Stat Potentials
issueid=1117 07-05-2012 05:10 PM
Ancient Member
Number of reported issues by JellySlayer: 114
Stat Potentials

The manual reports that potential maximums can only be raised by a long, arduous process by natural training, and that generally only magical means can raise potentials. At present, this is not the case.

It appears that raising a potential score using conventional training methods is about twice as difficult as raising the stat itself. In other words, you can raise your toughness using ~4 morgia roots, and you can raise your potential toughness using ~8. The time it takes for the increase is about the same otherwise. This is not an insurmountable hurdle--it's more of a minor inconvenience, IMHO. From a balance point of view, I think it would be much more interesting to make the potential maximums hard caps (save for using the appropriate potion), and eliminate most of the artificial caps on conventional stat increases. In other words, if your potential maximum for toughness is 15, you can only raise your toughness to 15 using morgia root, and need potions of potential stat to continue raising. If you're a troll and your toughness potential is 36, allow morgia to raise it to 36 rather than arbitrarily capping at 25.

As it stands right now, any PC, regardless of race or class, can get St 18, Le 25, Wi 25, Dx 25, To 25, using herbs, gems, and encumbrance strength training without too much difficulty (well, raising Le is a bit more of a pain since not all PCs have easy access to gems). Since few PCs start with stats higher than these values anyway, it means that regardless of starting race/class, most PCs fairly rapidly converge on the same set of stats, and reduces variability a lot in terms of what a mid-to-endgame character will look like. I think using potentials as a way to allow for some stat training in all PCs, but maintaining the variance between classes and races, would probably be a great improvement.
Issue Details
Issue Number 1117
Issue Type Feature
Project ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery)
Category Unknown
Status Implemented
Priority Unknown
Suggested Version Unknown
Implemented Version ADOM 1.2.0 pre 7
Milestone (none)
Votes for this feature 19
Votes against this feature 5
Assigned Users (none)
Tags (none)




07-05-2012 06:51 PM
Ancient Member
Brilliant idea, I love it.

07-06-2012 02:59 PM
Ancient Member
From a balance point of view, I think it would be much more interesting to make the potential maximums hard caps (save for using the appropriate potion), and eliminate most of the artificial caps on conventional stat increases. In other words, if your potential maximum for toughness is 15, you can only raise your toughness to 15 using morgia root, and need potions of potential stat to continue raising. If you're a troll and your toughness potential is 36, allow morgia to raise it to 36 rather than arbitrarily capping at 25.
So if you start with a low potential, you're stuck with it until you find a bunch of potions? And if you're a troll with a Toughness potential in the 50s, you can easily farm morgia get a monster Toughness score without much trouble?

It'd seem to me that this solution would be too lop-sided - granted, trolls would have a hard time getting their Le or Ma up for example, but for the weaker races it'd be really difficult to get semi-decent physical stats, while those that start with higher scores have an easy time pushing them even higher.

07-07-2012 12:35 AM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by anon123
So if you start with a low potential, you're stuck with it until you find a bunch of potions? And if you're a troll with a Toughness potential in the 50s, you can easily farm morgia get a monster Toughness score without much trouble?

It'd seem to me that this solution would be too lop-sided - granted, trolls would have a hard time getting their Le or Ma up for example, but for the weaker races it'd be really difficult to get semi-decent physical stats, while those that start with higher scores have an easy time pushing them even higher.
That's kind of the idea, yes. If you're a troll, you can train St and To easily, but can't train your Wi and Le without a lot of trouble. If you're a grey elf, you can train your Wi and Le and Ma easily, but your St and To will lag behind. Different race/class combinations would have different advantages and disadvantages in terms of their stats.

07-17-2012 10:32 PM
Senior Member
However, getting rid of the "natural increase" method entirely would seem also to go against what is in the manual. It said "These maximums can only rarely be
surpassed by natural training. This is a long and arduous process." which should imply there should be some, small, chance of raising it by these methods. Perhaps just not as much as now, e.g. make it 5x harder instead of just 2x harder.

