Scout changes - ideas

Old MUME discussions.

Moderator: Builders

Forum rules
The posts in this forum should be related to MUME.
Finwë
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:57 pm

Scout changes - ideas

Post by Finwë »

First I will briefly summarise existing ideas / thoughts put forward. Then I will add some of my own in the following posts.
Finwë
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:57 pm

Summary of Testmume feedback on scout changes revision 1 & 2

Post by Finwë »

This is a brief summary of the ideas presented in the 59+55 posts in these two threads (Testmume feedback on scout changes revision 1 & 2). Italics are mine. The rest is either quoted or paraphrased:

Make it so Panic doesn't cancel sneak, only prevents backstab. - Razoor

Implement an auto-escape similar to flee, so that you proceed until successful, unless you type "escape off". - Fankil

Make sneak less effective with panic (reduce the total sneak %). - Jahara

Implement a stab-cap of 300 damage maximum, even with sting. - voravith

Just fix Hide (esp. hide circles) and nothing else. - Many people

why not expand it so that you cant cast spells or bash when panicked? - Mindy ... - Or attack? OK, that wasn't 100% serious, but just affecting sneak by panic seems a bit arbitrary (and we did use to have a few seconds where one could not attack after fleeing: remember "You cannot attack and flee!" Anyone?). - Finwe

When one is hiding, show a H or h in the prompt (preferably a H when one is freshly hidden, h when one has manually revealed oneself to the room through some command). Example: "of HcS Move:Slow>" - Wobbler

Compensate thieves in 1vs1 fights, e.g. with dual-wield daggers. - Edvard

fix it so you can stab sleeping targets whether you are sneaking or not - Snarp

increase regen based on hide % which ONLY takes effect while hiding. - Mindy

when revealing someone, let the sneaker know they've been revealed. - Mindy

When someone searches, let the sneaker know that the person is searching??? (Not sure if Mindy also meant this.)

It should be easier to escape from lower level mobs / players and harder to escape from higher level mobs / players. - Crackle

Escape should be (alot) more powerful, faster and useful than flee. It should not be inferior to flee in whatever aspect there is. (Reason: flee is free: escape is practiced.) - Elec

For pk, escape needs to be as fast or quite nearly as fast as normal flee - Mindy

And I'll just quote this message almost entirely since it is full of ideas.
Ugurz wrote: It seems like the intent of these changes is to allow warrior-groups to hunt down scouts that are running away from them. Here are some ideas ...

1. Remove sneak-malus flag that was added to panic some time ago.
2. Develop new sneak-malus flag as follows:
- If scout performs hit/shoot-flee, malus is not added.
- If scout performs backstab-flee, malus is added to panic flag.
- If mob/player hits scout first and he/she flees, malus is added to panic flag.
3. Panic malus has following affect:
- Scout's sneak/backstab functions normally when entering rooms.
- Scout's sneak-hide fails at some high-% chance when others enter his/her room.
- Scout may not hide-quick nor hide-fast with this flag.
- This will allow mobs/players to hunt scouts that are running away after backstab-fleeing.
4. Improve sneak. I am level 86 with 105% sneak and it fails ALL the time vs. mobs.
5. Improve escape as suggested in other post comments.
- It should be faster.
- It should never fail if fully practiced.
- It should not reveal the direction of escape to others in room.
(high awareness can have % chance to see direction of escape)
(nice bonus affect for whitie scouts, who tend to have high awareness)
- It might need to be a bit slower than flee, else flee sneak-malus will never happen.
6. Change scout guild practicing as follows:
- Reduce sneak from 23 to 16 practices to max learn.
- Reduce backstab from 23 to 16 practices to max learn.
- Allow all races to practice escape to 16 pracs.
- Scouts can use the 14 'saved' sneak/backstab practices for escape skill.
- Scout will have to move 2 pracs from other skills if he/she wishes to max escape.
7. Attack-oriented scouts would not be hindered by this system
- Can utilize hit/shoot-flee tactic without sneak malus.
- Can utilize escape if hit first by opponent(s), and not receive sneak malus.
- Optionally, hit/shoot-flee causes malus but hit/shoot-escape does not of course.
Also, like many others, I agree with this comment. So far I've not seen any answers.
Snarp wrote:Whats the reasoning behind the change? What are we trying to fix here?
It is difficult to find solutions when the problem is unknown! ;) Well, I have some ideas on what the problems might have been, but it would still be nice to know the background to these changes. Scouts were not unbalanced before.
Finwë
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by Finwë »

And some random ideas I came up with as I was reading those posts:

Flee shouldn't cause nosneak, only failed flees that cause panic should be able to cause nosneak. - Finwe - idea expanded below in my next post.

