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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:06 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:52 pm
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A few things I'm noting on planning a TW run;

A: Almost no Temporal Warden winners go for dualwielding. I had to go through seven winners to find one that had done a modest invest in dualwielding.

This is a bit of a switch from when I last heavily played one, but it makes sense; Weapon Folding was heavily nerfed for dualwielders, and Spin Fate means that the Defense build synergy is no longer there at all. They're much, much worse at dualwielding than they used to be.

B: Every Temporal Warden winner(out of ten or so looked at) built Archery, without exception. So I guess they're fine there...

C: A few literally passed up every single active Paradox consuming Class talent option and just built Archery skills and Sustains/a few support skills like Invigorate, making them literally more boring (and long term more effective/short term less effective) Archers. Many others only grabbed support skills(Haste/Slow) and ignored the rest of the magical options.

On net, this makes them actually far more boring than they probably should be; They have a focus on fast weapon switching, yet their other weapon options are pretty much worse than bows in practice, and not actually worth investing points in over making their bowshots better, thanks to the worse talent support. It's a bit dull, though playable.

Fix thoughts:

A: Start Dual Weapons unlocked. As mentioned, it has much worse synergy with TW these days, and many of the advantages TW retains(Like the tons of mobility) reward kiting much more than melee. Dual weapon builds should be lower invest, as such, at the very least, so they have some advantage on bow builds. (And indeed, I find the bow focus more interesting, so I'd rather see dual weapons be a low invest but overall worse option, rather than strengthening the build to compete with bows. There's a lot of dualwielders.)

B: Add Age Manipulation, unlocked, at 1.0. This encourages staff builds more; Staff Combat TW is a legitimate and much easier to understand second way to build a TW than dualwielding, but there are very few TW moves that really reward swapping to a staff for more than a quick buff.

The nice thing about adding this tree, and making it unlocked, is that it adds a weird way to play TW. TWs don't start with Static History, and they start with over 400 worth in Paradox Sustains and very little reason to not run them all at once. Even if they do run a small failure rate, they run so few offense spells that they can afford the risk-An Echoes on a boss here, a Slow there, and they no longer have to worry about backfires outside of teleports(which can be avoided with item based or infusion based escapes).

This would add a reason to constantly consume Paradox, for a class that, without unlocks, has to attack physically to restore Paradox-it makes Paradox a more interesting resource, as such, for them. And people can still just ignore it if they want.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:39 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 11:44 pm
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This all sounds reasonable.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:40 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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Thematically wouldn't it be more sensible to boost dual wielding on the TW and leave staves for the PM? If Weapon Folding was nerfed for dual wield and dual wield went away wouldn't the best fix be to buff it back up part-way?

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 5:55 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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Weapon Folding(the old version) was entirely sidegraded into a rebuilt version that heals Paradox but does a lot less raw damage. "buffing it part of the way" is not easy-you can't just restore part of its functionality halfway, say, since it has gained new functions. And it was quite annoyingly central before to boot(it's still one of the best sustains of its type in the game). You could do it, but it'd be easy to screw up, I think.

I feel like a lesser upgrade-making it not directly compete against Bows or more magical options, but instead being the low invest tree, is a lot easier to balance.

Age Manipulation, as mentioned, isn't just about buffing staves. It's about buffing the magical end of Paradox for TW; As it stands, they tend to be mindless sustain spammers that use very little Paradox in practice, and recover it very easily thanks to having better options than PMs for it. It makes them more interesting in general; buffing staves is incidental, but a nice sidegrade build option.

Now, if I'd suggested them starting with Staff Combat the spell category, that would have been thematically inappropriate. But no, I think this fits pretty well with the kinds of spells they get, and enables more interesting play in general-the fact that it buffs staves is meant to be a useful build option, more than anything.