Also, are herbs even "natural training"? In addition, to me this seems also like it'd make it so you can't get very far from your starting stats, which might make it much harder in the later game. ADOM is mighty hard as it is, do we need to make it harder?! Perh. one could implement some race-based variability in the herb/gem training maximums, reflecting differences in the races' response to training. OR make it, e.g. that it can train potentials only up to X% more than the starting potentials as opposed to a fixed cap. I.e. 20% or 25% more, for example. And perhaps have the number of herbs required to raise the potential escalate as it gets higher into that range, such as hyperbolic growth, with the singularity of the growth function being placed at the "X% cap". Perhaps also make it so that only blessed herbs can raise potential, etc. That way, you can still have the variability, but also make it so one can get a little further from their starting stats.

After all, it seems the raising of potential via herbs was a deliberate feature, and I don't think it should go, but perhaps it could use some tweaking, as I mention above.

07-18-2012 04:03 PM
Ancient Member
I think the fact that most characters scum herbs and end up with all the stats in the 20's regardless of race and class detracts from the variety and flavor of the game. If changing that makes the game too hard, it could be made easier in some other respect.

07-18-2012 10:36 PM
Senior Member
Quote Originally Posted by Al-Khwarizmi
I think the fact that most characters scum herbs and end up with all the stats in the 20's regardless of race and class detracts from the variety and flavor of the game. If changing that makes the game too hard, it could be made easier in some other respect.
What did you think of what I suggested in my post?

07-19-2012 08:26 AM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by mike3
What did you think of what I suggested in my post?
I think those can be good solutions, if the parameters are tweaked well.

07-19-2012 11:57 PM
Ancient Member
Also, are herbs even "natural training"? In addition, to me this seems also like it'd make it so you can't get very far from your starting stats, which might make it much harder in the later game. ADOM is mighty hard as it is, do we need to make it harder?! Perh. one could implement some race-based variability in the herb/gem training maximums, reflecting differences in the races' response to training. OR make it, e.g. that it can train potentials only up to X% more than the starting potentials as opposed to a fixed cap. I.e. 20% or 25% more, for example. And perhaps have the number of herbs required to raise the potential escalate as it gets higher into that range, such as hyperbolic growth, with the singularity of the growth function being placed at the "X% cap". Perhaps also make it so that only blessed herbs can raise potential, etc. That way, you can still have the variability, but also make it so one can get a little further from their starting stats.
If you're going to do all of this trouble, why not just do it the way that I've suggested, but raise the potential scores slightly for all races? The way you're suggesting is effectively to implement a "potential potential", that represents the true value that you can raise the stat to. Why bother? Just set the potential score to the value that you think it should be, and make it a hard cap. Otherwise, the potential score that you see on the screen is, like it is in the current implementation, meaningless, because there is some other value that you actually care about, but you don't know what it is.

As an aside, I don't see raising the difficulty of the endgame to be a problem at all. The post-ToEF area is by far the easiest part of the game. But honestly, this change actually makes the game much easier for many races. Most races have at least one stat potential of Wi/To/Dx above 25 and would benefit from this change at least on that value. Trolls, Orcs, Dwarves, Hurthlings and Drakelings can all have To potential rolls above 30 (even above 40 in the case of trolls), which is a pretty significant boost over the current ceiling of 25. As it stands now, those values have absolutely no meaning because there is no way to reliably increase your stats up to your potential. The only races that this would probably hurt significantly are elves, who generally have sub-20 To potentials for all classes, though they would end up with Dx scores in the high 30s.

07-21-2012 02:03 AM
Ancient Member
I think it's a great idea that would help to distinguish the races much further, and increase replayability of the game. There will be objections to any change, of course... As an aside, I think humans should have higher potentials than is normal for their stats to give them an extra long term advantage (at the moment they're quite a boring race).

08-04-2012 04:41 PM
Senior Member
Perhaps a touch of realism could be introduced here, to make it work better. Potentials rolled at the start are really meant to feel like a genetically natural capability, and thus, to reach that potential maximum is a lot harder than increasing your stat from well below potential maximum to just a lot below it (say, from 8 to 10 when your potential maximum is 20).

So, make it so that the effectiveness of the various kinds of training decreases as the stat gets closer to the potential maximum. But as noted, occasionally you can surpass that 'natural' potential maximum - this could be interpreted as the PC being influenced by the magic of the Drakalor chain, and being able to overcome genetics... but "naturally" increasing the potential maximum through training should be a much more difficult process.

