Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwall

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Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwall

Postby Lujo on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:33 pm

Lots has happened with spellcasting, and I've spent a great deal of time doing it during the various stages of the playthrough, and during the recent vicious badge pruning from the sub-vicious dungeons, and I came to the following conclusions:

1) Codex + Earthmother is brutaly unbalanced. It's also really, really fun, and one half of it is a vicious reward item. So I don't mind and people principaly seem to find anything less than wtf god mode stuff not worth bothering, so whatever. :P If it gets out of hand and people start talking about it as a "default solution" to various stuff and it turns out into another dragonshield - who cares, Namtar's Ward is probably a stronger item anyway. And I don't have time for Paplaukes. And I like the way it lets me breeze through tricky priest and monk badges. And as FDru said - it's fun in moderation. On to the next point.

2) The fireball retaliation changes did 2 things, one of them good, one of them bad. Good one was opening the field for different strats in various places, which is awesome. Bad one was it kind of, sort of, effectively removed 50% of the purely logical reasons you wouldn't want to take a spellcaster on every run. Not really sure what to think, but it's both there.

3) Mysterea is, for anyone who bothers to figure it out, way too self sufficent. I don't know what's the exact psych/experience barrier which keeps people from realizing this, but weakening removes the other 50% of factual reasons for not taking a spellcaster on any run. And everything else but flames is either really good, or worth it, and flames is simply situational. I've done a round around everything with a straight Mysterea Sorcerer Goblin, with the token, and it beat/destroyed everything. Mysterea was prepped, too, so piety gain simply isn't an issue. Whether anything's to be done about this - no clue, but it would be interesting to see Refreshment working better if you were worshiping someone else, and worse if worshiping her.

4) What it does mean, however, is that nothing really fazes spellcasters once you know what you're doing, and the game used to at least try to challenge them with stuff you couldn't fireball, and stuff you had to mix it up with PISSORF for. It's not doing that at the moment, and any arguments about it being too easy for me because I'm a vet can ** **** **********, because a wiki entry or a guide to "how to play a spellcaster" can boil down to 5 minutes of a vid, or a paragraph of text. Which once you know and practice a little gets you where you need to be. Again, whether something's to be done - no clue, game's fun...

EDIT: And having bosses in subdungeons puts a cramp in it, ofc, but it still works really efficently on sub-vicious token runs, and is probably applicable in naga city.

5) Earthmothers clearance only giving 10 mana makes her have more synergy with the Wizard than anyone else, and wizard allready has his distinct and unique advantages. I never bothered to really think about what would happen exactly if it gave back 12 mana max so everyone could use it, but some sort of compromise there would probably be a good thing. Ok, so the Warlord also has distinct synergy with 10 mana refills, but warlord is so unbelievably cheezy that I don't remember when was the last time anyone even tried to take advantage of this or anything other than trying to make his mana pool go boom.

5) Wizard - Recent changes to the Wizard have made him overloaded for an introductory class, as well as really powerful. He was no slouch before, it was just that the penalty required people to realize it doesn't really hose PISSORF use (that had to be confusing), and his early kingdom development was a bit terrible. With his spell spam capacity, I think he could stand to lose the "faster burning", especially since the current Bloodmage has serious issues with generating burning.

6) Bloodmage - as has been mentioned, could probably use a buff to his burning generation, or even better, maintanance - having to chew on popcorn for every fireball kills his burning stacks which puts him below other spellcasters. Another thing to note is that he went from "really blatantly overpowered like nothing you could believe in a fashion that anyone can use and feel proud of themsleves but can't really understand what is in fact going on" to "plays very differently than other spellcasters yet shares a building with much more straightforward guys and has worse synergy with dings and CB than the fighter". He could really use a buff to his "mana on bloodpool" ability to 2 or 3 and if that "takes him over the edge" - who cares? He'd be overpowered in a fun, obvious and unique way, much like the Assasin has always been, or the Warlord would be if he was severely nerfed, but wouldn't be so prep reliant to get there, so he would be more newbie friendly.

7) The blue bead - has an issue that it's use gets you both mana and XP. This means you can "waste" resources rather easily by trying to get to 5 or 6 and dinging in the process. Trying to pick up less often makes simply pickin up a square of blackspace easier. I have interesting ideas but I'm saving them for a more serious thread, as I'm expecting tons of hate on this one, but hoping potential haters would give up before getting to here.

8) Sorceror - has the "can unintentionaly screw up specialist runs" problem with his mana shield, or so it seems. If corrosion is allready doing "goes through everything damage" than maybe something in that vein could be applied to mana shield? It looks like a bit of a throwaway ability, considering that the huge mana pool in conjunction with mysterea beats vicious on it's own, and the health regen is nice, too.

