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  #101  
Old 03-28-2011, 12:25 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Updated to version 16.

The demons are now linked together as I discussed. They also don't need constant investment to stay around your level, just like the skeletons.

I also re-balanced all the mana costs as discussed. I'm really much happier with them now.

EDIT: I need to balance the different demons so that they are equally powerful at different skill levels. Right now, the chaos lord is MUCH more powerful than the screes for example. This will take some trial and error.

EDIT2: I'm not sure how much I like the fact that the demons are linked, but I just can't think of another solution given the restraint that they can't co-exist with each other. If we consider a situation where I have many points invested in Scree, for example, every point in Fury is essentially a waste. You could say that maybe Chaos Lord shouldn't be linked, since it's a different type of approach -- one super tough monster instead of many small monsters. But still, investing a lot in Chaos Lord just means you can't invest as much as you should in Scree and vice versa. This is unlike the necromancer, who is easy to balance since the player can just build up his/her army of pets in the most cost-effective way possible.

Speaking of which, I'm debating how to look at the mana costs for pets. Are they like scalable skills, which you can leave at only a few skill levels and therefore mana costs should rise quickly? Or are they more like non-scalable spells, which must be taken to as high a level as possible? I can't really decide. I've left the costs low for now, mostly because the necromancer seems to need the costs to be low so that he can raise dead monsters before they fade away. However, I'm thinking that the necromancer's passive mana skill (getting money upon killing a monster) could supply the mana needed to raise the dead, so maybe I should have the mana costs rise more with level.

Last edited by Bluddy : 03-28-2011 at 04:52 AM.
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  #102  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:12 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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I just found this thread, where Shadow talks about dealing with the same issues I'm dealing with in regard to pets. The question is, why make pets on the same level as the player, when a (non-scaling) spell needs constant investment? A level 80 character could put 1 point in skeleton and have a skeleton that works as well as it did for a level 1 character.

I think the answers are these (I've mentioned them before in this thread):
1. The player expects not to have to constantly invest in pets to keep up their level. This is because several parameters are changed with each skill point: the pets' level, their damage, and the number of pets. Because all of these parameters change (especially the number of pets) the impression in the player's mind is that if he leaves the skill alone, the pet will stay roughly at the same effectiveness relative to him. If he invests in the skill, he'll get stronger, more plentiful pets.
2. Lower level pets are far more useless than lower level spells. Because spells combine with your other attacks, even a weak spell costing only a little mana can be useful if you bombard the enemy with it. A low level pet, however, is useless. He'll get destroyed in seconds (even with the life boost the skill gives him) and won't cause ANY damage before he dies.
3. There are a huge number of scalable skills (as we all know), so it's not a big deal if pets will be scalable too. Again, it's what the player expects.
4. Pets are the main stars of their classes. If a player chose the necromancer class, he doesn't have that many other offensive choices. Therefore, if he puts only 2 points in skeleton (for example), he can CHOOSE to do that, but it means he's given up on the main reason for having a necromancer. So he's really lost a lot by making this choice.
5. If you make the skeleton not on the same level as the user but 2-4 levels below, then 1-2 points in skeleton won't give you much of a skeleton at the higher levels. This is a good solution: skeletons start out weak and get stronger just as they do in the current mechanism. Which brings me to the next point:
6. The higher levels of the game are so tough, one measly skeleton just won't cut it. In that sense, even if you leave the levels as a constant, the spell is still a 'non-scaling' spell since you really need a greater number of skeletons and stronger skeletons to survive.
7. Essentially, the first part of the game already plays as if the pets are 1-4 levels beneath you due to the way the formula is. Once you get to the higher levels, you get the big gaps between you and the pets, and the pets become annoying and 'useless'. Therefore, it makes sense to just keep the pets 1-4 levels below you for the entire game. No need to raise their level at all -- the increase in number and strength is all that is needed.
8. The very existence of the Raise Dead spell makes all other non-scaling pet spells pointless, since Raise Dead can raise a monster of any level. A discerning gamer will always choose Raise Dead over any other pet spell.

