It's Rogues, not Rangers

Feedback, bugs, and general gameplay related discussion.
Gurns
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It's Rogues, not Rangers

Postby Gurns » Fri May 14, 2004 10:13 pm

There are lots of posts about fixes for rangers, but the real problem is not that rangers are so underpowered, it's that rogues are ridiculously overpowered. What do they have?

(1) Sneak/hide. This is the big one. A god-like ability to pass unseen almost anywhere on the mud. Rogues effectively have "invisibility" on a mud where (almost) no mobs have "detect invis". How overpowered is this? Just compare it to the "invis" spell. Most high level mobs, and plenty of low level, have "di", no matter what their class. Obviously, it was decided that "invis" was too powerful, made things too easy, so a lot of mobs got the counter to it. So why do rogues get near-perfect invis by another name?

Note that sneak by itself is pretty powerful, too. A mastered sneak or a sneak item, plus a fast link, a good map, and speedwalk, and you're almost as good as hidden. You do have to worry about net/connectivity problems, which makes it less powerful these days given the mud box situation.

(2) Damage. Rogues are the most powerful melee damage class.

(3) Garrote. Rogues can silence a mob, within some limits. But the various "silence" spells have limits too, given the extreme MR that some mobs have. Rogues are an important backup class, for silence.

(4) Trip. Rogues can bash a mob. Rogues are an important backup class here.

(5) Pick locks/disarm traps. Given the zones on the mud, these aren't usually that required. But when you need to disarm a trap, you need a rogue. When it's a tough lock to pick, you need a rogue.

Since this mud is all about specialization, how is it that rogues are best at TWO crucial specializations (sneak/hide, melee damage), one of which is god-like? Plus being the only ones who have one sometimes useful specialization (disarm trap)? AND being a key backup class for two other needed tasks (garotte/silence and bash/trip), on top of that? Compare that to other needed classes: warriors, clerics, and enchanters. How many primary and secondary specializations do they have?

Now, I wouldn't want to go back to the days of "moonwell in the thief to pick the lock, then well him out." That sucked. But rogues can be mightily downgraded, without getting to that point.

I'd suggest, at a minimum:

Downgrade rogue regular damage. Make rangers the top melee damagers, the monks of Toril2. However, I'd keep rogue backstab damage high, and assassinate – the fun, roguish parts of the class. But their regular melee damage? This is a little guy with a knife, compared to bigger guys with swords and axes. If he's trying to stand toe-to-toe, slugging it out, he should be doing relatively little.

Take away trip from rogues. Give it to rangers and take away ranger-bash. Trip suits the ranger class better than bash, anyway, IMO. If rangers are masters of weapons and dual wielding, why would they ever carry a shield? They wouldn't: Rangers would trip, or kick out the knee so the opponent drops to one knee, or something.

Downgrade hide. Make it so that any mob has a chance of seeing a hidden player. Maybe something like (mob level/4) percent chance. Yeah, this makes CRs after a spank harder. Yeah, this makes the speed sneak/hide/fold way of doing zones a lot harder. I think making things harder is a good thing, but that's a different post. Maybe downgrade sneak, too, but that'd have to be tested out, it might not be necessary if hide wasn't so perfect.

Anyway, if rogues get downgraded so they're not uber powerful, so they aren't the "go to" class for so many necessary specializations and backups, then I suspect you'd find that rangers would need relatively little in the way of upgrades. A little in the damage department, to make rangers the melee damage champs. Trip, or "kick out the knee" to make them the backup bashers while still be doing their damage without wearing a shield.

Do that, then you'd need both rogues and rangers in a group. Each would have one key specialization (rangers = melee damage, rogues = lure and CR), both would be a useful backup (rangers = trip, rogues = garrote), and both would have an "other useful skill" (rangers = barkskin, rogues = pick lock/disarm trap). And rogues would still have backstab, with useful poisons, and assassinate. I think that still leaves rogues among the more useful and powerful classes, but they wouldn't be so overwhelming.
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Postby Dalar » Fri May 14, 2004 11:27 pm

I don't think downgrading rogues is a great solution. Sneak/hide is great in that we don't have to spend days CRing or get a CR group (which is almost impossible these days due to the playerbase). If you want to balance rogues and rangers, just give rangers a circle type skill because that and khanjaris are making a huge damage difference between the two classes. You can add skills similar to the poisons rogues get to get closer to some sort of balance too.
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Postby Alomlim » Sat May 15, 2004 12:01 am

Good points Gurns and Dalar. If we gonged sneak/hide, we'd need to address the CR annoyance.

