Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

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Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

Postby Lujo on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:46 am

Ok, so I'll bait the RNG to screw me over with snakes everywhere on my next purist monk runs. I expect nothing at all from this thread, and I hope I'm not spamming too hard, but I have to point an obvious thing out and explain it a bit. And ask a few questions from my colleagues.

So, pretty much everyone knows by now I'm having a beef with my own overuse of the Bloodmage and BLOODOPOWA. Blovski has reported a really crazy BM win in the priest thread, and I've done vids on B2P, and all that, and god knows what the devs have in store allready. I just want to textwall a bit of theory here. It's been a long time coming, and guys who were paying atention will remember me going on about this during the previous walkthrough - especially when I was dismantling the old Gaan'Telet over and over again.

So, the thing with the Bloodmage, the thing that sets him apart from everybody else is that he, on his own, introduces way too much extra resources into any run. As in, with no effort at all, he simply has more resources at his disposal.

1) He starts with Bloodtopowa - This means his blackspace, as long as he goes dedicated caster, increases by 1/3. So, unless you waste too much blackspace looking for stuff, this ability reads - "you start with a big bunch of tiles the other guys don't start with", and since you can explore while you spike - you waste less blackspace on exploration and reach more walled off exploration. This translates into practicaly having an equivalent of a Zombie Gold subdungeon a every run, and if you do in fact hit Zombie Gold (or Pan's Labyrinth, or Contemplate the Waters, or Cha'Dylan...) - you practicaly can't lose.

Now, this is an issue with B2P rather than the BM, and is true for any dedicated caster - and B2P can turn anyone into a dedicated caster (hint, try it with halfling priests). But B2P will hopefully get what's coming to it in one of the upcoming updates.

The Bloodmage, However:

2) Starts with sanguine:

Now this means he can really milk his B2P very early. You might say, yes but he then lacks bloodpools for the end fight! To that I say - SO DO 16 OUT OF 18 GUYS, unless they worship drac. And the only other guy who starts with sanguine is ment to be a bragging rights reward. Sure, it plays into the whole B2P based spellcaster thing, but sanguine is STRONG - with no effort at all, a run with sanguine provides a huge ammount of healing from what is basicaly a graphical reminder that there was a monster in that tile before you killed it.

The ability, in any incarnation, is so strong that it would warrant more monsters leaving behind stuff other than blood, but I'm not arguing in favor of that (or anything, really), just pointing it out. As it is now - there are no checks and balances in the game keeping sanguine in check, and I really wouldn't mind some. It would also help balancing Drac a bit.

However, not only does BM start with one of the arguably strongest abilities in the game he also:

3) Regains a mana point upon drinking a bloodpool.

Now this is just bullshit. Sanguine is enough to kill at least one boss per dungeon on it's own, if not 2. So is B2P. B2P + Sanguine are enough to kill several bosses per dungeon, because they increase the number of resources available to the player in any run by an obviously crazy ammount. And on top of this - BM gets 2-3 Clearances worth of tacticaly allocative mana tacked onto an allready literaly gamebreaking ability... Just because. Why not just start him off with a blue bead on top of all this, so he can throw down a fireball every time he kills a lvl1 popcorn?

But wait, there's more:

4) Drinking mana potions increases his sanguine:

So not only does he start with sanguine, and get mana out of sanguine, he also increases the effects of sanguine by drinking mana potions? Which he, as a mana based spiker actually wants to do anyway? Yay - more resources unavailable to any other class!

But wait! He gets even more!

5) The sanguine increesing mana potions? They also restore 80% of his mana, as opposed to 60% which everyone else gets! So he gets even more resources, this time more than anyone else in the game except the thief would get, yet allocated in a way which he would prefer.

6) And I'm not even going into the sinergies with the potion races, the dvarwes, the orcs, the elves and all that jazz...


The tradeoff? There's got to be a tradeoff, right, I mean, he practicaly starts with an entire second dungeon worth of hassle-free resources.


1) He has to waste exploration to find either fireball or pissorf.

Except he still has built in sanguine, so he can melle stuff with little problems as long as he can afford some popcorn. And prepping either Binlor or Magnet: Fireball completely eliminates this issue. So does scumming - fireball's pretty much the only thing you need, and since it can be prepped and B2P can't, he's in a much better position than anyone who'd want to rely on B2P.

2) He's counterintuitive

In the "you go paranoid from expecting there being a catch, when in fact there isn't one" sense. Or in the "nothing else in the game indicates something like this would be possible" sense. There isn't a catch, and it's very possible.




So, rather than suggest anything, as I'm blowing off steam and providing a showcase of just how and why is this guy so incredibly over-the-top, I got a few questions, and I promise not to immediately leap on anyone who replies with spam:

1) Is anyone at all having a problem making the current Bloodmage work?
2) Can anyone think of anyone else who comes close to this kind of drawbackless resource advantage? Apart from the Monk, who pays dearly for his broken resource advantage.
3) Does anyone find the regular Sanguine to be lackluster?
4) If this guy ever gets whalloped with the nerf bat, would making broader checks and balances for sanguine and B2P be preffereble?
5) What do you think about having certain monsters leave behind stuff other than bloodpools (nothing, dust, plants, corrosion pools, weakening pools, nasty crap that does nothing unless you try to drink it)?
6) How about hazards to using B2P (Monsters who regenearate or overheal when you use it and so on and so forth)?

