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  #21  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:36 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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It's still linear, but it helps. I think it will help a lot.
It's not linear -- the part chained to user level is, but you're then also boosting it with skills.

Here's why I don't think it should be connected to user level: warrior characters get their strength from a stat. If they invest in the stat, their attacks go up. If they invest in another stat, that goes up. It's a choice. Plus, their power is affected by the luck of finding the right weapons and armor. Their skills are a further choice that modifies their stats, making their damage non-linear among other things.

Chaining magic to user level makes it a uniform experience. It's less of a choice. I'd rather have it connected to a stat like intelligence. If you choose to put all your points in vitality, you'll have less offense.

The thing is, I also like the concept of mages working differently to warriors. Their skills make them who they are. I'm ok with the idea of the original design, I just think the linearity needs to be fixed or they just can't keep up. And intelligence needs to be important. If it means raising mana requirements for high level spells, so be it.
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  #22  
Old 02-27-2011, 09:57 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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BTW another effect of leaving mages dependent on skills is that they'll be really powerful. Why? Assuming we keep the current point system, the most that you can upgrade a skill is around 30 levels. Even if the skill cost starts at 1, it quickly gets to be more than the points you have. Even 30 levels uses up around 50% of your points, which is unacceptable. It looks like around 20 levels is the most that's reasonable, taking up about 19% of your skill points. That means that 20 levels of a weak spell need to cover 100 levels of monsters' HP. Even a weak spell (like bolt of gloom) should be able to be boosted to high enough power to take out a monster if that's what you want. That means than when you upgrade your skill level, you'll get a real, palpable boost in spell performance.

If, instead, we tie spell power to user level/attribute, we're attaching it to 2 variables: a level/attribute and a skill level. By necessity, each skill level will have a much smaller impact (as it does for warriors and others). This has both good and bad sides, but it's important to realize.

What I would like on the backend to experiment with fixing the spells is something like Max and Min DmgMultFactor, as well as Max and Min ProjDmgMultFactor. This would be placed in the perLevel data instead of adding a constant each level with ProjMinDamage and ProjMaxDamage.
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  #23  
Old 02-27-2011, 10:18 AM
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I basically disagree. Bolt of Gloom is spammable. At skill level 20 it does not NEED to 1-shot a critter, it can take 1/3 their HPs and be a very viable spell. Besides on a Necromancer, Bolt of Gloom helps your pets take out the bigger baddies that they have trouble handling -- or is a last resort if your pets are either dead or incapacitated and something is coming after you. It needs to scale to level so that it can be a viable spell, but it does not need to take out all 2500+ HPs in one shot.

I THINK the optimal formula would be something like

MinDamage + ((Increase-per-skill-level + ((Factor-per-user-level * user level) * factor-per-skill-level)) * Skill Level). Errr -- I think.

In other words, not only would the base SKILL be more powerful the higher level of the character, but the levels you put INTO the skill would be more powerful per level of your character. So the jump from Skill 1 to Skill 2 would be larger at Level 100 than at Level 1. This makes the skill points more precious yet, AND it means that the jump from Level 20 to Level 21 should be bigger than Level 19 to Level 20 even at the same character level. i.e. this is the non-linear progression you're looking for.


But you're the number-crunching mathematician. I was asking for even a linear PerUserLevel progression because it still would improve things tremendously, without (I hope) being a programming nightmare.

Last edited by Crisses : 02-27-2011 at 10:21 AM. Reason: fix formula
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  #24  
Old 02-27-2011, 10:25 AM
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By the way -- I have no real preference for the modifier being INT or UserLevel. INT gives more per-character variation especially for hybrids who might also pour precious stat points into STR/DEX to arm weapons, and VIT to be able to take a hit --- i.e. if INT based, pure casters get the advantage because they don't need as much STR/DEX/VIT. That could be a good thing, and it gives us a factor of up to 250 rather than 100 to play with.... but the peak of this factor can be hit as low as Level 50 or so.
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  #25  
Old 02-27-2011, 10:30 AM
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Oh, and the nice thing about it being INT is that it won't matter if people want to actively add/remove stat points (as opposed to my Achievement idea) -- because it will actively change either their melee damage, hit points, or spell damage -- ie. you can move your stat points at will because it will have a real effect.

