xspeedballx wrote:I am probably over simplifying to a degree.
Not really, in fact. Well, from my perspective, anyway, and I "broke" the game rather verily a few times so I'll entitle myself to an opinon.
Now then, I've said this before, the problem with Taurog in particular is that for new players, and early game in general, Taurog doubles as a dispenser of a million things that you unlock later and get used to prepping, having in shops, having as racial or class choices and all that. He is immensly powerfull, but the game (and the playerbase) has always had a big problem with determining the baseline for anything (or settling for one). We're all bud's here, and it can be just me saying it and everyone denying it, we can all come clean or we can take a 3 month sabbatical and dig throught all the archives and then face it.
What happens is that a newbie walks into the game at a point where he has no shops, once he gets those, then he has a limited item pool, a limited building prep pool, a limited glyph pool, a limitad race selection, a limited altar selection, a limited... just about everything. Then he finds Taurog, and all of a sudden he has the following at his disposal:
A source of %20 based damage boost with every boon - so he doesn't have to be Human all the time, and when you look at it there aren't many sources of it in the game at all.
A +5 Dmg Sword - which is on it's own the best stright up damage item, with no gimmicks, at a point where there are no Orcs, no Trisword, no nothing. It's still worth picking up even later and I've done it regularly way past the "insane vet" stage of development as a player.
A -5 Dmg Shield - which is really the only obvious powerleveling tool before the potions, cydstep and all the other stuff we take into dungeons like we deserve it.
A +15% Phys Res or a +15% Mag Res item - both of which make for half a Dragonshield, which is an OPTIONAL "we-just-put-it-there-for-a-lark" item that we all somehow made a major factor by virtue of never really accepting the whole "VICIOUS is just an optional thing for crazy people" policy, except verbaly. This is coming form a guy who did about 20-30 VICIOUS Gaan'Telet runs even though he knew it would always crash before he got the reward for it and when it took 10 minutes just to trek up and down floors. And there are no mixed-damage-type bosses out there, so half a dragonshield can easily be all you really need, and in fact rather often is, especially later.
So, anyway, once the newbie has aquired all these goodies which he would in no other manner have acess to, and even if he did, buying them and prepping them would bankrupt him, he gets the piety spike on top of it. A rather good one as long as he can tackle one boss without it.
And he can even cast spells while he's at it as long as he doesn't go overboard. And he ges piety for killing stuff, which is like, what you're supposed to do anyway to get levels, you know?
And then along come us vets and complain that once you unlock all the rather excessive junk (I'm glaring at all the stuff I ever got sick of using at some point) and all the wonderfull options we can preselect or pick up on the fly while we roll in money, anyway, we come along and say:
Right, this Taurog chap, once he stops in effect replacing just about 3/4 of the entire games content, he just doesn't look up to snuff, does he? I mean, once I have quest/elite/vicious bling to fill my inventory up with, once I've unlocked classes which are silly by design, and once I'm loaded up to my ears with preps and I can preselect my god, and get not 3 but 4 altars in case I run into one I don't like, we'll he just doesn't wow me as much as say Drac.
Because Drac, you see, he's solid - he still makes you many times more powerfull even after you've grown into a habit of bringing/buying/counting on stuff like Dragonshields, Namtar's Wards, stacking 75% resists, juggling a cuple of gods. You can set you measures and standards by him, you can - I certanly did: If a strat for the old VICIOUS Gaan'Telet took more than one Bloodswell, I didn't really feel like I won. More like cheated.
And before anyone starts up about PQI runs, trickshots and purist runs - guys, we have shops. And classes. And glyphs. And races. And alchemists. And subdungeons. And altars. And, what, over a year of expirience?
Let's just let this go, we've influenced the way the game is quite a lot, and for a very long time our feedback has for various reasons kept the dev's in belief that stuff that shouldn't be doable if you want balance between early and super-late is perfectly fine. We've come a long way in helping them make it all work better, we've said goodbye to quite a few silly exploits (and come to see them as such no matter how fun they were for a while), but I honstly think that the way the game is layed out Taurog has to stay the way he is.
I'm not happy with it, namely that the only thing you can afford to tax Taurog worship with is inventory space and that turning into a big problem for optimal (excessively insanely munchkiny?) late game play, but if we want regular people to buy this after release and possibly finance an expansion or something, I think we ought to cut Taurog some slack.
That or badger the devs into a big round of balancing, but I'm not sure that's doable.
EDIT: And for anyone who remebers - back when I was trampling with the old conversion/TT/GG Monk stupidness, I didn't even want to unlock Taurog. Because I felt that with him in every run there would be no challenge at all. If all his crap which doubles for most of the content didn't take up your mana and inventory space it would stack with all the other crap (and still does to a fine degree), and noone would be able to balance it.