MY thoughts on stuff!

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Re: MY thoughts on stuff!

Postby Lujo on Tue Jan 24, 2012 9:53 am

I think we ought to stop spamming speedball's thread. We are derailing it - with meaningfull stuff, to be sure, but I'd really like to see him talk about items, begginner items, unlocks, all that. I'm curious to see what he thinks about them, all the other stuff has prompted good discussions.

This whole spellcasting bussiness mertis it's own thread. I'll make one. When you see it, you'll know. And if there are questions about my ego, then someone else make one so we can take this thing apart there. Just so we can post pictures and confirm doing borked stuff with spellcasters all the time.
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Re: MY thoughts on stuff!

Postby xspeedballx on Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:12 pm

Whhurrgll: I liked the original incarnation of it. I didn't always use it, even if I found it. I never prepped it(mostly because of tri-sword though). However sometimes I found it, had the extra money because I didn't NEED something else, and it provided some extra oomph when cleaning up low level experience farm. The new version I have never used. It doesn't synergize like the tri-sword does. If i have a ton of mana pots I likely need them for a specific purpose and once I am done using them I am rarely looking for the extra 40-50% damage this just gave me. Not because 40-50% damage is bad, but because of the opportunity cost of now carrying this vs something else.

Trisword: Who doesn't like the tri-sword? It has admittedly gotten weaker with different changes but always been nice. That said I don't like the current incarnation either. Well let me clarify, I think it is neat that it promotes a different way of playing for a powerful reward. Except again because of opportunity cost and the power of combo's really only halflings ever see this item shine. A couple of the classes who would like this as well would rather there health pots go to Tikki Tooki anyway. Don't get me wrong, this is worth 12 base damage for most classes. That is great, but generally in dungeons where you could spare the potions to get that 12 base damage, you didn't need the damage because you didn't need to use your potions optimally. I posted a thought about this weapon have 3 diffent effects to reflect the "tri-sword" in another thread. This weapon could have a lot of cool flavor with that and allow for more diverse play with while allowing for some really strong power if you play to get ALL of the effects boosted.

Midas Gloves: Solid item. Pays for itself if played right. Nice thing to teach people to use and recycle items.

Agnostic's Collar: I cannot think of a single time since I started considering myself more of a veteran at this game that I have seen this and not delighted. On most dungeons this reads: 2 charges of 25 piety as needed! On two of the hardest dungeons this reads: 7(9) charges of 25 piety as needed. While I love me a powerful item, I think it would be better served as something that reduces minimum piety for conversion down to 30 and/or lets you unworship gods all together.

Blue Bead: Blue Bead... I saw you standing alone. Without a dream in your heart. Without a love of your own. It's not useless. It's not great. Which is not really a terrible place to be. If every item was fantastic no item is. However, if we were looking for a tweak I think having this trigger on stepping on blood pools would be interesting.

Viper Ward: It does it's job and it does it well. If you need it you are happy to see it. If you don't you are happy to carry it around to make sure you don't and the convert it because it is small. Though small isn't always better(you guessed it comments on this later).

Soul Orb: It does it's job and it does it well. If you need it you are happy to see it. If you don't you are happy to carry it around to make sure you don't and the convert it because it is small. Though small isn't always better(you guessed it comments on this later).

Venom Blade: I was going to say how much I dislike the new version just because of if you want to poison talk to Tikki. However I think the problem is less of the functional problem than a cost problem. Unless I am rolling in gold and space in my inventory I really don't want to buy this. If it was cheaper it would probably find more use. If it was cheaper AND a small item it might be really cool. Venom needle?

Vampiric Blade: Rarely unhappy to see this early on, unless I am worshipping GG and forget that I am and then I hate all the things but that is not related. As a late game find it is iffy. It is expensive for the effect which is less impact at higher levels. None of this is a complaint per se. All items do not need to have use all the time. Just an observation. Scaling of some sort could be interesting though. 1 or 2 life steal per level might be neat. -1 or 2 health per level as a balancer.

Matyr Wraps: I unlocked these recently. I went "NEAT CORROSION STRIKE" and then I went "OR I COULD DO MORE DAMAGE AND NOT BE WEAKER!" It's probably a bad thing I took so long to unlock it, because I probably would have had better feelings for it as a newer player honestly. It does a cool thing, corrosion on yourself doesn't seem as bad then either. However it was gated behind some really hard quests so it took some learning to get to it. Corrosive hits is really powerful however the problem is currently balance sort of precludes it. It costs too many resources most of the time to stack enough hits on a target. I suppose that is why this was designed for monks. However even them for the bosses you would want it for, you rarely need it. Maybe I will try and experiment with it more but I feel blah about it.

