ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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 Post subject: Crystalist Class [1.0.2]
PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:22 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:34 am
Posts: 165
https://te4.org/games/addons/tome/crystalist

Balance work on this is not quite done, but everything else is, and it may be a while before I can actually complete the balance work, so I figured I'd go ahead and upload it.

Crystalist is a psionic class that can quiver gems and uses the quivered gem to control their offensive talents. Damage type and special effects are determined by your quivered gem's color attributes.
Other big features include a Shadow Veil-like hard commitment attack talent, lots of small heals, new artifacts, and a very high code-to-talent ratio. Crystalist doesn't appear on NPCs and the artifacts don't appear in non-Crystalist games, so you can leave this addon on even while not playing Crystalists and it won't matter.

Tips:
- Your lower damage talents are always more psi-efficient than the higher damage ones, at the expense of being less turn-efficient.
- You can change your damage type specialization whenever you want, so if you find a lot of damage bonuses/penetration for one type, switch to it. This is also the one class where The Jolt is actually good (maybe too good...).
- Due to addon limitations, Sorption shields, unlike Absorption ones, apply after demonblood_def, antimagic shield, flat_damage_armor, Roll With It, resist unseen, Sanctuary, projection, Dark Empathy, Curse of Misfortune, and crushing blow.
- Resolve and Dismissal can crit.
- Your main weaknesses are large single damage instances, lack of mobility, and starting with Solipsism.

Code note: Convincing gems to go in the quiver slot without any problems is fairly complicated/hacky. If there's another addon that screws with the quiver a lot, it's possible this won't be compatible. This is also why the ammo resource displays while you have a gem quivered, even though it's useless.
Addons that screw with gems themselves, however, should be pretty much fine.


Last edited by minmay on Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:01 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:43 pm
Posts: 105
After playing with this class for a bit, here's my initial feedback:
- Are you supposed to start with one point in Skate? If so, why?
- Devastate definitely does what it is intended to. It does great damage, but I lost more than one char to inappropriate use of it.
- Devastate can use Crystalline Attack talents that you haven't learned. Is this intended?
- Looking at the code, Sorption shields appear to suffer from the same bug that normal Absorption shields do: getting to high talent level/mindpower leads to generating additional psi per 0 (or less) damage absorbed.

- Either Infinite500 or Arcanum crashes the game when loaded along with Crystalist. This is not a complaint or anything, just a warning for anyone playing this Haddon.
EDIT: It's Infinite500. I should have known, that addon is Culprit #1 for incompatibility in my experience.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:23 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:34 am
Posts: 165
Erenion wrote:
After playing with this class for a bit, here's my initial feedback:
- Are you supposed to start with one point in Skate? If so, why?
Oh god, it originally had Augmented Mobility instead of Feedback and I forgot to change the birth talents. Time for a new upload.
Erenion wrote:
- Devastate can use Crystalline Attack talents that you haven't learned. Is this intended?
Yes, that's why it adds an extra effective talent point to them. A bit weird theme-wise, but I think this way leads to more interesting talent point strategy.
Erenion wrote:
- Looking at the code, Sorption shields appear to suffer from the same bug that normal Absorption shields do: getting to high talent level/mindpower leads to generating additional psi per 0 (or less) damage absorbed.
The Sorption shields are intended to imitate the Absorption shields, just without the mutual exclusivity or the spiking, so they use the same numbers. I would've directly given the class Absorption, but Forcefield is way too powerful and centralizing.
Still, that particular bug is so stupid that I'll go ahead and add a clamp.
Erenion wrote:
- Either Infinite500 or Arcanum crashes the game when loaded along with Crystalist. This is not a complaint or anything, just a warning for anyone playing this Haddon.
EDIT: It's Infinite500. I should have known, that addon is Culprit #1 for incompatibility in my experience.
I500 changes the behaviour of damage type definitions for anything loaded after it. Unfortunately, properly fixing this from Crystalist's side would require a lot of work.

