||April 18th, 2009 16:59
A tester's feedback, in case anyone's interested:
Here is my report of what I think about the different weapon traits:
Swords: Pretty handy. At first glance it's just a 4AP penalty, which is kinda lame. But it has an interesting side effect: a disarmed opponent doesn't make attacks of opportunities. So you can disarm an opponent, move away, and make him lose his whole turn chasing you. Pretty nifty.
Bows: Very useful, especially because it's a permanent passive effect. It allows you to score aimed attacks more easily, as well as critical strikes. If you make a build in which you maximize CS, you can become a true sniper. Also bows have a max range of 20, which allows you 4 or more turns before enemies even touch you. Sure, they have the range penalty, but they have the possibility of 8 free attacks or more. Very handy.
Hammers: Similar to swords. Its usefulness depends a lot on when you score a knockdown and how far the opponents goes. If it is your last strike and he falls next to you, it's just a 2AP penalty. If you have enough AP for another attack, it's a sure hit, which is handy. And if it falls away from you, it's the 2AP penalty + going back to attack you. And also, you can walk away from him and avoid AoO. All in all, it's like swords trait, but a little better.
Daggers: Well, this trait is not bad, but it feels almost like something given to make low damage daggers equal to the high damage weapons of other categories. It's nice against heavy armored opponents, but you will be scoring so many 0 damage attacks that scoring one that bypasses armor would just even things out instead of giving daggers an edge. But daggers themselves make a very nice aimed attack weapon, since aimed attacks with them cost 4AP, allowing you to make several aimed attacks in one turn, something that it's quite hard with other, bigger weapons. That itself is a nice indirect trait that makes daggers a good weapon class despite their somewhat sucky trait. BUT you need a high CS skill to take advantage of that. I wouldn't mind some improvement to them, though… Perhaps a boosted chance to score the trait? A 5-10% boost should do it.
Axes: Well, they mostly suck. Sure, you destroy a shield and the opponent is a sitting duck, but in order to destroy his shield, you must miss AND have a high axe skill, and if you have a high skill, you'll probably won't miss. Also, once you destroy the shield, you have a trait no more. So, I was thinking about two things: Giving axes a special "Target Shield" attack that will allow you to "miss" the hit and destroy the shield, also giving this attack a 10% bonus to your passive effect %, to boost the chance of destroying it (since you are purposely wasting an attack to achieve that). And maybe giving all axes +1 vsDR bonus, in order to make them useful against all kind of opponents. That would make them quite interesting, imo.
Spears: Well, it's not so good as it sounds. Sure, it's nice to stop your enemies dead in their tracks, but once they get to you, your trait is gone. It's like you have no trait at all. And usually the chance is so low that most of the time you'll be in that situation. Sure, you can go back, and try to score another chance, but that means waste some AP and an AoO. Also it's useless against archers, since they will never charge you. Possible solutions? I would increase the chance, perhaps a 10% bonus. They also have the impale ability, but it requires a good CS skill. Perhaps with the boost it might become useful, though I still have my reservations.
Crossbows: Knockdown… It has the same benefits as the hammer, but the crossbows have their own set of peculiarities. They don't have fast or power attacks, making them less flexible compared to the other weapons. They have range penalties, but two of the xbows can use a scope for increased THC. Also there are others than can shoot 2 or 5-10 shots before reloading, which is an interesting advantage. BUT they don't have an special attack at all. They also don't receive any bonus from strength, which can range from +1 to +4, making them less powerful than bows. On the good side, they don't receive penalties either, but that's something that a munchkin can take advantage of, purposefully creating a 4 str character if he plans to use xbows. Most players won't do that, so it's a dubious benefit. Besides, you are forfeiting a potential +4 benefit for a potential -2 penalty. Personally, I think that they should have a +1vs DR to make up for that fact, and also for that they don't have special attacks nor fast or power ones. And I think it's a realistic touch, since they were good at penetrating armor, right? By the way, I still hate manual reloading.
