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Sling of seeking damage incorrect when using free ammo

Hey guys,

I noticed a bug with the Sling of Sleeking +2 in the Black Pits 2. You will do more damage using it if you use it with regular bullets than allow it to provide unlimited +1 bullets for you. This seems contrary to the intent of the Sling of Seeking's special ability.

My Fighter 10 -> Mage with grand mastery in slings and a strength score of 18-something does 12-15 damage with normal bullets and 11-14 damage with the unlimited +1 bullets.

I think the difference is because normal bullets do 1d4 +1 damage, while +1 bullets should therefore do 1d4 + 2 damage. When you use normal bullets, you get +2 to damage as a launcher bonus as well as +1 from the ammunition. When you use unlimited bullets +1, you do not get +2 damage from the launcher, you instead only get the +2 from the ammunition. This is why you do less damage.

This seems wrong to me, because unlimited +1 bullets do less damage than either normal bullets or paid for +1 bullets.

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Comments

  • Gate70Gate70 Member, Developer Posts: 3,786
    edited October 2015
  • Ancalagon44Ancalagon44 Member Posts: 252
    edited October 2015
    Thanks, I read through that thread.

    I still have questions though. Why is this not considered a bug? To me, it is a classic case of a bug, not a feature!

    My expectations, reading the description of the Sling of Seeking +1, were that it would function identically as using a +1 sling with a +1 bag of plenty. This is obviously not the case, so it is a bug.

    Second, what is the status of that feature request? Was it marked as Won't Fix?

    JuliusBorisov
  • Gate70Gate70 Member, Developer Posts: 3,786
    I can't comment on the internal status of anything that is raised.

    From what I can see of the discussion, the key part is this comment
    "It's not possible to separate the fake ammo stats from the base item. The best we could do is to disable loading anything into them."

    If I understand that correctly, it means changing the sling as suggested would give the same benefit to any other ammo used in the sling. So changing it to produce 12-15 damage with no ammo would also change it to 13-16 with +1 ammo.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Ancalagon44Ancalagon44 Member Posts: 252
    I understand that, but I still disagree that this is a feature request.

    A feature request would imply that the feature is currently working as expected, and the change, if implemented, would lead to me an improvement in functionality. This is not the case here. It is not working as expected, it is broken.

    Yes, it is more difficult to fix than say a description. But, the amount of work required to fix something does not change whether or not it is a bug. This sounds like something very difficult to fix, in which the impact is fairly small. So perhaps it would be fair to say that is a minor bug which would require too much effort to fix for it to be worth it.

    I am a software developer, so I know all about categorizing requests according to severity and type. This is a bug, not a feature request. I believe that the thread you linked to is incorrect in calling it a feature.

    In any case, I noticed a separate but related thing, not sure if it has been reported. Throwing daggers and slings add strength bonuses to damage, while throwing axes and hammers do not.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136

    It is not working as expected, it is broken.

    "As expected" is in the eye of the beholder.

    Throwing daggers and slings add strength bonuses to damage, while throwing axes and hammers do not.

    I think that got fixed. Is it only in BP2? What version are you running?

  • Ancalagon44Ancalagon44 Member Posts: 252
    My expectation is that the magical +1 bullets produced by the Sling of Seeking are exactly equivalent to +1 bullets that I could supply. This is not the case. I don't think its an unreasonable expectation.

    Latest version. I haven't tested whether throwing axes receive strength bonuses to damage in BG2 yet - I see no reason why it should be different.

    Sertorius
  • Gate70Gate70 Member, Developer Posts: 3,786
    Best to keep this thread about the sling. This link would be suitable for discussing throwing axes/hammers.
    http://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/38335/11137-throwing-axes-and-throwing-hammers-should-add-strength-bonus-to-damage-when-ranged

    I have asked about the intention of the unlimited ammunition for the sling. If it is functioning as expected, wording needs to reflect the behaviour (e.g. unlimited ammunition has -1 THAC0 / Damage compared to normal bullets but can hit creatures requiring +1 weapons). If not, I'll get a ticket raised.

    JuliusBorisov
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited October 2015
    The description of the sling says its unlimited bullets have a +2 bonus to hit and deal 1d4+2 damage.

    It also says that otherwise it offers +2 to hit and +2 damage.

