ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:47 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:53 pm
Posts: 133
Warning, this post is rather lengthy! The consensus of the prior issue I raised with farming basically boiled down to "If certain items are required/critical, the chosen method of dealing with this is balancing them instead of allowing farming", which I'm all for. So, with the assistance of Stition/Shibari/SuperMini/Waladi, I took a look at all of the artifacts and this is the result.

There are several issues overall, going to tackle them in a few sections. First, we'll look at the arts that there's a consensus are just space wasters. Then at ones that may be issue's because they throw off the power curve on the other side (AKA overpowered). Lastly I'll talk a little about what I consider key toolbox items that raise balance/game vision issues. Mostly for purposes of discussion and feedback to the devs, I think that the Under/Overpowered artifact list is fairly solid and any change would help overall balance goals. The Toolbox items are somewhat more subtle, as they raise balance issues as well, but only applicable to higher difficulties. I don't necessarily expect or even desire changes relating to these, just want to bring the issue's about them into the open for consideration.


Section 1: Under-powered Artifacts

Here is a list of the worst offenders. These are the items for which the consensus boiled down to “Worthless, needs overhaul”. Note: we didn’t get into certain types of items, namely sling ammo, Whips, and Tridents. None of us had much experience with them for comparison, and I also suspect that Whips/Tridents need a major overhaul and to generally be integrated into the game more solidly. The goal here is to help reduce excess dependence on RNG by at least minimizing the items that just take up slots and prevent the acquisition of items that are actually usable in any way.

Because I’m bad at forums and couldn’t find a convenient/easy way to post tables, I’m just posting a list of the questionable artifacts here, but for a look at our reasoning and suggestions here is a link to the spreadsheet where we go into that: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc ... wVXc#gid=0 (Of note, Superminie and Shibari tend to offer helpful comments, but by default I have it sorted by my opinion as I just kept consistent alphabet-wise and we more or less concur on the worst ones)

Underpowered Artifacts:
Scorched Boots
Gloves of the Firm Hand
Bill's Tree Trunk
Cuirass of the Thronesmen
Kor's Fall
Warmaster Gnarg's Murderblade
Staff of Destruction
Razorblade, the Cursed Waraxe
Elemental Fury
Storm Fury
Colaryem
Flamewrought
Drake's Bane
Penitence
Dagger of the Past
Moon
Star
Sword of Potential Futures
Thalore-Wood Cuirass
Bolbum's Big Knocker
Dragonskull Helm
Rune of Reflection
Ring of Growth
Crown of Eternal Night
Bindings of Eternal Night
Prox's Lucky Halfling Foot
The Untouchable EDIT: Forgot about people with Aegis tree. This might be decent enough with it's secret proc to be usable by those classes. Still think it shouldn't be quite so secret, though

There’s another ~15 to 20 that are pretty borderline, but there’s mixed opinion on some of them. You can see those as well. The comments and suggestions are fairly scattered in quality/quantity (This job was much larger than I thought initially!), but the gist for most is there and it’ll be casually added to.

Section 2: Over-powered Artifacts

The flip side of the coin is that there are a few artifacts that are so good that they throw off the power curve and play becomes focused around them. There are really only two, from a raw power standpoint in my opinion, but others from a critical toolbox perspective (Depends on how DG feels about this, personally I love them).

Clearly Overpowered Artifacts:
Eden’s Guile: Easily get to 120% global on anyone who maxes cunning and naturally wears any cunning containing gear. Can go over 150% if you go crazy with it. Basically, allowing any character to act about 2.5 times as fast, which makes this almost necessary. At the very least, there is no character where you wouldn’t be... almost 2.5 times better off if you had it. I’d reccomend capping it’s speed bonus, perhaps to shalore racial levels.

Spellhunt Remnants: They just utterly destroy casters and mobs with lots of buffs, which conveniently covers most later bosses (particularly the last ones). It gives anyone who has them the buff-stripping power of a corrupter, in addition to it’s locking them down. Once again, like Eden’s Guile, this item is so good that any character is simply multiples better off with this item. My reccomendation is have it’s on use only exist for Zigur followers. The fact that it’s AM is completely irrelevant compared to their power, so anyone will still use them. But if you actually had to be a Zigur follower, that would both be a compelling argument for doing so and limit general overpowerdness for all classes. Or, just nerf them :)


Other arts that skew the power curve are subtler issues that would require more development decisions. They’re things that aren’t clearly imbalanced like the above two, but make balancing other arts difficult because they often dominate them.

