Halflings


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Post Wednesday, 22nd December 2010, 16:14

Halflings

I just read a comment that halflings are too similar to Kobolds and that Kobolds are generally more fun to play, and I think I'd agree.

One thing I recall about halflings is that they are supposed to be amazingly stealthy and able to hide or vanish almost in plain sight. So I started brainstorming about a halfling "hide" ability.

My brainstorming:
- This would not be invisibility, but instead a boost to stealth
- it would be activated as an ability, not on by default.
- it would only work, or work better, while the player is adjacent to something, like walls or plants, and/or standing still.
- The ability would be severely hampered if wearing boots, unless they are elven, which would have less of a penalty.
- it would end when the player attacked something
- it would reduce player movement speed, depending on their stealth skill, e.g. the higher the skill, the smaller the movement penalty.


This would be thematic, and it would actually create a new and interesting playstyle where there is actually a technique to being sneaky. It would also fix the problem of enchanters being better assassins than assassins are - a Halfling assassin would use a different, interesting and non-magic-based stealth approach.

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Post Wednesday, 22nd December 2010, 20:09

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

The problem is not that halflings do not sneak well enough. It is that magic is too powerful. Magic needs an across the board nerf. Non spellcasting should not be a challenge condition.
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Post Wednesday, 22nd December 2010, 22:37

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

I agree, magic is very powerful, but it seems the majority of games involve it. Are you suggesting that most people are playing this game in a way that is too easy?

If you want a challenge, you can always play demigod wanderer. I find this game challenging enough. I don't play fighters anymore because they got too hard. If casters become harder, I'd probably give up on the game altogether.

This suggestion is for a way to make one particular non-magic-based playstyle more viable. A discussion about nerfing magic should go in another thread.

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Post Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 07:45

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

I like the idea of halflings being extremely unobtrusive; I think it would be better as a passive ability, though - a stealth boost when moving adjacent to a wall tile/glyph OR not moving (good for 'waiting' for wandering monsters to move back out of LOS). Barefoot stealth boost is also good because it forces the player into a choice - AC/brands from boots or stealth. I think the two should probably be uncoupled, though.

The buff I really like for Halflings is Genetic Stability (2 levels) as mentioned on the wiki - they'd be the only race with innate mutation resistance. Give them GS, those two stealth boosts (and then nerf their regular stealth aptitude somewhat), tweak some of their aptitudes that are too similar to Kobolds, and I think the two races would be fairly well differentiated.

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Post Saturday, 25th December 2010, 02:00

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

This idea isn't a bad one, but how would you balance it? Making an already stealthy halfling even more stealthy should require making something else worse.
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Post Saturday, 25th December 2010, 03:59

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

I guess you could reduce their stealth aptitude a bit in exchange.

However, halflings are far from the most powerful species in the game, and most people find kobolds better, so this might just balance that out a bit more.

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Post Monday, 27th December 2010, 06:29

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

tromboneandrew wrote:This idea isn't a bad one, but how would you balance it? Making an already stealthy halfling even more stealthy should require making something else worse.


Probably like this -

lower base stealth from 18 to 15
lower Stealth aptitude from +3 to +1 (or even 0)
lower Dodging from +2 to +1
lower Stabbing from +2 to +1
lower Short Blades from +3 to +2
(all of these aptitudes are currently identical to Kobolds)
lower Necromancy from -2 to -3 (Necromancy and halflings just don't seem to go together)
raise Shields to +2 or maybe even +3 (because of the size penalty; this would make halflings actually
good with shields instead of just appearing to be good)
EXP to 110 (just to differentiate from humans, I think kobolds and hill orcs should be 110 too)

The idea would be to make halflings and kobolds stealthy in different ways - Kobolds would be more stealthy in a traditional setting (better base stealth and aptitude), like sneaking up on a monster in the middle of a room to stab, while halflings would be more stealthy hiding in a corner or sneaking along a wall with their bonus (plus the barefoot factor). The other nerfs are for more differentiation from kobolds and to balance the genetic stability mutation.

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Post Monday, 27th December 2010, 10:49

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

good changes/ideas although perma wall-stealth is better idea

and due to balance changes get rid of slow metabolism (another differentiation from never hungry kobolds) , hobbits likes to eat!

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Post Monday, 27th December 2010, 14:59

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

although perma wall-stealth is better idea

Do people really think this is a good idea? It just seams as though it would make halflings horribly tedious to play. You would not be able to use the auto-explore key and instead would have to painstakingly use the move keys to stay next to a wall to explore the entire dungeon. Seems to me a sure way to make nobody play halflings.

TGW

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Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 09:20

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

Halflings are not worse kobolds anymore. Stop playing 0.4.5. They got a significant buff in recent versions.

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Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 15:51

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

TGW wrote:Halflings are not worse kobolds anymore. Stop playing 0.4.5. They got a significant buff in recent versions.


Yeah, now they are a more boring and blander version of kobolds (fitting the same niches). The argument is not that halflings are bad (HaBe is one of the easiest 3 rune combos out there) but that they are still not that well differentiated from Kobolds and they lack unique abilities to make them an interesting play.
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Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 16:10

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

I have stopped playing 0.4.5.

