Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

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Re: Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

Postby Lujo on Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:45 am

Well the fact that fighter is the king of ding now is directly related to how inherently good and flexible the thief was. That was the problem with having the old "potion jesus"* as the first tier class.

The dev's stated they wanted fighter to be the baseline, or vanilla class, but since the Thief was visibly more powerfull, it spontaneusly became the default baseline class for most people. With Thief as baseline everything less powerfull than the Thief was considered "in need of buffs", and there was a line of thought that "everything should be brought up to Thiefs level". Since we lacked terminology and some of the understanding we have now, just how powerfull the Thef was wasn't obvious. Most of us didn't know that that line of thinking was "make everything ludicrous".

This state of affairs led to 2 things. The direct one was that the devs probably had a good reason to think of the community as a bunch of megalomaniacs - as the community was prone to think of the game around a different power curve than it was supposed to have. The second thing was that whenever the megalomaniacs got their way, something got buffed for the wrong reasons. Imagine trying to bring everything to Rogue or Monk power level?

So fighter became the king of ding. This is fun, ofc, but he really got pushed to being a DING machine, which now makes him more of a spellcaster than a fighter. Classes you had to work to unlock, advanced classes, compared badly to the Thief, so, I, for example, ussually completed most dungeons in a playthrough with either the Thief or the Monk, never feeling any incentive to try figuring other stuff out.

And if dungeon difficulty was measured in "wether Thief can do it", which it silently was, the whole game was being measured with the wrong measuring system. Nerfing the too flexible and too easily available Thief was the start of a long period of bringing stuff in line which results in the current "no worst class" meta. Back in the day, it wasn't possible to do everything with everything.

The reason the thief could use a buff again is because with him out o the way, the "standard item pool" CP bonanza got figured out as excessive (by the community, the dev's made it so on purpose), and a lot of other things which sinergized with him (but was never complained about) got tweaked, so he might not be the "disc one nuke" he was before. Except making him the way he used to be might brink the whole "how does this compare with the thief in terms of flexibility" issue with kingdom development. If the whole CP/potions shtick were a 3rd level or bonus class feature, he'd never be baseline again, so we'd have the class but no learning curve / playthrough issues.

*(Double worth of potions + hoarder CP goodness).


Fun additional thigny:

The "Thief-as-baseline" meta created a really schizophrenic game expirience where the baseline was three steps above the intended baseline but just one from the actual cheeze. But since the baseline was the byword for effortless flexibility, the most cheezy strat, %res stacking, was a rather single minded approach. The average dungeon was too hard for anything below the baseline, and the true power of cheeze was either not public knowlegde or treasured as "viable".

So when the excessive stuff started getting the deserved nerfs there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, and the vets had to reassure everyone else once the cheeze is brought in line - so would the dungeons. And where we are now, it's probably all good, except the Rogue and the Monk are sort of "what can you do" inherently too good, and the fighter is a fun oddball. :)
Last edited by Lujo on Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

Postby TigerKnee on Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:07 am

Lujo wrote:so, I, for example, ussually completed most dungeons in a playthrough with either the Thief or the Monk, never feeling any incentive to try figuring other stuff out.


I personally see no problem with that. Some people never play anyone but Ryu. That's their choice. Others will play classes no matter how terrible they are. That's also their choice.

edit: In other words, it's not like gear progression in an MMO, where you start with crappy level 1 sword and by level 80 you "moved" on to whatever level 80 preset sword the devs designed. It should be more "unlock characters in a fighting game"

And if dungeon difficulty was measured in "wether Thief can do it", which it silently was, the whole game was being measured with the wrong measuring system. Nerfing the too flexible and too easily available Thief was the start of a long period of bringing stuff in line which results in the current "no worst class" meta. Back in the day, it wasn't possible to do everything with everything.


The meta and measurements of what is the baseline has always been with the players. Devs of whatever competitive games can try to control it but just take a look at all the MMOs where the devs constantly try to make interesting power sets and equipment choices and stat tradeoffs but the only things players do is go DEEPS DEEPS DEEPS MOAR DEEPS
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Re: Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

Postby Lujo on Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:11 am

TigerKnee wrote:The meta and measurements of what is the baseline has always been with the players. Devs of whatever competitive games can try to control it but just take a look at all the MMOs where the devs constantly try to make interesting power sets and equipment choices and stat tradeoffs but the only things players do is go DEEPS DEEPS DEEPS MOAR DEEPS


This is true, except this also affected dungeons. I didn't like doing everything with the Thief and the Monk (so much so that I didn't even touch other cheeze), but at times I felt like I had no choice. This is why people took the nerfs badly - the game (or rather feedback) has been set around the wrong baseline for so long that losing those two (and CYDSTEPP) left them with "lackluster" stuf against challenges ment for cheeze. For a while.

