Some Thoughts on Items

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Some Thoughts on Items

Postby Darvin on Mon May 21, 2012 7:55 pm

So, I've had some thoughts about various items, and figured I throw them all into one big thread. Enjoy the wall of text.


Resist-Items
One of the biggest problems that has hit resistance is the newfound prevelance of resist-down monsters, most notably the bandit. These monsters are often otherwise so-called "murder-bait" that represents easily accessable XP. However, characters with resistances cannot dare attack them, and are deprived of this resource. This has had the perverse effect of making resistances "all or nothing". You either go for heavy resistance stacking, or you ignore them altogether so you can freely attack resist-down opponents, and aside from the (now relatively small) pool of dungeons which don't have a significant resist-down presence this has become a more serious problem.

I think we've lost something with this current setup. I used to be able to run characters which would only accure 25% or so resistances over the course of the game, but now this is the worst of both worlds; such a character doesn't benefit strongly from the accumulating bonus of higher resists, and it can't attack resist-down monsters either.

I propose that the Dragonshield, Tower Shield, and Blacksmith shield get a new effect: a minimum resistance threshold. This would prevent bandits and other resist-down monsters from reducing your resistances below this threshold. This would protect people who only have one or two articles of resistances, but would be of essentially no benefit to resist-stackers, which have already failed at their strategy if they actually hit this lower-bound. The dragonshield and tower shield would both offer 25% minimum resistance threshold (non-stacking; you get no additional benefit from having both) to both magic and physical resistance. Any resistances you have above that threshold could still be lost, but you're assured you can't lose anything more than 25%. The blacksmith should would offer only 15%.

This would create a middle-tier class of resistance-based characters who build up to a lower-range then call it quits so they can still fight resist-down opponents. This would also be a much needed buff for the tower shield and blacksmith shield.


Artifacts
The three artifacts - Avatar's Symbol, Namtar's Ward, and Dragonshield - have slowly been falling in prominance to the point at which they're not really even locker-worthy anymore. Dragonshield continues to work for resist-stackers, but the other two are novelties. Seeing as they cannot appear in shops, that's a bit of a problem. With my above suggestion, I don't think dragonshield would have any addition issues, but Avatar's Symbol and Namtar's Ward need attention.

Avatar's Symbol, as a one-time burst effect, is not very conductive to the kinds of playstyle that resist-stackers use. As a result, the people who want the active-use effect don't care about the resists, and the people who want the resists don't care about the active-use effect. As a result, there's basically no character that wants the entire package.

I propose that the Avatar's Symbol lose its resistances and gain a +6 bonus to base attack instead. Its active-use effect would be unchanged. A base attack boost would make it more useful at lower-levels (which is where preparations are needed most) and also would better synergize with its active-use effect of attack bonus.

Namtar's Ward is a neat little trinket that's used for chained attacks. The problem I've found is that you need to have CYDSTEPP to combo with it. The real power of Namtar's Ward is activating it after your death protection expires to get two in a row. This is essentially infeasible if it's your only source of death protection. As a result, it's just an inferior CYDSTEPP glyph otherwise.

Here is my proposal for Namtar's Ward: if you are at full health and mana, you can click on Namtar's Ward to recharge it. This will drain a portion of your health and mana (ballpark ~60%). This allows some measure of repeatability during early exploration, but would prevent it from being chained during a boss fight.


Blacksmith Items
The Perseverence Badge is just too good compared to the other offerings here. Not only is its effect superior to all the others (save perhaps the Really Big Sword in selective circumstances) but it's also a small item that won't hog valuable inventory space. So not only is it the best item, it's also the most convenient. Now, on the other hand, with HP->Attack nerfed this is the only thing keeping humans from really dominating the other races for combat-oriented classes, so a straight nerf may not be advisable. Why not, instead, buff the other blacksmith items to compensate?

