ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 6:36 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:44 pm
Posts: 800
Physical/mental/spell saves have been changed in 1.6. As far as I can tell, the goal was to make saves always be useful. It used to be that when you were 20 power over a save, there was basically no chance of your effects getting resisted, and when you were 20 over with a save, there was basically no chance of being affected. Now the curve is much smoother, so there always seems to be a chance of a save reducing the duration/resisting the effect.

After testing 1.6 beta with multiple characters, I'd say that this change is a really, really bad idea. Lets take an example.

A reaver with 50 spell power is casting epidemic (base duration 6) from range on a training dummy with 7 spell save 100 times. It has 0% disease resistance (not that it would help it, epidemic ignores disease resistance).

(I accept that testing something 100 times isn't exactly statistically rigorous, but that's all the time and patience I have - and it matches the empirical observations).

FP - full power 56%
R1 - duration reduced by 1 8%
R2 - duration reduced by 2 12%
R3 - duration reduced by 3 7%
R4 - duration reduced by 4 2%
R5 - duration reduced by 5 0%
RS - resisted 15%

Okay, so what does that mean? It means that a midgame character fighting, say, a trollmire snake has about a 56% chance of his abilities actually working as advertised, and 15% of just nothing happening. And most enemies that you fight at your level have way more saves than 43 below your main power.

In practice, this leads to very frustrating and non-engaging gameplay where more often than not, your abilities simply don't work. I just don't see what purpose does it serve to have enemies with garbage saves resist anything.

For testing purposes, I got one character to the bottom of Dreadfell and another one to clear Tier 1 dungeons, and it was the most frustrating experience I ever had in ToME. I suggest a rollback to the previous save system, because this basically throws out the baby with the bathwater.

I invite everyone - especially the people working on 1.6 - to test it and draw their own conclusions.

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PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2019 1:45 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 5905
I agree that these number seem off.
100 tests is good enough for me, when you have a spread of effect strength like this. (Its not ideal, as the error is +/-10%, but halving that require 400 tests.)

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PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 2:22 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:46 pm
Posts: 2394
Location: Ambush!
Maybe rank should matter, so bosses and the PC can have 44% effect reduction -- but Trollmire snakes can suffer all full effects, because seriously f-----* those guys.

On the other hand, not being able to reliably stun a boss would be differently horrible.

Yeah I don't see value in this.

*) flambé

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PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2019 2:37 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 727
I don't really understand the issue with saves and resistances...

What would make sense to me is this:

1. Saves determine whether or not the effect lands.

2. Resistances determine the duration, i.e., 90% resistance reduces duration by 90%.

3. Cap resistances at some appropriate amount, likely between 70% and 95%.

Enemies that are immune to certain effects remain immune. Balance it such that if your saves are sufficiently high relative to the opponent's power, the effect will rarely land and vice-versa but even if it lands, you'll have resistances to back you up by mitigating the effect.

An ideal balance, to me, is that status effects should land relatively frequently. I'd say that if your power is equal to the enemy saves then the effect should land 75% of the time. If its double the enemy saves then it should land 100% of the time... or something like that.

Utilizing this approach, you could reasonably use saves to stave off most status effects but you'd wander into the occasional enemy that just overpowers them, and so you'd still want resistances to back you up and mitigate the duration. Getting hit with confuse is punitive but if its duration decreases to 1 or 2 from 8 because you have high resistances then that's manageable.

More so, your abilities would land the overwhelming majority of the time except against the occasional enemy with high saves. Then all the programmers need to do is ensure that enemies have reasonably high attack power and moderate to low saves to ensure that outcome because anything much lower than about a 90% of success radically reduces the utility of status effects such that they're not even worth using.

I'm going to post this in the ideas forum as well.


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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 2:11 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:44 pm
Posts: 800
Delmuir wrote:
I don't really understand the issue with saves and resistances...

What would make sense to me is this:

1. Saves determine whether or not the effect lands.

2. Resistances determine the duration, i.e., 90% resistance reduces duration by 90%.

3. Cap resistances at some appropriate amount, likely between 70% and 95%.



The issue with this approach(and the 1.6 version of saves) is that not all effects are created equal. Duration reduction makes sense for damage over time abilities, while for most of the truly dangerous effects it doesn't matter as much. Having Inner Demons on you is in most cases as lethal when it lasts 6 turns as it is when it lasts 12 turns. You either clear it or you're in serious trouble. That's more or less the same for being blinded, silenced, stunned, confused, etc. It works like that in reverse as well - disabling an enemy for 4 turns is usually as good as disabling them for 6.

Another issue I have with your idea specifically is that the current way talents are balanced assumes that saves and resistances work, well, the way they work now. So it's not just that you have to change the complete system of saves and resistances, you have to go back and update all talents with a completely different system in mind. What you're proposing is a complete overhaul.

I'm not saying that a complete overhaul is a bad idea, but 1.6 is far enough along that I don't think it's realistic. At this point, it's more realistic to expect that a system that we already have will be tweaked so it works better than that someone will spend months on completely overhauling the game.

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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2019 11:02 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 727
That's a very fair point on it requiring a complete overhaul... can't argue with that.

I will respond further to your criticism by noting that you could address that point by simply making infusions and runes that clear status effects have priority to those effects OR make it so that you can choose which effect is eliminated. Then keep the abilities that eliminate status effects the same (general) which would maintain the utility of runes and infusions.

But that's probably a moot point as your broader criticism is likely fatal to my idea.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2019 1:21 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:20 am
Posts: 297
i think the changes to saves would cause more problems than they would solve; it isn't worth doing


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