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 Post subject: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:20 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:54 pm
Posts: 11
Tales of Maj'Eyal
Mesmer Class Add-on
version 4

http://te4.org/games/addons/tome/Mesmer

** Introduction **

This add-on introduces the Mesmer class. Mesmers focus on summoning
illusions, timing, switching weapon sets, mobility, temporary effects,
and ranged attacks.

The Mesmer features a number of talent types, design decisions and
synergies that give it a different "feel" from standard ToME classes.
Hopefully the players who install addons will find it an interesting
diversion and optimization challenge.

Mesmers focus equally on Strength, Magic and Cunning. The class grants -3
life per level and does not readily admit light or heavy armor, leaving
Mesmers quite squishy. In my opinion Mesmers make for a harder game than
"early-and-midgame easy" classes like the Archmage, Bulwark, Solipsist or
Oozemancer but are easier than more challenging classes like the Brawler or
Rogue. Some players may recognize the Mesmer from the lore of Tyria.

** What do they play like? **

Their primary attacks work at range and play a bit like the Archmage's
Lightning and the Oozemancer's slime.

Their focus on kiting enemies with fast movement and short-range jumps
can remind one of an Archer, Temporal Warden, or the Skirmisher.

Their talent-supported cycle of weapon swaps and cooldowns plays like a
Temporal Warden or Anorithil -- only much more so.

Illusionary clones created by Mesmers play a bit like Doomed shadows, in
that they are plentiful but distract more than they damage.

A Mesmer's reliance on damage over time and crippling status effects has a
feel akin to the Paradox Mage.

Their access to temporary Invisibility gives some combats a Rogue flavor.

In addition, they have a number of "unique" mechanics: mantras have long
charge times but can be used instantly multiple times before recharging;
signets provide passive buffs but also provide burst benefits when
turned off; Mesmers can extend, remove and transfer positive and negative
temporary effects; many Mesmer powers take little time or come with
built-in mobility; Mesmers are talent-point intensive and have many
talents available, requiring serious thought during character development;
and Mesmers require a simultaneous focus on Str, Cun and Mag rather than
equipment that provides Physical, Mind- or Spellpower.

** Mesmer Class Mechanics **

Many Mesmer talents create illusionary clones of the caster. Illusions
typically have about 10% of your health, deal about 3% of your damage, only
know one talent, never move, and last until the fight is over or until they
are destroyed. While two talents create illusions that can deal more
damage, most illusions serve only to distract foes and to take hits for you.

Mesmers can also detonate all of their illusions at once, dealing damage
and detrimental status effects to nearby foes. This basic power can be
extended and customized through a large number of possible passive talents.

Mesmer primary attack powers either require a Greatsword (or Trident),
Staff (or Greatmaul), Longsword (or Dagger) to be equipped and have their
cooldownds increased if the Mesmer is fatigued by encumbering equipment.
Greatsword powers deal more damage at long range and focus on single-target
or small-burst physical damage. Staff powers operate on small groups at a
medium range and focus on damage over time, escapes, and beneficial
self-buffs. Longsword powers focus on complex targeting and positioning at
short range. Most Mesmers choose to specialize in two of these three weapon
groups, swapping between the chosen two during combat.

Mesmer Mantras are minor effects that can be stored up slowly over time and
then used multiple times instantly. Mesmer Signets are sustained talents
with long cooldowns that provide minor benefits but can also be turned off
to generate a larger-but-temporary benefit -- like Mindslayer shields or
auras. Mesmer Traits are generic talents that must be "unlocked" with
multiple talent points before they provide a minor benefit (comparable to
"Feats" in other RPGs).

The Mesmer talent resources (e.g., the "stamina" or "mana" of other
classes) are "cooldown time, weapon set, and illusions". Once a foe is
spotted a Mesmer might use greatsword powers at range until those powers
are all on cooldown, then switch to the staff as the enemy closes until
those powers are exhausted as well, then heal, create new illusions, and
switch back to the greatsword, etc. A long-lasting Mesmer fight typically
involves a so-called "rotation" based on cooling-down talents, illusion
maintenance, mobility, kiting, and healing.

** Brief Talent List **

Staff (Magic, requires staff/greatmaul, fatigue cooldowns)
1 - Winds of Chaos*. Medium-range bouncing bolt deals damage over 4 turns.
2 - Phase Retreat. Instant (range 3) controlled teleport, leaves illusion.
3 - Phantasmal Warlock*. Summons a high-damage ranged-attacking illusion.
4 - Chaos Armor. Temporary buff that helps you and hurts foes when struck.
5 - Chaos Storm*. AoE that repeatedly applies crowd control effects to foes.

Greatsword (Strength, requires greatsword/trident, fatigue cooldowns)
1 - Spatial Surge*. Beam deals 30% (range 1) to 100% (range 8+) damage.
2 - Mirror Blade*. Bouncing attack, inflicts status effects, leaves illusion.
3 - Mind Stab*. AoE (radius 1+) that damages and strips benefits from foes.
4 - Phantasmal Berserker*. Summons a high-damage melee-attacking illusion.
5 - Illusionary Wave. Repeatedly knocks back foes in a cone.

Shortblade (Strength and Magic, requires longsword/dagger, fatigue cooldown)
1 - Ether Blade*. Short pinning beam and short stunning cone.
2 - Vortex*. Short pinning cone and spinning beam trap.
3 - Illusionary Counter. When next hit, leave an illusion near attacker.
4 - Temporal Curtain. Pulling sphere and cooldown-stealing wall.
5 - Phantasmal Bladefighter*. Summons a high-damage mobile illusion.

* = After the attack the Mesmer steps back one square away from the target.

Mantras (Magic)
1 - Distraction. Dazes nearby foes.
2 - Pain. Damages one foe.
3 - Concentration. Grants free action (prevents stuns, dazes or pins).
4 - Resolve. Removes negative status effects.
5 - Recovery. Heals self.

