ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:06 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Yes, I want to have another go at this. The rationale:

1. Mindcraft in the hands of newbies IMO encourages bad gameplay habits.
2. Mindcraft removes the need for lots of inventory and equipment management.
3. Mindcraft generally makes the game less interesting tactically and strategically.
4. In terms of flavor, different types of Priests should IMO be better differentiated.

Okay, that aside... The plan.

Priests in general
I'm iffy on how the melee stuff works, but I'm thinking it should be changed, so that the starting mace is actually useful. My initial thought is to give all priests a roughly constant number of blows. This way heavier weapons would be favored, but there'd be less melee improvement than for warriors.

Eru Priests
I'm not sure much change is needed here? They already get Manathrust, decent melee and device skills, and higher Spell-power multiplier than any other class. That and better intrinsic melee would make them quite playable.

Manwe Priests
I'd suggest throwing in Dodging skill, because, uh... moving like the wind and stuff, I guess.

Druid
I find it kind of funny that Paladins get Barehand, seeing as martial arts are more typically associated with Druid types in fantasy. Barehand + Summoning would be kind of ludicrous though. I'd ditch Summoning, maybe have Mimicry instead.

Dark-priest
Leave as is, except for possible intrinsic melee changes.

Paladin
Hmm. I want to get rid of Barehand, not sure though. Maybe give them access to Divination just to be nice.

... I'll do some experimenting and see how it goes, I guess...

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 8:18 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Okay, so for the blows/round thing, the relevant line is


C:B:4:35:3


That third number, "mul", seems to be what dictates starting blows. The second is something to do with weapon weight - maybe the highest weight that permits maximum blows/round? And I think the first is the maximum number of blows without any Weaponmastery or Combat skill, but I might be wrong about that... Let me check the code.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:00 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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What bad habits are you blaming on mindcraft?

Paladin barehand should certainly stay. Weapons are for gods that are not Tulkas.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:09 pm 
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Reaper

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Here are some things I would do to if I wanted to weaken Mindcrafting.

The Mindcraft offensive spells are already iffy at high levels. Blowback from corrupted minds makes it dangerous to use Mind Wave and Psychic Drain against groups of high level monsters. Increase this a bit and Mindcraft becomes just a group of utility spells.

The effective time for Adrenaline Channeling and Armor of Fear stack when cast multiple times. So if I cast AC ten times to heal myself the speed boost lasts for a long, long time. This is not true of equivalent school spells like Essence of Speed and Stone Skin.

The directed teleport feature of Minor Displacement is very powerful since it can be used to set up anti-summoning areas. I would turn it into the equivalent of Blink.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:42 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Atarlost wrote:
What bad habits are you blaming on mindcraft?


In particular I'm thinking of Mindwave spamming. Mindwave is very powerful, and also teaches you to wake the whole dungeon and play dangerously. If you look at the early versions of my variant (Neoband), a lot of the bad, overpowered characteristics of the new classes are inherited from T2 Mindcraft.

More generally, I also think Mindcraft removes much of the logistical side of gameplay. It basically has all the utility spells in one place, so you can afford to just ignore all kinds of devices, consumables, etc. IOW, it discourages resourcefulness.

Finally, Mindcraft cost per damage is waaaay lower than anything else. It's still using the spell costs from Pernangband, when everything was cheaper; so at high levels you have totally insane stuff, like Precognition giving full detection and Enlightenment for 1 SP.

(Obviously YMMV, though.)

Quote:
Paladin barehand should certainly stay. Weapons are for gods that are not Tulkas.


Right, it does make sense for Tolkien I guess. I was thinking more of the pseudo-Christian Paladin from V.

Yottle wrote:
Here are some things I would do to if I wanted to weaken Mindcrafting.


I'd rather ditch it completely for thematic reasons. Maybe buff the Mind school and give Priests access to that instead.

Quote:
The Mindcraft offensive spells are already iffy at high levels. Blowback from corrupted minds makes it dangerous to use Mind Wave and Psychic Drain against groups of high level monsters. Increase this a bit and Mindcraft becomes just a group of utility spells.