Witchalok Pendant: It has uses. I have never used it. I have looked at it strongly, and THOUGHT about using it. But I have not. This is more likely my failing than it's. Stone skin on attack spells seems strong in my mind. Heck I have used endiswall for stoneskin before. I think the problem is most of the time still if I am planning on actually ATTACKING I would rather be using halpmeh.

Fire Heart: Does it's job and does it well. I don't like it. Not because it is bad, or too good. I don't like it because it feels like an item necessary to make a spell useful. I already posted on fireball. This item makes it usable. Not just better, but actually able to be used to complete a dungeon with that spell. Not a fan of that design.

Mage Plate: I haven't unlocked it. No opinions.

Battlemage Ring: I haven't unlocked it. No opinions.

Hero's Helm: I am not sure if green items mean anything. However this is a nice green item. It is robust. Helpful to almost any strat for a while. You don't feel bad having it, and eventually you don't feel bad losing it. Sometimes it does it's job well enough that you don't even want to lose it. Don't you ever change.

Zombie Dog: Aww cute little guy. Nipping at our heels. If he a use beyond making life easier for priests and 1 piety for GG I am not sure what it is. I am fairly certain as a new player I would pass this guy up. Time will tell.

Crystal Ball: This guys makes everything better. If by everything we mean cheap spells. Because if you are casting spells under 4 mana cost. This guy is great and gets better the cheaper the spell(down to 2). There is some strategy. Using it as a straight mana reduction or as a battery. Balancing using it or over charging it. Over all pretty powerful. I don't recommend changes until the full caster balancing act it addressed. Mostly makes me cranky that while this helps fireballing it helps melee strats more(bysseps, getindare, halpmeh, pisorf).

Dragonshield: Powerful drop from a vicious dungeon. At 18% it isn't as game warping. I honestly don't have a lot of thoughts. Except that like other things I have mentioned this item is a number to be tweaked if things are too weak or too strong. Because late game vets will always have an eye on it to see if it solves their problem.

Avatar's Symbol: Never unlocked it. No Opinion.
Namtar's Ward: Never unlocked it. No Opinion.
Sensation Stone: 150 is a good number. Because there is an opportunity cost of prepping it. This item essentially reads as be a little better to start AND have an extra inventory space. At 225 or higher it could have worked with a drawback, like all conversion costs increased by 25% after use.

Troll's Heart: I love this item. I liked it at +1, I like it more at +2. Sure the conversion is less but it serves a great purpose. I keep it around for 7 levels(most dungeons that is pretty quick) and convert it. 14 extra hp is nothing to complain about. Good early learning item for conversion and usage. Resourse management is good.

Fine Sword: This can create an amazing early game. Which can flow into an amazing late game. It isn't the most amazing item. But it has obvious power which is great for new players. It is not a bad pick from an item shop, because 4-6 damage or more is always nice. GG rogues like this. Servicable early item.

Bloody Sigil: There was a time when I was happy to see this and not a pendant of health. Those times end about 2 hours into the game or less as a veteran. 4 or so hours for a new player(that might be unfair). Prepping money made the cost of this item mostly moot. I would rather have a pendant. However there are times when I don't mind having both. That is less of a compliment for this though. However it is not a bad item, it serves it's purpose and can get you through a tight spot or two on certain classes and then be converted.

Pendant of Health: I almost always use it until I don't need it and then I get rid of it. Sort of a fun item because learning when you don't need it is not as straight forward until you are really experienced.

Pendant of Mana: I don't always use it. Because of mana point cut off's. However if it puts me over a limit to cast a spell of choice one more time, I will pick it up. Until I don't need it, then I convert it. Same as above about learning when to convert it. Great straightforward item.

Mercenary Badge: I should buy this more than I do. It is great. 10% damage is great. One use DP is great. Don't you ever change it's not you it's me.

Elite items will come at some other point when I a) play with them more and b) think about them more and c) remember them.

