Author Topic: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc  (Read 980 times)

Cerelum

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Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« on: March 28, 2019, 12:22:02 AM »
Without getting into coded intricacies, and getting this thread thrown into moderation.

Is it normal for combat skills to advance SUPER god damn slowly?

It's the one thing I've never been able to do in all my characters is to get myself out of novice or apprentice levels of it.

Where I've mastered crafts, psionics, magick spells and all sorts of other things, combat seems to never move for me.

from reading help faq_9, it states that you learn from failure.  And trust me I fail to hit things and fight a lot, but it doesn't seem to move.  I just want to make sure I'm not doing something wrong or if it's just by design that way to be extremely slow.
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Bushranger

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 01:17:42 AM »
Slowest of the slow skills. You will regularly think that something is broken, that you're doing something wrong, that staff have flagged something on your character so that weapon skills will not advance or that you misread the help file for your class and novice or apprentice is the maximum for your weapon skills.

At least this is my experience.
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Eyeball

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 01:39:24 AM »
Is it normal for combat skills to advance SUPER god damn slowly?

We've been officially told that this grows more applicable the further the character is away from being "heavy combat" on the combat axis. I wonder whether a heavy mercantile character might ever budge at all, even with Byn-style training.

mansa

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 07:54:15 AM »
Is it normal for combat skills to advance SUPER god damn slowly?

Yes.

Weapon skills has addition checks to see the skill level of the opponents.  If the opponent is skillful, you learn quicker.

This is to reduce getting "master" of fighting rats and other low skill opponents.
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Riev

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 09:26:34 AM »
Combat skills are also, as far as I've ever noticed, the one set of skills that aren't "1 fail = 1 skill up".

So where as for crafting, you fail to sharpen that dagger correctly, and you get insight into doing it better
When fighting, a single miss doesn't give you the insight you need in how to swing that sword better. You need to miss half a dozen times before you figure out you're holding it by the blade-end.

And as already posted, you can't really get yourself to "master" levels by fighting sickly children and old people. You need to find someone better than you, who can kill you easily, and hope they don't decide to kill you.
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Feco

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 12:43:39 PM »
I think it's worth mentioning that PCs feel like combat heavyweights well before these skills reach Master level.
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th3kaiser

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2019, 01:56:12 PM »
I'd totally agree, Feco. I've killed plenty of people outside with journeyman combat skills.

Also, I think we were all happier with our weapon skills when we couldn't see the levels. Before it was, I'm pretty great at fighting! Now it's, I'm not maxxed!

Alesan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2019, 03:00:18 PM »
I don't really agree with putting everyone who isn't happy with seeing their weapon skills seemly stuck at novice-apprentice into the "But I'm not Master" category. Please don't do that. Not everyone thinks that way, and it's insulting when it's implied that they do.

Cerelum

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2019, 03:09:16 PM »
I don't really agree with putting everyone who isn't happy with seeing their weapon skills seemly stuck at novice-apprentice into the "But I'm not Master" category. Please don't do that. Not everyone thinks that way, and it's insulting when it's implied that they do.

Itís not that serious, donít be insulted by things that donít matter.

If they are right that itís risk versus skill gain chance then if all you do is fight easy critters all day, you probably will never get better.

I know that even though my skills have never gone high, Iíve had some rangers that could kill some tough critters with my apprentice whatever, so I guess it depends on how much you challenge yourself.

Now everyone go right mekillots to work your way towards master in combat skills lol
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Greve

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2019, 03:11:59 PM »
There's a few big differences between then and now, though:

1) A couple of the new classes branch very important skills from weaponskills. In the past, only warriors branched anything and they weren't class-defining skills. The old special weaponskills were nearly impossible to make use of, it was more of a badass badge than an actual improvement. So few characters were able to raise the branched weaponskills to meaningful levels.

2) Back then there was a number of well-known tricks and a variety of dodgy NPC enemies you could fight to raise weaponskills beyond where they get stuck from ordinary everyday use. Stilt lizards, halflings, fighting drunk/encumbered, etc. Almost all of these tricks and NPCs have been removed or nerfed, or rendered invalid by the new offense vs. defense checks.

3) Mainguild magickers existed as a kind of wildcard option for coded power that wasn't tied to combat skills, so if you wanted to play an antagonist but didn't want to grind out slashing or backstab or whatever, you could go mage. The new magick subclasses depend much more on combat skills and don't have the same kind of spell arsenal.

4) There was a much harder line between combat and non-combat with the old guilds, and more skill monopoly. Getting stuck at jman weapons as a warrior, ranger or assassin didn't feel so bad because you had so many other skills that were more or less unique to your guild. Now there's so much overlap that if you're stuck at jman with a heavy combat class, you have to wonder if you weren't better off playing a light combat or mixed instead because they can get most of the same skills plus a whole lot more.

It's just an irritating situation where we have three classes that can master weaponskills but you're barely allowed to do so because caring about them has become synonymous with being a horrible twink who doesn't know what roleplay is. Now it's largely down to the totally arbitrary nature of whether or not you're clanned with some long-lived fighter who can dodge your attacks, or know one of the few remaining and highly controversial alternatives to that. For most characters, there just isn't anything that can be done to raise weaponskills past the level that can be achieved even by the classes at the very bottom of the combat spectrum, which feels bad.

You don't need master weaponskills to be good at fighting, but the plateau point is so low that it's just silly. Journeyman is one level above what the heavy combat classes start with, yet that's about as high as you can get without doing absurd things that staff with scoff at, or being lucky enough to know one of the very, very few characters who have high defense and will spar regularly. This means that some players get to max their weapon skills through either borderline cheating or the totally arbitrary nature of knowing some legacy fighter, and everyone else has to accept that their weapon skills are forever stuck at a level barely higher than what they started with. It's a broken, misdesigned system from the mid-90s.

Quote
If they are right that itís risk versus skill gain chance then if all you do is fight easy critters all day, you probably will never get better.

Now everyone go right mekillots to work your way towards master in combat skills lol

The problem is that that's not the case. It isn't risk vs. reward, it's just largely OOC factors: do you know what obscure, exotic creature happens to still have high defense these days, or do you have a buddy with a 50d+ combat char who's willing to let you swing at him on a daily basis? If yes, you get to be a combat god. If no, you get stuck at the halfway point. There's rarely any actual risk to it. Notoriously, some of the most effective things to train against have been completely harmless critters that just happen to have high agility/defense because that's what some builder gave them however many years ago. Most of the things that are actually dangerous won't dodge your attacks if you're anywhere north of 10 days played. In fact, the most dangerous things in Zalanthas are almost universally crap at dodging and therefore won't count as a "risk."

A mekillot is useless for training because its coded defenses come from armor, not the ability to dodge, but dodging is the only thing that helps. This means that tons of immensely dangerous things are, in the eyes of the code, totally trivial fights when it comes to whether or not your character learns from the experience. If a canyon squirrel can dodge you but a bahamet cannot, the code considers the squirrel a worthy opponent and the bahamet a pushover. It's total nonsense and something that has needed to be changed since the big defense nerf of 2006 or whenever it was.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 03:26:57 PM by Greve »

Namino

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2019, 03:32:19 PM »
Quote
If they are right that itís risk versus skill gain chance then if all you do is fight easy critters all day, you probably will never get better.

Now everyone go right mekillots to work your way towards master in combat skills lol

The problem is that that's not the case. It isn't risk vs. reward, it's just largely OOC factors: do you know what obscure, exotic creature happens to still have high defense these days, or do you have a buddy with a 50d+ combat char who's willing to let you swing at him on a daily basis? If yes, you get to be a combat god. If no, you get stuck at the halfway point. There's rarely any actual risk to it. Notoriously, some of the most effective things to train against have been completely harmless critters that just happen to have high agility/defense because that's what some builder gave them however many years ago. Most of the things that are actually dangerous won't dodge your attacks if you're anywhere north of 10 days played.

A mekillot is useless for training because its coded defenses come from armor, not the ability to dodge, but dodging is the only thing that helps. This means that tons of immensely dangerous things are, in the eyes of the code, totally trivial fights when it comes to whether or not your character learns from the experience. If a canyon squirrel can dodge you but a bahamet cannot, the code considers the squirrel a worthy opponent and not the bahamet. It's total nonsense and something that has needed to be changed since the big defense nerf of 2006 or whenever it was.

