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Messages - Arkerless

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The Last Days / Re: Cavalry tactics under RCM
« on: February 29, 2012, 07:04:07 pm »
I have to say I still havent gotten a real army up to fight having just finished updating, but I did run a little rohan cavalry last night and it seemed very much like previous version w/RCM, where I did quite well with an all cavalry force, as long as that force was based on Rohan. As an evil player it's quite near impossible - Rhun troops just suck too bad, and it's not all down to their equipment. Khand has to have horse archers, Rhun wont provide many and disappears early, the orcs have no horse-archery and are way too slow, and the men of the south just cannot provide enough recruits to keep up. Plus their horse archers suck too.

I beefed Rhun and fixed some of the other issues, including giving Khand horse archers, and it was doable. Sort of.

But with Rohan? It's great. Your all-cavalry force shouldnt be *fighting* as such very often, of course, you want to try to join other battles with lots of other troops. You move faster on the map so it's easier to do that. Certain maps (particularly in mirkwood) you have to be spamming dismount the moment the map loads up and use your cavalry as infantry - but on other maps they rule.

They charge and die? Well don't let them do that! I usually have them follow me till in sight of the enemy, mark a spot for infantry and archers to group (as they lose their horses they will try to grab that bit of high ground I mark out and hold it) and then either lead them through the enemy and regroup them on the other side for the next charge, or give the charge order and then stop and take out a few with arrows while they charge, then order them to follow while you ride off at an angle to regroup. Either way you dont expect one charge to break them, you have to keep rallying them and reforming and doing it again. After a few failed charges you will be leading a mixed group, with the foot forming up on a bit of highground you can lead the remaining cavalry around it (and through the enemies) repeatedly until their morale goes down enough to have everyone charge for the finish.

EDIT to add that the improvements to the interface you mention WOULD RULE and I have dreamed of them many times, but I dont think you can mod that in.

I like your cavalry thread.

What I mean about the troop stats is just that, like with the items, you need some kind of baseline setup before you can even figure out how to approach a balance issue. Say troop X is overpowered in comparison to Y. Which do you raise and which do you lower? And how? Wrong anser may fix the relation between them but mess up another.

So I look at them and try to figure out where the problem is. And I need to have or be able to assemble a baseline idea of what the equivelant troop of different factions but the same rank, or different type but same rank and faction... well if there is one I have trouble seeing it at least. Having skills all at the same level, for instance - sure it doesnt affect the game if they have a skill for a weapon they dont carry. But when archers are carrying swords too and they are better with them than the infantry it might well affect the game.

This is the reason that I would be tempted to go ahead and impose a bunch of conventions that you quite correctly point out dont really have to go in. Just because they help the brain make sense out of it all and keep track. Set a baseline, perhaps based on how the PC skills and stats work, so an idealised baseline troop of level x and type y would work out to have these stats and this much prof. in his primary and this much skill in his secondary (archers should never be quite as good with their swords as they are their bows) weapons, a certain number of skills based on the numbers that  a character gets, split up in a way that reflects their role. Each actual troop of that type might be a little different, of course, but you have a baseline so you can identify and justify deviations, and when you go to balance you can see just exactly what is different between the troop that is working right and the one that isnt.

It is a LOT of work though. I understand how much, I did maybe 10-15% of it with the last version before I realised how much work it was, and just quit playing until this patch came out instead. Knowing it was about to come out doing the work just seemed extra masochistic.

The Last Days / Re: Combat Damage Model (RCM)
« on: February 29, 2012, 06:34:46 pm »
I just installed the updated item_kinds file (thanks for that) and notice a set of bugs from the Ron release that appear to still be in. Shield sizes were (and are) semi-random. Easterling round shield is 50, so is Harondor shield, but Haran model is much larger. Mordor Uruk shield is larger still, yet has a size of 40!

I would fix it myself if I could figure out how to edit this file, sorry.

The only point of bothering with modifying troops.txt is to change the balance in a meaningful way. Otherwise, you're better off just playing the mod, instead of wasting time on ill-planned re-workings.

Well from a balance perspective I am tempted to go through and do the whole file once just like Ron did with items - just to impose some sort of order to start with so you have some sort of baseline to tweak.

On the other hand you dont need to fix what aint broke and especially given the amount of time it takes to work through that file using the clunky tool I found to do it, so your approach obviously has some strong recommendation too.

While not every setting that I would change if I went all compulsive on that file again really has direct game affect - the stock troops file is just as crazy as the stock items file and as a result I tend to lean his way.


As far as I remember lore-wise, Elves are both more agile and stronger than orcs and humans; physically, they're all-around better. The later image of an elf being more agile but weaker is due to D&D balancing of the races, but the original LotR elves are quite strong.