Thanks for the bug reports!


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:30 pm 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 5524
minmay wrote:
and a very high code-to-talent ratio.

I hate it when that happens!

Curious as to why you went with gems in the quiver slot instead of using the psionic focus slot or just adding a new slot.

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My feedback meter decays into coding. Give me feedback and I make mods.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:53 pm 
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Cornac

Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2014 7:12 pm
Posts: 33
HousePet wrote:
Curious as to why you went with gems in the quiver slot instead of using the psionic focus slot or just adding a new slot.


I'm curious about this as well, especially since the version I downloaded had the psionic focus solt available (leading to a first rather hilarious death when I put a gem in it and wondered why talents did zilch.) It does seem like that slot would be a better thematic fit than the quiver one, but that's just me.

Also, maybe it was a v1.0.0 thing, but the damage-to-psi on the tier-one talents seems VERY low. Between the sustain beam and the first bolt talent, and even with the shield, psi MELTS in any fight, while damage dealt would make a naked yeek laugh. It took me forever to kill a couple basic trolls in the Trollmire with a Cornac, and by the time I was done, I was in Solipsism debuff mode and a MOUSE, of all things, finished me off. That felt... Humiliating, to say the least.

I'm sure the class scales decently once it gets a couple talent tiers open, but the early game seems ludicrously punishing as is. :/

EDIT : Okay, I started a new one with the latest version, and I managed to get a bit further. A few remarks, considering I died at level 14 :

- There seems to be no incentive to switch to higher-tier gemstones. I found an Emerald in a chest, and it did absolutely nothing more (that I could see) than my tier-1 nature gem. This seems... Counter-intuitive to the rest of the game.

- That being said, nature gems are STUPID overpowered compared to the rest of those I found, due to the secondary Spydric poison effect. Being able to apply to entire groups every encounter starting at level 4 is, frankly, borderline broken as far as I could test. Compared to that, a light gem's blind or a lightning gem disarm just don't compare.

- Also, getting a range-10 cone out of the box at level 4 seems extremely powerful. I like the mechanic of diminishing damage based on range, but since this doesn't seem to affect the ability to apply Spydric to anything the cone reaches, it makes for a VERY strong initiation combo.

-If it were me, I'd probably base the range of the automatic beam off the tier of the gem used (maybe 6/7/8/9/10 like range weapons) and also tie the type of secondary poison type to the gem type, or talent level, or something. Getting the game's strongest disable DoT on huge AoEs at level 4 seems, again a bit unbalanced.

-Regarding mobility, I can see that being a weakness of the class, but linked with the low damage on one part, and the high defenses/sustain on the other, getting boxed in by a rare or two make for either a long, LONG fight, or a slow death of a thousand cuts. Unless I'm mistaken, every caster-type class in the vanilla game gets at least one escape or knockback talent. It may not always be good, and it often isn't enough, but at least it's there. Here, one has three choices : pray for a temporal excort to betray for Dreamwalk, go runes (and piss off Zigur) for a teleport, or hope for a TP/psychoport item of some kind. None of those seem really fair, but I could be biased.

-However, considering that we get so few generic trees to spend points in, getting one with a mobility/escape of some sort (even locked) would give a place to spend them as well as a "get out of dodge" button of some kind.

