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Fixing Thieves/Scouts catchup  discussions

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2016/11/17 16:42, Zepir:   
wrong discussion Roadkill :D

2016/11/18 06:16, Roadkill: 
Lol, sorry. :-)

2017/03/02 04:49, Deimus:edited 1x   
*bump*

@Rogon: Can we get some sort of confirmation as to whether *any* changes are incoming for sneak, or scout in general? You seemed pretty engaged in this discussion.

I, for one, believe Elestir's proposal seemed the most realistic - reverting nosneak in exchange for decreasing the movespeed of outdoor sneaking (must choose stealth or speed, cannot have both,) while maintaining current sneak movespeed indoors. Frankly, when pursuing a target, having to predict the point one will find them resting - and thus needing to re-engage sneak - adds an interesting gameplay element. Leave hide alone, and either make escape work (see the numerous anecdotes in this thread of its problems,) or remove it entirely.

Many other suggestions also seemed reasonable/desirable. I would like to see scouts have a more specialized/unique role, insomuch as narrowing the ability of other classes to utilize the 'universal' thief skills like missile and pick.

The game seems to have a little life. Ive got some gear to lose on my zorc. See you all in Mandos.

2017/03/02 21:16, Rogon:   
Well, I can't do things myself, since I can neither code, nor do I have access to the code.

What I can do is suggest/push for ideas. However, to do that, I need ideas I firmly believe in myself, and that are reasonable and realistic to implement.

I don't have those ideas. I have *some* ideas, however, when I test them on players, they don't really stick. I don't want to waste time and effort doing something that ends up not fixing anything.

But... The general idea is to work on improving the game, and that includes scouts. Take that as a vague promise of sometime hopefully? :/

2017/03/03 11:56, Cur: 
Vague promise accepted, Rogon.

You guys spending some of your free time on improving the game is hugely appreciated.

2017/03/06 09:58, Breaux: 
Rogon,

Only in the world of mume are changes irreversible, however bad they are.

Ask yourself this, were scouts more imbalanced before or after Ilie's changes? If the (objective should I add because I know your opinion that scouts were so OP before the changes simply because 7/10 scouts were warlords or because you couldn't chase them down as Norsu or something) answer to that is after, then simply reversing the change would be an improvement by definition.

Just like an entrepreneur doesn't need a perfect idea start a company, you don't need the perfect scout setup to bring it upstairs Rogon (everyone will never be satisfied anyway).

We can't blame the community for a shortage of scout-improving ideas over the last decade. If you haven't found something that you 'firmly believe in', then the only conclusion i can draw is that you/the management don't think the current scout-state is much of an issue.

Scouts were NEVER hardly as powerful as say.. clerics. Mume has to be the only game in the world where the best defensive/supporting characters also have the highest DPS.

Having said that for the 10000th time, I'm also appreciative of the time you spend Rogon.

2017/03/06 14:39, Razoor:edited 2x   
My biggest issue with nosneak/escape changes was not so much that it made scouts less powerful, but that it made boring, backstabbing openarea scouts ridiculously overpowered, as they can't die anymore! Like why, ever, would someone want that outcome?

For fighting scouts it is mostly annoying in closeables and mobfilled areas. That's okay though, because since nosneak was implemented, I turn sneak off in closeables because it's a pointless skill that only adds delay to some commands. I just cant see how this was possibly the intended outcome - scouts cant do cool stuff fighting 1vMany with mobs, and openarea scouts cant die. How is that a step forward? :D

I think removing nosneak in itself would be a good idea. It currently makes for really clunky gameplay and you can no longer utilize sneak reliably with mobs/areas to outskill opponents. While I like new escape somewhat because you can do cool stuff with it, I believe it makes scouts overpowered and boring in the sense that it is now impossible to kill them in the open because you cant flee them in anywhere. So I would remove new escape and remove nosneak to compensate. If you want to keep escape a somewhat useful skill, leave the feature that makes you recover faster from rescues.

Cant say I'd enjoy having more delay added to the game with sneak on though, I believe it's already pretty bad as is...but I'd take it I guess, as long as it doesnt become unplayable. Seems easier to just revert sneak/escape changes.

Edit: I believe some people felt that it was a problem that thieves couldnt be hunted down. I agree with that. Now it is even harder though, with new escape. Solution: make entering someones room reveal them 100% unless hidden and make you unsneaked 100% when you flee into someones room.

