Dueling / Single Combat - Does any of its depth matter in the slightest?

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Wulf2k

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If the devs read this, let me start off by saying kudos.

I read through the entire script handling dueling last night and there's a crapload of interactions and such. Somebody cared and put some real thought and effort into it. Crocodile Dundee the Shinkicker would be proud.

That being said, in practical experience, does literally *any* of that depth end up mattering?

Unless I don't know where to look, the dueling screen itself doesn't give you any useful indications of your dueling bonus/malus, relative strengths, or duel progress.

I can challenge an 80 year old woman to a duel for an artifact, and she will kick my ass if I choose the defensive options.

From what I could tell in the code, each move has a ton of other moves it can counter / be countered by, but the screen doesn't tell you when something has interacted so you will never learn them even if you duel every opportunity at exactly 5-10 years apart.

The duel can be over in 2 turns, so all of that depth is wasted by the urgent need to select whichever option has the highest chance of immediate victory. The risk of injury is low enough that you're (most likely, I didn't do actual math) better off choosing a high risk of injury move to win the duel faster than you are choosing a low risk of injury move and extending the fight.

Has anybody put the time into dueling to tell me that I'm wrong, and duel tactics are an actual thing?
 
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prismaticmarcus

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you're wrong. they're an actual Thing. but that Thing includes dice rolls as well, so...
 
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void0x00

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From my understanding, what prowess affects the duel is the chance of what actions you can choose, and the higher win if time up.
the win condition is the difference in win score > the threshold (fix value at start and decrease each round)
or being injury in a chance of (risk of injury - win score)%
duel edge is a prowess modifier (max 30)

so unless keep selecting risk>win action, the injury has no chance,
two side is racing to the win threshold, not much interference
if both can't get to the goal in time, then judge by prowess

the side effect of those special actions (prestige/pety/stress) means more to me then the win/risk
with wrathful in a realm full of criminal, there is a lot of duels, and with a trait for a right action, it become a pretty incoming.
 
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Allen418

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Has anybody put the time into dueling to tell me that I'm wrong, and duel tactics are an actual thing?
Duel tactics are not an actual thing. I have dueled plenty — you can see an artifact I improved through 600 years’ worth of dueling here:
Thread 'Artifact Show and Tell'
https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/artifact-show-and-tell.1523282/ — the only tactic is to pick the highest likelihood. If your ruler’s prowess is equal to or greater than the opponent, you will win. Any thought of countering or working toward a combo or doing something interesting is pointless for the reason you gave in your post: there’s no real record of current status (that you can access, at least) and what happens with the opponent is hidden from you.

As @void0x00 pointed out, there are some benefits with maneuvers that are nice. My favorite is a health boost from a maneuver that’s associated with the Varangian trait.

All in all, a very disappointing sub game that serves little purpose other than to turn my emperor into the sex tax boogeyman. “Better keep you chastity belt on, young sir, because if Emperor So-and-So from two kingdoms over finds out you’re a fornicator, he’ll beat you up and charge 75 ducats for his trouble.”
 
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Toybasher

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Duel tactics are not an actual thing. I have dueled plenty — you can see an artifact I improved through 600 years’ worth of dueling here:
Thread 'Artifact Show and Tell'
https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/threads/artifact-show-and-tell.1523282/ — the only tactic is to pick the highest likelihood. If your ruler’s prowess is equal to or greater than the opponent, you will win. Any thought of countering or working toward a combo or doing something interesting is pointless for the reason you gave in your post: there’s no real record of current status (that you can access, at least) and what happens with the opponent is hidden from you.

As @void0x00 pointed out, there are some benefits with maneuvers that are nice. My favorite is a health boost from a maneuver that’s associated with the Varangian trait.

All in all, a very disappointing sub game that serves little purpose other than to turn my emperor into the sex tax boogeyman. “Better keep you chastity belt on, young sir, because if Emperor So-and-So from two kingdoms over finds out you’re a fornicator, he’ll beat you up and charge 75 ducats for his trouble.”

For what it's worth there ARE some indications of what's going on.

There's two sets of flavortext near the end of the duel text. The first mentions form and stance. This actually corresponds to injury risk of both fighters.