Again, those are just my opinion, but hey, that's what feedback is for, right ? :p


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:58 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:34 am
Posts: 165
There are a few reasons I went with the quiver slot instead of the psionic focus slot. I knew from the start that I wanted the class to have the psionic focus slot available whether I required putting the gem there or not. Basically, the big reasons were:
- One of the rules of the game is that if you have a psionic focus slot you get Beyond the Flesh, meaning if you have a gem there you get +3 to all stats per tier. So there is a pretty strong incentive to put your highest-tier gem in the psionic focus slot. I felt this was too strong of a distortion for your Crystalist ammo choice, and special-casing Beyond the Flesh for one class would be gross.
- The interface for equipping items is questionable in general, but the interface for the psionic focus is extra bad. You can't equip things in it the same way you can equip things in any other slot, you have to use a special talent. Using the quiver makes switching your gem faster.
- It's cool to have the option of putting a mindstar, staff, or other weapon there instead.

netphenix wrote:
- There seems to be no incentive to switch to higher-tier gemstones. I found an Emerald in a chest, and it did absolutely nothing more (that I could see) than my tier-1 nature gem. This seems... Counter-intuitive to the rest of the game.
You kind of answered this question yourself: the class doesn't need to be buffed late-game compared to early-game. And higher tier gems don't do absolutely nothing more; higher tier gems have better wielded/worn bonuses, especially with the Crystalism bonus.
Spydric poison will probably get replaced with slow in the next version. Not so much because I think it's out of line with the others balance-wise (it's competing with other excellent status effects like burning shock, daze, disarm, and it is easier to resist/cure than plain pin) but to make the physical pin artifact gems more unique. I also need to beat gem hotkeys into working.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:32 pm 
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Perspiring Physicist

Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:43 am
Posts: 5524
But don't the unique gems still create a distortion by giving their bonuses by being equipped anyway? Wouldn't using Alchemist gems be better since they already are coded to use that slot?
(yes I realise that there is no great solution to this issue.)

_________________
My feedback meter decays into coding. Give me feedback and I make mods.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:44 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:43 pm
Posts: 105
Quote:
And higher tier gems don't do absolutely nothing more; higher tier gems have better wielded/worn bonuses, especially with the Crystalism bonus.

Petrified Wood with +57 CON agrees with this statement.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:04 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 4:43 pm
Posts: 105
Some Adventurer magic later, I was able to get Devastate to make 9.8 attacks per turn. The build might have been totally unreasonable and completely unviable, but hey, almost 10 attacks per turn!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:17 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:34 am
Posts: 165
HousePet wrote:
Wouldn't using Alchemist gems be better since they already are coded to use that slot?
It sounds tempting at first, but then you have to give them a means of creating alchemist gems, and now they can't use unique gems unless you make matching unique alchemist gems, and the quantity of alchemist gems isn't even meaningful... the code is simpler but the player-facing interface is a lot worse, and that's a bad trade.

To be clear, for putting unusual items in the quiver slot, the problematic code is all UI stuff. The vanilla UI drawing code assumes anything in your quiver is either an alchemist gem, or has a combat field. The actual gameplay code for archery etc. already reacts gracefully to finding a non-ammo item in the quiver slot (since it already has to account for the slot having an alchemist gem in it). It's doable for me to get rid of the ammo resource display without causing compatibility issues, it's just a pain in the butt so I haven't done it yet.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:36 am 
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Higher

Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:30 am
Posts: 70
I don't know what your goals are for balance, but I play on normal, I'm terrible at this game, and I got my second roguelike win on this class by just alternating auto explore and devastate. I did that Vor Armoury room of death at level 35 by just aggroing 2-3 wyrms at a time, bringing them down a bit and popping devastate a few times. Neither my health nor my psi ever got below 50%, even fighting 3 of them. I've attempted the room of death on most base classes and a substantial number of add-on classes and never been able to fight more than one at a time, and I've certainly never been able to just stand there and tank them like that.

For a class intended to be weak to big hits, this class has access to an excessive amount of all resist. Isn't that the best defense against large hits? Between the reactive resists from Resolve, Anti-Magic Shield, Sorption shields, and 30 all resists from passives, I was barely taking any damage from anything. If I *had* been taking a lot of damage I could have gotten 20 more all res by equipping two diamonds. Had I not gone anti-magic I could have taken stone magic and crafty hands to reach the all res cap and still had a gem slot left over. Maybe on higher difficulties resistance to all isn't as strong, but at least on normal, this is the strongest defensive class I've ever seen by an enormous margin.