I actually feel like unlocking stuff is meaningfull these days, back in the day most unlocks felt more like achievements than playable characters in a fighting game. Heck, most of the unlocks brought nothing "usefull" to the table, but made the game harder instead. The difference between the "viable" and "achevementy" stuff used to be so large that the über-minimalist profile felt both "obviously ludicrous" and "only sane way to play" at the same time.
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Re: Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

Postby TigerKnee on Sat Jul 28, 2012 9:22 am

I didn't even know the Thief was considered some sort of super popular class at that time. I always thought people knew Thief was strong but would rather play something else like the Assassin or Paladin anyway, who were both stronger than it.

I got a feeling it was probably 33% Dragonshield "propping" up the thief at that time anyway, sort of like Hypnotic Specter and Dark Ritual in M:TG

(If anyone is unfamiliar with that reference, HS costed 3 black "mana" to play, which is a resource, and Dark Ritual gave you 3 of that resource in exchange for a card. This allowed black decks to turbo charge said creature which, due to its ability, can lead to a ridiculous advantage build-up over time and I believed HS was banned at some point.

Then people realized which card was actually causing the problem and DR isn't in modern sets any more. HS was brought back and surprise surprise, without the actual problem around, people decided it actually wasn't that great)
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Re: Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

Postby Lujo on Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:00 pm

I'm actually familiar with the MtG reference ^^

But it wasn't just the Dragonshield, or rather, it was a whole bunch of stuff. The general attitude was that might makes right, so for a good while whatever worked was justified by the fact that it worked. The thruth was, most of the "sub-par" stuff was actually supposed to work, and would've worked, if the environment wasnt adjusted for mechanics which had a fundamentally better end-game damage output, so they seemed lackluster.

It took a while to figure out (and word) exactly how and why certain mechanic overshadowed others in unreasonable ammounts, and the general conclusion was that the following stuff was fundamentaly stronges: Assasins swift hands, repeatable CYDSTEPPS and runaway %res stacking. The game balanced to give those strats a challenge would be too chalenging for other strats or less efficent variants. Assasin, Rogue, Warlord, Monk and Paladin are, unless balanced both on their own or by dungeon elements are fundamentally stronger than other classes within the system.

The Thief, on the other hand, was too flexible. It wasn't as obvious, and most people took him for granted, but he made a bad baseline. He could, on his own, still take on dungeons which are a lot harder than most other classes. Yes, some people can think it was the Dragonshield that "broke" him, some could argue about Trilings, but the fact is he brought a lot more resources into a dungeon and sinergized with quite a lot of stuff in way no other class did. It's not a bad design, but not for somethign you learn to play with and rely upon. He cropped up in silly wins too often, and was truly considered "the generic adventurer" class, even though he made more than half the pool look bad by comparison.

With the dungeons more and more balanced around a less powerful baseline, the fact that cheezers can stomp stuff here and there is less of a problem, because everyone else can. the last remnant of the "balanced for cheeze" seem to be some Vicious dungeons, or rather the leap from HARD to VICIOUS.


CONCRETE IDEA TIME: The way Thief works now, you get 5 health and mana potions per run, and if all are used to spike the boss, you can pull one 100% HP heal and one 100% mana heal out of your ass. It can't be used as a cornerstone for sillyness, and is an equivalent of a DING, plus minor perks from converting for potions.

But what if he had a cornerstone ability which couldn't be translated into anything but a specific advanatge? What if Stabber could be "refreshed" by drinking potions? It would sinergize with halflings and gnomes, and the "potion use trigger" items, and make him a patron saint of potions instead of potion jesus.

It would put trilings back on the radar, but I don't detest them as much now that you need to fuel the damn thing with gold. He'd also be interesting with gnomes, now that they can fuel the sword, too.
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Re: Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

Postby Darvin on Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:41 pm

Between the extra potions on the ground and his bonus from potions, I actually think the thief's potion power is about right and I'd rather a buff be focused on non-potion attributes. Making Stabber more newb-friendly would be a great start, since it's easy to poke something and then realize you can't take it.
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Re: Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

Postby fall_ark on Sat Jul 28, 2012 4:49 pm

Darvin wrote:Between the extra potions on the ground and his bonus from potions, I actually think the thief's potion power is about right and I'd rather a buff be focused on non-potion attributes. Making Stabber more newb-friendly would be a great start, since it's easy to poke something and then realize you can't take it.


Either we get a super-duper awesome combat prediction Deluxe™ that can calculate stuffs one turn in, or we get a trait description that says since the Thief is none too clever he is prone to bite off more than he can chew.

Is the thieves guild already too stuffed with First Strikers? If First Strike is too strong or redundant, how about a weakening strike? It would fit the Backstab fluff, at least.
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Re: Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

Postby The Avatar on Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:29 pm

That'd be either too good or useless. Great against SMM, but awful v Bleaty.
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Re: Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

Postby Lujo on Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:35 pm

And a bit too advanced for an entry level class.

But the way Stabber works now is rather newbie unfriendly. If it still works the way it used to, I haven't played Thief in a while.
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Re: Is assassin the worst class in the game now?

Postby Abraxas on Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:57 pm

Better battle prediction would go a long way in making stabber more newbie friendly.
Still, even with better prediction, I'd still suggest maybe a change like making it work against enemies at full life rather than just on the first hit, so as to make it more forgiving without changing it too much.
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