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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:16 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 157
I didn't think there was anything conceptually wrong with most of alchemist's talents, but a lot of the numbers really paled. So I set out to make the class well... stronger. Or at least, to buff a lot of the weaker talents. It's probably (almost definitely) overtuned right now, but I think it's easier to start from here. Also to make them a bit less irritating to play - gems are no longer consumed by talents, but their manacosts have increased. Idea is to make them balanced around mana management rather than gem management. Explosion expert is now based around more predictable code. Also adds a new class, and two new talent trees, with some tweaks to existing trees and talents. Alchemist protection is no longer required to avoid self damage from alchemist bombs. Two versions of addon- alchrevision is for those who don't own EoR, and steamchemist is for those who do.

Latest
Code:
New class :
Steamchemists
Code:
They're tinkers who have started dabbling in alchemy - but their dual focus has resulted in lesser skill. Less skillfully assembled machinery can sometimes be even more dangerous, though.
They have a golem, but no advanced golemancy, access to staff training, but no access to channel staff and no natural mana regen. What they have is lots, and lots of explosions.
One new talent tree : Shrapnel
Steampowered Bombardment : version of throw bomb that scales with steampower and alchemist gem power
Shrapnel infusion : results in bombs causing bleed damage, +phys dmg, +phys penetration
Sonic Boom : An aoe cone physical damage confusion skill
Rocket Powered Leap : a leap that attempts to attack in an aoe, if it hits, causes massive bleed damage

In addition, they have access to many steam categories, and battle machinery now deals bonus damage if the opponents are burning.

Other new changes :
Code:
1.0.6:
Gem quality contributes more to bomb damage
At talent level > 7 throw bomb and steam bombardment now reduce their CD by 1 (this means an extra cat point in their respective categories results in 3 CD)

1.0.5:
Arcanum compatibility update

1.0.4:
Explosion expert no longer increase the damage of throw bomb. Instead, throw bomb's damage has been somewhat normalized - it should deal a bit more damage than the average explosion bomb, but won't have quite the same ceiling.
Explosion expert now increases the AOE and mana cost of throw bomb. It will still increase contained explosion's damage bonus. This damage bonus has been rescaled a bit to be more valuable at lower levels.


1.0.3:
Balance changes:
Throw bomb, steam bombardment, explosion expert nerfed
Defensive posture should scale better with talent level.

1.0.2:
Fire infusion damage changed a bit, same for shrapnel. Now deals 25% of bomb damage over 3 turns. 

1.0.1:
Gems are no longer overloaded.

1.0.0:
Steamcoil re-enabled (it's a tinker, a version of mana coil that gives some steam regen and can attach to steam staves).
Generic steamstaves modifiers changed to .6/.8 instead of .8/.8

0.9.10:
Fixed command staff not having elements. Unfortunately, had to disable steam coil as a short term fix.
Also lowered modifiers on steamstaves and artifacts, as they were slightly too high
0.9.9 :
Fixed thunderclap consuming gems.
0.9.7 :
Steamstaves now use their own ego type instead of staves (basically just stave ego types, but also increases steampower instead of just spellpower)
Bug fixes and balance changes:
Contained explosion mana cost now decreases with additional points, and it notes that it will add an additional 10% damage multiplier.
Throw Bomb and steampowered bombardment scale less with spellpower, though still more than other spells (1.35 instead of 1.65 multiplier).
Body of fire AI fixed – would pop up bugs continously and do nothing before
Rocket propelled leap- fixed to be able to do damage, added a deep wound effect to it while reducing bleed damage
Shrapnel infusion no longer offers physical penetration, but it does offer greater physical bonus damage than other infusions (Fire infusion still has damage pen).
0.9.6:
Steamstaves now offer bonus steampower and are viewed as powered by steam, in addition to arcane forces.
0.9.5:
Steamchemists now start with natural mana regen instead of a mana surge rune (starting with the rune gave them 4 by default)
0.9.4:
Balance change :
Steam cost of bombardment now scales with explosion expert (from 15->35)
0.9.3:
Oops again. Steampowered bombardment now correctly works off steampower instead of spellpower
0.9.2:
Oops. Steamchemists now have starting gems again.
0.9.1:
Steamchemists no longer have golems. Instead, they have a higher life rating than alchemists, and +1 to strength.
Steamstaves can now be used with desperate blast and blunt thrust.
0.9.0:
Added Steamstaves. These are staves created by steamchemists - they have small machines planted inside that aid in striking accuracy and force. They can't be used with channel staff or command staff, but they have an additional cunning modifier and accuracy bonus.

0.9.0:
Added Steamstaves and steamstave artifacts. These are staves created by steamchemists - they have small machines planted inside that aid in striking accuracy and force. They can't be used with channel staff or command staff, but they have an additional cunning modifier and accuracy bonus.

0.7.1
Fire infusion changed :
deals 100% damage, then 1/6 of that damage every turn for three turns (this means that fire infusion now deals the most damage of any infusion, in order to make up for it having the least utility)
(just an FYI, Shrapnel infusion does deal more damage : Shrapnel infusion deals 100% damage, then 1/5 of that damage every turn for four turns).
Steampowered bombardment now deals fireburner damage (the same as fire infusion, but no bonus pen or bonus damage) by default, and is unaffected by infusions other than shrapnel infusion (which no longer affects throw bomb).


