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Could Sentient Weapons be better?
Yes 72%  72%  [ 13 ]
No 28%  28%  [ 5 ]
Total votes : 18
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:17 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 8:26 pm
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Location: Nahgharash
I finally got hold of a sentient weapon, and realized they are not necessarily as powerful as previously made out to be. (Im not saying Nimthanc stinks, just that its a pain to level up to be useful when you dont find it until level 68 or so.

I think we need sentient armors as well. Several artifact armors come to mind here. (The Elven cloak is a good example, as are some of the rarer, OR the less powerful artifacts (make em weaker, but sentient.)

We also need sentient archery equipment. Again, some come readily to mind. (Bow of bard, Sling of Farmer Maggot... its not good enough by the time you can reliably get it.

I also think that sentience needs to be an ego-type as well. (it would be VERY rare, and wouldnt appear till deep in the dungeon, but still) Sentience is a pain for a haftedmaster as they can never get anything sentient. The same is true for axe and polearm masters. We want in on the action too!!!!!!!

And also, for those of us who DO use the sentient weapons (and find them early enough) they should not be limited to Level 50. Due to the tremendous powers of the spirits and magical rites they were imbued with they should be able to surpass the power of the 'mortals' who wield them. By the same definition there should be some restrictions on high-level sentient weapons. For instance, they might turn and strike their master if a level 7 character attempted to continue wielding his level 30 sentient weapon. (they would never be lost this way, just dangerous to use). However some things (like weaponmastery, or *mastery for the weapon type) should also affect this. This allows even high-level characters to use sentient weapons a bit more powerful then them.

Also, Disenchantment should not 'disempower' sentient artifacts, but rather should drain the exp of said artifact. This would be useful, but not terribly so. There could even be a seperate service in the paladins guild or some such place to restore power to a drained weapon.

Finally, there needs to be some sort of display as to how much more expo it takes for a weapon to level up, and we should be able to see it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:16 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 7:29 am
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Crim, The Red Thunder wrote:
I finally got hold of a sentient weapon, and realized they are not necessarily as powerful as previously made out to be. (Im not saying Nimthanc stinks, just that its a pain to level up to be useful when you dont find it until level 68 or so.


I've never found that. My Swordmaster found Dethanc VERY late, and still managed to get its level up really quickly.

Crim, The Red Thunder wrote:
I think we need sentient armors as well. Several artifact armors come to mind here. (The Elven cloak is a good example, as are some of the rarer, OR the less powerful artifacts (make em weaker, but sentient.)


Elven cloak is an ego-type, are you thinking of Luthien, Thingol, Thorongil, or something else?

How would you propose to get the armours to level up? Are you thinking to set it up in the same way as Alchemists' Artifact Creation? If you're powering up several artifacts at once, you may find it even more fo a pain than levelling up the *thancs. :)

Crim, The Red Thunder wrote:
We also need sentient archery equipment. Again, some come readily to mind. (Bow of bard, Sling of Farmer Maggot... its not good enough by the time you can reliably get it.


Hmmm. I'm not so sure. I'd say yes to sentient missiles, taking experience from each kill, but I have problems with sentient absolutely "everything and the kitchen sink".

Crim, The Red Thunder wrote:
I also think that sentience needs to be an ego-type as well. (it would be VERY rare, and wouldnt appear till deep in the dungeon, but still) Sentience is a pain for a haftedmaster as they can never get anything sentient. The same is true for axe and polearm masters. We want in on the action too!!!!!!!


Polearm-masters currently have the Glaive of Pain, which is not too bad an item. It drains mana, but this is not as important if you're focusing on melee. OTOH, there isn't a sentient axe, and the only sentient hafted weapon is Grond which you don't get until near the end of the game.

I agree that there could (okay, should) be more sentient weapons, but I really don't think it should be an ego-type. Being artifacts will keep them rare enough, but having Sentient <foo> would eventually make them show up far too often, and too early for something so valuable.

