Namtar: still a pushover

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Namtar: still a pushover

Postby q 3 on Sat Aug 11, 2012 10:49 pm

Alternate title: Rogues: still stupidly overpowered

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Now that the shameless bragging is out of the way, I'd like to note that on my current playthrough (after a ~4 month hiatus) I've found Rogues to be, if anything, more powerful than ever. (Granted, my playstyle heavily favors Rogues, and I'm probably much more skilled with them than I am with, say, the Monk.) Perhaps even moreso than the days when Orcs stacked base damage and CYDSTEPP was king. The biggest change, I think, is how easy it is to acquire max HP. On this run, I got an extra, what is it, +50? from JJ, which allowed for some fairly silly tactics even before taking Chaos Avatar. GG is, perhaps, even more broken, since you can amass tons of HP right from the start with him, and while that means clogging your inventory, you'll get to Enlightenment pretty easily and then with the right glyph (usually HALPMEH, sometimes BURNDAYRAZ or PISORF) you can just crush everything. Earthmother isn't quite as overwhelming, but her health boon is nothing to scoff at. Taurog won't give you extra HP, but repeatable death protections on a Rogue (with an extra +5 base and +20% bonus) are just nasty. And then you have Warrior's Pact, all the various HP-boosting items (which are even more accessible for purists, thanks to the lovely bank system), etc.

All of this is not to complain, or even suggest changes. It's perfectly fine to have some classes stronger than others, especially when it's a class that is still hard to master and requires a fair amount of strategy to overcome his weakness. But as I recall, the primary impetus for "fixing" CYDSTEPP in the first place was because Rogues essentially broke it, and the way the game is now, Rogues are just as broken as ever. I do still think that toning down both his strengths and weaknesses is worth considering - e.g., bonus damage reduced to 30-40%, HP increased by 1-2/level.

(On a slightly related note, I've also found Berserkers to really suffer from the nerf to their attack bonus. They're a very simple class, and for the most part are strong when they can brute force everything but weak when they can't. They, too, might benefit from being toned down a bit - e.g., magic resist reduced to 30-40%, glyph penalty decreased to +1 cost.)
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Re: Namtar: still a pushover

Postby Darvin on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:21 am

Binlor isn't bad either for an Orc Rogue. Try PISORF-PISORF-PISORF-Stoneskin-hit-hit; it's piety neutral, you survive the first hit with temporary resistances and then follow up with a first strike. Probably won't carry you in vicious, but playing purist in hard difficulty it's nice since you only need to find one thing to make the combo work: Binlor.


Anyways, you're totally right that Rogues migrated from CYDSTEPP'ing to HP stacking, and you haven't even mentioned the Alchemist's Scroll (though now that it requires gold to activate it's just got a few too many constraints to make it locker worthy unless you really like Rogues or Priests). The thing is, without stacking elaborate combos the Rogue is just really hard to work with, and is subject to absolutely massive swings in damage output due to being such a glass cannon.

I don't think that's ever going to be solved at this point in development, and to be honest against many types of enemies I find the Warlord is still the better class due to repeatable CYDSTEPP.
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Re: Namtar: still a pushover

Postby q 3 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:30 am

Or is it that the vicious dungeons have gotten a lot easier? Hmm.

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One other thought I had re: the Rogue is that a lot of the dungeons seem to be "balanced" by having (a) monsters with different attack types, particularly magic damage, and (b) lots and lots (and lots and lots) of cursed monsters. Certainly those two factors make things rough for Monks, but an HP-stacking Rogue can almost completely ignore both such obstacles.

Similarly, corrosion and even weakening have much less of an impact on a Rogue than they do on, say, a Monk - the Rogue is trading fewer blows (and dodging occasionally) so he builds up fewer levels of the debuff, and moreover the Rogue kills subsequent opponents in fewer hits which means he feels less of an effect even from the same amount of debuffs. 5 corrosion on a Monk, who takes 20 hits to kill the boss, results in 100 damage; 5 corrosion on a Rogue, who kills that same boss in 8 hits, only results on 40 damage.

I'm trying to think of what features of a (vicious) dungeon (or at least Namtar and the Matron) really hurt an HP-stacking Rogue, and am coming up blank. First strike is a major annoyance, but primarily on lesser monsters (both popcorn and those in the level 4-9 range that a Rogue is aiming for bonus XP from by killing in <4 hits). Mana burn is bad, but not any worse than it is for most other classes. Poison is also undesirable, but again, no more so (probably less) than it is for other classes. Phys resist, again, no worse than usual since a Rogue is an average spellcaster (and since you're generally aiming for GG, you can just use his temporary magic attack, which you'll need fewer shots of since your damage is so high).

