Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

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Re: Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

Postby Lujo on Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:20 pm

Astral wrote:I'm on the opinion that gnome bloodmages can compete with halflings on the refill side too. Each mana potion boosts sanguine by 2%, so after drinking 10 potions your sanguine has already doubled. And you have a lot more bloodpools (even with a Dracul prep) than health potions.


Yes for the end spike, not if you're using the early health boost + health potion + B2P sinergy in order to use B2P blackspace early in place of exploration so that you have all your mana potions and bloodpools for the actual end fight. It's the strongest at early levels when the ratio of boosted health to expected health per level means more B2P per level at a time when you want to be exploring anyway and you don't have access to stuff due to not having explored.

When you blow the map sorta wide open, THEN mana potions and sanguine really come into play, and then, yes, the gnome blodmages do rock socks indeed. But it's all about the timing otherwise.



And the more important thing about high health not being equal to high health + refills is more about dwarves than gnomes, tbh. I'm not sure prepping a yendor on a dwarf is actually prefferable to either going Alch scroll halfling or prepping a keg. In fact I'm not sure the dwarf is even capable of ever effectively racing an alch scroll halfling simply because the major issue with big health is that it's a bummer to refill in terms of exploration (which is also why gnomes and goblins generally beat elves most of the time, even if elves can cheeze their mana pool a lot).
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Re: Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

Postby Lujo on Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:35 pm

Damn you guys, I actually figured something really important out, and included it in the new "let's try to bum a patch off the devs" thread.

There's VERY clear and VERY silly reasons why Gnomes are so damned good, and it's because they actually don't get s**t from their gods of choice for doing what they're good at and get way more support for it for way less effort than halflings. No time for textwalling it here because there's enough infor to get you guys going in the new thread, but if it does get discussed, let's do it here as to keep that thread as user friendly for the devs as possible on the off chance that we CAN in fact bum a patch off them (there's actually pretty legit reasons for one to happen in terms of tweaks).
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Re: Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

Postby Blovski on Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:41 pm

Yeah I kind of agree with you there, Lujo, though I think that's why JJ and EM are both good Halfling gods despite not really being conventionally used for melee builds. I kind of think GG is a bit off at the moment anyway.
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Re: Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

Postby Darvin on Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:06 pm

This is also what's really holding back Elves from utilizing Mystera. In theory a big mana pool would be awesome with refreshment, but they face an obvious catch-22 in practice: in order to have that big mana pool, they must have already converted their glyphs and thus cannot benefit from refreshment.
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Re: Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

Postby Astral on Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:53 pm

Except wizards, who can rack up more max mana than sorcerers can dream of and start out with a better version of Mystic Balance to boot. And we haven't even considered the power of an Elf Wiz who started out at JJ and boosted his mana there too.
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Re: Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

Postby Lujo on Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:03 am

^ Written this before Astrals comment so I'm kinda adressing other stuff here.

Which is why the sorcerers efortlessly bigass mana pool (and the ease with which he gets it up to 20) is such an anomaly - he can actually use what is probably the best theoretical tool for elves, while the elves can barely use it sensibly at all. o.O (Barring as astral has pointed out, Wizards).

And what I was saying about the potion races, I don't think they need nerfs exactly, it's more that there are clear imbalances in other places which cause several effects with them.

What I'm considering right now is the following - the Halfling spiker can get good with Taurog and Binlor, Taurog gives some damage, Binlor gives bigass damage, and he can get his basic spike off without a hitch. The gnome can get his basic stuff off with JJ, Mystera and Earthmother, likewise without a hitch, just hoard & spike and that's that. However, the halfling can get weird in very specific ways with other guys, and the Gnome can't. Yet, the gnome, who only ever really does hoard & spike if at all possible, is sorta the clear winner.

Why is this? I mean, you can tack a gnome onto a spellcasting strat and in most cases he'll be the "optimal" choice pretty much whatever the scenario is, once you do the end spike math (EDIT: not necessarily, but once you take all the cost/efect/effort bits into account). At least you'll get someone who loves gnomes asking "why not just go gnome" with possibly legit reasons. Tinker has compared the Crytal Ball to a "gnome module" and that's not that bad of a label (it's much stronger than being a gnome but the basic of it's functionality is the same, pulling mana refills out of basically nowhere).