As I see it, assuming no magical influences (potions, etc), potential maximums should require dedicated training over short periods in order to increase. They should not be alterable through herbs (except perhaps for very low stats - for instance, toughness potentials below 8 should be able to be raised by morgia root to 8), or through other non-real training means (corpses that train stats, for instance - hill orcs, for instance). Instead, they should require direct training, either in context (such as battle) or with Garth (I'm assuming that the biggest fast-money exploits will be fixed in 1.2).

So basically, here's what I'm thinking - stat increases should require a level of training depending on the ratio of the current level to the potential maximum, with the amount going to infinity if they're equal. A simple formula that should work nicely is N/(1-Current/Potential) = N*Potential/(Potential-Current), where N is some base training requirement. So, if we take N=100, then for a potential of 25 in a stat, the amount of training necessary to raise from 10 to 11 would be 100*25/15 = about 167, whereas to train it from 24 to 25 would require 2500. I'd also make N depend on the current potential, so that it's easier to train when their potential is lower, and harder when it's higher. Maybe M*Potential^2/(Potential-Current), where M is some constant, could work nicely. Just to demonstrate the effect of that potential squared (using M=4, so N=4*25 in the previous case), if the potential is only 10, and the current stat is 4, then by the original formula, you have 100*10/6 = about 167, but by the modified one, you have 4*10*10/6 = about 67 - significantly lower. And to train from 49 to 50 when the potential is 50 would require 4*50*50/1 = 10,000, which would be much harder than the 2500 to reach potential of 25.

Make it so that training the stat itself works cumulatively - that is, you need only to keep training, and the stat will eventually increase. But make it so that increasing the potential is harder, with positive training of the stat randomly being reset to zero if at the maximum, and requiring, say, 2x the total training needed to increase the stat up the final step to the current potential (so, if potential is currently 25, using the formula above, you'd need 2500 to get from 24 to 25, and then you'd need 5000 to increase from 25 to 26). And as I noted, if at maximum, you should require direct training, no herbs or corpses, etc (and no stat-reduction items, either), to continue training without magical methods.

The alternative of simply having race-based natural potential limits is also an option. So, a troll would be able to train naturally to 50 in toughness where a dark elf wouldn't be able to get past 15, for instance. But to me, basing it on race only simply eliminates the feeling of the current PC as an individual.

10-04-2012 10:20 PM
Ancient Member
First of all, sorry, for necroing this :)

I very much agree with anon123 that rather than balancing, this extremely unbalances the races and classes--especially with the current layout of the game. Being able to get into the 40s (or higher!) of To through herb training is pretty insane. Comparing pre-this proposed change: that's a bump of 5(sickness)-7+ PV and an absolutely enormous amount of HP with increasing level for some r/c's; trolls could be looking at 10+ PV. Elves lose 2-5 PV and also an enormous amount of HP.

When you consider the preponderance of +Wi (+15 guaranteed!, before ToEF if you so desire, even though you won't need such a large increase until the archmage), -Conf, +Le (+9 guaranteed, as early as you desire), etc equipment compared to those that raise To (not guaranteed until the Earth Temple, when it is most sorely needed for ToEF, and even non-guaranteed sources likely require a ring of ice to keep alive) or St (guaranteed after ToEF), this is even more unbalanced. (I have not mentioned Dx because I mostly don't notice it, but there's always bugwil if you need to go that way).

Yet another consideration that extends from the last second paragraph is that To is perhaps the most important of all stats (being vital to every class) while Wi (which I probably consider the second most important) is a distant second. Non-spellcasters (I include mindcrafters here since they can complete the whole game without using offensive Mindcraft pretty easily) can easily skimp on Wi until the Archmage (I don't count ACW here since +15 is more than enough for him unless your max is in the lower single digits), when they'll have plenty of +Wi and likely multiple -Conf sources (Casino). Even spellcasters can rely on the +15 guaranteed (and maybe another +3 from the pretty common necklace of perseverance) for when it is needed, and this means that there is functionally no difference between someone with a Wi of 17 and 29 (or 32 in the case of no necklace of perseverance) for purposes of ball spell radius (perhaps the most/second-most important reason to increase Wi for spellcasters since bolt spells go pretty far even with Wi: 1). Your options for toughness are nowhere near this varied or common. Similar arguments apply to other stats as compared to To.