So what kind of status ailments could specifically target a character who has slightly above average HP, significantly above average attack power, normal resistances and spellcasting ability, first strike and dodge? I'm thinking that slow status that Avatar suggested elsewhere is sounding more attractive.

Darvin wrote:Binlor isn't bad either for an Orc Rogue. Try PISORF-PISORF-PISORF-Stoneskin-hit-hit; it's piety neutral, you survive the first hit with temporary resistances and then follow up with a first strike. Probably won't carry you in vicious, but playing purist in hard difficulty it's nice since you only need to find one thing to make the combo work: Binlor.


Knockback is a lot more attractive all around nowadays. And weirdly, I think Orcs are generally stronger now than they would have been if they had remained stacking - 80 CP for 2 base damage is way better than 120 for 1 stacking base damage until you get past 600 CP or so, and with conversion values being much lower than they were early in the beta it's not too easy to get to 600 CP, not without making that a central part of your strategy.

Anyways, you're totally right that Rogues migrated from CYDSTEPP'ing to HP stacking, and you haven't even mentioned the Alchemist's Scroll (though now that it requires gold to activate it's just got a few too many constraints to make it locker worthy unless you really like Rogues or Priests). The thing is, without stacking elaborate combos the Rogue is just really hard to work with, and is subject to absolutely massive swings in damage output due to being such a glass cannon.


I've never been much of a fan of the potion-consuming items, mainly because I'm not very good at figuring out when to use potions except by saving them all for the very end, but yeah, lots of HP items. The combination of starting gold and the HP pendant makes purist runs a lot easier (and less scummy) than they used to be.
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Re: Namtar: still a pushover

Postby Darvin on Sun Aug 12, 2012 2:56 am

Or is it that the vicious dungeons have gotten a lot easier? Hmm.

With the exception of Demonic Library (which is absolutely insane), yes they have gotten easier. Even Gaan-Telet has been toned down with Horatio losing his mana burn property.

I'm trying to think of what features of a (vicious) dungeon (or at least Namtar and the Matron) really hurt an HP-stacking Rogue, and am coming up blank.

What makes HP-stacking nice is that there's no special ability to disable, you're just that much tougher. If you otherwise have a class/race combo that has exceptional damage output, this just leaves you with a well-rounded and powerful character.

In theory Death Gaze should punish HP stackers, but in practice at vicious-level this rarely is an issue since everything hits so hard that that it doesn't actually end up being a big deal.

I've never been much of a fan of the potion-consuming items, mainly because I'm not very good at figuring out when to use potions except by saving them all for the very end

Definitely, but we're talking about a lot of HP if you do pull it off.
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Re: Namtar: still a pushover

Postby Lujo on Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:13 am

I've been waiting for this thread. Been stacking insight and impressions forever.

But I'm also terribly hung over and got loads of stuff to do right now :( Damn.

Anyway, here goes the short version, I'd quote stuff, but I just can't.


1) I have a feeling that getting rid of rougue's HP disadvantage is a lot easier for the rogue than matching his advantages would be for any other character. Alchemist scroll Gaan'Telet runs (which I've done many times but sadly don't have any on tape) are ridiculous, esecially if using GETINDARE. If you're prepping STR, Dodge, Reflex and Burn Salve you get 32 HP just from using the initial potions to level, which leaves rogue with all his perks but at only -1.8 HP per level.


2) Also, it's quite obvious from all my video Gaan'Telet runs that First Strike from GETINDARE adds up to crazy amounts of overall damage delt or HP saved. With the Rogues damage bonus that makes it even more damage.

Someone ought to figure out a math formula for illustrating just how powerfull that is. For a usefull comparison standpoint, it translates to having a resource free DP per monster or a free dodge per monster. It only works as a last hit on a monster but with rogues huge damage, it's mostly a non-issue.

A first striker always reaches Horatio with resources to burn while a non-first strike character will have a very hard time even raching Horratio. This is just stress testing, the principle translates to any dungeon. I'm thoroughly convinced that conditionless first strike is too good of an ability for any class to have.

I've also played a lot of the Assasin before the buffs, and his Swift Hands ability always felt like "Rogue Light" - I think this is what the Rogue should've had from the start. Except I'm convinced THAT is rather powerfull as well.