Signets (Strength)
1 - Illusions. Increase Illusion health || reset Mind Wrack & Decoy cooldowns.
2 - Domination. +Light, +Arcane, +Physical damage || stun nearby foes.
3 - Midnight. Temporary benefits last longer || blind nearby foes.
4 - Inspiration. +Movement speed || burst of movement speed.
5 - Ether. Illusions regenerate you || self-heal right now.

Shatter (Cunning, generic)
1 - Mind Wrack. Detonate illusions to damage foes in radius 2.
2 - Diversion. Mind Wrack now stuns foes briefly.
3 - Cry of Frustration. Mind Wrack now confuses foes briefly.
4 - Distortion. Mind Wrack now makes you invisible briefly.
5 - Into the Void. Mind Wrack now pulls in more distant foes.

Utility (Cunning, generic, fatigue influences cooldowns)
1 - Decoy. Gain invisibility briefly and leave illusion(s).
2 - Ether Feast. Heal a small amount + more per illusion.
3 - Blink Portal. Create and walk through an allies-only wormhole.
4 - Illusion of Life. You temporarily don't die until -X HP.
5 - Phantasmal Defender. Summon a high-health, low-damage illusion.

Traits (Cunning, generic)
1 - Mesmeric Dodge. Teleport 2 squares, swap weapons, resist all for 1 turn.
2 - Crippling Illusions. Dying illusions cripple, basic attacks knockback.
3 - Illusionary Frenzy. Illusions have increased crit chance.
4 - Cleaning Signets. Deactivating a signet removes a detrimental effect.
5 - Restorative Illusions. Dying illusions heal you a small amount.

Elite (Cunning, fatigue influences cooldowns)
1 - Reflective Feedback. Creates a reflective damage shield.
2 - Veil. Render yourself and your illusions temporarily invisible.
3 - Arcane Thievery. Move your bad effects to foe, their good ones to you.
4 - Null Field. Field remove bad effect from allies, good ones from foes.
5 - Time Warp. Temporarily increase speed for self and illusions.

** Mesmers and Fatigue **

Because Mesmers do not use Mana, Stamina or any other explicit resource
pool for their talents, they handle Fatigue (from heavy armor) differently.
Since the primary Mesmer talent resource is "time", Fatigue influences
the Cooldown Times of some of their talents. Each time a Mesmer with X%
Fatigue uses such a talent there is a 2X% chance that the cooldown will be
doubled (for that use only). Thus, X% Fatigue increases some cooldowns by
2X% on average. (Negative Fatigue has no benefit.)

See below an Analysis of how this plays out in practice.

** Mesmer Hints **

The first time you play, try putting two points in Mesmeric Dodge (so that
it creates an illusion on dodge) and practice a "rotation" that involves
Spatial Surge, Mesmeric Dodge, Winds of Chaos, {Mind Wrack or Heal or
Kite}, Mesmeric Dodge, repeat. The Staff is better against close groups
(bounces), the Greatsword is better at long range lines (damage scaling).
Don't bother with the Shortblade talents: you only want to focus on two
weapon talent categories for now.

You are fairly squishy. Learn a talent that has a minor healing component,
such as Ether Feast or Restorative Illusions, as quickly as possible.
Ultimately you'll likely want at least one of Mantra of Restoration,
Etheric Signet or Reflective Feedback as well. Shielding Runes and
Inscriptions that Heal or Regenerate are similarly helpful.

While the rich array of talents available -- and the stat-based talent
scaling -- will tempt you to put all of your points in Strength, Magic and
Cunning, you should not neglect Constitution. In addition to its direct
role in helping you avoid death, recall that your illusion health is based
on your maximum health.

Practice using Mind Wrack more than you probably currently are: it can feel
wrong to sacrifice all of your illusions since they look so impressive on
the screen, but at 1-3% of your damage they weren't really doing much
for you beyond distracting foes. (If you're that kind of person, do the
math: how many turns would the illusion have to live to deal damage equal
to one use of your Mind Wrack?)

Acquire a Rune of Teleportation or a charm of Psychoportation. Mesmers have
a huge amount of short-range mobility (possibly the most in ToME), only one
medium-range escape (Blink Portal) and no long-range teleportation. Keep
track of your health and cooldowns and don't be afraid to flee and return
later. The Mesmer's innate mobility can actually make some areas (e.g., the
sand tunnels) more difficult.

Mesmers have no innate way to gain resistances to elemental damage, stuns,
dazes, confusion, etc. This is not a huge issue in the early or mid game,
but right around the point where you think "OK, now that I've practiced how
it works, I think this class is overpowered" you're like to get two-shotted
by a spellcaster or monster breath. This puts quite a bit of pressure on
your equipment to provide resistances, which is intentionally complicated
by Mesmer weapon and armor "requirements". Canny players may use "Restful"
items or Feathersteel Amulets and the like to equip defensive items while
avoiding higher cooldowns, but the challenge may be unavoidable.

Mesmers can find midgame boss fights, confusion, elite fights, and close
quarters swarms particularly difficult. The Greatsword, which seemed so
strong against just-explored critters on open maps, does little to a
closing boss or scattered swarm. The Staff, which can hit a number of
medium or close targets, deals its full damage only over four turns, which
means foes will still be around to pound on you in the short term.
Shortblades pins and stuns are easily shrugged off by elites or are less
relevant to ranged foes, leaving you sitting vulnerable in close range.
Mesmers can feel like "glass cannons" or feel like they have no staying
power until you master a rotation that cycles between escaping, swapping
weapon sets, healing, creating illusions, etc. Getting that perfected is a
mental optimization puzzle and is supposed to be part of the fun. :-)

Mid- and endgame strategies certainly exist (e.g., from "scouting" rooms
with illusions to boss-killing through warlock placement to
actually considering taking that Prodigy that removes fatigue to milking
signet of midnight to "going infinite" with temporal curtain cooldown
reduction, etc.) but are not discussed here.