While it may reduce the variety of the game to have all mid-level PCs with approximately the same stats, I think rebalancing the game after this particular change would require such an absolutely herculean amount of work that it isn't even close to worth it. There are better ways to do this.

10-05-2012 04:53 AM
Senior Member
Quote Originally Posted by SirTheta
When you consider the preponderance of +Wi (+15 guaranteed!, before ToEF if you so desire, even though you won't need such a large increase until the archmage), -Conf, +Le (+9 guaranteed, as early as you desire), etc equipment compared to those that raise To (not guaranteed until the Earth Temple, when it is most sorely needed for ToEF, and even non-guaranteed sources likely require a ring of ice to keep alive) or St (guaranteed after ToEF), this is even more unbalanced. (I have not mentioned Dx because I mostly don't notice it, but there's always bugwil if you need to go that way).
Well, given the sheer number of new artifacts (plus new quests) being added to the game, it's possible that a new guaranteed early-game +To artifact could be created.

I would actually love to see a set of quests that are mutually exclusive, where each one provides you with a similar artifact, but with the big difference being which stats are modified.

10-05-2012 06:40 AM
Ancient Member
Well, trolls, orcs, etc. are supposed to be really tough. Look at it in a relative sense. A troll can roll 30 To score. Using natural sources he can raise his To by a whopping 2 points to 32 with some clever herb scumming. So generously, the troll can gain a <10% increase in his To with herbs. A dark elf can start with 8 To and raise it 24 points to 32 as well. He can increase his To by 300% and end up matching the troll--by level 8 with a bit of luck. And then he'll out-level the troll. A DE fighter could easily have 100 HP more than a troll fighter because of the level difference by the time both PCs hit the ToEF as things stand now. With 10 more To, the troll might have more HP... but if the elf is 3 or 4 levels higher, probably not. HP increases with To seem to be based on a proportion. Going from 10 To to 30 will about triple your HP. Going from 30 to 40 will give you only a third more than you already have. I see nothing wrong with having a troll or orc being able to get higher toughness than some prissy elf.

As for To increasing items, there's always the SoRS for the Tower.

10-05-2012 09:34 AM
Ancient Member
(note: everything I am writing here is wrt to herbs, not other methods like swamp hydra)

I also see nothing wrong with a troll (or similar "tough" race) being able to get higher To than elves (and such); I just think it is incredibly unbalanced to allow raising of (really, specifically) To that high because of just how "overpowered" high To is compared to high values in other stats (maybe Dx being exception here at values that wouldn't really be achievable any longer). There would be sufficient differentiation /just/ relying on the max potential, without allowing people to raise their To to 40+. Nothing in your last post has convinced me that allowing To that high is balanced, especially since your illustrative example is trolls and levels (and doesn't consider the /very/ nice PV bonus, too), when orcs, dwarfs and drakelings all have similarly absurdly high To potentials that would be just as unbalanced.

I had forgotten about the SoRS--although I would not say it is as "guaranteed" as the other +artifacts simply due to the very real cost associated with obtaining (mostly) and carrying/wielding (less so) it.

10-05-2012 04:02 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by SirTheta
(note: everything I am writing here is wrt to herbs, not other methods like swamp hydra)

I also see nothing wrong with a troll (or similar "tough" race) being able to get higher To than elves (and such); I just think it is incredibly unbalanced to allow raising of (really, specifically) To that high because of just how "overpowered" high To is compared to high values in other stats (maybe Dx being exception here at values that wouldn't really be achievable any longer). There would be sufficient differentiation /just/ relying on the max potential, without allowing people to raise their To to 40+. Nothing in your last post has convinced me that allowing To that high is balanced, especially since your illustrative example is trolls and levels (and doesn't consider the /very/ nice PV bonus, too), when orcs, dwarfs and drakelings all have similarly absurdly high To potentials that would be just as unbalanced.

