"Spike" definition ?

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"Spike" definition ?

Postby flap on Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:46 pm

Hello,

I have a question, which might be silly : what do we mean exactly with "spike". I have seen that term being used since long time, but never found a specific definition (there aren't any in the wiki).

In my mind, to spike a monster, it means "Damaging a strong enemy, using various ways to increase your damages".
In "various ways", there could be any use of potions, piety, glyphs, objects... Actually, anything apart from regen-fighting.
Also, spiking is also often linked with "using resources to make you stronger for one fight", these resources being anything apart from exploration and mid-fight levelling.

Does any of you got a better ?
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Re: "Spike" definition ?

Postby Lujo on Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:08 pm

It's technicaly synonimous with burst. If there were a graph of damage you were doing over the course of a run, a damage-per-click-graph so to speak, during a boss fight, the graph would show a huge "spike".

They're generally characterized by "fuel" - a "piety spike" is when you convert a lot of piety into damage on the enemy/boss, a potion spike when you have a potion-into-damage frenzy, etc. (EDIT: they can be classified in other ways - means (a fireball spike, pissorff spike, DP/Dodge spike (Taurog or TT boons)), focus (phys damage spike, magic spike))

Regen fighting is also a spike - a "blackspace spike" where you use map exploration as fuel for a determiend unloading of damage on a boss. It's just not very "bursty" because the reason a "spike" would appear on the graph when you start dealing damage IS that while you explore your damage-per-click-graph is zero.

Technicaly it indicates a frenzy of converting resources into damage. Can be a small tactical burst, or a big kitchen-sink-throwing mess, doesn't matter.
Last edited by Lujo on Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Spike" definition ?

Postby flap on Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:28 pm

Ok. So would you call a boss fight with nothing more than usual attacks and a mid-fight level up a spike ? (Xp spike ?)
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Re: "Spike" definition ?

Postby Lujo on Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:53 pm

flap wrote:Ok. So would you call a boss fight with nothing more than usual attacks and a mid-fight level up a spike ? (Xp spike ?)


Mid fight level up IS an XP spike :D Monsters are XP powerups which are difficult to pick up. Popcorn = effortless XP powerup. Pick enough of them up, you turn XP into a health and mana refil, and health and mana -> damage. It's no different than storing up potions or gobs of piety to use during the boss fight, except it takes more setup but requires fewer kingdom unlocks.

Regen fighting, mid fight dings and stuff was discovered before the unifying theory of spiking which you can use do classify just about anything (by means, fuel, focus, yadda yadda...). Or rather mid-fight leveling was, regen fighting was always sketchy because of a DD original 4th wall breaking graph/math joke.

One of the first things you learn in DD is that fights were divided by exploration which you use to refuel between them. A fight is when you use your 1 full health bar and mana bar, and maybe a dab of blackspace, but no other resources (more or less). But the reason a "spike" is a "spike" is that you come to think of refueling through blackspace as "the flatline" or part of it - it's when no damage happens, the "silence" which even lets you register "noise".

Except it isn't really. In steps the monk, grabs the flatline, rips it out of the graph and bludgeons the boss dead with it! And then when you see it, jaw dops to the floor, brix are shat, because you're playing a game where you can actually beat stuff up with a graph function :)

EDIT1: Also the debate of whether to chug potions or not while leveling is the debate about whether use a series of small potion spikes to reach the end fight status easier, or save the potions spike for the final kitchen sink. Kitchen sink = spike with all you got!).

EDIT2: In that vein, the only guy with a proper CP spike is the Transmuter who litterally turns CP into temporary bursts of damage. Oh, and the goblis who can fuel or enchance and XP spike with CP. Halflings and Gnomes also qualify, but they don't have to time it if they're looking to use their potions for the end fight, but if you spike stuff when you level you're pretty much running around fueling smaller spikes with CP.
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Re: "Spike" definition ?

Postby flap on Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:24 pm

Lujo wrote:One of the first things you learn in DD is that fights were divided by exploration which you use to refuel between them. A fight is when you use your 1 full health bar and mana bar, and maybe a dab of blackspace, but no other resources (more or less).


Ok, we are getting somewhere now :
A regular fight, is a fight where you don't use any extra ressources (you stick to mana and health bar).
Then, a spike could be a fight when you DO use extra ressources. There ressources could be anything.

Would precasting Cydestepp, Imawall, and Bysseps be a spike ? (You stock up ressource as buffs, before the fight)
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Re: "Spike" definition ?