2017/03/06 20:14, Elestir:   
Another idea I posted recently that could help thieves a bit is a modification of bow-wielding malus. Currently, you automatically get aggressive-mood stats if you are wielding a bow. I suggested to apply this malus only during the actual shoot delay (why would make it holding a bow harder to parry blows compared to not holding anything?).

Right now, wielding a bow is almost suicide for scout if he is targetted by warriors.

2017/03/06 20:46, Barret:   
@Elistir

That seems like a great change. It would still allow enemies with good awareness to hit a thief for big damage before they get the first shot off and it would still make it unwise to shoot into a melee while someone is hitting you. But it wouldn't punish a thief simply for having a bow in hand.

I think the biggest difference would be for shoot fleeing and failing flees. Right now, you can get wrecked if you flee with the bow in your hand. So there is some incentive to switch to a melee weapon after shooting but before fleeing. That works but it's annoying to have to switch back and forth that much.

It might lead to shortbow wielders trying to leave a gap between shots to not be actively shooting when their opponent hits them. But that seems like the kind of guess work optimization that other classes need to do anyway.

2017/03/10 14:23, Breaux:edited 1x   
Rogon, you've spent a lot of time trying to fix this, so your comments way back in this thread deserve more of a response than the comment I provided in Elemmakil's thread.

Your ideas and my comments on the same:

ROGON IDEA:

1. Removing nosneak increases scout's survivability and offensive capabilities. It must come with some sort of balancing.

MY COMMENT: Okay. The survivability could be balanced by the following two changes:
* For rooms flagged OUTDOORS, tracking a target into a room in which he is hidden, should automatically reveal the hidden target.
* entering a room upon a sneaking non-hidden player should automatically reveal the sneaking player.

In relation to the offensive capabilities, I believe my suggested change on removing sneak-bonus-dmg for piercing weapons would suffice. This would effectively only increase a scout's offensive capabilities whilst using missile, and as we all know missile can be super-easily countered by e.g. hit-fleeing (massive sneakdelay and lowered PB allow for effective hitfleeing vs missile-using scouts).

Conceptually, I'd also like to challenge your statement 'must come with balancing' which infers that scouts were previously OP. I never found this to be the case post the removal of sneak-bonus-dmg for non-piercing/missile wpnclasses. Please can I ask that you elaborate on this? I'm very keen to hear your comments in this respect.

Finally, I'd like to explore my case for the removal of the bare-targetting system. As i wrote in the other thread, scouts are practically forced (by the weight/sneak system) to be armourless on head, feet and hands. This puts them at a major disadvantage to other classes as far as damage reduction goes. I think this is completely acceptable, because we don't want thieves to become quasi-warriors by being completely armour-clad and still being able to sneak and backstab perfectly fine at the same time. Currently, you have to choose between being able to sneak&backstab and being a high-dex def-warrior. Makes sense.

Before moving into why the current bare-targeting system is detrimental to scouts I need to make a general note of the damage reduction/sturdiness of the various classes. I would argue that thieves are by far the weakest class in the game and has the least amount of damage reduction on the following basis:

WARRIORS
+highest HP pool
+high defence
+normally reasonably high WIL (spellsave)
+METAL/CHAIN armour with no/limited malus

CLERICS/MAGES (this is basically one class nowadays)
+armourspell (SCALES extremely well with levels and STACKS with physical armour - insane damage reduction)
+shieldspell (scales insanely well with levels and ignores so-called 'weight-reduced' DB.* My point is that if scout carries equipment worth 75lbs and grabs another 50lbs, his DB will be reduced by a MASSIVE amount, whereas if a mage/cleric grabs another 50 lbs of EQ, his DB will be reduced by somewhere between 0 and 1 DB. This is because while your base DB is reduced, the DB emanating from the shieldspell will be buffed. Zack, with shieldspell, grabbed 100lbs extra in addition to his normal eq and his DB was reduced by 1.)
+full metal/chain armour without much malus (this scales extremely well with armourspell and the slight mobility malus is effectively countered by travelling lore)
+decent/high WIL(spellsave)
+insta-recite abilities,
+sanctuary spell (and a special purple-sanc cap feature)
+usually protected by warriors
+damage reduction/survivability positively buffed with level-changes (armour/shieldspell scales well)
-low HP pool
-low PB
-low dex (fleeing)

THIEVES
+ high dex
+ high defence
+ medium HP pool
- low WIL (spellsave)
- severe limitations in physical armour
- survivability negatively affected by level changes (clerics' DPS scales better than the few extra HP scouts got from the level changes)

As it quite clear from the foregoing, scouts are most susceptible to damage and have the least amount of damage reduction. The damage intake is _FURTHER_ amplified by the bare-targeting system. This system basically affects scouts only! Granted, mages/clerics wearing a circlet lack protection in 1/6 spots, compared to scouts 3/6. (But after the level changes, the current attackspell value of circlet is only 60%, so PKing casters will do well to switch into a great helm when PKing against theives/warriors).