Blowback only happens with high-level demons and undead. Groups of dragons, trolls, and whatnot can just be brainbombed into submission.

Quote:
The effective time for Adrenaline Channeling and Armor of Fear stack when cast multiple times. So if I cast AC ten times to heal myself the speed boost lasts for a long, long time. This is not true of equivalent school spells like Essence of Speed and Stone Skin.


Huh. I thought Adrenaline lasted a weirdly long time. :shock:

Adrenaline has been better since AnonymousHero nerfed it, but the melee bonus is still gigantic. And Character Armor is insta-resist-base, so see again equipment management.

Quote:
The directed teleport feature of Minor Displacement is very powerful since it can be used to set up anti-summoning areas. I would turn it into the equivalent of Blink.


Everything involving Mindcraft and teleporting is problematic, really. Major displacement is broken on special levels (doesn't teleport @ but still banishes everyone else). And Telekinesis works kind of like Tidal Wave, except instant.

...

In case the above doesn't make sense: part of the deal is, I'd like to tweak T2 to favor more specialized characters. Make utility scrolls and devices more viable, stuff like that. Mindcraft is problematic there, IMO, because it's all your dungeon needs in one place. Mindcraft at 25 or so makes anyone a jack of all trades.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:05 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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Sorcery is also one stop utility spell shopping, but is also one stop all other spells shopping. Some mindcraft costs may be too low, but arcane utility is clunky and backwards.

T2 arcane magic simply doesn't work well with the skill system. There are too many more casting skills than fighting skills and it takes all of them to match content derived from Vanilla where clerics and mages and rogues get lots of diverse magic as part of the package.

Mindwave might be a problem, but mindcraft as a utility school is an important quality of life benefit that is pretty much the whole point of playing a cleric. Just like not being tied to consumables for detection and escape was the whole point of the Vanilla rogue and not being tied solely to consumables for those and healing was most of the point of the vanilla paladin and cleric.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 7:19 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Atarlost wrote:
Sorcery is also one stop utility spell shopping, but is also one stop all other spells shopping. Some mindcraft costs may be too low, but arcane utility is clunky and backwards.


Agreed. Half the problem is poor availability of books though, IMO. But yes... I'd like it to eventually be the case that one could have e.g. a Mage specializing entirely in Air magic, and be able to play that build all the way to Angband lvl 100.

Quote:
T2 arcane magic simply doesn't work well with the skill system. There are too many more casting skills than fighting skills and it takes all of them to match content derived from Vanilla where clerics and mages and rogues get lots of diverse magic as part of the package.


Yes. I'm hoping to fix this by making one- or two-school arcane casters more playable. In particular, I think utility devices should be cheaper and more effective; and Mages should not completely and incurably suck at combat.

Quote:
Mindwave might be a problem, but mindcraft as a utility school is an important quality of life benefit that is pretty much the whole point of playing a cleric. Just like not being tied to consumables for detection and escape was the whole point of the Vanilla rogue and not being tied solely to consumables for those and healing was most of the point of the vanilla paladin and cleric.


IMO this could already be covered by deity-granted arcane spells.

i.e.

Eru priests get detection and some offense.
Manwe priests get escapes galore.
Druids get healing (though admittedly Yavanna presents issues...).
Paladins get buffs and terrain control.
Melkor priests get the usual necromantic stuff.

The problem is more that 90% of the time you never get the spells, because you never get the spellbooks.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 1:58 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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Vanilla (or ToME 1 or Pernband or Zangband) clerics get all the stuff all of the Valar offer at once. Or mindcraft. They would have to get divination and conveyance and nature and something that provides offense comparable to orb of draining and dispel evil all at once. Mindcraft sort of does that.

I don't believe pushing items is the way to go. Item management is a hassle. Finding items is a pain. Having to keep stock of several kinds of detection scrolls makes the game less fun. I choose my class to opt out of that hassle. I should have options other than sorcerer to do that.

