I think the lockpicking skill may need a little readjustment. I've been noticing that doors on the first level of the Wizard Tower in Lake Country are unreasonably hard to lockpick. Today I decided to measure the amount of effort it takes to pick the lock: the second door in the tower (directly north of the pit) took more than 500 tries at level 8 lockpicking and dex:25.
I don't know what it is about this map that makes the doors so pick-resilient, but I think this is a symptom of a larger balancing issue. The basement, for example, where there's a long line of connected doors north of the dragon room, requires substantially less effort to lockpick at dex:25. However, at dex:20, it exhibits the same kind of near impossibility (I didn't measure it this time, but previous experience indicates it also takes >500 tries to pick). With dex:25, though, it becomes considerably easier.
If we were to take dex:18 as the natural maximum for the stat (say a human thief character) then it would seem reasonable that if your dex is magically boosted past 18, lockpicking should become considerably easier. It doesn't seem to make sense to me that locks could be so difficult that at dex:25 it would take 500 tries to pick any lock. It would perhaps be justifiable if in return for the insane amount of effort one would get a huge amount of lockpicking exp from finally cracking the lock, but this is not the case -- the experience earned is hardly more than an easy lock, which feels completely incommensurate to the amount of effort put in.
So, long story short, I think a rebalancing is in order here. :) If locks are deemed to be just that tough to pick, then the experience earned should be commensurate with the effort; otherwise, lockpicking should be made easier than it currently is. (This issue didn't happen in earlier versions of Crossfire, so I'm wondering if it's an unintended side-effect of recent balancing efforts.)
P.S. I picked Wizard Tower just as an example; there are other maps that exhibit the same issue. Even some low-level maps have crazily tough doors to lockpick, which seems rather incongruous. So I'm assuming the problem is a balancing issue, rather than a map-specific issue.
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