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Re: CF: Playbalance

On Thu, 4 Mar 1999, Mark Wedel wrote:
>  True.  The spellbook problem could be solved by not giving exp for reading
> starting equipment spellbooks.

Yep. But either way there will be other ways to get the original level
jump that will make it safe to wade through the newbie tower. 

Which is why I'd say that the increasing of original stats wouldnt really
remove any play anyway.

>  It has been suggested to re-do the starting character creation so instead of
> random stats, you get some set number of points to allocate between the stats.
>  That probably make sense.

Yes, and I agree with that too. The class limitations should be widened a
lot tho, and various magic means of obtaining higher abilities should
be calculated with... a human wizard should never be above 28 in power and
int, and never above 18 in strength (except perhaps with a powerful
temporary spell), while a human fighter should never be above 28 in
strength and 18 in int and 20 in pow. This would vary with some races
being able to obtain even higher max rates, and various mixes allowing
medium scores on all stats. Again, just example values. The goal is to
enforce a possible wider differentiation. To be *the best* at something
you *have* to sacrifice something else. To be just good at things should
be possible for any character.
>  For sp/grace, the magic numbers are probably either 9-10 and 14-15 (since most
> of the spells start at 5, it basically means how many spells you can get off
> quickly).  Having 11 probably won't do much more good than having 10, as you
> aren't going to want to wait to regain 4 points.

Considering the usually pretty low sp regeneration rate of beginners, and
the way grace is regenerated, allowing 3 spells to be cast wouldnt be too
abusive, I think. A slightly lower increase rate after there, and a
spreading out a bit more of spells could probably be done. Figuring out
good modifiers would take some thinking too.

>  The meanings of str, con, ... for monsters is totally different than players.
>  For example, con in monsters is how many hp they regenerate.

Well, I was thinking mostly about the difference in HP between a player
and a large monster... well, the size of the monster makes up part of it I
>  Taking a quick look at orc, the main things to notice are they have 4 hp, ac
> 16, wc 19, and dam 1 (although they will typically use items to increase the
> dam and perhaps ac).  There speed is also 0.15.  Most players are probably .5,
> starting players even faster since they are not bogged down with a bunch of
> times yet.  So a player is literally moving 4 or more times faster than that
> orc.  A modest increase in speed would probably makes orc much tougher.
>  I don't know if hp would do so or not - it would really depend how many hits
> it may now take to kill the monster.

Yep, the time required to do so is an important factor... part of the
reason it's so easy to kill large amounts of monsters even at low levels
is probably that they rarely even get the chance to hit the player due to 
the speed difference. 

>  You could do something based on the characters current stat total.  For
> example, if the characters total stats are less than 80, don't lose a stat (not
> really good as is).  If 100-150, lose 1 or maybe 2 stats, etc.

That is a pretty good idea actually. It would resolve the problem of
getting into a so-low-I-cant-even-regain-it state. 
>  Certainly a possibility.  Have to be careful on such widespread changes - you
> certainly don't want to make things too tough.

But there are separate weapon and movement speeds for the monsters too?
I agree, if we should make serious balancing changes they also need to be
well thought through, and also far ranging when it comes to policy, since
we wouldnt want to get into a stat/ac/whatever inflation again.

One of the things to be most carefully thought through, i think, is the
balancing between classes. All common classes should be thought through
(not to say that we cant have special 'challange' classes, or classes that
are a challange in some ways). This also includes gods and other things
which affect the balance of a class. In my opinion, the basic classes
should be balanced so they are all about similar in playability, which
means you should be able to play a pure wizard, warrior or priest with
about the same abilities *but* implemented in different ways. 

For example, a 'pure' wizard should wear almost no armour. This is partly
balanced by the availability of really good long-range spells (but
unbalanced again by the problem that those spells usually ruin any
treasure). It is also balanced by the wizard usually having a bit better
speed, but since they cant carry too much without loosing the speed, it
again becomes unbalanced. And since it's sometimes difficult (especially
for lowlevels) to avoid all close contact, the wizard often ends up
lugging around armour and bearing the slow sp regen, it ends up being a
fighter/wizard rather than a wizard. So I'd suggest better
armour/ac/protect spells and/or better range-non-destructive (the bullet*
spells are rather underpowered) spells for wizards so it's possible to
play a more pure class there.

Another example is the followers of Gaea. With weapons lost, the followers
need some other method of removing monsters. In this case I'd suggest
something like a 'tangleweed' spell, a powerful sleep spell, charm spells
specific to the god (charm animal?), etc. Experience and treasure
gain (stealing equivalent ability to get the things from immobilized
monsters?) would still have to be dealt out for this or we'd get a balance
problem again.

In most of these cases we have some form of archetypical objective with a
skill or power or ability (avoiding damage (armour, spells), killing or
incapacitating monsters (weapons, spells), etc), and I think that the
method can and should vary with each class, but in the end, remain pretty
similar in power and effect. I like crossfire's non-strictly-classed
system, but for balance, it should be possible to play the extremes of
classes without being severely handicapped compared to other extremes, as
well as the more mixed middlemen.

Best regards,

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