Complete changes :
Code:
Overall :
-Gems no longer consumed by talents
-All infusions now have 4 CD to make them viable to switch between in combat
-Infusions give damage pen  to their respective damage types in addition to their damage boost
-Alchemist talents no longer deal friendly fire
-Throw bomb, channel staff, refit golem have higher mana costs (35, 6, 30)

-To make throw bomb's damage scaling smoother gems now give these bonusese to damage of throw bomb per tier :
+20%, +35%, +50%, +65%, +70%, with bomb
Gems such as diamonds which gave a +% modifier now have that added directly to their power :
So a diamond now increases bomb power by 95% exactly, and other tier 5 by +70% exactly.

Totally revised Explosion Expert, based largely on Minmay's version of the spell

Alchemist :
(I used minmay's revamped alchemist as a base for these class starting changes)
Willpower/Con bonuses swapped
Liferating changed from -1 to 0
Weapons Training known from start

Golem :
-Now has head slot.
Unfortunately, to remove a helm you have to equip another helm. I'm working on this.
-Golem gains a class talent point every other level instead of every 3
-Boosted weapon damage on pound
-Pound is now a melee ability
-Pound can now be used in melee range
-Knockback, Crush can now be used in melee range
-Golem gains 1 generic every 10th level and has access to combat training from the start. Note : points in golem power and
resilience automatically give points in these areas, though this is hidden  in normal ToME.

Explosion tree:
-Alchemist protection now only grants extra elemental damage, friendly fire is gone from alchemist talents by default.
-Explosion Expert totally revamped (thanks to minmay for permission to use parts of her code) . It now will tell you how much extra damage is going to be dealt in the tooltip given while aiming the bomb.
-Explosion expert now grants up to 6 radius, and can grant 7 (and some more bonus damage) with an extra category point.

Shockwave bomb replaced with Contained explosion which functions exactly as throw bomb dealing a maximum amount of explosion expert damage to a single tile. Range scales with talent level. Skill has extremely high mana cost (100), but with a single point is almost certainly the most damaging skill in the game.


Lightning:
Living Lightning has 15 CD and somewhat increased damage

Acid :
-Boosted max damage on caustic mire
-Boosted damage on Caustic Golem
-Caustic golem can now trigger twice in a round

Fire Alchemy:

-Body of fire deals MUCH more damage, but drains MUCH more mana, though its sustain cost is reduced to 75
-Now only targets 1 creature
-Body of Fire has 15 CD instead of 40
-Body of fire now grants fire affinity instead of resistance


Frost:
-Boosted max damage on Flash Freeze (250->320)
-Greatly increased max armor granted for Golem on Ice Armor
-Changed frost infusion to no longer freeze. Instead, it applies a 20% slow. This is to let cold be used as a more reliable damage source

Golemancy :
-Refit golem when golem is dead cast time reduced to 1 resting turn (requires player to be out of line of sight of enemies, meaning Smoke Bomb has a purpose)
-Golem is revived at 40% instead of 33% max hp

Advanced Golemancy:
Greatly increased runic golem regen rate

Staff Combat :
Tree reworked
Channel staff is now a built in attack that costs no talent points and deals 100% weapon damage with a +20% magic modifier.
New talent takes the second spot in the tree :
Desperate Blast - In desperate times, you can overload your channel staff with five times as much mana. This will increase the damage and cause the spell to knockback, but changes the damage to a physical type, and decreases the range.
Blunt thrust is the third item in the tree, and never misses from talent level 1.
Defensive posture is fourth in the tree, with increased effectiveness (now scales from 9 armor/defense at level 1 to 18 at level 5).



Stone Alchemy :
-Stone touch starts at range 3 and beams from talent level 1

Warning : balance still WIP


Last edited by Nevuk on Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:33 pm, edited 12 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:03 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:10 am
Posts: 114
Gonna try this out tonight! Alchemist is a class that I love thematically but always end up frustrated when playing, even at lower difficulty levels. Some initial pre-testing thoughts:
- Boosting Throw Bombs itself in terms of effect might be unnecessary; it seems like a perfectly fine skill as is, the issue is more that it's one of few perfectly fine skills for the class.
- I really really like you changing from raw talent level to full talent level, both for the end result (less "points tax") and from a design elegance perspective (deviations from the standard mechanics of the game should be avoided when not actually necessary, and raw levels for this is... not necessary at all).
- Refit golem only needing a single turn seems a bit off, IMHO. Lowering the time it takes is a good idea, since it makes retreating a more reasonable tactical option, but having it take some time both makes Supercharge Golem more of an awesome skill, it creates more tactical tension and meaningful choices in when to remain and to retreat, and it kinda makes thematic sense (considering the difference in mana cost and level required for refit golem vs supercharge golem). I think a sweet-spot would be one that requires you to retreat to refit it, but gives a good chance of successfully refitting it if you actually do retreat (without changing levels).
- Triple damage on channel staff is... a lot. I have no idea whether it's warranted or not, but it really sticks out as extreme, especially with no cooldown and a (despite doubling) low mana cost.

