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  #11  
Old 03-03-2011, 02:57 PM
alstein alstein is offline
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It's a lot easier to increase difficulty then decrease it. Overpowering is not a concern really. People like to be overpowered anyways.
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  #12  
Old 03-03-2011, 03:10 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Originally Posted by alstein View Post
It's a lot easier to increase difficulty then decrease it. Overpowering is not a concern really. People like to be overpowered anyways.
I also thought so initially, but think about the first town and how easy it is... it's fun for the first couple of minutes, but the monsters are so weak, any character can kill them with one hit and monsters can't put a dent in the player's HP. It's boring until you get close to the 10th level.

I agree that people prefer to be overpowered rather than underpowered in general, but DC is designed to overwhelm you, and I'd expect it to mostly attract people who like challenges.
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  #13  
Old 03-03-2011, 04:21 PM
Manumitted Manumitted is offline
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Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
Let me explain (again) just so it's in this thread.

c) A full mage can barely function in the high levels because of these problems. There are a few partial solutions for a mage (as Manumitted found), but they're all very partial and shouldn't be necessary:

- The mage can take advantage of a high percentage criticals from high intelligence. ... And this is not a solution for area spells, which are the mage's specialty.
I don't understand this part. Are you saying that Crits aren't evaluated on every hit of an AOE spell? I seem to get multiple Crits just fine at my Fire Mage's near-100% chance with either Fireball or Fire Maelstrom,* and the same goes for my Ice Mage's Shatter or my Sorcerer's Tornado. The same definitely goes for being on the receiving end of an Ice Storm, which I rarely escape before 3-5 Crits whack me.

*I can show you a screenshot of a Fire Maelstrom producing around a dozen Critical Hit damage results at once.
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  #14  
Old 03-03-2011, 11:12 PM
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Crisses Crisses is offline
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Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
I also thought so initially, but think about the first town and how easy it is... it's fun for the first couple of minutes, but the monsters are so weak, any character can kill them with one hit and monsters can't put a dent in the player's HP. It's boring until you get close to the 10th level.

I agree that people prefer to be overpowered rather than underpowered in general, but DC is designed to overwhelm you, and I'd expect it to mostly attract people who like challenges.
Yes, you want to be CHALLENGED, but not to be FRUSTRATED. Everyone has different playing styles, and different thresholds for challenge vs. frustration. [and lots of challenge and occasional frustration is fine. It's constant frustration that's the problem.]

Me, I love the challenge of coming up with working character concepts but I'll get frustrated if I have to die 10 times on the same level. I want a character I can play -- with style. I prefer to play smart rather than play hard, and I don't like shortcuts (stat potions for one) because I consider them cheating (they aren't, they're there in the game, but I personally consider them cheating like someone I played with recently who refused to use food and potions....besides I don't want to waste my space with them, and they sell for good cash). I'm not the person who teleports all over the dungeon looking for the gate. Not my style. If that means I can't succeed, then I'd like to tweak the game to make the average character more "viable".

Last edited by Crisses : 03-03-2011 at 11:21 PM. Reason: mended...
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  #15  
Old 03-03-2011, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Manumitted View Post
I don't understand this part. Are you saying that Crits aren't evaluated on every hit of an AOE spell? I seem to get multiple Crits just fine at my Fire Mage's near-100% chance with either Fireball or Fire Maelstrom,* and the same goes for my Ice Mage's Shatter or my Sorcerer's Tornado. The same definitely goes for being on the receiving end of an Ice Storm, which I rarely escape before 3-5 Crits whack me.

*I can show you a screenshot of a Fire Maelstrom producing around a dozen Critical Hit damage results at once.
When people mentioned crits, I asked whether they worked on AOE spells, and I got crickets.... If they do -- good. That doubles the damage when the crit is "rolled", right? So then we're still around 1/2 the power we'd expect the best mage spells to be at by endgame. You know, the ones with the highest cost and longest cool-down times.

I want to know what factors we're missing, but haven't gotten an answer on that. So we have -casttime items. Doesn't help on the spells with cooldown so actually I'm not terribly impressed. It just makes spammable spells more spammable. OK. So you can cast more of them.

