Struggling with the changes

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Struggling with the changes

Postby blahdidah on Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:02 pm

Balance changes are ruining the design for me.

I’ve been playing DD since the early betas, happily unlocking all the classes and discovering new strategies. I’ve loved the seemingly simplistic design and how it opened up to more complex strategies with advanced classes. I happily paid for the Beta based on all the time spent playing earlier versions, and really enjoy the new art. I realize this is a Beta, but right now I’m growing really frustrated with the some of the changes made for balance reasons that completely throw off the best parts of the games design.

Examples:

-I’m playing a human barbarian, attacking a higher level Wight. My damage score is equal to or slightly higher than its life (due to items and glyph conversions). I would expect that my +30% bonus would negate his 30% physical resist and I could one shot the Wight. However, because of the new complicated method for calculating damage and bonuses this often isn’t correct anymore, and I have to check by hovering over the monsters.

This is the first version I haven’t been able to figure out the combat chances myself, instead I have to rely on hovering over the monster to check the results. Frankly, this reduces the strategy, as I now have such a difficult time calculating the benefit of an item, or glyphs. As a result I’m enjoying it much less than earlier versions.

-Spells are getting way too situational, CYDDSTEP and APHEELSIK being the latest examples, with exhaustion being added to CYDDSTEP and the new changes to poison. Since these spells have been around for numerous versions, the only way they seem broken is because of the new “hard” challenges. It seems like we’re only supposed to be able to beat these with exactly the right preparations and gods. If a certain class has it too easy, you change the foundations of the game, which has the effect of ruining various strategies and classes.

While I happily figured out how to beat the older versions challenges, like how to beat the Factory with the various magic classes, the new version seems way too focused on stupidly specific combinations of items/gods, preparations and strategies for the harder dungeons. The design seems way too focused around the harder challenges, as spells and items keep changing so that they aren’t “too easy”. But, as a result I don’t want to play the “basic” game any more. This is making it much less fun than previous versions, and the design feels much less elegant. The reduced strategic options caused by altering the spells lead to boring, repetitive play; if a spell only has 1 or 2 potential uses on a level, than it feels like an auto-conversion when you find it.

-Even some of the new monsters create questionable interactions with the design. One issue is that when you encounter a new type of monster, it’s often impossible to figure out what their abilities do. You can’t hover over a monster’s abilities, so you’re left guessing, which reduces the strategic feel of the game. Fleeing monsters and the monsters that “re-spawn” are just completely annoying for certain classes to deal with.

Also, more of the new monsters just seem really hard to beat with certain classes; mainly because resistance seems to be way more common now. So if certain monsters occur at level 8 or 9 it can “lock up” that experience. This creates the situation of reloading the dungeon to find a beatable combination which feels more like luck and less like strategy. It’s the same problem as restarting dungeons to find an early pactmaker in earlier versions.


In summary, are minor game balance issues worth sacrificing the elements of design that made the game so unique and fun in the first place?
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Re: Struggling with the changes

Postby Xanopticon on Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:40 pm

blahdidah wrote:
-I’m playing a human barbarian, attacking a higher level Wight. My damage score is equal to or slightly higher than its life (due to items and glyph conversions). I would expect that my +30% bonus would negate his 30% physical resist and I could one shot the Wight. However, because of the new complicated method for calculating damage and bonuses this often isn’t correct anymore, and I have to check by hovering over the monsters.



I don't know what you mean by this, 30% of one number isn't going to be 30% of another number. And never has been AFAIK in DD. By "New complicated method" you mean correct maths? I attack for 100 damage, plus 30% is 130. 30% of 130 is 39, So I do 91 damage. Has it ever been different??
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Re: Struggling with the changes

Postby Buttons on Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:02 pm

Yes, Xanopticon is right: it's always been that way. (1+x)(1-x) is rarely equal to 1. If resistances simply subtracted from bonuses, then monsters with 100% physical resistance would still take damage from all but the weakest fighters.
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Re: Struggling with the changes

Postby dislekcia on Mon Sep 12, 2011 4:27 pm

Also, note that we haven't altered our design strategy. We're not trying to force players towards specific combinations in specific situations at all, in fact that's what we're trying to avoid entirely... You're literally seeing the effects of a much larger variable pool and we keep adding to that before we feel we can safely remove things. I know it seems like we're tightening up, but we're still very much in the expansion phase ;)
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