In general on the alchemist: I don't know about specific power levels and stuff as I'm not a good enough player, but I do have an issue with how the class encourages hyper-focusing into a single element. I'd prefer if the elemental focuses where a lot less strong, so that you could mix and match based on situation more. Making the talents more utility-focused and different, and making the infusions less "general improvement of element X" and more "specific bonus to bombs" might help with that.

Honestly I think the class could use some rework pushing it into a more cunning direction. While it should definitely remain a full-on spellcaster, I think it'd be nice for it to have some more cunning-style craftsmanship-related talents; things along the lines of chemistry, poisoning, and trapping (though not those trees in particular, for various reasons).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 9:29 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 157
Thanks for the feedback. I think you're right on Throw Bombs not needing a buff, the change was more to make it have more sensible scaling than to buff it. So I nerfed the starting damage a bit, it should be about normal, but it should still scale in a more logical fashion. Making a version of alchemist less focused on a single specific elemental damage would make for an entirely new class, I feel. Nothing wrong with that, but what I'm trying to do is make the various elements all worth using at some times - currently acid is pretty much always the best option in my experience. I will reduce the CD of infusions soon to make it a bit less "only choose one" though.

Supercharge is still useful as refit golem still has a CD - going supercharge lets you summon the golem without restrictions in a fight, while refit golem requires you to break LOS. I think they're still distinct enough to be fine - and even with my changes the golem is still weak enough that I don't think it's that useful.

To give you an idea on channel staff, trying it out it now does 12-18 damage at skill talent level 1. The skill was REALLY bad. I may increase the mana cost if it's a problem later on though.

(I also do want to do a new class, an alchemist that uses steampower abilities in the long-run, which would involve cunning. That's probably months off though)


Just pushed out version 0.0.3, these are the changes :
Code:
Throw bomb 15 mana cost, slightly nerfed again
All infusions now have 4 CD to make them viable to switch between in combat
Thunderclap's damage is no longer divided by 2
Increased max damage on Living Lightning
Boosted damage on Caustic Golem
Greatly increased max armor granted for Golem on Ice Armor
Defensive posture doubled in effectiveness (placeholder change)
Blunt Thrust can no longer miss from talent level 1.

Lowered CDs on following Sustains to 15 -
Living Lightning
Ice Core
Fire Alchemy

0.0.2 changes :
Code:
Willpower/Con bonuses swapped
Liferating changed from -1 to 0
Weapons Training known from start
(I used minmay's revamped alchemist as a base for these changes)
Explosives:
Throw bomb starting damage somewhat nerfed (about the same as normal, though scaling is still a bit better)
Costs 10 mana
Acid :
-Boosted max damage on caustic mire
Frost:
-Boosted max damage on Flash Freeze (250->320)
Golem :
-Now has head slot.
Unfortunately, to remove it you have to equip another helm. I'm working on this.
-Increased talent gain rate (should be 25 instead of 16 at lvl 50)
-Boosted weapon damage on pound
-Pound is now a melee ability
-Pound can now be used in melee range
-Knockback, Crush can now be used in melee range (???? why wasn't this the case before????)
Advanced Golemancy:
Greatly increased runic golem regen rate

Basically, golem is no longer totally useless when it's in melee range.



What I'm aiming for here is to have alchemist use mana as its limiting factor, rather than gems. To that end I'm planning on making explosion expert add to the mana cost of throw bomb, to what degree I'm uncertain (perhaps +20% per raw talent level).

So future plans :
-Change Body of Fire to give fire affinity instead of resistance - not sure why the one that's described as literally "turn your body into fire" doesn't grant affinity.
-Make explosion expert add to mana cost of throw bomb
-Replace stone touch, defensive posture, and alter blunt thrust to never miss from talent level 1
-Perhaps swap Fire Storm with the golem's molten skin?
-Examine explosion expert and see if it really checks for constraint


Longer term goals (I'll need to learn more lua)-
-Give Golem a visible head slot on its sheet.
Very long term :
-Create a steampower version of Alchemist - a Steam 'Chemist, if you will

edit : Added 0.0.3 changes


Last edited by Nevuk on Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:21 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:09 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:10 am
Posts: 114
I agree with a lot of your 0.2 changes, seems very reasonable in general. Though again, I'm not good at gauging power levels in general; a better player would have to give feedback on that.

I don't think trying out Channel Staff with a basic staff at level one gives much info on the usefulness of the skill; what it provides is an always-hit long-range armor-negating attack with no cooldown and low cost. Think of it like the "shoot" talent, just that you can invest extra points in it to get a bit of a damage bonus. It's the bump attack of the alchemist.

For a comparison of 1st level ranged attacks, I made a very very basic test of a ghoul Skirmisher and a ghoul Alchemist making their attacks against the necromancer. Each had put 3 points in the attack stat, and a single point in either sling mastery or channel staff.
Skirmisher: Killed the necromancer in 7 turns; one move, two misses, and four hits. Hits dealt 19-22 damage each.
Alchemist (with your mod): Killed the necromancer in 3 turns; three hits, each dealing 23-29 fire damage.

