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Misfeatures and things that annoy me


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Posted (edited)

This is for things that don't fit in the other thread because they're not broken... at least, not on a consistency or function level; but that I still think were bad ideas.

 

Weapon poison only applies to the first weapon in the inventory list

This makes poisoned arrows much more annoying to use, since an archer character has to unequip their melee weapons for poison to apply (including from spells).

 

Monsters/NPCs preferentially summon way too much
Most summoning spells (except for Demon and Guardian) just clog the battlefield and eat up turns. I'd like to have monsters preferentially use damage dealing spells, to make battles both more dangerous and over faster.

 

Archery and throwing weapons are useless in terms of damage

Already covered in another thread but yeah. As I said previously, I'd like to make them less cost effective than melee, but actually useful.

Edited by Nephil Thief
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Posted (edited)

Was thinking about making another thread, after people were more interested in missile weapons that I thought, but:

 

I'd also add Lockpicks to that.  Your party will be able to cast Unlock unless it's a weird scenario where they can't.  No point having lockpicks or lockpicking skill.  Even bashing the door works.

 

(Oh...you could stick an anti-magic field on a doorway to stop Unlock spells, and keep refreshing it each turn.  Maybe turn if off once the door is opened?  Bit of mucking around, but doable.  EDIT:  Would that stop piercing crystals?)

 

The way melee weapons work.  If you want to use double handed weapons, you want to use pole weapons.  Double handed edged or bashing are just not worth it  If you want to use single handed weapons, you want to use edged.  If you use single handed edged weapons, you want broadswords (or waveblades if you can get them).  Dual wielding is also the way to go.  That is, dual wielding broadswords (or waveblades if you can get them).

 

Some exceptions to this, might be a good idea to have one (and only one) PC with bashing weapons because you'll find some decent ones you might want to use when you don't have enough good edged weapons for everyone, and before you get the best stuff you'll use what you have.  When you get magic stuff you might want to use a weaker weapon with an ability rather than the most damaging one.  But generally there's one obvious right way to arm PCs, and a lot of weapons are just junk you don't want to use.

 

Also, armour.  Now, I sorta like how armour works, in that a small amount stops a PC from using mage spells, and a large amount will also cost them action points.  So it might not be obvious how much armour you should have.

 

However, and I might be wrong about this, there doesn't seem to be much point having a shield, unless you've already maxed everything else and want more.  As I type this, I realise that I don't know if the amount of encumbrance compared to the amount of protection is the same for shields as other armour.  If not, if you get more protection with less encumbrance, might be worth sacrificing the use of a hand.  Otherwise, you'd increase your other armour and go double handed or dual wield.

 

And there's a few weird spells that seem useless.  Does anyone use Scare, for example?  Detect Life seems cool, and I sometimes consider if you could make a scenario (or at least a part of one) where you are hiding from the monster and you can see it coming to the doorway on your map or something, but as it is I don't use it.

Edited by Thaluikhain
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Bashing the door doesn't work -- you can't open magically locked doors that way.

 

10 Defense skill guarantees an effective reduction of 1 to the value of each piece of equipment's Encumbrance value (individually).  This allows a mage to wear 1 piece of 2-encumbrance armor, and any number of 1-encumbrance pieces, and still cast.

 

IIRC, there are some excellent 0/1-encumbrance shields, and the more encumbering ones never really seemed worth it.

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Even bashing the door works.

 

(Oh...you could stick an anti-magic field on a doorway to stop Unlock spells, and keep refreshing it each turn.  Maybe turn if off once the door is opened?  Bit of mucking around, but doable.  EDIT:  Would that stop piercing crystals?)

 There is a terrain type in BoE for a terrain to be unlockable but not bashable. I'm pretty sure item spells are treated as magic just as much as SP spells regarding antimagic clouds, but I'd have to test it. But that's a good idea, if it'd work. I'll test it...

 

...Ugh. Antimagic clouds don't block the Unlock spell. Also, there's no special node to place antimagic clouds. If you want antimagic clouds on exactly one tile, you need to place a mob either on or next to that tile which radiates antimagic clouds, and use nodes to clear the cloud from undesired tiles. Interestingly though, even if a terrain is type Clear, you still can't enter it if it's locked. Good to know. Also of note is that from bottom to top, where "top" means "most visible layer", graphics go Terrain, Decor (blood, bones, etc.), Items, Fields, Mobs, and PCs. I don't know which Fields take precedent over which others though. But you can hide an antimagic cloud by putting a full-tile mob on top of it.

 

The only statistic you can check for in legacy BoE, also, is Mage Lore. It's annoying. Celtic Minstrel fixed that in OBoE but it doesn't do me any good.

 

Quote

The way melee weapons work.  If you want to use double handed weapons, you want to use pole weapons.  Double handed edged or bashing are just not worth it  If you want to use single handed weapons, you want to use edged.  If you use single handed edged weapons, you want broadswords (or waveblades if you can get them).  Dual wielding is also the way to go.  That is, dual wielding broadswords (or waveblades if you can get them).

