Thursday, January 3, 2013

Duelists in ADOM

Yesterday I finished the initial duelist implementation for ADOM. Here's the text from the manual:

DUELIST -- A duelist emphasizes physical and mental acuity, and
precision in all things. Thus, the ability to accurately pe«rceive
their surroundings, and gracefully move through it, along with an
appreciation for the fine arts that help separate them from their
more thuggish contemporaries. They rely on the swiftness of their
strikes and their agility to keep them safe from harm. Duelists
differ between races however - while a high elven duelist might
elegantly skewer his opponents with a rapier while darting through
his defenses, a trollish duelist's idea of precision might be the
simple fact that their size, reach, and strength allows them to lunge
at their opponent from an amazing range and smash them over the head
before they can respond, while their mental acuity might be the simple
zen of knowing nothing but the clubbing, letting nothing interfere
with their "art".
 
Duelists are trained in the following skills: Alertness, Athletics,
Concentration, Dodge, Find Weakness, Healing, Law
 
All duelists rely on fighting unencumbered and using a single
one-handed weapon (and no shields!). When endowed in this way they
receive a multitude of benefits: All duelists receive an extra +1
to-hit bonus per weapon skill rank and +1 to damage per two weapon
skill ranks with their weapon. At level 6 they require 15 energy
points less for melee attacks per weapon skill rank for their
weapon. At level 12 they receive an extra +2 DV bonus for each weapon
skill rank in their selected weapon. At level 18 they can glove
slap opponents by giving gauntlets to them (for 1d3 turns). At level
25 their armor penetration probability is increased by +20%. At
level 32 their dexterity increases by +12. At level 40 they can a
+6 weapon skill rank bonus for all one-handed melee weapon skills. At
level 50 they receive a +20 speed bonus.
Feedback welcome as there is ample time to fine-tune them!

34 comments:

  1. Some nice powers in there, but I'd swap level 6 and level 12 as without shields they'll struggle with low DV. For the level 18 power you should clarify the effect - I assume it's a stun? And if so 1d3 turns is a bit weak - it takes 1 turn to give the gauntlets anyway. 2d3 might be a bit more effective.

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    1. I have increased the stun duration to 2d3 + (level / 10).

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  2. I really strongly recommend making *all* melee weapon damage based on dex instead of strength for dualists. (I believe right now only whips are this way) It fits well with the class, and lets them use that extra dex nicely.

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  3. How about instead of stunning(?) opponents by smacking them over the head with a glove the duelist might use his off hand to deliver a secondary strike with possibility of stun? There could be a percentage change of causing this secondary blow and the chance might go up with weapon skill (justification being that when more skilled you have more chances to position yourself for such a quick jab with a fist -- or with pommel of his weapon).

    Smacking someone with the gauntlet sounds more like a challenge which could be used to drive neutral monster to attack the PC.

    Any news on the ADOM Lite RPG btw?

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    1. I agree, the tedium of giving gauntlets to a hostile seems to be more trouble than its worth. Can you make it activate like a class skill (in the ctrl-X menu) and have it run an inventory check?

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    2. Hi! No news regarding the ADOM Lite RPG so far... right now I'm completely focussing on the programming part.

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    3. I'd second the class skill. Shouldn't duelists have something akin to a critical nerve strike or a crippling strike or something? Both a troll and an elf could club or stab someone in the knee or the neck, right? Besides that, love the new class!

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  4. I still feel Tales of Maj'Eyal powered by T-Engine has a better gameplay than ADOM, the graphics are better,free releases,eventhough it has a sandbox sort of gameplay there are a few ongoing quests and can be played online against other players,eventhough they are much younger than ADOM, they make more money per a month by donations and have much more people playing, I seriously have lost faith in ADOM,sorry Thomas Biskup.

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    1. Cause it sure isn't possible for me to think TOME4 is a great game and yet still enjoy playing ADOM... nope, nosiree, it's not like they're two dramatically different games with different things to offer. It's just one or the other. I mean, who has the hard drive space to keep *two* games at once?

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    2. I may be strange, but I personally never "got" ToME... it just bores me every time I try it. Too static for me, very little randomness, all games are alike. In ADOM you have an overarching storyline, but in everygame the RNG will throw different monsters and challenges at you in each dungeon, only the bosses and a few other monsters are the same. In ToME, every time you go to the forest with snakes and trolls you'll get snakes and trolls, and more snakes, and more trolls, and all the areas seem to be like that.

      I agree that there are nice things about ToME, for example its ability mechanics make melee very interesting. But overall I prefer ADOM. Or Powder. Or DCSS. Or FTL. Or Dredmor. Actually, I prefer almost every roguelike I've tried to ToME!

