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Damage & Morality
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Lychwood
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:27 pm    Post subject: Damage & Morality Reply with quote

Split from Mallich's suggestion over yonder. ~~ Rincewind

Quote:

Foxling wrote:
Or a limit of how much can be gained from a single target before a kill.



Quote:
Mallich wrote:
That's... actually a really good idea. I like it a lot. Thoughts, people?


I've been kind of keeping my eye on this but haven't felt qualified to say anything. My one thought though was kind of having a system that works like a battery -> murder charge. You get dinged once on Mo for attacking someone. A court of law wouldn't really charge you for each individual hit, just the act of opening aggression. Then again for the act of murder.

Would definitely require some tweaking in how much MO gets charged so that people don't go around beating each other within an inch of their lives without much in the way of an MO shift.

Edit for clarity:

Say Angel McFeathers M.D. was flying around the neighborhood and thinks to theirself "Hmm, demons look like like they're pretty well-adjusted individuals. I wonder what it feels like to drink the lifesblood of a divine entity?" So they swoop down towards Cardinal Wyngz and give 'em a little stab.

Uh oh! As it turns out, attacking another angel is a big no-no in the eyes of Namm! -15 morality points!

Angel McFeathers M.D. has the taste of blood now, and nothing will sate it but to finish the job! They finish up the job, leaving Cardinal Wyngs leaking clockwork all over the hallowed ground. -5 morality points! Angel McFeathers loses their angel license, and must now drop the M.D. after their name!

Why is there a heavier punishment for the initial attack than the kill itself? Currently, the stacking of multiple hits impacting MO have this effect anyway. This just frontloads it all and keeps players from abusing a system with heavy kill-penalties by, say, raiding a good faction and getting to attack multiple angels to within a strike of death with only a minor MO penalty, and allowing another character to strike the final blow.

With this system, the numbers for attacking Neutral (without zealotry) would perhaps be -10 for an attack and -5 for a kill, meaning that killing a neutral being would not result in a Fall, whereas killing an angel would automatically do so.

The huge downside would be that this severely punishes misclicking.

Though, the whole morality system is kind of awkward because I feel like it doesn't account for actions made in self defense. I don't know how the code works, but maybe it would be possible to nullify the decreases in morality if the other person attacks you first.


I don't mention this from the vantage point of a demon because...well, it's less relevant. They aren't negatively impacted by killin' stuff.
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Teksura
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If morality shifts were set to only change on the initial attack and the kill, then you totally knock Balanced NCs off kilter since they would then have a far easier time maintaining 0 morality.



I think people are looking at this the wrong way. There is a much more glaring and important question to ask:

"Why is it that 3 attacks which deal 5 damage each are inherently considered to be more morally relevant than 1 attack which deals 30 damage?"

It's basically saying that getting into a throw-down fist-fight with someone is more significant than blowing their kneecap off with a rifle.


Frankly, the issue this thread brings up (and more) can be quickly and easily resolved in 1 simple change.


Your morality shift by attacking is equal to your damage / 10


This means we allow fractional morality shifts. So, if you deal 5 damage from the attack, your morality shifts by 0.5 points. We don't need to DISPLAY that half morality point anywhere, but it is quietly stored for when it's needed.


That also means that 0 damage attacks will shift your morality by 0/10 points.

That also means that petmasters won't get their morality horribly tanked by pinging someone for 1 damage with their pets.

That also means the most your morality can shift by killing someone (not counting the killing blow or attacks made against a fellow good) is roughly equal to 10th their HP (in practice it will almost always be more due to overkill)

That also means we don't have to do any heavy-handed re-designing of the morality system, or do anything that involves remembering how much your morality has already shifted from a target.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Why is it that 3 attacks which deal 5 damage each are inherently considered to be more morally relevant than 1 attack which deals 30 damage?"