9) What else? Oh, err, please, please, please don't be angry at the non-serious and bombastic tone of the thread. It boils/TLDR's down to: Spellcasting's really strong ATM, I don't really mind too much, Wizard doesn't need faster burn stacking anymore, Sorceror and the Blue Bead could use a tweak towards user friendly, Bloodmage needs faster burn stacking and could use a buff in one specific direction. And I'm sort of tired of trying to explain stuff to people and am expecting to be curtly, politicaly and politely flamed for wrong reasons whatever I do, so I might as well have some fun with it.


Thoughts anyone?
Last edited by Lujo on Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwal

Postby Blovski on Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:45 pm

1) not got codex
2) Ye-eah, I don't mind them too much, though.
3) Mysterea is very good. Mystic Balance needs more utility, maybe increase the cost of mana gain to 10/30/50 or something.
4) No clue.
5) 10 mana's pretty decent given most glyphs are hovering in the 5 range atm. I like that it encourages you to make up a little mana as non-wizards.
5)? Wizard's very strong atm. Could lose faster burning without suffering much, though I like that it prompts players to work out how to use burning.
6) don't increase the mana from bloodpool thing... the bloodmage is still *great* and more fun to work with than previously. A purist Ick EM bloodmage run's been the most fun I've had in ages. Faster burn-stacking, or slower burn loss might not be a bad idea.
7) Blue Bead gets you XP? I never seem to find the damn thing.
8) Sort of agree about Sorceror/Specialist. Not that he's not top notch already.
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Re: Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwal

Postby Lujo on Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:00 pm

Blovski wrote:1) not got codex


Do get, it's hilarious.

Blovski wrote:2) Ye-eah, I don't mind them too much, though.


Neither do I, really, but being aware and not saying would feel cheap.

Blovski wrote:3) Mysterea is very good. Mystic Balance needs more utility, maybe increase the cost of mana gain to 10/30/50 or something.


Yep, Mystic Balance's utility isn't there, but as far as making fireballs strats kick ass it's worth every sparkle. Refreshment's only really necessary if going vicious, if you know what your're doing, or for warlords. But if you're in for weakeinings you really want to stick in Mysterea for as long as it takes, which is why I suggested what I suggested, just to put it out there...

Blovski wrote:4) No clue.


True story - it's "Prep Mysterea, cast glyphs, pick boons in order X-Y-Z, depending on spellcaster, throw a big bunch of fireballs at the boss", for the most part. Still, not sure I mind.

Blovski wrote:5) 10 mana's pretty decent given most glyphs are hovering in the 5 range atm. I like that it encourages you to make up a little mana as non-wizards.


Again, don't mind so much but stuff giving an obvious advantage to Wizards and Warlords as opposed to anyone else is kind of... wrong. But you have a good point. Still, with the way you sometimes have to spam the damned thing simply because it removes plants randomly, and having it increase in cost every time you do makes the thing rather annoying at times.

Blovski wrote:5)? Wizard's very strong atm. Could lose faster burning without suffering much, though I like that it prompts players to work out how to use burning.


Well, he could lose something, and having him lose anything else wouldn't work. Sure, points people towards burning, but Bloodmage really needs something done with his burning a lot more than the wizard. Plus 5? - :lol:


Blovski wrote:6) don't increase the mana from bloodpool thing... the bloodmage is still *great* and more fun to work with than previously. A purist Ick EM bloodmage run's been the most fun I've had in ages. Faster burn-stacking, or slower burn loss might not be a bad idea.


I know, but try explaining that to... well I won't name names, but you can figure it out. Plus, 2 per pool wouldn't really hurt and if anyone wanted to cheeze he could chooze between Mystic Balance and the Blue Bead for machine gun fireballing, instead of needing both. Plus peole seem to think that the game is worse off because they cant have swift hands on every run, so giving the Bloodmage an obvious "blatant cheeze, do use" ability would help him being passed over in favour of rogues, assassins and such.

On a more serious note, the unfortunate burning anti-synergy with his playstyle certanly needs some remedy, methinks.

Blovski wrote:7) Blue Bead gets you XP? I never seem to find the damn thing.


You kill guys to get mana back right? And then just one mana short from a fireball - you ding. And all that gets wasted. It happens surprisingly often, same as when you're converting glyphs for refreshment and ding with a goblin. The goblin thing can't be helped, the bead thing could.

Blovski wrote:8) Sort of agree about Sorceror/Specialist. Not that he's not top notch already.


He is, always was, except BM was overshadowing anyone, and he's a bit of a blank slate - the more you know, the more you can do with his frankly unfair advantages.* The specialist thing is a problem because it can lead to unfortunate unintentinal screwups.