The removal of the bare-targetting system would change the following things:
* slightly higher damage reduction for scouts in PK vs warriors and charmies. Note that the would still be, by far, the class most susceptible to damage intake - and BTW this includes all types of damage - magical damage (low wil) and physical damage (both from warriors and mobs due to non-protected areas). The removal of no-sneak would of course mitigate this to some extent, but flushing or 'chasing' are very simple counter-tactics to a sneak-shooting scout for instance. Also my proposed change on revealing sneakers upon entering the room will also help counter sneak-shooting thieves.
* slightly higher XP-rate (less time spent on regen)


ROGON IDEA:

2. Removing hide would reduce some of that survivability again. It could be replaced with some other skill that does not increase survivability.

MY COMMENT:

See discussion above. Hide does not need to be fully removed, just simply tweaked to negate some of the survivability aspects of it. Using hide offensively, e.g. hidetraps, hiding outside doors to backstab, loophiding to backstab provides effective measures for scouts to get kills.

ROGON IDEA:

3. Steal skill could be replaced with something useful too. Again, preferably not survivability.

MY COMMENT:

I'd welcome this discussion, but I don't think that it should be at the expense of anything I've proposed.

ROGON IDEA:

4. Maybe a skill that makes scouts useful to groups? At the moment they bring nothing really except parry splitting. Or do people who play scouts do so because they like to play solo? Today most scouts are probably solo-players because... It's more or less the only thing they can do?

MY COMMENT:

I'd welcome this discussion, but in general, I think my proposed changes, particularly around the removal of the bare-targetting system, and the removal of no-sneak would make scouts slightly more useful in groups. In general, I think people would play scouts more and inadvertently, it would lead to scouts grouping up with other classes.

ROGON IDEA:

5. Scouts should be encouraged to play in non-metal armour. One thought: Move cost while sneaking is affected by what you wear. Current move cost = about 4 pieces of chain. Increased cost for 5-6 chain and even more for plate. But also reduced cost for less chain/plate. Goal: Scouts wear more leather, gets less survivability in melee, but can move around more sneaking. Since it'd be optional, from today's situation in sneak cost, noone would lose anything if they kept their chains. But you'd be tempted by the possible gains.

'Bad' possible side effect: rem armour to sneak around, put it on when fight incoming.

Also 'bad': There's not really any legend-eq in the leather department.

Also tweaked depending on what you wear could be sneak chance, backstab chance. But it would have to be done with both a gain and a loss compared to today's situation.

MY COMMENT:

Let me comment on your stated 'goal' first: 'Scouts should wear more leathers, and get less survivability in melee'. There are a million reasons why this 'goal' does not make sense, but let me comment on a few of them:

* Already the weakest class! As i've outlined above, and i repeat, SCOUTS ARE, BY A LANDSLIDE, THE WEAKEST CLASS IN TERMS OF DAMAGE REDUCTION AND MELEE SURVIVABILITY.
* Scouts generally have higher STR than clerics/mages. Why 'should' scouts be confined to leathers, but not mages/clerics. It does not make sense. Currently, as stated above, clerics/mages will do wisely to wear full METAL (i'm not even talking about CHAINs) without any nameworthy malus, whilst scouts cannot even wear full CHAIN.


Actually, let me be perfectly clear - Any changes towards this goal will be the end of an already deeply depressed closed-area PK-ing scout class. Removing no-sneak will not begin to weigh up the negative effects. This I can 100% guarantee you.

Can I ask what your basis for this goal is? Is it RP-based or gameplay-based? Either way, I really can't wrap my head around the reasoning.