I'm looking for Saruman, or at least Gandalf the Grey at about level 75 and Gandalf the White around level 100. Show me da money! How can I say "I'm a great and powerful wizard!" as a level 30 wizard and not able to light a cigar with a level 1 FireyBlast?
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2011, 05:38 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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I've been working on and off on the balancing, and I'd just like to rant for a little:

- Mana costs seem to be way off. Mages get more mana and put most of their points into intelligence, but their spells' mana costs don't scale with their increasing mana pools. Veritas' character has around 1000 mana. That's unusually high for level 33, but he can fire 30 level 8 maelstroms without batting an eyelid. He can even fire 12 level 30 maelstroms! And that's one of the strongest spells in the game!
- Shatter seems not to cost any more mana from level to level -- not that it matters that much currently anyway
- Capping the stats at 250 is a problem for the mage. The mage has little to invest in -- STR and DEX don't apply to him. INT is his thing, and SPR is just a decoration. But what happens when he runs out of INT to invest in halfway through the game? It means that a character who wants to be purely offensive (and weak), which a mage generally is, can no longer grow his mana pool. It means that when planning spell mana costs, you somehow have to stop around the maximum, which can already be obtained around level 50 (or earlier with items). I can only invest 50% of my attribute points in INT. But why? The cap of 250 is artificial.
- I'd love to swap critical hits and deep wounds, perhaps only for the mage. The warrior has reasons to get all the stats to different degrees. The mage just goes for intelligence, and along the way he picks up critical hits, which also apply to him. If he needed another stat (e.g. DEX) for the critical hits it'd give him a reason to invest in DEX.
- The items in the game seem to completely dominate after level 30 or so. This is a real problem, because it makes balance very very difficult. There are several issues. One is that there are tons of magic items. Another is that each magic item, instead of influencing just 1 or 2 stats, influences all of them. By the mid game, even if all stats are increased by just a little (10-20 points) you're wearing so many items and they're all magical, so it all adds up . Your stats end up having little resemblance to what you actually chose to invest in. Of course, it's all luck and perseverance, but once you get the stronger items, your choices matter very little. It seems to me that even the item sets, which you're supposed to be working to complete, don't give that many boosts to all the different stats and therefore aren't worth completing.
- As a way to battle this, I'd like to see magic items affect only specific stats (2 or 3 at most). Alternatively, it would be even cooler if each magic item also had a negative aspect to it. 1 or 2 stats would be hurt, making the choice much more strategic. It would also make regular items a viable choice.
- Another issue is with items that give you over 100% bonuses to either critical hits, crushing blows, or deep wounds. I get the general concept -- even if you get your INT stat to 250, you'll only have 25%, so you need something else to take you further, 'amplifying' your points, so to speak. However, it doesn't make sense that several items' percentages apply on top of each other. Only 1 item (say, helmet) should have this boost, or only the highest percentage should apply or something.
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  #17  
Old 03-05-2011, 07:00 PM
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DeathKnight1728 DeathKnight1728 is offline
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Default An Idea to make mages a bit more awesome

This is probably a stupid idea but here goes-

I find that the mages should get an extra perk to investing in intelligence. The wizard class change should be as follows:

Firemage-Instead of getting .1 to critical chance per point in intelligence, firemages will get a bonus of .025

Icemage-.025.

Magician-.050

Wizard as a class will then get .2 per critical chance per point in intelligence.

This will work the same for the conjuror class, in a different order of course.

If that works, wizards and conjurers will be much more deadly in game. I find that although rogues get the most criticals, this might help mages become stronger with their spells.
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  #18  
Old 03-05-2011, 07:20 PM
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Crisses Crisses is offline
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Sorry I'm not following the math....

0.025 + 0.025 + 0.05 = 0.1

You said 0.2.

Would you like to revise the numbers on either side of the equation so I can follow what you're looking to do?
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  #19  
Old 03-06-2011, 03:16 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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OK I think I've figured out the critical hit issue. This is essential to work out before adjusting spell values, because we need to calibrate maximum spell strengths based on the amount of critical hits people get. If it's reasonable to get 75% critical hits around the end game, then damage can be expected to be 2 * 0.75 on average. If 100% is expected, then we need to double all damage. The problem with critical hits right now is that one can easily get to 100% very early on. Not only does this ruin the gameplay mechanic (why would I want to ever boost my crits again?) but it also means that a serious imbalance CAN be created, IF I find the right items -- which are not that rare.

To understand this, let's look at the items. It turns out that the higher the level of an item, the more modifiers it has (I was not aware of this previously). Elite items can have 4 modifiers, and unique items have even more (I think 5 is max but I could be wrong). As I mentioned in my rant above, I don't like this. I think it masks the choices the user has made. Regardless, that's the way it is.

