[crossfire] Priority feature list

Juha Jäykkä juolja at utu.fi
Fri Jul 20 04:53:19 CDT 2007

Ok, so this thread was supposed to be about broad issues... I'll try to
weer back to that direction. My first reply was mainly intended as "are
these things I could add to the wiki", so I'll try to summarise my
initial points at the end to ask again: are these something that could be
added to the wiki? I hope I remember when I'm done answering... =)

> > First, most quest-reward and artefact items are weapons. This makes
> Not just weapons, getting e.g. a girdle as a fireborn, or boots as a
> serpentman, or anything which won't be usable in any way is not really a
> quest-reward but a joke.

You're quite correct. I mentioned weapons only, because they dominate the
rewards and they affect most characters (girdles do not affect monks and
dragons, boots do not affect monks etc).

> > I'm not saying never reward a monk with a sword, but make it much less
> > likely than rewarding a fighter with a sword.
> No, why should I ever start / solve a quest if the payment is worthless
> for me? I don't want to get useless rubbish as a "reward".

You misunderstood me here. I did not mean "let this quest sometimes
give a sword as a reward, even to a monk", but "if some quest always
gives a sword, it's ok" instead. I admit I wasn't quite explicit before.
Going back to Excalibur as a reward...

> But Excalibur won't be the quest reward! King Arthur just wants it back.
> So you have give it to King Arthur to receive your quest reward. And
> this won't be Excalibur, isn't it?

What if King Arthur has been dead for little over a millennium? He won't
be giving out the quest nor the reward; the evil lich (all powerful
villains always seem to be lichs or wizards...) has simply kept Excalibur
as a trophy over his fireplace (or, his being a lich, should that be an
ice-cube pool?). In that case Excalibur would be the reward, *every*
time, even for the monk. I do not see this as a bad thing - at least not
when it is known beforehand that the reward will be useless *and* when
this type of quest is a vanishing minority.

[messing up a little with the order of discussion here]

> > but I personally like the idea of making more race-specific items; add
> > body parts like "dragon tail" and "fireborn tentacle" to the races and
> > create objects that consume these.
> I like that idea, too. :)

This has actually two points why I like it: first, it allows creation of
objects only fireborns, dragons, serpentmen etc can use (can items
check fireborn_player_force or such when being equipped?) which is a nice
feature just for gameplay and helps distiguish the races. Second, it
helps balance things: consider a fireborn, who can wear 7 items (4 rings,
2 amulets and a cloak) and a human, who can wear 11 items (boots, pants,
girdle, torso-armour, bracers, gloves, 2 rings, amulet, helmet and a
cloak). To keep things balanced, the 7 items a fireborn can wear *and*
its race-abilities must equal in power the 11 items a human can wear.
With things like Carrillium apron for humans to wear, combined with some
other almost as powerful items, the fireborn has no hope of matching the

> http://mailman.metalforge.org/pipermail/crossfire/2007-July/011596.html

That's a concrete proposal, I was supposed to try to stick to broad
issues... I already forgot that above, so I won't go into details here.
Your idea seems good, but perhaps a little confusing to beginners (and we
need to be attractive to beginners to get more players). I'm sure,
though, that it can be refined to a non-confusing system. I particularly
like the idea of guild memberships as a requirement of high capability
level of skill X ,though I never figured out why the "skill level" exists
in your system at all. (Perhaps I read carelessly.)

One point of stat-caps needs to be made here: I did not mean I am against
fixed *natural* stat limits, they are ok. I'd say they are adamant. With
natural stat limits, the absolute stat limit follows from the amount of
bonuses you can equip simultaneously. I do not feel there is a need to
separately limit this magically adjusted maximum.

That said, I *do* favour the idea of fixing limits on the maximum bonuses
items can bring about. Sword with Str +10 is too powerful, unless it has
item power ~100. It would be ok to have some items with a *single*
exceptional property, provided that would only be usable by players of
extremely high levels *and* that even they could not simultaneously use
another (even slightly) powerful item. (Note that this implies a hard cap
on level OR making a distinction between how much item power a character
can equip and the character level. If the item power -limit can be
increased without limit, there is no point in limiting the usability of
Str +10 -items by item power since eventually two exceptionally powerful
items could be used anyway.)