*He's probably the biggest "wtf is supposed to be the downside to this madness?" guy in the game, except there's no tri-sword-like autoprep to really draw attention to him, which is how he escaped nerfs or adjustments for years. That and everyone could look at the mana shield and think "wow this is meh" and think of that as a downside to a 15 mana initial pool and the heals. That and no starting glyph, ofc - if you're used to prepping something else from the mage guild, you'll skip him because you "have to waste a prep on him".
Last edited by Lujo on Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwal

Postby The Avatar on Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:35 pm

To illlustrate how powerful spellcasting is, I beat 4 vicious-vicious dungeons (DL, NL, DI, and just a second ago VHoS) by using a spellcasting only goblin assassin.
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Re: Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwal

Postby Lujo on Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:38 pm

The Avatar wrote:To illlustrate how powerful spellcasting is, I beat 4 vicious-vicious dungeons (DL, NL, DI, and just a second ago VHoS) by using a spellcasting only goblin assassin.


That sounds suspiciuosly like you're implying something about swift hands. Quick! Let's steer this towards Mysterea!

And, err, how exactly? I havent done any vicious vicious yet, what's my best bet? Swift hands overkill?
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Re: Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwal

Postby Darvin on Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:28 pm

Swift Hands lets you autokill anything below you, meaning that in the end-game even level 9 monsters can be popcorn to fuel your Dings. You can completely neglect your melee attack damage as a result and direct all your mana towards the boss. Mage Plate has little downside as a result. Assassin has always been a top-notch spellcaster because of this.


Mysterea is, for anyone who bothers to figure it out, way too self sufficent. I don't know what's the exact psych/experience barrier which keeps people from realizing this

This refers to how Mystera interacts with a pure caster. If you're not playing a pure caster and are putting significant effort into your melee abilities, then weakening is horrendously overpriced (I'm just going to melee magic-resist monsters) and flames is a complete joke. Fact is that these boons are overpowered for specialists, and underpowered for everyone else.

Mystic Balance needs a second look, because right now it pretty much is just a fireball discount. You might occasionally get a WEYTWUT spammer or a Warlord who wants a cheaper CYDSTEPP, but that's pretty narrow. The cost reduction of APHEELSIK took away one of the huge utility uses of this boon and it's now pretty much just a fireball booster.

(also, since you're now editing the wiki, please note that the spelling is "Mystera")


5) Earthmothers clearance only giving 10 mana makes her have more synergy with the Wizard than anyone else, and wizard allready has his distinct and unique advantages.

The 10 MP threshold is a bit weird for non-wizards. I certainly don't want to see this ability go %-based, however. Part of the nice thing about it is that you don't need to stack up max MP to really use it effectively.


5) Wizard - Recent changes to the Wizard have made him overloaded for an introductory class

To an extent I'd agree, though to do this you will need to combine several synergies that a beginner does not have access to (much less mastered). He took a massive buff when he lost his attack penalty, and then he got another class feature on top of that. It was a lot of stuff all at once.


6) Bloodmage - as has been mentioned, could probably use a buff to his burning generation

Agree that new Bloodmage is very clunky. Since the T3 classes generally gain a slight advantage with their personal glyph, why not restore the +1 extra mana on B2P for the Bloodmage?


7) The blue bead - has an issue that it's use gets you both mana and XP

Fail to see the issue. The same thing can happen with clearing curse or lifesteal or stone sigil with GG. Why should the blue bead be different?


If corrosion is allready doing "goes through everything damage" than maybe something in that vein could be applied to mana shield?

I've brought this up before and would totally approve. Mana Shield does relatively little damage so I don't see an issue letting it bypass resistances altogether.
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Re: Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwal

Postby Lujo on Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:49 pm

Darvin wrote:Swift Hands lets you autokill anything below you, meaning that in the end-game even level 9 monsters can be popcorn to fuel your Dings. You can completely neglect your melee attack damage as a result and direct all your mana towards the boss. Mage Plate has little downside as a result. Assassin has always been a top-notch spellcaster because of this.


I know, I was being sort of jokingly sarcastic about the swift hands thing, but truly interested in how exactly he went about it. Because I've been doing what I've been doing sub vicious, and if it turned out to be the same thing maybe I can get the badge in some places without switching strats.

Fact is that these boons are overpowered for specialists, and underpowered for everyone else.


True, but, err, why should everyone get benefits from Mystera? She's, "like, the good of pretty much nothing but magic", it's not like I'd protest Taurog having boons that are meaningless to a spellcaster.

Mystic Balance needs a second look, because right now it pretty much is just a fireball discount...


Well, a fireball discount is a big enough deal - maybe screwing up just about anything else was the point? Or simply enabling guys with large enough mana pools to slow down fireball retaliators for 6 mana, give Berserkers a way to remove their downside somewhat, and giving everyone a fireball discount as well as buffing Warlords, because they really need help (NOT!). In other words - seeng how a fireball discout works for everyone and anyone, and is a "prep me for this" priority for a bunch of guys - I'm not sure it was men't to have any utility. Otherwise, yes, and I've said that before. I'm just not sure anymore.