I feel like we've had this conversation (we as a community, I mean) about five times in the last two months. A brief summary of the various points and resulting stances taken re those other topics:

Weapon skills and offense/defense are much slower to increase than other skills as has been pointed out by Riev above. This is intentional as designed, as there is no other reason it takes more fails for a weapon than for a craft. That was an intentional design decision and makes sense -- you can fail a weaponskill 10 times much more quickly than a craft skill.

Weapon skills and offense/defense also tend to asymptote far below master when used in an organic fashion. As Greve has summarized, there are inorganic ways to punch through this ceiling that are largely determined by one's meta-game knowledge. But unlike the common wisdom of most game design, this is not centered around increasing challenges opening access to increasing strength, rather around nebulous code tricks that circumvent the parameters that usually stymie skill growth. Personally, I believe that both the causes of this asymptotic skill curve as well as the means by which to avoid it are emergent properties that were never adequately anticipated during the design phase.

The official staff line from Brokkr when this was last brought up a week or two ago, is that the inability to reach high levels of offensive/defensive skill is a happy accident, as the current design of the game cannot tolerate highly skilled player characters in this regard.

So, in summary: Weapon skills do increase slower. I argue that aspects of this are intentional, and aspects of this are not. Player characters are not intended to become very strong in Armageddon, so the fact that these skills stall out well below their potential is a positive development in the eyes of the Staff. Players with meta knowledge can circumvent this stall however, raising the questions of the validity of this system.

Personally, I think the necessity of a major and thorough overhaul is a painful reality, specifically one that either makes it that player characters achieving high skill levels is both organically achievable and tolerable in the new framework, or else player characters cannot achieve these levels of skill regardless of their meta-wrangling.

This bullet needs biting eventually.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 03:46:52 PM by Namino »

Cerelum

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2019, 03:37:27 PM »
Guys,

Don't get the thread moderated by telling all the secrets of how the skill worked.

I honestly just wasn't aware of the HUGE swing in how skills advance differently.

I've had Mon level magick spells in two days of playing.

I've had master level crafts in a week.

But as I said I've never had higher than apprentice (that I can remember) in two or three week played characters.  But I tend to play hunters, not PK'ers, so maybe that level of skill is only gainable by being a killer.
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th3kaiser

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2019, 04:26:01 PM »
Yikes, I was just making a lighthearted comment. In any case, I really have no issues with the rate of weapon skill gain. Seems better than it used to be, at least in my experience. But I'm also an outlier who doesn't ever spar or join clans, so I imagine your mileage may vary.

Brytta Lťofa

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2019, 05:36:35 PM »
As a point of reference: I've had a heavy combat-class character in the Byn reach journeyman in his preferred weapon style (weapon skill and wield type) by 5 days played. Mind you, a lot of that time is sparring with skilled PCs, and those skills started at apprentice.

I think if you don't reach journeyman in <reasonable number of days> played, you might be doing something "wrong." And I assume that by the time you hit advanced you're just wrecking face and the question is sorta academic.
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Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2019, 11:44:06 PM »
My problem with the change isn't the soft cap. Lets face it for most people even with the old system journeyman was where you were getting stuck in regardless. There were only a few people with the patience, luck and longevity to grind towards branching weapons, and its not like it didn't keep them from dying eventually.

My problem is how this soft cap has been implemented.

Training with newbies with now moot, mostly an act of charity.
Training with regular critters will quickly become moot.
No point in hoping for those lucky misses or lucky hits, that won't help unless its a 'risk' (good luck with that)
With class changes and this soft cap have become even more important because skills don't always help you overcome bad strength or terrible agility
Best way to train is in clans, besides additional hidden training benefits, staff may throw events that pit you against mobs that will train you.

I get it, people wanted clans to be worth while, but to do so by  making other training activities outside clans eventually become completely futile is beyond me. I must be the only one with RL commitments and demands that make it so logging into a clan routine is perhaps not the best way to spend the couple of hours that I have to relax.

The combat grind was never fun but it was something to do, it was just training with the potential to get better, you almost never did anyways, however it helped pass time before some interesting RP came along.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2019, 11:48:39 PM by Dresan »
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Eyeball

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2019, 02:56:08 AM »
Player characters are not intended to become very strong in Armageddon

I'd like to point out how this was never the original intent of the game, or even into the 2000's. It's a recent policy that has seen sorcerers, elementalists, and now fighters all reduced in potency. The question is, why? Is it to take away danger and challengers to sponsored roles and make sure commoners all remain prey?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 03:10:32 AM by Eyeball »

Eyeball

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2019, 03:01:26 AM »
As a point of reference: I've had a heavy combat-class character in the Byn reach journeyman in his preferred weapon style (weapon skill and wield type) by 5 days played. Mind you, a lot of that time is sparring with skilled PCs, and those skills started at apprentice.

I think if you don't reach journeyman in <reasonable number of days> played, you might be doing something "wrong." And I assume that by the time you hit advanced you're just wrecking face and the question is sorta academic.

You just answered yourself here, effectively. Your character advanced because he happens to have a windfall in sparring partners. Other people aren't doing anything wrong, they just don't have that resource available and the game doesn't provide any reasonable alternative now.

And how would you feel about that clan if those sparring partners weren't there? Every day you're required to drag your ass into the sparring hall, spar, spar, spar, but knowing the net effect is nothing?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 03:05:05 AM by Eyeball »

Namino

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2019, 03:22:08 AM »
Player characters are not intended to become very strong in Armageddon

I'd like to point out how this was never the original intent of the game, or even into the 2000's. It's a recent policy that has seen sorcerers, elementalists, and now fighters all reduced in potency. The question is, why? Is it to take away danger and challengers to sponsored roles and make sure commoners all remain prey?

You'll not hear arguments from me. Personally I think the current implementation of this mechanic is amongst the most poorly conceived in any game I've played in recent memory.

None of this changes the fact that the staff have expressed positive opinions of the hamstringing of skill progression as beneficial for the game.

Until this view amongst the producers changes, this whole argument is fruitless. They're not going to 'solve' something that is not a problem in their previously expressed view.

Cerelum

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2019, 07:15:28 AM »
I have never to my knowledge gotten much higher than X critter killer strength.

But again I play mostly outdoor characters because I find the city boring and the crime code to be too rigid.

One thing I did notice was that animals seem to have a layered progression to them and if you really search you can find something thatís challenging but not instant death.

However I did take like a two year break to the game so who knows if my experience is still valid. The problem I ran into with critters was a logistical one though, after so long they get crazy poisons to which cures are hard to come by, they somehow become experts at disarm and bashing etc.

Itís my hope that to advance you donít have to be a pk powerhouse and spend seven years in the byn but from what you guys are saying even that doesnít seem to work.
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Riev

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2019, 10:54:37 AM »
Its not that it 'doesn't work' or anything. You don't need to specifically be a 'PK Powerhouse' either. Some people play an Enforcer to see those high weapon skills, but they plateau after about 5-10 days played (which to me, is the average lifespan of a really interesting character).

So why pick a "heavy" combat class, if you're not going to be able to take advantage of the skills they offer? Why not just play a Light Combat class, who gets their weapon skills to the same level?

End all be all is, this is the intended way the game was designed. You have to miss more for any combat skills (heck, even kick and bash take forever) than you do for a skill that does not end with the injury of a PC. The issue with your 2 year break is that during that time, critters and techniques got 'stealth-nerfed' so you have to find skills PCs to train off of. This is fine, IF those PCs exist for you. If they do not, or you aren't allowed access to them, it feels like a boner-killer.
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Brokkr

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2019, 11:46:50 AM »
What are your goals, specifically?
What is the timeframe to accomplish those goals?

Greve

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2019, 12:00:09 PM »
I don't think you need to have specific goals to qualify for skill progress. No such criterion is ever asked of other skill categories. People can freely max out steal, spell suites, lockpicking, backstab, crafting and so on without needing to argue their case for it. It's specifically weapon skills and a few associated skills that have this mysterious stigma about them. I'm not even convinced that it's some deliberate measure to regulate the power of PCs, because if that were the case, the same difficulty would have been made to apply to backstab, archery, fireball, poisoning, etc. I think we're just working with a system that was designed in like 1995 by some teenager and now it's being justified retrospectively as if these issues were always deliberate.

