Author Topic: Backstab  (Read 33525 times)

Reiloth

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #25 on: August 22, 2016, 11:58:16 AM »
The skill isn't broken.

It's specifically designed so that (master) backstab will not give you OHK status, because (master) backstab is incredibly easy to achieve.  (advanced) piercing weapons...not so much.  Even if you get it bumped to (journeyman) out of chargen, you're facing at least a 5-day grind to advanced.  Probably much longer than that (or outright unachievable) if you don't know how to skill up properly.

Yeah, I never said it was broken. I think there's this feeling in the Playerbase where something shouldn't be worked on/improved unless it is broken -- So for someone to suggest to work on an area that could use some fine tuning, it's automatically assumed 'broken', even if the OP didn't state such.

Backstab isn't broken -- It works. However, it could use fine tuning to make it so:

*Apprentice Assassins use it with occasional success, and mostly failure. Damage they do isn't monumental, more of an 'opening move'.
*Jman Assassins use it with occasional success, with less failures. Damage they do isn't monumental, but they begin to learn other methods of using it.
*Advanced Asssasins use it with more success than failure. Damage they do is significant, and they begin to learn other methods of using it.
*Master Assassins use it with mostly success. They almost never fail, but if they do, it's monumentally horrible. They do significant damage, and are incredibly terrifying (as most endgame skillsets are).

As it stands -- Assassins more often than not rely on skills like throw, or poisoning to have effective assassinations. The way assassinations work in this game, a slightly botched attempt will often mean complete failure. So -- With a variable skill like Backstab, you are really rolling the dice in a way that with other skills, you just don't. So why take the extra risk if you don't need to?

That is pretty bogus to me -- An assassin should not only feel comfortable using backstab on a mark, they should be feared for their use of the skill.

Armaddict is correct in stating killing someone with backstab isn't as simple as going into stealth and backstabbing from the shadows, pew pew. It requires a lot of foresight, planning, and execution. But as it stands, it's a skill I don't think most Assassins use in PC PK attempts, unless they are absolutely certain they are capable of a OHK or near OHK.



However, all of this being said, to suggest there are other methods of using backstab (The ideas I mentioned earlier in the thread of disable, bleed, and kill) wouldn't be possible to implement currently, unless Assassins get all of them, and Slipknife/other backstab classes only get one or none.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 12:06:30 PM by Reiloth »
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Molten Heart

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #26 on: August 22, 2016, 12:10:02 PM »
War spices will help the effectiveness of a backstab and every master assassin worth their salt would be using them, especially if they're relying on backstab to get the job done.

Metagame, right there.

Can you imagine if a Ranger couldn't use Archery without spice to boost their stats over the top to do effective damage?

Or if a Warrior needed war spice to fight in combat?

Assassins shouldn't need to 'rely on Backstab to get the job done'. It's an integral skill to the guild, just as bash and slashing weapons are to Warrior, archery is to Ranger, and pick is to Burglar. None of those classes need war spices to effectively use their primary abilities to the fullest extent.

Going off Synth's assessment (which I find to be accurate), lower strength PCs will almost never be effective in their use of Backstab, while higher strength PCs (Muls, Dwarves, High strength Humans) will do much more damage overall, based on strength. Is it where you stab someone, or how hard you stab someone? To me it seems like it should be the former, therefore, more reliance on skill/skill modifiers rather than stat/stat modifiers.

Assassins don't need to rely on backstab, and shouldn't but some will. Now when a professional hitman is planning to take out a mark, they'd be wise to use all resources available to give them an edge, because that's what professionals do. They use not only their skill but also their knowledge and experience to give them an edge. I believe this is why backstab isn't more effective, because killing people is serious business. And Assassins have other skills to kill people with.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 12:19:46 PM by Molten Heart »

Riev

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #27 on: August 22, 2016, 12:16:11 PM »
What it backstab branched, at master level, a Harry skill? Bleed code already exists in game, but I don't know how it works well enough to suggest assassins get it.

I agree with almost everything said so far, but I do feel that the two main "assassin" skills are kind of "either you do all your damage upfront or you're straight up going to die".

I'd -really- like if "Harry" was a ranged skill for assassins, that comes off throw instead, and on fail is just a straight up loud miss. But on success, lowers the targets ability to walk similar to intoxication. They can try to run, but every so often they're going to fall, lag for a second, and need to get back up. Only because if you make it off backstab, its more of a melee thing, like a Hamstring but its still opening you up to that "If they turn around and beat on your ass you're dead" factor.