I got mindstar mastery, anti-magic and fungus. I was already invincible by the time I put any points in Feedback. I unlocked Voracity but never really had to use it, and didn't unlock Crystalline Focus. I suspect I could have stopped spending points after capping the two crystal trees, clarity, and the three nature trees and gotten the same results.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:34 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:45 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Middle of Nowhere
I've played a few runs with this now, and I have to agree with mashmallowpeep, for the most part.

My run is on Nightmare, and I have not gone anti-magic. Just 2/5 in every Sorption skill and 5/1/5/5 in Solip. Took Voracity, but only recently. No Crystalline Fortress. Still incredibly tanky. (One caveat is that I was playing Shaltor and picked up Unnatural Body which gave me a fair bit of extra life/psi regen, at least against groups of enemies.)

Once you have Devastate, you can basically just set it to auto-use when enemies are in sight and auto-explore your way to the East, at east.

Right now my character is dead-locked in Reknor, fighting a Demo rare. It can't touch me, but I can't deal damage fast enough to kill it, even with a lightning gem, +80 something % lightning damage and +25 or so % lightning res pen. The biggest hitch is that I have no way to shut down his sustains. My fault for not hoarding dispersion gloves, though.

Also, taking Eye of the Tiger can make Devastate last for several rotations. Because it's usually the only skill on cooldown, it can easily have the cooldown completely reset by the time the effect ends. Amusingly, if everything is dead by the time the Devastate loop ends, you just keep on auto-exploring :lol:

On the topic of Devastate, it seems to not entirely prevent action. If you mash the movement keys you can move or bump attack, and if you spam talent hotkeys you can activate them in the midst of Devastate, as well.

Over-all, class is pretty great. Using gems is fun, especially being able to swap out your element on the fly. The skills needed to survive are pretty condensed, which leaves a lot of room open in the build, which is nice. I can see either arcane or anti-magic being viable. Double Staff damage bonus is tempting, but having boosted gem stats definitely makes them very appealing in the TK slot.

Biggest issue in my experience is damage. It is on the cusp of being frustratingly low, especially in the early game. Even later on, stacking a bunch of + damage gear, the fights can last quite a while, especially against something even a little tanky. Or if you run into something that is highly-resistant to the damage type you'v been building and have to switch gems. On the other hand, I have not invested heavily in Crystalline attacks at this point, so it may just be a build progression problem on my part.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:31 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:34 am
Posts: 165
nsrr wrote:
Also, taking Eye of the Tiger can make Devastate last for several rotations. Because it's usually the only skill on cooldown, it can easily have the cooldown completely reset by the time the effect ends.
Yup, this was intended.
nsrr wrote:
On the topic of Devastate, it seems to not entirely prevent action. If you mash the movement keys you can move or bump attack, and if you spam talent hotkeys you can activate them in the midst of Devastate, as well.
This is horrifying, because it would mean you can do the same thing during Shadow Veil in vanilla. However, I can't reproduce this at all. Keypresses/clicks during Devastate will cause the visual effect around talent icons, but won't actually use the talent. Same thing for moving/bumping.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:52 am 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 8:45 pm
Posts: 520
Location: Middle of Nowhere
Yeah, I can't swear bump attacks were hitting, because the log is so crowded, but I could definitely fire off talents. I tried a few. And I could definitely move.

If you can't reproduce it, though, I don't know. Maybe a weird interaction with another add on? I can try a run with nothing else on and see if that makes the behavior stop.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:55 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:34 am
Posts: 165
nsrr wrote:
Yeah, I can't swear bump attacks were hitting, because the log is so crowded, but I could definitely fire off talents. I tried a few. And I could definitely move.
You're sure this is happening before the effect ends, i.e. before "[Name]'s conscious mind takes over." appears in the log?


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