Basically, it's like how Venom Drake stuff buffs Mindstar Wyrmics in passing. It's not a direct buff, but elements it has buff the build in passing.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:56 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:41 pm
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I've already seen a build that uses archery to start off with then later in the game spams Temporal Wakes and Echoes From the Past as its primary offense. Giving Temporal Wardens Age Manipulation would basically help them skip the archery phase, for good or ill, and give them yet more survivability (with that heal+status removal and the confusion spell).

Melee doesn't seem so viable, though.


Last edited by Kaja Rainbow on Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:04 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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You know, I'm not entirely adverse to buffing the dualwielding end...just, buffing Weapon Folding is tricky.

What about recreating the Defense bonus of Spin Fate, but at a lower value? That was largely a linear reduction, and the temporary defense buff, while nice, never replaced the slugfest Defense role that Spin Fate had, that kept TWs fairly survivable at short range.

0.8*rawtalent gained every time an enemy takes a swing at you, with a 4*rawtalent cap, wouldn't be too out of control, I think. That's +4 Defense every time you're attacked, caps at 20, at TL5.

That would make something fairly useful to stack with Dual Weapon Defense-kinda like how Shadowblades can stack Blur Sight with DWD. It'd make a good secondary buff with the weapon category unlock, and would buff a skill I find fairly useless at this point(reactive save bonuses...are not very good.).


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:29 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

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That would make Spin Fate more interesting. I like it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:56 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2003 7:38 pm
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SageAcrin wrote:
Weapon Folding(the old version) was entirely sidegraded into a rebuilt version that heals Paradox but does a lot less raw damage. "buffing it part of the way" is not easy-you can't just restore part of its functionality halfway, say, since it has gained new functions. And it was quite annoyingly central before to boot(it's still one of the best sustains of its type in the game). You could do it, but it'd be easy to screw up, I think.


The damage and paradox recovery values are just numbers and relatively easy to change with next to no risk of introducing bugs and the skill is only used by the one class. It's about as easy a change to playtest and iterate on as any change to a talent in the T4 engine can be. It doesn't have to be perfect the first time.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 15, 2013 4:47 pm 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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Atarlost wrote:
SageAcrin wrote:
Weapon Folding(the old version) was entirely sidegraded into a rebuilt version that heals Paradox but does a lot less raw damage. "buffing it part of the way" is not easy-you can't just restore part of its functionality halfway, say, since it has gained new functions. And it was quite annoyingly central before to boot(it's still one of the best sustains of its type in the game). You could do it, but it'd be easy to screw up, I think.


The damage and paradox recovery values are just numbers and relatively easy to change with next to no risk of introducing bugs and the skill is only used by the one class. It's about as easy a change to playtest and iterate on as any change to a talent in the T4 engine can be. It doesn't have to be perfect the first time.


I used to think like that, then I saw how annoyed people can get at temporary imbalance...

Is there some specific reason Weapon Folding needs to be the key skill here? There are much more known factors that you can tweak, like unlocking Dual Weapons or boosting category ratings on the dualwield trees, or making Spin Fate not, well, fairly bad. All of those are fairly easy impacts to read; Why go for the risky one?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:55 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

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Weapon Folding is awesome already.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 2:46 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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SageAcrin wrote:
I used to think like that, then I saw how annoyed people can get at temporary imbalance...

Is there some specific reason Weapon Folding needs to be the key skill here? There are much more known factors that you can tweak, like unlocking Dual Weapons or boosting category ratings on the dualwield trees, or making Spin Fate not, well, fairly bad. All of those are fairly easy impacts to read; Why go for the risky one?


Ultimately because it's largely the change to Weapon Folding that caused the problem. At least that's what was blamed earlier in the thread. I wasn't playing the game between one something like beta 84 and 1.0 so I don't know first hand what order things happened in.

And Spin Fate is available to Paradox Mages and as an escort unlock. Boosting it effects every class except oozemancer because of that. No change to Weapon Folding can be riskier than that.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 5:03 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

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Spin Fate is, notably, also an absolutely terrible ability that can't possibly compete with Precognition(and questionably competes with +2 Magic) as an escort reward, yes.