Backstab itself is only useful if stalking the RIGHT targets, hitting at the RIGHT time, having intimate code knowledge of the RIGHT weapons, and even still being somewhat lucky. It shouldn't be OHK but the lag on a backstab attempt is so long that its a death sentence. I don't know how to make that better, and havn't seen ityet.
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Doublepalli

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #28 on: August 22, 2016, 12:35:16 PM »
I also believe that there should be some way to prevent folk from backstab - disengaging rinse repeat multiple times over during combat with multiple people, or being able to backstab someone who's mounted if you're on foot.

Delirium

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #29 on: August 22, 2016, 12:36:52 PM »
I pretty much always combined backstab with roleplayed betrayal, because OHKing someone in the streets was often impractical - but luring them into making themselves vulnerable or tossing back a poisoned drink wasn't. While I appreciate the fact that backstab works best in combination with heavy roleplay, sometimes you just want to be able to shank a motherfucker in a back alley.

Both situations are realistic and appropriate to the gameworld.
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nauta

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #30 on: August 22, 2016, 12:39:07 PM »
I also believe that there should be some way to prevent folk from backstab - disengaging rinse repeat multiple times over during combat with multiple people, or being able to backstab someone who's mounted if you're on foot.

IMHO, backstab should only work provided you are hidden.

But, yeah, OP is right: failing a backstab sucks, and poison + throw/kill make it irrelevant, except as a flavor command.  (But what great flavor!)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 12:43:39 PM by nauta »
as IF you didn't just have them unconscious, naked, and helpless in the street 4 minutes ago

Inks

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2016, 12:42:48 PM »
I also believe that there should be some way to prevent folk from backstab - disengaging rinse repeat multiple times over during combat with multiple people, or being able to backstab someone who's mounted if you're on foot.

Anyone who thinks assassins need a nerf, however, doesn't play assassins.

Back to OP, I quite like the idea of a successful backstab having a slow effect. Backstab is super random and sometimes less damaging than a standard attack even at master. It is basically the lucky dip of combat commands.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 12:45:26 PM by Inks »
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Synthesis

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2016, 12:51:10 PM »
I don't think OHK should be a realistic expectation, to begin with, just as a matter of paper-rock-scissors game design.  There's like what...1 Krathi spell that can do that much damage instantly, and krathis and sorcs have their own set of massive drawbacks to deal with.  A well-trained mul or HG with a good weapon and good strength could single-hit for 100+, but again...HGs and muls are karma-restricted.  I've seen an extreme badass dwarf warrior with insane strength OHK someone using etwo, and I've OHK'ed a dude who was subdued with a city-elf warrior with only vgood strength, but for zero-karma options, those are scenarios that don't happen often.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect that your 0-karma PC will be able to sneak up on another PC with skills that border on complete invisibility, then instantly kill them with casual disregard for crime code or other types of guards--regardless of how many days played you have.
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Reiloth

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2016, 01:10:47 PM »
I don't think OHK should be a realistic expectation, to begin with, just as a matter of paper-rock-scissors game design.  There's like what...1 Krathi spell that can do that much damage instantly, and krathis and sorcs have their own set of massive drawbacks to deal with.  A well-trained mul or HG with a good weapon and good strength could single-hit for 100+, but again...HGs and muls are karma-restricted.  I've seen an extreme badass dwarf warrior with insane strength OHK someone using etwo, and I've OHK'ed a dude who was subdued with a city-elf warrior with only vgood strength, but for zero-karma options, those are scenarios that don't happen often.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect that your 0-karma PC will be able to sneak up on another PC with skills that border on complete invisibility, then instantly kill them with casual disregard for crime code or other types of guards--regardless of how many days played you have.

For sure. I only think that should be borderline possible or "in the realm of possibility" at master. However, providing more horizontal options for a skill that is ostensibly advertised to murder people instantly might go a long way to change that perception. I don't think a OHK means backstab is working. I'm more dubious of the delays associated, and the lack of significant bonus if backstabbing from stealth.

I also agree that backstab should only be possible from successful stealth. This prevents the disengage backstab rinse repeat scenario.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

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Inks

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2016, 01:31:20 PM »
Imms did mention in a thread in the last couple of months not to do that. Worth putting on the skillpage though. I prefer it usuable not exclusively from stealth though as you can silent draw daggers while having a casual conversation with someone and stab them. A bit more RP opportunity and really just represents a sudden unseen strike.

It also means you can deliver one liners or a message from your employer as you strike.