Because the Powers That Be judge you on your motives and actions rather than simply on their effects - or effectiveness.

edit: is this a suggestion, a bug report, or rules discussion? Because fixing EoCP to never deal zero damage is one thing, making it so that 0 damage attacks don't change MO is another, and the subject at hand is quite a third.
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Kiralio
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yukari wrote:
Kiralio wrote:
It's even sort of "balanced" for Seraphs to be best at it, since they don't get access to Hand of Zealotry.


They do, though it's the only angel class that has to pay 60 instead of 30 CP for it.


Oh hey you're right, my bad. I guess I just see Greater Smite and my eyes kinda glaze over.
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Mallich
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

macabre wrote:
edit: is this a suggestion, a bug report, or rules discussion? Because fixing EoCP to never deal zero damage is one thing, making it so that 0 damage attacks don't change MO is another, and the subject at hand is quite a third.
Fixing EoCP to never deal zero damage isn't something I've mentioned in the thread. As you've said, that would be a bug report.

It was originally a suggestion limited to:
Stop 0-damage attacks (entirely unrelated to the EoCP 0 damage attacks) from shifting morality.
Stop Seraphs from gaining MO by dealing small (but non-zero) amounts of damage at high accuracy.

It's since mutated into a discussion on MO mechanics in general, with all kinds of suggestions, counter-suggestions, musings on morality, complete redrafting of all MO changes, etc. I think that the suggestion drafts are for more tightly focused suggestions.
Therefore...
Maybe it would be worth it for a mod to please move this into the Rules Discussion subforum? I'll give them pie and/or the souls of my alts (it's not as if they're busy using them).
Players can then make tightly focused suggestion.

Teksura wrote:
"Why is it that 3 attacks which deal 5 damage each are inherently considered to be more morally relevant than 1 attack which deals 30 damage?"
The exact same question could be asked of healing, and the solution would be the same. Interesting.

Teksura wrote:
That also means that petmasters won't get their morality horribly tanked by pinging someone for 1 damage with their pets.
As someone who plays a "good"* petmaster, I like this consequence a lot.

*Ignore the Monster Manual.
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Teksura
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

macabre wrote:
"Why is it that 3 attacks which deal 5 damage each are inherently considered to be more morally relevant than 1 attack which deals 30 damage?"

Because the Powers That Be judge you on your motives and actions rather than simply on their effects - or effectiveness.


The motives and actions behind slapping someone around a few times are very different from shooting off their kneecap. Besides, this is Namm we're talking about. Of course he's more interested in seeing you smiting evil rather than just mildly annoying evil.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's no attack command for nonlethal damage, all violence between characters is assumed to be with lethal intent - there's no in-game difference between trying to kill someone and trying to slap their shins silly. It's possible that EoCP is a "bad skill" (even working as intended) for allowing arbitrarily low damage easily, but to a lesser extent this 'problem' exists as long as there are better and worse weapons to choose between.

Is Namm the source of the morality system? I could see there being a difference in Namm Orthodoxy in "being an effective agent of good," but, to get to the essence, why is a mortal vainly fighting an evil foe being less good than an angel easily vanquishing the same evil?

Also if MO is based on damage dealt, it means that hitting a critical strike is a more good act than the normal attack which preceded it, which I think is silly on its face.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

macabre wrote:
There's no attack command for nonlethal damage, all violence between characters is assumed to be with lethal intent - there's no in-game difference between trying to kill someone and trying to slap their shins silly.

So?


macabre wrote:
Is Namm the source of the morality system? I could see there being a difference in Namm Orthodoxy in "being an effective agent of good," but, to get to the essence, why is a mortal vainly fighting an evil foe being less good than an angel easily vanquishing the same evil?

Namm is basically the entire reason why we have a morality system, and to a lesser extent why we have angels and demons (that's actually due to a coalition he formed between himself, Alonai, Baraas, and Azazel (before his fall)). The goal there was to cast out the 3 elder powers whom they agreed actually had no rightful claim over the breaths. But that's a long story which gets into some lore that is intended to be revealed in breath 4.