There's that, too. In this case, I don't foresee +4 or so defense from an escort really shaking up any balance, but it might actually be worth grabbing as an escort reward.

Also, I think you didn't really understand that line, which looking back on it, is fine since I didn't really state it well enough;

Quote:
This is a bit of a switch from when I last heavily played one, but it makes sense; Weapon Folding was heavily nerfed for dualwielders, and Spin Fate means that the Defense build synergy is no longer there at all. They're much, much worse at dualwielding than they used to be.


Spin Fate's line is a little under completed; It should be "Spin Fate's change". It got nerfed too. The projected change is a bit under halved power version of the Defense buffing it used to have.

Spin Fate got nothing in return for this nerf, so it's easier to buff back.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:14 am 
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If it's not too late to chime in on this...

The problem with melee Temporal Wardens is that they're pulled in way too many ways for too little payoff, too few options, and too few breaks. They're like Arcane Blades, if Arcane Blades traded in survivability for overkill mobility and damage for nothing. Let's go over their issues one by one.

A) Look at the stats they need: Strength to actually bring the pain, Dexterity to unlock their talents, Magic to gain access to talents that are absolute keystones to their survival, Constitution to not explode, and Willpower to alleviate the brutal MAD that plagues them. The end result is that no matter what you do, you just don't have points, and it hurts extremely bad. It's so bad, it's probably a more legitimate option to go with a two-hander TW than it is to go with a dual-wielding one. That way, at least you save yourself a billion class points and can dump Dexterity with abandon (so in the early game, you go down to three needed stats thanks to Strength of Purpose, which is an actually logical stat pull). When the best way to play half of the class is to ignore everything you're supposed to gun for, you know there's a problem.

B) TWs are fragile. This can't be overemphasized when you're looking at melee-only TWs. Archer TWs can dictate how a battle goes with the crazy amount of escapes TWs get (and one other thing...more on this later), but often, melee TWs have to burn half of their escapes to actually get into melee in time, and they can't actually DO much to dictate how a battle goes without a serious magic side-focus. This means that you have a class that is squishy (unless you go for the gimmick of maxing temporal resist and using Damage Smearing...but I'm none too sure it actually works that way, because it seems like the kind of thing that would for sure have a behind-the-scenes tweak to prevent only one resist from mattering for TWs) and has to suffer through that squishyness with no recourse but to grin and bear it. Displace Damage is a great talent, but it's unreliable, and the maxim in all Roguelikes is that if you have to rely on luck to save you, you're probably already dead. There's no reliable way to prevent damage for a melee TW except praying for a potent shield rune or a paladin escort, and it sucks.

C) Melee TWs don't get any extra game love, which is really blatant when you look at the enormous perk archers get at the Daikara. When was the last time you swapped out of the Epoch bow after getting it? That insanely fast attack speed is an enormous boon for archers and makes their damage crazily competitive, but there's no equivalent super dagger/super sword for the melee TW to earn. It's very disappointing to win that battle and get loot that is utterly worthless to you. Couldn't an Epoch Sword/Dagger be added to the game and a check ran to hand it/them out if you have more dual-wielding talents than archery ones? It'd be really helpful if you at least knew you'd have a guaranteed power spike awaiting you in the Daikara just in time for the ugly transition to the midgame.

D) Melee TWs are extremely starved for class points (and category points, for that matter). Look at what they need to buy to stay competitive: Strength of Purpose 5 (guaranteed max because otherwise, have fun with your completely crippling stat problems), Dual Mastery 5 (because you DO want to do damage, right?), Dual Strike 1-5 (it's a bonus stun and that's worth a lot - I'll concede it varies by build on how much though, but we can agree that it's at least easier to obtain early than Stop), Weapon Folding 1-5 (it's a trap to pick it up now, but the intent is pretty clearly that you should use it to buff your damage). We're talking a minimum of 10 points and a catpoint just to do your job passably, possibly up to 15 if you want to kick your damage up as far as it can go, and 20 for a reliable 1v1 kit. We haven't even gotten into buying Displace Damage, Damage Smearing, Haste, Stop, Celerity, or anything of the sort. This is JUST damage and a reliable opening move to control a singular enemy. Meanwhile an archer just maxes Bow Mastery and maybe Weapon Folding and calls it a day. When there's already the disadvantage of having a fighting style that has trouble making use of the biggest edge TWs have (mobility, of course), having to spend double or more class points on doing damage is just depressing. Something has to give somewhere.