While this is true, they are also portrayed as primarily gracile and agile, and only strong secondarily. Superhuman strength? Yes, certainly. But perhaps on par with an Uruk and below a Dwarf in brute force alone, and more known for speed, agility, and subtleties of the mind than for their strength.

The Last Days / Re: Combat Damage Model (RCM)
« on: February 29, 2012, 02:58:44 pm »
Playing RCM as archer, love it, one thing though:

Do I understand correctly that the bows having really low base damage makes Power Draw much less powerful?
E.g. an elven bow with 9 base damage and really high power draw (say 6) would only give you ~7 extra cutting damage for sinking ~12 extra points into STR? Or do I misunderstand the way this is calculated?

I think you misunderstand. I think that powerdraw affects bow+arrow damage, not just bow.

The reason the arrows get the damage instead of the bows is because the M&B engine is hardcoded to introduce accuracy penalties increasing as bow damage goes up. So in order to hold accuracy as a constant, the damage needs to be offloaded to arrows and to powerdraw bonuses (by laying out the right PD requirements for the bows.) AFAIK

Also, I think a way to introduce AP arrows would be to rebalance the bows/arrows a bit to where bows have higher damage and arrows lower. E.g. if bows had base 20 damage and arrows had an average of +20, Power Draw would be a bit more effective, but *more importantly* you could now introduce a bow with say base 3p damage.

But unfortunately you cant. You can make the arrow 3 damage, but the arrow doesnt determine whether it's 3p or 3c or 3b. It's whatever the bow is set to, period. Hardcoded.

Once you understand the limitations Ron works with his work looks even better IMOP.

The Last Days / Re: Good build for Rivendell Elf?
« on: February 29, 2012, 11:26:18 am »
Yeah, there were a number of obvious mistakes and inconsistencies. I've corrected them here -,2492.msg62134.html#msg62134

Thanks for that somehow I missed it the first time, or thought it was part of the other submod.

I will give that a try, I was going to try to balance the troops out again myself but if you save me some time on that I appreciate it.

The Last Days / Re: Combat Damage Model (RCM)
« on: February 29, 2012, 09:57:55 am »
but I doubt we should think of troops in TLD as being equipped with these. It would be far more probable and logical for them to be equipped with regular leaf-shaped spearheads. Besides, the artwork in game actually shows these leaf-shaped spearheads for all types of spears, nothing of the armor-piercing sort (a geek like Ron would probably notice an armor-piercing one, BTW).

He did, in fact. Look at the handful he left piercing - dunlanders have a few pokers that have very low damage but it is piercing damage, because they have AP profiles.

As for the armor piercing weapons, I can provide a good example - bodkin arrowhead. Being very narrow, it has better armor penetrating capabilities, but it is actually less efficient in terms of damage to human body then a regular leaf-shaped arrowhead. If we were trying to model them in TLD, we would probably set bodkins to Pierce and regular arrows to Cut to represent this effect.

And due to the fact that M&B doesnt let you set the value by arrow, but only by bow, there is no option left but to treat all arrows as broadheads rather than bodkins.

I'm the first to admit that M&B represents this aspect of combat rather crudely, but I think it would be more realistic to leave the threshold at 0, then to raise it. Of course, this is totally a matter of personal choice, I'm only talking about how the base version of RCM should look like. After all, we can all tweak our own versions whichever way we want.

BTW, how has mass combat become with the threshold at 1? Are heavily armored troops significantly buffed because of this?

I will try that myself when I have time to play again next.

The Last Days / Re: About the warband topic that everybody loves...
« on: February 28, 2012, 03:00:12 pm »
I'm perfectly happy with what I've got. The only thing I want is for it to be polished and as many bugs as possible fixed. This is a labor of love, not a job, and I'm just glad that they were willing to put so much work into getting this in playable form, despite it taking years and with many setbacks (including the original creator leaving without a trace).

If you're so eager to see a TLD for M&B:W and beyond, do it yourself. I can't guarantee that they'd be willing to help you or sign off on the project (or that you have the skills necessary to do it), but hey man it's your time and effort to do with as you please.

Just to echo, I also am very happy to have TLD to play with. I could whine and moan about some decisions I dont agree with (probably have and will again) but the only significance a warband port has to me at this point is that, if they decide to make one, I will buy warband to play it.

The Last Days / Re: Combat Damage Model (RCM)
« on: February 27, 2012, 09:32:38 pm »
At first I was taken aback by how Ron did that, but the more I think about it the more sense it makes.

Effectively the engine parses 'pierce' as equivelant to 'armor-piercing.' Not just 'thrusting.'  Spears are thrusting weapons, but only some of them really have armor-piercing heads.