Postby Lujo on Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:41 pm

flap wrote:
Lujo wrote:Would precasting Cydestepp, Imawall, and Bysseps be a spike ? (You stock up ressource as buffs, before the fight)


Well, not really. Picking up stuff during downtime for one strike falls into the flatline IMO. If you just don't pick up additional resources during the fight it's just a fight. Now if you pick up stuff during the fight - that's a spike. You can precast stoneskin on yourself, but you're not really spiking. Now if you do it 2-3 times during the fight you ARE spiking as you're sinking an inordinate ammount of piety into a single fight.

This doesn't really apply to potions - using any is spiking.


EDIT: Maybe a better way of thinking about it would be if you pre-cast a bunch of different stuff it's not "concentrated" or "single minded" enough. If you can replicate the state between fights through blackspace it's not really a spike (you regen more mana and precast it all again). Regen fighting is a blackspace spike because you replicate the effects during the same fight, not between them).

It also sort of verges on the idea that blackspace is effortlessly reachable fuel, and piety isn't. You can restock on piety, but it costs you other resources and is more finite. Eh...
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Re: "Spike" definition ?

Postby flap on Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:30 pm

Hmm, I was going to agree. However, after a second thought, maybe should we also talk of pre-spike (or maybe "prepared fight") : because exploring 37 extra tiles to get enough many for casting 4 IMAWALL, 1 CYDESTEPP and 1 BYSSEPS starts consuming a lot of ressources and is getting a bit extraordinary. This might to not be too obvious early in a dungeon, when such preparation is a way not to spoil mana from early dungeon discovery. But it quickly fells tighter.

So there could be :
  • regular fight
  • prepared fight
  • spike
  • and of course, prepared spike
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Re: "Spike" definition ?

Postby dislekcia on Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:16 pm

Uh, while I'm cool with people evolving their own nomenclature for playing, Lujo's definition of "spike" sounds more like "the whole game" because it's incredibly general. If you have to qualify what kind of "spike" something is, then why bother keeping the "spike" part?

If saying "Yeah, then I spiked the boss" doesn't accurately describe what happened and could actually cover a million different scenarios, what's the point?
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Re: "Spike" definition ?

Postby flap on Fri Jan 31, 2014 5:33 pm

Ahah ! Some controversy.

So what is a spike for you dislekcia ? (And do devs actually spike ?)

while I'm cool with people evolving their own nomenclature for playing

Yeah... But as players, do we know all the dev based nomenclature ?
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Re: "Spike" definition ?

Postby Darvin on Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:20 pm

When you "spike" you use a large number of resources at one time, requiring significant effort to replenish the lost resources afterwards (if it's possible at all). So, for instance, a human fighter who casts fireball twice would not be thought of to be spiking; that's a normal level of mana which requires a normal amount of effort to recover. An Elf Sorcerer with 24 mana who casts four fireballs would be thought of to be spiking, because his expanded mana pool takes about twice as much effort to refill. By leveraging his racial and class advantage, he's able to produce a bigger "spike" of instantaneous damage than other classes. Similarly, the use of one-time effects like potions or boons, or limited-use effects like the fire heart are spikes. Pre-buffs like CYDSTEPP and ENDISWAL are also spikes.

The opposite of spiking is efficiency; doing things to reduce the amount of effort required to win all future fights. Increased damage, reduced mana costs, heightened resistances, increased regeneration from exploration; all of these are efficiency tools. Regen-fighting is more on the efficiency-side of things, since anything you recover in-combat is matched by the monster you're fighting. All strategies revolve around using both efficiency and spiking to win. No character, however well-built, is strong enough to just plow through a boss effortlessly and will need to "spike" to pull it off. Similarly, higher levels of efficiency make your spikes more potent. Good play is about using a combination of these approaches; the real question is how much you may focus on one side or the other.

To illustrate the difference between efficiency and spiking, consider old BLUDTUPOWA and new BLUDTUPOWA. The old version of the glyph converted health regeneration into mana regeneration. If your character could leverage mana more efficiently than health then this was an overall increase in your resources. The new version of the glyph allows you to sacrifice health and unexplored tiles to regenerate mana. Monsters do not heal when you do this, effectively allowing you to expend resources for a burst of consecutive damage. The new BLUDTUPOWA offers no efficiency gain (since you're still trading 1 tile for 1 MP, in addition to other costs) but instead offers you the ability to spike better with mana-based resources.
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