Ty for your patience.
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Re: Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

Postby q 3 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:49 pm

What if, instead, of dropping stuff other than bloodpools (which also harms Earthmother worshipers and, if they're nasty things, hurts everyone else, too) there were other things that consumed them? Right now it's basically either sanguine, Plantation, or they're useless. Taurog could demand some bloodpools when you take Unstoppable Fury ("blood for the other blood god!"). The Apothecary could use up some bloodpools when you buy a potion, and maybe offer more potions when you have more bloodpools (then maybe the Apothecary prep doesn't add more storefronts but rather decreases the # of bloodpools needed for each potion?). There could be one or more items that consume bloodpools on activation (Trisword? :twisted: ). Etc.

(These would all also have the useful side effect of making Absolution more costly.)
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Re: Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

Postby Lujo on Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:09 pm

That would be one AWESOME way of popping a cap into that damned sword!

Keep the ideas coming, I don't have a fixed stance on this anyway so you don't have to worry about me textbombing you, people :)
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Re: Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

Postby FDru on Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:45 pm

Since it's clear that B2P is still fairly ridiculous, that should probably be looked at, if anything. Instead of giving the Blood Mage in particular some kind of penalty, why not do something about B2P? Something like "every 2 activations, lose 1 max health, 1 max health restored when killing an enemy. All max health restored on removal of glyph from inventory". This could curb some of the early game B2P exploits, while still being flavorful and interesting (and possibly overly harsh, lol).

(Totally random idea off the top of my head that I didn't put much thought into, as per usual)
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Re: Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

Postby Darvin on Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:53 pm

I like the idea of putting other effects on blood pools. Quite possibly the best way to bring the Bloodmage and Dracul under control since they're basically running around with a resource no one else gets. That said, I don't think Taurog will help, since I never use him on Bloodmage and if I'm going UF it's instead of converting into another religion. Such a modification to deities is probably a non-starter at this point anyways.

Making the Trisword require a blood pool to activate would be an interesting approach; it'd mean you couldn't just chug all your potions at level 1, which means it actually has to build up in power. It also limits it on the lower level of Naga City That solves many of its issues. If the alchemist scroll was moved over to consume blood pools as well (probably dropping either its gold or one-per-level limitations) that could also work quite well. So this line of thought definitely has me interested.

What if Orb of Zot scaled by the number of bloodstains visible on screen. Lower effective if you just nail it right at the start of the dungeon, higher effect if you lay out the red carpet first? What if Martyr Wraps caused enemies with more than 3 layer of corrosion to leave corrosive pools instead of blood pools (probably instead of its self-corrode effect)? Fire Heart could consume blood pools on activation, which would bring your blood tithing health-monger under control instantly. Troll Heart could be bumped to 3 health per level but consume blood pools in doing so...

Yeah, lots of stuff could use this in theory.
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Re: Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

Postby Lujo on Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:40 pm

Well, while I like the idea of forcing the trisword to suck up a bloodpool or two before letting you chug for bonuses, I don't think the Alch scroll needs any buffs (I'm very sure it doesn't).

However, there's a distinct feature of both Drac and BM related to Sanguine - namely that getting anything out of bloodpools breaks balancing on it's own. By a little, or by a lot - depends, but they are both at a power level where you can't really bring the rest of the features - that'd turn the game too easy in a hurry.

And I don't think you could make the Bloodmage choose between using his Bloodpools the way he is using them now and any other use you could add to them - he has a B2P and a Blue-Bead++ effect attached to them. He doesn't need anything else! Litteraly! And everyone else doesn't really need sanguine, which is why Drac pushes stuff over the top by giving them resources which they don't really need but can use effortlessly (not necessarily by much, or on every map - most of the time they effectively go wasted).

As for leaving stuff other than blood is concerned - most guys could and can play without sanguine, so I guess the Druids could leave behing a plant (random plant, but I'd love that, theyre so lackluster and bland right now, this'd make you carefull about killing the blighters ^^), and Wraiths (which you don't want to kill as a Drac worshiper) could be bloodless by default (making this a feature of the undead in general would probably work, or making undead disolve into "ashes"). I've been prepping Drac quite a bit and having 1/4 of the map bloodless doesnt' seem to hurt him one bit, but it'd certanly put at least a bit of a break on the BM, coupled with any other changes to his "Screw the rules, I has resources!" policy...

And as for EM - well, she could turn "remains" into plants. Would play out the same.

EDIT: I just remember - even if someone likes the fact that theres a "I has resources" character out there - there's a big problem that said character is also a mean spellcaster, and glyph use is distinct in that it lets you kill stuff with very little interaction. This makes is so that he doesn't care about debuffs, and thus can ignore quite a bunch of challenges osed by the monsters on top of having 2 maps for the price of one... Just a note.

