Saturday, February 25, 2012

Barbarians in ADOM II

I'm right now finishing the implementation of the barbarian profession for ADOM II. As usual barbarians also get professional abilities. Here's the proposed list:

  • mighty blow (damage doubled, energy cost 250%) at level 1 if barbarian is the main profession, string blow (1.5 times the normal damage, 300% energy cost) while multi-classing
  • energy cost for movement reduced by 20% at level 3
  • tremendous blow (triple damage, 400% energy cost) at level 6
  • +1d4 extra hit points per level starting at level 10
  • +4 to toughness at level 15
  • +8 to strength at level 21
  • +10 to damage when fighting with berserk tactics at level 28
  • +20 DV when fighting with berserk tactics at level 36
  • +30 PV when fighting with berserk tactics at level 50
  • +50 to speed when fighting with berserk tactics at level 75
  • +50% to critical hit probabilities when fighting with berserk tactics at level 100
What do you think?


  1. So from what I see, barbarians are not penalized from wearing armor now? Or does berserk tactics require no armor?

  2. All I can say is that I can't wait to play ADOM II!

  3. I like it, but it seems that the main profession/multi-class trade off is less important here, assuming you intend to take 6 levels in Barbarian... Six levels is a decent commitment, but isn't in line with the other professions so far...

  4. "triple damage, 400% energy cost"

    Perhaps it would be more useful if it was 300% energy cost; that is, 3x damage for 2x energy. Otherwise its only real benefit is doing a lot of damage quickly.

    Just a thought.


  5. M Rebo: Tremendous blow is actually unchanged from the original ADOM, where it was quite useful (if not, pardon, tremendously) for punching past PV. The DV/PV system remains unchanged, so tremendous blow should remain unchanged in its value.

    Strong Blow, now that one might just as well not exist. Fortunately, it doesn't need to. Just five levels more get you access to the full tremendous blow. I imagine just a 3 level dip for the increased movement will be quite popular as well. Either three or six levels will be the logical multiclassing choices, EXCEPT if level 10 actually works as written and does grant 1d4 hitpoints per level, and not just barbarian level.

    One thing about the berserking: Is that just the tactics setting, or the ADOM II equivalent of ADOM's "true" berserk? 'Cause the ADOM regular Berserk (highest tactics setting) was really nothing "special", and I'm not sure flavor-wise there should be a boost like the above for it.

    On the other hand, the level 40 and 50 Barbarian class powers of ADOM were perhaps the least-utilized of the bunch, simply because going naked was a fairly suboptimal choice (and they didn't need it to kick ass in melee). So unless nekkidness as a requirement was scrapped entirely, berserk bonuses should not come quite as late.

    I'm not sure a DV bonus is thematically appropriate, or the PV bonus for that matter. Berserking (nekkid or not) is, after all, forgoing all pretense of defense for sheer killing power; yet the bonuses add up to +10 to damage, but +20/+30 DV/PV? The speed fits excellently since more speed means faster attacks, and a flurry of powerful attacks is what I imagine when I read "berserker", so let's just talk about that defense. ADOM berserkers were fairly sturdy, but they had little PV or DV; they stayed alive due to hitpoints (which Barbarians in ADOM II kind of get thanks to the level 10 power).

    With that in mind, rather than increase DV or PV, I'd give them an ability to completely ignore status conditions while in berserk mode, including paralysis, stunning, sleep and so on, and add to that an immense amount of HP regeneration. Possibly temporary HP too. Bonuses that are all tied to berserk, or true berserk, to the point where leaving berserk rage means instant death, but you can still win by being the last one standing. To keep players from walking around in berserk all day all the time, give it massive food consumption after a while and/or massive penalties to range and magic attacks (stuff that uses brain and calm in general. No more berserk archery!).

    I'm not saying giving them PV or DV is too weak or anything - but it's just a stat boost, to me a fairly nonsensical one. An ability to ignore stat conditions entirely, even the "absolute" ones such as paralysis, would be something entirely new and possibly unique to the Barbarian. And that should be the goal; if all high level benefits revolve around PV, DV and speed bonuses, someone's going to work out the mathematically optimal combat machine and just level up to that.

  6. At least I think one goal for the high level abilities should be to make the players think "Damn I want to be able to do all of these but there's no way I can do that, better play this awesome game fifteen times to try it all out!"

  7. The main thing I need to know before I comment - in ADOM II, will there be "true berserk" (beserking while wearing no armour), and normal berserk?

  8. Strong blow seems very weak. I think it should be either less damage than mighty blow or an increased energy cost, but not both. As it stands, I can imagine very very few situations where I'd consider using it.

    Alternatively, how about making both mighty and tremendous blow available from level 1, but secondary barbarians only get access to mighty?

    For the berserk fighting bonuses, I think that the first bonuses should be defensive ones. As you have it at the moment, the level 28 bonus wouldn't come into play until at least level 36. Why? Because I won't be fighting on berserk anyway. Staying alive is always the top priority in a roguelike, so I wouldn't sacrifice my survivability just for a little bit of extra damage. It has to be worked such that first I feel I can go berserk without risking my life, which will give me attack bonuses from being in berserk anyway, and then later add on the extra bonuses.