Of course this is an extremely limited test that skews the results in unknown directions; the necromancer has 0 armor and 0 resistances/vulnerabilities, so the ability to ignore armor and change damage type is left completely unused. Conversely, enemies are often encountered at ranges where the sling can immediately attack, and the're more useful special attacks and egos for slings than staves. However, a skirmisher is much, much more reliant on it's basic attacks in the early game than the alchemist is reliant on it's channel staff; the alchemist has a golem. Regardless, the test didn't compare optimal circumstances for either.

I can see a buff to channel staff being warranted from vanilla, but I think you underrate the usefulness of always hitting, always ignoring armor completely even when dealing physical damage, and being able to change element at will as a single-turn action. As far as turning melee weapons into ranged attacks it's no Wave of Power, but neither should it be.

(Also, I might have found a bug though I can't swear it's from your mod; it seems Staff Mastery now gives 0 physical power and the weapon damage bonus starts at 34%).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:13 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 157
sajberhippien wrote:
I don't think trying out Channel Staff with a basic staff at level one gives much info on the usefulness of the skill; what it provides is an always-hit long-range armor-negating attack with no cooldown and low cost. Think of it like the "shoot" talent, just that you can invest extra points in it to get a bit of a damage bonus. It's the bump attack of the alchemist.

For a comparison of 1st level ranged attacks, I made a very very basic test of a ghoul Skirmisher and a ghoul Alchemist making their attacks against the necromancer. Each had put 3 points in the attack stat, and a single point in either sling mastery or channel staff.
Skirmisher: Killed the necromancer in 7 turns; one move, two misses, and four hits. Hits dealt 19-22 damage each.
Alchemist (with your mod): Killed the necromancer in 3 turns; three hits, each dealing 23-29 fire damage.

Of course this is an extremely limited test that skews the results in unknown directions; the necromancer has 0 armor and 0 resistances/vulnerabilities, so the ability to ignore armor and change damage type is left completely unused. Conversely, enemies are often encountered at ranges where the sling can immediately attack, and the're more useful special attacks and egos for slings than staves. However, a skirmisher is much, much more reliant on it's basic attacks in the early game than the alchemist is reliant on it's channel staff; the alchemist has a golem. Regardless, the test didn't compare optimal circumstances for either.

I can see a buff to channel staff being warranted from vanilla, but I think you underrate the usefulness of always hitting, always ignoring armor completely even when dealing physical damage, and being able to change element at will as a single-turn action. As far as turning melee weapons into ranged attacks it's no Wave of Power, but neither should it be.

(Also, I might have found a bug though I can't swear it's from your mod; it seems Staff Mastery now gives 0 physical power and the weapon damage bonus starts at 34%).

Yeah, I ran into that too. Not sure if it's from my mod or not tbh, though I did use some of the skills from 1.6 as a base file(where weapon masteries now give 0 physical power in general).

I could either increase the mana cost or decrease the damage on channel staff to 2x instead of 3x, not sure which I should do. I'm leaning towards increasing the mana cost to 15 or 20 (or making it scale with skill level, if that's possible).


Looking at it, it's because I'm using 1.6's staff combat file as a base. I could revert? But physical power should honestly have almost 0 relevance to alchemist, so it's not a huge deal either way.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:19 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:10 am
Posts: 114
Quote:
some of the skills from 1.6


So... is 1.6 accessible somewhere? xD
I mean I've seen posts about it and the vault has a number of dev-created characters, but is there some build that's playable and that we can access?


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:28 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 157
sajberhippien wrote:
Quote:
some of the skills from 1.6


So... is 1.6 accessible somewhere? xD
I mean I've seen posts about it and the vault has a number of dev-created characters, but is there some build that's playable and that we can access?


Yeah :
https://www.reddit.com/r/ToME4/comments ... ed_fellow/


That's an alpha version from about a month ago. Most changes since then were bugfixes. I've compiled a newer version on windows, but I'm not sure if I'd be allowed to upload it or anything. (Or if the executable from it would be usable for the updated binaries thread).


The only changes I've done that I think may be too powerful are the channel staff and body of fire ones, the others just feel like I'm bringing it into line with a normal class. And even with those it still feels weaker than say, sawbutcher.

Pushed out 0.0.4, feels like a good stopping point. Everything else will require a bit more lua from me, or playtesting from people on the balance aspect. (I've beaten the game with a normal alchemist a couple of times, but they were always extremely irritating to play). Feel like it's enough changes to push it on steam so I did that too.
Code:
0.0.4
Changed frost infusion to no longer freeze. Instead, it applies a 20% slow. This is to let cold be used as a damage source (as freeze frequently made you do LESS damage, and there's an aoe freeze in the tree anyways).

Explosion expert now only requires level 4 to access (so you can level it earlier, since its power spike is so huge)

Golem gains 1 generic every 10th level and has access to combat training from the start. Note : points in golem power and resilience automatically give points in these areas, thought this is hidden  in normal ToME. But with this change it's possible to boost them past their caps, with some planning.

Refit golem now costs 5 gems when golem is dead.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:47 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:10 am
Posts: 114
Cool, gonna have to check 1.6 out at some point.

Don't know if you've maybe already fixed this in 0.04, but there seems to be a bug in Explosion Expert's scaling; it seems to scale normally to lvl 3 (at +88% contained damage) but then jump through the roof at 4 (at +202% contained damage).


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:02 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 157
sajberhippien wrote:
Cool, gonna have to check 1.6 out at some point.

