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Postby Mastermind1011 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:05 am

Perhaps I'm playing Dracul wrong, but he seems (as well as Tikki Tokki) a little underpowered comparatively. I think this is mainly because of how slow you gain piety with him. You get two per kill and 5 per health potion convert, and that's all I've found so far, so if there's some other way to gain piety that I don't know about that might be my problem, but here's how I see it.

His first two abilities let you gain piety for losing health and levels. They are useful, especially when fighting the boss when ten health or two levels you weren't going to get anyways can turn into a full heal, but they are bad for other reasons, which I'll explain.

His next ability lets you use 20 piety to get 2 mana. Not useless, of course, but made rather lackluster by Mystera. Sure, for each two mana Mystera grants you create 4% magic resistance on your enemies but you gain piety so much easier with her affording the 40 piety needed to negate that is easier than just getting another 20 with Dracul for another two mana. Still, it's not a bad ability by itself.

The next is life steal. 5 points per 20 piety. Life steal right now heals a straight up fixed amount of damage each attack after damage is dealt. Functionally, it can be thought of as a shield-type item that blocks damage only if an attack would be survivable in the first place, which I think is a nice drawback given that one could theoretically block up around 6x more damage than Taurog's shield if one was insistent on pumping Dracul's lifesteal buff. Plus it allows for weak enemies to be used for lots of healing so it is by no means a weak ability. Still having to survive for it to be useful means weaker first strike based characters are left out in the cold by Dracul and it's just plain useless against some high attack bosses.

After that, we have a 4% resistance buff per 20 piety. Again, this is overshadowed by other gods. It take 80 piety to get to 16% resistance. Taurog does essentially that for 50 and Glowing Guardian does that for 100, but with plus 10 health, 2 mana, 5 base attack, and 100 conversion points. Since for 100 Dracul could give you 16% resistance and plus two mana, Glowing Guardian's ability is just way better overall, especially given how easy it is to get piety with him.

Finally we have a full heal for 20 piety. I think this is overall the best buff he has and there's not too much to say about it. It's good.

Okay, after all that explanation about what he does, let me point out what I think is just so wrong with him: he has absolutely zero synergy with himself.

Glowing Guardian creates piety on every convert. I typically get enlightment around level 4. Once you get that, killing higher level monsters is a breeze, letting you build back up huge piety gains for protection to be used against the boss. Using his abilities naturally enables to get better at earning piety under him, from using Sanctify on low level enemies and Protection and Enlightment on high level ones.

Same thing with Mystera. Her abilities give you more mana which let you cast more spells which lets you get more piety to use her abilities more and...

Taurog too. Kill things, get better at killing things, kill more things.

Dracul doesn't work like that. You can lose 10 health to get more life steal, but then you won't be able to survive the strike needed to use it. Likewise, 4% resistance will never equal 10 lost life unless you're against Gharbad, but then that won't really matter in the first place. The level up ability is a lot better right now, since with it you get more effect from health boosters, more fireball damage, and most importantly you still only need the same amount of experience to level up. However, given that in the freeware, Dracul's extra level meant you had to gain another 5 experience to level than you would have had to before, I'm thinking this is a bug and will be fixed eventually, essentially nerfing that ability.

No matter how you use his abilities, however, you'll never get better at converting health potions, his biggest piety boost.

All in all, Dracul's abilities are both overshadowed by other gods and often times work against each other. Coupled with how slow piety gain is for him he's a chore to worship. So I'm going to finish this off by suggesting a few possible buffs:

1. Life steal can overheal you. This makes it a much more powerful ability and more importantly rewards first strike, which would let Dracul be more useful for rogues, who normally can't give up the health needed to really use his abilities.

2.Dracul's Blood Shield gives 4% physical and magical resistance, as well as a X% dodge ability increase. Four might be too high for this one given how Tikki Tokki has 10% one use dodge buff for 25 piety, though I'm kinda for making that one repeatable as well, though that's a different topic.

3. Rework his piety gain system. Most of his abilities are buffs to your damage resistance one way or the other, through armor, life steal, or full heal. Perhaps a system where some fraction of resisted damage comes back as piety? Toughest problem, I think.

Thank you for reading all of this. Any other ideas about what's right or wrong with Dracul right now?
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Re: Dracul

Postby Galefury on Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:18 pm

Another thing that is wrong with him is that he is too hard to find. I still don't have him, even after trying a bunch of times. Same for goblins actually.
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Re: Dracul

Postby TigerKnee on Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:30 pm

Since we're complaining about Dracul, I want to say that unlike most other gods, his altar seems to camouflauge very well into the background. A lot of times I spawned Dracul and didn't even realize I did until MUCH later.