    Is that not what you're seeing in-game? The sling's unlimited ammunition isn't going to be the same as if you were using +1 bullets; it's unique to the weapon.

  • Ancalagon44Ancalagon44 Member Posts: 252
    As above, no that is not what I'm seeing. There is a missing +2 damage. If you equip the sling with +1 bullets (ie the paid for kind), damage is +2 higher. If you equip the sling with normal (+0) bullets, damage is +1 higher than using the sling with its built in ammunition.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited October 2015
    So to recap:

    With no bullets equipped, the sling is dealing 1d4+2 damage; with non-magical bullets, the sling is dealing 1d4+3 damage; with +1 bullets, it deals 1d4+4 damage?

    If that's the case, that's correct, and the description is accurate. The "1d4+2" listed is total damage, including the sling's damage bonus.

  • Ancalagon44Ancalagon44 Member Posts: 252
    So the sling fires bullets that are +1 in enchantment level but not +1 as far as damage goes.

    Look I disagree that is correct, because to me those are not really +1 bullets then. My expectation was that they would be identical to +1 bullets in every way - the same as if you were using a Bag of Plenty +1.

    I can see this is futile because you want to call this a feature request just because it is difficult (or impossible) to fix.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited October 2015
    "+1 bullet" refers to the enchantment level of the projectile, yes. The description states explicitly what the projectile does in terms of its attack bonus and total damage. The fact that it doesn't do what you want it to do doesn't make it a bug. If you want the behavior to be changed, that's a feature request. The sling that's in the game right now behaves exactly as-advertised.

    The point of the Sling of Seeking is that if you run out of ammunition, the sling provides its own. The point is not to have the sling provide ammunition that is better than what you already have. Otherwise, you'd have no reason to equip +1 bullets (or a bag of plenty +1), both of which should still be useful.

    EDIT: One more thing: the +1 bullets the sling fires deal 1d4+2 damage, which is the same amount of damage dealt by a +1 bullet. The difference is that the sling then doesn't also add +2 damage on top of that.

    joluv
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    edited October 2015
    let's just put it this way:

    case #1
    sling: +2
    fake bullets +1: 1d4+0
    total: 1d4+2

    case #2
    sling: +2
    real bullets +1: 1d4+2
    total: 1d4+4

    if we know that in the case #2 the bullets +1 are normal, physical bullets +1, then the bullets in case #1 must be some other kind of bullets, since they don't work the same, and if you call them "bullets +1" when they're not, they can only be fake bullets +1

    the description says that it does create "bullets +1", which would mean actual bullets +1, not fake bullets +1, or anything else other than bullets +1
    which means that the description is incorrect which means that it's a bug

    edit:
    if the description is to be considered incorrect it can be fixed
    if the description must be deemed correct, the item doesn't work as intended

    but practically, if the item can't be fixed, then the description may be altered (not "fixed") in order make it conform to how the item actually works, which would remove the not-working-as-intended status from the item

    if the description can't be altered satisfactorily, then you can replace the sling of seeking with an item that works in a significantly different way, and still has the same name ("seeking" goes well with a nice fat thac0 bonus imo)

    Ancalagon44
  • Ancalagon44Ancalagon44 Member Posts: 252
    Okay, let's review the actual description, shall we?

    Unlike most other slings, the Sling of Seeking does not require ammunition of any kind. With no missiles equipped, the sling fires magical ammunition in the form of +1 bullets, making it an ideal weapon to use against magically protected foes. It can also fire normal ammunition.

    STATISTICS:

    Combat abilities:
    When no bullets are equipped, the sling fires +1 bullets that receive +2 to hit and deal 1d4 +2 missile damage.

    THAC0: +2
    DAMAGE: +2 (Missile)

    Reading that, tell me how the user is supposed to know that the +2 missile damage from the LAUNCHER (the last line) does NOT APPLY to the magical ammunition? That phrase - deal 1d4 +2 missile damage - sounds like it is referring to the AMMUNITION and not the LAUNCHER. Clearly, if we believe Dee, that is not correct. The bullets actually deal 1d4 damage (no plus) and receive +2 from the launcher.

    In the main description, the first paragraph, what information is there to tell the user that these +1 bullets are inferior to +1 bullets that he could provide?