To answer your question:


A mortal kicking a Defiler for 4 damage is not as good as a Seraph smiting it for 30 for the plain and simple reason that the Seraph did more to harm the advance of those who throw their lot in with the black 3.


macabre wrote:
Also if MO is based on damage dealt, it means that hitting a critical strike is a more good act than the normal attack which preceded it, which I think is silly on its face.


The present system is the one which is silly. Take a Demon who has 60 HP. I could throw 12 rocks at it for 5 damage each hit and gain +14 morality. Or, I could shoot it with a rifle 6 times for 10 damage each and for killing the exact same demon, only gain +8 morality. The fact that Namm casts greater favor on people who throw rocks is just nonsense. It's far better to base it on the results, rather than how ineffective your weapon happens to be.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teksura wrote:

So?
So - the distinction between "trying to slap someone around" and "trying to shoot off their kneecap" doesn't exist from a game perspective. And morality is based on what you are trying to do rather than what you accomplish.
Teksura wrote:
A mortal kicking a Defiler for 4 damage is not as good as a Seraph smiting it for 30 for the plain and simple reason that the Seraph did more to harm the advance of those who throw their lot in with the black 3.

Your system is flawed because power and morality aren't actually inherently linked. The point of the morality system is not to measure how effective you are at fighting evil, but how committed you are to fighting evil. It does this adequately, despite gimmicks, by indirectly measuring AP spent "fighting evil." Your system more or less ignores this in favor of measuring the effects of your action, which actually does seem un-Nammish to me. Namm cares more about you following the Absolute Good laws, and the fact that you take up arms against Evil (those who do not) is part of that, but such laws do not require effectiveness. Obviously Namm is pleased when the Good Doers do well, but it doesn't mean that his army is any more Good when it is victorious than when it struggles in vain. It really is the fact of the struggle that matters, rather than the outcome.
Teksura wrote:
The present system is the one which is silly...
It's far better to base it on the results, rather than how ineffective your weapon happens to be.
All such systems are silly because we're trying to use a simple rule to determine if and to what extent an action is Good. Silliness abounds in both systems, but consequentialist morality removes the power to do good (as recognized by the morality system) from many characters, especially weaker/newer ones. It will feel really bad for new players because it is a bad system.

Raising a sword against evil is Good even if it is a blunt sword.
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Teksura
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

macabre wrote:
Teksura wrote:

So?
So - the distinction between "trying to slap someone around" and "trying to shoot off their kneecap" doesn't exist from a game perspective.

I don't think that nitpicking semantics is a very compelling argument. You know perfectly well that I was comparing several trivial attacks to a single significant attack, and pointing out the absurdity behind how the trivial attacks are somehow more relevant.

macabre wrote:
Teksura wrote:
A mortal kicking a Defiler for 4 damage is not as good as a Seraph smiting it for 30 for the plain and simple reason that the Seraph did more to harm the advance of those who throw their lot in with the black 3.

Your system is flawed because power and morality aren't actually inherently linked.

You should know you're posting in the suggestions forum... in a thread about changing the morality system... and replying to a system which does exactly that. I hope you're aware that dismissing an idea on the grounds that it works different from the existing features is poor form here.


macabre wrote:
The point of the morality system is not to measure how effective you are at fighting evil, but how committed you are to fighting evil.

How is "commitment" linked to "number of attacks"? If I gently slap you across the face 5 times, does that in any way make it more committed than a single slap which knocks you on your ass? It seems to me that the more deadly the individual attack is, the more committed they are to it. So I think your assumption that several weaker attacks = a greater commitment is just plain backwards.

If you really want to measure someone's commitment to killing someone, seems that damage is the way to go. If you just want to measure someone's ineffectiveness in combat and their ability to game a broken morality system and farm it, then number of attacks seems like the best system.


I'm sorry, but you're simply wrong. Namm doesn't care how much time you waste throwing rocks around. He cares how much evil you smite. If you were to ask him how much you should smite, the answer will be "all of it". If you were to ask him if you have done enough to smite evil, the answer is always "no". Namm was already pretty fanatic before the fall of Azazel, and he only got worse after the fact. Azazel was his close friend and ally. Namm felt betrayed by Azazel and, well, some would say it pushed him over the edge. It would be a terrible mistake to assume that Namm is more pleased by someone throwing several rocks to kill 1 demon than he would be by someone using their rifle to smite 2.


macabre wrote:
It does this adequately, despite gimmicks, by indirectly measuring AP spent "fighting evil."

