ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 2:46 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 8:13 pm
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Location: A shallow water area south of Bree
Snarvid wrote:
c. Using Your Host's Weapon Skills
Many weapon-based skills are greyed out unless you are wielding the appropriate weapon type, so if you're not fully conversant with the game you may wish to check the wiki before choosing your talents.

That's actually one of the useful bits of info that Possessor Tweaks adds (if you'll forgive the shameless self-promotion :wink: ), for exactly the reason you describe here. Specifically, it annotates talent lists in the relevant dialogs with annotations (Shld), (2H) and (Dual) depending on what weapon types they require.

[Possessor Tweaks isn't the one that allows healing while in an assumed form, if you're worried about that; that's its older brother Proper Possession. :mrgreen: ]

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 5:15 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
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Zizzo wrote:
So, against my better judgement, I fired up a couple Possessor characters recently, on the strength of a forum description of them as a "faceplant" (which in my experience translates from forum to English roughly as "might actually survive Normal-mode endgame by some freak miracle" :roll: ). Impressions so far:
  • Y'know what I've done virtually none of while playing a Possessor? Actually possess any bodies. It's exactly the problem I was worried about from the very beginning: a stored body is effectively a non-renewable resource, which means that for all practical purposes you can never use it, because you can never be certain you shouldn't have saved it for a greater need later.
  • What is even the point of limiting the types of creatures the player can possess? It's just another cripplingly limited resource like inscription slots, except the player can't even plan how to use this resource, because there's no way of knowing in advance what kinds of creatures you'll need to be able to possess. (I actually had to resort to source diving to assemble a list of all creature types and pick out a list of types to avoid like "vermin" or "immovable", just to be sure I had enough slots to cover the rest.)


I believe your core problem is in the difference between "faceplant" and "faceroll." A faceroll is much more relaxing than a faceplant. ;)

The additional information given by your possessor tweaks mod sound like generally A Good Thing. I don't think Possessors need any additional power, since they are one of the very few classes capable of a Madness win, and that's a pretty tough bar to clear. My suspicion, based on your self-description of your level of playing competence, is that you're actually playing on too low a difficulty level for Possessors to reach their potential. If you're playing on Insane the game will keep feeding you top quality bodies, while rare+ tier enemies aren't that common on Normal and so you have to try to hoard them. If your plan was to get attached to a particular body in the early game, though, that's simply not what Possessors do. FWIW, I'm also one of those players who tend to reach the final boss in any given game with a huge amount of hoarded temporary buffs given how parsimonious I am with them in general play. But bodies are your core mechanic as a Possessor, and you gotta go hand-over-hand with them, swinging from one monkey bar to the next. (Later on, when you've gotten a couple of strong damage shields, corner snipes, and your damage is appallingly explosive, you can afford to get attached to really top-tier bodies - I particularly like Aluin for option to combine Flexible Combat, Superpower, and Arcane Might all in one character.)

Also, once you've played the game for a bit you *can* generally know what types you need by when (dragons before Daikara, undead before Dreadfall, elementals prior to the Temporal Rift, etc.) I admit that it may not help you until you're familiar at the game, but there's a reason why the game warns you about how confusing it is for beginners.

I don't know how the early game will work for Possessors once drowning is gone, but right now you can start on Insane, take a Cornac for mastery out of the gate, restart until you have a boss in Last Hope, drown a couple rares to level up, and then possess a 20+ level boss body first thing by last-hitting a drowning boss. Assuming it isn't an evading halfling that insta-gibs you off Evasion, you basically just won the game, especially if you catch Rune of Reflection from the mage city or Hedge-Wizard.

Anyway, thanks for the information mod, thanks but no thanks for the buffs!

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 6:30 am 
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Higher

Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:25 am
Posts: 58
I had to post and thank you for this guide. It's one of the most well-written guides on the forums, and turned a rich, mechanically complicated class into something I could easily digest. Possessors shot up to one of my top 3 favorite classes, and I don't remember the last time I had so much fun with the game. Thank you so much for taking the time to figure it out and write this hefty tome of a user manual so plebs like me can enjoy it.


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 8:09 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
Posts: 355
You are very welcome. Glad it helped!

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 12:48 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
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Halfway through a Drem game, they appear to absolutely be top-tier and also allow one of the most creative and flexible styles of Possessor play to date. In a manner analogous to how Ogre opens up a whole new weapon-based dimension of play due to Ogrewielding, Frenzy opens up huge doors for the Possessor due to its ability to allow double use of Assume Form. This provides, for the first time, a practical ability to choose your form based on the tactical needs of a particular combat. It *does* leave you vulnerable for the turn you use it (less so with speed boosts, shielding inscriptions, and From Below), and often there will be other abilities that would benefit more from Frenzy (if nothing else, double Seismic Mind and double Unleashed Mind is pretty strong and should leave Windblade users gently weeping), but it's very, very strong and also great fun. It also adds yet another wrinkle to your Projection game by letting you Project and then shapechange, which lets you keep around Summoning forms for their Projection utility alone.