Examples of Near dominant style Artifacts:
Black Robe
Telos’s Top half (In conjunction with any good dagger, beats pretty much any staff handily)
Spellblaze Shards (Rediculously amazing dps for it’s tier)
Dakhtun's Gauntlets (Just hands down what everyone should wear barring superior merchant gloves, or Spellhunt)

Just wanted to point these out, not saying that they’re necessarily an issue, or should be changed, but just noting that they are clear stand-outs of their types, so that any other item in them tend to pale in comparison.

Section 3: Toolbox/Utility Items

These are items that aren’t strictly powerful, but provide tools to classes that don’t have them that either simply make the game more pleasant (MORE OF THESE, PLEASE!), or shore up a classes weakness. This doesn’t strike me as generally an issue, excepting that there might be some classes (Looking at you, Brawler/Archer) who might completely depend on these on higher difficulties to counter their limitations. Others seem to disagree, so thought I’d raise the issue, anyway.

Examples of Toolbox Items:
Temporal Augmentation Robe - Designed In-Style: This might actually be borderline overpowered. What it does is provide one of the top 3 1-shot protections, most classes either having vastly weaker versions or none at all. It’s equivalent to an item granting Boneshield or Unstoppable.

Fortune’s Eye (and to a lesser extent, Gloves of the Nighthunter/Armor of Delving/ULTRA RARE watchleaders lanterns): Track is somewhat critical, getting more so as you fear getting 1-shot from around all corners. Plenty of ways to get this, and I think it’s a good thing and pleasant. But a majority of classes are dependant on items for this feature. I’d recommend buffing some of the psuedo-tracks (not a lot, but > 10 range, please) to reduce rng.

Burning Star/Eye of the Forrest: Basically, see Fortune’s Eye. Makes games not only infinitely more pleasant, but starts to be somewhat critical. There are other methods, namely Vision Runes (which should be buffed), and Arcane Eye. But Vision is currently fairly weak, and AE is only available to certain casters or, again, through items. I’d reccomend adding some more types like this, or adding a non-art ego that helps besides AE (not quite the same, after all). Basically they just make the game more pleasant.

Wanderer’s Rest/AetherWalk/Zemeky's Broken Hourglass: Controlled teleports/phase doors that don’t require a rune. Most classes can have plenty of these in some means or another, but if you don’t naturally have any, these are incredibly clutch to the point that they could be the deciding factor between life and death quite often.

Eggsack/Crystal Shards/Guardian Totem/All other summon items: There’s enough of these that I actually don’t think it’s an issue, as primarily for the non-pet classes they are used to soak up a turn or two of aggro/avoid surrounds. Tentacles also serve this purpose. I consider these critical to higher difficulties, and have no problem with this being part of the play-style, but some seem to.

Wrap of Stone/Hats of Earthrues/Shield of earth (particularly talent level 4.0+): Basically, utility in the form of some guaranteed escapes/breathing space. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in situations where ONLY an item along these lines could save me, and if your class doesn’t naturally have such... Personally, I again feel this is a fairly moot issue by virtue of commonality, in that it’s not just 1 or 2 artifacts that can fill this tool-slot, but a non-art ego.


Assosiated Concerns and final thoughts

In relation to the whole "how item/rng dependant" the game is/should be discussion, one related concern stands out. Namely, the Swift Hands prodigy. While probably underused on Normal/Nightmare, it is in fact hands down the best prodigy if you're seriously min/maxing your character for encounters. It also makes balancing other things harder, such as Temporal Form, which is already handy and good, but can just become ridiculous when in conjunction with careful use of Swift Hands.

As for recommendations, it should honestly be nerfed in some way, however: while it is currently amazing, it would be very easy to make it completely worthless with many of the ways it could be changed. Prodigies already have balance concerns (which I'll be making another post on), so we really don't need another worthless one taking up space! The way I'd prefer to see it dealt with is either some limit on it's use per turn (One would be the natural assumption, but that strikes me as probably too weak). Could alternatively make it just take some small fraction of a turn, so you'd still have to worry about enemies acting/stuff ticking, but again it'd be a tough choice to determine the balancing point where it would become too weak.

Since certain devs have insisted that they actually appreciate feedback, I'm probably going to try to collaborate with some of the other players I tend to interact with on similar discussions of the other discrete balance area's, namely: Prodigies, Runes/Infusions, Races, AM vs Non-AM, and Classes.