But the halfling isn't nearly as clear cut a winner when it comes to his most effortless strats. And I think if he was, he'd need a nerf. Because he does convert for health refills, and those actually have way more costs than just dumping CP into them and even then require you to get your damage/health/resists up. Most other guys use racial bonuses, pretty tangible ones, and a lot of play to make it work on top of working for their refills. I mean, there's a reason we thought the halfling needs the trisword, it seemed impossible he could be able to work without a "damage cheat" to catch up with the other guys - because what is then the point of other guys? (And indeed, the Orc really started going places once the trisword was gone because he's the same thing minus coming with freebie refills on top of the damage).

But then, there's quite a bit more you can actually do with halflings, but all that stuff requires more resources and/or effort than either potion spam or what the gnome does (because gnome stuff involves much easier to get boons, very rarely more than one god and items which have actual price tags compared to glyphs).

What I'm trying to ask is:

- Should just tacking a potion guy onto a class/item/god combo really have hoard & spike as the most beneficial approach?
- Should tacking on a potion guy onto a class/item/god combo really edge out other options as much as tacking a gnome on stuff does currently?
- What sort of tweaks and to what exactly would make "finesse" approaches with these guys more rewarding than "hoard & spike"?
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Re: Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

Postby Tinker on Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:37 am

Lujo wrote:What I'm trying to ask is:

- Should just tacking a potion guy onto a class/item/god combo really have hoard & spike as the most beneficial approach?
- Should tacking on a potion guy onto a class/item/god combo really edge out other options as much as tacking a gnome on stuff does currently?
- What sort of tweaks and to what exactly would make "finesse" approaches with these guys more rewarding than "hoard & spike"?

Well. I kinda like "hoard & spike". :) I think there's a trade-off though. You forego most of your bonus for most of the run, to get a big bang in the end. Plus, you don't necessarily need to do that, you can spike along the way, which is great as long as you do it responsibly. However, if you feel the need to keep spiking almost everything, then it's a sign that Elf or Orc or something would have been better choice for their consistent bonuses.

You could argue that going Elf with basically anything turns you into a spellcaster. Maybe even more so than with the Gnome, unless you get your mana pool up to 15 or 20. Or, you can go Orc an turn even a feeble non-physical class into melee fighters. I guess it goes both ways, or better said, all sorts of ways, and there are the obvious combos to peak one aspect of your character like the Orc Rogue, the Gnome Sorcerer or the Halfling Priest, but then there are also non-obvious combos, like the Human Wizard, or Elf Berserker, or somesuch, that can still be viable under certain conditions, and may even out-shine the highly specialised combinations in a lot of cases.
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Re: Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

Postby Lujo on Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:46 am

No, no, no, you misunderstood, I'm sorry if I didn't word it right. It's not about shutting down hoard & spike as a viable strat, it's just that it's absoultely the most patently reductive way to play those races. You play them when you DON'T want to play hoard and spike all the time, because they're the only guys who have enough efortless refills (and specifically potion refills) to always be able to blow them to get leg-ups while leveling or spend them on zany schemes like Drac piety farming. An elf gets a ton of benefits from saving his potions for the end spike because he can get way more out of them than a gnome would and has way fewer available - a gnome can't get that much out of hoard & spike but he can spike stuff more easily.

So a situation where hoard & spike is the most rewarding scenario for the potion races is probably way off. They can always do it, ofc, but they're not really supposed to be what you want to play it with because then Dwarfs and Elves really suck hard (those are the guys who want and need to save all the refills for when they get huge).

You might also have noticed that all the things you can do with potions actually promote using potions while you level instead of hoarding them. The trisword, the scroll, drac piety benefits, whatever - the reason they're all actually powerful is that the h&s instint is so hard to shake (in big part because it's the only thing you can do for a long while before you develop your kingdom) and the game really needed clues and incentives to get people to play to the actual strengths of the potion races (which are that they don't have to hoard nearly as much as some others do and actually can use them to spike stuff all the time). Most of those are actually there, AFAIK, because it was so hard to get people to get over the hoarding instinct/early kindgom mentality.