Thoughts on items: Bad items make good items better. Good items make great items better. Having a blend is great. Two problems are run into however. In alpha, you slowly were able to get more shops. Which made your pool slightly LESS diluted. You brought more endgame consistenty by allowing for more options. In beta, you dilute your shop with every unlock. With little or no ability to improve that dilution. Lots of thoughts have been thrown around. They all have upsides and downsides. However, the honest truth as things are designed right now, carefully avoiding quests and cherry picking easy dungeons is the way to go, and that seems unfortunate. Lockers were meant to fix some of this I imagine. However I think since so many things are improved by items and not just being good on their own, a lot of strategies and heck some of the dungeons require complex set up of items which are just not common even if carefully unlocked.

Small items: Smaller is better right? Takes up less space? You can hold 5 for the space of 1? Yep, if you have 5. If you have 1, you gained nothing until you get to the boss. BUT SPEEDBALL YOU HAVE OPEN SPACES! Do you? If you prep three pots, you do not. If you prep the 10% damage bad and 2 pots, you do not. Doing that last one at the very least is optimal usually. Then you go to shrink an item or pick up an item, and now you have a whole slot taken up by a small item. Small items get worse in later games it seems, because of habit of saving best resources(potions and consumables) for bosses. Around that time you are rarely looking for more space. I think we either need MORE small items, or we need medium items. 2/5 or 3/5 of a normal item. Now we can add inventory space resources WEE!

Also just because I think it might make Lujo smile and that man needs smiles, inventory space is another resource monsters could mess with. A plant or druid boss that puts small item nettles into your inventory that do nothing and cannot be removed would be cruel.
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Re: MY thoughts on stuff!

Postby TigerKnee on Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:45 pm

I believe green item names indicate an item that's unlocked through a quest...

which really only matters for the Bazaar prep that increases the chances of them generating.
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Re: MY thoughts on stuff!

Postby gjaustin on Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:07 pm

TigerKnee wrote:I believe green item names indicate an item that's unlocked through a quest...

which really only matters for the Bazaar prep that increases the chances of them generating.


I'm pretty sure that a green item name means that you prepped it from your locker.
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Re: MY thoughts on stuff!

Postby Lujo on Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:35 pm

See, this is exactly why I suggested not derailing your thread. I haven't seen a good, non-hardocre "need this for X combo, for jumping through Y hoop" writeup on stuff for ages now. You did make me smile, and want to join in with a bunch of confirmations and thoughts of my own. :) Ty. :)

First, on the subject of ending up with small inventory slots full of, say pine needles, it would be an awesome way to teach newbies to stay away from certain monsters unless they can one shot them :D I'd love it ^^ It would also probably help teach them about conversions, inventory managment and debuffs that are annoying and that you can feel but don't comletely shut you, or your class down. This is the exact reason I like suggesting the "alternate resource pests" every so often - non-lethal but meaningful hazards.

Id also love it if bandits stole your gold, but you could beat them up to get it back :D

As for the items, I like what you have to say on Fire Heart - those are my exact reasons not to like it. Add to that the fact that the combo was silly powerful even before the buff bonanza, I'd rather see fireball changed in some way than having it rely on this for endame. Also, it makes Battlemage Ring look bad, and it's not so bad.

On the subject of Soul Orb, and Poison Ward - I wrote an informative bit on Soul Orb and how it affects the metagame and balance in Frans Game Philosophy thread. It's long, but it's accurate, and I'd prefer the good stats (small slot, low cost, nice conversion rate) transferred to a less powerfull and neccesary item. It also be really glad if the factors that MADE Soul Orb so important in higher end play to be dealt with instead, but I'd still buy it if it was mroe expensive, large and had no conversion, while I'd buy anything with those stats just because of the stats... I know it's a begginers friendly item, but it's also a powergamer's delight & necessity, that has conversion friendly stats on a non-conversion friendly item.

Venom Blade - and here's an example. If this had Soul Orbs characteristics, like you said...

Whichalok pedant - I've used it as with stacked resists 10% more is quite good, but it can be made more usefull in numerous ways. Wether tying it to another spell, changing fireball, not sure, but I'd love to see it "buffed for testing".

Mage plate is not worth unlocking really - casters have the "Fire Heart" (and lately Crystall Ball) is the necessary prep, and I think it's cost conversion rate is not the best.