E) Even beyond all this, there's the problem that TW talent selection is dull. You don't exactly have that much of a choice on what to pick, what with only three generic talent trees (nobody is unlocking the fourth one until very late in the game unless you have a burning need to force yourself to use all six stats in one character), an unlock tree that is just a slew of passive bonuses, and two basic dual-wielding techniques you mostly don't want to use (Sweep and Whirlwind) because of their brutal stamina costs and unimpressive effects. There just aren't that many options to building a melee TW, and what is there is unimpressive and lackluster.

I think those are the big problems with the melee TW right now. The absolute most pressing ones are A and B (something really has to give with stats - either melee TWs should be way better at cutting things down so their endgame is a blast of rapid kills, or they need a smoother start), but the other problems should probably be kept in mind as well, even if some aren't that big a deal at the moment.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:02 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:39 am
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I had a successful* run playing a melee TW - I died in the spider caves (!) but it was due to my tactical error. My build was....

Str/Dex and dual daggers. Really. 0 willpower and magic (until late game, at least) - you can train those talents with equippable items. Strength of Purpose and Quantum Feed aree the only 2 talents that scale with Willpower, so it makes sense to forget Wil. The build wasn't optimal, there are a couple things I would have done differently now:
  • unlock Dual Weapon Training at 20 instead of 1 or 10. Early on you don't have the points, and Weapon Folding and similar stuff doesn't care about your off-hand weapon modifier. Just rely on Flurry and on-hit damage weapons.
  • put only 1 point in Strength of Purpose. Don't turn on the sustain. With low Willpower, the bonus is marginal and just increases chance of failure.
  • I'm not a fan of Damage Smearing, it's actually "damage concentration" because absorbption duration increases while "smeared" negative effect duration stays the same. I think it should be the other way around - relatively short absorb duration, loong smearing time. If it's meant to match the talent's name, that is - have fun stacking temporal resist % items if you enjoy that. I like the concept of Time Shield (before change) more.
  • Displace Damage and Weapon Folding would probably be my only sustains. The rest aren't worth increased failure rate.

You can look up Oglaf the Temporal Warden. Since around level 10-15, it was easier than I expected. I used Dimensional Step differently based on opponent - "rush" spellcasters and nasty uniques, walk up to tough thugs and blink away if stunned. I actually took Windblade prodigy and it was fun. Maybe there are better prodigies for a TW, but there's no better class for Windblade in my opinion - Dimensional Step gives you the perfect positioning tool, and you can use Switch Place if you're really bloodthirsty. By the way, I hear Windblade is getting a serious buff in the next version, so I'll play another one.
But I have to admit - the fact that one of better (in my opinion) ways to play a melee TW is working around its stat requirements indicates a serious design flaw.

Charm Mastery (from escorts) is sweet when combined with Invigorate and items granting Evasion, Thorny Skin etc.

* prevailed against the Ambush, saved everyone in Derth, Lumberjack Village, 9 out of 9 escorts.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 4:03 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:54 pm
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I'm playing through my first serious TW right now and this thread is right on: I'm a boring Archer basically. The fast weapon swap is great early on but now mid-game I get murdered if I dual wield.

I have all the sustains running and barely use any real spells, since archery is just so much more effective. if I invest in damage smearing it makes equipment totally boring.

I'm not a good player and it's clearly an advanced class. I just found it funny that I had blundered into the exact "gravity well" defined in this thread: Archer with some sustains.


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