A broad-head spear should have a fairly high cut value, not a piercing value, on a thrust. The same would be true of most swords, and so on. Only true AP designs should get piercing damage, and they should get significantly LESS raw damage as well - that which goes through armor easily also goes through flesh easily, inflicting less damage in the process.

Also in regards to 0-damage stuns, I too think that it may be slightly overboard at 0. Do fractional values work, i.e. .1 or .2 or .3? I think something in that region might be optimal if it's possible, while having a dozen guys beating on you should shut you down, at the same time a hit that you truly dont feel through your armor probably shouldnt interrupt your swing.

That sounds like the well-known save corruption bug, it seems to take effect at some point between 2 and 300 days if I remember right, and the speculation was that it was caused by having too many parties on the map or something. Hopefully the next patch will fix it.

Morale has become a real issue for me now that I have 147 troops in my party.

Despite having max variety of food, cooking pot, and winning every battle I fight, morale deteriorates to 0 extermely rapidly if I travel anywhere.

Right now I'm stuck with 0 morale, every enemy army runs away, and since I can't fight to regain morale, 10 of my elite top tier troops desert all the time.

It's extremely annoying, why are troops so bloodthirsty? If you aren't killing hundreds of enemies every 5 minutes they just desert  and there's nothing I can do to stop it. At this point it's not even fun because I lose troops that took forever to train every turn and can't prevent it.

You need to keep fewer troops. The larger the party the bigger the morale penalty. You can probably send 10-20 troops home and fix the morale problem immediately.

I'm honestly not quite sure if that essay is intended to be taken seriously or not, but I will risk playing the straight man for a bit.

1. Huh?
2. True, but the same applies to a great multitude of other beings as well.
3. That is only one possible interpretation of the dialogue, and frankly seems strained at best.
4. This is really two parts. So far as the riders, there are other possibilities why Tom would choose to avoid the subject. So far as the ring, I would expect it to have had an effect on the Witch-king, NOT for it to have no effect. The Tolkien quote doesnt seem truly on-point, sure, they knew who the lord of the One Ring was, that doesnt mean it didnt affect them - more likely the other way around, it meant that it DID affect them in an unmistakeable manner.
5. The Witch-king, and the other Nazgul, could see him while he was rendered 'invisible' by the ring. So could Tom. Yes, that's a similarity, but it in no way favours a Nazgul over a Maia or Vala.
6. The same could be said of these points. Yes, they could be consistent with a Nazgul by themself. However they are equally consistent with a more advanced being.

If you must know my own ideas as to his identity basically coïncide with those of Gene Hargroves, if you havent read his essay on the subject it's easy enough to find. He finds the most likely identification of Bombadil in the Vala Aulë, as did I. The chapter is important in a double sense - first in that it is a mystery to be solved where not everything is laid out and the reader is prodded to think independently.

Secondarily, if I am correct, it is a signal exposition of Tolkiens moral philosophy generally, and particularly of the more fatalistic side of it. Tom has none of the flaws that animate the other characters. He is perfectly at peace - without being dead. He has the power to control, but he feels no compulsion to do so. He is dispassionate without being unfeeling. The fatalism - he knows the song that was sung when the world began. He knows destroying the ring is not his part - he could take it so easily, do it so easily, and instead he is obliged to hand it back to this ragged fellowship that stands a snowballs chance in hell, simply because it's their part.

Never said it's obvious what it means. Said the opposite - Tolkien intended it to be a riddle, an enigma. Riddles arent supposed to be obvious.

Telling you the answer to a riddle is called spoiling it. Plus it's legitimate for us to have different answers. I am pretty sure he isnt a witch-king and I have good arguments for that. It would be out of character, but even more forcefully Tom is far more powerful than any Witch-king. They are slaves to the rings, he masters the One Ring like it was a childs toy, so it doesnt seem credible to me that they could be the same. If he were a Witch-king the fellowship and all of the good races would have essentially been dead and the story over quite shortly after he got his hand in contact with the One Ring, IMOP.

But ultimately if someone else for whatever reason decides they agree with his arguments rather than mine who cares? At least they are thinking about it. Which is what I think Tolkien intended. When you finish the story there is still supposed to be that one wierd sequence hanging around in the back of your mind making you think.

The Last Days / Re: Traits! [spoilers requested]
« on: January 03, 2012, 05:15:13 pm »
What do blessed/accursed even do? I don't know how, but I've been blessed and nothing seems to have changed.

The description implies a morale penalty. I got blessed once, I prayed at the grave of a hero and it gave me some stat boost too. Not sure if that will happen everytime or if I got lucky. You got lucky. :)

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