We should consider something a little more forward thinking. This MUD's CR style is mean and anti-player. A "summon corpse" spell or rechargable item, with ress fx, could work. Or a WoW style trick that turns you into a ghost and lets you perform your own CR. Whatever, hell if I know. But something other than praying for the one CR class to get your corpse, and all your thousands of hours of equipment back intact.

Something... easier.
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Re: It's Rogues, not Rangers

Postby shalath » Sat May 15, 2004 6:54 am

Gurns wrote:
(1) Sneak/hide. This is the big one. A god-like ability to pass unseen almost anywhere on the mud. Rogues effectively have "invisibility" on a mud where (almost) no mobs have "detect invis". How overpowered is this? Just compare it to the "invis" spell. Most high level mobs, and plenty of low level, have "di", no matter what their class. Obviously, it was decided that "invis" was too powerful, made things too easy, so a lot of mobs got the counter to it. So why do rogues get near-perfect invis by another name?

Note that sneak by itself is pretty powerful, too. A mastered sneak or a sneak item, plus a fast link, a good map, and speedwalk, and you're almost as good as hidden. You do have to worry about net/connectivity problems, which makes it less powerful these days given the mud box situation.


Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but to me this just sounds like a bard (read wannabe rogue) bitter that his sneak/hide sucks :P

-thalash
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Re: It's Rogues, not Rangers

Postby Sylvos » Sat May 15, 2004 3:39 pm

shalath wrote:
Gurns wrote:
(1) Sneak/hide. This is the big one. A god-like ability to pass unseen almost anywhere on the mud. Rogues effectively have "invisibility" on a mud where (almost) no mobs have "detect invis". How overpowered is this? Just compare it to the "invis" spell. Most high level mobs, and plenty of low level, have "di", no matter what their class. Obviously, it was decided that "invis" was too powerful, made things too easy, so a lot of mobs got the counter to it. So why do rogues get near-perfect invis by another name?

Note that sneak by itself is pretty powerful, too. A mastered sneak or a sneak item, plus a fast link, a good map, and speedwalk, and you're almost as good as hidden. You do have to worry about net/connectivity problems, which makes it less powerful these days given the mud box situation.


Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but to me this just sounds like a bard (read wannabe rogue) bitter that his sneak/hide sucks :P

-thalash


Well I don't know about the rest of you, but to me this sounds just like a rogue too worried about his abilities with a broken set of skills to see the reality of the situation.

And no, this isn't a just ranger joining the crusade against rogues.
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Re: It's Rogues, not Rangers

Postby shalath » Sat May 15, 2004 6:17 pm

Sylvos wrote:Well I don't know about the rest of you, but to me this sounds just like a rogue too worried about his abilities with a broken set of skills to see the reality of the situation.

Heh. Ok, here's my take. I think that rogues as a rogue class, with the sneak/hide, are just great. There are high chances of dying horribly if you screw up, but if you are a very skilled rogue player (note: just having sneak/hide maxxed isn't enough, you have to be good at using them), you -should- be able to be almost invisible. I don't think that's overpowered. It enables you to actually explore the mud and become a better leader.

What I do disagree with is the "rogue as damage dealer" part of the class. While I obviously enjoy it lots, I think that fighters (and their subclasses, including the whinging rangers) should be the people who do melee damage. Big two handed sword surely must do more damage than short sharp dagger! But it's not up to me, so I'll sit back and play the class as it is until they change it, and then I'll learn how to play the changed version :-)
Sylvos wrote:And no, this isn't a just ranger joining the crusade against rogues.

Bah, of course it is. You're a ranger, this is a crusade against rogues, what more proof do I need? :)
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Re: It's Rogues, not Rangers

Postby Lenefir » Sat May 15, 2004 9:39 pm

shalath wrote:What I do disagree with is the "rogue as damage dealer" part of the class. While I obviously enjoy it lots, I think that fighters (and their subclasses, including the whinging rangers) should be the people who do melee damage. Big two handed sword surely must do more damage than short sharp dagger!