** Mesmer Analysis and Design Decisions **

Each Mesmer talent has an in game "Commentary" note at the bottom that
indicates the vanilla ToME talent its numbers are loosely based on,
as well as the relevant design decisions and suggested uses.

This Mesmer class is an explicit adaptation of the Mesmer class from the
Guild Wars 2 MMORPG: http://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Mesmer . (Guild Wars
fans: many changes had to be made to fit ToME mechanics. For example, GW2's
"provides a benefit while Downed" becomes ToME's "Heroism: does not die at
0 HP". I realize the translation wasn't exact -- "fun in ToME" was favored
over a complete transliteration. Sharp-eyed players will likely spot how I
decided to adapt GW2 conventions, such as moving and attacking at the same
time. The shortblade powers are the biggest departure from the GW2 ideals:
basically a complete rewrite favoring ToME tactical positioning and
targeting.)

Mesmer abilities depend on Strength instead of Physical Power (etc.) to
avoid undesired and unintuitive situations in which your optimal strategy
is to quickly learn "Weapon Training" or "Staff Combat" to increase your
Physical Power while wielding staves and greatswords, etc. Dually, the
Mesmer equipment "requirements" (no light or heavy armor,
greatswords/staves but you don't care about Power, weapon Damage or on-hit
effects, etc.) mean that you have the chance to approach equipment
selection with a different eye: weapons that would be great for a Wilder or
Archmage are almost useless to a Mesmer and vice-versa. (To give one example
of this, a brute weapon in the style of early-game two-handed staple
"Bill's Tree Trunk" is useless to Mesmers, while "Calaryem the floating
sword" can be a godsend because its passive movement speed and fatigue
bonuses are both crucial and its weapon attack speed penalty does not
affect Mesmer talent powers.) Note that many Mesmer talents trigger
"on melee hit" effects -- even to foes at range. Such on-hit damage is
critical to Shortblade Mesmers who aspire to match the damage of Staff or
Greatsword talents.

Mesmers intentionally have a wide array of talents available (and also have
five talents per line, rather than four). This makes different Mesmer
builds viable and makes character development planning more engaging. It
is simply not feasible to invest in all Mesmer talent categories. Unlike
the Bulwark, for example, which basically has one optimal build path until
the Level 10 Category Point, Mesmers have significant low-level flexibility
and redundancy (e.g., your first escape could be invisibility from Decoy or
a Mantra that dazes foes or a double dip in Mesmeric Dodge or a decision to
focus on shortblades). The relative level and stat requirements on talents
are set to make it possible (not "easy") for daring repeat players to try a
"low Strength" or "low Magic" build.

The choice to avoid a resource like "mana" is intentional. First, note that
after the first few levels, your Archmage or Oozemancer never really runs
out of juice unless something is going horribly wrong. More importantly,
however, I wanted the focus to be on the manipulation and analysis of time
and space: the critical task for the Mesmer player is to keep track of
cooldowns while using short-range mobility and distracting illusions to
escape, block and kite melee-range monsters.

Consider Fatigue: recall that a Mesmer with X% Fatigue has a 2X% chance of
doubling some talent cooldowns. On average, X% fatigue thus means a 2X%
increase in cooldowns (e.g., 3.0 -> 3.6). So while a Mesmer with 0% fatigue
could use Winds of Chaos 12 times in 36 turns (cooldown 3 means use it,
wait 1, wait 2, use again, ...), a Mesmer with 10% fatigue could use Winds
of Chaos 10 times in 36 turns, on average. However, recall that no
fractional cooldowns ever occur: each cooldown is either 3 or 6. Fatigue
can thus break up a practiced "rotation" of talents. As a result, skilled
Mesmer players who can adapt a rotation on the fly via multiple talents
can tolerate high fatigue. Conversely, Mesmer players who ridigly alternate
between the same two talents (for example) could be significantly disrupted
if one of those two talents is suddenly unavailable. Finally, note that if
you can kill all of your foes with only one use of each talent, high
cooldowns do not matter because you can rest before exploring more. ToME
does not gracefully support fractional cooldowns: hence this design which
rewards adaptive players.

The total lack of in-class resistances (either to elements or to status
effects) is also intentional. A mid- and late-game challenge for Mesmers is
to deal with such effects through equipment, talents that remove negative
status effects, or preventative measures (illusions and mobility, damage
shields, etc.).

Best of luck! I hope you enjoy the Mesmer.

- Weimer


Last edited by weimer on Sun Dec 21, 2014 10:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:22 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:28 pm
Posts: 164
Played around with this a little bit, and was very impressed! It's a really neat playstyle, and the emphasis on cooldowns rather than resources makes you do a unique kind of turn-by-turn planning. I'm also very impressed with the amount of work that went into it, and the way you stayed faithful to the spirit of the GW2 mechanics while adapting them into sensible abilities for ToME (I especially liked the retreat-on-cast functionality a lot of damage talents have). It's squishy and tricky, but definitely capable and effective in the right hands. It's got quite the array of talents, too - my only complaint with this mod is that I know I can't buy them all, and looking at the level-up screen gives me ten minutes of crippling indecision every time :( That's a good thing though, the class is clearly designed in such a way that you don't necessarily NEED to have everything, and the variety lends itself to interesting decisions when building a character.