Other nice synergies: Spikeskin's minor damage works well with Force Shield to get opponents into Sadism range, and Seismic Mind and Unleashed Mind are excellent in conjunction with From Below it Devours (which is great, despite not being instant). If you find it, From Below + x2 Lightbringer's Wand is also a pretty great room clearing combo which rewards the Possessor's unparalleled ability to stack Device Mastery and high stats. From Below's pull also really helps work around Possess's short range and essentially wasted turn.

Things to be determined:
- Does Timeless on a Shalore host extend Frenzy duration? (Drem I find in game appear to still be racially skilled as Dwarves, so you have to be Drem right now to access this combo) Answer: No.

I am also playing with the Possessor Tweaks mod to see how its additional information alters the flow of the game. Overall:
- The most useful pieces of info are the level-up notification and the listing of how many possession slots are available on your toolbar, with the former being quite nice.
- The "?" notation by weapon requirements limits the effectiveness of that feature - you either know anyway or don't, and to be safe you still have to check.
- You don't list steamsaw requirements, or even a ? mark, for many, maybe all steamsaw offensive skills.

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Last edited by Snarvid on Wed May 30, 2018 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 1:16 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 8:13 pm
Posts: 1541
Location: A shallow water area south of Bree
Snarvid wrote:
I am also playing with the Possessor Tweaks mod to see how its additional information alters the flow of the game. Overall:
- The most useful pieces of info are the level-up notification and the listing of how many possession slots are available on your toolbar, with the former being quite nice.

I know, right? :wink: Hmm, on a second look, though, could the possession slots listing on the toolbar benefit from being a different text color? White on light blue doesn't seem to contrast well.

Snarvid wrote:
- The "?" notation by weapon requirements limits the effectiveness of that feature - you either know anyway or don't, and to be safe you still have to check.

? I'm not sure what you mean here.

Snarvid wrote:
- You don't list steamsaw requirements, or even a ? mark, for many, maybe all steamsaw offensive skills.

[sound F/X: source diving] …huh. Did not know that was a thing. Should have, I suppose. :oops: On preliminary investigation, it looks like I can check for that and flag corresponding talents with a new (Saw) annotation, though it will involve slightly more complex method-dump grubbery. Some steamsaw-using methods, to my surprise, don't even have an on_pre_use() method enforcing their steamsaw requirement (notably Bloodstream, Spinal Break and Continuous Butchery); they just don't do anything if you're not wielding a steamsaw.

Actually, as long as I'm already mucking about in this part of the code, are there any other weapon-related talent preconditions I should add checks for before I push out a release with the steamsaw checks?

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 3:19 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
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On the ? mark thing - sorry about that, I was sloppy with my use of “you” to mean both “you, zizzo, maker of the addon” and “you, the one who is playing the game” at different points, that one was “you = player.”

Anyway - a bunch of the skills have something like “Dual?” or “Shield?” listed after them. I get that kind of inkling myself when I look at some skills (that is, “is this one that requires dual or not?”) so it’s less helpful and I still have to check the wiki. But maybe the “?”s aren’t intended to still be there?

IIRC you’re also missing Sun Paladin’s shield requirement on their Guardian skills, or at least on Shield of Light. I might have a screenshot, will check later (am not posting from that compy). Did you catch Mechanical Arm’s offhand mind star req?

...erm, that’s all I can think of right now. And I kinda like the white on blue, it fades when I’m not looking for it while being plenty legible when I look.

Edit: This is probably beyond the UI’s ability to teach effectively, but with including a saw notation I thought I would mention that (offhand?) steamsaws satisfy shield requirements, dual steamsaws satisfy dual use requirements, and the two-handed artifact steamsaws satisfy two-handed weapon requirements as well as both the preceeding. Maybe just a note in the documentation?

Attachment:
mod sunpally.jpg
mod sunpally.jpg [ 138.83 KiB | Viewed 603 times ]


You can see that Crusade has no notation for requiring a shield.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 1:53 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 8:13 pm
Posts: 1541
Location: A shallow water area south of Bree
Snarvid wrote:
Anyway - a bunch of the skills have something like “Dual?” or “Shield?” listed after them. I get that kind of inkling myself when I look at some skills (that is, “is this one that requires dual or not?”) so it’s less helpful and I still have to check the wiki. But maybe the “?”s aren’t intended to still be there?

Ah, okay, in retrospect, I can see where that would be confusing. The (?Shld) annotation is supposed to be a combination of the (?) annotation that means "you don't meet the preconditions to use this talent" and the (Shld) annotation that means "you have to be wielding a shield to use this talent". You're right, though, I should probably do that differently.

Snarvid wrote:
IIRC you’re also missing Sun Paladin’s shield requirement on their Guardian skills, or at least on Shield of Light. I might have a screenshot, will check later (am not posting from that compy). Did you catch Mechanical Arm’s offhand mind star req?

[sound F/X: source diving] Hmm, Mechanical Arms doesn't have an on_pre_use() method, which is how the addon detects these things. And I'm not sure I could parse that particular requirement out from the raw binary dump of the method anyway. Shield of Light looks like it should work properly, though.