3) GETINDARE giving dode prediction makes the Rogue more powerfull as it means more free powerfull hits. Dode with and without prediction are two very different things, and dodge prediction allows for major efficneciy boosts.


4) Comparing Rogue and the Warlord is interesting - the Warlord is slightly strictly better on a per hit basis, and also gets more free hits (especially if you build him properly). However...

EDIT: However, the old CYDSTEPP rogue only lost out on per hit damage by 10%, while at the same time being strictly better than the warlord by having random dodges and first strike - both of them built in and requiring no mana. So he won out on the number of free hits for big damage.

These days the Warlord is a poor-mans CYDSTEPP rogue, except that's like saying "a poor man's jumbo jet". All of his abilities still need fuel, while the rogue can still get one DP out of a pre fight CDYSTEPP and if doing fine get his first strike hit for free. Since the rougue benefits from DR stacking (of any kind), doesn't care about most debuffs, and doesn't have mana tied up in CYDSTEPPS, he's still probably better than the warlord overall. Especially if you consider his damage buff is always active.

And comparing either of those two clowns to anything else (except Monk) is sort of like comparing modern guns to flitlock ones.



That's it for now, I'm sure I can be more consise/coherent and that I have other stuff to say about it, except my head is killing me and work won't be doing itself, as usual.

EDIT: Edited for clarity and better Rogue/Warlord comparison.
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Re: Namtar: still a pushover

Postby Blovski on Sun Aug 12, 2012 11:56 am

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Rogue's not the easiest choice for Purist DI (I did get a beautiful god loadout - Taurog, Pactmaker, Dracul (and EM, in case I'd needed a desecration)). Resists hit 57% without any additional items. Didn't have to convert any potions. Didn't have to use any swells. Had a good 10-15 tiles of exploration and a lemissi glyph for the downstairs left.

(The trickiest bit, incidentally, was firstborn - took him down with one level-up, conversion-into-dracul, blood curse, +resists, first level of sanguine and then a mixture of regen fighting and bloodpool mopping up)

Edit: Only Hoarder to go : )

Also, on the rogue discussion - probably my favourite class since I'm pretty impatient with regen-fighting, definitely one of the most powerful in situations with sane monster-spawning. Counter-balanced by the fact that you *have* to make up a huge amount of health to deal with a lot of regular bosses, any first-strikers, level-catapulting etc. It's a lot easier to find yourself at the end of magma mines or at firstborn or Slime-Goo in an unwinnable situation as a Rogue than with a lot of other characters.

Dragon Isles is certainly easier for most characters than previously, or rather, it's a lot easier to know when you won't make it - the poor monk is *screwed* now (and half-dragon and gorgon don't have much of a way through either), though... don't really have any idea how to use him on this one... Demonic Library went from tough to horrible.
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Re: Namtar: still a pushover

Postby Darvin on Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:43 pm

These days the Warlord is a poor-mans CYDSTEPP rogue, except that's like saying "a poor man's jumbo jet".

Perhaps I'm a bit biased from all the purist runs I've been doing lately, in which the sheer luck factor of "will I find a combo to stack HP?" makes or breaks the Rogue, whereas the Warlord is reliable even as a faithless miser.
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Re: Namtar: still a pushover

Postby q 3 on Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:24 pm

Darvin wrote:
Or is it that the vicious dungeons have gotten a lot easier? Hmm.

With the exception of Demonic Library (which is absolutely insane), yes they have gotten easier. Even Gaan-Telet has been toned down with Horatio losing his mana burn property.


Wow, you're right about the Library. Was that an April Fool's prank that the devs forgot to turn off? :roll: If that's what vicious is supposed to be, the rest of them are more like upper tier hard dungeons (and Namtar/Matron aren't even all that much harder than some of the harder hard dungeons).

Although the Tower and Naga City are also thwarting my HP Rogue strategy so far, primarily due to altar unavailability. I'll probably have to try for purist with Tinker or somesuch with those two, as I'm not too keen on scumming for the Alchemist scroll (and enough gold/potions to make the combo work, which probably means Halfling+Trisword+Midas Gloves/treasure subdungeon).

In theory Death Gaze should punish HP stackers, but in practice at vicious-level this rarely is an issue since everything hits so hard that that it doesn't actually end up being a big deal.