Don't know if you've maybe already fixed this in 0.04, but there seems to be a bug in Explosion Expert's scaling; it seems to scale normally to lvl 3 (at +88% contained damage) but then jump through the roof at 4 (at +202% contained damage).

Yeah, it's like that in normal tome as well, though it's somewhat disguised due to using raw talent level (it jumps up massively at talent levels 4 and 5 for vanilla alchemists) and does very little before that. It's part of why alchemists have such weird damage scaling in vanilla tome.

I wish I could get it to scale better, but it's a complex function where the damage is based on the number of grids hit. So adding a couple more grids does nowhere near as much as the last two talent levels where it adds tons (if it weren't capped to 6 radius the last would add far more). Minmay has a more logically laid out version of explosion expert in his revamped alchemist, but it's a totally different approach to the class.

Basically, I can barely wrap my head around what this code does, let alone how it gets there:

Code:
getRadius = function(self, t) return math.max(1, math.floor(self:combatTalentScale(t, 2, 6, 0.5, 0, 0, true))) end,
   minmax = function(self, t, grids)
local theoretical_nb = (2 * t.getRadius(self, t) + 1)^1.94 -- Maximum grids hit vs. talent level
      if grids then
         local lostgrids = math.max(theoretical_nb - grids, 0)
         local mult = math.max(0,math.log10(lostgrids)) / (6 - math.min(self:getTalentLevel(self.T_EXPLOSION_EXPERT), 5))
         print("Adjusting explosion damage to account for ", lostgrids, " lost tiles => ", mult * 100)
         return mult
      else
         local min = 1
         local min = (math.log10(min) / (6 - math.min(self:getTalentLevel(t), 5)))
         local max = theoretical_nb
         local max = (math.log10(max) / (6 - math.min(self:getTalentLevel(t), 5)))


And any change I make without fully understanding it will either be a massive nerf or a massive buff. The raw talent change makes it so the "breakpoint" where you get the most out of the skill is at talent level 4 rather than 5 now, basically (it moves the massive jump down 1 class point).


sajberhippien wrote:
I agree with a lot of your 0.2 changes, seems very reasonable in general. Though again, I'm not good at gauging power levels in general; a better player would have to give feedback on that.

I don't think trying out Channel Staff with a basic staff at level one gives much info on the usefulness of the skill; what it provides is an always-hit long-range armor-negating attack with no cooldown and low cost. Think of it like the "shoot" talent, just that you can invest extra points in it to get a bit of a damage bonus. It's the bump attack of the alchemist.

For a comparison of 1st level ranged attacks, I made a very very basic test of a ghoul Skirmisher and a ghoul Alchemist making their attacks against the necromancer. Each had put 3 points in the attack stat, and a single point in either sling mastery or channel staff.
Skirmisher: Killed the necromancer in 7 turns; one move, two misses, and four hits. Hits dealt 19-22 damage each.
Alchemist (with your mod): Killed the necromancer in 3 turns; three hits, each dealing 23-29 fire damage.

Of course this is an extremely limited test that skews the results in unknown directions; the necromancer has 0 armor and 0 resistances/vulnerabilities, so the ability to ignore armor and change damage type is left completely unused. Conversely, enemies are often encountered at ranges where the sling can immediately attack, and the're more useful special attacks and egos for slings than staves. However, a skirmisher is much, much more reliant on it's basic attacks in the early game than the alchemist is reliant on it's channel staff; the alchemist has a golem. Regardless, the test didn't compare optimal circumstances for either.

I can see a buff to channel staff being warranted from vanilla, but I think you underrate the usefulness of always hitting, always ignoring armor completely even when dealing physical damage, and being able to change element at will as a single-turn action. As far as turning melee weapons into ranged attacks it's no Wave of Power, but neither should it be.

(Also, I might have found a bug though I can't swear it's from your mod; it seems Staff Mastery now gives 0 physical power and the weapon damage bonus starts at 34%).

Looking at the numbers you gave on the skirmisher, I think I'm going to nerf channel staff's damage by 25% from what I had. Staves are going to scale worse than other weapons because they tend to have a lower modifier, iirc. So while they'll be more reliable at lower levels, without investing in arcane might they should do less damage than similar ranged weapons at higher levels (and not be used by any talents). That'll be in the next release, probably sometime tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:18 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:10 am
Posts: 114
Had time to play some more now, and I gotta say, my impression so far is that the class is very strong now. Like, very very strong. Of course I can't gauge from a great-player-at-madness-perspective; I can only compare to how I usually fare. Right now I'm a level 14 skeleton and diving into the lake at nightmare/adventure; I usually wouldn't stand a chance at going into the lake at level 14 at normal, yet I can go there almost casually on nightmare with this class. I've not taken the fortress yet, and in a way I hope I can't; I shouldn't be able to take the sher'tul fortress at mid-teen levels on nightmare difficulty. I'm not saying people shouldn't, but *I* shouldn't! xD
EDIT: Beat the weirdling beast at lvl 15 without breaking a sweat; I was never injured, and the golem was ever only down to 75%. Whole fight was less than 20 rounds, I think, and was just using channel staff over and over against with a few aquamarine bombs to renew the ice shield and save some mana.