Healing & priest spell factors should be based on Spirit instead/too, depending on the skill. In fact, I might argue that Necromancers/Conjurers should be based on SPIRIT, and some Rogue/Ranger skills on INT as well as DEX.

I think the stat affecting a specific skill should be listed in the description. Right now it's such a mystery what affects skills especially when you want to spend your 1st point in them. If Lesser Heal power is affected by Spirit it should be listed in the description or stats of the skill.
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  #26  
Old 02-27-2011, 10:56 AM
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Default Spell Costs & Frequent Flyer Miles....

I think we get way too much mana in the game. I hear tell that critters get way too much mana drain TOO at the endgame.

There's a factor in business that I like to think of as the Frequent Flyer Mile factor. You save up your reward points and all your rewards are 2500 points and higher. 200000 points and get a trip. 5000 points get a gift card. Nothing costs 25 points. So why are we dealing with these inflated high numbers??? There's actually absolutely no good reason. Make it that 50 points buys a $50 gift card, for crying out loud. Have people earn their points in decimals. Adding 0's to a number just for the sake of making it look big is bad game design.

I have no very high level characters but already the number of mana points is into the ridiculous with nothing in particular to warrant it. I can't tell that I have a faster mana regen rate because there's a 2-3 inch bar on the screen representing 600+ mana points. We need zillions of levels of mana potions & beverages to help us regenerate an overinflated number of mana points. Our natural regen rate is meaningless because even if we regen 6+ points a second it would take a couple minutes to refresh our mana bar -- which is FOREVER in game time.

Bluddy, you keep saying "raise mana costs". I say "Lower the mana pool". If anything, raise mana regn a tad, crimp the mana pool, keep the current mana costs, cut the mana-sucking monsters off at the knees, slash the number of levels of mana regen pots & drinks in half, and simplify the game a WHOLE LOT while making the mana bar actually budge per-second in an almost satisfying way.

I can say similar about the life bars & the DPS in the game etc. Eventually the big number doesn't mean anything. I look at HPs in the thousands and just don't comprehend the big deal difference between 1000 HPs and 2000HPs. Barbarian counting system: "One. Two. Many. Many-Many. Lots. Run away." The HPs have overreached my capacity for understanding. Mind balks, numbers fall away into meaninglessness. It still just takes an opponent 1 hit to kill me. So really: 2000 or 20,000 HPs? Doesn't matter. Take my 50*10^25 Frequent Flyer Miles, and give me my $50 Amazon gift card already so I can get another game

Please don't encourage the number inflation game. Bigger numbers just make this feel like a Monty Hall campaign! If the monster HPs are going to stay in the thousands, then mage spells need to scale to meet that challenge -- and I know the warriors would whine if we wanted to take their over-inflated DPS down a notch. If the big numbers make them feel good, so be it, but please don't play that game with the mana pool too.
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  #27  
Old 02-27-2011, 01:01 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Regarding mana, I haven't done the math yet, but the way I picture it is this (still using the current system, which just uses skills and not any stats):

You get skill points. The game would like you to diversify your skills -- let's say 3 good spells and 2 very good spells would be good. But what if I want to put all of my skill points into 1 spell? OK right now with the values as they are, I can only invest in 1 or 2 spells. But ideally I should have some choice. Well I can do it, and my single fireball spell will be insanely powerful. But the mana cost will get higher and higher. Eventually I'd be able to fire this gigantic fireball maybe once before it empties my entire mana pool. If I diversify and choose more spells at my level, I'd be able to fire off spells properly. That's the way I'm picturing the mana pool situation.