      Fortunately, there's room in the world for different tastes and for more than one roguelike, the fact that one roguelike is popular doesn't rule out all the rest as your post seems to imply :)

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    3. Sorry to hear that although I'm not sure how this relates to Duelists. And as others said... your mileage may vary ;-)

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    4. I enjoy Tome from time to time as a nice break from the complexity and difficulty of ADOM (yes, I mean those in a positive way).
      Tome for me is more of a fun and light hearted affair, because you don't have to worry about all of the things a lot of other rogue-likes focus on, which is exactly what Darkgod was going for anyway...
      In other words, I believe you are pretty much comparing apples to oranges, Yashin.

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  5. The level 40 skill seems really weak. It's very easy to train a weapon to level 6.

    Or perhaps I misunderstand, and it will add 6 levels to it? If you're at level 12, it would put you at level 18... that's a HUGE increase! If that's the case, that would be pretty cool, perhaps overpowered, but really cool...

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    1. The text says +6 skill rank bonus, so it should add 6 levels if I understand it correctly.

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    2. Yeah, I think this is a great motivator to train multiple weapons. Since 15 is the cap, you just need to get to 9 (which can probably be done with 3 weapons without much issue) to effective max out at level 40.

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    3. +6 is correct (with 15 still being the maximum).

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  6. They look like a lot of fun. The starting skills are exceptionally good, but they seem appropriate. The class powers look good too. Sort of like monks, but while still letting you use all the really cool weapons that you find. The two class powers that I'm unsure about are the ones at level 18 and level 50. The level 18 one might be cool; I'd like to see more of an exlanation of how it works. For the level 50 one, normally I'd say that a bonus of +20 to speed would be very desirable, but I'm not sure that would be the case for duelists.

    By the time you've reached level 50, you'll almost certainly have maxed athletics, for +8 speed, and you'll have a stellar dexterity skill, let's say 25 from herbs and then +12 from the level 32 class power, for a total of 37 Dx, which would then be another 10 to speed. Assumig you've picked up a few potions of quickling blood along the way to level 50, which is usual, you can expect a high level duelist to have a speed of around 120 anyway (or around 130 with the appropriate talents). You'll also probably be a grand master at whatever weapon you're wielding (level 40 class power), which is 595 base energy cost per attack, reduced by 225 by the level 6 class power, for an energy cost per attack of 370. You'll likely also have seven league boots, reducing the energy cost of movement as well.

    Essentially, you'll already be extremely fast by the time you reach level 50, so while an extra 20 speed would be nice, it would also be largely inconsequential by this point. For a level 50 class power, it seems a little underwhelming.

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    1. 20 speed is perfectly in line with many other class powers. And it's universally powerful - it affects movement, spellcasting, attacking, archery. It's one of the better level 50 powers in fact!

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  7. 'Duelists differ between races however - while a high elven duelist might elegantly skewer his opponents with a rapier while darting through his defenses, a trollish duelist's idea of precision might be the simple fact that their size, reach, and strength allows them to lunge at their opponent from an amazing range and smash them over the head before they can respond, while their mental acuity might be the simple zen of knowing nothing but the clubbing, letting nothing interfere with their "art".'

    Wordy. Run-on.

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    1. Your uncanny sense of perception is a godsend to us all. Perhaps you could use this unique and powerful skill somewhere that would actually be helpful, like helping Thomas find bugs in his games...

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  8. The no shield restriction seems a bit excessive. One should still be able to use lightweight shields in a duel while not losing in swiftness and grace. Maybe the restriction should apply only to heavier than 50s shields? Or, as an alternative, duelists could receive a DV bonus when they wear bracers, the idea being that they can use them to deflect attacks.
    Btw, since new artifacts are going to be added to the game, bracers are a class of items that needs more love in this respect. Some sort of "elegant bracers of swift parrying" (with, say, plus Speed, Dexterity and Appearance) would make a nice crowning gift for duelists.

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    1. From the looks of it, Duelists are going to be fairly powerful as it is. I think the lack of shields at all is more than fair considering the benefits accrued.

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  9. Duelists sound fantastic, but I think there are a few level bonuses that could be tweaked a bit.

    I first would like to agree with atomos in saying the no sheild penalty is quite harsh... and historically, small bucklers were very common for traditional rapier-weilding duelists. The 50s suggested allows Duelists to only ever use small sheilds, which I think is perfect; limiting, but not disabling.

    Also, I think dueslists should start with an increase to weapon skill development. Maybe just 10%. Rangers or assassins who dual-weild have a far greater chance of acheiving grand mastery, even though they don't study the art of swordsmanship; they just use two weapons. Duelists are supposed to make it's study their life, so it would make sense if they gained weapon XP faster.