Edit: I do think he's a bit weak for a standalone god, but he's decently useful for a last minute "I need extra resources like full healing and MP, NOW!" kind of thing.
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Re: Dracul

Postby fall_ark on Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:12 pm

This will probably cause imbalance and abuse, but -- shouldn't Dracul be happy with just hurting instead of killing? Wounds are created. Blood is spilled. Dracul should be pleased. If the player try to rinse and repeat to gain piety -- well, torturing monsters is certainly a good thing for an evil god, no? The fluff feels right

...oh, wait, now that I think about it, that's JJ's fluff. Ahh, I miss that god....
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Re: Dracul

Postby bla0815 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:32 pm

Perhaps Dracul could be slightly more enthusiastic about turning sentient beings into stone, leaving their mind trapped for the decades to come, hoping for an unsuspecting adventurer with ENDISWAL or a painfull death by natural erosion.

To be honest i didn't combine him with dwarves/priests or pure spellcasters often enough, yet. It is apparent though, that you can better use other gods to gain piety for dracul instead of going dracul right away. This might change with the new pactmaker, once he/she is implemented.
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Re: Dracul

Postby Esoteric on Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:55 pm

Dracul's current system of trading health for piety is inherently offbalanced in favor of only using it midbossfight. Unless there's a couple smashable altars, you're looking at a long period of time before you can efficiently get much piety going. With your inability to kill undead you're going to have a hard enough time gaining experience without using Blood Curse early game and Blood Tithe early game is just silly.

Right now a lot of bosses do big damage, 105 or so. A basic level 8 character with 3 health powerups only has 104 hp, so you need to find ways to increase your health before fighting it in melee. In alpha, you could get that 20% resists going and then have room to spend 15 more health, and still not be 1-shot; low health was a drawback to worshiping Dracul, but not the limiting factor. Now, if you don't have a way to increase your health, you can't fight the boss in a melee regardless of your lifesteal.

Mastermind's idea of lifesteal overhealing you seems perfect--it would let you overcome Dracul's inherent weakness in this regard--though you'd probably need to make it so you can't steal from plants.

A second option would be restoring the one-time 20% resistances boon, or something similar. Perhaps setting your resistances permanently to 20% so as to avoid abuse by monks and berserkers. Dracul currently has no one-time boons except for blood curse, having one would help make flying his flag worthwhile.

Regardless of those two options, something that would make him a slightly more interesting, well rounded god would be increasing his gain from killing the living and decreasing his penalty for killing the dead--I have a hard time believing that he's sentimental about zombies. Maybe his patronage could be limited to those with life steal?

The existence of the blood tithe boon will always make Dracul mainly focused on mid-bossfight use though. Why did you guys switch away from the alpha system of each boon costing you some max hp? I think that system would be much more interesting now that you're able to switch between gods freely.

Oh, and one last suggestion. What if blood power was changed to give you 3 or 4 extra mana but curse you so that every mana point spent causes you to lose 2 life. That curbs repeated midbossfight blood power uses without the distasteful "repeated use increase cost" mechanic. Not to mention it seems like exactly the sort of thing Dracul would do. Would need to attach a rider that weakens halpmeh to avoid abuse, but that also seems like the sort of thing Dracul would do. something to think about.
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Re: Dracul

Postby bla0815 on Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:08 am

I just realized dracul gives 3 piety per sip of blood, which makes him very neat for bloodmages (ok that was kind of an obvious statement). My guess is that there will be some item, which will enable other classes to be able to drink blood. Also the vampire.
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Re: Dracul

Postby Zaratustra on Thu Aug 11, 2011 1:05 pm

Dracul is broken on dungeons with plants (lifesteal works on them)
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Re: Dracul

Postby Darvin on Fri Aug 12, 2011 2:48 am

How do you unlock Dracul? Every other god was practically bending over to get unlocked, but no matter how much I play I can't seem to get Dracul to appear. I've won every dungeon except the vicious dungeons and Druid Grove (which keeps bugging out on me).
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Re: Dracul

Postby q 3 on Fri Aug 12, 2011 3:03 am

I found him in the Halls of Steel, which I believe is where other players have reported seeing him. Keep in mind you don't need to beat the dungeon to get the god, just find him, complete his subdungeon, and retire.
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