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Balancing...

Tue, 11 Dec 2001 03:41:00

Tzar Sectus

For the first time I've got the chance to seriously sit down and playtest the game. I played as a Mage at 3rd difficulty setting and I've played to about halfway of Shadow Wood (not sure about the name, anyway, the second hub). And there's some gripes. The defensive spell is waaaaayyyy too powerful. I walked through Seven Portals like it was nothing, and so far all worries has been taken away because of the spell in the 2nd hub as well. I think the Mage shouldn't start with that spell right away, what about switching places with the defensive spell and repulsion, and perhaps make the defensive spell take 50 or 60 magic. That way, the player don't have such a powerful spell right away (he'll instead get the spell I seriously mean is the most worthless spell: repulsion), and he'll get defensive spell when he really needs it in the game. Just an idea. The Grey and Red wands are a little too powerful. I ended up using them all the time instead of the 2nd Mage weapon (forgot it's name) since they did so much damage and was easy to use. I say we lower the damage a bit for those two wands, so they're just barely more powerful than the blue wand instead of a lot more powerful as it is now. I'd like that the Mage gets the Possession spell a little earlier in the game. Well, mostly because I just like playing around with it [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] , but also because it's one of the few spells which gets more useful the longer you play. Since it's not so useful early when you can only possess Ettins and Centaurs, but it becomes really useful later when you can control Bishops and stuff. So it wouldn't be any imbalance if the Mage gets it earlier. All in all, this is what I propose: The Mage starts with repulsion, that way he'll actually use it just because he got nothing better to use. The Mage gets Possession at level 5, and he don't get defensive spell before level 7 (and it uses a little more magic). That means the Mage gets Possession at the end of Seven Portals. And he gets a chance to seriously kick ass halfway through Shadow Wood since he finally gets defensive spell (the ultimate spell as I see it). The only bad thing about this is that speed spell gets moved to 9, which is totally silly. Since the speed spell isn't that very useful. But I don't know, perhaps the speed spell could be more powerful by improving speed difference and it takes a little more magic? What do you think? -Remi
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 04:13:00

RambOrc

I just finished the Heresiarch's Seminary with the Mage and I have the feeling playing the Mage in KMOD2 is tougher than it was in KMOD, not really sure why. I'd say the Mage won't be playable w/o the defensive spell given right away, or at latest on skill 3. While you don't really need it in Heresiarch's Seminary, the moment you open the first brass door in the Seven Portals and those green bulls start pouring out, you're dead meat if you aren't good at dodging (OK, _I_ am, but most players aren't), because 1 or 2 hits and you're lying on the ground in a pool of blood. And at several occasions throughout the Guardian maps it's very good to have... not to mention that there is NO way to kill the Wendigos w/o the defensive spell. The wands are pretty powerful, that's true, but the Ice Shards don't use mana neither and though I never really liked them, I have to say they're in some cases really better than the wand. It shots 5 or so projectiles in a wide line, and can hit a lot more targets at once than the wands. All in all, I've been using the red wand, the grey wand and Ice Shards about the same amount. It's pretty cool that you have to kill the 1st Heresiarch w/o the Horrible Pain spell, this way it took ages. There was a point where I just got disheartened (it just takes forever and it starts to get boring), and at exactly that moment I heard the chanting of a Bishop! (that always means half the HP of the Heresiarch is done) [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] The cool thing is that you can boost your Magic all the time with quartz flasks, it took me about 30 to finish the Heresiarch. In the end I exited with 10 flasks from the hub which would be a very bad feeling, except that I just filled it up to 25 in the shop [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] BTW here is a bug, if you have more than 25 from an artifact, you can still "buy" more, i.e. you don't get any more (OK, maybe you do, but the display won't go over 25), but the money is deducted from your stockpile. I guess it's worth fixing. Also, the shopping system allows you to buy artifacts you can't use (like bracers, banishment device and icon of the defender for the mage). If it's quick and easy to fix, then I'll leave it up to you, if it's complicated, then give me a note and I'll simply make the items appear in the shops only for the characters that can buy them (OTOH I can't make linedefs work only for this or that class, so it's not a real solution). Also, dunno about whether you fixed it upon Ichor's report, but in the first build with gold (Sunday morning?) I'm playing now (I didn't upgrade because I didn't want to lose the savegame), flying still has a big bug, if you use END to settle down, you can't start them working again.
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 04:23:00

Tzar Sectus

Grrrrr... so that's means no changing? No weaker wands? No early possession? No weakened Defensive spell? *eats RambOrc* <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote
BTW here is a bug, if you have more than 25 from an artifact, you can still "buy" more, i.e. you don't get any more (OK, maybe you do, but the display won't go over 25), but the money is deducted from your stockpile. I guess it's worth fixing. Also, the shopping system allows you to buy artifacts you can't use (like bracers, banishment device and icon of the defender for the mage). If it's quick and easy to fix, then I'll leave it up to you, if it's complicated, then give me a note and I'll simply make the items appear in the shops only for the characters that can buy them (OTOH I can't make linedefs work only for this or that class, so it's not a real solution).
Okay, I'll do that. And another thing, I'll try to make it so that the player gets a message when he buys something. The first time I entered the shop I had no clue how to buy things, that was until I looked in my inventory and saw that I've already bought a whole bunch of worthless stuff. So I'll make a neat little "Item bought" when you buy something. <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote
Also, dunno about whether you fixed it upon Ichor's report, but in the first build with gold (Sunday morning?) I'm playing now (I didn't upgrade because I didn't want to lose the savegame), flying still has a big bug, if you use END to settle down, you can't start them working again.
Ah darn, I've forgotten to fix that. It should be easy though. And I also remember I've forgotten to make fly artifact only last a little while in singleplayer. Whoops. -Remi
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 04:27:00

