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Compiling a supplement for the hintbook?
Tom Proudfoot's Games
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Author Topic: Compiling a supplement for the hintbook?  (Read 8241 times)
Torgo
Whelpling

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« on: May 10, 2009, 09:15:25 pm »

I don't know if anyone else is really in here, but I went on a nostalgia kick because Nahlakh was such a rich game that was way ahead of its time...graphics aside, it still beats the crap out of most fantasy genre games out now!  So I found my way here and after an *ahem* exhaustive search of all the Nahlakh-related info on the web, there are still a few things missing that were never covered in the hintbook (http://www.proudft.com/nahlakh_hintbook.zip) and have some gameplay relevance.  Before I set out on an epic nerdquest to figure out all these things, I thought I'd ask if anyone has put any of this stuff together?

Here are the things I'm most interested in compiling for now:
  • Spell/prayer and hit % formulas
...while the hint book goes into marvelous detail on all the things that can affect your chances, neither that nor the bundled docs tell you how your skill level and all those other factors translate into probability.  Example: if my mage has a magic skill of Adroit (118-121), and no antimagic is in play, what are the chances of casting blink (eoo, M8)? great web (wyk, M16)? mass quick (yyv, M48)? Is the latter zero, or just very very small?
  • Maps of the various outdoor areas, preferably annotated with dungeon locations and some basic monster info.  (I've started some just by going on exploration runs, taking screenshots, and splicing them together.)
  • Base costs for items and the sell/buy rate formula for merchant skill. Knowing one of these would help a lot in determining the other!

Going through source code is one way, but it spoils the nerdish glee of playtesting! Cheesy There are clearly more complicated formulas present in the game than a simple ratio: for example, I just tested one of my chars and cast boulder (diff. 23) about 15% of the time, with a mage skill of 126-128, yet I can't cast quickness (diff. 25) after 100 attempts. I read absoutely everything I could find online which isn't much, does Tom or anyone else know where to look before I break out my slide rule?
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Torgo
Whelpling

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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2009, 09:29:45 pm »

Oh just a quick thought on the spells:
The hintbook says that "difficulty" is actually 5 times the spell level...are the chances of casting it equal to (skill - difficulty) when that number >0?  That'd be consistent with what I observed so far but haven't tested it extensively yet.
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SkeleTony
Orc Warrior

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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2009, 12:22:15 pm »

If you were able to achieve this you would be a hero!

I wonder if Tom still has some of those maps he did not put in the hint book? Used to be that you could email him requesting specific maps but whop knows...?

EDIT: And no...I do not know of any sites which still maintain Nahlakh info'. Alphaman used to have a cool web page(s) dedicated to the game but it was on one of those messed up sites like 'Angelfire' or something that deleted the page for some stupid reason.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 12:26:25 pm by SkeleTony » Logged
Torgo
Whelpling

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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2009, 02:28:32 pm »

Well as for the spell casting probability, I played with it some and it does appear to follow this formula. First you take your magic/prayer skill # from the hintbook (i.e. Rotten = 34, Good = 106-109, etc.) and then take the spell difficulty listed in the hintbook and multiply by 5.  The difference between these two numbers is your chance of casting the spell, provided it is between 0 and 100.  So for the example I mentioned, your magic skill is 120 (Adroit) your chances of casting the spells are as follows:

Blink (eoo, M8): difficulty = 40, P = 80% chance.

Great Web (wyk, M16): difficulty = 80, P = 40% chance.

Mass Quickness (yyv, M48): difficulty = 240, P < 0 hence 0% chance.

So clearly, one has to have a magic skill of Unearthly to even attempt a spell like Mass Quickness and the odds are still very small until you get well over the required level...which is impossible to determine by in-game info.  Otherwise, attempting to cast it does nothing but drain your strength (and possibly level up magic skill, the hintbook is a little unclear there).  If this is actually how it works - and I haven't tested this enough to be statistically significant, so it really is an "if" - then maybe the next step is to compile it into a spreadsheet with spiffy vlookup tables.  I was thinking a field to put your character's skill and then output the chances of casting every spell & prayer after 1, 2, and 3 attempts, or find out what skill level you need to cast a given spell with a specified % success chance.  Guess that's a project for next weekend or whenever I get tired of killing these @*$#%&! endless frogmen.