And many/most swords do more damage than a plain dagger, the big difference is in all those quested or (hard-to-get) from zones which proc damage or extra attacks and the like. When you in addition have that most rogues primarily goes for damage over ac, hp, saves and such which many warriors (or tanks:P) seems to prefer, you have another difference. Then of course you have the thing that rogues tends to go for max-dex instead of max-str, or max-con or such, to get an extra attack, and in addition the rogues' ability to know where to stick that dagger so it really hurts. Those are the differences in my opinion. And if you really want to kill the rogues ability to sneak around, "just" change it to move silently/hide and an opposite spot check like it is in 3rd edition (or 2nd too?), and I bet you will see a lot more (rogue) corpses at the morgue. Besides, blocking mobs, locked (non-pickable) guarded doors, and faerie procs stops a rogue too.

(So much for trying to explore the mud *mutter*)
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teflor the ranger
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Postby teflor the ranger » Sun May 16, 2004 1:19 pm

I just need to dual swiftwinds. :)
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Postby Talomis » Sun May 16, 2004 9:59 pm

dualing swiftwinds would be nice...but let us dual windsong, be able to do that would make all my complaints go away....and ofcourse let it proc offhand :P Even now it doesnt make sense...the windsong description says "this magically light scimitar" yet its weight 12!? Being able to dual windsong, and even swiftwind I think would stop a lot of complaints by rangers
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Postby Sarell » Mon May 17, 2004 8:27 am

rogues arn't so tuff...... all of my caster chars can outsolo my rogue no worries at all. My warrior prolly couldn't out do my rogue for ninja antics, but he certainly is needed in groups more by several factors.

Sneak / fold... I think illusionists and smoke plane are far more dire to old style zoning than rogues. You pretty much always could ninja into most zones. I really don't see the problem generally. Not like you can even enter musp any other way. And branches are and on going debate... we skip them, everyone skips them, why? cos branches are >>> than jot / musp. If you bought a group that could defeat branches easily - because face it if a group can't even get into the zone smoothly you will have a crap time - then the said group would have a very boring time in jot / musp. Like Dalar said, new rogue antics can make CRs a bit easier, pretty sure that makes the game more fun for most. Sure there isn't huge gear loss now, but then 'back in the day' you didn't spend a year making one item.

If you specifically don't want to sneak fold, then dont....? I have lead several full blown charges on musp invasion, had a blast, also had a blast ninjaing it with a small group of excellent palyers a few times.

Do rangers only do damage? I don't think so... They out tank a rogue by leaps and bounds (excluding amolol), they can bash (they should be able to trip), they can tvp, they can PWT and sneak (someone said sneak and speedwalk almost as good as hiding? well it it even better if you have PWT up), they can lure very well. Sure they have their problems, but I don't really see them being related to rogues? I'd like to see the stats on damage output of a bow VS rogue melee with circle, I know dire raiders pwned my rogue when leveling up. *Loss of arrows due to crash has to be fixed.* Perhaps this would get more rangers to use their skills more seriously. While it is certainly waving a high banner, when Weylarii / Twyl come to a zone with me, they are most certainly not just filler, they do all sorts of neat tricks, provide reasonable melee damage (nothing > voker as it should be). Not to be mean, but I have tried to get as many rangers as possible in my groups of late to check them out better, not the most solid player base in ranger land atm....
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Postby Shar » Tue May 18, 2004 1:08 pm

We could delete the rogue class from the mud and rangers would *still* need upgrades. There are changes due for rogues and it'll happen. So many factors need to be considered when upgrading/changing/downgrading/balancing *any* class on this mud that it takes a long time to do it right. Sometimes, we don't even get it right the first or second or third (etc) time. :P
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Postby Ashiwi » Tue May 18, 2004 3:39 pm

If you think rogues are overpowered, then my suggestions would be something like:

1. Downgrade sneak, but not hide. Does every class need to be able to dash through zones unseen? What's the point of having a rogue if the human mage can do it with his sneak cloak just as well? Downgrading sneak would give even rogues a greater chance of being caught moving room to room, instead of when they're sitting still hidden, which is as it should be.

2. Do something about fold. Everybody complains about how game-breaking rogues are, but we wouldn't be able to get an entire group to the end of the zone without this spell.

3. Remove circle. I'd miss it. I'd hate losing it. I'd have nothing to do during melee, and I don't wank off to pron so I'd be bored spitless. Spending that little time to maneuver around a mob and position myself just right so that I can surprise them by putting my daggers in their backs seems a little on the ridiculous side, though. I can do it almost as fast as Nilan can say it.