I can see the practical problems with the wall sneaking in terms of autoexplore.

How about just giving a stealth bonus when halflings are barefoot? Or, conversely, a stealth penalty when wearing boots?

I just think it would be nice to do something flavourwise with halfling's fabled stealthiness and those soft padded furry feet of theirs (something beyond good aptitude for stealth).

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Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 18:04

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

acvar wrote:
although perma wall-stealth is better idea

Do people really think this is a good idea? It just seams as though it would make halflings horribly tedious to play. You would not be able to use the auto-explore key and instead would have to painstakingly use the move keys to stay next to a wall to explore the entire dungeon. Seems to me a sure way to make nobody play halflings.


1) Most of D takes place in corridors or small rooms, not open areas. I think you would still use auto-explore at the same rate as any other build - you would just have different strategies when you encountered monsters, sticking to walls when they are in sight. It might be slightly less optimal (auto-explore might take you into the interior of rooms a bit more than optimal creeping) than clinging to a wall 100% of the time, but the change wouldn't force awkward play because -
2) Halflings would still be stealthy (maybe they should keep their base 18 stealth since it is based on size not intrinsics), especially when barefoot - they would just be exceptionally stealthy when adjacent to a wall tile (more stealthy than now) and somewhat less stealthy in open areas. So, your autoexplore shouldn't wake up monsters - you just might have to retreat to a wall when they come into view to optimize your stealth (if necessary)

This would create a split where Kobolds would be better at offensive stealth (generally) and halflings better at stealthy escapes and avoiding monsters (Halflings would also have interesting strategies like hiding in the "shadows" near a wall and shooting poison needles). Also, halflings would now be stealthier in enclosed levels like most of D, Crypt, Snake, etc. and Kobolds more stealthy in open levels like the Vaults, Swamp, etc.

The idea does have some warts but Halflings still need something. They are viable and strong now, but so were Grey Elves and honestly the Halfling/Kobold situation seems like Grey Elves vs. High Elves. As far as the other ideas go, he barefoot boost is kinda gimmicky too but at least forces the player to make a choice between AC/ego and stealth. I like the Genetic Stability idea as it would be unique and would give you another choice - either wear rMut and essentially have mutation immunity OR go without and wear another useful amulet in swap situation (while leaving yourself at a 33% chance of mutation).

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Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 19:11

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

RangerC wrote:
TGW wrote:Halflings are not worse kobolds anymore. Stop playing 0.4.5. They got a significant buff in recent versions.


Yeah, now they are a more boring and blander version of kobolds (fitting the same niches). The argument is not that halflings are bad (HaBe is one of the easiest 3 rune combos out there) but that they are still not that well differentiated from Kobolds and they lack unique abilities to make them an interesting play.


I don't think that the differentiation is necessarily a problem. The diet differences are quite differentiated, and IMHO that makes the gameplay difference noticeable.

If anything, both of them could be worse casters. In fiction, there are very few powerful halfling OR kobold spellcasters, and the races would still be plenty strong with weaker spellcasting in the game. These races could be differentiated in this way, too: halflings may be worse at "destructive" magics and kobolds worse at "supportive" magics, for example.
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Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 20:01

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

Okay, so the ideas so far, in terms of further differentiation between kobolds and halflings, are:

- status quo, halflings are fine as they are
- perma "wall sneak" - boost to stealth while adjacent to wall
- shoeless boost to stealth
- some level of intrinsic rMut
- changes to magic aptitudes

One more comment re: "wall sneak" - the autoexplore command could be modified to preferentially keep halflings close to walls. Actually, this could make autoexplore a bit safer for all races.
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Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 22:20

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

how about giving them some transmutation aptitude so they can be competent stalkers?
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Post Monday, 3rd January 2011, 23:28

Halflings

Since the game seems to be developing more distinct and esoteric classes as it goes through development (Vampires, Deep Dwarves replacing gnomes, Cats) it seems weird that Halflings remain as a choice. They have almost nothing going for them to make them a viable choice! They are a small agility based class that doesn't have the advantages and distinct flavor of Spriggans or any of the assets people have begun to recognize in Kobolds. I'm starting to think the class should go the way of various types of Elves and Gnomes that got weeded for redundancy. They actually seem LESS viable than Grey Elves, which at least had viable magic stats going for them.

I propose replacing them with a playable Golem class that has high HP, the damage shaving of deep dwarves, horrible magic abilities (basically, you have to go melee) and has to eat items to regain HP. I think that this would be a much more viable and interesting class than Halflings, which nobody seems to play, even after the many revisions to basic Crawl that SS has gone through.

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Post Monday, 3rd January 2011, 23:45

Re: Halflings

Halflings are plenty viable; if you want to complain about viability, do so about mummies and ogres, but don't because challenges are good.

If you seriously want to propose a new species, do it on the wiki: https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php? ... :collected or make your own page.

As for my own thoughts on your golems, they sound like more powerful but less flexible ghouls.