It's not about timeframe at all. Combat skills go up at a perfectly satisfactory rate if you can miss. The problem is that you suddenly stop missing, and unless you have access to (or a willingness to go on ridiculous adventures in search of) one of the aforementioned solutions, which most don't, then you stop advancing entirely at that point. If that point came a long ways into the progress curve, that would be one thing. I think it would be perfectly suitable for the last bits of skill to require something unusual and risky. But that's not the case. That hurdle comes so early that it feels dysfunctional.

Seriously, roll up an enforcer and you nearly begin at that point. The hurdle isn't at high advanced, it's at low/mid-journeyman depending a bit on your stats and how much offense your chosen class begins with. That's the point where almost nothing will dodge your attacks anymore and you either have to have OOC knowledge of some obscure creature in a far-flung corner of the world that can dodge better than the rest of the world's fauna, or a high-defense PC who's willing to spar. The latter is often just absent in any given clan.

Riev

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2019, 12:10:20 PM »
What are your goals, specifically?
What is the timeframe to accomplish those goals?

To hone the skills my character is naturally talented at, and possibly make a name for themselves (or at least massive coin) from such prowess. This is difficult to do as a fighter, as it takes 10 IC years to 'git gud', but a crafter can be carving out custom horror shell engravings on day 3.

The timeframe is a red herring.
Your idea of acceptable timeframe isn't my idea of acceptable timeframe.
You measure timeframes in RL time played, with less weight on in-game time spent roleplaying.
My idea of timeframe is in time/effort spent playing the role. Interesting is measured in Risks Taken, but advancement is awarded to the risk-averse.

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mansa

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2019, 12:17:48 PM »
Maybe we shouldn't be comparing to a timeframe but to a proficiency against select combat scenarios.

Player vs Rat
Player vs Beggar
Player vs NPC soldier
Player vs Drive Beetle
Player vs Gith
Player vs Gith Captain
Player vs Iggy
Player vs Mekillot

Who are we trying to kill with combat?
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Cerelum

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2019, 12:24:28 PM »
Maybe we shouldn't be comparing to a timeframe but to a proficiency against select combat scenarios.

Player vs Rat
Player vs Beggar
Player vs NPC soldier
Player vs Drive Beetle
Player vs Gith
Player vs Gith Captain
Player vs Iggy
Player vs Mekillot

Who are we trying to kill with combat?

I sorta do my outside characters like this with critters, start with chalton, then move to x, y, z.

But from what Iím hearing here, that doesnít work any longer.
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th3kaiser

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2019, 12:33:52 PM »
Still works.

Namino

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2019, 12:33:59 PM »
What are your goals, specifically?
What is the timeframe to accomplish those goals?

Firstly, thank you for asking. I apologize for what is going to be a long post but I think it's important I clarify why this topic is one I frequently participate in.

My goals are supportive of Greve's, but they are not in character.I am not in the process of skilling up a combat character, nor do I see myself undergoing that trek for the nth time in the future.

Rather, my goals are out of character. I would like to see a redesign or reconfiguration of the skill gain mechanic in Armageddon to one that is more supportive of the basic tenets of game design. I believe that a strong, focused effort in this regard will be beneficial for the health of the game, and satisfy the needs of a segment of the online game playerbase currently desperately under served by Armageddon (particularly Achievers in the Bartle's taxonomy).

Achievers as a taxonomic group are interested in one primary goal -- the accumulation of strength/power for the sake of seeing how far and how quickly they can go. This is akin to mountain-climbers or marathon runners or power lifters, who are constantly seeking new challenges just to see if they can overcome them and punch through to the next challenge. In video games, these are the people who grind to maximum gear-score and levels, fight the optional bosses in JRPGs, and collect all the optional stars in Mario games. In Armageddon, these are the people who want to see a list flushed with <master> when they type skill.

I'll start with the easier of the two questions.

What is the timeframe [sic]?

I argue the timeframe is irrelevant. It could be significantly longer -- even an order of magnitude longer than it is now -- as long as the process of achieving high levels of strength was engaging, fun, and no longer stigmatized by policy. My argument is not, nor has it been, that it takes too long to skill up in Armageddon. Rather, my argument is that the process by which skilling up occurs results in two outcomes -- either the abandonment of the desire to achieve a la stopping at journeyman, or the continued drive to achieve at the cost of what is fun or reasonable in character behavior -- a la grinding on turaals or getting drunk before sparring, or going into the gortok den.

Since my motivations are not for any in character skill of my own but rather a system that the game will benefit from, I'll answer this

What are your goals, specifically?

from this perspective: what aspects should a balanced combat progression system have?

Aspect 1) The process of progression should be smooth and obvious. At no point during the process of skilling up should players be stymied by a lack of appropriate challenges to their skill. Smoothness, in this case, does not imply linearity. Advanced levels of skill can take many times longer to improve than at novice (consider the rate of increase as logarithmic of 1/nth exponential). However, at no point should a player feel discouraged that hours of effort could be wasted if their target does not dodge. Progression should slow, not stall. The degree it slows is up to the designer's judgement as to how long they want the climb to be, but a stall is associated with a general feeling of stagnation where players no longer feel encouraged to even bother trying. Achievers don't like putting effort in if their effort isn't rewarded.

Aspect 2) The process of progression should be tied to increasing challenge, and danger. In most conventional wisdom of game design, a level 50 enemy is significantly more dangerous than a level 1 enemy. Consequently, a level 50 enemy provides more experience than a level 1 enemy -- more than 50 times, in fact. While the amount of experience to go to the next level increases exponentially, the amount of experience increasing challenge provides also increases exponentially (albeit to a lower power). The ability to tackle greater challenges increases as skill improves, and the incentive to tackle these challenges is also provided due to their inherent value. The former is currently true in Armageddon -- it is far easier to kill a mekillot with master skills than with journeyman. However, the latter is really where the system falls down for Armageddon, as there is no incentive to fight mekillots, as they do not provide any more 'experience' (in Armageddon's case, dodges) than a level 5 turaal. Significantly less, in fact.

To summarize, there's two goals of a system that replaces the current one:
1] There is always a target suitable for continued progress.
2] The target that is suitable for your current progress feels equal parts challenging, dangerous, and rewarding

The issue that follows is how do we accomplish this in Armageddon? The process will not be easy. It will require a lot of formulaic approaches and iterative simulations of the consequences of those formulas. When Armageddon was designed, the designers likely didn't have the means by which to simulate or formulate, and therefore didn't anticipate this problem. There is also concern that very highly skilled player characters may prove to be too powerful, which can only be solved by assessing the capabilities of in game threats so that no one ever achieves the threshold of 'immortality'. This also will require quite a bit of simulation and forward thinking.

But today, there are members of this community who do have this aptitude, who would be more than willing to assist in improving the engagement of this game mechanic, if only it were acknowledged to be the problem that it is.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 12:36:23 PM by Namino »

Delirium

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2019, 12:47:33 PM »
I have a lot of thoughts reading this thread and I'm going to try to sum them up.

1) Sparring is never a waste, and if you're selfish enough that you don't want to train newbies to the point where they can help you, you're your own worst enemy here. Work up your defense while you can't get offense gains. Defense is still important.

2) For that matter, you're all getting so fixed on offense you're forgetting about defense. If you want to reach the point where you can start taking on challenges that will raise your offense, you might need to spend a while working on defense. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

3) While I wish the combat code were less obscure, we're already talking in far more detail about it than would have been permitted a decade ago.

4) If what you're doing isn't working, experiment and find a way that works. I promise you that you can raise combat skills without having to act stupidly (lying down while fighting, etc). You just have to train deliberately and intelligently.  I am speaking from experience here.

5) In other words, while the skill-only-on-fail system is absurd and flawed, it isn't completely broken. You're all starting to make mountains out of molehills. There is no need to fixate so heavily on weapon skills alone or to claim weapon skills are impossible to raise. Yes, they go up absurdly slowly, and I wish sometimes that weren't the case, but a) it makes a truly skilled fighter rare and special, and b) it gives you something to keep striving for throughout your PC's career.