Actually, I've already covered very throughly how much it fails in that regard. AP efficiency fighting evil is as, or more, important than your ability to flail uselessly upon a foe. You're going to need a stronger argument on this point or you'll have to concede and let it go.

macabre wrote:
Your system more or less ignores this in favor of measuring the effects of your action, which actually does seem un-Nammish to me. Namm cares more about you following the Absolute Good laws, and the fact that you take up arms against Evil (those who do not) is part of that, but such laws do not require effectiveness. Obviously Namm is pleased when the Good Doers do well, but it doesn't mean that his army is any more Good when it is victorious than when it struggles in vain. It really is the fact of the struggle that matters, rather than the outcome.


I was the dev assigned to the development of the flavor of the elder powers. In effect, I wrote "the book of Namm". So let me set the records straight. After the fall of Azazel, Namm redoubled his efforts to wipe out the demonic hordes which empowered the black three. Namm was fearful that their influence would corrupt more powers and turn them against him as well. But it's more than just that, Namm genuinely hates them. Especially Tlacolotl. You see, Azazel was Namm's friend, ally, and the one individual he trusted more than anyone. Azazel's fall did quite a number on Namm, and made the already fanatic elder power into a vengeful, unforgiving and overzealous... Well, you get the idea. Namm doesn't want you to struggle. He wants you to destroy the unworthy.

Back to your post, it doesn't "measure the effects of your action" quite as much as it gives everyone a fixed amount of morality shift they can provide. I've still not seen you explain why killing someone with rocks is more morally significant than killing them with a rifle. Should I assume you can't explain that one?

Dead is dead, how they get that way isn't important. And frankly, it's just ridiculous to actually argue that Namm would be more pleased by his own armies intentionally being less effective in a war against the demonic hordes. In spite of what you may think about him, he doesn't want to lose just for the sake of struggling. He wants them all eradicated, including (especially) the black 3.


macabre wrote:
Teksura wrote:
The present system is the one which is silly...
It's far better to base it on the results, rather than how ineffective your weapon happens to be.
All such systems are silly because we're trying to use a simple rule to determine if and to what extent an action is Good. Silliness abounds in both systems, but consequentialist morality removes the power to do good (as recognized by the morality system) from many characters, especially weaker/newer ones. It will feel really bad for new players because it is a bad system.

Raising a sword against evil is Good even if it is a blunt sword.


I'm not seeing any actual argument anywhere in your post explaining why you think raising a blunt sword against evil is actually doing more good than raising a sharp one. You keep dancing around that point, instead opting to offer flat contradictions and then trying to re-write flavor yourself. It's becoming obvious that a flavor discussion with you is going to go nowhere fast, and I'm really not seeing much of a mechanical argument from you either. Although I know it's not your intention, you're actually doing a really good job of demonstrating how the current system is lacking in merits.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point you are ignoring is that not everyone has a super sharp sword of smiting and smashing. It's not better to raise a blunt sword than a sharp one, it is equally good to spend your time fighting evil to the best of your ability. As it happens there's no good mechanical way to tell if someone is thwacking evil with a cane to farm morality, or because a cane is their best evil thwacker. I wasn't nitpicking semantics, I was acknowledging this failure of the current system, that it makes no attempt to discern if you are being intentionally ineffective when dispensing morality shifts. If there were a clear way to do that I'd be all in favor of it, but simple damage dealt is not it.

You are still conflating morality with Namm orthodoxy, as far as I can tell. But far be it from me to argue flavor with the person who rewrote it to suit themselves already.