Troll Heart and Sensation stone I actually like - now that they nerfed the stone ofc, back then it was retarded. It's pretty good now too, but the C levels had been brought down all over, so it's not insane anymore. I wich troll heart's conversion rate wasn't lowered so much, picking something up, getting an effect, and getting a free inventory slot is better than most people think, especially in Gaan'Telet - the new one revolves around using your popcorn and inventory space wisely more than anything.

Mercenary Badge - you can't buy it more often, I don't think anyone buys it as often as they would want for three reasons - 1) You always want it. It's very, very, very good item. 2) It's large and takes up space if you don't convert it right away, but if you convert it you lose out on the 10% bonus which you payed for. 3) It costs 1/3 of max starting gold. In theory the price for effect is right, in practice it's always "If I get this, than I don't get that" and this ting somehow always stays in the shop for me. Which is why I think it might use a tweak of some sort.

And concerning small items - you wouldn't believe how bad tihs gets in Gaan'Telet for me. You need stuff in there. You need your shrunken down dragonshield, you need your fireball, you need patches untill lvl 10, you need crytall ball, you need the potions, you need the knockback mace. Sometimes there are situations where you have to convert something usefull, in order to keep something useless but necessary for a specific floor just so you can ick up the orb that destroys Illusions on the Illusion floor. And small items pile up fast (hp pot, mana pot, dragonshield, soul orb, blue bead - you're done, and you can't NOT have any of those). Except for the bead, but I've had to pick TT's potions one at the time to stack dodge pretiction because of this.

There,
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Re: MY thoughts on stuff!

Postby xspeedballx on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:01 pm

Monsters:

Of note I don't have opinions on every monster, but I do have some thoughts on them. I may leave some out and if I do I probably wasn't concerned or they are some super elite version for a vicious dungeon and I am in general less concerned because that is a tuning specific to those dungeons.

Zombies: With most of the power of melee in the game currently I actually consider these guys the base line. They seem "hard" usually because of the fodder monsters we love to kill. General game balance would change all of the conceptions.

Goo Blobs: I consider them Zombies that takes slightly higher resources depending on character or are the same as zombies for some characters. Irksome at times but that is good.

Meatmen: These guys are interesting. Deceptive. They are slightly above the curve early game but ok. Often a giant pain in mid game, and mid range late game for resource cost. Learning when and how to kill them is fun. Extra High hp, low damage monsters are fun. They promote different play.

Goats: No wonder the boss goats are such a pain, natural selection must have got them that way because these guys are fodder for most classes. Not necessarily a bad thing, cherry pick targets give starts to puzzles, but I kinda feel bad for the cuddly guys. Note to marketers: Plushie Goats that is all.

Dragons: Magical Zombies, same note as above but slightly harder because of less magic resistance.

Warlocks: Magic goats. A lot of the same applies. Often find these guys a bigger roadblock, again because of lack of magic resistance.

Golem: These guys tend to give me more thought than most of the basic monsters. Probably because of there magic resistance so a lot of magic strategies faultering on them. I tend to look to them for high level kills but are often limited on how high I can go because of the magic resistance. The design is good.

Bandit: New bandit. OUCH! One shot or don't play a resistance game. Which is interesting though. This could help develop times when you enter a level and you commit your resources to something other than resistance just because killing them is optimal experience. I just think better alternatives that are approachable need to be formed.

Animated Armor: I hate the design. Not because they are hard, I love that. I hate WHY they are hard and I hate that despite the resource cost(either opportunity or real resource) there is no value. I think there existance would be better served with much lower damage and much higher hp or resistances. They are ARMOR after all. Make them a resource hog for sure but not completely out of reach of most strats. Death protection mechanic can stay intact as well. However also reward the effort put. Small Item: Chunk of armor, reduce damage taken by 3. Animated Weapons could also be created, ridiculous damage, high magic resist, death protection, low hp, drops +2 damage swords or something.

Druids: I love you xp launch pads. Oh sure you have to learn the best to do it but because they seem to have low curve stats because of there death protection you can spend a bunch of resources, "kill them" and then recover and do it again for xp. Magic attack makes them harder but not in any threatening way. Not sure if they NEED to be changed, but that's how I see them. Leaving behind a plant on death would be fun.

Minotaurs: Promote unique play and thought using regen and multiple skills. Perfect hard mode mob. Great transition in learning. Generally push overs for vets but that isn't a bad thing because things just get worse.

Vampires: Give me my resources back. Another great hard mode mob(dont like you in normals). Make you learn to make up resource deficits by capitilizing in there generally below curve stats. Like druids promote a hit and and try again style.