I had forgotten about the SoRS--although I would not say it is as "guaranteed" as the other +artifacts simply due to the very real cost associated with obtaining (mostly) and carrying/wielding (less so) it.
I don't understand what you mean by "There would be sufficient differentiation /just/ relying on the max potential...." At present, there is zero differentiation based on max potential, because potential is utterly meaningless. Everyone can get the same stats, regardless of their potential. Orcs and dwarves and even most trolls can't get higher To than elves. Everyone has the same limit. I don't really understand what you are proposing here. Moreover, I don't see how you can claim it is remotely balanced that an elf can go from 8 To to 32, quadruple their HP, and gain +6 PV, but it is suddenly horribly imbalanced for an Orc or Drake or Troll to go from 20 (for the former two) or 30 (for the latter) to 40 or whatever, and at most double their HP and gain at most maybe +10 PV. Again: Going from very low To to high To has a much bigger effect than going from high To to extremely high To. If a 2x increase in To for the stronger races is imbalanced, then a 4x increase for the weaker races is far more imbalanced.

SoRS has virtually no cost in obtaining it. You can easily kill Thrundarr without enraging Dwarftown or taking an alignment hit, and normally by the time you are interested in the SoRS, you have no more need for Thrundarr anyway. Sure, wielding it for long periods of time is a PITA, but for the Tower, it's a godsend.

10-05-2012 06:08 PM
Ancient Member
(note: below, I consider only case of maxing To w/ sickness, like Jelly)

I meant: just making the max potential a hard limit while keeping the current limit on herbs would allow sufficient differentiation (basically, prime's recent suggestion). I don't think it's appropriate for an elf to go to 8 To to 32 (though ime, many elf /melee/ classes (mindcrafter is sort of exception) don't start nearly that low--ex. DE Assassins range from approximately 13-17. Barbs and Beastfighters can easily get lower 20s. with dragon sign, you get another +1. your example may be valid for, say, wizards, but they don't really get the same benefits from maxing their To to 32 as melee classes do). Even 1.5x or 1.33x the HP for some r/c combos is quite significant. ex. my current drake barb has around 200 HP at lvl 13 w/ 31 To--it would be absurd for him to gain *another* 50 HP by maxing out at 38 (obv. barbs more HP than other classes, but you can do the comparison for pretty much anything). In comparison, as it currently stands, a maybe 2x increase in HP (see previous quoted elf melee To) is quite different when you consider the starting HP in conjunction with, instead of just, the magnitude of the effect.

In addition, I think you're vastly underrating (edit: well, more accurately, I think you are not considering it as big a deal as it is; I know you know the value of PV :D) the +PV from To on top of equipment--even +4 PV is quite something, and mid 40s max is easily +7 or more PV. In conjunction with reducing the PV by maybe 2-3 for other races, it's a large difference and could easily give some races an incredible 10 PV (or more!) advantage over others. I'm all for variety and differentiation, but there's a fine line to walk between that and balance. Difference for difference's sake is not always the greatest...

SoRS requires you to kill Guth'Alak, locking you out of a potentially needed (considering you are playing corruption roulette with SoRS) PoCC as well as locking you out of the white unicorn quest. That's a very significant cost any way you look at it (and not in the sense of "maxing your score and giving you a better life after leaving the chain"). (I believe Thrundarr is Amulet of Raw Steel, but I've never gone for that) (I also think this is illustrative of just how "guaranteed" the SoRS is. Sure it has saved my life in the past, but there are many preferred ways of doing things before resorting to the SoRS--enough that it isn't generated in the majority of games)

10-05-2012 09:34 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by SirTheta
(note: below, I consider only case of maxing To w/ sickness, like Jelly)