Last edited by grmblfzzz on Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:34 am 
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Cornac

Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:39 am
Posts: 37
Anyone interested in more specifics should definitely check the spreadsheet, we put a lot of comments there that couldn't possibly be fit in a post format. Completely agreed on the major points grmbl brings up.

Also, I personally think Swift Hands is a balance destroying unfun POS that tempts players that have fun maximizing their character strengths to do incredibly unfun things. My proposal would be leaving everything in *except* equipping being a free action. This still means you can pull Stone Wall out of your ass instantly (set swap is still instant) but you would actually have to spend a turn to get your free Mind Leap.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:54 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:53 pm
Posts: 133
So, because the main post is already such a monster and I forgot initially, I'll add something here: If you look at the spreadsheet with our reasoning/suggestions, you'll note that a good percent of the bad artifacts are either low level ones that don't do anything special, so as soon as you get ~100g you're better off with almost anything you can buy in Zigur or Last hope, or the ones that are just bland and even if they have okay stats/damage for their tier, are also easily outshone by almost anything you can pick up later.

The general gist of the suggestions for changes is that, particularly among low level artifacts, they should have some interesting/unique property that would still possibly be of some use later game. Not things you would always wear, but things that aren't just wasted space after tier 2-3. Good examples are:

Summertide/Wintertide Phial: Wintertide gets quickly outclassed by other lightsources, but is almost always worth carrying around for the mental clear. Summertide is similar, as you just want to make sure some area's are lit.

Unerring Scalpel: Sometimes, you just need tons of accuracy!

Frost Treads: Decent stats for getting key breakpoints, cold res and light radius.

Anything that gives you some unique or otherwise unobtainable traits: Withering orbs (blind-fight, note infinitely better than spectral blade because it's not your weapon), or Eye of the Dreaming One (screw you, sleep!)

Same thing with talents (though note these really have to be utility style talents, as if it's a low level art obviously a damaging one won't fly): Inertial Twine, sweet. Vargh Redemption, Okay (pushback is nice), as opposed to say, Nightsong (which I consider borderline!).

So, arts that have some purpose all game, so they're not just auto-throw aways later. Compare them to thing like:

Bills Tree Trunk...
Lucky Halfling foot...
Kor's Fall...

You see what I mean. Also, BAD SHIBARI! Something like a once per turn limitation would be fine, but a change like you suggest is a perfect way to make it a space-waster in the prodigy screen. It would be 100% garbage if it gave you only the primary/secondary weapon swap!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:09 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 1884
Quote:
Scorched Boots


Buffed in depository. (Incidentally, if I say anything like this, you can look at this thread for more on that; This addon got implemented, and it had some artifact tweaks in there, particularly for Brawlers. They're not all on the front page list, though, the main artifact tweaks are on page 2 and the Brawler oriented stuff is a bit before that.)

(Why these and no Warped Boots, by the way? I mean, I buffed both, but they're practically identical...that was part of the problem. I thought Warped were actually worse...)

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Gloves of the Firm Hand


Buffed in depository.

Part of the issue here is underlying issues with grappling in general; Edge has said he wants to tweak that category, but he's been busy. But they sucked as general use gloves anyways, so they needed a buff in other ways; They're just still not great Brawler gloves, even in depository.

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Bill's Tree Trunk


You know, I really like the design of Bill's Tree Trunk, but on a close examination...it's a very slightly better Steel Greatmaul. A blank one, with no egos.

While I don't agree that it's necessarily better than quality iron weapons(maybe if you got a Massacre/something else good Iron Greatmaul it could compete, but that's asking a lot from sub-10 levels), I think a good point has been made here.

The only downside is, buffing this tends to buff Bill-even if he doesn't drop it, he always has it equipped, if I read this right. Bill kills people pretty well as it is. When I looked into this last time, I decided this wasn't worth the work, but maybe buffing Bill isn't the world's worst thing these days.

I suppose if worst came to worst, giving it defensive upgrades would work out, though...

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The Untouchable


Is this with or without the totally unlisted barrier production special effect?

Because that really needs to be listed better. (Note to self, see if you can't just give it a non-ability that does nothing but describe the other ability, which can't get a description easily due to how it's constructed...)

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Cuirass of the Thronesman


Buffed in depository. (As a note, I've actually had some weird arguments over this particular equip before-if it was me, I'd trash the healmod entirely. As it stands, I think I found a way to make it at least decent despite the heavy healmod hit. I hope.)

Quote:
Kor's Fall


hum. On the one hand I still sorta defend this; It's a Greater staff when Greater isn't common and there's nothing at all really wrong with the staff's stats relative to the tier.