Imps: Lotteries with legs. If you can get them to blink to an explored space, you got xp, if you didn't, well they tend not to be that challenging so try again later or save them for late game fodder.

Trolls: As a Vet I think these guys operate well as hard mode mobs. As a newbie I think these guys are confusing annoying and overly complicated. Too many abilities that seem to conflict to make it hard to judge behavior between knock backing and fleeing and healing. The lessons in positioning are great but it doesn't feel like a well taught lesson.

Cowardly Imps: Resource hogs WITH A Reward. This is what I mean. Most of the time killing these guys you are going to feel behind in resources but then they give you a little charm and you are friends again. More of this behavior!

Cultists: Hate you, but you make me think different so we can still be frenemies. The changing to a lower level zombie keeps make me feel resource deprived though and that makes me sad. That might be the point, and that's fine, but I still feel sad.

Naga: Lessons in delayed resources, and hoping they aren't level 9. Weakening hurts. A lot. Partially because of the melee game we play. The funny part is if we aren't playing a melee game, it doesn't in general effect you either way. Regardless they are not a bad design. They are walking opportunity cost and lessons on when an experience catapult ain't worth it.

Changeling: Changelings that don't change are boring. Shifting sands is too easy. Or make them come back as a shapeshifting vengeance somewhere else. Finding ways to deal with them was fun. (Did you know you can poison 100% phsyical resist? Tikki tooki paladins are fun.)

Those are what I can think I have thoughts on for now. One final thought though, Monsters make the dungeons almost more than the dungeons make the dungeons. The cost of the resources and the priorities that shift because of monster choices can make a lot of differences. However, making those resource costs less obvious and creating more diversity is a good thing. I like the idea of rewards for high resource cost targets. Makes you think about things more instead of avoiding certain decisions unless forced to and usually hating it and you run being ruined.
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Re: MY thoughts on stuff!

Postby Lujo on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:13 pm

I find it odd that you don't comment on Mana Burn monsters. I've been having very different expiriences with wraiths lately, they've been from lvling fodder to nasty bastards, and their boss gave me the most trouble in any Naga City run.

What do you ussually play? I'm guessing it's related :)
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Re: MY thoughts on stuff!

Postby gjaustin on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:29 pm

Good thoughts. Though personally I find Meatmen below the curve, since they're one of the easier enemies to regen fight.

If I had to pick three monsters for a dungeon, I'd go Goats, Vampires, and Meatmen.

Well, actually I'd pick Cowardly Imps, Bridge Trolls, and the plants from Rock Garden, but that would just be silly :)
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Re: MY thoughts on stuff!

Postby xspeedballx on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:30 pm

It's a good point. I sort of ignored those.

Wraith's: Either on the high side of normal or low side of hard. Frustrating to newbies and frustrating to vets because of the need to play around them. Mana burn is often more punishing than poison. I tend to save these guys for one shots or level ups. They do teach using mana first but like I have hinted at before, there is often not a lot of gain in that because the spells you would use before attacking aren't great.

As for other mana burn mobs for some reason other ones aren't coming to mind. I am ignoring a lot of the odder hard mode and vicious mobs though I probably shouldn't, I just don't have a lot of opinions on them until more dungeon balance is in place again. So mana burn meat men and such just blow :P But I think they are supposed to. I am planning on eventually touching on thoughts on dungeons but that is hard because there are a bunch I haven't completed. I may comment on debuffs in general as well. For example bandits might be more interesting if you temporarily lost a greater amount of resistances. If there something you had in mind you would like to hear thoughts on let me know, honestly I sometimes struggle to remember all that needs to be said(hence why these are spread out a bit.)
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Re: MY thoughts on stuff!

Postby xspeedballx on Tue Jan 24, 2012 6:33 pm

gjaustin wrote:Good thoughts. Though personally I find Meatmen below the curve, since they're one of the easier enemies to regen fight.

If I had to pick three monsters for a dungeon, I'd go Goats, Vampires, and Meatmen.

Well, actually I'd pick Cowardly Imps, Bridge Trolls, and the plants from Rock Garden, but that would just be silly :)


Valid point on regen fighting and I should have elaborated. Meatmen are an early game mob for a reason. They get easier with advanced skills like regen fighting. From a lesser skill one those concepts are not mastered or in situations where those concepts are not possible my points hold better.
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