I hope it's obvious why I think the changes I made to the pet spells are a balance fix. I also hope it's clear why I'm having a hard time deciding which mana rule to apply to pets: that of scaling skills or that of non-scaling spells.

Last edited by Bluddy : 03-28-2011 at 03:18 AM.
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  #103  
Old 03-28-2011, 05:01 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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I'm rummaging through some of these old DC and DoP threads. It's really fun, partially because Shadow was a little more talkative back then. I don't blame him, writing a long answer to each question must get old, plus you have to deal with each new person who comes along and thinks he discovered this basic idea that's been suggested 100 times before.

I learned some things I never knew about DoP (you mean thieves use the number of the skill to exit stealth mode?) but I also learned stuff about basic ARPG mechanics. I wasn't much of an ARPG player before DoP and DC. Specifically, I learned about the power of DoT (damage over time) effects, which I've not gotten until now. Apparently they're used for example by mage-warriors to deal double damage to a strong target (such as a boss).

So these powers are useful, but how do they stand out from the crowd? Specifically, why should I choose a DoT over a regular AoE spell? I think the answer has to be cost and power. An AoE spell won't damage for as many points, will cost more mana to cast, may have a cooldown timer preventing its immediate casting, and may be a waste if there aren't many enemies around. I'll try to make the DoT spells be more attractive by focusing on these things.
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  #104  
Old 03-28-2011, 10:49 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Aargh! Just tested my latest changes and they suck. While in theory it would be nice to let mana costs go up slowly for non-scalable spells, the result is extreme OP as there's nothing preventing a character from leveling up even a simple skill as far as it can go. Once you add some mana regen items to the mix, you have an unstoppable half-mage which is not what I was aiming for...

I'll have to go back to the drawing board for a little here.

EDIT: OK I think I figured out the problem. I haven't tested after too many changes. Problem 1 is that I lowered mana costs way too much. They have to be aggressive, or you can just keep upgrading ad nauseum, which throws all balance off. Problem 2 is that I forgot how much items influence things in this game. I didn't account for the extra mana from items, and making the combat regen rate 0.5x instead of 0.25x gives too much power to mana regen items. I'll have to adjust mana regen items if I make this change permanent. For now I'll revert it.

BTW I've figured out how to nerf Raise Dead: a raised creature will start with a bonus that'll DECREASE as you get more creatures. That'll control the fast growing damage curve resulting from more monsters in addition to stronger monsters.

Last edited by Bluddy : 03-28-2011 at 02:05 PM.
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  #105  
Old 03-28-2011, 12:31 PM
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Evander Evander is offline
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DoTs are extremely important for some characters.
I have a thief/shaman (something like that) and I regularly use slice or poison on anything that has thorns (reflects damage) as thorns do not reflect damage from DoTs. It is also sometimes better to do hit-and-run against some more hard-hitting targets.
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  #106  
Old 03-28-2011, 02:07 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evander View Post
DoTs are extremely important for some characters.
I have a thief/shaman (something like that) and I regularly use slice or poison on anything that has thorns (reflects damage) as thorns do not reflect damage from DoTs. It is also sometimes better to do hit-and-run against some more hard-hitting targets.
Yeah I realize that now. I didn't need to add things to (for example) immolation -- I just needed to make it stronger and cheaper.
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  #107  
Old 03-28-2011, 03:33 PM
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Evander Evander is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
BTW I've figured out how to nerf Raise Dead: a raised creature will start with a bonus that'll DECREASE as you get more creatures. That'll control the fast growing damage curve resulting from more monsters in addition to stronger monsters.
But whats the point in that anyway? Rather than add another performance killing formula, why not limit a number of monsters that can be raised?

Besides, have you considered raised elite/champion monsters?
Just played my necro/pally for a while. Unless they were champions, raised monsters did not stood a chance against all these spells, flames, poisons.

I basically used revenants as a moving target for hostile monsters so that I could kill mobs one by one.

