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Curious about item prices

Discussion in 'Icewind Dale (Classic)' started by Gregorovitch, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Gregorovitch Gems: 2/31
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    I often find it hard to choose equipment when my assessment of the relative merits of two similar items conflicts with game's rating based on the price offered by merchants (in RPG generally, not just in IE games) - I often wonder what I am missing......

    Take these particulars for four bows I have and the prices offered by Conlon for them (stats are THACO : Dmg : speed factor : price):

    Messenger of Seth: +2 : +1 : "very fast"(?) : 3100
    Kaylessa's Bow: +3 : +3 : 7 : 5500
    Composite Bow of the Hand: +2 : +2 : 7 : 3500
    Longbow of Marksmanship: +3 : +2 : 5 : 2750

    I cannot see why the Long bow of Marksmanship is cheaper than the Composite Bow of the Hand, or why Kaylessa's bow is twice it's price for the sake of one extra damage.

    As for Messanger of Seth, my understanding is speed factor determines how long after the start of each 6 second round your first shot is fired which means this bow fires almost immediately on round start. So if you target a mage with it, so long as you hit the mage you will almost certainly disrupt their spell and will continue to do so each subsequent round providing you continue to hit them. I think if I was playing DiD I would probably value this feature of the weapon higher than I actually do, but the bow seems over-priced to me.

    I was also taken aback by the price offered for a suit of armour, I think it was called "Mail of Life", that offered 2 higher (i.e. worse) AC than alternatives at half the price in exchange for measly one HP regen per round (or it might even have been turn).

    I just wondered how they came to set these prices.
     
  2. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The Messenger of Sseth's special, "extremely fast", adds an extra attack while Kaylessa's Bow adds a +1 to dexterity. That explains the price.

    The price on the Composite Bow of the Hand might have something to do with how it's also an ancient elven relic.
    HP regen is a nice enchantment, and even 1 HP regen per turn is nice to have if your warriors spend at least some time idle. Like my warriors are idle whenever my thief is busy scouting/disabling traps or my druid is clearing rooms with Mold Touch.
    While I wouldn't swap AC for HP regen on my main tank, I would for other characters (who are normally ignored anyway) like my cleric.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2012
  3. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Messenger of Sseth give an extra attack per round and is the best bow in the game.
    Composite longbows have a higher base value than longbows.
    Kayessa's bow is a composite longbow and give +1 to dexterity.

    Prices are based on the type of weapon, the plus of the weapon, and the features. Hence Kayessa's bow is the highest priced (the +1 to dex is a valuable feature). I would say that the Messenger of Sseth is actually underpriced.

    damn, not quite fast enough....
     
  4. Gregorovitch Gems: 2/31
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    My bad, didn't notice the +1 dex on Kayessa'a Bow - that explains it.

    Nor did I know that Sseth's bow gave an extra attack per round - it doesn't say it it does, does it?

    So if I've got 2.5 atacks per round, with this I get 3.5. Assuming average 10 total damage per hit with, say, Kaylessa'a Bow, I get 25 damage per round, so with Sseth's I get 3.5*8=30 per round since it's +1 extra damage over +3. In addition I get -1 to hit so I will get a few more misses, and I will also get a number of occasions where it takes say 4 hits instead of 3 to finish off an enemy. Does this really make Sseth's better than Kaylessa's?

    I agree regen is nice but it's unlikely to make the difference between life and death during a battle whereas +2 AC might, so I can't figure the price tag.

    So a composite bow gives +1 to hit and +2 to damage, and a long bow +1 to hit - are the modifiers listed on the item panes for these weapons in addition to this or inclusive?
     
  5. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Depends on your dex. If you need the dex boost then Kayessa's may better. I usually make one expert archer character (high dex and mastery) -- the dex is wasted on that character while the extra attack (especially with magic arrows) really adds up.

    Total modifiers are listed -- so inclusive. Excluding bonuses from magic arrows.
     
  6. Gregorovitch Gems: 2/31
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    Are you sure about this because on the evidence I can see this bow does not give an extra attack:

    I have just acquired the Valiant scimitar and had my druid equip it - this weapon clearly states it gives an additional attack per round and sure enough the druids number of attacks stat on the character sheet has gone up from 1.5 to 2.5. It is also obvious from looking at the roll details during a fight that this extra attack is performed almost immediately after the first attack goes in at the beginning of the round.

    However when I equip my multi-class fighter/thief, who has 3 attacks per round, with Messenger of Sseth his number of attacks is not raised to 4 on the character sheet, nor is it obvious that this extra attack is taking place looking at the roll details during a fight. I accept that 3-4 would be less obvious that 1.5->2.5 but it just doesn't look like it's behaving in the same way.

    The other pointer is that Conlon offers 19,000 gp for Valaint as against about 4000 gp for Frostbrand which is a +3 scimitar as opposed to Valiant which is +2. Thus the premium given for this extra attack plus Valiant's speed factor of 1 is enormous. I can testify to the justification for this premium, however: my druid delivers two blows almost immediately for upwards of 35-40 HP before the monster has even raised hand or paw.

    But Messenger of Sseth does not command this sort of premium, nor does it appear to me to deliver the sort of devastating strike that Valiant does.
     