Disengage backstab is already player complaint worthy now if used on the same target since the announcement so I doubt too many are using it now. (Also it is less effective than simply continuing to attack the target)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 01:39:07 PM by Inks »
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Synthesis

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2016, 01:36:32 PM »
I don't think OHK should be a realistic expectation, to begin with, just as a matter of paper-rock-scissors game design.  There's like what...1 Krathi spell that can do that much damage instantly, and krathis and sorcs have their own set of massive drawbacks to deal with.  A well-trained mul or HG with a good weapon and good strength could single-hit for 100+, but again...HGs and muls are karma-restricted.  I've seen an extreme badass dwarf warrior with insane strength OHK someone using etwo, and I've OHK'ed a dude who was subdued with a city-elf warrior with only vgood strength, but for zero-karma options, those are scenarios that don't happen often.

I don't think it's reasonable to expect that your 0-karma PC will be able to sneak up on another PC with skills that border on complete invisibility, then instantly kill them with casual disregard for crime code or other types of guards--regardless of how many days played you have.

For sure. I only think that should be borderline possible or "in the realm of possibility" at master. However, providing more horizontal options for a skill that is ostensibly advertised to murder people instantly might go a long way to change that perception. I don't think a OHK means backstab is working. I'm more dubious of the delays associated, and the lack of significant bonus if backstabbing from stealth.

I also agree that backstab should only be possible from successful stealth. This prevents the disengage backstab rinse repeat scenario.

disengage;backstab is a "horizontal option"

PKing people with an assassin is easily doable, if your assassin is legitimately badass.

Having (master) backstab does not mean you are a legit badass.

Assassins are pretty much fine the way they are.  I mean, you can even -start- with parry if you want to, which alleviates a soul-crushing grind.  You can start with parry -and- (journeyman) piercing weapons if you want to, which alleviates 2 soul-crushing grinds! Right out of chargen, you can start at a level that previously would've required 10-12 days played while doing little more than slaughtering literally hundreds of mobs.
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Jingo

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #36 on: August 22, 2016, 01:56:02 PM »
Synth is on the money.

If anything needs retooling though, I think it's the way strength is the kingmaker for every combat skill. Including backstab.
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Dunetrade55

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #37 on: August 22, 2016, 02:05:32 PM »
One of my earliest PCs was a snivelling breed/assassin who would cry a lot and got kicked out of the Byn for being a wimp. This was way before rats were just wandering the streets. In order to twink backstab, he would walk out, on foot, with a shield, and find a scrab and backstab it when it came in. Such newb! Somehow, that's not what killed him, though it probably should have, he'd just, backstab, flee, then report a wandering scrab to the sole Salarri hunter at the time and go back out with her to finish it off.

Other than that, backstab is a skill I've never used. I can see it being situational, and agree it SHOULD be situational and combined with other tools in your arsenal to maximize its effects, but the drawbacks as they stand make this, as others have described, simply a flavor skill. In other games, I preferred stealth/backstab classes, because backstab was as it should be, and what it was was that badass skill that defined the class with the badassest of names. Rarely have I played a game where backstab was a OHK, but it was never nerfed to the degree it is here with delays, difficulty finding excuses to train (now not so hard thanks to rats), and the assertion that it is most definitely an action one undertakes with an intent to kill (which I don't disagree with, but some of the delay times could definitely use some consideration).

I'm not saying it SHOULD be an automatic OHK at master with master piercing weapons and offense and stabbing vs. mammals, I don't think that at all, but it should definitely be scary as fuck and less of a hinderance to use. And what Jingo said, why strength? Why not agility? When you puncture some lungs strength only factors in as far as getting the knife in there and out, and letting the wound do the rest. Everything else is about skill and having accurate hands. You can kill a human being bare handed with very little strength, simply using your own weight as leverage to yank them off their feet and getting the rear strangle-hold right, slamming their neck into the ground at an angle, and if that doesn't work, worming backwards, pulling, and pressuring the neck. Nevermind it only takes, what, eight pounds of pressure to snap a neck? Strength really doesn't factor all that much into it, just like even fighting well, I've seen big guys punch miserably, I've been in fights with big guys who punch miserably, no amount of "beef" can make up for accuracy, skills, and incorporating more muscle groups than beef mcbeefton.

EDIT: If anything could use a cooldown, it would be backstabbing a target that's already been backstabbed recently, as in "They seem to wary to sneak up on right now", an easy fix would be to tie the backstab skill cooldown on a specific target by simply making a PC with fight lag not be backstabbable, but that seems too easy to game and may be more of a nerf to the backstab skill than anything else.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 02:13:32 PM by Dunetrade55 »
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Reiloth

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #38 on: August 22, 2016, 02:55:11 PM »
I don't see disengage backstab as horizontal. It's borderline twinky.

A cool down seems like a realistic compromise.