I suspect this is going to be my favorite "squishy caster" class - keep up the good work :)


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 3:23 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 10:41 am
Posts: 55
Damn, I was so exctited about mesmer from GW in TOME, but I was thinking about GW1 style mesmer, not GW2. Just check out this amazing abilities:

Aneurysm: Spell. Target foe regains all Energy. For each point of Energy gained, target takes 1...3...3 damage and all adjacent foes lose 1 Energy (maximum 1...24...30).
Arcane Echo: Arcane Echo becomes the next spell you use (20 seconds). This enchantment ends if you use any skill that is not a spell.
Arcane Thievery: Spell. (5...29...35 seconds.) Disables one random spell. This skill becomes that spell.
Backfire: Hex Spell. (10 seconds.) Target foe takes 35...119...140 damage whenever it casts a spell.
Blackout: Touch Skill. (2...5...6 seconds.) Disables skills. Your skills are disabled (5 seconds).
Calculated Risk: Hex Spell. Target foe does +10 damage with attacks (3...20...24 seconds). There is a 50% chance that the damage from each attack (maximum 15...83...100) will be done to that foe instead.
Clumsiness: Hex Spell. (4 seconds.) Also hexes adjacent foes. Interrupts next attack. Interruption effect: deals 10...76...92 damage.
And that's just A-C skills

GW1 offtopic aside, i found 2 bugs:
-with 'Auto-assign talent points at birth' disabled you don't get your mantra charging sustain.
-Mind wrack description says it deals X fire and X nature damage while it deals X/2 fire and X/2 nature damage instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 6:26 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:54 pm
Posts: 11
> I suspect this is going to be my favorite "squishy caster" class - keep up the good work :)

Thanks for the kind words; I'm glad you enjoyed it.

> I was thinking about GW1 style mesmer, not GW2.

Interesting! I never had the chance to play GW1.

> GW1 offtopic aside, i found 2 bugs:

Thanks, I always appreciate bug reports!

> -with 'Auto-assign talent points at birth' disabled you don't get your mantra charging sustain.

Good catch. I've recoded that so that you learn Mantra Meditation whenever you learn a Mantra talent (a la Striking Stance for the Brawler).

> Mind wrack description says it deals X fire and X nature damage while it deals X/2 fire and X/2 nature damage instead.

I double-checked the source code and played a quick test run and did not find this to be the case. My best guess: you were invisible from Decoy (which reduces your outgoing damage by 50%, instead of the normal 40%, because it's available so early and activates so quickly). Recall that you can voluntarily cancel positive buffs (like invisibility) by (right-)clicking on their icons.

I'll upload a bugfix version for the no auto-assign mantra bug in a bit.


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:32 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 10:41 am
Posts: 55
weimer wrote:
> Mind wrack description says it deals X fire and X nature damage while it deals X/2 fire and X/2 nature damage instead.

I double-checked the source code and played a quick test run and did not find this to be the case. My best guess: you were invisible from Decoy (which reduces your outgoing damage by 50%, instead of the normal 40%, because it's available so early and activates so quickly). Recall that you can voluntarily cancel positive buffs (like invisibility) by (right-)clicking on their icons.

Yup, that was the case, silly me.

Do you have plans for other mesmer weaponsets (particularly dual swords)?


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2014 11:04 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:30 am
Posts: 71
So, first off, this class is amazing. The most fun I've had in this game in a long time. Creating and shattering illusions is a ton of fun.

Second off, some observations: Staff is underwhelming offensively. "The same total damage as flame, but twice the duration" in practical terms, means half as much damage as flame. Total damage isn't as relevant as how fast the enemy dies, and it dies half as fast. Compounding this, poison and bleed immunity are both really, really common. Slimes, undead, plants, constructs, elementals. A huge number of enemies are automatically immune to one or two of the three randomly chosen damage types of this spell. The second talent is great utility, no complaints there. The third has the same problem as the first (since it uses the same skill), the fourth is decent defense, but unnecessary (see next paragraph), and the fifth isn't really for damage. Compounding the problems with the fourth and fifth talent is the fact that

Mantras are ridiculously overpowered. Every last one of them. This is a game where, 99% of the time, you rest to full after every encounter. That means the recharge is kind of irrelevant. In practical terms, they each have a cooldown of one turn, but a limit of 13 uses per fight (assuming full points). Not very many fights last long enough for you to even come close to using them all, especially the ones with a duration. A fight would have to last in the neighborhood of 70 turns for your confuse to wear off. The first mantra makes everything permanently confused, and anything you're not attacking permanently dazed, the second is an immense source of no-turn-used damage, the third is, in practical terms, complete immunity to stun, daze, and pin, (for ~150 turns this time) which is incredible, except the fourth talent allows you to remove debuffs from yourself at such a rate that you may as well not bother. The fifth is an absolutely insane amount of healing.

In Guild Wars 2, you only get 2 charges of a mantra, or three with a trait. Sticking with that might bring the power level a little more down to earth (although I'm not sure I'd put points in a Mantra of Pain with only two charges)

Also, points in arcane thievery (Mesmer elites talent three) do nothing. It doesn't seem to scale with point at all. If that's intentional, maybe you could make it so it has a max of one rank, so that people don't waste points expecting something to change with the fourth or fifth point.

I don't entirely understand the reasoning behind the various skills using different sorts of crit. In Guild Wars 2, there's only one kind of crit, and in ToME lore, since everything you use is a spell, everything you do should use spell crit. It doesn't make a very big difference it's just off.

My other observation is that being unable to use such a huge chunk of gear is kind of annoying in a game that finding cool loot is such a big part of. You can't even wear boots of any sort at all until you find some kind of fatigue lowering ring or something. In addition, outside of phantasmal berserker and a few rare egos and artifacts, the greatsword you use is totally irrelevant. Most greatsword egos primarily affect your hits with the greatsword, which you're probably not doing. I could very easily see myself beating the game with the same iron greatsword I started with.


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 12:09 am 
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Yeek

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:54 pm
Posts: 11
> Do you have plans for other mesmer weaponsets (particularly dual swords)?

If there's interested after we iron out the bugs in the current weaponsets, that's entirely possible.

> So, first off, this class is amazing. The most fun I've had in this game in a long time. Creating and shattering illusions is a ton of fun.

Thank for taking the time to share some kind words. I'm glad others are enjoying it.

> Second off, some observations:

I'm glad you brought this up. I do not pretend to be an expert on ToME balance or difficulty and I certainly did not have time to test each Mesmer build separately to the end-game. I was hoping that early adopters would offer some feedback on what was overpowered, what was underpowered, and what wasn't fun -- allowing me to tweak the class in response to a rough consensus.