Edit:
also, on sets - on screenshot, different versions of aversion harness.
These are modded and have regen ability added to them, but apart from set effect, items should be close to vanilla.


Last edited by Evander : 03-28-2011 at 04:07 PM.
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  #108  
Old 03-29-2011, 06:54 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evander View Post
But whats the point in that anyway? Rather than add another performance killing formula, why not limit a number of monsters that can be raised?
They basically are already (more or less) limited by skill point expense. The problem is that there's a huge jump going from one raised creature to 2 or more. Each creature presents a huge jump in power.

Quote:
Besides, have you considered raised elite/champion monsters?
Just played my necro/pally for a while. Unless they were champions, raised monsters did not stood a chance against all these spells, flames, poisons.
I kind of assume that people will pick the best monsters ie. the champions/elites. Other monsters won't last that long, as you say. But once you have several, you pack quite a punch. If you want, you can send me your character and I'll see what the impact is at your level.

Quote:
I basically used revenants as a moving target for hostile monsters so that I could kill mobs one by one.
As a necro/paladin, you probably don't have as many pets as you could have. What level are you? I need to test higher level necros to figure out the proper way to balance this.

Quote:
Edit:
also, on sets - on screenshot, different versions of aversion harness.
These are modded and have regen ability added to them, but apart from set effect, items should be close to vanilla.

Nice! I'm iffy about giving regen bonuses right now. I'd like to reduce combat regen penalty to 50% instead of 25%, but as I said above, the mana regen items throw everything off once you remove the artificial reduction to 25%. Mana regen items are way too powerful. Really, it's too bad mana regen is measured per second -- it means that the proper values are very low. Even 3 mana per second is a big boost. Mana regen should be measured per 10 seconds.

Anyway, I'm glad to see the set effects boosted. At the same time, I'm wary of whole sets being passed to lower classes via that darn stash. I'd like to see Shadow limit set combining per level (say 0-10: 1 item. 10-25: 2 items. 25-40: 3 items. 40-55: 4 items. 55-70: 5 items. 70-100: 6 items.)
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  #109  
Old 03-29-2011, 09:15 AM
forevernomad forevernomad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
At the same time, I'm wary of whole sets being passed to lower classes via that darn stash. I'd like to see Shadow limit set combining per level (say 0-10: 1 item. 10-25: 2 items. 25-40: 3 items. 40-55: 4 items. 55-70: 5 items. 70-100: 6 items.)
Limiting the number of set items worn would only work if they had additional bonuses for each piece worn, using Evander's item and your example above, you would have to wait until level 25 before you could get the first bonus and then have to wait 45 levels before you got the full item bonuses and that's if you found them all by then.

Not sure about this, but would a high level 'ego' item re-adjust its level if used by a low level char, if so then just make all set items 'ego' and low level, then it wouldn't matter if you passed them on because to get the best out of them, they would need to be used often.

I've not used one often enough to see the benefits of having them, in fact I might have a look at modding the starting items to be 'ego', so if you stick with them they would become the items of legend that they are supposed to be.
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  #110  
Old 03-29-2011, 09:22 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forevernomad View Post
Limiting the number of set items worn would only work if they had additional bonuses for each piece worn, using Evander's item and your example above, you would have to wait until level 25 before you could get the first bonus and then have to wait 45 levels before you got the full item bonuses and that's if you found them all by then.
Oh right. Sorry you'd have to split it differently according to where the bonuses are. 3 items would only be combineable around level 30 (where it starts to be needed) and 6 items would only be available at level 50-60.

Quote:
Not sure about this, but would a high level 'ego' item re-adjust its level if used by a low level char, if so then just make all set items 'ego' and low level, then it wouldn't matter if you passed them on because to get the best out of them, they would need to be used often.

I've not used one often enough to see the benefits of having them, in fact I might have a look at modding the starting items to be 'ego', so if you stick with them they would become the items of legend that they are supposed to be.
I think an ego item has a minimum level. Basically it's just an item that can increase its level (which is the item's minimum level).
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