I think the code savvy understand work around or ways to make backstab effective. I would challenge anyone to describe another skill in the game that requires that level of esoteric knowledge. Magick is way more simple than the complex skill that is backstab.
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Yam

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #39 on: August 22, 2016, 03:05:32 PM »
I've never actually used backstab on the assassins I've played. It's a pretty binary and anti-fun skill. Even when it "works" it usually doesn't offer any opportunity for death RP - just an instant mantis head.

Armaddict

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #40 on: August 22, 2016, 03:35:50 PM »
I disagree that it becomes less useful for characters with low strength.

As a player of elves, I feel the ability to knock off 40-60hp at once is pretty stellar for something that usually only hits for <10 hp per hit, even when far more skilled.

Sure, it might encourage them to run, but I'm not against people running.  Particularly when backstab is also a far more reliable poison delivery system than throw or kill combined.
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Reiloth

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #41 on: August 22, 2016, 03:48:44 PM »
I disagree that it becomes less useful for characters with low strength.

As a player of elves, I feel the ability to knock off 40-60hp at once is pretty stellar for something that usually only hits for <10 hp per hit, even when far more skilled.

Sure, it might encourage them to run, but I'm not against people running.  Particularly when backstab is also a far more reliable poison delivery system than throw or kill combined.

Untrue, especially in the case of Peraine. Whether intentional or not, when delivered in combat it almost always fails/wears off during the first pulse. When delivered by arrow or throw, it is far more effective. Perhaps it has something to do with the combat counter.

Also, while I'm not against people running either, I would like for an "after" delay to apply to the victim as well as the assassin, forcing a few rounds of combat.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 03:52:22 PM by Reiloth »
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

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Jingo

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #42 on: August 22, 2016, 03:59:33 PM »
I think the code savvy understand work around or ways to make backstab effective. I would challenge anyone to describe another skill in the game that requires that level of esoteric knowledge. Magick is way more simple than the complex skill that is backstab.

:/

For psionicists, every skill is like backstab.
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evilcabbage

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #43 on: August 22, 2016, 04:13:46 PM »
i'm not code savvy, but if you have terradin and grishen on your knives and you backstab a guy successfully, and that poison takes (which is a fairly good chance), then guess what?

that guy's fucking doomed. there is no way he's coming back from that.

assassins have so many abilities that are situationally effective. backstab is one of them.

if you backstab, with poisoned weapons, from a position of advantage (maybe you threw a knife at them with peraine to stop them first? that works sometimes), then you can guarantee a chance of victory.

backstab is not your kingmaker ability. it is one ability in a set meant to be used together to achieve your goals.

coincidentally, a one-shot backstab is not a guarantee, but i can rattle off on one hand the number of times i've been backstabbed - and at least one of those was an instant kill.
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Yam

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #44 on: August 22, 2016, 04:20:59 PM »
i'm not code savvy, but if you have terradin and grishen on your knives and you backstab a guy successfully, and that poison takes (which is a fairly good chance), then guess what?

flee

get tablet pack

get tablet pack

eat tablet

eat tablet

e
e
e

s

safe

Delirium

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #45 on: August 22, 2016, 04:23:44 PM »
Read the throw helpfile carefully.

Consider the possibilities when incorporating multiple skills that assassins get.
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Reiloth

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #46 on: August 22, 2016, 04:32:48 PM »
I think the code savvy understand work around or ways to make backstab effective. I would challenge anyone to describe another skill in the game that requires that level of esoteric knowledge. Magick is way more simple than the complex skill that is backstab.

:/

For psionicists, every skill is like backstab.

Touché, but we are now comparing skills from a 8 karma class to a 0 karma class. And psionicists are a whole bag in themselves.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

~Jack Vance~

Reiloth

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #47 on: August 22, 2016, 04:33:32 PM »
i'm not code savvy, but if you have terradin and grishen on your knives and you backstab a guy successfully, and that poison takes (which is a fairly good chance), then guess what?

flee

get tablet pack

get tablet pack

eat tablet

eat tablet

e
e
e

s

safe

As Yam illustrates, far from doomed.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

~Jack Vance~

evilcabbage

  • Posts: 1968
Re: Backstab
« Reply #48 on: August 22, 2016, 04:49:58 PM »
yeah okay, you do that inside a closed room with no escape vectors.

if you're an assassin shanking someone in any location where they have valid escape routes, you are definitely doing it "wrong".

you wait for the opportune moment to strike, or create one.

as i said.

peraine'd beforehand.

then terradin and grishen.

the backstab.

the previous damage.

if you get the flee attacks, even better. flee is not a guarantee.
I could give a shit about wholesome.

Reiloth

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Re: Backstab
« Reply #49 on: August 22, 2016, 05:42:53 PM »
Uh huh.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

~Jack Vance~