I finally managed to explore (almost) all of the first island but the rest are blank slates to me.  Outdoor area maps would be a huge help in avoiding a lot of unnecessary steps, and fights, at least until I'm ready for them.

PS I remember making one of those awful Angelfire sites back in 1996 and pieces of it are still up! Ah ancient interwebz lore, back then men were real men, women were real women, and internets were real internets.  Whatever went wrong...
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SkeleTony
Orc Warrior

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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 10:30:09 am »

Well as for the spell casting probability, I played with it some and it does appear to follow this formula. First you take your magic/prayer skill # from the hintbook (i.e. Rotten = 34, Good = 106-109, etc.) and then take the spell difficulty listed in the hintbook and multiply by 5.  The difference between these two numbers is your chance of casting the spell, provided it is between 0 and 100.  So for the example I mentioned, your magic skill is 120 (Adroit) your chances of casting the spells are as follows:

Blink (eoo, M8): difficulty = 40, P = 80% chance.

Great Web (wyk, M16): difficulty = 80, P = 40% chance.

Mass Quickness (yyv, M48): difficulty = 240, P < 0 hence 0% chance.

So clearly, one has to have a magic skill of Unearthly to even attempt a spell like Mass Quickness and the odds are still very small until you get well over the required level...which is impossible to determine by in-game info.  Otherwise, attempting to cast it does nothing but drain your strength (and possibly level up magic skill, the hintbook is a little unclear there).  If this is actually how it works - and I haven't tested this enough to be statistically significant, so it really is an "if" - then maybe the next step is to compile it into a spreadsheet with spiffy vlookup tables.  I was thinking a field to put your character's skill and then output the chances of casting every spell & prayer after 1, 2, and 3 attempts, or find out what skill level you need to cast a given spell with a specified % success chance.  Guess that's a project for next weekend or whenever I get tired of killing these @*$#%&! endless frogmen.

I finally managed to explore (almost) all of the first island but the rest are blank slates to me.  Outdoor area maps would be a huge help in avoiding a lot of unnecessary steps, and fights, at least until I'm ready for them.

PS I remember making one of those awful Angelfire sites back in 1996 and pieces of it are still up! Ah ancient interwebz lore, back then men were real men, women were real women, and internets were real internets.  Whatever went wrong...

Your information appears to me to be at least close to being correct. I was checking things in my current game where no one has a casting skill above "Mediocre". They can cast difficulty 4 or 5 spells it seems around 1/2 of the time but a difficulty 8 or 9 spell will not go off successfully no matter how many attempts I make. By your formula a D8 spell should just be -40% and still have a roughly 39%-40% chance to go off successfully.

Also doesn't it state in the hint guide that every spell has a minimum of a 1%(or is that 5%?) chance to be cast? Or am I thinking of combat hit chances?
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Torgo
Whelpling

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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2009, 12:30:04 am »

Thanks for the feedback!

Glad to have another set of casters to look at...so your casting skills are somewhere in the 70's.  A level 4-5 spell would go off about half the time if this mathcraft thingy is right.  Odd about the higher level skill though, there definitely seems to be something fishy.  Now I really want to test it more because it sounds like something in it is not right.  Would you mind doing 20 attempts on this skill and tracking the results? Just haste your priests and go pick on some poor unsuspecting kobolds that want to play Cheesy

You probably know this already but the chances only affect casting the spell, not whether it takes effect. If you were trying to cast kon then (if my hypothetical formula actually works) you'll have a 30-40ish % chance of casting the spell, but then a much lower chance of actually paralyzing a target.

I just went up to sterling on a mage (143-147) and began casting a lvl 26 spell - rmm - though it takes a lot of attempts.  The formula thing says 15% which feels kinda sorta right.  My best mage is exemplary (155ish) and casts rmm about one fourth of the time...formula thingy says 155 - 130 = 25%.  And yes, I love dropping a boss in one hit. Tongue
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SkeleTony
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2009, 10:39:36 am »

AH...yeah I may well be missing something here and confusing the chance to cast with the chance to effect a target as intended(i.e. paralyze a creature).

I have not had much time to play lately but as soon as I get back to my game I will try to do as you request and test out this stuff.
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