At this point, I'll advance another idea I have, which is a major change:
alchemy. In the past, there was just alchemy, now there is jewellery,
weaponsmithy etc in addition, this is nice. I like it. At the moment
there are separate formulas for "ring ac +1" and "ring ac +2" etc. (There
may not be actual formulas for these specific items, but read on, you'll
get the point.) While this is fun, I think it is too restrictive. I think
the "alchemy" system should work so that once you know the formula for
"make this item make me stronger" or "make this item make me more one
with powers of nature" (mana regen bonus), you could repeatedly use the
same formula (or a simple variant, I'll return to this point soon) to get
the item even stronger and stronger. Now, simply repeating the same
process over and over makes it too easy to produce "ring str +10" or
whatever is the maximum. There are two easy ways out of this: either make
the cost of the bonus (or item power?) prohibitively expensive as the
power of the item increases - something like weapon enchanting needs more
sacrificial lamb... er... diamonds as wer bonus goes up; except that I'd
like the cost to be exponential (or nearly). The other solution would be
to limit the maximum item power a character can enchant an item to. Say,
at level 10 you can at most enchant an item which has item power 1. This
would be a hard limit, like charm never charming higher-level monsters
than the caster. Also, the possibility of failing should be kept around.
Additionally, at 100th level, it would be easier to make item power 1
than it is at 10th level.

I also do not like that "improve stat bonus" and the like are applicaple
to weapons only (monks, fireborns, dragons can not benefit from this).
There are other solutions to this part of my grudge, but my idea above
solves this as well.

> That's why I've no idea why "fireborns with meteor swarm" is an issue
> for game balance...

I do not either, but it is probably because anyone else carelessly using
meteor swarm will die of the *fire* damage *themselves*, fireborns won't.
Being able to blast meteor swarms all around you in tough situations
without need to escape the inferno is one of the few things that make
playing fireborns worth while. Without it, they'd never close the gap
caused by being able to wear no more than 7 items at a time. Besides,
meteor swarm has its obvious disadvantages, namely monsters with fire
immunity need to be hit directly with the meteors and that damn inferno
burns all items around. You never get any nice rings or amulets that way
(unless the items are in a different room).

> Also for lower levels. Ever tried to level up praying as a level 1
> Ruggilli priest?

I have, but since I was in a party, it was not tough. Sorig also has
turning denied, which makes the first few levels very tough for sorigists
as well.

> > Fifth, at high levels, spells are useless. It's almost always easier
> > and more effective to simply karate chop or weapon slash everything
> > you bump into.
> Not only on high levels, especially for low levels.

I disagree. Low level fireballs are effective against orcs etc. At low
level, orcs are still able to kill you, so you'd better watch it -
blasting fireballs from way off is a good way to be careful. At ~60th
level, my fireborn monk is unable to kill a greater daemon with spells
(there are situations and tactics which make the statement untrue, but
karate is still faster), but he can easily karate chop it.

> Ever tried to play a sorcerer without using physical attack skills? You
> won't be able to kill some monsters because they regenerate their hp
> faster than you sp.  A dragon player just run through them like they're

Fireborn sorcerer, no problem, thanks to Attuned: fire and burning hands.
Non-fireborns, however, *do* have the sp regen problem. But even a 108th
level spellcaster, who regenerates 1 sp *each* *tick* cannot kill certain
monsters with spells - and this is where the real problem lies. It's ok
to have only a single method to kill a "final boss" monster, but first of
all, this applies to ordinary monsters, too and second, this method often
involves things some characters can not do, like using a very powerful
weapon or being able to sustain zillion hp of cold damage (I chose cold
here since fireborns have been a concern and they really cannot withstand
cold - not even that of a couple of chinese dragons).

> Not so for CF.  Being a high level mage won't give you enough power to
> kills some of the high level monsters where others just need to run into
> them.  This is really annoying.


> http://mailman.metalforge.org/pipermail/crossfire/2007-July/011613.html

Exactly. The four items mentioned surpass any combination of two rings
and an amulet from the spell casting point of view. Not to mention there
are weapons and armour with spell casting bonuses as well (you left
torso, hands and weapon slots free in your example; I assume Idaten
boots). Also, I think "of Magi" is an artefact modifier which can apply
to pretty much any item, at least I think it can apply to armours (I have
a character with a crown of magi - I'm not sure if its random or unique
item, cannot recall).