6) Once you have "master" in your weapon skill list, what then? What are you really aiming for? Learn to love the journey. Learn to focus on telling your story, the story of a character, and yes, I'm going to say it, worry less about being the ultimate badass -- after all the achievement means nothing without the progression, the struggle, and sometimes outright difficulty of the journey.
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Namino

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #28 on: March 29, 2019, 12:57:47 PM »
I'll also add as an addendum that I think a lot of what goes on in these threads boils down to certain sections of the Bartle's taxonomy that are currently well served by Armageddon casting aspersions onto portions of the taxonomy that are not currently well served.

Basically if you're sitting here:



You might struggle to understand the needs to people sitting here:



Currently socializers are very well served by Armageddon. I argue that moving towards a game that well serves all sections of the roleplaying community, including achievers, will increase player numbers.

The alternative is to disregard a full quarter of the gaming population. If we're really going to stick our noses up like that, I don't wanna hear people complaining about low player numbers in the future.

Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2019, 01:17:28 PM »
What are your goals, specifically?
What is the timeframe to accomplish those goals?

For me there is no goal per se. I am okay with never reaching a cap or being able to one shot mekillots let alone stand toe to toe with them. Frankly if you can get to luirs and redstorm alive you are in a good spot. One of the good things of class changes is the they made this possible quicker, allowing for more potential for rp right out of the box.

After that point the combat grind was something worthwhile to do, if you wanted.  If you got hit then your defense wasn't as good as you thought. If you ever missed neither was your offense. Again this was just one thing to do in the game and who knows maybe in 2 years there would be a competition and you'd see if all that slow boring grind made you the best. There were no illusion this would ever save your life, at best maybe prolong it slight or make people need to plan a bit more. Right now without finding those rare special conditons its just something else you can't do in the game.

Not to de-rail but on a side note there is something seriously off with overall melee combat in this game. There are so many to-hit bonuses on top of offense it seems that sometimes typing kill is better than backstab or sap. Unless you are ganging up 3 v1 or attacking an unarmed person direct combat should be a much lengthier afair when there isn't a huge discrepancy in skills. Its probably another thread but it is probably something that should be looked at when trying to determine what should be considered 'good' in the future
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Riev

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #30 on: March 29, 2019, 01:18:04 PM »
6) Once you have "master" in your weapon skill list, what then? What are you really aiming for? Learn to love the journey. Learn to focus on telling your story, the story of a character, and yes, I'm going to say it, worry less about being the ultimate badass -- after all the achievement means nothing without the progression, the struggle, and sometimes outright difficulty of the journey.

Don't think this is a personal attack, but I see this a lot.

Please don't tell me how to play. I enjoy the "getting there" as much as anyone, but as has been said before, the combat grind often ends with either abandonment, or doing ridiculous things to get skill gains.

Maybe it takes "being intelligent". Maybe you have the secret key to this. Maybe everyone who is complaining will never understand the 'secret' or play the game you do.

You don't get to tell us that we're playing wrong, because we're playing with goals.
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Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #31 on: March 29, 2019, 01:25:00 PM »
Delirium in regard to some of your point, it is how the old code worked. My understanding is even if a well stated newbie can hit you there will be no beefit to you due to off-def skill discrepency.

Also combat grind was something additional to do in between rp. It might not be your thing but why deny this from others especially those who have a harder time finding the special conditions now needed to improve.
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Delirium

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2019, 01:33:11 PM »
I really don't think you all understand that I am one of the achievers and I love the combat code.

Bar sitting is literally something I hate doing and have to force myself into.

Dresan, maybe that's right and I'm operating off of old knowledge. I'm not trying to be elitist here. Exactly the opposite. I'm saying all of you could get there, I don't believe I am some sort of outlier here. I trained multiple people very effectively on a PC of mine not so long ago.

No, I'm not going to flat-out outline how for three reasons, 1) because figuring it out is extremely possible and part of the challenge, 2) because I'd probably get in trouble and I don't really want to go that in-depth on the GDB, 3) maybe it is harder now, but honestly I'm skeptical that it is.

I think it just relies more on having PCs around you that are a) willing to work with your PC, and b) whose players understand the code.

Whether that's a good thing or not I can't judge, but the alternative seems to be to permit PCs to rocket to mastery solo, which is its own can of worms. Same reason it was always such a problem when old-style elementalist PCs would hide in a cave for 5 days and come out wrecking face.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 01:35:01 PM by Delirium »
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Delirium

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2019, 01:40:29 PM »
Also, one more thing. If you have the skill? Use the teach command.

Give someone a 5-10 minute lesson? Teach. Point out something that the other PC could do better RP-wise? Teach.

Teach in conjunction with sparring is extremely powerful and it will help your struggling newbies get gud fast.
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Greve

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2019, 01:43:50 PM »
I would also like to address the goal itself and the traditional stigma associoated with it.

For better or worse, Armageddon has always had a certain culture where players who care about combat skills are looked down on, probably in part because of the fear that they want to use those skills to PK indiscriminately. Caring about combat skills has somehow become synonymous with being a bad roleplayer, and people will constantaly humblebrag about how much they don't care/know about coded power. You will get ten times as many bad account notes and stern animations from being unruly with the combat code as you would from wantonly robbing every apartment in town or shitting all over the economy by conjuring tens of thousands of 'sid with a questionable cloth-selling script.

And yet at the same time, the majority of gameplay revolves around it. All new players are nudged toward the Byn. Numerous clans are devoted fighting, training, becoming warriors. Others revolve around offering the best equipment to warriors. The game's mantra is "Murder, Corruption, Betrayal." If you're a good player, you might be awarded karma which mostly is used to regulate access to more powerful character options. You play nice and you get to be more powerful; yet a large part of playing nice is to signal a lack of interest in power.

This is not a MUSH. So much of this game's content is centered around combat and conflict that it makes no sense to even ask for the goal of advancing these things. Almost all the game's legends are about how powerful this or that person was, whether that be a Nilazi demon vampire or a particularly famous Byn captain. Or about wars that were fought over control of an area. Or about a really cool murder in broad daylight. This is not a game where it makes sense to be judgmental about the pursuit of power. You'll win praise for working day and night to achieve the political power to order someone killed on a whim, but if you want to be the one who does that killing, half the community is prepared to label you an enemy of the game.

Time and time again, when these issues with the code are brought up, the discussion is filled with thinly-veiled derision toward "achievers." Achieving is not just about jerking off to a skill sheet that's got a lot of <master> on it. We're not trying to break the game. We're pointing out problems with the code that are so obvious that it's difficult to take it seriously when someone defends the way it currently works. Issues like progress being gated exclusively behind dodges, for instance. We're to believe that progress is measured by the risk of a fight, yet we all know that the code utterly fails to honor this. And then when we points this out, we're asked "well, what is your goal in raising those skills?" It's honestly insulting.

Namino

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2019, 01:45:45 PM »
permit PCs to rocket to mastery solo

This is possible still and one of my major issues because it doesn't correlate with risk or challenge, as outlined in ny larger post above.

Greve knows how to spar effectively for training. As do I. As does Riev. As does 95% of the playerbase supposedly based on the number of times I've rolled into a clan and had someone talk to me like I was 5 years old explaining how one of us should be etwo and the other one ep'd.

You'll have to trust that those of us advocating for changes are also extremely well informed in these matters. And we still have identified a major issue.

And teach asymptotes in efficacy astoundingly fast. You can get someone from novice to apprentice in two teach commands (literally, it takes two) but good luck after that. I've gotten teach command failures (ie, I didn't know a degree of skill high enough) trying to impart my master skills onto journeyman students before.

So, yes. We're all speaking from places of high experience here. I wouldn't discount our opinions on account of a lack of awareness of 'mystical techniques.

Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #36 on: March 29, 2019, 01:48:07 PM »
@delirium There is no figuring things out. The staff has been pretty clear on how things have changed already.

As been mentioned in other posted and in yours, one of the main ways is to find some willing to work with you and have them be at your level. Not always easy to do in a game of dwindling numbers, and further made tougher depending on your character's situation. Once that person you worked with dies you are stuck with no way to get better. One less thing to do in the game.