Looking at the few players who were kind enough to leave a L10+ Mesmer on the vault for inspection, I see the following:

marshmallowpeep 1: max out mind wrack, favor sword over staff
marshmallowpeep 2: max out mind wrack, winds of chaos, and mantras
kilmur: max out decoy, favor mind wrack, slightly favor staff over sword
joebobjoe: total generalist (one point everywhere, two points in a few)
cryol: max out spatial surge, buy almost every trait
64legos: max out decoy, otherwise generalist (one point everywhere, two points in a few)
marshmallowpeep 3: max out mind wrack and mantra of pain, favor sword over staff

I'd love to hear from others about their thoughts.

> Staff is underwhelming offensively.

Interesting. In most of my playtesting, I actually favor the staff over the sword, with the warlock as a big damage dealer. As you note, dealing damage slowly is not optimal because enemies continue to take actions until they reach 0 HP. This is intentional. The prevalence of enemy immunity, however, is not -- if memory serves, I picked them based on convenience (e.g., example code was handy). The illusionist Mesmer could easily deal mind, light, dark or arcane damage, for example, and still be in theme.

Concrete proposal query: Do you (and others?) think Winds of Chaos would be improved by changing the three Mesmer damage types to some of those?

> Mantras are ridiculously overpowered. Every last one of them.

Interesting! I had guessed that people would break Decoy + Mind Wrack (and that may also be happening). It looks like you're the only one to really try breaking mantras so far, so I wouldn't mind more data points. (On the other hand, it really only takes one person to notice if something is "ba-roken".)

> The first mantra makes everything permanently confused,

As you infer, that was was really not the intention.

Concrete proposal query: Do you (and others?) think Mantras would be improved by changing their "max use scaling" so that it is 1 at 1, 2 at 3 and 3 uses at talent level 5?
Concrete proposal query: Do you (and others?) think Mantras Remove-Debuff and Mantra Heal-Me would be improved by halving their effect per user?

> (although I'm not sure I'd put points in a Mantra of Pain with only two charges)

I struggled with this a bit, and the version you see features stronger mantras than some of my playtest versions. I'd rather have Mantra of Pain be "too weak" rather than "so OP that you have to max it to play optimally", at least for the nonce, and then slowly buff it back up as needed.

> Also, points in arcane thievery (Mesmer elites talent three) do nothing. It doesn't seem to scale with point at all.

No, that's a bug. :-( Looks like this didn't have the effect I expected:

Code:
        getNb = function(self, t)
          return math.ceil(self:combatTalentLimit(t, 5, 1, 5))
        end,


Off to fix that ...

> You can't even wear boots of any sort at all until you find some kind of fatigue lowering ring or something. ... I could very easily see myself beating the game with the same iron greatsword I started with.

(It's worth noting that the "no fatigue" limit is there both for thematic reasons, with Mesmers as "light casters" in Tyria, as well as for balance reasons: with no Mana or Stamina, "fatigue" would have no negative effect on you, and there'd be no reason not to rush to put heavy plate on your Mesmer. However, it's possible that another system, such as reducing a Mesmer's global speed by its Fatigue, would serve better.)

Anyway, my original intention was to add some form of "crafting" (since that's so big in GW2). However, I didn't want to step on the toes of the alchemist's gemcrafting and there were fewer examples of such things when I started (e.g., this was before the low-level hammer that accepts gems, etc.).

Ideas in that regard ranged from the simple (a "recrafting" talent that removes armor and fatigue from an item, and divides all others bonuses by ~2) to the ambitious (mesmers can learn egos by destroying/blanking items, a la GW2 or the "old" artificer classes of tome/zanband/roguelike yore, and then apply them to items at the cost of a tier-appropriate gem).

I had also considered having mesmer talents apply "damage on hit" from the weapon, but I couldn't think of a way to balance that.

Anyway, looting is certainly core to the game, and I don't want looting to be boring for the Mesmer.

Thoughts?


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:10 am 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:30 am
Posts: 71
I'm not really an expert on ToME either. I've only beat it once, with a summoner. I spend more of my time on this game experimenting with adventurer builds than anything else, and rarely get past the t2 dungeons (I quit because I get bored of the character as often as I die). So maybe take what I say with a grain of salt.

My first instinct would be for Mesmer to be arcane, although I don't know why. Maybe just because all their spell effects are purple in Guild Wars and arcane is purple in this game. Mind damage makes a ton of sense, but since there are no mind damage staves in the game, that would be fairly substantially weaker than other options. The closest thing to illusion magic already in the game (that I can think of right now anyway) is spell/phantasm, which does light damage. I guess it depends on how they achieve their illusions; Are they directly manipulating the enemy's mind, or are they manipulating light? I'm more inclined to believe the latter based on how things work, since the same illusion can damage more than one enemy (not to mention things that are essentially mindless) it would seem to have some sort of actual, physical existence. A mind-based illusion wouldn't really be able to damage a plant or scenery. I have no idea if Guild Wars has anything to say about that. I also have no idea how difficult it would be for you to make an arcane or light or whatever DoT to replace the poison and bleed.

>As you note, dealing damage slowly is not optimal because enemies continue to take actions until they reach 0 HP. This is intentional.

Intentional or not, the point still stands. Since staff's only source of damage does it's damage slowly, it's offensively inferior to sword in most situations. Most of the time, if I had my staff equipped, I felt like I'd rather have a sword. It's possible that much of my gut "staff is weak" reaction had to do with it trying to bleed and poison skeletons and what not. It might also be that since it's more utility oriented it's hard to use and I just suck. It's hard to say. Just bear in mind that, of your two staple skills, one of them was based on a T1 archmage nuke, and the other one was based on a T1 archmage nuke and then cut in half.

> I had guessed that people would break Decoy + Mind Wrack (and that may also be happening). It looks like you're the only one to really try breaking mantras so far, so I wouldn't mind more data points.