A boss with high HP, low attack, and death gaze might do it - Super Meat Medusa? - but that would punish just about any Rogue strategy. Or be easily beaten with damage reduction, in which case you'd also need to add curse, at which point you're screwing pretty much everyone (maybe add fast regen to counter regen tactics, plus Counter Fireball to counter fireballs, and we'll go ahead and surround the boss with water tiles just so PISORF isn't an option either).

Lujo wrote:1) I have a feeling that getting rid of rougue's HP disadvantage is a lot easier for the rogue than matching his advantages would be for any other character.


Yeah, I've been thinking about comparisons and the one that comes to mind is giving +50% damage and permanent first strike to the (alpha) Fighter - that would be such an obviously broken ability that it's not even worth considering, but that's essentially what you get with a Rogue who can relatively easily acquire 40 to 80 extra max HP.

Someone ought to figure out a math formula for illustrating just how powerfull that is. For a usefull comparison standpoint, it translates to having a resource free DP per monster or a free dodge per monster. It only works as a last hit on a monster but with rogues huge damage, it's mostly a non-issue.


Or like having a 200% damage final attack (and not just +100% bonus damage, because it doubles your bonus damage, too). When you're hitting hard enough to kill a monster in, say, 5 blows, first strike means you only have to tank 4 - that's a 20% reduction in damage taken (or a 25% increase in net damage done).

3) GETINDARE giving dode prediction makes the Rogue more powerfull as it means more free powerfull hits. Dode with and without prediction are two very different things, and dodge prediction allows for major efficneciy boosts.


Yeah, I was browsing the wiki and noticed that it suggests converting GETINDARE right away as a Rogue - if I weren't too lazy to sign up, I would have edited that out pronto. It's an incredibly useful glyph for the Rogue, honestly it's probably more useful to him than just about anyone else precisely because each free attack for a Rogue brings him considerably closer to a high level kill or a boss kill.

Blovski wrote:Also, on the rogue discussion - probably my favourite class since I'm pretty impatient with regen-fighting, definitely one of the most powerful in situations with sane monster-spawning. Counter-balanced by the fact that you *have* to make up a huge amount of health to deal with a lot of regular bosses, any first-strikers, level-catapulting etc. It's a lot easier to find yourself at the end of magma mines or at firstborn or Slime-Goo in an unwinnable situation as a Rogue than with a lot of other characters.


The restart option is making this a lot easier for me. If I haven't found GG or JJ by about the 1/3 mark, it's time to start over. JJ in particular is so finicky that you either have to find him right away or convert in from Mystera or Binlor with the 45 piety for Petition.
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Re: Namtar: still a pushover

Postby Darvin on Sun Aug 12, 2012 7:32 pm

A boss with high HP, low attack, and death gaze might do it - Super Meat Medusa? - but that would punish just about any Rogue strategy. Or be easily beaten with damage reduction, in which case you'd also need to add curse, at which point you're screwing pretty much everyone (maybe add fast regen to counter regen tactics, plus Counter Fireball to counter fireballs, and we'll go ahead and surround the boss with water tiles just so PISORF isn't an option either).

It's not prejudiced against any particular build if it screws them all equally.

Of course, Vampires would still laugh at such a boss - once you stack enough lifesteal, a low-damage boss is basically no threat at all.


JJ in particular is so finicky that you either have to find him right away or convert in from Mystera or Binlor with the 45 piety for Petition.

Totally in agreement; JJ needs attention because right now it's either join right away or convert in with 100 piety and half the map left unexplored. That's extremely limiting. Once you've explored more than 1/4 of the map joining him directly is getting very iffy, and more than 1/2 it's questionable whether it's even viable to convert in.

The bottom line is that JJ needs a lifetime piety generation of around 200 piety to be worthwhile, and if you really want to use him effectively you'll probably need more in the range of 250. That is really hard to achieve. I find JJ only works well if you can find an altar to desecrate.

GG has similar issues, but his "low-lying" boons are inexpensive so he's still viable, and still has the "join late for protection" alternate approach. There's no comparable approach with JJ; last chance is risky to begin with, and if you don't have petition it's a foolish gamble unless you literally have no other options, and his up from 45 piety cost for petition before you can even start to purchase boons is just crippling.
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Re: Namtar: still a pushover

Postby FDru on Sun Aug 12, 2012 8:47 pm

Cursed was implemented to counter resist stacking wasn't it?

What do people think about a percentage damage attack to counter HP stacking? Like monsters whose attack power is equal to some percentage of your maximum health (rounded up to prevent Dracul shenanigans).
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