Allow shoot, etc. to work while escaping (just as it does while fleeing). - Finwe

Implement a maximum backstab level (thief level) so that levelling beyond say 75 (number picked out of the air) doesn't increase backstab damage. This is to prevent wizkill without penalising nearly all scouts. - Finwe

Make sneak twice as slow when paniced. - Finwe

Disclaimer based on what I said at the end of the last post about an unknown problem...
Finwë
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: PANIC / NOSNEAK

Post by Finwë »

Specifically PANIC / NOSNEAK:

I will group these together because I see no reason (other than gameplay ones) why PANIC and NOSNEAK should be separate as they are right now. Henceforth, assume that they are equivalent in this post.

1. Panic-affect should not be automatic when fleeing a fight, even if you had a failed flee. The reason for this is that fleeing is the usual way to leave a fight quickly (for any of a multitude of reasons). Failing a flee is also normal and not worthy of panic. Given this...

2. Panic-affect should be acquired under any of the following situations and only these:
(i) failing a flee three times in a row (can easily happen in a closable, especially if all the exits are closed!) So people will need to be quick with the flee off button!
(ii) if a critical hit (i.e. wound) causes your HPs to fall below your autowimpy and you don't switch flee off before this causes you to flee out of the room.
(iii) if you are below your autowimpy AND fail (one or) two flees in a row.
N.B. Failing a flee while bashed or held should not count as one of these failed flees (as you are stunned or frozen and therefore not able to panic). Eating a bash will probably put you below your autowimpy anyway, so your chance of getting panic goes up.
(iv) other involuntary causes of fleeing such as failing to save the fear spell.

3. There could be a small random component in (iii). And/or a component based on your will power (wil) and/or percentage of your autowimpy level your current hitpoints are.
Finwë
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by Finwë »

Ah, just discovered this thread in the Ideas forum with which there is some overlap.
Scout skills to compensate recent changes
However, that thread is more about original ideas and less about (ideas on) tweaking what we have, which this one is about at the moment. So I'll leave it unmerged.
Parrafin
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:48 am
Location: Roanoke, VA. USA
Contact:

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by Parrafin »

i've long assumed the "problem" with thieves has been their ability to sneak, hide, and in general avoid all unwanted confrontation. before the change i practiced a whole lot of attack, since it helps with flee & pierce, as i often use both. with the changes, maybe they'd be better off spent on escape, but this is at the cost of my ability to pierce well.
i doubt this was the intended result, at any rate.

i think those in charge should re-think escape, rather as a "retreat."
on a proper retreat by a skilled scout, the scout would keep track of enemies, if possible, while putting space between himself and the opponent. perhaps this could have the effect of negating panic, and even giving the thief the upper hand in a fight. this is only if the thief is skilled, lucky, and most likely facing no more than 2 enemies. not only would this give thieves a good reason to learn escape, but it'd encourage them to try to make a stand in some fights where they'd normally run off.

escape for a while till you get the upper hand, make a stand, escape a little more. it could be annoying (thats part of the essence of retreating), but less annoying than a thief who pulls a vanishing act.
wilderon
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:47 pm
Location: Portland Oregon

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by wilderon »

not showing escape directions means basically that you just disappear. might as well give word of recall or teleport scrolls to all scouts when they land from halls. nothing personal ugurz but that is a dumb idea. no reason you should just vanish.
Puke Lords: Beltar Avid Ballin Carltan Kamil Tevrak Rabble Langdin Wilderon

Evil Lords: Citan Wort Wilt Curt Ebonix Decimation
Finwë
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:57 pm

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by Finwë »

wilderon wrote:not showing escape directions means basically that you just disappear. might as well give word of recall or teleport scrolls to all scouts when they land from halls. nothing personal ugurz but that is a dumb idea. no reason you should just vanish.
Tell that to the orc assassin mobs! No, but seriously, I agree: the only justification for making escape not show the direction of the escape is to make it work the same way as escape works for mobs. Now, they should work the same way. But thinking logically about this, it is the mobs that should be changed and not the player form of escape.