    Also, here are some ideas from folks a long time back that I would still like to see (my usr: Krough Firender). Not exactly only pertaining to duelists, but still relevent.
    http://www.adom.de/forums/showthread.php/9892-idea-for-weapon-skills?highlight=weapon+skills

    The +6 weapon skills at lv. 40 doesn't quite make sense to me. By that time, the Duelist should have an artifact weapon that they have been getting experience with for quite some time. The bonus levels to other weapon skills will (almost) never be used.
    Would it be possible for the 40 class power to open up an additional 2 levels after the normal 15* cap? Allowing Duelists to advance farther in their knowledge of weapons than any other class? Or perhaps they can gain an additional 25% bonus to all weapon skill modifiers. Just suggestions.

    The lv. 50 power also seems a bit anti-climatic. I am not argueing against its usefulness, but it would be nice to have the 50 bonus be something no other class can do. 20 speed just isn't quite it. Archers can shoot through people. Necromancers come back from the dead. I would like to see duelists do something a little more... duelisty. Perhaps have a chance to disarm with every attack?

    Just my thoughts.

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    1. Duelist level 40 class power is very, very good, IMHO. While it's true that for most weapon types, an extra 6 ranks may not be that useful, getting to rank 9 is pretty easy--you could easily get Grandmaster in 3 weapon types from this, which is a pretty substantial bonus. Two extra levels beyond Grandmaster is not all that useful, since Grandmaster is rarely achieved at all without massive grinding (I've won ADOM more than 30 times and don't recall ever reaching Grandmaster in any weapon). Plus, the extra weapon ranks stack with their early class power. This is a really, really nice class power.

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    2. Disarming is not a viable option in ADOM (but would be in ADOM II) as for most monsters it's not obvious how to manage "being armed". It's just not part of the internal data structures :-^

      In ADOM II in contrast it's trivial...

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    3. I agree with Jellyslayer. The class powers are all excellent and don't need any further boost. The level 40 power means grand mastery with their favoured weapon, which synergizes with the other class powers into +30 DV, +15 to-hit, +8 to damage and reduces the energy cost of attacking to 370. That is extremely kickass. They will do fine without shields.

      I think I have a new favourite class. Really cool!

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    4. > Disarming is not a viable option in ADOM (but would be in ADOM II) as for most monsters it's not obvious how to manage "being armed". It's just not part of the internal data structures :-^

      It could be 'remedied' to some extent by making a random weapon type dropped/thrown away from foe and giving all non-monster/humanoid creatures favourite type of weapon. The disarming would then be just -X% in combat success (- to-hit/to-damage) with a random weapon drop as extra for duelist. Humanoid type of data is already existing for spells/barding etc I believe. Though a lot of work for patching things up, should be workable. Also sad duelists = single weapon, always thought sword+dagger combo (bucklers too I guess) would be great for duel, making parrying a vial option and plus that extra mortal kombat fatality by dagger...

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    5. Just to elaborate: I don't believe anything currently tameable would wield a weapon. For starters make all untameable creatures drop dagger/sword. Coming up with a list (xls file with A column Monster_name, B monsterID (obfuscated for your purposes and retaining mystery), C with proposed by community weapon (ID as above obfuscated in column D) to drop would get filled quickly for you to import. Will need a few tweaks, but getting all possible weapon carriers identified with most likely weapon should be easy considering the community support you have. Duelists without disarm feel very bad

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    6. >>> It could be 'remedied' to some extent by making a random weapon type dropped/thrown away from foe

      Cue all duelist players disarming everything in sight in hopes to generate good weapons to use/sell ;).

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  10. I think the class powers are really nice... yeah, of course disarm would be cool, but if it can't be, it can't be. The current powers do make a really interesting class that will be worth playing.

    I also like the no-shield restriction, I think it makes sense for a duelist.

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  11. How about adding rapiers and maybe an artifact rapier intended for duelists?

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    1. I think Thomas was ahead of you there :)

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  12. This definitely sounds like a fun class to play with. Very similar in concept to monks, as far as I can tell. Their skillsets are nearly identical, and very strong. Like monks, I think duelists as written can probably still function if they ignore their restrictions, but where monks get powerful boosts to movement and wall-kicking in a timely fashion, duelists get nothing except the level 32+ stat boosts (which are probably coded to happen regardless of what the duelist is happening to have equipped at the moment). On the other hand, duelist restrictions are annoying, but probably easier to uphold than the monk's. I think the balance will work out.



    I think that the description is slightly too long-winded, especially compared to the other classes in the manual. After "They rely on the swiftness of their
    strikes and their agility to keep them safe from harm." you could safely cut the rest. I'd add a single sentence to the effect of "Of course, a high elven duelist's interpretation of the art form in practice can differ quite a lot from that of her trollish colleague." and let the player make the rest of the connections.

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  13. So I have a random question on the duelist. If I am to go for the Avatar of Order ending, will I still be able to wield the Trident to its full extent? I have not played for a couple of years, and I am unsure of how the weapons and things work at the moment

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