On the other hand, the recent ego tweaks...probably mean a few earlygame staffs could use a touchup. Not just a linear boost to their stats, but something more interesting.

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Warmaster Gnarg's Murderblade


This...ought to be T4. The rigged drop spot is more of a T4 spot than T5, and everything about it competes more with T4 weapons than T5. I am actually genuinely surprised to look at it closely enough to notice it is T5, in fact.

The crit rate getting buffed wouldn't hurt(why is it a Greatmaul crit rate? I think that's a Greatmaul crit rate...), too, yeah.

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Staff of Destruction


See above on Kor's Fall...even if I disagreed, egos getting changed means that this probably needs a little buff. It never really competed as well as it should have for the tier, anyways.

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Razorblade, the Cursed Waraxe


Semi-hidden feature time! That physical+bleed damage? That's actually +50% damage added as a five turn DoT, 10% a turn, if I recall the code correctly. It's less Fireburn(generally a disadvantage) and more an insanely large melee_project of bleeding.

I like this weapon. I wish the upside was more obvious, though.

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Elemental Fury


Yeah, good comments on the spreadsheet here. I can't argue that one-for most players, just grabbing an (element) Ring will do as much as this will. I'm not even sure buffing it directly is the right way to go about it, because then it ends up better than (element) Ring at what it does, and overly centralizing as those tend to be the best at what they do for rings...either way, kinda messy. Seems like it needs secondary advantages instead.

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Storm Fury


I think I've gotten this buffed twice now and never made it good...

I've really got nothing here. Pure, the person that both made it and the boss that drops it, specifically likes it being a bow, and I've never figured out a good way to buff it. It's even got a pretty neat(again, hidden) constant spamming of thunderbolts on close enemies effect.

My best suggestion is to just shrug, say to hell with it, and give it multiple strong magic ranged on_hit talents in the hopes that it works out. It might, it's worth a try.

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Colaryem


Really can't defend this one either; I've struggled to find a way to make the basic gimmick good and never really hit on anything that wouldn't end up overpowered or underpowered.

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Flamewrought


...Yeah, I guess I wouldn't be against Wyrmbreath staying and this going. Normally I'd prefer to keep the older artifact, but Wyrmbreath has a better theme, is appealing to a wider range of characters without being overly powerful, and is indeed basically better at the same job, and Flamewrought's...basically boring.

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Drake's Bane


I don't know, every time I've gotten this early, I've been perfectly happy with it. If this needs a buff, it's not a big one...

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Penitence


Yeah, see above on staves. Penitence is a neat concept and the raw stats aren't so bad that they can't support it(I've definitely ran Penitence at points for notable periods), but something more as a niche would be nice. +life and defensive features in that vein would probably be good.

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Dagger of the Past
Sword of Potential Futures


Buffed in depository.

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Moon
Star


These hit like Massacre weapons with some decent secondary ego, without the set bonus...not terrible, but you're right, they could use something more. Doesn't need a huge buff, I'd say, though.

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Thalore-Wood Cuirass


Can't agree with this one at all; I rate this the best low tier armor and the purples that outclass it usually feature 30, 50 level tags(meaning you can get them by the tier 2 dungeons, but not very likely at all).

I agree with most of this so far, but definitely not this one. Used it long term way too much.

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Bolbum's Big Knocker


Yeah, thinking on it, this needs to be universalized. It's fine at its niche(hitting people with Staff Combat), but yeah, it needs spreading out bonuses.

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Dragonskull Helm


I'unno...saves/resists and a solid ESP. Can be matched by a very good ego combo, granted, but that's true of hats of the tier in general from what I recall(and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing). Don't really see the problem.

Quote:
Ring of Growth


Yeah, this always felt fine for the tier for me. I'unno.

Skipping over Eternal Night because the comments mention that they're getting buffed in depository(which is true, and may or may not save it, but it's worth a shot)...

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Prox's Lucky Halfling's Foot


Yeah, this needs a buff at some point. I'm just not sure what. I'm half tempted to say it just needs more Luck, so that the actual impact is notable.

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Eden’s Guile


Sigh, messy boots are messy. At this point, it's probably just safest all-around to flatrate the haste at 50%. People still would use it then, and it's actually a better equip in general, just worse for high Cunning builders.

Doesn't hurt that it would make it better early on. I often fail to use the 20% earlygame haste just because it doesn't matter nearly as much...