(also, since you're now editing the wiki, please note that the spelling is "Mystera")


Good one! Terribly sorry, will watch it.


The 10 MP threshold is a bit weird for non-wizards. I certainly don't want to see this ability go %-based, however. Part of the nice thing about it is that you don't need to stack up max MP to really use it effectively.


I'm not even all to hot on the 12 mana idea, EM is powerfull enough as she is, and that would simply scream "cheap ass 2 fireballs per pop". I don't know, I just thought I'd bring it up because of the random plant clearing, and it's also a reason I like my nerf suggestions better than my buff sugestions in general...

To an extent I'd agree, though to do this you will need to combine several synergies that a beginner does not have access to (much less mastered). He took a massive buff when he lost his attack penalty, and then he got another class feature on top of that. It was a lot of stuff all at once.


I know, I ment "overloaded" as "has too many abilities at once". Doesn't need that many, really, and the burning thing is probably the one I'd shave off. For reasons stated.

Agree that new Bloodmage is very clunky. Since the T3 classes generally gain a slight advantage with their personal glyph, why not restore the +1 extra mana on B2P for the Bloodmage?


Not very clunky, just very specificaly disadvantaged compared to other guys. And I think hitting B2P was fine, but hitting his mana pool removed some of the general spellcasting sinergies so he takes a much bigger mentality shift to play correctly, and "optimal" play revelves around jacking up his mana restore by blue bead and mystic balance. One more mana per bloodpool would give him a very specific advantage because bloodpool + B2P would be 5 mana, and the 6th can be acquired through either blue Bead or Mystic Balance instead of needing both.

Anyway, one more mana per bloodpool would be tame compared to one more mana per B2P use. No joke. I'm not even sure about 2 more mana per bloodpool being more powerfull than 1 more per B2P use...

7) The blue bead - has an issue that it's use gets you both mana and XP

Fail to see the issue. The same thing can happen with clearing curse or lifesteal or stone sigil with GG. Why should the blue bead be different?


Ah, yes, but the whole point of the blue bead is to regain mana, and the way you use it can cause XP overflow. So if you are in a situation where the only way to use an item would inevitably nullify the effect of the item, with a scarce resource as fuel (popcorn), it makes it rather clunky. Sure, it's cheap and all that, who cares if it's clunky, but I like the effect, find it awesome on bloodmages, and wouldn't mind it costing a bit more and not being as clunky, it's all...
Last edited by Lujo on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwal

Postby Blovski on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:04 pm

Blue Bead overflow - nowt on Enlightenment or Chaos Avatar... so don't really agree.

Bloodmage - 2 MP/bloodpool would be monstrous, though. I like that he encourages compensating for your max MP.
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Re: Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwal

Postby Lujo on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:11 pm

Blovski wrote:Blue Bead overflow - nowt on Enlightenment or Chaos Avatar... so don't really agree.


Eh, fine, I was thinking along different lines, but was expecting to get flamed / ban warnings on this thread due to tone, so was keeping some sensible stuff for later. What DO you mean by this?

Blovski wrote:Bloodmage - 2 MP/bloodpool would be monstrous, though. I like that he encourages compensating for your max MP.


I just edited it in, but I'm sort of sure one more mana per blood pool would be tame compared to 1 more mana per B2P use. I'm not even sure 2 more mana per bloodpool would compare to 1 more mana per B2P use. You can't really go nuts with it before you level up decently, the way you can with a runaway B2P, and there's not that many subdungeons where you can really go nuts with it either.

Thing is, that whole ability was monstrous and over the top on someone who started out with the old B2P and had no mana penalty. And I also like the current bloodmage, and I'd be ok with him if he had the same burning game as everyone else, but with all the complaints - the mana on bloodpool ability is one thing that can be boosted a little. I wouldn't cry if it doesn't happen, just putting it out there.
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Re: Spellcasting writeup, intentionaly off tone, big textwal

Postby The Avatar on Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:33 pm

My strategy with the Mystera Goblin Assassin (though it has extensive use of swift hands):

1. Get Mystera. Explore as much as possible, constantly casting spells (preferably WEYTWUT for a popcorn bucket). Take Flames, Mystic Balance, and 2 Magics. Buy any spell casting items available.
2. Convert out if there are lots of magic monsters on the level or if you can convert to TT.
3. Start fireballing the boss immediately, at level 1. Use glyphs to fuel your first two level ups. Swift hands to constantly level up while continuing to fireball the boss.
4. When there is more than one boss you either keep using popcorn to level up and kill it (like in DL) or fight it with whupaz, potions, and as many mid-fight level ups as you can muster (like in DI).
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