This is with a build focusing on channel staff as main damage dealer against single/few targets, while using throw bombs for utility, sniping and clearing out chaff and the golem tanking (got 1/1/1/0 cold infusion, going to get ice body next level). I've gone 1/4/5/0 on explosives and 2/3/1/0 on the golem, with 5/5/0/0 staff combat.

I'm not playing super-carefully or using the golem to scout, and I auto-explore, but I got Track from an escort and use it to corner snipe at times (though corner nuke seems a more appropriate term; I can often hit 4+ enemies while sniping with bombs). I also use ametrine bombs whenever I'm in dark places to light up the place, but don't switch constantly between those and other gems.

At this point my bombs tend to deal 120-160 damage (with just a single point in the bomb skill itself though) while channel staff deals around 250 when not looking at resistances, but whenever a foe is dangerous I switch to it's weakest point (Wrathroot was a breeze where I did 400+ damage per channel staff due to fire weakness).

More concrete observations:
- The increase in healing power of Refit Golem is unnecessary if putting a few points in Golem Resilience; with just 3 points in GR, Refit Golem heals 586 hp on the 328 max hp golem.
- The power increase of channel staff and the radius increase of throw bombs is vastly amplified by track and similar scouting techniques. If I wanted (and needed) I could make sure to always attune my staff to my enemies' weakest resistance, and get off at least one but often two or more bombs before they even get the opportunity to attack me.
- The damage bonus of Channel Staff and Staff Mastery work exponentially. As the only purpose of investing more than one point in either right now is to increase the damage of channel staff, perhaps one of them simply shouldn't? It might be an out there idea, but what if channel staff had a static, non-increasing damage ratio and the talent level affected other things such as range, travel speed, damage modifier from stat, et cetera?
EDIT: - Your changelist states a doubling of the effectiveness of Defensive Posture, which is a sharp increase as is, but you actually trippled it from (t, 10, 20) to (t, 30, 60). A single point gives +25 defense and +25 armor which seems... excessive. I'm actually not against buffing the "martial" part of staff combat, it'd be interesting to be able to make a semi-martial alchemist, but this change just seems unnecessary considering all the other changes.

At this point playing the character just feels like cheating. xD


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:33 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 157
From what I understand, the class would have actually still been sorta weak at madness because it had absolutely no damage penetration. After talking to some people in chat I came up with the idea to add that to the infusions (still less penetration than Archmages have, but they should deal better damage now). Incrementing a bit more in release number because this feels a lot more like a normal class to me - most changes from here should be tweaks rather than any code rewrites.

Code:
0.1.0
-Throw bomb, channel staff, refit golem have higher mana costs (35, 15, 30)
-Alchemist gems are no longer consumed by talents (Throw bomb, refit golem, stone portal, shockwave bomb affected. Let me know if I missed any)
-Extract alchemist gem now only creates 1-2 gems.
-Infusions give damage pen  to their respective damage types in addition to their damage boost (Fire infusion gives a slightly higher penetration than the other types to make up for it causing bombs to deal DoT damage instead of burst).
-Explosion Expert totally revamped (thanks to minmay for permission to use parts of her code) . It now accurately calculates the amount of damage it should deal, and will tell you how much is going to be dealt in the tooltip given while aiming the bomb. The maximum damage listed should now only be dealt if the bomb only goes off on exactly 1 square (which is almost impossible, but with the large radius it's still almost always a boost to the bomb damage)
The issue is that the class was totally based around a somewhat busted ability : throw bomb dealt about 30-40% of the damage it did before the change initially. So I've rescaled throw bomb's numbers a bit(spell power now has a much greater impact on damage), but basically throw bomb needs rebalanced all over.
My current aim is to have it deal about 400 damage before modifiers at level 50 (so a well placed bomb can hit for roughly 800 easily, pre-crit, while a poorly placed one is still going to hit for probably 550ish), and to hit for about 70 damage at birth with 2 points in it. I'm about satisfied with what I have, but tannen may be 1 shotting people with my current formula.   
-Explosion expert can now correctly grants 6 radius, and can grant 7 (and some more bonus damage) with an extra category point.
-Body of fire now grants fire affinity instead of resistance
-Body of fire mana cost rescaled (higher cost at low levels, scales about 2x at high levels)
-Channel staff damage cut by 25% (now about double vanilla tome values), staff mastery reverted to 1.5.5 values.
-Refit golem heal value lowered a bit.



WIP :
giving golems a viewable head slot in the character sheet
balancing (lol)
Replace defensive posture with something useful

sajberhippien wrote:
Had time to play some more now, and I gotta say, my impression so far is that the class is very strong now. Like, very very strong. Of course I can't gauge from a great-player-at-madness-perspective; I can only compare to how I usually fare. Right now I'm a level 14 skeleton and diving into the lake at nightmare/adventure; I usually wouldn't stand a chance at going into the lake at level 14 at normal, yet I can go there almost casually on nightmare with this class. I've not taken the fortress yet, and in a way I hope I can't; I shouldn't be able to take the sher'tul fortress at mid-teen levels on nightmare difficulty. I'm not saying people shouldn't, but *I* shouldn't! xD
EDIT: Beat the weirdling beast at lvl 15 without breaking a sweat; I was never injured, and the golem was ever only down to 75%. Whole fight was less than 20 rounds, I think, and was just using channel staff over and over against with a few aquamarine bombs to renew the ice shield and save some mana.