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Post Monday, 3rd January 2011, 23:47

Re: Halflings

Thanks for the link, I should propose the golems there.
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Post Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 00:03

Re: Halflings

We don't need to remove races to add new ones. I think halflings have great potential and we should try to make them better (more different, not more powerful), not removing them.
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Post Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 00:15

Re: Halflings

I wonder if Halflings should have an innate mutation resist (resist 1? 2?). It would kind of go with the flavor established in Lord of the Rings, where the Hobbits were chosen to bear the One Ring because they were most resistant to its power. It would be a useful power to have against the malicious mutation that occurs later in the game.

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Post Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 00:22

Re: Halflings


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Post Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 00:43

Re: Halflings

the OP seemed to touch on both lack of power and uniqueness, but since I don't have much to say about uniqueness, I only covered viability

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Post Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 06:07

Re: Halflings

Like minmay and monky said, Halflings are actually overpowered if anything, HaBe, HaAM, HaHu are all really easy and strong and HaBe might be the easiest combo I can think of, after the big 3 of SpEn, DDNe, and MfCr.

  Code:
 Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup version 0.8.0-a0-696-ge2c5125 character file.

Brodo the Acrobat (Halfling Berserker)                             Turns: 88165, Time: 05:49:08

HP 209/209       AC 24     Str 13      Exp: 27/941550 (197)
MP  25/25        EV 51     Int  7      God: Trog [*****.]
Gold 2697        SH 27     Dex 28      Spells:  0 memorised, 28 levels left

Res.Fire  : + . .   See Invis. : .   k - +5,+9 quick blade (stab) {god gift}
Res.Cold  : + + .   Warding    : .   e - +5 robe {rC+ rF+}
Life Prot.: . . .   Conserve   : .   P - +2 elf buckler {AC+3}
Res.Poison: +       Res.Corr.  : .   t - +2 cap of the Devil's Advocate {EV+5 Str-2
Res.Elec. : +       Clarity    : .   c - +2 cloak {rPois}
Spirit.Shd: .       Stasis     : .   E - +2 pair of gloves of Restlessness {rElec}
Sust.Abil.: . .     Rnd.Telep. : .   z - +2 pair of boots {run}
Res.Mut.  : .       Ctrl.Telep.: .   w - amulet of the Air {cFly +Lev rElec EV+3 St
Res.Rott. : .       Levitation : .   N - +0,+5 ring of slaying
Saprovore : . . .   Ctrl.Flight: +   j - ring "Ymets" {rC+ AC+3 EV+5}


Haven't even done Zot yet (or the Hive, lol). Anyway, this thread should be merged with the other halfling thread. I proposed the same mutation resistance idea (can't say it was originally mine, saw it on the Wiki) and there are some stealth proposals to differentiate halfling and kobold sneaking there from myself, danr, and others. I agree that halflings feel a little Grey Elven (with Kobolds as the more interesting and definitive small race) but in no way are they in line for the axe due to crappiness or lack of play.

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Post Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 06:49

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

galehar wrote:how about giving them some transmutation aptitude so they can be competent stalkers?


I think maybe Kobolds should be the stalker/transmuter out of the two and halflings the enchanter/crusader (don't know how well shapeshifting fits the halfling theme). What if Kobolds went from -1 Transmutation to 0 Transmutation and -1 Enchantments to -2 Enchantments, while halflings improve to +1 Enchantment and drop a level somewhere else? You then have a 2 level difference in favor of Kobolds in Transmutations, and a 3 level difference in favor of Halflings in Enchantments (right now the differences are only one level). Kobolds would then be the small stalker/transmuter and halflings the small crusader/air elementalist.

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Post Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 09:33

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

RangerC wrote:
galehar wrote:how about giving them some transmutation aptitude so they can be competent stalkers?


I think maybe Kobolds should be the stalker/transmuter out of the two and halflings the enchanter/crusader (don't know how well shapeshifting fits the halfling theme). What if Kobolds went from -1 Transmutation to 0 Transmutation and -1 Enchantments to -2 Enchantments, while halflings improve to +1 Enchantment and drop a level somewhere else? You then have a 2 level difference in favor of Kobolds in Transmutations, and a 3 level difference in favor of Halflings in Enchantments (right now the differences are only one level). Kobolds would then be the small stalker/transmuter and halflings the small crusader/air elementalist.


Interesting idea. I like it!
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Post Tuesday, 4th January 2011, 22:32

Re: Halflings

To the Wiki!

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Post Tuesday, 22nd February 2011, 11:30

Re: Halfling "sneak" ability

radzia wrote:get rid of slow metabolism (another differentiation from never hungry kobolds) , hobbits likes to eat!


No! I hate chunk-hunting. I want more races besides kobold and mummy that can minimize this annoyance for me (spriggans and trolls don't count). Hobbits like to eat but they're small, they don't need to eat a lot.
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Post Tuesday, 22nd February 2011, 15:38

Re: Halflings

danr wrote:To the Wiki!


Er...did you mean that you were going to add this to wiki (perhaps here): https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:species:halfling
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Post Tuesday, 22nd February 2011, 15:51

Re: Halflings

JeffQyzt wrote:
danr wrote:To the Wiki!


Er...did you mean that you were going to add this to wiki (perhaps here): https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:species:halfling

Don't bother. The change is already in the game.
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