Again. Your thinking fits the old code perfectly. Something i liked. Less so with the changes.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 01:50:01 PM by Dresan »
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Greve

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #37 on: March 29, 2019, 01:52:52 PM »
Also, one more thing. If you have the skill? Use the teach command.

Give someone a 5-10 minute lesson? Teach. Point out something that the other PC could do better RP-wise? Teach.

Teach in conjunction with sparring is extremely powerful and it will help your struggling newbies get gud fast.

And that works great for the skills that are not being discussed here. Doesn't work at all for weapon skills because if two characters have such a gulf in combat skills that one is able to codedly teach the other, they didn't need to do it. They'd be able to spar the normal way. If one guy has advanced slashing and the other has journeyman, teach won't work. If the other has novice slashing, the problem doesn't exist. And in nearly all cases, reality will be that both have journeyman slashing and can't miss eachother, and while they could theoretically spar and gain defense until they can miss, I've been in that situation plenty of times and can attest to the fact that even RL weeks of doing so did not result in either character gaining so much defense that dodging began to happen.

I suspect one of the components of this problem is the fact that your attacks are offense plus weaponskill while dodging is just defense, so the amount of defense that one needs to dodge another's attack is so much higher that only extreme cases qualify. Like if one guy has 30 slashing and 30 offense while the other has 50 defense, the code considers the former's attacks to be superior to the latter's defense. Defensive checks are then bolstered by parry and shield use, but parrying and blocking does not count as a failure for skillgains.

Delirium

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #38 on: March 29, 2019, 01:58:20 PM »
Weapon skills don't work in a vacuum, but ok, I don't think anyone's going to change anyone's mind here. I'll try a top-level combat PC sometime (enforcer, fighter) and then we'll see if I figure out what you're all complaining of.

I have not found teach+sparring together to be redundant. Use both.

Last, if you're so ready to be offended by a PC/Player trying to help yours be effective ("like I'm five years old") then I don't know what to say.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 02:03:02 PM by Delirium »
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Riev

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #39 on: March 29, 2019, 02:00:21 PM »
As an added note: I love teach.

I would vastly... VASTLY enjoy if (master) was hard to reach, so hard that without someone who IS (master) teaching you will take a lot of effort.

But if you're a journeyman with swords, and a swordmaster gives you teaches, it should work. You clearly know which end of the blade to hold, but you need to be taught techniques and combinations that a (master) is more likely to know.

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Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2019, 02:10:54 PM »
The game would also benefit from soen staff approved guildlines for teach as well. The opinions on what is good teach rp differ i feel, with some opinion being slightly excessive and deterring from an otherwise fun rp experience.
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Cerelum

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2019, 03:20:26 PM »
The game would also benefit from soen staff approved guildlines for teach as well. The opinions on what is good teach rp differ i feel, with some opinion being slightly excessive and deterring from an otherwise fun rp experience.

I only have one Karma so Iím definitely not the authority on teaching.

But my view is itís better to ask forgiveness than permission.

Not every teach command needs to have seven hours of emotes and tells attached.

Say itís skinning Iím teaching, Iíll emote out adjusting the body and flavorfully skinning it, then teach skinning homeboy.
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Cerelum

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2019, 03:27:07 PM »
Also in regard to the folks getting defensive about not mastering x and y combat skills due to having to find exotic creatures or 50 day warriors.

Say they changed it to be every fail like a crafting recipe? Now youíre a master slasher or whatever in 4-5 days played.  Then what? Fight all the other master combat guys like itís highlander?  Then the only difference will he stats and race.

The Mul is still gonna kill you 75% of the time.

When I advance my combat abilities itís mostly so an errant bug that rolls in doesnít decapitate me instantly and run down my bug like itís a cheetah when I flee.

But I tend to be more pve than pvp.
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Riev

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #43 on: March 29, 2019, 03:38:05 PM »
Also in regard to the folks getting defensive about not mastering x and y combat skills due to having to find exotic creatures or 50 day warriors.

Say they changed it to be every fail like a crafting recipe? Now you’re a master slasher or whatever in 4-5 days played.  Then what? Fight all the other master combat guys like it’s highlander?  Then the only difference will he stats and race.

The Mul is still gonna kill you 75% of the time.

When I advance my combat abilities it’s mostly so an errant bug that rolls in doesn’t decapitate me instantly and run down my bug like it’s a cheetah when I flee.

But I tend to be more pve than pvp.

The issue isn't "then what". As others have said, if its SUPPOSED to take longer to reach (master) then so be it. We've accepted that. But the methods one has to engage in, to reach that level, border on the often-ridiculous and it only serves to be doing something rather Out of Character.

What I'm trying to say, and I think others as well, is that what is the purpose of high weapon skills, or skills that branch off them, while simultaneously forcing very odd training regimens to get to that level.
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In Dreams

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #44 on: March 29, 2019, 03:51:35 PM »
Not that there isn't a problem with satisfying the "achievers", because they should be happy playing for that aspect when they can be accomodated too, but I do kind of worry what kind of world we'll be left with if we make stuff like that too achievable, even if it's dangerous or whatever.

When I'm roleplaying with someone I enjoy, I already get pretty bothered when I start getting that sense that, "Oh, time's up, I must drop everything and drone through another sparring session with Timmy the uberwarrior again because that's my priority here."

It's really easy to rip the current system and I get that it's old and difficult in a lot of ways, but the tightrope of balance Armageddon has to walk to satisfy the really, really broad spectrum of playstyles for a game like this is extremely difficult. I feel that doesn't get acknowledged nearly enough. There are no easy solutions here, even if it's easy to point out problems.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 04:02:55 PM by In Dreams »

Eyeball

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #45 on: March 29, 2019, 04:06:15 PM »
1) Sparring is never a waste, and if you're selfish enough that you don't want to train newbies to the point where they can help you, you're your own worst enemy here. Work up your defense while you can't get offense gains. Defense is still important.

I don't even know where to start with this. Listen to what you're saying. You're being selfish if you don't grind hard enough in the most repetitive way to lift half the playerbase over time in hopes that one will live long enough to start giving you a challenge? Wouldn't it be better to just fix the combat system?

But if you can still improve at defense when newbie Amos gets his inevitable crit to your head, I'm not so dissatisfied. My impression was that improvements to defense are gated in the same way as offense.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 04:14:37 PM by Eyeball »

Delirium

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #46 on: March 29, 2019, 04:21:38 PM »
I have never once gotten the impression that fighting lower skill opponents is useless for gaining defense? Like ever?

Not sure where that is coming from. I strongly suspect it is a non-issue.
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Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #47 on: March 29, 2019, 04:23:00 PM »
@in dreams i am  not sure whether a person can learn or not effects that experience. Since you are basically referring to clan schedule. Again maybe those type of clans aren't your cup of tea but whether someone can or can't improve in combat has nothing to do with it.

Lastly, while i can't speak about everyone, some of us aren't talking about making anything too achievable. It never has been, even when people talked about the uber warriors of decades past no one ever mentioned being maxed out, just really high at best. And at the end nothing saved them.

I would like to think people choose to rp with you because its fun and enjoyable, not because there is absolutely nothing else worthwhile for their characters to be doing in the game.
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In Dreams

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #48 on: March 29, 2019, 04:29:42 PM »
Sorry Dresan, it's my fault that I wasn't more clear there!

The point was that with some players of that sort, maybe even just sometimes, their roleplay can sort of revolve around the skillups instead of the skillups revolving around the roleplay. I understand why, because that's some intrinsic drive of their brains that says, "Achieve!" and they cannot resist it, it's what they enjoy and nothing will change that even if they're also spectacular roleplayers, and yes, some of them are. No one's at fault here!

But, if suddenly, superwarriors have to kill mekillots to get to <nachos with hot sauce> skill level, then I kind of dread the day when, IC, I'm hearing people constantly drawing up terrible excuses to hunt mekillots all the time when really, hunting mekillots should be a pretty monumental and frightening task to undertake. For anyone. Not that it never happens of course, or we wouldn't have mekillot bone sword to "chop da mothafuckas" up with. But now there's daily mekillot hunts because they've figured out precisely where and how to do it the easiest and get their skillups from doing it. Instead of having to spar Timmy the uberwarrior, they now have to get up and go to their mekillot hunt at X time of the day every day at this precise location where the mekillots appear, because that's how they get their skillups.