Quote:
Spellhunt Remnants


"of dispersion" is an ego that exists. Not seeing the problem here. Heck, it's even Arcane-this is just the backup AM option. And gear issues are a stated balancer of AM. (If it's really a big issue, though, maybe some boss that's AM only could have a rigged drop of them? Not that there really is one of these, right now...)

Quote:
Black Robe


There's only two T5 robes, I believe, and the other one isn't actively bad. Maybe it needs better resistances or something to compete, but. Basically more "ego robes are terrible" as an issue, than anything, and that's hopefully fixed in depository.

(I put a lot of work into making Egos compete better at the high end with Black Robe/Archmage, and I think I succeeded to at least some degree.)

Quote:
Telos’s Top half (In conjunction with any good dagger, beats pretty much any staff handily)


Issue with this is more Life Drinker, actually. Most of the offhands are nowhere near as strong, for mages and Tarelion/Sarillon have strong niche powers and notably better raw stats(not that they couldn't use a slight tweak either necessarily. Incidentally this has come up to arguably half the staves in the game needing buffing, which, while sorta valid, is also sorta hilarious. Ah well.).

I'm kinda inclined to say that Life Drinker needs some spellpower/spellcrit shaved off and some more physical oriented powers added to compensate(I couldn't really justify using it on a Shadowblade, which is sorta crazy for a T5 magical dagger).

Quote:
Spellblaze Shards (Rediculously amazing dps for it’s tier)


Probably does dominate pretty badly relative to the tier. Having said that, I don't think it's enough so that it needs a nerf, per se; Some things being on the top end of the curve is fine.

Quote:
Dakhtun's Gauntlets (Just hands down what everyone should wear barring superior merchant gloves, or Spellhunt)


Yeah, making Warmaking ego gloves was basically the pseudo-fix for this. If you can't beat 'em...high end gloves are sorta stuck because of that, but it's not really the world's worst issue.

For the toolbox stuff...Arcane Eye sorta overlaps with Track(having used it that way; Works fine as long as you use it at any intersection or opening. And, optimally, have good Lite).

Also, Movement infusions aren't too far off from serving the same purpose as a controlled phase, for the most part, if you've got good scouting going(and if you don't, you're in trouble on higher difficulties anyways). Obviously it's not quite as good, but just commenting.

Having said that, that is a pretty good list of utility stuff and there probably could stand to be a bit more of a few categories. The only thing that bothers me there is Stone Wall, which feels like if it is required, it shouldn't be(Full negation of enemy presence for a few turns really shouldn't be required. Heck if I know how you fix that, though, and I certainly used the real deal actual spell a ton on Nightmare...). Otherwise...

Quote:
Also, BAD SHIBARI! Something like a once per turn limitation would be fine, but a change like you suggest is a perfect way to make it a space-waster in the prodigy screen. It would be 100% garbage if it gave you only the primary/secondary weapon swap!


Yeah, making Swift Hands into what is essentially DoomRL Juggler would make it very bad, very fast.

The prodigy is kinda strong and kinda annoying, but really, that's sorta its point. If Insane required it, there'd be a problem, but it doesn't sound like it actually does.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:40 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:53 pm
Posts: 133
I appreciate your thoroughness, SageAcrin! Man though, quotes have a way of stretching out the lenghth of posts :)

For the most part, it's good to hear lots of changes are going through. Wasn't sure what was, and it's good to know that Stition/Shibari/Waladi/Supermini and I seem to have hit the nail on the head for the most part, which means that we're clearly somewhat in tune with what the devs are thinking. We seem to be largely in agreement about most things, but want to cover a couple quick points:

Scorched boots are the ones that are currently blank, with blight bonus. Warped boots have almost identical bonuses + spell crit + an on use. Look silly when compared side by side at the same teir, heh.

For things like Untouchable and a couple other you mentioned, I think in general unique requirements (racial bonuses, etc), and procs should be a little more transparent. For Untouchable, I tested it for a while and am still underwhelmed with it even given it's proc, but I'm sure like 95% of people don't even realize it has one. Tricky/hidden things are fine, but for things like artifacts I think they should tend to be somewhat more transparent, or at least give stronger hints.

As I mentioned in my second post, one of the key problems with especially low-tier arts like Bill's/Kor's is just that they're... boring. Lots of low tier arts do something unique or interesting, so are worth keeping around even when they're totally eclipsed in raw power. I think that's really what good design should be based around.

