Author Topic: Weapon Skills - Piercing, Bludgeoning etc  (Read 2602 times)

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

  • Posts: 165
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.
My thoughts.

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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

  • Posts: 165
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

  • Posts: 441
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

  • Posts: 165
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

  • Posts: 441
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

  • Posts: 441
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.