This is with a build focusing on channel staff as main damage dealer against single/few targets, while using throw bombs for utility, sniping and clearing out chaff and the golem tanking (got 1/1/1/0 cold infusion, going to get ice body next level). I've gone 1/4/5/0 on explosives and 2/3/1/0 on the golem, with 5/5/0/0 staff combat.

I'm not playing super-carefully or using the golem to scout, and I auto-explore, but I got Track from an escort and use it to corner snipe at times (though corner nuke seems a more appropriate term; I can often hit 4+ enemies while sniping with bombs). I also use ametrine bombs whenever I'm in dark places to light up the place, but don't switch constantly between those and other gems.

At this point my bombs tend to deal 120-160 damage (with just a single point in the bomb skill itself though) while channel staff deals around 250 when not looking at resistances, but whenever a foe is dangerous I switch to it's weakest point (Wrathroot was a breeze where I did 400+ damage per channel staff due to fire weakness).

More concrete observations:
- The increase in healing power of Refit Golem is unnecessary if putting a few points in Golem Resilience; with just 3 points in GR, Refit Golem heals 586 hp on the 328 max hp golem.
- The power increase of channel staff and the radius increase of throw bombs is vastly amplified by track and similar scouting techniques. If I wanted (and needed) I could make sure to always attune my staff to my enemies' weakest resistance, and get off at least one but often two or more bombs before they even get the opportunity to attack me.
- The damage bonus of Channel Staff and Staff Mastery work exponentially. As the only purpose of investing more than one point in either right now is to increase the damage of channel staff, perhaps one of them simply shouldn't? It might be an out there idea, but what if channel staff had a static, non-increasing damage ratio and the talent level affected other things such as range, travel speed, damage modifier from stat, et cetera?
EDIT: - Your changelist states a doubling of the effectiveness of Defensive Posture, which is a sharp increase as is, but you actually trippled it from (t, 10, 20) to (t, 30, 60). A single point gives +25 defense and +25 armor which seems... excessive. I'm actually not against buffing the "martial" part of staff combat, it'd be interesting to be able to make a semi-martial alchemist, but this change just seems unnecessary considering all the other changes.

At this point playing the character just feels like cheating. xD

The class has been toned down a lot. The defensive posture was because I doubled it and nothing happened initially LOL, but I think I was editing the wrong file. It's been toned back down too, and now goes in the fourth slot of the tree. A single point now gives 9 armor/defense, which is what 5 points gave before the change.

Golem power is actually what increases refit golem heal value, resilience only increases their healing mod (weird, huh?), but I did lower the base increase a bit - something to note is that the heal benefit falls off as the game goes on even before this change.

I wanted to make mana cost of bomb increase with levels of explosion expert, but I believe that's impossible. I did think about giving it a ridiculous high mana cost of 50, but decided that 35 is enough - the class now has mana problems at early levels and almost certainly needs some points in willpower.

Todo list :
Mainly convert to using something besides overloading so it plays friendlier with other addons


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:02 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 157
OK, so I think I'm in a good place for future balancing to be done. Rewrote throw bomb + shockwave bomb's damage formulas so that the way they use gem power is easier for myself to comprehend and so the progression curve is much smoother.
0.2.0
Code:
Gems now modify damage done by throw bomb based on their tier :
+20%, +35%, +50%, +65%, +70%

Gems such as diamonds which gave a +% modifier now have that added directly to their power :
So a diamond now increases bomb power by 95% exactly, and other tier 5 by +70% exactly.

Shockwave Bomb is now a single tile targeted ability called "Contained Explosion".

Now deals damage of the selected infusion with their given properties, or physical damage with knockback if unselected. Effectively deals the amount of damage a maxed explosion expert and that a level of throw bomb would deal if confined to that tile (this is currently only a theoretical approach to the damage range, may code it to do exactly this in the future).  Has a massive mana cost, but also is probably the most damaging spell in the game.
 


These are smaller changes than the previous patches, but I feel they more accurately address some issues of the class : throw bombs damage was confusing and kind of unpredictable, and they lacked a strong single target damage skill - which is now thematically addressed by re purposing possibly their least used talent. .


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 7:40 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:10 am
Posts: 114
I'll try it out later; with all those changes I'll try it out on a completely fresh character.

I had a thought though about Staff Combat and how to make it more interesting, related to my last post on it. What if gems where incorporated into Staff Mastery, and Channel Staff changed from altering damage to altering secondary traits? The idea would be something like this:

Channel Staff: Deals something like 120% staff damage, always, for 5 mana. Projectile speed is something like 1000 + 250*talent level. Range is something like 6.5 + talent level (7-13). *Usage speed* is something like 100 - 5 per level. This would mean a single point is enough to get you a basic ranged attack similar to Shoot, but with more points it would become an extreme-range, almost always hit, quick attack, providing a different niche than just "more damage". Sometimes attack speed is more important than damage, especially if you have some kind of on-hit effect.