Then there's things like Penitence, which isn't really bad for it's tier... it's just that the thing that made it cool and unique (Disease removal), is no longer really an issue. Torques of it are ultra-common, lighter, don't require stats, and don't take up your more important weapon slot (I'm also like 70% certain diseases were nerfed from when I stopped playing quite some time ago and when I started again in 1.0, can't be sure though... Used to die a lot in dreadfel to like 50 turn diseases, hasn't been an issue recently). It's just an example of an item that should be buffed to keep pace with the current state of the game.

Eden's is a clear issue, and I think a flat bonus or scalable but on par with cloaks/shalores would be fine. Spellhunt is less apparent... but I stand by my assessment. On any character, makes last bosses 1000 times easier, it's just a super good disruption that only takes up your glove slot. I don't think it's an overall issue to the extent of Eden's, and I do think that instead of just making it arcane-disruption (which is well worth ignoring for a few turns even on pure casters for it), having it only get the bonus if you're a Zigur follower would do the trick. Solid incentive to go AM, without effecting normal play.

Also, as I said, don't think stuff like Black Robe needs nerfing (Love the proc!), it's just that it makes things like Robe of the Archmagi look... paltry. Overall though, robes are well done because there's lots of specific damage type ones (and silk Currant is a perfect example of lowbie art that is still handy later with it's move speed).

For utility, I actually just wish there were MORE of them :) They just kind of open up game-play options. Only really mentioned them to address some of the things I did, and because it ties into my post of a few days ago of how weaker classes become more dependent on such things the higher the difficulty. Not a huge deal, just... increases the RNG nature of some classes.

For stonewall in particular... well, to me it's a different kind of escape. Like a time prison if you're only facing one enemy. It may or may not be against the design intent, but I think that a better option than nerfing/removing it would be to add more equivalents (some items that cast the see-through wyrmic walls, or earthquake, etc), or that act fearscape/dreamscape/esque that could allow you to focus on just one dude. Don't think it's in like the top 10 going concerns, either way :)


Last edited by grmblfzzz on Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:45 am 
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Cornac

Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:39 am
Posts: 37
I actually thought it did something else, too, like remove some 1-3 turn CD on equipping or something that was usually there. Rechecking apparently it isn't there (why not!?) so you're right. That said, I don't really care if Swift Hands gets deleted or made mostly awful but supporting of some niche playstyle. It is the most disruptive thing to balance in probably the entire game, and it does it in a way that is incredibly unfun to me and I suspect the majority. As long as it exists every time I don't swap 20 items a turn to maximize everything I am at a massive disadvantage.

I'm fine with once per turn. I don't care if it makes it weak, but if you can keep it as an upper tier but not godly prodigy then fine. Good luck figuring that out, though.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:50 am 
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Higher

Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 12:21 am
Posts: 64
I think the main problem with the artifact weapons is how cheap decent dwarven steel stuff is. My first real purchase is usually a green weapon super early (under 100g), and it'll replace any non-spellblaze shard weapon I've picked up.
On dagger users, I almost never replace spellblaze shard until the end game. It does so much on hit damage, and that's pretty much what dual wielding is good for.

I'm pretty indifferent overall on the items issue, but think eden's and swift hands are a problem. Sorry I can't contribute more, but we're so close to 13 wins now! Quit being distracted people and show why these things are problematic.

Edit: I'll have a video up pretty soon of my live streamed curse win tonight (only 3 viewers, had 9 for the wyrmic), that shows the abuses of eden's and swift hands.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:58 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:44 pm
Posts: 800
Quote:
Quote:
Bill's Tree Trunk

The only downside is, buffing this tends to buff Bill-even if he doesn't drop it, he always has it equipped, if I read this right. Bill kills people pretty well as it is. When I looked into this last time, I decided this wasn't worth the work, but maybe buffing Bill isn't the world's worst thing these days.

I suppose if worst came to worst, giving it defensive upgrades would work out, though...


Give it some sort of on-use ability. Maybe AOE knockback on use?

Quote:
Quote:
Dragonskull Helm


I'unno...saves/resists and a solid ESP. Can be matched by a very good ego combo, granted, but that's true of hats of the tier in general from what I recall(and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing). Don't really see the problem.


It's a t5 artifact helm. It should do more than the purple of the same tier, in any case. Garkul's helm is arguably better.

Quote:
Quote:
Eden’s Guile


Sigh, messy boots are messy. At this point, it's probably just safest all-around to flatrate the haste at 50%. People still would use it then, and it's actually a better equip in general, just worse for high Cunning builders.

Doesn't hurt that it would make it better early on. I often fail to use the 20% earlygame haste just because it doesn't matter nearly as much...