Crim, The Red Thunder wrote:
And also, for those of us who DO use the sentient weapons (and find them early enough) they should not be limited to Level 50. Due to the tremendous powers of the spirits and magical rites they were imbued with they should be able to surpass the power of the 'mortals' who wield them. By the same definition there should be some restrictions on high-level sentient weapons. For instance, they might turn and strike their master if a level 7 character attempted to continue wielding his level 30 sentient weapon. (they would never be lost this way, just dangerous to use).


This fits in with my idea of sentient weapons: a soul or spirit trapped in a weapon, driven mad by possibly thousands of years of imprisonment, and feeding off the souls of its enemies (or its owners). This is also why I don't agree with having sentient armours or bows. OTOH, it might be interesting to have weapons level up further than their owner (say up to level 150 a la symbiotes) and become wilful if they feel their owner is too weak for them.

The way it stands now, if you lose your favourite sword, axe, bolt, or whatever to a bad power addition (earthquakes, clone, drain exp etc) , it's a real loss and you have to learn how to get along without it. This is part of the challenge. (Right?)
If it becomes a case of merely watching out for a new one, then levelling it up, all you've lost is a little time.

Crim, The Red Thunder wrote:
However some things (like weaponmastery, or *mastery for the weapon type) should also affect this. This allows even high-level characters to use sentient weapons a bit more powerful then them.


Makes sense. Weaponmastery implies some strength of will, so it could be used to control these weapons.

Crim, The Red Thunder wrote:
Also, Disenchantment should not 'disempower' sentient artifacts, but rather should drain the exp of said artifact.


Would it take away some of the weapon's existing abilities, or merely have to gain more exp before gaining new ones?

Crim, The Red Thunder wrote:
This would be useful, but not terribly so. There could even be a seperate service in the paladins guild or some such place to restore power to a drained weapon.


IMO, this makes them too powerful. If you could just visit a store to restore your weapon, all you'd have to do is recall to a town.

Crim, The Red Thunder wrote:
Finally, there needs to be some sort of display as to how much more expo it takes for a weapon to level up, and we should be able to see it.


I'm going to vote no on this one. I like the idea, but to go about it this way makes them too powerful.

Simply stick the new entry into a_info.txt, add the LEVELS flag and any others you want, et voila! You have a new sentient artifact.

Activations are a bit trickier.
If you don't want to sourcedive, check the artifacts with a:HARDCORE= and the artifacts spoiler on oook to find out what they do.

If you want to add an activation, you'd have to go into cmd6, add your new activation, put the flag into your a_info entry, and recompile. (I think, correct me if I'm wrong or I missed something).

I'm not going to go too far into coding new stuff, as it's the wrong forum for it, but these are my thoughts on the subject (for what they're worth).

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 5:33 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2003 1:50 pm
Posts: 3427
Location: Virginia, USA
I agree that the concept of sentient armor is a bit bizarre. I don't know how it could possibly gain XP other than sucking up damage, and ANY armor sucks up damage; that makes it too easy to level it up.

In other respects, one special thing about sentient weapons is that they ARE rare. IMHO they would be much more boring if they were more common. And besides, I've almost never had a (non insta-death) game where I haven't found at least one.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 6:06 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 8:26 pm
Posts: 2000
Location: Nahgharash
I realized ahead of time that not ALL my ideas would meet with approval, i just had several ideas, and rather than making 20-some odd different topics, i figured i would combine as many as i could.

I know that ego-sentience could be abused, but when i say that ego-type is *rare* i mean it wont even be possible for you to see it except on some special level, part of a special quest, or on dungeon levels 125 and deeper. Picture an artiafact with rarity (guesstimates) ohhh... about 375
and doesnt even BEGIN to have a chance of appearing UNTIL you hit dungeon level 125. Now do you know anyone who would scum for THAT long to get ahold of one, keeping in mind it could be broken.

The idea behind rare ego-sentience was something to help people who want to wipe out those TOUGH uniques, and for void-divers. I KNOW those places are suppossed to be hard, but nothing should be without at least 1 trick to exploit. I mean, Look at The Trident of the Red Rooster from ADOM!!!! Its like having a weapon that gives all the immunities, full stats, auto-id, contains a spell, activates for *Healing* and Mass Genocide, and allows you to breathe ANY kind of dragon breath, etc. etc. ALL in one weapon. (not to mention something that would have a +100 to hit, +100 to damage.) It was danged hard to get (you had to play for years to get it. Real years, not game-years), but it helped like heck in the 'final' battle, and was required for an ultra ending.

The Cloak i was thinking of was the one thats part of the elven item set.

I dont like Sentient ammo, because i DESPISE only getting one shot... And then risking loss of the ammo. (Maybe ARtifact/Randart ammo could 'return' like the boomerangs from adom. It gets back to you, but you might not catch it, in which case you will be standing on it, so in 2 turns you can reload, or if its caught, it will automatically be placed back in the ammo slot.) That why i suggested sentient bows/crossbows/slings/etc.

the idea on disenchantment was that the weapon would be drained in exp, and would behave exactly the way it would if you had you rEXP drained. If enough is drained, it goes down a level, and the +'s go down if applicable. Abilties (like your skills) remain where they are, the weapon is just a little weaker. Again, every bit of this is only a suggestion, and the only ones who can really decide are the ones who make modules, or darkgod himself.

I am ADAMANT that sentient weapons not be limited to level 50. THere is all that EXP that you could be doing things with, and i realize that someone wielding all 3 'thancs at level 150 would have a rather easy time in combat.... BUT the EXP can be adjusted if necessary to make this be a lot hareder to obtain.

As for sentient armor i havent quite decided how i would have it gain EXP. Its EXP gain would be somewhat limited if it only gained EXP when damage went PAST your AC, as eventually the armor would be powerful enough to block weaker hits, so you cant continue to gain exp by sitting in the middle of a room full of silver rats/orcs/whatever. You would have to actually take damage for it to gain EXP. (or with light armor you could gain EXP by dodging, rather then taking damage.) THese ideas (off the top of my head) come from animeband, representing the styles of fighting (the dodge thing is water, the damage thing was another, but im not sure which one.) This was how limit meters built in the game.

The Service in town to restore weapons drained EXP would not restore disenchanted powers, although that is where the idea started. It has since evolved into simply restoreing the drained EXP of a weapon.

I think that covers everything.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 7:36 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 8:24 pm
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Location: LOST
very interesting concept crim, the sentient armor (I agree with substatic, that the only way to do this is to divide xp between the armor and the character.)

I voted no, because there are older versions of the game where you could "build" a weapons power so high that you could kill Morgoth, even Melkor with one blow. at that point the game becomes one of patience and not intelligence. What has been done to the sentient weapons is really good IMHO.

Balance must be kept or we would all be playing alchemists making use of a certain bug! :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 8:45 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:22 pm
Posts: 1461
Location: Finland
I think sentient ego types for any kind of weapons are a good idea as long as they very deep and rare. I think native depth should be something like 110 and rarity 30 times higher than Ringil to compensate for that sentience could be added to just any generated weapon.

Alternatively randart weapons could in very rare cases be created with sentience. I think there is some sort of point system for randart features in existence. Sentience would take very many points.

I don't think sentient armor would really work. I may be wrong, but I think would easily be too much sentience, although my dragon sorceror might appreciate such things.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:01 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:43 pm
Posts: 610
Nerdanel wrote:
Alternatively randart weapons could in very rare cases be created with sentience. I think there is some sort of point system for randart features in existence. Sentience would take very many points.


Actually, that's not a bad idea, especially if it were very, very rare. I'm assuming the logic behind randarts is that there are artifacts out there whose stories are lost in the mists of time, unlike the stories of the truearts, and there must be some tragic/glorious tales out there that led to the creation of artifacts possessed by their owners/victims'' spirits or whatnot. There's no particular reason for, say,. the *thancs to be sentient, but we can always imagine, say, the sword of an orc tortured to death by Sauron in the 2nd Age possessing his spirit, or an elven knife still inhabited by the spirit of its owner who refuses to return to the Undying Lands until the dark elves who fell in the War of Wrath have all been avenged And so on.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 6:35 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:31 pm
Posts: 1252
Location: South Africa
Sentient weapons should start with at least a couple of levels on them, with a couple of flags or +'s.

The deeper you find it, the more xp it should have.
dungeon (leveldepth*10)^2?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:24 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 8:26 pm
Posts: 2000
Location: Nahgharash
Youll have come up with better ideas then me, but i still think that snetient armor could work. The EXP would be SEVERELY increased to offset the fact that not as many abilities are available to armors, and assuming someone had one from say, Dlevel 20, and they used it CONSTANTLY for the rest of the game (Void and nether realm included) it would probably only be around level 10-20. VERY slow growth, and it only grows when you actually TAKE damage, so having armor with +70 to AC and sitting in the middle of a swarm of clear worm masses wont get you exp. This would be in addition to the levels getting less and less exp per kill when it is more powerful.

I will state again, that this was really just me being lazy, and making 7-8 ideas into 1 big topic, instead of 8 small ones. I never expected more then 2 of them to be generally accepted, i just wanted to make an opinion heard. And i agree that having all of these at once would be way TOO powerful, only 1-2 would need to be implemented, but each idea has its own charm.

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Proud author of Orc Pit Restoration Project, Faction Allies, Dwarven Adventurer addons
SadistSquirrel wrote:
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 12:21 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:31 pm
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I like the idea of sentient bows... though.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 1:32 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 8:26 pm
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Yes... Sentent bows would be VERY nice. A LOT better then sentient artifact/randart ammo. With Randart/trueart ammo you only get one shot, snetient or not, then you have tkill whatever you shot at to try and get your ammo back which means every time you use it you run the risk of losing it. This isnt true for artifact missile LAUNCHERS, which makes them a much better choice then randart ammo, as you get some of the sentient bonuses on every shot regardless of how many and it doesnt matter if you have to run later.

This is just an opinion. To be honest, the only character i have ever played who has really made use of archery has been my 1 human unbeliver who got the sling of farmer maggot and ammo creation. Nuff said. I really dont use ranged attacks that much. Of course most of my characters have some sort of magical ranged attack. (my possessor has its race powers, my thauamaturges have the powers of Hie Magick at their fingertips (litterally ^_^) and alchemists have a VERY large source of wands through essences. I just thought it was unfair how many (read: Few) sentient items there were.

Of course i thought the only sentient items were the thancs, sting, and mormegil (all swords, all edged, only 1 is blessed, and it like the others, is rather rare.) Of course you dont need much more power when you can wield all the 'thancs at WeapLev50 and CLevel50, Strength maxed, and 3 Rings of Extra Attacks +7. (Yowza... Thats my ultimate goal for my possessor... for now. Morgy wont take but a coupla hits... assuming i can survive the hits from him.)

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Proud author of Orc Pit Restoration Project, Faction Allies, Dwarven Adventurer addons
SadistSquirrel wrote:
DarkGod has two arms, one with an opened hand, one with a closed fist. You got the fist.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:49 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 2:31 pm
Posts: 1252
Location: South Africa
This I guess is spoily, but grond is too.

Though, knowing the name is not really spoily? Where you get it is. I haven't found sting in ToME 2+ and I guess I need some story plot to get it. (which I have obviously not done).


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:40 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 4:43 pm
Posts: 610
Canderel wrote:
Though, knowing the name is not really spoily? Where you get it is. I haven't found sting in ToME 2+ and I guess I need some story plot to get it. (which I have obviously not done).


Spoilery stuff like this is debateable. If I told you exactly where to get Sting, that's definitely spoilery. If, on the other hand, I pointed out that some items are just very rare and hard to find, that's less-spoilery.


Last edited by Hunter on Thu Jun 17, 2004 6:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: sentient stuff
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 5:50 pm 
How about sentient mage staffs?

How about sentient items that have definite goals, which might interfer with the player?

***The self-recharging wand of Kroo: it casts magic missiles at Orcs - including companions and things that shouldn't be awaken - without asking the player... It refuses to shoot at elves of any kind... and god helps the player who is half-Orc!!

