/ Helping Avalon

Why nerf is a dumb expression for Avalon, or how I came to love the Nerf

Here is what you can do to help us in our war on inconstitent abilities and to experiment with your own abilities more pro-actively.

With so many novices out there, I want you all to be briefly aware of the measure of depth and sophistication you take for granted in Avalon.

When we say 3000 abilities, we do mean that. That's not 3000 repackaged with different text. That's 3000 subtle and unique abilities. Each one looks like this, to me:

 #7 STEALTH skill @ 22000: stab ability (16/90)  

"Knife throwing, distribution of poisons"

stab >> absolute=70016:70016 --> 7+16:16 <ability#556>

VARS (variable number setting):
1     EQUILIBRIUM =      NONE          2      STRIKE             2 ROUNDS
3     NONSTRIKE =        NONE          4      ACTVERB            4:MANOEUVRE
5     MANACOST =         NO MANA       6      MANANEEDED         NO MINIMUM
7     MANADRAIN =        NONE          8      LIGHTDARK          NOT RELEVANT
9     PHYSICAL =         ANY           10     MENTAL             0
11    FORESTEVENT =      NOT           12     CNCLINK            NO LINK
13    WARMDELAY =        NONE          14     REPEATING          NONE
15    ELEMENTALISM =     NOT           16     INVOLVED           NOT

FLAGS (yes/no setting):
1     need-equilibrium = NO            2      only-hardregain    YES
3     need-strike =      YES           4      need-balance       YES
5     only-ready =       NO            6      need-hands         YES
7     need-legs =        YES           8      need-poise         YES
9     uses-hard =        NO            10     uses-other         NO
11    break-protection = YES           12     not-lurching       NO
13    uses-voice =       NO            14     not-forced         NO
15    break-parry =      YES           16     break-pentacle     YES
17    break-alkar =      YES           18     break-playing      YES
19    not-paralysis =    YES           20     not-pacifist       YES
21    not-silence =      NO            22     break-malloran     YES
23    break-acrobatics = YES           24     not-pinioned       YES
25    need-vocals =      NO            26     need-sight         NO
27    not-obese =        NO            28     not-mounted        YES
29    only-mounted =     NO            30     not-levitated      NO
31    not-flying =       NO            32     not-peacepool      YES
33    not-duellist =     YES           34     only-forests       NO
35    uses-aggressive =  YES           36     not-giantanimal    YES
37    not-animalform =   YES           38     need-shadowspeed   NO
39    need-animalspeed = NO            40     not-mistdome       NO
41    roomworthy =       NO            42     conscious          YES
43    not-saferoom =     YES           44     coffineffect       NO
45    only-inside =      NO            46     only-outside       NO
47    not-rivers =       NO            48     not-skies          NO
49    not-fearful =      NO            50     not-underwater     YES
51    uses-elemental =   NO            52     clearfollow        NO
53    strikeback =       YES           54     roomwarding        NO
55    break-holding =    YES           56     suspended          NO

Syntax: STAB <enemy>.
As a brilliant stealthy combatant, you can STAB enemies. It is an attack usually launched while blended and in slightly or extremely dark surroundings further advantage is gained. It is more difficult to strike an invisible foe. 
Stabbing is an excellent way of distributing poisons on even a well-defended foe and, when combined with a full mastery of stealth, can be used to distribute combination poisons - two at once.

NOTE: stab can unbalance your opponent; one in three chance by default. The chance of this is reduced if he/she has "luck" but increased if he/she is infected by the gilf poison.

NOTE: you cannot stab the poison kly - remember that - and there is a small chance on each STAB of regaining balance taking a little longer than the norm. STAB damage is affected by location illumination (increased by darkness, reduced by bright light) and if you have "alertness" and "rearsense" you will learn the specifics of this effect each time you STAB an opponent (unless it is under 5% final damage).

If you are well developed in Itemlore, you may have access to the "autopouch" ability. This is useful in conjunction with STAB to allow you to append a poison or two poison names after STAB <enemy> to automatically use those specified poisons on your right and (if you can double-stab) left strike respectively, e.g. STAB <enemy> NANN would use nann from your inventory or pouch on the stabbing blade for the STAB attack, while STAB <enemy> NANN MANDRAKE would strike nann and mandrake as the two poisons used on your double-stab attack.

The above is what I see, without individual messages above and beyond that.

  • The top part is its listing and level (22000 = Master).
  • The second paragraph is the cost of the ability in mana, equilibrium, strike and non-strike hand balance, the CNC (concept/state/affliction/defence) associated with it, and other factors for its execution, starting its effect, ending its effect, and when you may do it again.
  • The third clump of text is the condition of use, all flags, for which there are specific necessary states you must be in to use that ability.

This administrative view is not to take away any of the beauty and charm of each ability you have. It also does not include the actual impact of the ability, which is special to each one.

Use the above as a quick checklist for ways you may experiment with each and every ability's conditions for use.

The astute senior will notice there are only 60 conditional flags there. We are open to informed suggestion if you think something is missing.

Every affliction, defence, state, ability, etc. is part of this new system and has an entry like above, in addition to its actual effects which are more complex, and of course the beautiful literary prose that accompanies it. The above system is how fireflies and triggers work too.

This is the New Skill System started back in 2015 by Genesis and is one of the biggest updates to Avalon ever, alongside the Chapters and Novicehood. It lets us be standard in our approach to balancing skills without losing any subtlety. It also means we can fix conditions and requirements without coding it.

I wrote in the previous major update about this subject. Everyone can help us track down, regardless of profession, abilities that are listed incorrectly.

Every use of BUG needs to be specific and clear, with quoted input and output. For example:

Normal bugs do not need a special category tag.
BUG I typed "STAB NILOC" and I got back "Your left wrist is broken and thus unable to stab." I was wielding my knife in the right hand.
BC <bug number> STEALTH

BADLEVEL for when you can use something you should not have yet.
BUG I'm at Respected+30% and I can use "SHADOW STRANGLE MURDOG".
BC <bug number> BADLEVEL

INCOMPLETE for when your ability description says something is to be tested, activated, or "to do".
BUG My dragon cannot breathe nitroglycerin like it says in AB ELEMENTALISM DRAGON.
BC <bug number> INCOMPLETE
BC <bug number> ELEMENTALISM

CLARIFY for when your ability behaves differently to the documentation, but it is definitely working.
BUG I cannot flip after hyperactivity triple jabbing my target but AB STEALTH FLIPPING suggests I should be able to
BC <bug number> CLARIFY
BC <bug number> STEALTH

VAGUE for when you are none the wiser from the text.
BUG AB ORACLE SEEDS is not clear. How do I make my first seedpod?
BC <bug number> ORACLE
BC <bug number> VAGUE

Hopefully this helps and gives you all some food for thought.

Mathew Abonyi

Partner since 1999, CTO since 2007, Co-Owner since 2016. His skills are very broad, from writing & game design to SEO & system architecture. Mission: revolutionise Avalon for mobile.

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