I'd suggest turning them into huge movement speed boosters instead. It fits the theme(running man, running man), and it doesn't intrude on shalore racial buff or blinding speed ability. It would be like an extra movement infusion - certainly useful - but it wouldn't cause the current issues.

Quote:
Quote:
Spellhunt Remnants


"of dispersion" is an ego that exists. Not seeing the problem here. Heck, it's even Arcane-this is just the backup AM option. And gear issues are a stated balancer of AM. (If it's really a big issue, though, maybe some boss that's AM only could have a rigged drop of them? Not that there really is one of these, right now...)


Remnants are no-save and don't use the charm cooldown.

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<darkgod> all this fine balancing talk is boring
<darkgod> brb buffing boulder throwers


Last edited by supermini on Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:02 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:44 pm
Posts: 800
Shibari wrote:
I'm fine with once per turn. I don't care if it makes it weak, but if you can keep it as an upper tier but not godly prodigy then fine. Good luck figuring that out, though.


How about a compromise - make equipping an item take, say, 1/4 of a turn? That would prevent the most of the silliness, while still keeping it useful.

The downside is that it wouldn't be completely safe to do this anymore.

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<darkgod> brb buffing boulder throwers


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:25 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 6106
Do t1/2 artifacts really need to be useful lategame?

I feel like artifact crafting, so I'll go through the list and see if I can think of some interesting suggestions.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:43 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 7:53 pm
Posts: 133
HousePet: Not saying they need to be usefull... but the basic problem is what stition said. Anything that is weaker than Dwarven-Steal, and has no unique/interesting properties might as well not exist. It's just that there are plenty of good low level arts that have unique purposes and properties, so you never just think "Space-wasting garbage" after the first few zones if you find one. I think Silk Current/Unerring Scalpel/Oldschool Penitance (Before cure illness totems!)/The phials/silent blade/etc are just a better design philosophy. Great when you find them, but not rendered 100% pointless in a couple zones. Basically they have other things than standard ego's and stats.

Also, it's just more satisfying to find/use interesting things. Something that's just "slightly higher damage than your average tier 1 non-art"... just no fun! :)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:21 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2003 4:01 pm
Posts: 1067
I'm not really an expert player but I'd still like to share some thoughts:

Wintertide Phial: I understand this is considered VERY good for undead(and other people who want a safe mental clear), and infravision is nice for basically everyone too but..what if it also gave darkness bonuses like Summertide does for light? Symmetry does not have to be forced but I would think it appropiate!


Bill's Tree Trunk: I think this isn't really a matter of 'bad' as in 'not useful', but...bland? Boring? It's just an extra damaging weapon. Steel greatmaul, as SageAcrin said.
Knockback would be an appropiate effect, expect that's actually more of an hindrance usually.
Stun might be nice, EXCEPT with the current mechanics, I think it would replace longer Stuns(As in, say it triggers a 3-round stun and the enemy has more turns than that..it would get 3).

Crooked Club: I thought this was actually considered fairly good? Perhaps not so much since confusion was nerfed...

Girdle of Waters: A personal favorite of mine, but I can see how some might say it IS too good. If the healing factor is to be lowered, perhaps put some disease resist there as a weaker but still useful replacement?


Mighty Girdle: Agree this is good in a set, not so good otherwise....

Frost Treads: I like this, though I find the Dex requirement annoying. And it's not even much so you can just temporarily get there with other stat boosting equip...

Rungof Fang: I approve of non-boss unique drops, and understand this is meant to be more of a flavour thing than useful but still...slight buff? +2 or 3 str/dex/con?
Maybe I underestimate how good APR is for some classes...(I can see how it's very nice for people who Flurry a lot)
Edit: hadn't realized it's a carrier art. I feel silly.


Eden's Guile: I see how this is overpowered, although I don't really play Cun-relying characters. How should it be nerfed though? What about removing the activate and giving a small passive +speed bonus instead? Maybe not triggering pressure traps too? Or is that too Feathersteely?
ALTERNATIVELY, since the lore mentions 'running away', what if its activate was something like a movement infusion/lightning speed so you can't use it to do more damage in X turns but mostly for repositioning/fleeing?
If you wanted something extra special, you could even make the buff autoactivate when the player's life gets low enough.
Edit: I just noticed supermini already suggested something like that...

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Last edited by Zonk on Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:44 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 6106
How about adding in a Hidden Property flag. Make it show in the tooltip and it can cover all the weird little things that don't show. At least, until they can be sorted out.

