ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:43 am 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:27 pm
Posts: 46
The Vitality talent on elite bosses in Insane runs is enormously overpowered, in both the Maj'Eyal campaign and the orcs campaign. In the Maj'Eyal campaign, you can always restart and equip yourself with Harmony or Vile Life, both of which provide heal-blocking talents. But in the orcs campaign, those talent categories are unavailable to most characters. So this boss can sometimes just be invincible, apparently. It's a cruel trap for the player, and there is no need for it. Vitality does not make boss fights more fun or more interesting; either you can cancel its effect or you can't. That's not a deep or interesting puzzle; it's just a minor duty for the player that's either uninterestingly easy or uninterestingly impossible. It shouldn't be in the game, especially since it would be easy to fix.

One simple solution: Story-based bosses with 20,000 HP or more should just never have Vitality, under any circumstances. And they especially shouldn't have it in the final battle of the orcs campaign, where counters to it are especially hard to obtain, even if you are aware of this problem from the start of the run.

(I mean I can't even seem to apply any sort of poison to this boss, ever, maybe because of Spine of the World? So even an insidious poison infusion wouldn't be able to slow its healing... and I expect that heal-reducing wounds wouldn't get applied either. It's just a broken fight.)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:58 am 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:20 am
Posts: 288
maybe it'd be better if fixedbosses on insane just weren't given a class altogether... and were given something else instead
sometimes a fixedboss with a class is easier than the nightmare version, depending on the class

that something else should be something that elite bosses wouldn't get as much of, since those are pretty hard anyway, and you don't want the final bosses to be too much harder than they already can be without vitality


Last edited by Zeyphor on Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:27 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:39 pm
Posts: 148
I recall hearing from a dev in the chat that things that scale with %hp should be getting looked at for 1.6, although I guess I don't know if it'll get done with all the other things scheduled for that update. So I guess take comfort in knowing that many other people have experienced this and the devs think that its a bad interaction.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:48 am 
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Cornac

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:21 pm
Posts: 39
Just had this happen on my insane run, but had enough damage to power through. The orc final boss seems to load up on extra skillsets as it goes through the different phases, the vitality talent showed up on one of middle phases and was there to the end.

It has spine of the world too, like Argoniel, so it is hard to land poison on it, you have to get it when spine goes down and not trigger spine before the necessary debuff, either. There does seem to be some sort of interaction where some debuffs will cleanse themselves or a similar debuff before trying to reapply, particularly on hits, which effectively makes them worse than useless against the spine of the world bosses.

There are some skills even worse than vitality for elite bosses, in particular the Doombringer surge of life talent, which is an instant %hp heal. I had a fight against argoniel recently where she had that and healed for over 60% of max life repeatedly, and basically had to kill her several times over because she'd be topped of if she ever got 16 vim and decided to use it. At least with vitality you can do something to respond as it is a buff that heals over time.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:43 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:43 pm
Posts: 142
The priest gains the entire Dark Sustenance tree at 90% life, corruptor talents and global speed at 70% and PM talents plus even more global speed at 35%.
At least from the code of the priest itself it should not gain additional talents. Hm.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:09 am 
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Cornac

Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:21 pm
Posts: 39
I didn't think the orc end boss started with vitality on my run, but honestly I wasn't paying close enough attention to be 100% sure about that because I just knew it picked up skills on phase changes, not that they were supposed to be from particular skillsets. Might be worth checking out again how that works in practice on insane if someone has a run there or cares enough to devmode to set one up. I think in the final phase of my fight it had like a full screen of talents, so perhaps there's some sort of interaction with the code that gives extra skillsets to fixed bosses if that is the case.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:38 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 157
He could have had vitality from the start, but it's not going to do anything until 50% hp anyways, I think.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:07 am 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 5747
Perhaps Vitality should be tackled directly?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:49 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 157
I don't see a problem with putting some sort of hardcap on vitality regen amount.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:50 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:27 pm
Posts: 46
Yeah, that would be another simple solution. But I do like the idea of talents that become absurdly powerful with scaling, like the wyrmic's static field attack... it's fun to think about how to exploit things like that, and extra caps (such as the one on Impending Doom) ruin that fun.