  7. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Just tested Messenger of Sseth, and it gives my bard 3 attacks per round. Maybe this means that it merely sets your total number of attacks to 3 (minus Haste) instead of actually giving you an extra attack. What bow were you using before you switched to Messenger of Sseth? Does your Fighter/Thief have two stars in bows?

    I personally prefer the Hammer, but I agree that Messenger of Sseth is a pretty powerful bow.
     
  8. Gregorovitch Gems: 2/31
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    I had a save prior to aggravating the ice salamanders in the aquarium which is an ideal place to test this out, and my observations were thus:

    All characters involved wear boots of speed during test so they can run away and fire again, but these boots do not increase attacks AFAIK.

    My MC fighter/thief (bow**,dex 20) has 3 attacks per round. Picking up a target at max range he will always fire three shots in quick succession with either Sseth or Kessayla. However this is inconclusive as at that point the target will reach him and he needs to run away. After running away and turning to fire he will deliver another three shots if the target does not catch up with him in time to hit him.

    My DC fighter(3)->Mage(bow***,dex 18) has 2.5 attacks per round. Sometimes she would fire three shots in quick succession on picking up a target at max range before the target reaches her. In this situation after running away and resuming fire she would never deliver more than two further shots before pausing fire. On other occasions she would fire only two shots on picking up the target. In this situation after running away she sometimes got three shots off if the target failed to catch up with her in time. This was exactly the same whether she used Sseth of Kessayla bows. However it was quite difficult to pin down exactly what was going on because turning on auto-pause for round end I found that she seemed to go through one set of two shots, a pause, and then a set of three shots before round end was indicated. This implies that (at least in this solo stalking situation) the game actually doubles the number of attacks allowed in the official 6 second round. Perhaps they did this to up the pace of the game to make it more exiting. Anyway she was clearly alternating between sets of two and three shots in quick succession during the test with either the Sseth or the Kessayla bows.

    My paladin (no bow profficiency, dex 7) has 2 attacks per round. In her case with either bow she was never able to get more than two shots off on picking up a target at max range largely due to her missing most of the time and not holding up the target I think. Her rolls were +0 whereas the fighter/thief has +8 and the mage +7. The target always caught her long before any possible third shot. I left her to get hit a couple of times while equipping Sseth but even if the target failed to hit she still did not fire a third point blank shot. Not conclusive but no evidence of a third attack.

    The damage output of Messenger of sseth is what one would expect from the stats:about 2 points per shot less than Kessayla and 1 point less than the Composite Bow of the Hand on average.

    I can see no evidence of any increased number of attacks with Sseth's bow, and since all the bows seem to be fired pretty much immediately on either initial target acquisition or round I can't see much advantage gained from the "very fast" speed factor (although that might be an illusion as the animations and log reports may not be exactly in sync with the underlying game model). On this evidence I would say that Messenger of Sseth is the least effective of the four bows I listed in my OP.

    I would conjecture that "very fast" was a designer's placeholder note for a yet to be decided bonus factor along the lines of high rate of fire and that in the end it was decided that giving it an extra attack made it too powerful at that stage of the game so the "very fast" description got left there by default causing, it would seem, some confusion.

    ---------- Added 7 hours, 47 minutes and 54 seconds later... ----------

    I've just picked up longbow +4: Hammer. This weapon's item pane says: "Special: 4 attacks per round".

    It isn't 4 attacks per round - it's +2 attacks per round on top of character's normal quota. So my MC fighter thief goes up from 3 to 5 attacks and my DC fighter/mage goes up from 2.5 to 4.5. In both cases the extra attacks are listed in the character sheet and I've tested the fire rate. My fighter/thief does indeed shoot 5 arrows in quick succession, then waits a bit, then shoots 5 more. This equates to an average of 50 damage per round and Nym offer a paltry 4800gp for this awesome weapon.

    I conclude three things:

    1. As far as bows are concerned at least, the special properties listed on the item pane are not necessarily accurate.
    2. If a bow has a No of Attacks bonus this will show up on the character sheet which indicates that Messenger of Sseth does not add an extra attack. and is in in fact little better, if at all, than a standard composite longbow for all practical purposes.
    3. Back to my original question, it seems that the price offered for an item is not necessarily a true reflection of its actual power/value. Hammer shows this clearly as it is ludicrously under-priced. I would conjecture this might be because the properties of these items where changed during play testing but the original price tags were not updated to reflect those changes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  9. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I'm not sure why it isn't working in your game, but Messenger of Sseth gives my bard an extra attack, as it always has whenever I equipped it. Tested on my fighters (no weapon stars on bows) and I get the same result - 3 attacks per round with Messenger of Sseth, 2 attacks per round with a regular Composite Bow. No other items equipped, only the bows and normal arrows (I'm beginning to suspect that your characters are wearing something that's negating the bonus).

    Hammer simply sets your base number of attacks to 4 (everyone starts with 2 attacks per round with a bow). The extra number of attacks are a result of weapon stars or fighter levels.
     
  10. Gregorovitch Gems: 2/31
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    I'm wondering if this is because I do not have the HoW expansion installed. I have original discs and patched it with iwdukpatch.exe which gives a file version of 2.11.15.0.
     
  11. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yes it might be. Sorry, I forgot to mention that I have HoW installed with the latest patches.
     
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