Although... actually there is another justification for escape to work as in the mobile form (although I doubt it would cut it for many people): for large rooms (not tunnel rooms where the orc assassins usually manage to disappear), one could argue that 'escape' with no arguments should work, and that not everyone is likely to be watching you all the time, so you might be very lucky and, theoretically speaking, get in a 'hide quick' somewhere else in the same room, which then could mean you could leave the room sneaking and some people may not see where you went... And of course this whole process could be automated and become part of escape <direction>, possibly as a new command: escape <direction> hidden, which would have a random delay (since you probably wanted to wait until you thought no-one was looking before you hid) between disengaging and actually moving room.

OK, so that doesn't have much hope of being imped, but it shows that sometimes we dismiss things without really thinking of what reasons there might be for something to work in a certain way.

Nevertheless, I stand by my point that escape should work the same for mobs and players.
malthus
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:20 am

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by malthus »

One minor change that I think might help scouts a bit would be to change the stats (or respective stat-weightings) needed for the Wilderness skill. As is, the two premiere scout races...hobbits and elves...take rather significant hits to the stats needed (-1 to both for elves, -2 to the more influential strength for hobbits).

Seeing as how 1) most scouts are chronically short on moves as a result of needing to go mountless, and 2) scout skills requiring both high Dex and Per

(Not to mention that the reasoning behind brute muscle and/or willpower affecting general pathfinding skill has always seemed a bit dubious to me as compared to say, perception for finding better paths, agility for maintaining balance in precarious situations and avoiding unpleasantly taxing snags, general health, or perhaps some measure of common sense/knowledge)

EDIT: Erm, nevermind. The above based on faulty testing by myself that minor differences in the Wilderness skill were actually significant :P
Elenduil
Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:05 pm

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by Elenduil »

How about we make sneakers able to use the scout command without beeing seen?
Edvard
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 12:05 pm

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by Edvard »

Elenduil wrote:How about we make sneakers able to use the scout command without beeing seen?
Gasp! That's a great idea!
Parrafin
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:48 am
Location: Roanoke, VA. USA
Contact:

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by Parrafin »

malthus wrote:One minor change that I think might help scouts a bit would be to change the stats (or respective stat-weightings) needed for the Wilderness skill. As is, the two premiere scout races...hobbits and elves...take rather significant hits to the stats needed (-1 to both for elves, -2 to the more influential strength for hobbits).

Seeing as how 1) most scouts are chronically short on moves as a result of needing to go mountless, and 2) scout skills requiring both high Dex and Per

(Not to mention that the reasoning behind brute muscle and/or willpower affecting general pathfinding skill has always seemed a bit dubious to me as compared to say, perception for finding better paths, agility for maintaining balance in precarious situations and avoiding unpleasantly taxing snags, general health, or perhaps some measure of common sense/knowledge)

EDIT: Erm, nevermind. The above based on faulty testing by myself that minor differences in the Wilderness skill were actually significant :P

Even as man ... with all EQ i know of to improve MVs & MV regen, 117% wilderness, only holding 40lbs of equipment, bree to RD will deplete all my moves if i go mountless. bah! horses are a big encumbrance to scouts, yet they seem to be necessary to travel. i cannot determine whether it's gameplay or realism that's more important here, but this is one thing that leaves me often frustrated.
Elestir
Posts: 231
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:47 pm
Location: Olomouc, Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by Elestir »

Parrafin wrote:Even as man ... with all EQ i know of to improve MVs & MV regen, 117% wilderness, only holding 40lbs of equipment, bree to RD will deplete all my moves if i go mountless. bah!
Without rather high STR and travelling lore it is adequate that all your moves got depleted. If it was possible to spam from Bree to RD mountless without getting tired, how would you spam any scout down in open?
Parrafin
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:48 am
Location: Roanoke, VA. USA
Contact:

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by Parrafin »

Aha, good point, but I didn't mention that particular character also has 18 STR.

spamming from bree to RD unmounted is a fairly bad idea anyway. i'm just using that as an example of how far a scout really can spam around when unmounted. an unmounted scout < almost anyone else mounted when it comes to "spamming down."


perhaps i just had too high of hopes for my dunadan ranger to never need a horse. :oops:
joss
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 6:11 am

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by joss »

3 ideas for improving escape that i havent seen elsewhere:

Make the thief last entered in room after successful escape, ie the thief manouvers behhind the aggressive mobs/his pk opponents so that the mobs hit pk-opponents instead.