EDIT2: Also - an easy way to put this thing is that Drac and BM make monsters actually have DROPS. Only one kind of drop, sure, but since the game wasn't really designed for it (very few things change the outcome of killing something this much, and even moderate ones are powerfull - Tiki's Edge, Gloves of Midas), most classes are built to be able to play fine without monsters having drops - and most challenges are designed around the same principles. This is because the "drops" from monsters are mostly bought through boon purchases, and there are gods and guys who do perfectly fine without any "drops" except XP.

Reducing the ammount of monsters that have drops for one god and one guy would probably not hurt anyone else too much if done right. Maybe.





As appologies for textwall - something everyone apart from germans apparently always wanted to know:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3_DjiLLDfo

:D
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Re: Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

Postby Blovski on Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:29 am

Yep, Bloodmage has five phenomenal abilities and no real drawbacks. He is cruising with the Rogue at the top of our current power tree.

I like the idea of other things using the bloodpools. Dropping different types of remains I'm not a fan of because of A) EM and B) Vampire.
I humbly suggest for B2P: Overheal revealed monsters or makes life-stealers doubly effective when revealed by life steal or something like that? I like the idea that B2P gives you the ludicrous short-term boost it does right now but at the cost of your long-term comfort, and I quite like the idea that you'd have to actually manage where you use it a bit more.

So, at the moment the Bloodmage is a reaaaally strong class but, the game being where it is at the moment, I'd be happy for the devs to just say they're going to leave it and that that's a quirk of the game. The classes don't really need to be balanced against each other since it's non-competitive, and I think having some obvious high-power-silly-fun classes (and noone can tell me the bloodmage isn't silly-fun) is really good for people just breaking into vicious or struggling with harder hard dungeons.
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Re: Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

Postby berpdreyfuss on Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:02 am

Lujo wrote:
As appologies for textwall - something everyone apart from germans apparently always wanted to know:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3_DjiLLDfo

:D


Apology accepted. You made my evening with this one. :D
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Re: Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

Postby q 3 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:11 am

Is the Bloodmage really out of line with the other tier 3 classes, though? Each of them has at least one ability that is basically hax (OG CYDSTEPP, Swift Hands, reduced piety costs + no penalties). I think we as players have a tendency to fall into a niche where we have one strategy that works really well so we don't think too hard about other strategies that also work really well, and as you get better and better at that one strategy it starts to look like it's the only good strategy or at least the best strategy - but that's not necessarily the case, because there are other strategies we've been neglecting. (In other words, I'm saying wait until you see my Assassin run against Namtar... or I would, if I weren't kind of sick of all the Namtar discussion lately. :roll: )
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Re: Labyrinth snake baiting. Also theory. Facultative.

Postby Lujo on Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:26 am

Well, I think I'm irked at the bloodmage because he seems to have an advantage even compared to other 3rd tier classes. Heck, I really don't like the Warlord and think he could use a small nerf (which would certanly come form Trisword getting one, but I've been using him effectively without the trisword, and I've been avoiding it on him as it wouldn't be as fun), but all of those guys actually need preps and other features - and actual gameplay. Bloodmage not so much.

Warlord - has 2 abilities - the biggest damage bonus in the game (50% total) and a broken CYDSTEP. One of those ties up his mana, and if one of his damage boosters wasn't so synergistic with the Trisword, he wouldn't be so OMGWTFBBQ. And he still needs preps and carefull play, and can run afoul of phys resistant monsters. Plus, CYDSTEP has been fixed not to interfear with others.

Assasin - again, requires some gameplay, especialy after the nerfs. Swift Hands is outright broken, and the first strike is "Rogue Light", and he play a lot like a better gorgon, but you still need to think a bit when using him. Resource advantage, sure, but he doesn't cause a problem elsewhere. And anything you want to build him for, as far as dealling with the boss is concerned - you actually have to build him for it - there's a chunk of content you just can't ignore.

Paladin - Well, Halpmeh and 25% resists isn't too bad, especialy because he can only worship one god and cant really get too ridiculous with resists - if GG and Drac were a wee bit less strong, and if Trisword wasn't what it is, the "Only one god" clause would actually work and every time you play the Paladin would be different. Sure, he's powerfull, but he has an actual drawback. There's a good deal of thinking involved in playing Paladins of the more powerfull deities.

Bloodmage - doesn't really have a drawback, has 2 broken abilities, and a few small "have some more" broken abilities. And he only really needs the fireball, or Pissorf. And doesn't need any thinking at all (compared to the other guys). Heck, he hardly needs dings. I'm not arguing for anything in particular, what I'm saying is that he'd still be hella strong if he was nerfed HARD. Nerfing him just a bit, and making sure B2P isn't such an "I win" button for just about anyone, would just put him on par with the other 3rd tier guys. Or in other words, read my sig carefully and remember - having a class which you depend on isn't a bad thing, but having a class you can depend on to kill anything with no real effort at lvl 1 just makes others look bad.



And, err, the Vampire's crazy strong on his own, anyone see me complaining about him? How about Tinker - I can depend on that guy to devastate anything, never complained. I'm complaining about BM just to illustrate the huge chasm between him and other guys and why I think he could shrug off several nerfs, let alone one, and still be top tier.
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