The point is, mekillot hunting aside since that's just an example, wherever that bar gets set, the rest of the non-achiever playerbase is going to be here for that ride the achievers are going to take us on in pursuit of their <nachos with hot sauce>.

It's not easy to decide where or how to set that bar, knowing it'll affect everything and everybody else in the game.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 04:37:09 PM by In Dreams »

Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #49 on: March 29, 2019, 04:36:30 PM »
Fair. But if that is their thing so be it. As long as they are roleplaying around it.

Again might not be your thing, but I myself would probably have more fun interacting with them than doing fountain rp. I rather them playing the game than not.
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Vex

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #50 on: March 29, 2019, 04:40:14 PM »
What are your goals, specifically?
What is the timeframe to accomplish those goals?

To use my sole source of power not hinged on staff whimsy, my coded skills, to have a presence and, at least, occasional impact on the game world, where I choose to interject myself upon it.

Within 72 hours played, after character conception. Life is short.

This is with the caveat, that I can do so without breaking the rules, AND without feeling that my time is disrespected. This is not the case.
"Mortals do drown so."

In Dreams

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #51 on: March 29, 2019, 04:41:45 PM »
I know what you mean, and I totally agree with you and pretty everybody who's posted, even the achievers because I want them to be happy, but at the same time, I guess I'm just sort of saying that there aren't easy solutions to this particular problem, and what I just laid out was why.

I genuinely appreciate all sides so maybe I'm sort of playing the Highlord's advocate to this conversation that keeps popping up here.

Eyeball

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #52 on: March 29, 2019, 04:49:00 PM »
I have never once gotten the impression that fighting lower skill opponents is useless for gaining defense? Like ever?

Not sure where that is coming from. I strongly suspect it is a non-issue.

Here's is a quote from Brokkr:

https://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,53932.msg1017685.html#msg1017685

Quote from: Brokkr
A better summary would be, it is easier to get up to a certain level of weapon skill and offense/defense.  It is harder to get beyond that level.

Not definitive, but strongly suggestive.

Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #53 on: March 29, 2019, 05:05:59 PM »
I don't hate to admit it in this case but maybe delirium is right. Fighting stronger opponents should be a better chance. However chance to learn with lower skilled opponents as good as it used to be in the old code? Maybe staff can confirm. I still feel i got the impression it was literallly  impossible from somehere but i'll be happy to admit it is my mistake.

http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,50628.msg927955.html#msg927955

« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 05:12:03 PM by Dresan »
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Delirium

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #54 on: March 29, 2019, 05:45:09 PM »
The impression I got was that nothing changed for the worse (npc nerfs aside)-- it just got easier to skill up against more skilled opponents.

Honestly I think, if there was less miscommunication/misunderstanding around the code updates, this change would have been extremely well received, instead of apparently causing a lot of backlash and confusion. Another reason why I feel there should be more code transparency.
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Greve

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #55 on: March 29, 2019, 05:59:57 PM »
We don't get to see the numbers, but as I understand it, the recent(ish; it's been like a year) changes did the following:

1) When you miss someone, your offense vs. their defense determines your chance to gain. If theirs is higher, chance is higher, and vice versa. If theirs is too much lower, you can't gain.

2) Same is true for the inverse: you won't gain defense if the guy hitting you has much less offense than your defense.

Before these changes, all failures were equal whether against a gortok or Muk Utep on amphetamines. This meant that you could use various tricks to increase skills against things that didn't have high defense. You could fight in the dark, or sitting, or something that had an unusually high agility stat. Go back further in time and you could fight drunk/encumbered, but that was nerfed years ago. Now the target must have a high enough defense skill compared to your offense, so the tricks that help you miss don't necessarily work. That was the express purpose of this change.

Same presumably goes for raising your defense. It's a lot easier to get hit than it is to miss--just fight unarmed or against multiple opponents. But if their offense is much lower than yours, you won't gain. This isn't really a problem. I think that's fair enough. The problem is that if you can't find something that'll dodge your attacks, you simply cannot improve your weapon skills and offense. And you don't have to be a top tier fighter for that to happen. It happens really early. The point where almost nothing can dodge you anymore is at journeyman.

The next problem is that offense becomes your enemy. Let it get too high and you'll have an even harder time gaining. Since the old tricks no longer work, you can get completely stuck if you did too much unarmed fighting and let your offense get high without corresponding gains to weaponskills. And even if you didn't do that and you got one weaponskill up to a satisfactory level, you'll never get to raise another one. You're stuck with your choice. Offense always got in the way of skillgains, but there were those tricks to get around it. The grasslands used to be a symphony of stilt lizard death-cries.

In my experience, the amount of defense needed to dodge someone with <advanced> weaponskills is in the extreme end of the spectrum. A 10-day fighter won't learn much from a 20-day fighter, they'd probably need a 50+ day one. Preferably one from before those aforementioned changes to off/def so that they got to inflate their defense by tanking newbies and raptors which no longer works. Very, very few characters have those levels of defense, and I'd venture to claim that more often than not, there simply isn't one in any clan that spars regularly enough to where it yields meaningful training for the others in that clan.

And then there's those players who happen to know the solution: those few obscure creatures scattered around the world that can dodge better than anything else. I suspect Brokkr used those when he tested skillgains. There used to be more of these, now there's hardly any left and you'd be hard pressed to justify hunting them. And the minority of players who know about these and are willing to do it despite the controversy get to raise their weaponskills further while those who don't are just expected to live with the fact that they're effectively playing a class whose weaponskills cap at the same level as artisans and pilferers.

Those changes to off/def were made in good faith. They'd have made perfect sense if not for the underlying problem of DODGE OR NOTHING. There's no correlation between a creature's threat level and its chance to dodge your attacks. Many of the most dangerous ones can't dodge for shit, they just have 20 armor, so you learn nothing from fighting them. The ones that can dodge are, for the most part, not actually dangerous. They just happen to have been given high defense and agility. Stilt lizards were the prime example but they got nerfed, so now you have to have obscure OOC info to know the alternatives, which is an unhealthy way to regulate skill progress.

If it's somehow perilous to the game for players to get above the halfway point of weaponskills (which I frankly doubt it is), change the way the weaponskills work. Just squish the benefits of the upper end of the scale so the difference between 0 and 50 is much higher than 50 and 100, or whatever the numbers may be. And then make it so that skillgains aren't gated exclusively behind dodges, because that causes so many problems that it's just patently idiotic. Why is it not a fail when you get parried, or when you hit something on the foot? In fact, why is failure the only way to learn at all? It just doesn't work that way in reality.

I suggest the following changes:

1) Parry and block counts as a miss. So does hitting the feet and hands, or animal equivalents. I won't add armor-bouncing because then we're getting into a territory where being strong is detrimental to training. Not that strength couldn't do with some disadvantages, but I'd like to get away from the situation where things that should be good are actually bad.

2) The <advanced> level of weaponskills counts for half as much as any of the preceding levels, and <master> counts for half as much as <advanced>. This should do away with any concerns about the world ending if more than 1% of the playerbase gets past jman.

3) Higher offense increases your chance to gain weaponskills, because that's literally the way combat training works in real life. It'll still make you fail less, but when you do, having a lot of combat experience should help you learn faster. It makes no sense that if you've mastered the sword, it's suddenly impossible to learn the spear.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2019, 06:38:49 PM by Greve »

th3kaiser

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #56 on: March 29, 2019, 06:50:35 PM »
Does anyone know where the post for that code release was? Because it seems like lots of people read something I didn't see. From what I recall, there wasn't any mention of making it more difficult to gain off/def in any situation. It was all about making it easier to gain at lower levels against more skilled opponents. My memory is hazy though and I'd love to have a re-read.

Brokkr

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #57 on: March 29, 2019, 07:56:30 PM »
The changes affect weapon skills and offense/defense.  For equal offense/defense, it is just like it was before the change.  For unequal, it tapers, and can reach a point where further weapon skill, offense or defense gains are not possible against a particular opponent because of the offense/defense mismatch, for the more skilled person.  There is a window for the tapering of chance to learn to this zero chance to learn.  The more oriented towards combat your class is, the larger the window. 