I'll finally comment on another goal which you mention, namely 'Scouts should be encouraged to play in non-metal armour'. I don't disagree with this. The fact is that scouts are CURRENTLY SEVERELY dis-incentivized to play in metal armour. Metal armour is extremely heavy, and scouts' sneak and backstab skills will simply not function if METAL is worn. I've seen 1, maybe 2 scouts wear shining metals and be bare on head, feet, and hands. Is this your concern? First off, shining metals are supremely hard to obtain, particularly for a scout. Next, such rare instances of scouts will have to drop extremely important consumables (rocks, draughts, scrolls) to cope weight wise. Third, they are still bare on 3/6 body parts and still just as susceptible to magical damage. Fourth, if anything should be encouraged, it is for mages/clerics NOT to play in METALs with no maluses. Scouts already have maluses for this (sneak/backstab/weight/mobility).


Finally, I'd like to think that i'm reasonably objective with my proposed changes. I welcomed the level-changes, although I was probably the 2nd most negatively affected player by this in terms of charpower (Elestir first!). I've always been, and particularly when playing Day, an avid advocate of de-buffing mages and clerics, in particular the insta-recite and purple-sanc-cap features.

I'm focused on the PKing side of things, so I've limited my comments above to just that. A few minor remarks on the exping side of things. I think this is more or less balanced as is. I think you can achieve a reasonably high exp-rate as scout (not nearly as high as mages/clerics ofcourse, but mages/clerics are always #1 at everything so let's not worry about that for now). I think that backstab as a pureish thief (107%) works just fine. Yes, you will fail a stab on a plain horse now and then. Yes, you will fail a stab at a sleeping player sometimes. No, you should not stab multiple orkish bodyguards or multiple stacks of mobs with high awareness. With some common sense applied, I don't think XPing as a scout is all that bad.

I also think it's reasonably balanced that in order for you to backstab well in exp, you need to be pure. Similarly for other classes, warmages and warclerics will suffer in exp. So why should not warscouts and magethieves suffer similarly? I think the current state is fine basically.

The removal of no-sneak, and the introduction of my other proposed changes, _should_ (based on my experienced and understanding of game mechs) not drastically affect the XP-rate. Mobs seem to be extra aware just after you've stabbed them. So even though i use escape while backstab-exping, I will wait a few extra secs to let the mobs cool down. In other words, in the event no-sneak is removed, a person spam backstabbing after fleeing will probably not be very successful, imo.

In summary, I'm proposing the following 5 changes. They are reasonably balanced and address most issues PKing scouts are currently facing, whilst at the same time not making them as allegedly 'powerful' as they were prior to Ilie's changes. The side-effects, e.g. in XP, should be fairly neutral. Finally, they should be very easy to code and to implement. And if people don't like it, you can always blame me! :)


1. Remove no-sneak.
2. Remove the sneak-bonus-damage on all weaponskills except missile (I believe currently it is available on piercing weapons and missile).
3. Remove the current bare-targetting system (currently you will focus your strikes on bare areas) and revert to the old one where it was basically random/or based on 'percentage breakdown of body areas'.
4. Ensure that hiding targets outside are automatically revealed if tracked into the room in which they are hiding. Keep current hiding system indoors as is.
5. entering a room upon a sneaking non-hidden player should automatically reveal the sneaking player.

2017/03/10 14:28, Zepir:   
Its so damn frustrating that a majority of people want changes and management doesnt give two shits they let old hags who dont play keep a tyrannical control.of.the game. Its like they wNt mume to die

2017/03/10 14:36, Telessar:   
Zepir do you have an immortal? This kind of attitude does not encourage any of the management to work.

2017/03/10 14:56, Zepir:  edited 1x   
its always been like this, no matter what people want its the management who thinks they know whats best for the game , while people continue to leave and go on to find other games, seriously is this not a fact that these people dont even play anymore nor do they care, they keep their dogmatic ideas of what they want the game to be and see it as their own and no one elses, look at game companies that act like this for example Blizzard. Its time to hear the voice of the players and maybe bring some back, its pretty stupid they keep making pointless huge super zones and dumb ass foci that no one can get instead of listening to what the players want. We need polling in game we need alot of shit right now this game is just slowly going down hill , I mean I dont see mume being dead any time soon but playing a declining game is just so depressing.

over the years I have seen many people want to get involved but they are not allowed to , there is a stupid immortal system that requires you to invest a bunch of time into nothing before being allowed to do anything, we should really hear the voice of mume players and start polling etc, Mume would not exist without the players , who cares what the fussy old cranky grump and dogmatic V+ and A+ want, they do not populate the game, they do not keep it going, instead they impose their draconian idea of what the game needs to be like, look at any major game company that acts like this, they all suck and lose many players, go take a look at the most popular muds out there right now, constantly have 150+ players on every day at anytime, there is no reason mume cant be like this, shit mume is such a great game if they actually improved it we could become the most popular mud online. but nooo the ainur dont give two shits about what the players want plain and simple.