    In the Combat Abilities section, how would the user know that the +2 damage mentioned below actually doesn't apply or is already being counted in the 1d4 +2 part?

    bob_veng
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    edited October 2015
    bob_veng said:

    let's just put it this way:

    case #1
    sling: +2
    fake bullets +1: 1d4+0
    total: 1d4+2

    case #2
    sling: +2
    real bullets +1: 1d4+2
    total: 1d4+4

    if we know that in the case #2 the bullets +1 are normal, physical bullets +1, then the bullets in case #1 must be some other kind of bullets, since they don't work the same, and if you call them "bullets +1" when they're not, they can only be fake bullets +1

    the description says that it does create "bullets +1", which would mean actual bullets +1, not fake bullets +1, or anything else other than bullets +1
    which means that the description is incorrect which means that it's a bug

    Um, no.

    Here's the text:
    Combat abilities:
    – When no bullets are equipped, the sling fires +1 bullets that receive +2 to hit and deal 1d4+2 missile damage
    The bold bit is important. These are not ordinary +1 bullets. These are +1 bullets that receive a +2 bonus to hit and deal 1d4+2 missile damage.

    That means this: Take a +1 bullet. Now replace its total attack bonus with "+2", and replace its total damage with "1d4+2 missile damage".

    The description is describing precisely and clearly how these projectiles differ from normal +1 bullets. If you read that and draw the conclusion that the projectiles are bog-standard +1 bullets, you're ignoring fully half of the line that's talking about them.

    Again, if that's not what you want it to be, that's totally fine. But if you're trying to make the case that the weapon is not doing what it says it should do, you need to read all of the words in the description. ;)

    joluv
  • Ancalagon44Ancalagon44 Member Posts: 252
    Read my post please Dee.

    Look, as I said, I know this game. I'm a software developer. Any bug/request we get that we don't really want to fix, we tell the client its a feature. Its how the industry works.

    This is a case in point. One of your developers even confirmed in the other thread that this behaviour would be difficult if not impossible to fix.

    Come on, the description is wrong. More than one person has said so.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    edited October 2015
    @Dee
    okay i have to revise (but not crucially as you will see)

    these are apparently not ordinary bullets +1, but some kind of *enhanced bullets +1* because ordinary bullets are "+1 bullets that receive +1 to hit and deal 1d4+2 missile damage"

    and these enhanced bullets grant +2 to hit

    so if we take that these are *real enhanced bullets +1* and not *fake enhanced bullets +1* which every logical person would have to do (using the occam's razor) the sling would have to work like this:

    case #1
    sling: +2dam/+2th
    internal better-than-ordinary bullets +1: 1d4+2dam/+2th
    total: 1d4+4dam/+4th

    case #2
    sling: +2dam/+2th
    bullets +1: 1d4+2dam/+1th
    total: 1d4+4dam/+3th

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447

    Okay, let's review the actual description, shall we?

    snip

    Reading that, tell me how the user is supposed to know that the +2 missile damage from the LAUNCHER (the last line) does NOT APPLY to the magical ammunition? That phrase - deal 1d4 +2 missile damage - sounds like it is referring to the AMMUNITION and not the LAUNCHER. Clearly, if we believe Dee, that is not correct. The bullets actually deal 1d4 damage (no plus) and receive +2 from the launcher.

    In the main description, the first paragraph, what information is there to tell the user that these +1 bullets are inferior to +1 bullets that he could provide?

    In the Combat Abilities section, how would the user know that the +2 damage mentioned below actually doesn't apply or is already being counted in the 1d4 +2 part?

    To me, the combat ability is clearly describing that the projectile's total to hit bonus is +2 and its total damage is 1d4+2, including the bonuses listed for the launcher itself. Because the projectile is part of the launcher, not a separate item.

    But okay, maybe it could be clearer. How would this sound:
    Combat abilities:
    – When no bullets are equipped, the sling fires +1 missiles that receive +2 to hit and deal 1d4+2 missile damage
    +1 missile makes it clear that we're talking about generic projectiles, not a specific item. But if that's too obscure, we can rewrite the whole thing to leave no doubt:
    Combat Abilities:
    If no bullets are equipped, the sling launches its own projectiles that are treated as +1 weapons for the purposes of determining what enemies they can damage. These special bullets deal 1d4 missile damage (before applying the bonuses listed below).
    Now, to me, this information is implicitly obvious from context. More to the point, it follows the same wording as the Shortbow of Gesen and Firetooth, both of which provide their own ammunition that has behavior specific to the weapon.