Mind Wrack is also very powerful, and I was able to do pretty insane burst damage with it, but on the other hand it takes a ton of set up, and enemies don't always cooperate by staying in range if your illusions. It's hard to say. I'd have to spend more time learning the class. The thing about Decoy + Mind Wrack specifically is that it's functionally a melee combo until you have the last talent in the Mind Wrack tree, which is pretty dangerous on this class, and I never made a character who tried to rush the last skill in the Mind Wrack tree because I never felt like I had the stat points for that much cunning. I could certainly see max Mind Wrack, Decoy, and that pull in talent being a fairly broken combo.

Much of what I said about mantras was sort of theorycraft (although I did personally experience the perma-confuse and daze, and Mantra of Pain was my primary source of Damage on the runs where I maxed it) but it kind of seems like you were trying to balance them with a charge cooldown that doesn't come into play most of the time since can get all of your charges back every time you clear the screen. There's only two or three places in the whole game (at least the main game, I haven't done much arena or infinite dungeon) where it matters how long it takes you to get back to full charges. There isn't anything else in the game that even comes close to coming close to the amount of healing per fight you can get out of mantra of healing, and it doesn't even use any turns. Stuff not using a turn is extremely powerful.

On a slightly related note I notice you have a number of really high cooldowns, and in my experience there is almost never a relevant difference between something with a 45 turn cooldown and something with a 90 turn cooldown. Most fights don't last 45 turns. I'm not sure what you should do with this information, it just seems relevant.

>Concrete proposal query: Do you (and others?) think Mantras would be improved by changing their "max use scaling" so that it is 1 at 1, 2 at 3 and 3 uses at talent level 5?
Concrete proposal query: Do you (and others?) think Mantras Remove-Debuff and Mantra Heal-Me would be improved by halving their effect per user?

Limiting the number of charges like that would certainly make them feel less broken. Even with three charges, mantra of pain is no-turn damage which is really powerful. As for the second question there, I don't know if that would be necessary if they have fewer charges. They would still be among the best skills in the game at doing what they do, but with the Mesmer being so squishy it's hard to say.

>It's worth noting that the "no fatigue" limit is there both for thematic reasons, with Mesmers as "light casters" in Tyria, as well as for balance reasons: with no Mana or Stamina, "fatigue" would have no negative effect on you, and there'd be no reason not to rush to put heavy plate on your Mesmer. However, it's possible that another system, such as reducing a Mesmer's global speed by its Fatigue, would serve better.

Yeah I figured that, and it's a great idea thematically, it's just that, as I said, I couldn't use any of the stuff I found, and that kind of sucked. Requiring very specific weapons already has that effect. Having a whole slot that you can't put anything in by default kind of sucks.

As for balance, fatigue generally doesn't generally have any influence at all on my gearing decisions on other classes, it barely even matters to most classes. The only reason I wouldn't rush heavy armor on an archmage is the strength requirements. Messing with global speed could work, but that's a hugely substantial penalty, compared to the fairly light penalty it normally imposes. Since your "resource" as a Mesmer is kind of your cooldowns, maybe fatigue could mess with your cooldowns somehow? I don't know how hard that would be to code, or how much it would ruin your day (might be even worse than global speed), but it would be the most direct way to translate what fatigue is for other classes.

You could also (maybe?) just make it so the skill disabling doesn't kick in until, say 5% fatigue so you can at least wear a variety of hats, shoes, and gloves. That would still prevent you from wearing so much as leather armor without fatigue reduction.

>I had also considered having mesmer talents apply "damage on hit" from the weapon, but I couldn't think of a way to balance that.

I don't see how it would be unbalanced. Bear in mind, you're basing your damage scaling off archmage talents, and an archmage is typically wearing a staff that adds somewhere between ~10 and ~40% to your primary spells. The Mesmer staff also has that (although since you randomly do one of three different damage types it's kind of diluted), but there's no reason to upgrade your greatsword. For the greatsword talents specifically, I might suggest both adding any on-hit effects from the weapon, and giving something like a 5% damage bonus per tier of the weapon (so 5%-25%, plus on-hit effects, as compared to the ~10 to ~40% the archmage is getting from his staves).

On another note, unrelated to anything else that has been said, buying staff combat (or in my case, with the addons I'm using, Staff Magic and Magical Combat) from Angolwen feels almost necessary to this class, and goes a long ways towards smoothing out your rotations.

Also, I second the notion of trying to adapt some of the other trees weapon sets. Slings could substitute for guns (although I believe slings are mainhand only and Mesmer uses off-hand guns) and scepters are pretty much maces. There's nothing quite like a focus in the game, but wardstones from the arcanum addon are similar. The only thing that doesn't exist in any form is a torch.


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:07 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:02 pm
Posts: 10
Hi, i'm level 16 at the moment and here's my thoughts so far:

First of all the idea of this class is really interesting.
I try to stay at max distance with clone army in front to protect me from foes. Mostly using "Spatial surge" and "Mirror blade" for damage, rest is for clone generation and repositioning mostly. "Mind wrack" is ignored for now, but that will change once i get all major clones (warlock/berserker/defended) clones. Hope i will be able to tactical nuke rooms with 3 beefy clones + "Mind wrack".

Now onto bugs and other things:

Bugs

"Signet of midnight":
- doesn't work on "Reflective feedback"
- based on description it should work on "Mesmeric dodge" (but it really shouldn't). add/rephrase description of signet?
"Distortion": invis power capped at "Decoy" value. "Distortion" says i get 20 power/clone. Had 3 clones on "Mind wrack" cast - got only 32 invis power (same as "Decoy" invis power). Add info about cap or fix.
Clones and escorts: somehow a few times when my clone was near an escort it became a copy of the escort instead and get stuck. With swaps i was able to get escort to portal and get a reward. But if i try to swap places with cloned escort bad things start to happen. after a few swaps i get a new clone of myself and then i lose control over my char (at least i cant see his movements on map), i cant do anything even in menu and all the only way to quit seems to be to kill the ToME process. Maybe u can consult Marson about this - he created "Marson's Bosses Gone AWOL - NPC Monitor & Clone Killer" addon which may help you.
"Spatial surge": At first few levels of the game a had some moments when i was teleported near the grid where mob was, or even behind him (once even behind a wall that was after the mob). My guess it was cause i was targeting some grids behind enemy, and not on them directly.