I don't think Namm should be more pleased by ineffective flailing, I think that striking against evil is a Good act, and the morality system should reflect this. I'm surprised you don't think it's a problem that a mortal can't Do Good against armored evil. You keep dragging out the current worst-case "abuse" and handwaving away the problems with your solution. Isn't it silly that killing a void walker is less Good than fixing a few doors? It's a silly system top to bottom. The main concern should be gameplay, and excluding weaker combat characters from meaningful morality shifts is Bad Gameplay. AP is the most precious resource and making MO management AP-limited is a decent system that obviously works. Making it so that efficiency is important means that the fightier classes have greater ability to muck with their own MO - they need more victims than before, but now there's an imbalance between the classes, which I bet will be "addressed" by making it nearly impossible to kill an angel and keep good MO unless you are one of the glass cannon classes, and penance will be costlier because whoops, all your damage bonuses are gone and it takes a full AP cycle to get 2 points of MO now. I guess that could be a design goal.

Raising a sword against evil is Good even if it is a blunt sword. Your system completely fails to capture this. The current system overvalues blunter weapons. There are clearly problems but your proposed change makes more problems and worse.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
this failure of the current system, that it makes no attempt to discern if you are being intentionally ineffective when dispensing morality shifts. If there were a clear way to do that I'd be all in favor of it, but simple damage dealt is not it.


On that front, perhaps the easiest approximation would be to take the dividing factor used to determine MO shift and scale it based on character level? For example:

MO shift = (Damage dealt)/(Character level/3)

I only picked 3 because it would make the division factor at level 30 be the proposed 10.

Now I may have just suggested it, but I don't know how I feel about that idea. On the one hand, it's further complicating the suggested changes to the morality system, perhaps needlessly so. On the other hand, basing morality shifts on raw damage makes it cost more AP for lower level characters to achieve the same shifts in morality as higher level players. That could be frustrating for low-level mortals looking to raise their MO by smiting evil. Conversely, it could be interpreted as more forgiving if they "slip up" and stab someone.

How many mortals bother grinding morality with their pitiful hit rates to begin with? Definitely better ways to go about it.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If MO is linked to damage you won't know how much an attack will change your MO until after you make it - is this not a huge issue?

For what its worth, I prefer the status quo - I think linking MO change to damage is simply swapping one set of issues for another.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So yeah, the whole flavor and lore aside.
The biggest issue with basing mo shifts on damage is that there's quite a big difference between the low damage punching and kicking or whatever people, and high damage ones i guess? Which means we either end up with the first having a hard time to get mo or the second getting a ridiculous amount from one hit. Depending on the exact numbers.
Quite a predicament

Actually i just realised something odd. Tek said that Namm would be more pleased with you doing higher damage, which makes sense. But if it's purely damage dealt, it would mean you would gain more favor for striking the weaker ones with less defence and soak, than the strong? Which is odd.

Rincewind wrote:
If MO is linked to damage you won't know how much an attack will change your MO until after you make it - is this not a huge issue?

Just wanted to ask - is it really an issue? A certain dose of uncertainity could be fun. But again i may simply be the kind that doesn't like to do everything according to numbers.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Foxling wrote:
So yeah, the whole flavor and lore aside.
The biggest issue with basing mo shifts on damage is that there's quite a big difference between the low damage punching and kicking or whatever people, and high damage ones i guess? Which means we either end up with the first having a hard time to get mo or the second getting a ridiculous amount from one hit. Depending on the exact numbers.
Quite a predicament

Actually i just realised something odd. Tek said that Namm would be more pleased with you doing higher damage, which makes sense. But if it's purely damage dealt, it would mean you would gain more favor for striking the weaker ones with less defence and soak, than the strong? Which is odd.


I would think that Namm would be more pleased by harming a high level Evil than a low-level one. Surely killing an Infernal Behemoth is 'worth' more in his sight than killing a petty vandal.

What I wonder is why is Namm and only Namm involved in MO shifts? It seems rather lopsided that Namm would oversee MO gain but no one apparently oversees MO loss, which is simply the other side of the coin. And why does he care so much about vandalism and repair work? Or does each Power oversee MO shifts within their purview?
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