    So we can make the descriptions more explicit (which I don't think is truly necessary), or we can leave them as they are. But the weapons themselves are behaving correctly.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    the projectile isn't accurately described because what is described is a superior bullet +1 in that it has an additional point in thac0 bonus

    and that's not what the sling throws at enemies

    if it was, it would only work better than a common bullet +1, not worse

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 2,136
    edited October 2015
    "+1" is an adjective that describes enchantment level. "Bullets +1" are particular items. It's like how it would be accurate to describe Varscona as a +2 long sword (especially if you immediately describe its extra powers), but not to call it a Long Sword +2, since that's a particular item.


    Edit: To clarify, I'm saying the description is fine as it is.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    edited October 2015
    you're right, +1 bullets is not the same as bullets +1

    *but* (major but)

    "+1 bullets that receive +2 to hit and deal 1d4+2 missile damage"

    is literally the same thing as bullets +1 except that it's just slightly better bullets +1

    and definitely *not* "incredibly inferior +1 bullets that are worse than even non magical bullets"

  • Ancalagon44Ancalagon44 Member Posts: 252
    I personally think you should make it so that the Sling of Sleeking +1 functions the same (in terms of damage and THAC0) whether you use the free +1 ammunition or provided +1 ammunition. There should be no difference. A +1 bullet should be a +1 bullet, end of story.

    Since you don't want to do that (because its apparently difficult or impossible), I would settle for a description update similar to what you have stated, that would affect all weapons that can provide their own ammunition.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447

    I personally think you should make it so that the Sling of Sleeking +1 functions the same (in terms of damage and THAC0) whether you use the free +1 ammunition or provided +1 ammunition. There should be no difference. A +1 bullet should be a +1 bullet, end of story.

    This was what you originally asked for, and this is a feature request, not a bug report. Mind you I'm not saying that it couldn't or shouldn't be done, but it's important to acknowledge the difference between features and bugs. Features are things that currently work as designed or intended but could work better, and bugs are things that currently work differently from what was designed or intended.

    As one of the people who designed this particular weapon's behavior (slings work differently now from how they worked in vanilla BGII, which necessitated the change), I can tell you definitively that what you see is what was intended. The Sling of Seeking is available early enough that just giving it free Bullets +1 would render an entire ammunition type more or less obsolete for much of the game, and the way it works now rewards players for using "real" ammunition while still giving them a back-up supply if they get stuck. I stand by the design of the weapon, even if the description could be made clearer (on all of the infinite-ammo launchers).
    I would settle for a description update similar to what you have stated, that would affect all weapons that can provide their own ammunition.
    This, we can count as a bug. It affects four items: The Sling of Seeking +1, Firetooth +4, Firetooth +5, and the Shortbow of Gesen +4.

    (I believe that's all of them; let me know if I missed any.)

    JuliusBorisovbob_vengelminster
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    edited October 2015
    "of seeking" apparently means that it's a magically accurate sling (+2 thac0), both for the original item and the EE version

    the problem with this item's design is that it's no more accurate or in any way different than a normal +2 sling

    but judging by only that, we would just have a generic-working named item, like a few others, so that's technically not a problem

    but it's undesirable...so the logic i would have originally employed here as a designer is:

    1. all slings now have a str bonus
    2. sling of seeking becomes a generic-working named item which is undesirable
    3. we should look to make it a truly unique item which has about the same power as the original item
    4. we should look at it's fluff to deduce it's unique property
    5. since the fluff informs us that the sling is accurate, we should now augment this property in some way

    i would not have had it spawn ammo (why this of all things???)

    for me this is a better and "truer" solution than altering the description

    (just talking about this item, not the others, for them altering the description may well be the best solution)

  • Ancalagon44Ancalagon44 Member Posts: 252
    The bug is that the behaviour of the weapon does not match expectations.

    There are two ways to fix that - alter the behaviour of the weapon to match expectations, or alter the description in order to alter the expectations.

    Just because altering the behaviour is more difficult, does NOT mean it is a feature. It is simply one possible way of resolving what we have already agreed is a bug.