 

Some exceptions to this, might be a good idea to have one (and only one) PC with bashing weapons because you'll find some decent ones you might want to use when you don't have enough good edged weapons for everyone, and before you get the best stuff you'll use what you have.  When you get magic stuff you might want to use a weaker weapon with an ability rather than the most damaging one.  But generally there's one obvious right way to arm PCs, and a lot of weapons are just junk you don't want to use.

This is an item balance issue, not an engine balance issue. Hypothetically, edged weapons are the most common. Bashing weapons are common and cheap to buy. Polearms are rare and expensive but very powerful. For a given scenario, the designer can adjust distribution, cost, handedness, and stats to make weapons more balanced. Few if any scenarios adhere to Jeff's prescribed scheme or readjust item stats, but they could. I plan to, if I ever design the epic I've dreamed of for twenty years.

 

Quote

Also, armour.  Now, I sorta like how armour works, in that a small amount stops a PC from using mage spells, and a large amount will also cost them action points.  So it might not be obvious how much armour you should have.

 

However, and I might be wrong about this, there doesn't seem to be much point having a shield, unless you've already maxed everything else and want more.  As I type this, I realise that I don't know if the amount of encumbrance compared to the amount of protection is the same for shields as other armour.  If not, if you get more protection with less encumbrance, might be worth sacrificing the use of a hand.  Otherwise, you'd increase your other armour and go double handed or dual wield.

This is also a scenario balance issue. Jeff's item designs aren't ideal, but a careful redesign could improve it significantly. One thing I want to do is make bucklers Tools instead of Shields. The point of a buckler is you strap it to your arm, allowing you to block without taking up your hand. But shields often have high encumbrance and not enough protection to make them worth it. This could be addressed within a scenario.

 

Quote

And there's a few weird spells that seem useless.  Does anyone use Scare, for example?  Detect Life seems cool, and I sometimes consider if you could make a scenario (or at least a part of one) where you are hiding from the monster and you can see it coming to the doorway on your map or something, but as it is I don't use it.

Few spells are useless, but many are very niche. Part of the fun of Exile is having all sorts of weird spells to experiment with, where few other games have so many and so varied spells.

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1 hour ago, Salt Monolith said:

10 Defense skill guarantees an effective reduction of 1 to the value of each piece of equipment's Encumbrance value (individually).  This allows a mage to wear 1 piece of 2-encumbrance armor, and any number of 1-encumbrance pieces, and still cast.

 

Ah, didn't know they did that individually.

 

49 minutes ago, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

 ...Ugh. Antimagic clouds don't block the Unlock spell. Also, there's no special node to place antimagic clouds.

 

That's not great :(

 

50 minutes ago, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

 This is an item balance issue, not an engine balance issue. Hypothetically, edged weapons are the most common. Bashing weapons are common and cheap to buy. Polearms are rare and expensive but very powerful. For a given scenario, the designer can adjust distribution, cost, handedness, and stats to make weapons more balanced. Few if any scenarios adhere to Jeff's prescribed scheme or readjust item stats, but they could. I plan to, if I ever design the epic I've dreamed of for twenty years.

 

True, but even if you did that, there'd still be a correct way of arming your party.  There's be one best single handed weapon, and one best pole weapon.  You wouldn't, for example, have someone armed with sword and dagger, because one (probably the sword) would be just better and you'd take two of those.  That same weapon would be best for someone with a one handed weapon and shield.

 

57 minutes ago, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

One thing I want to do is make bucklers Tools instead of Shields. The point of a buckler is you strap it to your arm, allowing you to block without taking up your hand.

 

That somehow doesn't seem right to me (you could have a buckler and a shield), but ok, trying something different.

 

Now, if you could have an item that gave worked as both a shield and a one handed weapon (but not as good as a dedicated one of either), then you'd have more choice in how to arm.  But not currently feasible.

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Posted (edited)

You  can assign a Protection value to any equipable item. See the Shield Mace for an example. In legacy BLADBASE.EXE its item type Shield and not a weapon, but that was Jeff's mistake, not the way it's meant to be. And I see nothing physiologically wrong with weilding a shield and a buckler on one arm. It's wierd but it's possible. Also worth noting is there are two Shield item types. You can have a character wield two shields and no weapons that way, but you have to have a specifically-offhand shield and a regular shield to do so.

 

Also, a scenario doesn't have to pile on numerous powerful weapons early on in the game like the Exile Trilogy and most scenarios typically do. That's a design flaw that the engine allows a designer to correct, especially in an epic-sized scenario.

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff
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@Salt Monolith

 

Quote

10 Defense skill guarantees an effective reduction of 1 to the value of each piece of equipment's Encumbrance value (individually).  This allows a mage to wear 1 piece of 2-encumbrance armor, and any number of 1-encumbrance pieces, and still cast.


IME this isn't the case. One piece of 1 or 2 encumbrance armor is okay; two or more piece of armor with 1 or more encumbrance, and you'll start seeing cast failures. IIRC this was confirmed in one of the munchkin skill breakdown threads a while back.

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@Nephil Thief

 

I believe you're referring to this thread, which says it works exactly the way I stated.  Not to quote myself from 11 years ago or anything...

 

If something else says otherwise, I'm happy to be corrected.  I don't think that's the case, though.