Suggestions:
Kor's Fall:
Mastery bonus, corruption/bone +0.1
Activate for level 1 Bonespear
Resistance to Undead +10%

Staff of Destruction:
Remove spellcrit bonus
Add Onhit (spell) 5% chance to cast Fireflash, Glacial Vapours or Shock.
Or something else to make it more destructive and uncontrolled.

Elemental Fury:
Its the Staff of Destruction as a ring!
Maybe they could be a set?
Or maybe both could be removed and replaced with something interesting.

Penitence:
How about some Nature resistance too?
And a little Healmod or regen or max life.

Moon:
Increased negative at rest.
Bonus infravision.
On set: +20% light resistance

Star:
Increased positive at rest.
Onhit (spell) 10% chance of level 3 Searing Light.
On set: +20% dark resistance

Bolbum's Big Knocker:
Increased fire and acid damage.

Stormlash:
Increased lightning damage

Focus Whip:
More mindpower and mindcrit
Mastery bonus to psionic/projection

Wintertide Phial:
Add darkness resistance
Increased darkness damage
Make it act as a set with Wintertide?

Summertide Phial:
Set with Summertide?

Malediction:
Bonus vim and hate on kills

Tooth of the Mouth:
Increased blight and acid damage,
Set with The Warped Boots?

Prox's Lucky Halfling Foot:
More luck

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:52 pm
Posts: 1884
Quote:
I appreciate your thoroughness, SageAcrin! Man though, quotes have a way of stretching out the lenghth of posts :)


Eh, they'd be long anyways, the way I format my posts. :)

Quote:
For things like Untouchable and a couple other you mentioned, I think in general unique requirements (racial bonuses, etc), and procs should be a little more transparent. For Untouchable, I tested it for a while and am still underwhelmed with it even given it's proc, but I'm sure like 95% of people don't even realize it has one. Tricky/hidden things are fine, but for things like artifacts I think they should tend to be somewhat more transparent, or at least give stronger hints.


Yeah, this is literally an issue of the engine; Totally passive abilities with no active component weren't really given an easy way to get a description.

Untouchable...well, I ran it on Nightmare and it saved my life a couple of times. It's not especially impressive, but I can't say it's bad, and it is kinda unique.

Quote:
Give it some sort of on-use ability. Maybe AOE knockback on use?


Eh...does anyone actually use knockback oriented stuff as a melee fighter? I can't see bothering there.

Though, having said that, giving it the Talent Knockback as a low CD use ability...that's actually a Rush-alike. Hum. That might work.

Quote:
It's a t5 artifact helm. It should do more than the purple of the same tier, in any case. Garkul's helm is arguably better.


Garkul's is out of place good relative to the time, and while I like such artifacts, they shouldn't be used as a template for making new ones either.

Having said that, it's not precisely as if I'm against buffing Dragonskull, I guess? I just am surprised it spawned comment. The rigged drop for it is Massok, and in general I don't have even a decent purple voratun by then. And helms are a three-tier equip, so that's part of why. It's sorta a T4 helm in placement, as it were.

Sounds like the issue's more that it's boring than bad.

Quote:
Remnants are no-save and don't use the charm cooldown.


Well, that's one advantage they have on Disperse Magic then, because Disperse Magic is also no-save as far as I'm aware/can see in the code. (Might be thinking of Corrupted Negation, which IIRC also has an item cast form, but can be saved against.)

This still comes out to basically having a common version that anyone can use for the most part, though. That it's a bit worse(uses Charm cooldown) is not really that bad.

I mean, I'm not saying that Remnants is actively bad, I just am not feeling that it's playstyle-deciding, unless you're AM and playing higher difficulties. Given that gear issues are a normal issue of AM, I'm not sure this is bad or not.

Hopefully enemies not being able to get +150% Essence of Speed, among things, will slow this problem down somewhat next version-ultrapowered sustains do kinda require removing, I can't argue that, and it's too specific sustain centric to even say that it's a general issue. (See: How no one removes physical or mind sustains, because they can't, and get by. It's just a few magical sustains that go completely insane at high level play.)


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:30 pm 
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Master Artificer

Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 3:53 am
Posts: 726
Having made several artifacts with hidden procs (Untouchable, Storm Fury, and Colaryem's strength interaction), I've tried in all cases to make the lore suggest the effect. The problem comes in with people just sort of brushing it off as lore with no true significance.

I've thought about a more explicit "extra function" tag like Housepet suggested, and honestly it seems like the best idea at this point in time.


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