The Sword and Shield are very nice at the 1st level, but fizzle out for higher-level characters. I've already proposed a buff to the shield in the earlier section, which would give it a unique role and should be sufficient to set it apart from all other preps. The sword is about equal to the perseverence badge for effect, but as a larger item it's too bulky to haul around. By the late-game, I'd much prefer a spoon (half the effect, but one fifth the inventory space) to a sword. On the other hand, the sword can't be buffed without making it approach too strongly on the fine sword, or potentially making it too strong for 1st level characters. I'm going to propose raising it to +3 and see what that does.

As for the Really Big Sword, this item is amazing against bosses with physical resists, but its massive downside means it only works for very specific game plans (the Platemail has vastly improved it, though, since by prepping that item you can clean up your popcorn safely and only have to worry about status ailments). I feel it needs a secondary effect to make it more broad than just something you haul along for fighting a specific boss. I'd propose +1 base attack per level. This would be appropriate, as slow-attack is a small penalty for low-level characters but a massive penalty for high-level characters, and the benefits would accrue along with the penalties.


Subdungeon Items
Ying/Yang's swords and Draco's Heart should really be lockerable. While I can understand not wanting to put them in shops given that they are strictly more powerful versions of items that already exist, I don't see any issue with players putting them in their locker and prepping them. The fine sword is a great prep for starter kingdoms, but isn't really locker-worthy for an advanced one, and the troll heart is just not locker worthy at all. Having slightly more powerful versions that can be lockered would add some variety.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Items

Postby gjaustin on Mon May 21, 2012 8:36 pm

I almost completely agree.

My only thought is that the Blacksmith Sword has a new niche as of the latest update. I haven't done the math, but I suspect prepping it with a Transmutation Scroll is better than (or at least competitive with) prepping a Perserverance Badge.

You get the +2 attack at low levels, then 25 gold and 35 conversion points.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Items

Postby Darvin on Mon May 21, 2012 8:59 pm

That's more an issue with the sword being grossly overpriced. The fine-sword is a 14 gold item, the sword should be no more than 12 gold tops, and that's being extremely generous. It's really on the same level as the spoon and its price should be reflective of this, and really probably should be in the 4-7 gold cost range if it were to have a fair market price.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Items

Postby Blovski on Mon May 21, 2012 10:14 pm

Resist-Items
Hm-mmm...

I feel like resists are already pretty useful, even if only small amounts - really just means you have to structure and time the run around the res-down monsters (really you just treat them like weaken/corrosion monsters and try to one-shot them or first-strike). I think it's a tad silly to make the resistance item counter the anti-resistance monsters. I also think that occasionally losing 5% on the resists isn't an absolute write-off, especially for smaller resist amounts.

Blacksmith Items
I quite like the way sword and shield function now - a leg-up for the first one or two levels (with vampires I'll keep the shield pretty often), then convert for inv. space. Perseverance badge is, by contrast, a good long-term item that is much less likely to get you a quick catapult (I tend to save potions a bit too much, so small vs. large inv. space isn't a big deal with preps for me). I don't feel sword is too weak (especially as +3 attack would make the difference with fine sword pretty trivial). I.e. I don't think all items should be long-term keepers.

I tend to prefer prepping the sword or shield just so the first couple of levels are guaranteed to get off to a good start. Even if they're both cut to 10ish gold value, the transmutation scroll would still be a nice small advantage for them.

I've never really used the monster whistle. At low levels it's of basically no long-term and little short-term value and at higher ones the enemy is usually too tough to spare the resources to take them down. I suppose if you stuck with it to level 5/6 it might not be too bad if it's a small item but it feels a little light relative to the more-or-less guaranteed extra XP from sword/shield or Attack Bonus.

RBS *definitely* needs some sort of cumulative boost - even when you are facing a level like slime pit the drawback is still horrible to have to deal with as a melee-heavy character. I like the +1 base attack per level :)

Subdungeon Items
Definitely, Ying + Yang is tricky enough anyway.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Items

Postby The Avatar on Mon May 21, 2012 10:30 pm

I like the idea of a minimum resist cap, although I'd prefer it on plate mail or the shield. Something like plate mail increases your minims resist by 2 per level, while the shield increases it by five. Also, to preserve the sword without it encroaching too much, how about making it a soup ladle. It's like a spoon, and it's small space!
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Re: Some Thoughts on Items

Postby Darvin on Mon May 21, 2012 11:10 pm

(really you just treat them like weaken/corrosion monsters and try to one-shot them or first-strike)

It's difficult to do this with the intent of earning bonus XP, and most of the time it's in hindsight cleaning up your popcorn. Certainly you won't be able to take out a Bandit that's 4 levels higher than you, a luxury any class without resistances who finds the APHEELSIK glyph can muster.