Staff Mastery: Increases accuracy and damage with staffs. Allows you to add a gem of tier = raw talent level to the staff, acting as a focusing lens; when the latent damage type of the gem matches the damage type of the staff, it provides an additional damage bonus or special effect of that type to attacks with the staff (whether channel staff or melee). Like, a fire staff with a ruby might give a % chance to burn enemies. Would synergize with the increased attack speed on high-level channel staff.

EDIT: Oh and in regards to explosion expert, while I don't understand the exact code involved, I don't think it's as simple as the damage increasing exponentially just based on the number of squares affected; level 3>4 adds way more damage than 4>5, even though 4>5 adds way more squares of effect.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:30 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:10 am
Posts: 114
Ok so trying out the new version, I have two comments so far.

1. Converting to alchemist gems now gives like, 1-2 gems. In addition, things that use alchemist gems no long seems to use them, though their descriptions still say they do. If they're not intended to use them, removing alchemist's gems as a limited resource, why not just drop the conversion and allow using the base gemstones as they are? Seems like it would be much more elegant. If they're intended to consume them, you have some major bugs on your hands. EDIT: I see now that Create Alchemist's Gems notes that they're reusable so it's intentional then. Then I suggest simply removing alchemist gems completely and using standard gems instead.

2. The alchemist now is even more bursty than before, and lacks a standard, sustainable thing to do; a meleer can bump attack, an archer can shoot, and an archmage can cycle it's low mana cost spells. The alchemist's skills are *extremely* mana intensive, and also very very powerful. While bursty gameplay isn't wrong by itself, it's unintuitive (unlike for say, a shadowblade) and undermines the usefulness of the golem. Keeping Channel Staff at 5 mana and giving it just a minor power boost would IMO make for a more enjoyable and less lopsided gameplay. That, or adding some new low-power low-cost skill with short or no cooldown.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:22 am 
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Thalore

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:50 am
Posts: 157
sajberhippien wrote:
Ok so trying out the new version, I have two comments so far.

1. Converting to alchemist gems now gives like, 1-2 gems. In addition, things that use alchemist gems no long seems to use them, though their descriptions still say they do. If they're not intended to use them, removing alchemist's gems as a limited resource, why not just drop the conversion and allow using the base gemstones as they are? Seems like it would be much more elegant. If they're intended to consume them, you have some major bugs on your hands. EDIT: I see now that Create Alchemist's Gems notes that they're reusable so it's intentional then. Then I suggest simply removing alchemist gems completely and using standard gems instead.

2. The alchemist now is even more bursty than before, and lacks a standard, sustainable thing to do; a meleer can bump attack, an archer can shoot, and an archmage can cycle it's low mana cost spells. The alchemist's skills are *extremely* mana intensive, and also very very powerful. While bursty gameplay isn't wrong by itself, it's unintuitive (unlike for say, a shadowblade) and undermines the usefulness of the golem. Keeping Channel Staff at 5 mana and giving it just a minor power boost would IMO make for a more enjoyable and less lopsided gameplay. That, or adding some new low-power low-cost skill with short or no cooldown.

1. They're stored in different places in the text and I don't think I'm capable of doing that yet (the "bomb" effects are stored with the alchemist gems specifically, and I don't want to break anything). I do agree that would make sense, but I'd also be worried about breaking a bunch of stuff with npc alchemists.

2. I could do that, but I also felt like the mana cost would lessen overall as the game went on - part of this is the way that it's really easy to get like 500+ mana at level 50 with 0 points in willpower. I think tripling the mana cost on channel staff was excessive, so I'll bump it back down. When playtesting I realized I'd forgotten fatigue affects mana costs, so some of the higher ones probably need knocked back down too.

I do think you're right that I may have gone too far on the mana costs. I could bump channel staff back down to 10 or 5 mana, there's nothing technically wrong with that. The idea was to make the class have mana management issues rather than gem management issues, since one of those is a lot less annoying than the other, but I went overboard.


Anyways, I edited those values a bit :
Code:
0.3.0-
Channel staff damage rescaled, mana cost reduced to 6. (It now has lower starting damage but should scale about the same with talent points. Also, version 1.5.5 staff mastery means staff mastery helps less). 

Throw bomb mana cost reduced to 30, damage very slightly reduced

Contained explosion now functions exactly as throw bomb dealing a maximum amount of damage to a single tile. Range scales with talent level. Skill has extremely high mana cost (105), but even with a single point is almost certainly the most damaging spell in the game.

Refit golem no longer massively explodes in power when  golem power is leveled

Updated tooltips that referenced consuming gems, and runic golem to correctly list granted regen.


Logic behind the channel staff change is that alchemists are starved for generics most of the time, especially early game. Let me know if it's still too much though (as I was definitely wrong about 3x not being too much LOL).


Your feedback is very useful, as currently the only other balance testing I can do is see if I can brainlessly go through the game on nightmare. If so, I nerf the numbers a bit.

WIP:
Update tooltips to give fitting lore for why gems aren't consumed - something about using them as a way to aid in the transmutation of mystical energies.
Giving golems a viewable head slot in the character sheet
Balancing
Replace defensive posture with something useful
Longer plans:
Perhaps a new tree, blood gems (idea behind it would be 'corrupted' gemcraft).
Steampowered version of alchemist.

Also, does anyone know how to to fix the "error uploading to steam" problem? I've literally never been able to update, have to erase the steam version and upload a new one each time.


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