    I also like the idea of having the defensive side be hp/hp regen/status immunity as Silfir suggested above.

  9. Movement energy reduction at level 3 seems way overpowered. Every ranged class would want to invest in that. Or even every class, period. I'd most certainly make getting it my first priority, just to have better chances of running away ;).

  10. I agree with Silfir that it would be nice to make berserking more "special".

    A way to do it (apart from what other people have proposed) is the following: when you're berserk, you get awesome boni (maybe even immunity to adverse effects as Silfir said) but to keep berserking you need to constantly kill foes. When you spend a given amount of time without killing, you cease being in berserk mode and cannot go back to it for a while.

  11. Of course, nothing wrong with releasing the 0.2.3 Barbarian like above and considering improvements at a later date!

  12. I ove the suggestions and right now am fiddling with them :-)

    True berserkering will be in the game but so far I had been thinking that the berserker abilities of barbarians should apply in any case. What do you think?

    1. A good idea. Going naked just gets one killed in prolonged fighting, even if there are tremendous damage boni involved.

    2. Finding new gear upgrades is fun. Finding awesome new gear that you can't use is not fun. This means that playing naked is also not fun. In order for it to be fun, it'd have to have its own parallel form of character progression analogous to improving gear. And that's before you factor in issues of survivability and balance. So I agree that you shouldn't need to true berserk to get barbarian bonuses/abilities.

    3. This sparked a thought: what if there were items/room effects/corpse effects that could change parts of your body while removing the ability to wear armor on that location while not being a barrier to true berserking?

      i.e. a punching bag could give you 'calloused hands' that provide 2 PV (or whatever) but prohibit gauntlets or you could have mystic scars engraved on your torso that acted similarly. There could be something similar to pots of cure corruption to remove the effects (or a surgeon) in case you found some uber item or a better body upgrade.

      It could function as a slower/more decisive upgrade path that allows true berserking.

  13. I'm torn, actually. On one hand, fighting in berserk mode never really felt all that special in ADOM. You had all your armor and stuff, and with Tactics you barely sacrificed anything. On the other, true berserking comes with steep opportunity costs in the late game since equipment can be so powerful. My gut tells me to go with giving the bulk of the bonuses to true berserking, but to make sure they are awesome enough and make the game different enough at the same time. The other consideration is that if true berserking is going to be in the game, who but the Barbarian is going to get class powers centered around it? They were the only class in ADOM that had class powers for true berserking. Unless ADOM II introduces a straight-up berserker class, removing that leaves true berserking kind of orphaned.

    I think a decent enough middleground could be to grant most benefits at basic berserker rage, but to straight up triple the numbers for true berserker rage. Where a normal berserk Barbarian gets 50 bonus HP (I'd make the temporary HP dependant on Willpower personally) and a HP regeneration rate of 2 per turn, the true berserking Barbarian gets 150 HP and 6 HP per turn. Normal berserk damage bonus of 10 damage becomes 30, speed bonus of 50 becomes 150 (this might be too awesome), you get the idea. Similarly, ignoring paralysis or blindness might become a perk exclusive to true berserkers, with regular barbarian berserkers restricted to ignoring stun or sleep - or true berserkers might receive resistances to various elemental damage sources and death rays for the duration of the berserk rage. The point being, you can play a moderate Barbarian who wears magical armor and doesn't froth at the mouth while channeling their primal rage, and you can play the all-out balls-out ripshit pissed loinclothed engine of mass devastation, depending on how much you value your armor.

    (triple is maybe too much, but double should be feasible at least)

    One more thing: True berserking was very valuable in ADOM - to characters you wouldn't have expected, such as the Healer. This is because with these classes you didn't have armor to start with, so it was best for survival to ditch what little you had and kill the monsters before they killed you. (Healers especially loved doing that because what damage they did end up taking was so easily recovered.) It's a bit unfortunate to receive special true berserk powers in the late game, when armor is really, really good. A mild version of the almost legendarily useless level 25 class power of the farmer to create iron rations, on a class that already started with loads of food and the ability to cook food to preserve it, consumed only half the food, and had long since bought more than enough food to keep forever and back. So I'd consider frontloading some of the true berserk-related class powers. One suggestion would be to combine the Strength and Toughness stat bonuses into one class power, put +5 damage at level 15 (or earlier!), and increase it to +15 at level 28 or something like that.

  14. You probably haven't implemented them yet, but what about inherent resistances?

    I'm think barbarians should receive some minor resistance to cold (those furry boots have got to be good for something) and starvation (especially during wilderness travel)

  15. Perhaps bonuses could be lost if wearing more than e.g. 150s of clothing? This would allow people to wear (some) items they find, yet remain true to the barbarian/berserker theme and prevent people trying to turn barbarians into tanks.