Technically, take a brand new Heavy Merchantile and you could learn up roughly to the point of being considered good to badass while a Heavy Combat, based on the point where offense/defense cuts off gains completely.  It doesn't work out that way simply because you get to offense/defense levels that destroy the other person.  So effectively it tapers, rather than disappearing.

As for most folk's assumptions on how I did things, the ones I remember are wrong and are more telling about the folks suggesting them than anything I did.

MeTekillot

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #58 on: March 29, 2019, 08:01:22 PM »
Passive aggressive ad-hom is not really necessary, from anyone.
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Cerelum

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #59 on: March 29, 2019, 08:29:29 PM »
As an aside, I do have to say that itís refreshing to see conversations happen even though people disagree.

Remember you donít have to fight others to express yourselves, thatís how you get threads locked that are otherwise good.
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mansa

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #60 on: March 29, 2019, 08:47:10 PM »
Since,

the hidden Offense/Defense and weapon skills have a different route of skill progression than the rest of the mundane skills,

I suggest an alternative to the visible description of the proficiency of those skills.

With this chart expressed before as an example:

..there is a certain point at which the learning rate changes.

Let's say that rate is "40", and then it takes a long time to get to an even higher skill level.  My suggestion is to change the naming convention of skill proficiency, so when we reach "40" we're placed at 'Advanced' or 'Good'.   Make "50" or "60" be displayed as master.

I feel the objection isn't around becoming "master", but the appearance of how much further to go to "master".  In my opinion, at some point, whatever that is, it really doesn't matter what the playerbase feels is "master", we just want to have the game tell us we're good.  There's a good to reach.  I don't care if it's actually true, because combat is still a mystery.  I just want to know I've reached a certain plateau.
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The7DeadlyVenomz

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #61 on: March 29, 2019, 09:15:48 PM »
I personally think it's the idea that reaching true master seems next to impossible that's giving people conniption fits. I myself don't like the idea that reaching master is so astoundingly difficult and based so much upon finding the right training partner or prey in the natural progression of game play, but I can live with it.
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Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #62 on: March 29, 2019, 09:52:54 PM »
I feel the objection isn't around becoming "master", but the appearance of how much further to go to "master".  In my opinion, at some point, whatever that is, it really doesn't matter what the playerbase feels is "master", we just want to have the game tell us we're good.  There's a good to reach.  I don't care if it's actually true, because combat is still a mystery.  I just want to know I've reached a certain plateau.

The main objection I've seen is eventually training becomes impossible , not slow and tedious but impossible without some really good luck/special conditions. Generally it sounds okay to not reach master easily, few did in the past already but to basically get to a point where you have no chance of improvement without those special conditions feels bad.

I also get this sneaking suspicion that defensive gains do not take into account the sheer amount of bonuses to-hit on top of offense skill. Potentially making it so that you will get beaten up silly but still not become better defensively however that is just a feeling.

If things are going to tapper off/become zero already, then perhaps to-hit bonuses from other skills and dodging defense should probably get readjusted. I'm okay with one on one fights taking a bit longer, the only quick and brutal fights should be 2v1 or 3v1.  To compensate if you go lower than 50% hp you will take more damage and your offense/defense will decrease in percentages as it goes down, nothing too crazy but significant if you are near death. In addition you will stop learning combat skills below 50% as well.     
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Brokkr

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #63 on: March 29, 2019, 10:24:46 PM »
The concept of 'to-hit' as exists in MUDs of a similar age or whichever version of D&D doesn't exist in our system, for what it is worth.  And for learning purposes of what I was talking about earlier, it uses the offense/defense skill, rather than the ultimate modified offensive/defensive matchup (which is where various modifiers come in) used to determine whether a hit will land.

Maybe we should just mask the skill levels just for weapon skills? The Off/Def stuff aside, that is the only thing that has changed.  The perception of how good one is.

Cerelum

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #64 on: March 29, 2019, 10:37:22 PM »
The concept of 'to-hit' as exists in MUDs of a similar age or whichever version of D&D doesn't exist in our system, for what it is worth.  And for learning purposes of what I was talking about earlier, it uses the offense/defense skill, rather than the ultimate modified offensive/defensive matchup (which is where various modifiers come in) used to determine whether a hit will land.

Maybe we should just mask the skill levels just for weapon skills? The Off/Def stuff aside, that is the only thing that has changed.  The perception of how good one is.

Is Offensive and Defensive differently calculated than weapon skills?

If not, why don't you just add it to the skills list with novice, apprentice, journeyman, advanced and master?
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Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #65 on: March 29, 2019, 10:38:58 PM »
Maybe we should just mask the skill levels just for weapon skills? The Off/Def stuff aside, that is the only thing that has changed.  The perception of how good one is.


The perception that we can work to get better albeit slowly without those special condition after a certain point has also changed. :-\
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Eyeball

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #66 on: March 29, 2019, 10:42:57 PM »
I personally think it's the idea that reaching true master seems next to impossible that's giving people conniption fits. I myself don't like the idea that reaching master is so astoundingly difficult and based so much upon finding the right training partner or prey in the natural progression of game play, but I can live with it.

For me, at least, the "conniption fit" isn't about some skill level label, it's about not realistically ever being able to differentiate yourself as a fighter from the next guy. You'll all be more or less at journeyman level with strength deciding how any match goes.

Some characters want fame. Some want an edge to survive that attack in the alleyway. Some are competitive. Some want to be that guy that doesn't have to take guff from anyone. I find it to be a reasonable goal to want to excel at, for example, swinging a sword.  ;D

Aruven

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #67 on: March 29, 2019, 11:27:26 PM »
This is more philosophical than the details presented:

I don't mind potentially never 'capping' a skill. Like real life, there's always the potential to learn more.

Greve

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #68 on: April 05, 2019, 10:08:18 AM »
Posting here instead of the thread where this discussion ran, since it was somewhat off-topic there.

I branched trident off sparring on a character about a year back.

Which predates the offense/defense/weapon skills changes that Brokkr described, I believe.

It predated the new classes but I don't think the mechanism of skill increase has changed since then, just the rate of increase for certain classes and their starting points.

From a hypothetical standpoint, sparring is still effective.

Player A hits players B, increasing their defense. B is now more likely to dodge.
Player B dodges A, increasing their offense, making them more effective at hitting B at their new defense.

It's obviously not so clean because gaining a single point of defense doesn't change your dodge rate to 100%, but you can still see how sparring with the same person as long as you level out your approximate skill levels means you can slowly but consistently skill up forever. As soon as one person's offense ticks, the other guys defense ticks too, and eventually you get to a stable state increase.

A very slow increase because they might dodge you once every 10 attacks, but it is possible, especially if you're trading off ep/etwo offense/defense.

That should be the basic theory behind it, but I've found that it almost never works out that way. The only time I've ever had continued gains from sparring with someone over a period of time was when they were already much more skilled when we began. This phemonenon of two equal fighters training eachother up is something I've just never seen happen. I'm not convinced it's really possible, barring fringe cases like one having top elven agility or something.

Here's what I suspect happens, using imaginary/estimated numbers for illustration:

Player A and player B both have 30 defense, 20 offense and 20 slashing when they start. For the sake of argument, they spar twice per RL day for a month and never receive any other training than that. Hitting is a matter of offense+slashing and missing is just a matter of defense. They both have a combined 40 for landing hits and 30 for dodging them. All three skills will increase for both players, but pretty soon they stop missing eachother. There are even supposed to be hidden weapon skills but there are no details for these anywhere. In short, you need high defense compared to the sum of several different numbers on the attacker's end, at least two of which increase in tandem.

So let's say that in order to dodge often enough for the opponent to get any meaningful gains out of it, you need to have at least as much defense as the other guy's combined offense and slashing. Agility accounts for some but is a static amount that quickly diminishes in proportion to skill points gained. So A and B can get some misses for a time, from which they gain points in both offense and slashing while hits taken will increase only defense. Points gained in parry contribute nothing to dodge chance. After a while, both characters end up stuck at 30 offense and 30 slashing. They've both reached 50 defense in the process, having taken many more hits than they've dodged.