Throwing weapons: Or ranged daggers. They share the same trait, and thus, the same problem. It's there to make up for the lack of damage, but it doesn't give them an edge. The difference is that they have range, which is both a benefit and a curse. It's nice, because you can score a couple of free hits, but the range they have sucks, it's from 4 to 8 at most. Almost all the time you would be shooting with a penalty, since the enemies would close on you very fast. One benefit they have is that they have pilums, which can ignore shields, but that's all. I think they should have the 5% bonus I suggested for daggers, plus a reduced THC penalty.
On dodge and ranged weapons: If you are using a ranged weapon, you lose the passive trait of dodge, that is a chance to counter-attack. This is quite useful, and gives melee a nice bonus. Sure, ranged weapons get free attacks due to range, but they have range penalties, especially close range penalties, and they have to move back to avoid them, getting AoO. So I had this idea: Give the passive trait bonus to dodge when being AoO'd when using a ranged weapon. For example, you have dodge 150, so when you are trying to dodge an AoO with a ranged weapon you add the 30% from the passive trait, with your dodge becoming 180. That would allow ranged users to keep their distance more or less safely. There are some potential problems, like exploiting this by having a melee weapon in one hand (especially a spear), and throwing weapon or 1h-xbow in the other and switch to them to gain the bonus. You can add a check that the bonus doesn't apply if you have a melee weapon in your hands to avoid it. Apart from that, I think it's a pretty cool idea, and would give ranged fighters a bonus for their dodge skill and an edge when keeping their distance.
On Whirlwind and special attacks: Whirlwind, in my opinion, is useless. Being a lone fighter, the best tactic is to take out each of them the fastest way possible. Let's say you are facing 3 opponents that have 30HP points each, and you have the chance to make 3 10 dmg attacks or one whirlwind that does 10 dmg to each opponent. What is the most intelligent choice? A dead enemy can't attack, but three injured ones can. Basically, you are spreading your damage when the most intelligent course of action is to focus your damage in one opponent in order to kill him, and in turn, receive less damage in following terms. What's the point of using it, except of looking cool and attack a lot of guys? What can be done to fix it? Personally, I would increase the damage output, changing damage to power, and lowering the AP to +1, and maybe increase the THC penalty to -25. It's powerful? Yes, quite, but it can only be used in some special occasions where you are outnumbered and surrounded. You are pretty fucked there, and a powerful ability is needed to tip the balance a little in your favor. Besides, you'll probably be dead next turn.
Regarding the multishot one, I still haven't tried it, but since it's ranged and you can score several of them before being surrounded (and fucked), it does not need to be more powerful.
Needless to say, I don't agree with everything, but it's a very thoughtful analysis. Some comments:
- I like the fact that he found most weapons useful and that even if a trait wasn't as awesome as he expected/hoped/wanted, there was something else that made this weapon class a good choice.
- Whirlwind with a 2-handed hammer + enemies flying away = advanced crowd control and a beautiful thing to watch.
- Axes are the only melee weapon that can split shields. They don't offer any advantages against enemies without shields, but shields in AoD are "serious business", so I do believe that the extra edge there is well worth the lack of edge against enemies without shields.
- It's true that the daggers' trait is, basically, balanced to make these low damage weapons somewhat useful against heavy armor, otherwise 1-6 damage points weapons would be completely useless against DR 6+ armor.
- We've removed fast and power attacks from crossbows (but it would be very easy to add them back), because a - it doesn't make sense and b - crossbows are the most diverse weapon class: you have a one handed crossbow, double shot, repeater (5 shots without reloading, 10 with upgrades), scope, etc.
- We are still tweaking ranges, so we should probably increase throwing weapons' ranges.
The above mentioned weapons' passive trait grow with your skill. For example, at slvl25 you get a 5% chance to score a special effect associated with this weapon class. At slvl50 10% and so on. The traits are:
daggers - chance to ignore armor
swords - chance to disarm
axes - chance to split shield on a successful block
hammers - chance to knock your opponent(s) down
spears - chance to interrupt your opponents attempt to approach you
bows - increased chance to score a critical
crossbows - chance to knock your opponent(s) down (based on "bows are rifles, xbows are shotguns" design philosophy)
throwing - chance to ignore armor
THC - to hit chance
@ Todd: quests and dialogues are done. You may want to check the "let's play" articles if you haven't seen them yet: