New Combat Mode for Rogues

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Brumm
Posts: 2226

New Combat Mode for Rogues

Post#1 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:30 pm

Hell again!

I started to play around with some new combat modes to make rogues more fun to play. It took me a while to understand how all the GUI coding works and how I can make new combat modes but I am confident that I know how to do it now. The next step will be to design such a combat mode and I wanted to hear if you have great ideas.

My first idea is to reduce the attacks per round to 1 when the combat mode is enabled and add an instand kill chance for non boss mobs. If the instant kill does not trigger (or if the target is a boss), the rogue would deal the combined damage of his first three attacks (similar to many shot) with his one attack. That would have the advantage that he could use his highest base attack bonus for the blow and the combined higher damage is better than the damage from three hits if the target has resistances. I am not sure about the values so far but what do you think about such a combat mode? And do you have more or better ideas?

Brumm

Lomir
Posts: 241

Re: New Combat Mode for Rogues

Post#2 » Sun Jul 17, 2016 9:51 pm

I'd personally love for a mode that would allow you to do half of your attacks (or something along those lines), then attempt to hide immediately afterwards, so that HiPS gets a bit of an auto set, as it occasionally resets the cooldown without activating sometimes, which usually results in a quick death.

Alariann
Posts: 37

Re: New Combat Mode for Rogues

Post#3 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 1:56 pm

Hey there!

First, I'm really interested into making the Rogue more enjoyable to play on RoT. :)
I'm no expert when it comes to technical subjects in NWN2 scripting and hacking or even character building and mechanics, so my opinion is more general and less technical.
I don't know what are the limitations on what can (realistically) be done. I hope that will at least have some use to the people who know! :)

If I had one word to describe the Rogue it would be "versatility".


1. What would be the specificities of a Rogue?

Again I'm not an expert but here is what I can think of:
  • Sneak attack bonus: the thing we can easily notice when leveling is the bonus on damages when executing a sneak attack
  • Skills: the Rogue has a high base skills points base (10 on RoT + Int modifier).
  • Sneaky: the Rogue is known to be sneaky, so possibly high Hide and Move Silently skills.
  • Traps: related to the skills, here is the ability to craft, use, disarm and recover traps.
  • Scrolls, Wands, magic devices: again related to the high skills numbers, we can easily imagine a Rogue with high enough Use Magic Device to use any magic device and scroll.
  • Do you think of another thing here?
Here we see that the Rogue can do a bunch of not directly combat related like the use of his skills out of combat for any reason, notably to unlock chest and doors, disarm traps and run past enemies etc...
He is skilled enough to use almost anything and notably traps.
He can deal a good amount of damage from sneak attacks, when applicable.


2. What is currently present on RoT for the Rogue?

  • Special feat: Extraordinary Competence at 7th level.
  • New trap mechanic with a trap proficiency based on 3 skills that are Craft Trap, Disable Device and Set Trap. That makes the traps actually usable.
  • Base skill points: 10 skill points instead of the original 8.
  • UMD: the Rogue can emulate any class etc... starting from 16th I think, and not sure if it's the same in the original game.
  • Do you think of another thing here?
Here we may say that the focus is made on the skills. The new trap mechanics implies that they could and should be used.


What do I conclude from that?

Starting from points 1. and 2., we can state that the Rogue should not be only useful in direct combat. What I mean is he should be useful out of combat thanks to his skills, or else there is no point on having them high if they have no real effective use.
Combat wise the Rogue is effective only when he can use his Sneak Attack bonus. That means that when almost all the enemies are immune to this kind of attack, the Rogue is powerless during the fight.
So, I think that the Rogue should be mainly effective thanks to his skills. That mean he wouldn't be the strongest one with a weapon, but he can compensate with something else.
The utility part of the Rogue should be useful for him/the team, even if he is not the most efficient melee fighter.


Now, how to achieve all this?

We can split this into two parts, one about how the Rogue should be handled out of combat, and how he should be able to use his skills, and the other about the actual fight with conventional weapons.
I will also use the ideas of Brumm and Lomir.



A. What should a Rogue be able to achieve when not trying to hit enemies with his weapon?

The Rogue is skill focused for me and should be some kind of jack-of-all-trades. He compensates the lack of abilities (defensive and offensive) in long melee fights with some kind of tricks.


Stealth
Being sneaky is one of the most important thing for a Rogue who wants to survive. He should be able to stay unseen more or less. That mean the Rogue player should level the related skills as high as possible, and if so the enemies should have a hard time detecting them.
Some ideas to make it interesting in teams:
  • Have some kind mechanism that will allow the encounters to be easier. That means also that the encounter brings a challenge to begin with. High level areas should be really hard then. One example could be: we are in a dungeon and a lot of really tough enemies are in the next room, they are know to be weak to water let's say, so the rogue can sneak in and activate the magical fire-safety mechanism of the room to spread water and make the enemies weaker for the next encounter.
  • Make the scouting of some area useful? We step into Scout territory I guess, but maybe the Rogue would be specialized in indoor scouting, for dungeons and ruins...
    Some ideas to improve this?
  • Faster movement? I know there are some feats for this on other classes, so I don't know, but it would make stealth more enjoyable to use, even more when in a team.


Traps
Two or three parts there I think! We could talk about the Set Trap (along with Craft Trap) and Disable Device skills separately.

Set Trap / Craft Trap

I already made another post regarding traps but without success! 8-)
Here are some ideas:
  • What would be cool and interesting would be the ability to craft traps and use a long list of properties to pick from, and maybe even make some combinations
  • Set Trap could be faster to use. Instead of one complete round (I think), a Rogue skilled enough with traps could use them more and more quickly. Reducing the time it takes to set traps would make them more usable during team fights
  • Decrease their weight?
  • Make all the different traps stackable, even deadly and epic? Is it possible that they stack when you pick them up from the floor?
  • Other ideas?


Disable Device

The Rogue is the one that disarms traps. That being said, if the traps are not a real threat then this skill is useless.
So that means traps should be a real issue for a team of adventurers. Maybe by inflicting some real high damage/abilities damage, that are not easily evaded and cured.
I don't think of anything more here, and you?


Open Lock

Having important locked rooms (or important chests or anything) in a good quantity, in a lot of places, would make the ability more interesting. If I use one of the example above talking about stealth, maybe the mechanism that triggers the weakness of the enemies would be in another room.
Another example: maybe we could have a useful item in some locked chests (one or a lot more I don't know) like some keys that would open an hidden treasure room! So maybe a group of adventurers will find the hidden door thanks to their abilities (magic vision I don't know...) and if they have no Rogue with them, they will ask for one to accompagny them another time because they found some chests they couldn't open. That could bring some team synergies?

Magical devices / Scrolls
Being able to use all kind of wands and scrolls is nice for the Rogue!
They can be used to buff him or his allies before a fight.
But I think the scrolls are too weak to be effectively used? I don't really know how it works on RoT when it comes to spells cast from items/scrolls. Do they scale?



B. What should a Rogue be able to achieve when engaged in a fight?

Here I'm going to use the ideas from Brumm and Lomir and explain what I like and don't like about them.

First, the idea from Brumm:
My first idea is to reduce the attacks per round to 1 when the combat mode is enabled and add an instand kill chance for non boss mobs. If the instant kill does not trigger (or if the target is a boss), the rogue would deal the combined damage of his first three attacks (similar to many shot) with his one attack. That would have the advantage that he could use his highest base attack bonus for the blow and the combined higher damage is better than the damage from three hits if the target has resistances. I am not sure about the values so far but what do you think about such a combat mode? And do you have more or better ideas?


What I like more:
Here i'd say that I like the idea of a special effect taking place instead of the whole number of attacks in a round.
Plus, the way of merging all the attacks of a round to a single blow is also a good idea.
I guess that's a real good technical idea to implement to the game.

What I like a bit less:
The death effect shouldn't be a Rogue thing but an Assassin/Avenger one. I like the idea to make the Rogue more efficient, but let's say that I'm not sure roleplay wise. What do you think?



Then, Lomir idea:
I'd personally love for a mode that would allow you to do half of your attacks (or something along those lines), then attempt to hide immediately afterwards, so that HiPS gets a bit of an auto set, as it occasionally resets the cooldown without activating sometimes, which usually results in a quick death.


What I like more:
I like the idea to use the stealth skills more with the Rogue to make him more effective.
Better survivability!
What I like a bit less:
This won't solve the damage issue of the Rogue when it comes to fight against all the sneak immune enemies.
The Rogue still has a low attack bonus.


Based on those suggestions, here are some ideas I have, mostly taken from other sources on the web about rogue rules:
  • The Rogue could have some feats/fight abilities that would be exchanged with Sneak Attack dices. Let's say for 2d6 you could reduce enemy speed etc... usable against all opponents and using skills checks.
    We could add any of them together with all the sneak attack dices the character has. That would make it interesting, to be able to create combinations.
  • Rogues special abilities in combat should be boosted/related to his skills and his class. That means that the point above should be only available starting at some levels of Rogue class, and they should be boosted by his skills numbers.
  • Same as the previous point, skills could provide bonus feats/abilities by attaining some specific ranks. See the link below about "Skill unlock" for some examples. The Rogue would unlock bonuses for attaining lets say ranks 20,40,60 etc... in skills.
  • Make Weapon Finesse a level 1 feat for Rogues? They are a Dexterity based class, and it would allow for an additional feat to choose.
  • Make Sneak Attack usable on all enemies, even the ones that are supposed to be immune to them? Or make Epic Precision free at some Rogue level?
  • All those abilities and bonuses above could be related to only some weapons, like the dagger, shortsword etc... and only available for a high level Rogue.
  • Some abilities could only be used with one kind of weapon, that makes for more choice in weapons (staying in rogues weapons list).
  • When writing about the scrolls and other magic devices, I thought about a fighting stance when you could use scrolls faster than one per round. Or maybe cast some of them while staying in stealth mode?
  • ...
  • Other ideas ?


I guess a lot of what I said is just too hard or not possible to implement, but I really enjoyed thinking about it and proposing my ideas on what to do on the Rogue itself but maybe also on his environment. :)

Here are some links:
http://alcyius.com/dndtools/feats/categories/ambush/index.html?page_size=50
http://rpgbot.net/dnd35/characters/classes/rogue/
A good list of Ambush feats that trades for sneak attack dices:
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?66915-Sneak-Attack-Feats-amp-Boosts
Skill unlock:
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/unchained-classes/rogue-unchained
Rogue :evil:

Brumm
Posts: 2226

Re: New Combat Mode for Rogues

Post#4 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:17 pm

- double post -
Last edited by Brumm on Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brumm
Posts: 2226

Re: New Combat Mode for Rogues

Post#5 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:17 pm

Hello Alariann,

Thank you for your long post. It is very helpful and really appreciated. Let me try to reply:

1. Traps
Yes, we should make the other traps stackable as well. I just didn't have the time for it so far and to be honest its a pretty stupid and annoying job. Thats why I stopped after making the most important traps stackable :) .
I am not sure if we can reduce the time it takes to lay a trap. Thats something I need to check.
A weight decrease makes sense and is totally doable.
Craftable traps is doable for sure but a lot of work and I am not sure if its worth it to invest so much time for it.

2. Diable Device
Your suggestions are doable for sure and I'll keep it in mind in case I want to make new areas. But to be honest I am not keen on editing existing ones.

3.Open Lock
Same story. Doable and a good idea but I don't want to edit existing areas. Maybe another developer is willing to.

4.Movement speed change
An attack which slows the opponent would be cool and I wanted to make something like that already. The problem is that the engine doesn't allow to create an irresistible slow effect and many mobs are immune to it. Same is valid for player characters. We can't make PCs faster. Feats like Monk Speed are hardcoded.

5. Death Effect
I agree that it fits more for an assassin but the assassin class is already very strong. Thats why I suggested it for a rogue.

6. HIPS
I don't think that we can reduce the cool down of HIPS. Its hardcoded in the engine.

7. Sneak Damage
We can't change the way how sneak damage is handled. The engine calculates the damage and there is not much we can do.

Like you can see there are lots of engine limitations. But I'll keep thinking and will come up with something when I get the time. You can test it on our beta server then and give me your feedback if you are interested.

Greetings
Brumm

Alariann
Posts: 37

Re: New Combat Mode for Rogues

Post#6 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:25 pm

Thanks for your answer.
I knew there would be some limitations! Too bad some things can't be changed. Maybe there are some work around?
Being myself a developer I'm interested in how the creation of modules works, but I didn't have much time to look further into it.
And yes you can tell me when you have changes to test, no problem!
Rogue :evil:

Brumm
Posts: 2226

Re: New Combat Mode for Rogues

Post#7 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:34 pm

I tried to workaround the movement speed limitation more than once and another very gifted developer before me as well so I am not really optimistic.

Changing existing hardcoded feats is not possible either. As far as I know nobody was able to do that so far and I don't know of any possible workaround. The stuff is buried in the engine. The new combat mode could use the sneak dices to determine bonus damage though and the damage could ignore sneak attack immunity as well.

Edit: Maybe I have an idea to create an irresistible slow effect :lol: . I'll give it a try when I am back at home.

Alariann
Posts: 37

Re: New Combat Mode for Rogues

Post#8 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:44 pm

Ok! Seems like a nice start.
Just saw your edit, and it seems you're quiet the man! I say that because it seems like a real pain to add anything (I know what it's like to try to make the most out of the least). ;)
I'm glad my ideas had the expected effects.
Good job!
Rogue :evil:

Jasonias
Posts: 83

Re: New Combat Mode for Rogues

Post#9 » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:34 pm

I've always thought parry mode was a cool idea in theory, just so poorly designed it's basically useless. A good, working parry mode would be fun, especially for rogue types.

What about a mode that lets them take non-attack actions, like drinking a potion, using a (non-damaging) scroll, etc., without breaking stealth? And maybe run at full speed like outdoor ranger stealth?

Hurl Insults mode: The rogue inflicts a Taunt check, within a radius centered on him/herself, every round. Can continue fighting or do whatever else at the same time. Would have to be some sort of penalty to balance it.

Alariann
Posts: 37

Re: New Combat Mode for Rogues

Post#10 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:47 am

I've always thought parry mode was a cool idea in theory, just so poorly designed it's basically useless. A good, working parry mode would be fun, especially for rogue types.

What about a mode that lets them take non-attack actions, like drinking a potion, using a (non-damaging) scroll, etc., without breaking stealth? And maybe run at full speed like outdoor ranger stealth?

Hurl Insults mode: The rogue inflicts a Taunt check, within a radius centered on him/herself, every round. Can continue fighting or do whatever else at the same time. Would have to be some sort of penalty to balance it.


I like the Hurl Insults mode! Seems fun. But the bonus for succeeding should be higher than the base Taunt I think.
I took this as a reference: http://nwn2.wikia.com/wiki/Taunt.
I also like the idea of the parry mode, as it is Dexterity based I think it fits the Rogue. But here the Rogue should have a bonus of some sort to make the parry possible I think? As he has issues with high level opponents and these enemies can achieve really high attack rolls (for example they can go through pretty high AC). At least that's what I understood from this: http://nwn2.wikia.com/wiki/Parry.

I really like both ideas, and I think the Rogue should have not only one new fight mode/stance, he should have the choice (versatility). Again I know that means a lot of work and some things cannot be done...
Rogue :evil:

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