And I agree that bolt of gloom should be a weak, fast spell. But what if I want to take it to level 30, ignoring all my other spells? I should be able to. The limit to using that effectively would then be my mana at my particular level.
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  #28  
Old 02-27-2011, 03:21 PM
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The limit to using that effectively would then be my mana at my particular level.
I disagree -- Bolt of Gloom is fast & cheap -- even if at Level 30 (max) it 1-shots lvl 100 champion monsters, you'll still occasionally get mobbed because it has no Area of Effect or splash damage (think breeding deaths and their babies of doom, or Liches and their raised dead armies...). No matter what, you'll only kill as quickly as you can point & click (as opposed to Shatter, which I'm finally actually trying out. If you kill 1 critter, it becomes a grenade -- and everything each grenade kills gets the same grenade effect....it has to be 1 of the most powerful spells in the game and I didn't realize it. Being able to 1-shot with Shatter is a big deal.... even whacking the critter with your staff until it's low then casting shatter so it takes out its friends works....if other spells worked half as well as Shatter, we would not be having this conversation.)

By lowering the available pool of mana in the first place, you can regulate the spamming of said spell without playing the exponential mana game. If the person has aced their INT & Spirit (and applicable items), their mana regen probably will respectably keep up with spamming Bolt of Gloom. The wizard is nearly level 100. I don't personally think that spell will EVER be so powerful that casting it a couple times should completely drain the greatest wizard who walks the land. It's a cheap parlor trick in the land of spell use. If the wizard really wants to be a 1-trick-pony with Bolt of Gloom to the neglect of the 1-2 other skill trees and all the other much more delectable delights on the necromancer menu, so be it. They'll be DARNED GOOD at Bolt of Gloom. Heck, they might even survive for a long while on it. Why not? High-level warriors can spam crush and other skills. I think it would be fair if every spell COULD be a "Level 30 Standalone" skill. Even if most of that headway was made between skill level 20 or 25 and 30. Let people specialize, or combine skills, or balance trade-offs between skill trees.

I would need to fire up an excel (actually Numbers) spreadsheet to determine how many skill points we get vs. how much each level of skill/spell costs depending on its starting cost. i.e. How many level 20 skills CAN you get? When CAN a character achieve their first level 20 skill, assuming it's a 1-trick pony? I'm not able to think in terms of !20 right now.

Why aren't we using Google Docs? :P I'll have a google docs spreadsheet up shortly.
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  #29  
Old 02-27-2011, 03:33 PM
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This might be a mistake, but I've made a spreadsheet and given access to anyone with the link.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?...key=CO 7V-4sO

I'm going to add a spreadsheet to figure out skill costs & skill points available at player levels.
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  #30  
Old 02-27-2011, 04:19 PM
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Ok -- now I have numbers in front of me. At level 61 a player CAN achieve their first Level 30 skill -- if the initial cost was 1 for that skill. Level 78 to achieve Skill 30 if the initial cost is 10. Anything cost more than 10 to start?

Base 1 Skills cost 465 points to achieve Level 30. Base 10 Skills cost 735 to achieve Level 30. The spreadsheet has the details. Anyone is welcome to pour all their points into one thing, but that's pretty darn long to wait, and it's VERY expensive. You CAN have 2 level 30 skills....but you can't have 3. A character only gets 1171 skill points by Level 100.

I wouldn't worry too much about "game balance at skill level 30". I think if someone wants to go whole hog and pour all their points into 1-2 aces up their sleeve and have just a few points left for anything else, so be it. Perhaps there can be a "diminishing returns" between levels 20-30 OR, conversely, let them have the bazooka. It worked in Robocop on the ED209.

That said, you can easily have 3 level 25 skills, or 4-5 level 20 skills by endgame. That's pretty important to know, but I think it's ok if they make the game "not so fun" anymore at that level -- the point is they made it to level 100 in the first place. Not many people here seem to have done that, perhaps due to the game imbalances.
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