4. Find more uses for traps and !keyed, locked doors inside of zones. I know this isn't downgrading, but it'll help if the groupability of the class is reduced.

5. Institute critical miss code, and lay it on thick for rogues, especially when they're using certain skills. Let's face it, I love feeling like superwoman, but if I'm riding a mob like it's a rodeo bull, holding on for dear life to my garrote, and the rest of the group is swinging swords and casting spells at the same mob, how in the name of the nine hells do I manage to keep my hinders intact??? That would be a crazy situation. Let's do the math... if I'm wielding little pig-stickers, the warriors are wielding axes, the paladins are wielding two-handed swords, and the mages are standing off at a distance tossing spells, who is more likely to get hit by an errant swing of a sword? The one closest to the mob? So of all engaged players, the ones wielding piercing weapons should be the most at-risk. If nothing else, introduce critical miss code for rogues who are garroting. Should it use a save? Base it off a rogue's evasion skill... that would be evil.

6. Make more rogue saves based off their evasion skill. Talk about killing off a horde of young rogues. It takes forever to build this skill to a decent level, so put it to work against us.

7. I've already posted about major para poison, but that's more game-breaking in solo situations than it is in groups.

8. Increase rogue need for hitroll again. Everybody's complaining about the insane damage a rogue does, so why take away the one thing that's preventing them from achieving insane damage roll modifiers?

9. I haven't completely thought it through yet, but I think there may be potential in the idea of removing trip from rogues and giving it to rangers. It would be nice to have some kind of bone tossed to rogues for the removal of several nice skills, such as trip and circle, though, but I haven't thought of something completely roguish which wouldn't be outrageous, yet.

Hrmmmm... I'm sure I can think of more, but I'm gonna leave it at that for now. I'm not saying I like the idea of changes like these, but they seem fairly sensible when considering the fit of the rogue class into the rest of the mud. Just remember one thing... as much as I can do with my rogue, I can't do half of what a good caster can do. I can't touch most of the mobs Inama does routinely. If the soloability of the rogue is reduced the potential of the class is reduced along with it. Nobody wants to play a class that's just there to pick locks and disarm traps. If anybody out there wants to argue that by pointing out other "useless" classes on the mud, I'd like to just reply ahead of time by stating "why reduce the playability and "fun" factor of one of the more fun classes, since that does nothing to enhance the game?"

I've worked a long time to get to the point where I can do some of the things I do with my rogue. I certainly hope nobody out there is trying to suggest that rogues are "overpowered" when held up in comparison to a good caster, because I'd have to say that would be a great big crock of the smelly stuff. No, we're being compared to Rangers, right? Sheesh. Do we really want another class that everybody moans and cries about? Do we want to reduce the effectiveness of one of the most fun classes in the game in order to further widen the gap between caster classes and melee? Why bring the rogue down to the Ranger's level when the answer should be the opposite?

If there were a way to reduce group-related skills without reducing solo-related skills, I'd be much more supportive of potential rogue downgrades, as Gurns suggested with backstab and assassinate. In the meantime, I'll just keep reminding all other classes who want to be able to keep up with the rogue class, that there's a class or two out there that I'd love to be able to keep up with, too. I don't mind not being able to do exactly what they do, because there are occasions when I can do something they can't, and that's the way it should be.
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Talomis
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Postby Talomis » Tue May 18, 2004 11:39 pm

ok, instead of making downgrades everywhere, why not just add a couple things to rangers? You say taking away circle and trip etc would make melee boring for you? What the heck do you think its like for us rangers? We get to kick..............thats aboot it. I say give us a neat damaging combat skill, and maybe bump up archery damage...I mean firing 3 arrows at someone full force is gonna do a crap load of damage. Oh and lets bring back the pink godly force ansi :D
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Postby Sarell » Thu May 20, 2004 7:53 am

The intercept idea of weylarii's was tehe best ranger idea ever imho.. that skill would so rules, everyone would bring a ranger to zones, possibly even replacing a warrior / pally.

NOTE: the intercept idea gave rangers the ability to automatically engage an agro mob entering the room, a bit like aggresive atm however based on a skill and at a much higher rate including while already in combat. And give em trip of course.

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