  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    edited October 2015
    Dee said:


    As one of the people who designed this particular weapon's behavior (slings work differently now from how they worked in vanilla BGII, which necessitated the change), I can tell you definitively that what you see is what was intended. The Sling of Seeking is available early enough that just giving it free Bullets +1 would render an entire ammunition type more or less obsolete for much of the game, and the way it works now rewards players for using "real" ammunition while still giving them a back-up supply if they get stuck. I stand by the design of the weapon, even if the description could be made clearer (on all of the infinite-ammo launchers).

    i agree very much with this and especially that making it spawn actual magical bullets is a bad idea

    now pls tear off that ammo-spawn buggy hell of a feature and make it do something else

    there's totally no need for a "back-up supply", everything's swimming with bullets; no need to hold player's hands here, even a notal noob will be smart enough to stock himself with ammo

    Just because altering the behaviour is more difficult, does NOT mean it is a feature. It is simply one possible way of resolving what we have already agreed is a bug.

    it wasn't a feature if it hadn't been intended as such, and apparently it hadn't

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    @bob_veng The Sling of Seeking is more accurate, but the weapon you should compare it to is a Sling +1, not a Sling +2. (It's the Sling of Seeking +1, not the Sling of Seeking +2)

    So the weapon is a bit more accurate than a standard Sling +1, deals a bit more damage than a standard Sling +1.

    As for the unlimited ammunition, this actually comes from PnP, where the sling is supposed to bestow a +1 enchantment (but no extra to-hit or damage bonuses beyond those granted by the sling itself) on any bullet it launches. We couldn't do that with the engine we had at the time, so we opted for an existing mechanic, which was to let the sling create its own ammunition with a +1 enchantment. So while the item's design may have been inspired by limitations in the engine, it was designed the way it was intentionally.

    Its built-in ammunition isn't as good as an actual Bullet +1, and if you're not worrying about magical protections it's still going to be better to equip even normal bullets (just like the Shortbow of Gesen and Firetooth), but it's sufficient to make the item interesting and useful.

    bob_vengJuliusBorisov
  • SertoriusSertorius Member Posts: 172
    Dee said:



    This, we can count as a bug. It affects four items: The Sling of Seeking +1, Firetooth +4, Firetooth +5, and the Shortbow of Gesen +4.

    (I believe that's all of them; let me know if I missed any.)

    Think you are missing Tansheron's Bow

    DeeJuliusBorisov
  • bob_vengbob_veng Member Posts: 2,307
    edited October 2015
    imho a satisfying description would be that the sling generates particularly weak or small (because of the lacking +1 physical damage bonus) projectiles that aren't magical and that the enchantment and all bonuses are imparted on them by the launcher

  • PugPugPugPug Member Posts: 560
    Dee said:


    But okay, maybe it could be clearer. How would this sound:

    Combat abilities:
    – When no bullets are equipped, the sling fires +1 missiles that receive +2 to hit and deal 1d4+2 missile damage
    +1 missile makes it clear that we're talking about generic projectiles, not a specific item. But if that's too obscure, we can rewrite the whole thing to leave no doubt:
    Combat Abilities:
    If no bullets are equipped, the sling launches its own projectiles that are treated as +1 weapons for the purposes of determining what enemies they can damage. These special bullets deal 1d4 missile damage (before applying the bonuses listed below).
    Now, to me, this information is implicitly obvious from context. More to the point, it follows the same wording as the Shortbow of Gesen and Firetooth, both of which provide their own ammunition that has behavior specific to the weapon.

    I like the second option, and that it follows the style of the other weapons' descriptions is an added benefit. I proof-edit news for my job, so I am always on the lookout for any possible ambiguity in what I read. I can't help it at this point.

    It would be possible to interpret the first option as the phantom bullets getting +3 to hit: the intrinsic +1 for being a +1 bullet and +2 from the sling. And, like the current description, it lists the same +2 bonus twice.

    I think the confusion may have originally arisen from the fact these are bullets with -1 damage being fired from a +2 sling. It is easy to forget while you are reading it that the standard bullet is 1d4 + 1. There's nothing wrong with a weapon being treated as +1 enchantment without the combat bonuses, but that -1 damage is just weird. We are not used to seeing that.

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