on a Great Sword
Finally, with the uber Heavy Giant Spiked Club, you need a whopping 22 Weapon Damage x 100% Strength Weighting for a big 22 Strength need to wield that colossal weapon

This would probably also work well with Unarmed Combat too since it is Dexterity Weighted in the ratio.

In regards to One Handed Weapons, something would definitely need to be done to balance them out -

Going with an Eveningstar, you have 14 Weapon Damage x 80% Strength Weighting = 11.2 >>> rounded down = 11 - probably the heaviest weapon you would run around with one handed
Taking Sabre, you need 7 Weapon Damage x 20% Strength Weighting = 1.4 >>> rounded down = 1 - a considerable low about of Strength needed weapon
A War Axe at 11 Weapon Damage x 70% Strength Weighting = 7.7 >>> rounded down to 7

Personally, maybe just doubling the values for One Handed Weapons would be a decent solution, so you would need 22 Strength to wield an Eveningstar effectively - same as a Giant Spike Club, or just 2 Strength for a Sabre.
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Slime Squisher

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Post Saturday, 16th February 2013, 06:40

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

Bearing in mind that I only have any real experience with MiBe's for late-game melee, there's One practical point to consider.

As it is, the executioners axe has base damage 20. So really all I'm seeing that this change would do is incentivize getting my strength from 18 (for plate armour) to 21. And since I'm likely to do that anyway for gold dragon armour's sake, I don't see this proposal changing anything for a heavy two-hander wielder.

And it just gets simpler from there on down. Really, the people who are going to be hurt the most by this are early game casters with low STR and a burning need to pump int.

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Dungeon Master

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Post Saturday, 16th February 2013, 08:00

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

I think increasing the stat bonus on melee damage (like I did on the melee_linear_speed branch/proposal) is better than introducing hard limits.
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Temple Termagant

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Post Saturday, 16th February 2013, 14:34

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

galehar wrote:I think increasing the stat bonus on melee damage (like I did on the melee_linear_speed branch/proposal) is better than introducing hard limits.

clearly providing working code >>> just saying "hey someone should do _foo_!" :idea: and the discussion around smoothing out delay progression was a big part of what prompted me to suggest this. This cap would not prevent Str from affecting melee damage in other ways besides limiting weapon base damage when too low. Without some additional contribution, there would be no benefit at all to str higher than your weapon requires.

The main intent of this proposal is to make the decision of which weapon to use more interesting and personal. Less "what is the best weapon" and more "what is the best weapon for this char right now" I'm not sure how that could be accomplished without some sort of "magic numbers" so I tried to make the "magic" as boneheaded and obvious in-game as it could be.

it was pointed out above, and i totally agree, that this should not apply to Unarmed Combat.

I'm not sure how i feel about dex/str scaling, or how to properly apply it in the context of this proposal. I like the idea, and the potential diversity it could allow, but str weights seem poorly displayed/explained in game atm, and trying to include them starts to cross MY "magic number" aversion threshold...

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Saturday, 16th February 2013, 16:24

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

boztakang wrote:Less "what is the best weapon" and more "what is the best weapon for this char right now"


I don't really understand the problem you're attempting to solve - there is no 'best' weapon that everyone uses in every game, and all of the players I know apply the second question to picking a weapon. There are already: aptitude, skill needed, prior skill investment, handedness, god, butchering ability, upgrade potential, branding complications to consider...

And if a strength cap is the solution, then won't the result be LESS variety, as low strength characters will only ever be using one of a few small, fast weapons instead of having the option to use something bigger?
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Temple Termagant

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Post Sunday, 17th February 2013, 19:58

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

mikee wrote:I don't really understand the problem you're attempting to solve - there is no 'best' weapon that everyone uses in every game, and all of the players I know apply the second question to picking a weapon. There are already: aptitude, skill needed, prior skill investment, handedness, god, butchering ability, upgrade potential, branding complications to consider...

all those criteria apply to selecting a weapon class, but when picking a weapon within that class, generally only the most damaging option appears to matter. by end game, there is only 1 or 2 choices per weapon class that seem "viable". I think that making Str a factor in weapon choice adds interest without too much complexity.

The main benefit of the cap though, i think would be to make Str matter in a fairly obvious way that could at least potentially affect most chars.

mikee wrote:And if a strength cap is the solution, then won't the result be LESS variety, as low strength characters will only ever be using one of a few small, fast weapons instead of having the option to use something bigger?


in this case, i think the cap can actually open up choices for low-str chars, since they effectively only care about the delay (or really, how much exp they want to dump to lower it)... so a low-str mace/flail user could use pretty much any weapon with equal (reduced) effectiveness, but chars who care about melee damage would want more specific weapons to make their investment in Str pay off.

With the cap, picking the "right" high-damage weapon become interesting to specialists, while chars without Str can just use whatever drops with the brand they want.

Mostly i just want the idea available to coders actually working on re-vamping the combat system, since i really don't have time to get involved more deeply than that... I don't think the game "needs" this change, but I do think it could benefit from it.

Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 17th July 2013, 17:53

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

One option would be to use STR as the prime damage variable, and cap it based upon the base damage of the weapon.

Simple Example:
    Weapon Damage = MIN( 1d(STR), Base Damage)
    Then add modifiers.

A dagger with 8 str would leave possible rolls of:
    1 2 3 4 4 4 4 4 = 3.25 average damage

This would also mean that it only makes sense to upgrade to a higher damage weapon if the character has enough strength to handle that weapon. (i.e. Using a GSC with less than 22 strength would be foolish)

STR would have to me modified to give a number closer to base damage, such as:
    Weapon Damage = MIN( 1d((STR+Base Damage)/2), Base Damage)
    or
    Weapon Damage = MIN( 1d( sqrt(STR * Base Damage), Base Damage)

Dis Charger

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Post Thursday, 18th July 2013, 18:34

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

Capping dmg by str?.. So the most melee dmg that DEWz will be able to deal in the entire game will be 4?
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Spider Stomper

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Post Thursday, 18th July 2013, 19:18

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

Amnesiac wrote:Capping dmg by str?.. So the most melee dmg that DEWz will be able to deal in the entire game will be 4?


Wouldn't that sort of make sense?

Dis Charger

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Post Thursday, 18th July 2013, 19:26

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

So even if you train your weapon skill to 27, you still get max 4 dmg?
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Tomb Titivator

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Post Friday, 19th July 2013, 05:54

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

Amnesiac wrote:So even if you train your weapon skill to 27, you still get max 4 dmg?


No, because you equipped the Ring of Blarg {Wiz, MR, SInv, Str+3} instead of the Ring of Blorg {Wiz, MR, SInv, rPois}.
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Dis Charger

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Post Friday, 19th July 2013, 06:18

Re: Proposal: cap weapon damage by Strength

That would certainly make difference

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