 

EDIT: It does look like the encumbrance-reduction check fails to happen for items 17-24, if you somehow manage to have an encumbering item equipped in one of those last 8 slots, which is not usually going to happen.

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1 hour ago, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

You  can assign a Protection value to any equipable item. See the Shield Mace for an example. In legacy BLADBASE.EXE its item type Shield and not a weapon, but that was Jeff's mistake, not the way it's meant to be.

 

Ah, didn't know that, I always thought it was intended that way, for the mechanics to have it as a shield, but using mace graphics and called a mace to make it seem unusual, and that the Protection value only was relevant to armour and ignored for everything else.  Being able to give Protection values means it wouldn't be hard to give more flexible options.   Or, maybe even weapons with encumbrance, but not sure if that's a great idea.

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Posted (edited)

It's also worth considering that some people play no-mage parties, either by preference or as a challenge. Lockpicking and Poison skills are valuable in such parties. It may be that they're not meant to be superior to spells. IIRC Jeff suggested in documentation somewhere that nothing essential should be placed behind a magically locked door.

 

And here's a couple I DMed to Motardo, hoping he can fix them:


 

Quote

 

1. Make 100% actually 100%. I don't think this would be detrimental to any scenario, as any designer who actually wanted a 95% chance would have entered 95%. I don't know if this is actually possible but I figured I'd ask.

 

2. Make Conceal Item Ability actually conceal item abilities. Anyone who actually didn't want their item ability concealed would not have checked the conceal ability LED.

 

 

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff
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"any designer who actually wanted a 95% chance would have entered 95%"

 

You can't know this.  If the designer knew 100% would process as 95%, they might want 95% but enter 100% out of habit anyway, knowing it would be the same.

 

I can understand wanting to make this change for a new version of the game, but this is exactly the kind of thing that affects legacy balance (if only slightly) and there's no reason to change it.

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There's plenty of reason to change it. If you want to guarantee something, you can't. That's not good.

 

I guess the thing to figure out is whether any scenarios actually DID rely on 100% being actually 95%, and I would think the bug would almost certainly be far more often accidental than intentional. I guess for potential compatibilty's sake it should be left as-is though. Analyzing every scenario, or even every major scenario, would be problematic and difficult.

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Posted (edited)

Basically, any time there's a dice roll for % chance, whether in combat, during an Affect PC node (to raise a PC's stats or whatever), making a mob drop a particular item when killed, etc., it's capped at 95%, even if you tell the scenario editor to make it 100%. You can't guarantee a boss will drop a key artifact, or have an NPC train a particular stat. The party might fork over their money and not get the skill increase they paid for, and there's no way for the scenario designer to tell when that happens.

Edited by The Almighty Doer of Stuff
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I don't think this bug exists as you're remembering it.  I think what you're talking about is the fact that a lot of rolls that were intended to be percentile are instead made out of 101 -- as a number between 0 and 100 is rolled.  Per Lilith, 9 years ago:

  

On 3/31/2012 at 6:39 PM, Lilith said:
As I recall, the not-100%-drop-chance thing is an off-by-one bug. If you set the drop chance to 101, it really will be 100%. It might have been fixed in the latest open-source version anyway; I'm not sure.

 

Per more googling, it indeed looks like this was treated as an outright bug and CM fixed it over a decade ago.

 

Where are you getting 95% from?

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I don't know where you got 95% from, but I do remember noticing that a lot of percentile rolls end up being out of 101 instead of 100 – it generates a random number from 0 to 100, inclusive, and it probably matches if the random number is less than the reference value… so if you try to set a 100% change, there's a 1 in 101 chance that it will roll a 100 and fail. That means 100 is actually a 99% chance, not 95%.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/12/2021 at 1:29 PM, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

The point of a buckler is you strap it to your arm, allowing you to block without taking up your hand. But shields often have high encumbrance and not enough protection to make them worth it. This could be addressed within a scenario.

 

No, a buckler is held in the fist - it is meant as a mobile defense. There is no point in strapping such a small shield to your arm - if you want a passive defence, wear a vambrace (forearm guard).

 

Edited by Fireball Fodder
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Oh, so it is. I don't remember where I heard that. Maybe I didn't hear it at all, or misheard it. But I just looked it up; it was often used as a bashing weapon, being small and held in the fist. The weilder would use it as a small shield, or to strengthen a punch. Either way, as a regular shield in BoE, it seems like it could be better utilized.

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Further reading indicates that a buckler, by definition, must be held in a fist grip. A targe may be strapped to the forearm, however. It's larger than a buckler, typically large enough to cover the elbow and knuckles. Smaller than that provides dangerously inadequate coverage to be used as a shield, and larger than that is unwieldy and encumbering for such a purpose and must be held in the hand.

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On 5/18/2021 at 5:08 PM, The Almighty Doer of Stuff said:

Either way, as a regular shield in BoE, it seems like it could be better utilized.

 

Perhaps bucklers could provide very little direct protection, but instead reduce an attacker's "to hit" chance in melee, with the penalty being tied to the user's Defense skill (simulates "active" defense). I have no idea how practical or useful this would be, though.

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