Snarvid wrote:
And I kinda like the white on blue, it fades when I’m not looking for it while being plenty legible when I look.

(shrug) Good enough.

Snarvid wrote:
Edit: This is probably beyond the UI’s ability to teach effectively, but with including a saw notation I thought I would mention that (offhand?) steamsaws satisfy shield requirements, dual steamsaws satisfy dual use requirements, and the two-handed artifact steamsaws satisfy two-handed weapon requirements as well as both the preceeding. Maybe just a note in the documentation?

True. This part is kind of a hack, frankly; all the addon is really reporting here is whether the talent's on_pre_use() method calls Actor:hasTwoHandedWeapon() or Actor:hasShield() or Actor:hasDualWeapon() or Actor:hasWeaponType("steamsaw"). Hmm, I wonder if I could add tooltips to that talent list…

Snarvid wrote:
You can see that Crusade has no notation for requiring a shield.

[sound F/X: source diving] Aaand Crusade doesn't have an on_pre_use() method either. Man, I was really hoping I could get away with not hardcoding a bunch of this stuff… Okay, give me some time to work on this.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 8:00 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
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Ah. I'm not code-savvy so did not assume that ? meant "you need to equip this."

Testing with Mechanical Arms indicates it is another one of those that doesn't need to have a mindstar to be activated, it just doesn't do anything unless you have an offhand mindstar.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:35 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 8:13 pm
Posts: 1541
Location: A shallow water area south of Bree
Snarvid wrote:
Testing with Mechanical Arms indicates it is another one of those that doesn't need to have a mindstar to be activated, it just doesn't do anything unless you have an offhand mindstar.

That's where I'm working now, and I could use the opinion of a user: For talents like these, that don't have an on_pre_use() method to enforce their equipment requirement and just do nothing if you're not wielding the right equipment, I'm going to add information that will let the addon show the corresponding equipment annotations, like (Shld) for Crusade and probably something like (OHMS) for Mechanical Arms. Should I also show the (?) annotations for these talents if the player isn't wielding the right equipment, even though the player could technically (ineffectually) use them?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:19 am 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
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Zizzo wrote:
Snarvid wrote:
Testing with Mechanical Arms indicates it is another one of those that doesn't need to have a mindstar to be activated, it just doesn't do anything unless you have an offhand mindstar.

That's where I'm working now, and I could use the opinion of a user: For talents like these, that don't have an on_pre_use() method to enforce their equipment requirement and just do nothing if you're not wielding the right equipment, I'm going to add information that will let the addon show the corresponding equipment annotations, like (Shld) for Crusade and probably something like (OHMS) for Mechanical Arms. Should I also show the (?) annotations for these talents if the player isn't wielding the right equipment, even though the player could technically (ineffectually) use them?


I do think if you're using the question mark at all, you should also use it when a character is going to have a useless skill that won't be greyed out - it's perhaps even more important to highlight that, as you can walk right up to an enemy, thinking you're going to smack them upside with Continuous Butchery using your greatmaul, click it, and do nothing. It doesn't waste a turn, but if that's what you were intending to win with you may have a rough go of it.

Because the skills chosen upon first choosing a form are permanent, what I'd want players to learn from the mod is if a skill requires a weapon loadout they're never intending to use or don't have good gear for currently. I would be comfortable just telling them what type of weapon a skill requires and leave it to them to remember what they're currently wielding. But a. it's not my mod, and b. I don't assume everyone thinks like me.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 8:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:28 am
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Location: St.Petersburg, Russia
Would be also great to add the line with requirements right into the skill description

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:32 am 
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Sher'Tul Godslayer

Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 8:13 pm
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Location: A shallow water area south of Bree
Snarvid wrote:
I do think if you're using the question mark at all, you should also use it when a character is going to have a useless skill that won't be greyed out - it's perhaps even more important to highlight that, as you can walk right up to an enemy, thinking you're going to smack them upside with Continuous Butchery using your greatmaul, click it, and do nothing. It doesn't waste a turn, but if that's what you were intending to win with you may have a rough go of it.

Perfect. That's how I had it coded in the first pass, so I can keep it that way.

anp wrote:
Would be also great to add the line with requirements right into the skill description

Something like this?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 3:51 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:09 pm
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Snarvid wrote:
Danger Sense's x2 save effect may give a second chance to Dismissal, which in conjunction with Dwarves' high saves, high armor, and Stoneskin's ability to ignore melee hits may make them very tough indeed.


Looking at the code, I'm pretty certain Danger Sense does not interact with Dismissal. Alas...


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:59 pm 
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Archmage

Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:42 pm
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visage wrote:
Snarvid wrote:
Danger Sense's x2 save effect may give a second chance to Dismissal, which in conjunction with Dwarves' high saves, high armor, and Stoneskin's ability to ignore melee hits may make them very tough indeed.


Looking at the code, I'm pretty certain Danger Sense does not interact with Dismissal. Alas...


Edited in and credited. Thanks!

Also added Suggested Addons section and added Zizzo’s Possessor Tweaks to it, along with Select First Escort.

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