Make dooropening+doorclosing automatic on successful escape, assuming the door was not locked, , ie escape through doors. No rationale for this except that it solves a malus to escape (16 pracs) vs flee (0 pracs), ie doorspam.

Dont show XX seems to escape the fight to his opponents. Bit silly but would improve the skill.
dianos
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:47 pm

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by dianos »

Here's a rough idea for how escape could be changed, based on what few people have said already:
- "escape" can be turned on/off kind of like sneak.
- while escape is turned on, attempting to move while fighting would cause your character to start trying to escape in the given direction.
- the escape would be similar to fleeing, in that it would not be instant but the character could continue to fight while escaping.
joss
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 6:11 am

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by joss »

dianos wrote:Here's a rough idea for how escape could be changed, based on what few people have said already:
- "escape" can be turned on/off kind of like sneak.
- while escape is turned on, attempting to move while fighting would cause your character to start trying to escape in the given direction.
- the escape would be similar to fleeing, in that it would not be instant but the character could continue to fight while escaping.
Your suggestion is merely to let the thief have a chance of scoring 1 pierceattacks while escaping, still leaving escape hugeley worse than flee that is free. Possibly, if your suggestion lets the scout execute commands while escaping, it could let him get through doorspam but with much less efficiency than flee, which doesnt cost 16 pracs if you recall.

The only use for this suggestion is against solo mages where a thief could possibly attack the mage on agg and then escape directly to avoid the spell thats coming. And that is hardly whats broken with the thief-class.

Here is another suggestion, let flee cost 29 pracs and be general skill to somewhat reflect how much better that skill is to all the other classes than thief. Any1 ever saw that log where one smiter killed 3 uberlegend casters in dt?
dianos
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:47 pm

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by dianos »

I don't see how it would be "hugely worse than flee". What I had in mind when I wrote that was basically "flee with direction". ie. If you tried to escape, it would be the same as flee except that you could choose which direction you would flee to. Clearly that would not be worse than flee...

By the way, I don't really want escape to become a new must-have skill for thieves. I just want it to be viable.
joss
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 6:11 am

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by joss »

Ah, my bad then. I did not understand that you suggested that escape should be instant.

But with delay and high chance of failure on escape, flee is a stronger skill by far. Except that flee turns a thief into a pathetic version of a warrior without abs. So, the noflee-flag is grossly unfair. So, 29 pracs on flee is reasonable imho, if you compare it to escape.
Elestir
Posts: 231
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:47 pm
Location: Olomouc, Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: Scout changes - ideas

Post by Elestir »

dianos wrote:Here's a rough idea for how escape could be changed, based on what few people have said already:
- "escape" can be turned on/off kind of like sneak.
- while escape is turned on, attempting to move while fighting would cause your character to start trying to escape in the given direction.
I fail to see how this would bring anything good to the game. You can already use escape even for out-of-combat movement in sense you describe here (as if your escape switch was turned on). Yet I guess there is some extra movecost for moving using escape even if not in combat (which makes no sense imo).
dianos wrote:- the escape would be similar to fleeing, in that it would not be instant but the character could continue to fight while escaping.
If I understand you right, you want escape-delay work in same way as flee delay. Now that is interesting idea. It would at least allow opening the door while escaping, making escape a viable choice even in closable 1-roomer.
I can even imagine escaping to the direction closed with door to autoopen it when the escape is being executed. For now it could work only visible doors, and perhaps someday when door-memory for chars is implemented even for hidden doors (or there could be other not-so-user-friendly solutions like extending the escape command syntax to allow something like: "escape east through cask", etc.)
joss wrote:Except that flee turns a thief into a pathetic version of a warrior without abs. So, the noflee-flag is grossly unfair.
I agree it is unfair, but the former state was unfair as well. Then no penalty for fleeing in combination with instant ability to sneak past the enemy either with the purpose of escaping or striking again was heavily overpowered. Scout in moria was no-kill. Now it is still hard, but quite possible. Overall I think the current state is less unfair than the former one, but scouts deserve to get some new feature or improvement of the existing one(s) to achieve fairness imo.
joss wrote:So, 29 pracs on flee is reasonable imho, if you compare it to escape.
Everyone needs to flee efficiently. Therefore every sane player would max this skill on all his characters, making the need to learn this skill just an annoying waste of time. The only positive on this would be that you would see your knowledge of fleeing skill in the guild.
Locked