Strange, but may be intended

"Winds of chaos": too weak to be useful. Main damage portion is over 7 turns and unreliable bounces make this talent not worth investing into since u get full friendly buff power at first point. Also LoS issue (see below).
"Mantras": i haven't invested into them yet (have 1 point in 3rd, 4th and 5th mantras), but with the amount of charges up to 13 and the ability to use all 5 different mantras in same turn seems overpowered.
"Illusionary wave": deals extra damage to pinned targets. Did i miss something or Mesmer has no ability to pin on talents?
"Signet of illusions": cd is different from other signets. Intended?
Traits: first 3 traits have 2 effects, 4th and 5th only 1 effect. Intended?
Talent trees: all talent trees are Spell/XXX, but only talents of "Mesmer staff" and "Mantras" are really spells. "Mesmer greatsword" and "Signets" are probably counted as techniques, and "Mesmer elites" and all generic trees are mind powers. Thats strange at least. "Eye of the tiger" would be a good prodigy for this class IMO. But right now it seems it will only proc its effect (cd reduction for other talents) on "Mesmer staff" and "mantras" talent crits.
No teleport zones: In vaults and some other zones teleporting talents just fizzle (dont work at all) and this makes those zones quite challenging since you cant rely on your mobility and some of clone generating talents. This is especially bad at lower levels.
Weapons: i have to use staff and greatsword, but the weapons themselves are mostly useless since majority of stats on weapons are just ignored. I can learn the staff tree form shop but i think it's a waste of points. Maybe change some talents to scale with weapon damage?
LoS blocking: clones block your line of sight for some/most talents. I can bear with blocking attacking talents, but why they block LoS for warlock summon (haven't got other 2 big summons to test yet)? Oh, and we must not forget that after casts when you step back clone can appear in front of you and again block your LoS.



Thanks for implementing this class in ToME.



PS: If you find any wording, spelling or any other errors, please tell me. thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 1:38 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:59 pm
Posts: 51
Quite enjoying this class as well. As for my build so far I tend to generalize throughout early game and once I have a feel for all the talents start picking ones to specialize in. The few that I have 2 points in are ones I saw significant benefit from that single point. Mantra of Pain is very nice supplemental damage and I tend to use it as a finisher or when an especially serious boss/elite appears and that one point got me three more charges to fling around as necessary. Decoy got me another instant speed clone with that one point thereby doubling it's effectiveness for mind wrack. Diversion gets a very large increase in duration for a very debilitating status effect with the second point. Crippling illusion further messes up anything that's subject to a mind wrack. Mind wrack was leveled mostly for the damage and to see if there was a radius increase for the next point. Mind stab goes from removing one effect to three as well as an increased radius making it very nice for both crowd control and shutting down elites and bosses.

Mantras I mostly wind up using as get out of jail free cards. Distraction lets me escape a melee enemy if my other ways of doing this are cooling down (or if I haven't gotten them yet). Pain is a fairly nice source of extra damage that takes no time to use. Concentration I keep on failing to use properly but I can see its purpose. Resolve is very useful and I will probably be sinking another point into it shortly although it gets annoying when it removes your infusion saturations instead of something actually important. I can see why they might need a limitation on their number of uses though. Also Mantra Meditation has no real reason to be a sustain instead of a passive. It costs nothing to sustain and there is no situation in which you would not want to have it on.

Signets are fairly useful for their passive effects but I tend not to use their activated effects (excluding the occasional use of illusions) because they aren't really worth spending a turn on in my opinion (especially inspiration, spending a turn so that you can run away faster next turn can be a bit counterproductive). Also it's a bit odd that midnight has what is normally a lesser effect compared to domination for its activated ability.

For the whole fatigue thing my recommendation would be to make it check for if you're wearing anything that requires armor training instead. As is you can equip gauntlets but no boots without fatigue dropping equipment. Also for the Greatsword it would be nice if that were changed to any two handed non-staff weapon.

When I'm fighting a serious foe I tend to let them close to me while I and a couple clones spam winds to get the full 50% damage buff (speaking of which clones do not seem to have reduced DoT from winds and may be getting buffed based off of original damage as opposed to their 1% damage. Not sure on that second one but they seem to deal more damage than they should once overloaded which helps a good deal with offensive power for staffs) then once they get close enough I pop decoy and phase retreat and blow their faces off with mind wrack (easily nearing a thousand damage total if I have a couple illusions out already from warlock and similar). Even those few that do survive the mind wrack tend to be fairly easy to kill while they're stunned and confused.

My one death so far was the Sandworm Queen announcing her presence from offscreen while I was recovering from a rather nasty fight with some treasure chest guards. If an enemy can hit you hard and fast then they might be able to kill you but most of the time the various defensive talents serve to prevent them from doing so.
Edit: also is there really any point to the warlock knowing spatial surge? You have to have the staff out to make him and illusions can't change weapons.
Really late edit: Chaos storm's graphic extends about two squares past its area of effect at level one.


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:32 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:54 pm
Posts: 11
Changes from v1 to v2:

Damage Types: change from Physical (Bleed), Nature (Poison) and Fire
(burning) to Physical, Arcane (custom DOT) and Light (custom DOT).
This is to prevent Staff from being randomly useless to the
significant number of enemies immune to bleed/poison.

"Manual Assign Talent Points at Birth" now works with Mantra Meditation

Arcane Thievery - now improves with points spent (as originally intended)

Number of stored mantras downgraded to 1-1-2-2-3 (over 5 talent points).

Decoy clone count downgraded to 1-1-2-2-3 (over 5 talent points).