> "reorganizing the entire world" thread:
> http://mailman.metalforge.org/pipermail/crossfire/2007-June/011532.html

I have read that and I dislike the idea of segregating players of
different levels. Much better would be warning signs immediately after
entering a dungeon - or the "magic mouth" -kind of warning someone
suggested: "You get the feeling this dungeon is extremely dangerous/very
easy". Of course, high level players repeatedly cleansing low-level
dungeons for various reasons is a problem. Testground for new spells
might help that, though. (I admit having gone out to newbie tower to test
some new stuff and spells.)

> Don't make CF2 compatibel with CF1.x and everybody has to start with
> level 1.  This is necessary after big changes in the system.

Ok. No argument here.

> I'm still a friend of having quests only solvable once for each
> character.  No rerun possible.  How often will King Arthurs Excalibur be
> stolen by the same crowd?

How about a party solving a quest? Should each character who participated
be prevented from doing it again or only the one who "receives" the quest
and the reward? This sounds like a nice idea, but I am also afraid it
means that soon some characters will have nothing else except the random
hack-and-slash dungeons left.

> But don't mix up the regions.  So you don't have to care about rebalance
> the system again, because you have well balanced lower level regions.
> If player with powerful items from high level regions are able to
> harvest on lower level regions the balance is gone...

That should be pointless. If you can go kill dragons with impunity and
get 100000 gold from each one's hoard, there is no point harvesting the
few dozen silver you get from newbie tower. Also, gearing towards D&D 3rd
edition -type XP system might help. In the mentioned system, a 20th level
fighter killing a kobold gets no XP what so ever. Thus you can't even
level up by map camping in newbie tower (waiting for the generators to
spawn you a million orcs).

> >   IMO, pretty much every generator could be removed from the game and
> Yes, or make them run out of monsters.  And hidden.  Or how do you
> explain a "monster generator" in the real world? ;-)

Aah, that would be a nice solution! It would fit nicely in a "real" game
world even.

Ok, now the summary - if anyone bothered reading this far... =) Numbering
is as in original post. And I will try to be brief, not mention any
specifics and only write what I feel has been agreed upon by all posters.

1) Quest rewards must be rebalanced to be usable to all characters
solving the quests.

2) Races must be rebalanced and allowed race-specific items (or at least
feature-specific, like "human(like) finger" or "human(like) torso").
Class balancing is also warranted, but there has also been a proposition
to scrap classes as they now exist alltogether. Finally, (magically
adjusted) max stat limits should be increased and maximum magical bonuses
for items specified. (Just got an idea: what if magic bonuses from items
stacked up non-linearly like resistances do? That would make it a lot
harder to get to maximum?)

3) Maximum level should stay. Perhaps even be lowered, but made much
harder to reach in any case.

4) This was not commented much, so I take it everyone agrees that all
spell casting "fields" (i.e. all separate deities, evocation, pyromancy,
summoning and sorcery) should have equally powerful "best" spells.
Preferably even equally powerful "best" spell for each spell level (or
few levels); i.e. not just have the ultimate most powerful spells equally
powerful, but the best first level spells as well and 10th and 20th and
so on. No need to have them equal at every single level, but every few.
Preferably when the previous best spell has become almost useless against
monsters the character is supposed to be fighting. I.e. if spark shower
is the best sorcery spell at 1st level and since is useless against 10th
level monsters, at 10th level there should be another spell which should
equal whatever other spell "fields" have acquired by 10th level.

5) Spells need to become more useful compared to running into monsters.
No definite solution was found for this yet.

6) This was not in my original list. This is the alchemy/jewellery/etc
change I propose earlier in this posting. No need to repeat it here, I

Phew... I wrote this mail in more than four stints during almost 24
hours, watching Die Hard 4.0 and such in between, so bear with me, if it
seems non-coherent.


		| Juha Jäykkä, juolja at utu.fi			|
		| home: http://www.utu.fi/~juolja/		|
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