The second mentions stuff like "I am close to victory" etc. This shows likelihood of success.

9q8h4kkrdfv71.png


Someone made a mod that adds a better duel overlay showing what's actually going on under the hood. Likelihood of success is related to that giant bar at the top. It acts like a tug of war, to win you need to get a higher enough likelihood of success over the opponent. (Similar to pulling the rope hard enough your opponent falls over)

I'm not 100% sure how injury risk works (is it only when it maxes out? Can you randomly lose even with low injury risk if RNG hates you enough?) but it can cause either fighter to instantly lose the duel.

Finally if nobody wins through likelihood of success or injury risk, after enough rounds have passed, the game just goes "Sod it, whoever has higher prowess wins automatically." This does mean you can win duels with bad RNG for giving you moves (I've lost duels against people with 0 prowess because I kept consistently getting bad moves, including to a one-armed, one-legged drunk dying man) if you have higher prowess, provided you can survive long enough.

I definitely think the dueling UI could be improved to be closer to the mod in vanilla, as the stock dueling interface is very barebones.
 
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La Clef

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(I've lost duels against people with 0 prowess because I kept consistently getting bad moves, including to a one-armed, one-legged drunk dying man) if you have higher prowess, provided you can survive long enough.

It's not only bad RNG, traits matter too. My Calm ruler got poor moves or the good ones caused stress. I believed the Prowess level was the thing, I choosed to parry and hold on and, after 2 or 3 rounds, I lost the duel against an old man whose Prowess was below 10.
 

Mastigos

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Has anybody put the time into dueling to tell me that I'm wrong, and duel tactics are an actual thing?

I used to suck at dueling; but I also love it, so I eventually taught myself how to win.

This is how to duel: be as aggressive as possible without overreaching. Having a higher offensive "score" will defeat a higher defensive "score" every time -- however, being too aggressive could end up meaning you open yourself up for an instant loss.

But understand that the end of a duel is tallying your offensive points. If there is no winner by having enough offensive points above your opponent to win, then Prowess decides who wins.
Prowess also determines the quality of your abilities. You'll get better offensive - to - defensive ratios the better your Prowess is (among other effects, such as lowering your opponents Prowess).

So what you want to do, in general, is use your most potent offensive options IF your stance is incredible or very good...
Use your second-most offensive options if your stance is good
Anything below "good" generally warrants a defensive option to help bolster your defense (unless your enemy is on the cusp of winning, and has a very good stance on top of that)

If your opponent masses a critical level of offenive advantage above your own before turn 4, they will instantly win - so don't let them. You "don't let them" by using an offensive ability of your own so that the gap isn't large enough for your opponent to instantly win.

If you get a "feel" for dueling, it's incredibly hard to loose if your Prowess is exceptionally high. The most tense duels happen between two very skilled and equal prowess knights.

But yes, there is a system involved. And it also depends on the personality of your opponent, plus their relationship with you. If they're aggressive by nature and you seduced his wife, you can rest assured he's going to be super aggressive - which means you can probably defeat this guy by choosing options that increase his likeihood that he hurts himself, while reducing your likeihood to hurt yourself. Just don't pick that option over and over again, because he will probably reach the "critical mass" of offensive points above yours and instantly win before he has the chance to instantly lose via his recklessness.

It's a balancing act, really. But in very high levels of play, having more prowess is super important for being the tie-breaking attribute (as the more skilled you and your opponents become, the more natural ties you will get).

Hope this helps!

EDIT: my biggest problem with dueling isn't that the system itself is bad; it's that the system should be more rewarding and applicable to more situations. How often do you use your personal champion, really? How often do you duel to the death. They are adding counties as a reward for winning a game of chess -- why can't we duel over land or women or titles or honor again?

I believe it would be good for the game to add cultural traditions and dynastic traditions which support dueling as a means to settle events or obtain what you want. Of course not everyone needs to accept the duel, but turning one down should be punishing for the "coward" who refused to fight (depending on the culture, of course).

I love the "Performative Honor" and "Trails-By-Combat" but those two cultural traditions are restricted to Norse; and even if they weren't, dueling should still have more innate impact to the game outside two traditions. It should be more important to the game as a whole.
 
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