As such, over the course of this month, both have gained 10 points in offense, 10 in slashing and 20 in defense. That just about matches my perception of reality in a sparring clan. And now, while the difference between off+slash and defense remains 10 points, the difference between offense and defense has grown from 10 to 20 points. This makes it much less likely that their defense continues to grow, and the gulf may even be big enough to make it impossible altogether. They still can't miss eachother, though. It might take 60 or more defense to frequently dodge an attacker's 30 offense, 30 slashing, some amount of hidden slashing vs humanoids, and whatever other modifiers exist.

And now A and B languish in the limbo, unable to dodge eachother's hits anymore yet without gaining a sufficient amount of defense to climb above the threshold to where they can now dodge. I've seen this happen several times. I venture to claim that two fighters simply cannot train eachother up like this. Once you're at the point where you can't miss someone at all, which we know eventually happens between two fighters around the same level, the amount of defense that the other would need in order to be able to dodge you again is not five or ten points but probably more like thirty. The jump from "can't dodge at all" to "dodges often enough to really matter" is pretty big. You won't get that much out of missing once every three spars, even if you could get to that point.

What's worse, if they were to engage in unarmed training or switch weapon types along the way, they'd set themselves back even further by raising offense without a corresponding increase to slashing (just to stick with that example). They might in fact end up at 30 slashing and 40+ offense, which is the kind of thing that typically happens when you plateau in the Byn. You stop getting armed misses but you can still miss unarmed, so your offense climbs further while your weapon skill remains stuck. As always happens over time, the clan population is beginning to turn over and newer characters become more prevalent than ones older than you, so you're now back to sparring people who aren't even remotely close to being able to dodge you.

Now, if you get to start out sparring against someone who already has very high defense, your weapon skill will shoot upwards as fast as the timers allow. You don't have to worry about your offense going up and counting against your slashing because slashing will also increase at the fastest possible rate. There may even be arcane mysteries behind the offense skill that let you sort of leapfrog slashing past offense, we don't know all the workings behind it. The times I've been able to spar routinely against some type of master, it always felt to me like the accelerated training was a much stronger foundation for further growth, so I suspect that offense and weapon skills may increase in different ways.

The ability to rack up as many misses as you want every time you spar just seems to net a final product much higher than if you slowly grind you way up bit by bit in a more organic manner. Could very well be that training in this way will cause you to end up with master slashing and 40 offense against their 80 defense, after which you can easily catch up on offense and even raise other weapon skills. Meanwhile, the slow and grindy way would see you end up with 40 slashing and 60 offense, unable to miss even Sensei Dodgeman despite your slashing saying <journeyman>. Now, if everyone had access to that utopian training regimen with Sensei Dodgeman, all would be well; but we all know how uncommon that is. Almost all characters end up like Slow & Grindy does.

That's what my experience tells me. The numbers are guesses but they illustrate the point. The whole problem boils down to the fact that you need the opponent to dodge in order to learn, but dodging doesn't happen unless the opponent's defense is sufficient against the various combined factors that determine whether your swings connect, which is a sum probably far higher than your own defense.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 10:29:02 AM by Greve »

th3kaiser

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #69 on: April 05, 2019, 10:18:46 AM »
To be perfectly honest, I'm 100% happy that you can't spar your way to master. I think that's entirely reasonable. Play fighting should never be as effective in the long run as real life or death situations.

Spar until y'all plateau and then go out into the "real world" and find some trouble to actually test your skills. No offense to sparring-centric clans, but I'm actually really happy that I seem to be able to train faster and better than you folks while I'm outside in actual danger.

Greve

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #70 on: April 05, 2019, 10:25:25 AM »
To be perfectly honest, I'm 100% happy that you can't spar your way to master. I think that's entirely reasonable. Play fighting should never be as effective in the long run as real life or death situations.

Spar until y'all plateau and then go out into the "real world" and find some trouble to actually test your skills. No offense to sparring-centric clans, but I'm actually really happy that I seem to be able to train faster and better than you folks while I'm outside in actual danger.

I don't know how many times Namino and I have to explain that there is no trouble to find in the "real world" when you've plateaued, barring extreme fringe exceptions that players can barely justify using. You don't plateau and then continue to skill up on gith and rantarri. You plateau at journeyman and then there's like three things in the entire world that can dodge your attacks at that point, none of which make the slightest sense to seek out. If anything, sparring is pretty much the only way to do it legitimately, but only if you get to spar with some legacy fighter with really high defense, which you usually won't have the opportunity to do. If you don't, there's just about nothing else you can do while still doing anything that can be called roleplay.

th3kaiser

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #71 on: April 05, 2019, 10:53:19 AM »
And I've said several times I disagree. I'm not really having any issues with it, but I also play PCs who only live outside generally alone and that's not really how most people play this game.

Riev

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #72 on: April 05, 2019, 11:00:06 AM »
And I've said several times I disagree. I'm not really having any issues with it, but I also play PCs who only live outside generally alone and that's not really how most people play this game.

Which leads us back to the "Most people don't do this, so fuck the minority".

If you spar your way to Journeyman-ish, and you follow the doctrine of "Need real  combat to get over the hump", the issue is that you need DODGES to succeed. For Heavy Combat, your offense raises a lot quicker, so by this time you can't just go out and try to fight the big beasties. BIG beasts have low AC, and you need to MISS to gain.

The issue isn't "go out and find tougher things" its "tougher things have Damage Reduction instead of AC".

(Also, "sparring" only getting you so far... kind of works. If you learn Tae Kwon Do as a kid, you're sparring with fluffy gloves. If you're learning Krav Maga (properly), you're learning the technique, and the skill is in how to apply the technique to INJURE, or MAIM)
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th3kaiser

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #73 on: April 05, 2019, 11:09:06 AM »
I mean, I know exactly what the issue is. I know how to skillgain in this game. I'm just kind of fine with the changes. I like them.

Namino

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #74 on: April 05, 2019, 11:14:20 AM »
My last character was an iso outside char too and I had no problem skilling up. Again, I'll keep reiterating my main point:

Skilling up is easy if you know what to hunt.

It isn't dangerous, fun, exciting or correlated with challenge in any way. That is my complaint.

th3kaiser

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #75 on: April 05, 2019, 11:26:07 AM »
Oh okay. Well thanks for the clarification. My sleepy eyes must've TLDR'd that out. I was just assuming everyone wants to make it easier to skillgain via spars and the like. I'm against that.

Not being fun I get. Grinding is awful. There's like a week period to every new PC that I just don't interact with people while I get to a point of not dying to a passing Shik.

gotdamnmiracle

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #76 on: April 05, 2019, 03:55:19 PM »
Oh okay. Well thanks for the clarification. My sleepy eyes must've TLDR'd that out. I was just assuming everyone wants to make it easier to skillgain via spars and the like. I'm against that.

Not being fun I get. Grinding is awful. There's like a week period to every new PC that I just don't interact with people while I get to a point of not dying to a passing Shik.

If I recall the transition to classes was supposed to get rid of this process.
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Feco

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #77 on: April 05, 2019, 03:58:57 PM »
And it does.
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gotdamnmiracle

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #78 on: April 05, 2019, 04:50:58 PM »
I too take issue with the fact that one of the reasons you would choose a certain class is because it gets combat skills to master, but the likelihood of getting to that point without either luck or twinking is impossible. Why not just get rid of the top teir of combat type classes, give everyone a cap at advanced on those skills, and then shuffle the missing skills on down.

This suggestion isn't serious, but you may as well. What's the point of having a cap that realistically you will never reach?
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Inks

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #79 on: April 05, 2019, 10:16:37 PM »
It seems to work fine to me. Reached master on my first pc ever without much nonsense. It sounds like I am shilling the party line here but have never got this far weapon skill wise. (Have only got to advanced under old system, and one of those pcs was 80 days played). I feel like you used to have to jump through hoops to get it, with the best assassin I have ever played (the pointiest boi) having app weapon skills at 60 days played.
 
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 09:01:10 AM by Inks »
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Dresan

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Re: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc
« Reply #80 on: April 06, 2019, 05:35:48 PM »
I think I would like to see some of the offensive bonus lowered from skills, especially if there any related to strength.  Again this will probably make fights to the death lengthier which is fine and mean more shield blocks and parries than dodges, but right now offense especially etwo-ing is nuts.
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