Right now I can play sorcerer or cleric and get the sort of utility magic that every single vanilla class other than fighter offers. You're proposing to take that away from cleric.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:07 pm 
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Uruivellas

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... You know what, I think you're right. N/M.

Maybe it would be better to fix the problems directly.

e.g.

Mindwave -> make it a ball or beam attack.
Psychic Drain -> remove it.
Adrenaline -> further reduce the speed bonus.

...

Also I feel like the floor trap problem, which I've ranted about before, needs some fixing. Floor traps are "Press X every Y turns or die", and reduce the survivability and gameplay convenience of anyone who doesn't have a trap detection spell. At this point, I would like to remove them entirely, flavor be damned.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:04 pm 
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Spiderkin

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(Moved)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:23 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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Adrenaline could trade the speed boost for a bigger heal. It has a small heal from heroism but that's all the healing most clerics have.

Nerfing mindcraft is a problem because clerics are already dangerously weak. Tulkas is okay because 5/6 prayer in earth gets some decent stuff that's actually approximately level appropriate, but no one else gets better than a 2/3 multiplier and I don't think Yavannah or Manwe get any decent attack spells at all.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 2:56 pm 
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Uruivellas

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Atarlost wrote:
Adrenaline could trade the speed boost for a bigger heal. It has a small heal from heroism but that's all the healing most clerics have.


I'm pretty sure that, plus Paladin melee stats, would be considered unbalanced in Vanilla land. :P

More seriously: I'm not averse to adding new (non-Schools) sources of healing, but I don't think Mindcraft should be where we put that stuff.

Quote:
Nerfing mindcraft is a problem because clerics are already dangerously weak. Tulkas is okay because 5/6 prayer in earth gets some decent stuff that's actually approximately level appropriate, but no one else gets better than a 2/3 multiplier and I don't think Yavannah or Manwe get any decent attack spells at all.


Point, but a lot of this is Priests being incurably awful at melee. (A problem for Mages, too.) The only exception being Paladins, who get Barehand and all its perks. As I indicated above, I have some ideas for fixing that at early levels.

Druids get Summoning, at least. Manwe Priests get Noxious Cloud, for whatever that's worth (probably not much at the level they get it).

I don't have a problem with Priests lacking diverse attack spells. The rubbish melee, on the other hand... No. Fighting priests should not be as good as Warriors or Rogues, but they shouldn't be so thoroughly awful.

(Likewise mages, but that's another matter.)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:59 pm 
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Perspiring Physicist

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Would it be worth adding in a Life or Light/Holy/Whatever school to give some extra stuff to Clerics? Primarily to Eru and Manwe clerics as a replacement to Mindcraft.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:29 pm 
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Uruivellas

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@HousePet

I was kind of thinking about that...

Maybe have all the spells as lasting effects?

e.g.

Buffs that last many, many turns. (Heroism/Bless/etc.)

Long-duration ESP for various things, as a status effect.

A "Holy Aura" spell that gives @ a radius 2 cloud of holy fire. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:36 pm 
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Perspiring Physicist

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Was writing this while you were writing the above:

Should probably work like Mindcraft and Necromancy do. Spellbooks suck. :P

Detect Unholy:
Detects Undead.
At spell level 10, also detects demons.
At spell level 20, also detects any evil creature.

Smite:
Simple holy fire attack spell.

Holy Cure:
Some sort of curing and light healing spell. Tweaked in some way to make it different to the Nature version. (or maybe Nature should lose Healing or something? Give Nature a Resist Elements spell as a replacement?)

Some sort of Detect/Dispel Curse spell.
Maybe a more powerful version for *Dispel* Curse and Bless Weapon?

Don't need a defensive buff spell as Eru does something of that type when praying and Manwe already has specific prayers for it.

Holy Word:
Stuns all visible evil enemies.
At spell level 20, it also smites them with lightning.


Making all the spells function as long lasting effects might work, but that does limit what types of effects you can use.

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