The point is, having resistances that you want to preserve is an opportunity cost. This cost is the same whether you're stacking huge amounts of resistances or very few; either way a single hit of resist-down is devastating. As a result, it's been low-resist characters - not the resist stackers - that have suffered most as a result of the newfound prevelance of monsters with the resist-down property.


I also think that occasionally losing 5% on the resists isn't an absolute write-off, especially for smaller resist amounts.

If you take two hits of 5% resist-down while you have a tower shield, then it literally is a writeoff. You no longer have any resistances at all, and may as well convert the item.


I quite like the way sword and shield function now - a leg-up for the first one or two levels (with vampires I'll keep the shield pretty often), then convert for inv. space.

While I can understand vampire with the shield (since he's effectively a DR stacker), I don't share your enthusiasm for these items otherwise. The advantage is too short-lived given the long-term edge that a perseverence badge will afford you.


I've never really used the monster whistle

And I completely forgot to mention it. That doesn't exactly speak well to its effect.

Bottom line is that people do not like fighting equal-level monsters. They give no bonus XP but they're pretty challenging at the same time and will drain your health and resources. Maybe make it usable once per level?


Definitely, Ying + Yang is tricky enough anyway.

The subdungeon itself is another matter; I'm speaking about the reward. The Ying/Yang subdungeon takes a lot of resources and/or planning to pull off. Given that it's a no-explore subdungeon and it can only be completed by very high-level characters, the reward isn't nearly good enough.


Also, to preserve the sword without it encroaching too much, how about making it a soup ladle. It's like a spoon, and it's small space!

Could call it the "short sword", make it a small item, and be done with it.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Items

Postby Bloggorus on Tue May 22, 2012 1:57 am

I think the blacksmith items are in there to provide the tiny boost some players need to get through hard dungeons.

The monster whistle would be good with two or three uses, not one. Or it could be used unlimited times at a cost, like health or gold, but then it would go into 'proper item' territory.

RBS is handy if you know what you will be up against.

If their effects were more pronounced, then they would begin to unbalance the game too much. Boost an item too much, and you start to have to introduce some drawbacks to balance it. This is the reason blacksmith items don't appear in shops.

With resists, i think the whole thing could be helped by changing reduce resist monsters to remove resist and/or DR for a short time. The more powerful the monster, the more turns the player goes without resists and/or DR.

That means players have to weigh up fighting with a handicap before leveling, just like with poison and mana burn.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Items

Postby The Avatar on Tue May 22, 2012 2:05 am

I agree, I suggested to make it remove 10% upon level up.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Items

Postby TigerKnee on Tue May 22, 2012 2:07 am

I agree so much on the resist items thing. I never liked the Bandits change because of how they completely warp certain classes gameplay. It would be like if Wraiths took off 1 max mana every time they hit you that isn't cured on level up. If levelling restored like 5% resistances on level up if lost resist classes might actually consider killing a resist-down monster instead of going "Well, too many resist down monsters spawned this map instead of Meat Man, got to surrender"

Oh, and for Monster Whistle... while I rather prepare some either item, I think you might be using it wrong. You don't use it and then fight the equal level monster, nope, you drop it at like level 3-4 and then leave it alone. Later on you come back to use it as popcorn (or IMWAL fodder), especially if you're a Bloodmage or Crusader.

Edit: lol, 2 people suggested healing resistances on level up while I was typing, haha, great minds think alike?
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Re: Some Thoughts on Items

Postby The Avatar on Tue May 22, 2012 12:21 pm

That's smart. I never considered using the whistle for more high level fodder, but you could use it at level 5-6 and still get the same effect for most classes.
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