So when a bright new player who's even picked an avatar up manages to consistently see the potion races as the strongest ones - while at the same time professing the love for h&s, and also claiming that races which are build for it are disfunctional (whith which I agree) - something's probably a bit off. Having h&s be the most rewarding thing to do with potion guys is doubly disappointing because it so often leads to having potions left over and in stead of getting proper benefits from your racial bonus you end up with not in fact having one at all. Just think about it.
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Re: Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

Postby Tinker on Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:38 am

Lujo wrote:No, no, no, you misunderstood, I'm sorry if I didn't word it right. It's not about shutting down hoard & spike as a viable strat, it's just that it's absoultely the most patently reductive way to play those races. You play them when you DON'T want to play hoard and spike all the time, because they're the only guys who have enough efortless refills (and specifically potion refills) to always be able to blow them to get leg-ups while leveling or spend them on zany schemes like Drac piety farming. An elf gets a ton of benefits from saving his potions for the end spike because he can get way more out of them than a gnome would and has way fewer available - a gnome can't get that much out of hoard & spike but he can spike stuff more easily.

Got it! My bad.

So when a bright new player who's even picked an avatar up manages to consistently see the potion races as the strongest ones - while at the same time professing the love for h&s, and also claiming that races which are build for it are disfunctional (whith which I agree) - something's probably a bit off. Having h&s be the most rewarding thing to do with potion guys is doubly disappointing because it so often leads to having potions left over and in stead of getting proper benefits from your racial bonus you end up with not in fact having one at all. Just think about it.

Well, assuming noone else picked up an avatar laterly... I don't want to make any claims about being bright, or even presume that I'm in any way representative of DD players at large. Or that I understand some of the underlying decisions that went into designing DD the way it was designed. I'm sure I'm still one of the least experienced players here, I think I have a decent grasp on the basics of the game, but I still probably have a lot to learn.

On topic though, H&S or not all depends on the balance of the dungeon (i.e. how difficult the mobs versus the bosses are). If the bosses are significantly more difficult then I'll preserve as much as I can. If the mobs are relatively stronger, and I'm confident that I'll be able to kill the boss(es) with fewer resources, I'm of course gonna use any potions I see as excess along the way, to spike, or to fuel the potion-fueled effects of the scroll or sword, or maybe even convert them for an early Piety boost with GG for example.
That said... there is a balance to things. An Elf will likely get a significantly bigger bang for a Mana potion than a Gnome, due to Mana Pool size being the Elf's thing. So doing the math can help, and realize, that if you spend too many potions along the way, you are actually going to have a worse spike in the end than the elf. Keeping a good deal of your potions is needed to excel at the final spike.
Of course, if I miscalculate something, or get stuck somehow, a Potion can be a good get-out-of-jail-free card, and using one up is often better than not if I have a higher-level monster almost in kill range, or if I got carelessly afflicted with Poison or Mana Burn.
Plus, all in all, I don't mind having excess potions in the end. On the one hand, the only monster who really needs to be killed is the final boss; the other monsters are just there to keep me company trying to get within range of the bosskill... So I'd rather be super-safe for the final fight, and leave a couple of monsters alive, then go wild killing and levelling, and then find myself struggle to get that final kill that really counts. On the other hand, having extra resources in the end just tells me that I did a good job winning with fewer resources. Not to mention, every bit of gold helps to install the last monuments of my Kingdom, those last upgrades can be quite a chore to save for...
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Re: Halflings - all shennanigans all the time

Postby Lujo on Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:45 am

Hahahhaha, I was looking for a thread to post this in, and didn't want to make a new one, so I found this one :)

I reread the quest description of the quest "Halflings, Ho!" and it's so perfect: "Among their other (frequent) complaints, halflings often bemoan the fact that nobody takes them seriously - even when they prove themselves capable of bending reality itself..."

It's funny because it's true XD
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