What this means is that instead of looking at items as completely random, we can look at them as a limited resource. We have 16 slots, not all of which can be used by all classes. 16 slots * 5 modifiers each = 80 modifiers total. Some classes, such as warriors, need to make sure the primary value of an item e.g. DPS or armor is strong enough, so they may have to forgo using all their modifiers. For a mage, however, virtually all slots can be used to maximize stats, as armor and DPS is irrelevant unless the particular mage wants to be able to fight a little (which is a choice).

So items are really a 'modifier' resource you build up, except this goes up very haphazardly (by luck). I personally think this resource goes up too quickly in the game (ie. there are too many good items) but that's not something I'm willing to change in this mod. Maybe if I fork and create an extra mod that I don't want to integrate back into the game, I'd do that.

The problem with criticals and such is that while the maximum stats will only get you to around 25% crits, you have items that increase your crits by +200% of your current value. If you have even 20%, a +200% increase will put you at 60%. Another 200% item, and you've reached 100%. All you needed were a bunch of items. But what did you pay for that boost?

For balance to be maintained, it's very important to look at what you lost when you got something -- your opportunity cost. In the case of +200% items, you 'lost' only 2 modifiers. 2 modifiers that could have been something else, were used for crits. But that boost was very significant. Had you tried to modify intelligence to get the equivalent +200% crit, you would have needed +400 intelligence. The only way to get that much intelligence is if you put heavy intelligence modifiers on all your slots. Even then you wouldn't get to that level of intelligence boost. So 1 modifier is the equivalent of all 16 modifiers combined! It's true that you also get mana with intelligence, but still, the exchange is very disproportionate.

Instead of having +200% crit etc. items, I think items should max out much earlier -- maybe at +80% or +90%. Then, if you really want to bring your crits up to 100, you have to work for it -- give up several precious modifiers for items that have high crits. You then also pay in lost modifiers. That modifier that boosted crit by an extra 20% means that you gave up on a modifier to boost your strength, mana etc. It's no longer a matter of just waiting for 1-2 high boosting items and equipping them to get to 100% crit right away. It's about tough decisions and deciding what you want most.

The same analysis applies to casting time, crushing blows, and deep wounds.

EDIT: Updated the mod file with some more sane values for items for these percentages, though perhaps they're not as low as I'd like them to be. I may tweak these a little more. I think perhaps Shadow didn't expect people to stack items that give these bonuses, since other item modifiers have much more realistic amounts. I imagine people then got used to getting their easy 100% crits relatively early in the game, and Shadow didn't want to ruin it for them. Well, in my opinion this is one of the serious imbalances (or at least broken mechanics) in the game. Among other things, this change makes skills that boost crits and stuff useful again. If you still want high percentages, you can get them, but you're going to have to work hard for them, just as you would if you wanted very high HP/mana/etc.

Last edited by Bluddy : 03-06-2011 at 08:52 AM.
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  #20  
Old 03-06-2011, 11:41 AM
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Crisses Crisses is offline
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Bluddy,

I think the chance of crits is also creature-dependent. You may have a 75% chance of crit, but isn't that creature level = your level? i.e. you have a lower chance to hit AND to crit on a critter that's a higher level than your own? If creatures go over Level 100 in the game, by endgame you need to take into account that Level 100 chars are fighting over-level-100 creatures. If this is true, you kinda need to be over-torqued, depending on how drastic a change the levels make in the crit chances.

I'm pretty certain my level 50 Hunter/Trickster has items AND skills stacked such that the crit chance ON PAPER is over 100%. Do I crit frequently? yes. But not ALL crits, even when de-cloaking from stealth and using barbed arrow, etc. Even on critters lower level than mine, I don't think every shot is a crit. Example: Is it possible to crit AND deep wounds, or is it mutually exclusive?

It might be desirable -- or even present already in the software(!) -- to cap the ACTUAL chance of crit. The on-paper could be say 110%, but if you're going up against a critter +10 levels to yours it might drop to say 90% (-2% actual crit chance per level difference), but the die-roll max might be 75% across the board i.e. you'll never have an actual better chance of rolling a crit than 75% and the rest of your bonus is to compensate for level differences or critter protections vs. being critically hit. Personally I want to know how you can deep wounds an amorph.

I'd like to keep in mind that we're not only talking about spell imbalance -- we're talking skill imbalance almost across the board. Without developer input, we still are kinda flailing in the dark on what factors affect the results. There's a LOT going on behind the scenes. I also want the people whining about mages being just fine to realize that we're really not just talking about mages. We're addressing pets, we're addressing poison, we're addressing all the skills people eventually drop because they're worthless past mid-game.
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