Distortion now scales invis power as well as invis duration

Reduce Mind Wrack damage from "200% Shatter" to "150% Shatter".

Signet of Midnight -- clarify wording.

Signet of Illusions -- cooldown unified with other signets.

Signets: deactivating a signet now correctly takes no time.

Phantasmal Warlock / berserker can now be cast "through" creatures.

Mind Stab "effect removal" count scaling reduced to 1-2-3-4-5.

Mesmeric Overload, the buff from Winds of Chaos and Mirror Blade (etc.)
now has a cap of +10% damage per talent level to help prevent
Winds of Chaos from being a "one point wonder" where swarms of
illusions do "more damage than expected" at low levels.

Major Todo:
(1) Find better handling for Mesmer Worn Equipment.
(2) Find better handling for Mesmer Weapon Equipment.
Minor Todo:
Chaos Storm graphic may not match radius.
The usual ToME engine bugs for summons (cf. Marson) apply here.

Special thanks to Hogulus, Scol, marshmallowpeep, cryol and joebobjoe for
their detailed feedback on v1.


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:49 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:54 pm
Posts: 11
Thank you all for your continued feedback. I have posted a v2 release that attempts to address many issues raised.

> joebobjoe identifies instances where one extra talent point yields a huge positive benefit

Thanks. I've tried to soften a few of those.

> Also Mantra Meditation has no real reason to be a sustain instead of a passive.

You are right. If memory serves, I couldn't get the engine to call the callback when it was a passive instead of a sustain. Low priority for now.

> really worth spending a turn on in my opinion

Wow, you're exactly right. I had always intended them to be free to deactivate! Fixed.

> speaking of which clones do not seem to have reduced DoT from winds and may be getting buffed based

It's possible there is a bug here (either in my code or in the engine handling of both bonus to damage and malus to damage). It's also possible that it's just 4 clones each doing 50% of your damage, which equals out to too much damage. I've changed it so that the damage cap on Mesmeric Overload is based on your talent level in the source talent, so winds of chaos is no longer a one-point wonder that yields a 50% damage boost.

> cryol: Bugs

Thanks! I tried to fix everything you mentioned. Some exceptions: Midnight did work on Reflective Feedback when I just tried it a few minutes ago. The Clone/Escort thing seems to be a known "engine" bug as you note, and I've had the "duplicate person in square" thing happen even without the Mesmer mod. This is low priority for me. Can you clarify your spatial surge concern? It doesn't teleport (the "step back" is "knockback self") -- were you talking about Phase Retreat, or the one-square motion of Spatial Surge? I invariably "overshoot" the nearest foe to get the benefit of the beam and haven't seen the issue you raise.

> cryol: issues

The traits are currently as intended. The talents are Spell / Mind / Technique depending on whether they use Mag / Cun / Str. You're now the second to comment on this being, perhaps, more trouble than it is worth (see "Crit chance"). Would everyone rather just have everything be a spell with spell crit chance? No-Teleport zones are tough, although you should still be able to get the one-square walkback.

> marsh: My first instinct would be for Mesmer to be arcane ... the point still stands

In v2, the damage is dealt over 4 turns instead of 7, and uses Arcane or Light custom DOTs, which should not admit random common immunities. My next step would be to nerf spatial surge a bit to bring sword and staff more in line.

> theorycraft

I love D20 Charop and the like as much as the next person :-). More seriously, a number of people commented on Mantras, so those are weakened a bit, as is decoy spamming for mind wrack.

> buying staff combat (or in my case, with the addons I'm using, Staff Magic and Magical Combat) from Angolwen feels almost necessary to this class

Wow, I really hope not. There's supposed to be no real incentive to get combat training or staff combat (beyond the usual point in Hardiness and perhaps the equivalent in staff combat). What do others think?


> For the whole fatigue thing my recommendation would be to make it check for if you're wearing anything that requires armor training instead.
> i have to use staff and greatsword, but the weapons themselves are mostly useless since majority of stats on weapons are just ignored.
> say 5% fatigue so you can at least wear a variety of hats, shoes, and gloves.

I see two related issues here. The first is Mesmer non-weapon equipment -- it looks like the current approach of "no fatigue" isn't quite smooth enough and could use some tweaking. What do people think? The second relates to Mesmer weapon equipment, which currently has minimal effect unless you get a "+X Str, +Y Mag" ego. What do people think about the candidate solutions that have been kicked around?


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 12:42 am 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:30 am
Posts: 71
I did another run (still with v1) where I focused on staff. Ignored mantras this time. I found myself using Staff Channel less than I had previously, and using those turns for repositioning instead. I still can't imagine going without it, because I like having some kind of useful "basic attack" to use when things are on cooldown, but "necessary" is probably not accurate. I focused on keeping out a clone army this time, and they were more effective than I expected based on what the skill descriptions said. I don't know if if there's some kind of bug there, or if I was just underestimating them.

Off to test the new version, which, from the look of your notes should be awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:03 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:59 pm
Posts: 51
Doing a new run in v2. The winds of chaos arcane DoT are currently lasting eight turns with the same damage per turn as intended. Also vaults (and the wierding beast) are much harder for mesmers because of the teleport prevention messing up most of their maneuvering abilities.
Edit: and also you should link to the add on in your first post


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 Post subject: Re: Mesmer class addon
PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 12:07 am 
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Higher

Joined: Mon Feb 17, 2014 8:59 pm
Posts: 51
Getting an odd glitch where whenever I load my current character (Mortal being run under v2) he gets stunned and blinded for 4 turns. Link to the character http://te4.org/characters/117980/tome/2 ... 6ad=117980.
Late edit: for making the Mantra meditation passive maybe make it a passive with a cooldown of 30 that automatically activates to add 1 charge to all mantras? Or would that just be a coding trainwreck (not especially knowledgeable on how coding works for this game but thought I may as well chime in with this idea, for examples of [assives with cooldowns you can look at some of the prodigies)?


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