I meant: just making the max potential a hard limit while keeping the current limit on herbs would allow sufficient differentiation (basically, prime's recent suggestion). I don't think it's appropriate for an elf to go to 8 To to 32 (though ime, many elf /melee/ classes (mindcrafter is sort of exception) don't start nearly that low--ex. DE Assassins range from approximately 13-17. Barbs and Beastfighters can easily get lower 20s. with dragon sign, you get another +1. your example may be valid for, say, wizards, but they don't really get the same benefits from maxing their To to 32 as melee classes do). Even 1.5x or 1.33x the HP for some r/c combos is quite significant. ex. my current drake barb has around 200 HP at lvl 13 w/ 31 To--it would be absurd for him to gain *another* 50 HP by maxing out at 38 (obv. barbs more HP than other classes, but you can do the comparison for pretty much anything). In comparison, as it currently stands, a maybe 2x increase in HP (see previous quoted elf melee To) is quite different when you consider the starting HP in conjunction with, instead of just, the magnitude of the effect.
This is the thing though, I don't think that the difference between X Hp and 1.25X HP is actually that noticeable. If it was a big effect, for example, you'd expect to see players use the Orb of Earth all the friggin' time as soon as they got it. I mean, it's 5 PV and a big boost to your HP, right? I've never equipped it, and I've never heard of another player equipping it except in a maybe an odd challenge game. Maybe I'm just the odd man out on this one, but my casters all use the Water Orb, and my melees all use the Fire Orb. The benefit of +10 To, at least at that point in the game, is negligible--even though it's probably worth well over 100 HP to most PCs. Even early in the game, it's the same deal. A PC going from 100 HP to 200 HP is getting way more benefit than a HP going from 200 to 300, even though both players could be increasing their To by the same amount and both are getting the same absolute number of HPs return. Now, I'll admit, there are a few breakpoints for HP that are pretty significant if you're above or below them, but for general play, a 20% increase or decrease in HP is not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

I'll admit that I'm not opposed to prime's suggestion in principle, although I do feel it makes potential limits still mostly useless in practice, if only because there are virtually no methods to train stats above the herb limit except for Garth (which, depending on what happens to the Casino, may become prohibitively expensive) and a few pathological methods for some stats. But at least potentials would have some purpose...

Quote Originally Posted by SirTheta
In addition, I think you're vastly underrating (edit: well, more accurately, I think you are not considering it as big a deal as it is; I know you know the value of PV :D) the +PV from To on top of equipment--even +4 PV is quite something, and mid 40s max is easily +7 or more PV. In conjunction with reducing the PV by maybe 2-3 for other races, it's a large difference and could easily give some races an incredible 10 PV (or more!) advantage over others. I'm all for variety and differentiation, but there's a fine line to walk between that and balance. Difference for difference's sake is not always the greatest...
I'll concede this one. +10 PV is huge, especially early on. Though, again, relative versus absolute: in the endgame going from 40 PV to 50 PV, not that big of deal. Going from 10 to 20, huge deal.

Quote Originally Posted by SirTheta
SoRS requires you to kill Guth'Alak, locking you out of a potentially needed (considering you are playing corruption roulette with SoRS) PoCC as well as locking you out of the white unicorn quest.
Sorry, yes, that's right. Though, that said, a remarkable number of players don't use the unicorn quest at all, or only use it to cure endgame corruption to boost their final score, and for PCs without food preservation or cooking, getting more than 1 or 2 corpses back to Guth is not really feasible.

10-05-2012 10:03 PM
Ancient Member
I think the lack of use of the Earth Orb is easily explained by the point of the game at which it is obtained: at that point, you typically have enough HP that more isn't needed except in rare instances. The prime usefulness of higher To (and most other stats) is at/before ToEF; after that, you hit the casino, gain levels and generally have equipment to offset anything too bad. Thus, most of my discussion is framed around that point of the game. I do think that, as you say, there are some break points for HP that are noticeable--especially when you consider ToEF where you generally need quite a bit of "buffer" (or be extra careful, have invis, etc.). While I think going from 100 to 200 takes you from "can't do ToEF" to "can do ToEF," I also think that going from 200 to 300 is a huge boost in survivability, especially when you happen to lack invisibility, Sp: 300 or both.

wrt not being able to train above herb limits--I think that is a good thing (well, you probably figured that). I don't think we'll be able to agree on whether PCs should have such easy access to high stats, though ;)

wrt to Guth, I consider his main function as trading in ACW and secondly SfB, so locking you out of the primary reason for visiting him (when you've almost certainly picked up at least one corruption) can be quite tough.

10-06-2012 04:08 AM
Ancient Member
I'm not saying it should be easy, I would just like it to be possible.

10-06-2012 02:06 PM
Ancient Member
I like the idea! Got my vote!

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