Tzar Sectus

And yeah, one little note. I counted all the weapons in the code (that includes all the new wands, all possessed weaponry and so on) and the current amount of weaponry is 44. Quite nifty compared to the original 13. -Remi
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 06:09:00

Ichor

Here's what I think the mage spells might be: Start with Repulsion, since he'll need it to blow away all the fireballs thrown at him, and he'll probably get surrounded a lot since he's also very slow at the beginning. Get Speed at level 2 or 3 to help him get around quickly. You'll need it right after you get the Emerald Key and your speed is less than 5. Get Resistance at level 5. Resistance is just a weaker defensive spell. All damage (even lava and poison) is cut in half. Get Possession at level 7. By then it will be more fun and useful because there will be more monsters to fool around with. Get Defense at level 10 and use up about 25-50 percent more magic. [ December 10, 2001: Message edited by: Ichor ]
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 06:50:00

Tzar Sectus

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Here's what I think the mage spells might be: Start with Repulsion, since he'll need it to blow away all the fireballs thrown at him, and he'll probably get surrounded a lot since he's also very slow at the beginning. Get Speed at level 2 or 3 to help him get around quickly. You'll need it right after you get the Emerald Key and your speed is less than 5. Get Resistance at level 5. Resistance is just a weaker defensive spell. All damage (even lava and poison) is cut in half. Get Possession at level 7. By then it will be more fun and useful because there will be more monsters to fool around with. Get Defense at level 10 and use up about 25-50 percent more magic.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Yes, I completely heartfully agree with this man [img]images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] I still mean the grey and red wands a little too powerful too [img]images/smiles/icon_razz.gif[/img] -Remi
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 06:53:00

Ichor

Maybe have the mage get those two wands at later levels, like the gray at 7-9, and the red at around 12 or so. And I didn't include the Mana Creation since that's what the Krater of Might is for.
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 07:01:00

Ichor

For instance: Start with the Yellow Wand. Get the Blue Wand at level 5. Get the Gray Wand at level 9. Get the Red Wand at level 12. By the way, I tend to think the gray wand is more powerful than the red one, since they do more damage each shot than about two of the three red shots. I can kill the Centaurs quickly with the gray want, but it takes a little longer with the red wand.
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 07:28:00

Tzar Sectus

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>For instance: Start with the Yellow Wand. Get the Blue Wand at level 5. Get the Gray Wand at level 9. Get the Red Wand at level 12.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> This is a disagree to. The yellow wand is simply horrible compared to the blue, so giving the mage the blue wand that late is simply evil. And giving the mage the grey and red wands that late makes them redudant since the mage has already better weaponry he'd rather use. Personally I think the wands are given at the right times, but I just think the grey and red wands are a little too powerful. I ended up using them all the time since they were accurate, used no ammo, and did decent damage. <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote
By the way, I tend to think the gray wand is more powerful than the red one, since they do more damage each shot than about two of the three red shots. I can kill the Centaurs quickly with the gray want, but it takes a little longer with the red wand.
The red one is technically stronger than the grey wand. In the code the grey wand missile does 5 base damage and the red wand does 2 damage. Since the red fires three at a time it does 1 more in damage. It's not much, but it's something. And that's what I wanted the two wands to be, one of them is only a little better, so the player can decide for himself the one he likes to use the best since it makes very little difference damage-wise. -Remi
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 07:49:00

Ichor

The wand shots all have piercing damage (except yellow), right? That means that the slower they go, the more damage they do to something. Perhaps you could speed up the gray wand shots just a tiny bit so that they do slightly less damage, and leave the red wand shot the way they are.
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 08:01:00

Tzar Sectus

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote
The wand shots all have piercing damage (except yellow), right? That means that the slower they go, the more damage they do to something. Perhaps you could speed up the gray wand shots just a tiny bit so that they do slightly less damage, and leave the red wand shot the way they are.
Actually I was wondering a bit how to decrease the damage at all since the numbers are so low. But your idea would work nicely. It would take a good deal of playtesting to confirm the damage is just right though. All I need now is RambOrc to give me green lights so I can mess around with this. -Remi
Tue, 11 Dec 2001 15:46:00

RambOrc

I know I'm no fun, but there's no green light this time. While the ideas on this topic are worth a discussion (I agree to some, I disagree with some, I don't yet have an opinion about some), but you 2 are missing the basic point: KMOD2 is publicly released tomorrow. There is no way anything is going to be changed any more except for last minute bugfixes. By tipping up the whole structure of the Mage and no time any more to test it thoroughly (by that I mean playing Hexen from beginning to end), we could end up with a mod that can't be played (like ppl reporting by the weekend that they're stuck in Seven Portals with no mana, no artifacts and no idea how to go on). It's simply not worth the risk, since the mage is quite playable now - and it's definitely not too easy on skill 3, defensive spell or not. Currently, difficulty is comparable to that of Hexen, or even above, so why make it even more difficult? Most ppl aren't as seasoned players as we, give 'em a chance. [img]images/smiles/icon_smile.gif[/img] And as for the ideas, they sound mostly good for Korax Alpha, where we have an influence on what maps the player first visits, and what kind of monsters he finds in what amounts, when he can obtain a certain weapon/artifact/spell etc.

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