***The dark familiar of Melkor: it's an already hypnotized symbiant you find on the corpse of a symbiant unique. It gains some powers with level. It can change your God allegiance to Melkor if your piety is below zero. It drains piety if you're not worshipping Melkor. It refuses to be worn by unbelievers, high elves, or destroyers of the one ring. It requires sacrifices the permanent sacrifice of health to move each level beyond 25. It drains life. It drains mana. It drains experience(which if then gains). It will instakill all non-unique 'good' monsters if within range. It has an unholy amount of HP. It will prevent you from using the 'head', 'arm', and 'chest' equipment slot - progressively as it levels and becomes huge. It is permanently cursed. It gives 1 level of Udun magic and necromancy when it levels. It can breath nether. It can carry a spell, which will be auto-casted during battle at the expense of your mana. It prevents corpse-switching. It drains some sanity when it levels. It lowers stealth a lot.

***The shifting spirit: it can be activated to destroy itself and transfert its sentience to another artefact, gaining a level in the process if its new container is powerful enough. It brings some powers of both the destroyed artefact to the new, randomly and only when applicable. It boosts AC, mana, and to-hit a lot depending on its level, if the artefact originally boosted those. It randomly consumes artefacts you are trying to sell, house, or drop. It completely maps every monster, item, and dungeon feature when fighting Morgoth. It may hurt the player if he isn't in the correct dungeon to go after Morgoth and you-know-who.

***The boots of dancing: they prevent paralysis. They make you move somewhat erratically. They improve AC a lot, and more with level. They give you one skill point in dodging whenever they level and you are wearing them. They allow you to levitate. They improve your chance of disarming traps. They allow you to levitate. They are cursed (the weak curse that can be lifted) and can re-curse themselves.

***The small fragment of Narsil: it can be leveled by throwing it at morgoth with a sling. It causes Morgoth to lose max_hp. It prevents Morgoth from healing in any manner. It returns to the owner's quiver whenever it hits Morgoth, and can be fired more than once in a single volley. It can uncurse itself.

***The Hat of Gandalf: it gives full ESP and full knowledge of every monster (as in when Gandalf knows much about the Balrog before having met him - and knowning which race is likely to be immune to the one ring). It increases wisdom depending on its level, and gains mainly resists. It automatically *ID* any item you pick up. It prevents hostile monsters from summoning monsters weaker than its level. It prevents silent switching and drop item traps entirely. It can store a spell, and that spell can be changed later. It boosts spell level.

***The sword of Fumble fingers (when joke monsters is on - sorry couldn't resist!): it teleports to a random monster whenever you enter a new dungeon level. It will teleport to another monster of the same race if the first one is killed. It it teleported to you whenever all monsters of that race are killed; but that will drain you of skill points as well as skill acquision ratios if the randomly choosen skill has no points left. It is permanently cursed. It can instakill monsters just like the necromancer power says...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2004 10:03 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Fri May 07, 2004 8:26 pm
Posts: 2000
Location: Nahgharash
GEEZ!!! That sounds like some of my more delusional ideas that i never submit because they are too powerful.

While i like the idea of 'selfish' artifacts doing things on their own, (does that consume a turn for the player, or is it in addition to the players moves?) almost all of your artifacts are WAY too powerful, and some of them (like FF's sword) would require some hard-coded changes to be made (i think... I dont think the current engine can handle skill points being drained...) and therefore couldnt be implemented in a module, but would require a whole new variant.

You might try starting a new topic for the idea of self-powered artifacts, (not necessarily sentient, but self-willed, and selfish. And tone down what you create. I know i come up with some crazy powerful ideas. (like having a character who owns the 3 and the 1 reach mount doom, kill sauron, and THEN instead of destroying the one, you 'reforge' it to fuse ti with the three, combining there powers, and the perma-curse is gone, but the curse, *curse*, and the re-cursing abilities are still there, and it CEASES to drain EXP.)

I think you might find a positive reaction to the selfish artifacts but i can already tell you that a LOT of people would object to your artifacts. theres a reason that only 2 items can auto-id and there is severe penalty to both.

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Currently playing under the name Aura of the Dawn 4 down, 227 to go!
Proud author of Orc Pit Restoration Project, Faction Allies, Dwarven Adventurer addons
SadistSquirrel wrote:
DarkGod has two arms, one with an opened hand, one with a closed fist. You got the fist.


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