So I'm inclined to prefer a different solution, and here, the most questionable element is the fact that story bosses get random talents to begin with, not the fact that Vitality has potential for extreme scaling. I figure that would be the most natural place to put a solution in this case.

But on the other hand, Vitality is not an especially exciting ability even when it's working extremely powerfully, so yeah I wouldn't mind seeing it neutered in that way (assuming the numbers were chosen well).

Also yeah that doombringer talent sounds bad, and I know I've seen it used by random enemies... I think it must only be luck that's kept me from seeing it on crucial bosses. Vitality is probably easier for a boss to randomly get, I suppose, since multiple classes can potentially provide it.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2018 3:36 am 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:56 am
Posts: 7
Got over 13 wins on Insane (10 in online mode, other in offline) and never used special abilities against heal in final fights (both campaigns btw).

Usual i just prefer to cast utility-abilities, control-abilities, save-buttons or just moving than "wasting" turn and reasourses for it. Yep, my fights was a bit longer than usual, but i like it cos i can control current battle: if u have good control then enemies's healing is nothing because you are winner already. You just need a more time to end it :)

I never have problems with healing (only against osmosis shield, but here i pref to dispel/manaburn-mechanics, than healing reduce-mechanic) on Insane (on Madnes i didn't ignore it ofc), so i thinking your characters was with bad items and/or build. Or we just have different playstyle. As i said i pref to control the battle, not to burst all what i see.


Vitality is balanced atm.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:25 am 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:27 pm
Posts: 46
No it isn't. A build that works excellently on EVERYTHING in the entire campaign, including the final boss (supposing he happens to get generated without Vitality), is not a bad build. It may or may not be the strongest build possible, but it is good enough - or rather, it should be, and would be if not for this one thing.

The mechanism for assigning random talents to bosses, rares, and uniques is already clumsy, bland, and painfully lore-breaking; it's good enough to do its job, but it isn't worth defending to the extent of protecting the ability of Vitality to render an opponent invincible against characters that can beat literally every other enemy with ease. If Vitality were a talent unique to the high priest that the developer had consciously assigned to him, then his possession of it would deserve more respect and consideration. It might make sense for that boss to be that strong; he's a legendary figure on a level with Linaniil after all. But Vitality is just some random thing that a low-level human warrior is capable of casually teaching to somebody as a gift. For a talent as crude and basic as that to also be (against many player characters that are otherwise highly effective) the ultimate special power a demigod like this possesses is just completely silly. And for him to get it only in some runs, completely by chance, is even worse.

I'm sure that the high priest on Insane with Vitality is consistently beatable with many classes, maybe even with all classes. But in that case it surely restricts builds substantially. And what would we have players limiting their choices for? This silly coin flip that determines whether just one enemy in the entire run is going to have this one talent? That just isn't fun.

(Also, if the boss hadn't been generated with Vitality in the run that prompted me to start this thread, then my character would have been the first non-cheating Insane Roguelike winner on the leaderboards for that class and that campaign; and assuming I'm querying the vault correctly there are still several classes - rogue, corruptor, necromancer, probably more - that have ZERO victories logged on Insane or Madness in the orcs campaign, for ANY permadeath setting or mod combination. I don't think anybody can very reasonably claim that this boss battle is known to be balanced on Insane for all classes, if not even cheaters are winning it...)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:35 am 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:27 pm
Posts: 46
Aesthete wrote:
Just had this happen on my insane run, but had enough damage to power through.


HEY I think you actually took my above-mentioned title on that run, of first-in-the-vault Insane Roguelike oozemancer orc-campaign winner. I just noticed that. Nice job!

I ended up finally getting it for shadowblade instead, just yesterday. :)

(I restricted myself to shadowblade in part because that's one of the few classes with an obvious and straightforward way to mostly cancel Vitality, via Dirty Fighting... and then the high priest ended up not even having Vitality anyway, haha. Oh well!)


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