2017/03/10 14:57, Telessar:   
It's their hobby. Not their job. A decent coding project in mume would take like 60hr+ from what I understand. Assuming you come home from work everyday...To go spend coding for an hour to do xxx in this game for 2 straight months to finish a project sounds fucking awful. And then we you finish you have half of mume whining about changes (I am guilty too!)

2017/03/10 15:05, Zepir:  edited 1x   
yes I understand this but I have talked to alot of talented people who would galdly get involved and invest this time in mume if they had only been allowed to, the controls over this game are way to tight, there is no reason why mume cant be as big as aardwolf etc, why are we going to let this amazing beloved game die like this , I think everyone needs to start speaking out and pressing for more player base needs.

like I said, internal polling , how could this harm anyone? Lets see what the community really thinks, lets make a fuss until they open it up more. I see so much potential in this game, if retard games like Aardwolf can get 150+ online all the time, why cant mume? ITs really the Ainurs fault, they literally are ruining the game and do not care whatsoever if the majority of the population thinks that. This is a huge problem! I am not trying to sound like a complete ass hole but were talking bout a real scenario here.

I am actually very curious, I say we get a poll going on a new discussion and see how many people think the Ainur totally ruin the game by ignoring the player population , making it impossible to be apart of adding more and allowing coders to come in who have been playing mume since day 1 , like for example Elestir, hes a super smart guy if they let him help , I can imagine all the great things he would do for the game.

I am actually curious now, I do not think its just me who thinks this, lets start a poll on some random site and see how many people think the Ainur are ruining the game by completely ignoring the player base and creating things no one really cares for, the only thing they have done good in the past 10 years I have been playing is reducing the XP loss of PK death and doing the level change thing. Thats the only positive thing that has been added to this game in a flipping decade

2017/03/10 15:15, Cur:   
I, too, am guilty of occasional whining. But I don't think we can blame management for the decline of MUME. And certainly not the current management. The work being done on the game for the past 2-3 years has been outstanding. It even managed to bring me back as a part-time player.

There may have been a while a couple of decades ago, when hesitancy and a lack of manpower was a problem, but that's just how things sometimes are for any large and long-running voluntary projects anywhere.

2017/03/10 16:12, Barret:   
@Zepir,

Please stop beating up on the gods. Everyone, just stop that. It's extremely counterproductive. It's cool to share ideas. It's cool to dispute the ideas of others when you think that they are logically unsound. It is not cool to personally attack people who volunteer to spend their time maintaining and improving the game. No one is trying to kill MUME. We just have different ideas about what's best for it.
It's not just that insulting people is wrong, which it is. Think about it. You want these people to implement your suggestions. They are part time volunteers who are only likely to invest significant efforts in projects they are exited about. Alienating them and making them unappreciated is a great way to make sure they don't do anything at all.
Also, I don't understand why you think it's impossible to be a part of making the game better. The Istari quest is harder than it once was, but I wouldn't say it's impossible. And I believe that management made a change a while back so coders could move more directly into coding without the usual amount of world-building that had been required.

@(All Ainur)
I for one am very pleased with many of the improvements that have been made to the game in recent years. I love the new zones, quests, eq, command improvements, and all that stuff. I'm glad that at least some of you are willing to come here and read these posts. I'm sure that, if we put our heads together, we can find a reasonable way to improve thief parity with other classes and make them less boring/discouraging without making them overpowered.

2017/03/10 22:49, Zepir:  edited 1x   
It is my opinion that we get no where discussing ideas like this, go back and look through the thread and you can find years of these posts that did not affect 1 thing. If we attack the root cause and push for change maybe we can accomplish these things. Its obviously not pointless to discuss it , I am merely pointing out what I see here.

my main points is why is games like Aardwolf etc way more popular and successful then Mume? The management of those games focuses entirely on the people who play the game instead of the long gone creators and admins etc. I do not think I am being unreasonable bringing this stuff up, shrug.

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