Let's talk combat

The tale of the siblings Althea and Shea
Post Reply
User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Let's talk combat

Post by yayswords » Thu May 01, 2014 5:15 pm

Don't wanna have both combat and bugs in the same thread so...

After normal I went to nightmare, and actually I've found it rather well tuned. My normal playthrough was druid/ranger, and it's the same on nightmare. I might go hunter/ranger next... the ranger class is just so damn good. If I could have ranger/ranger I would, at least over druid/ranger.

The ranger is an awesome... HEALER. The default ranger skill is such a great skill. The druid default skill is a terrible heal when your party is spread across the rows. The ranger heal, and the ranger mana restore spell. Those two, plus pumping up the will/con of the twins. My party has great longevity. Vaelis learns Avoidance. The front row is his alone, though if the ranger gets repositioned there I'm in no hurry to fix that. To win a difficult fight I usually have to outlast the enemy's mana and then start killing. When I have only one opponent left I can bunker up and heal up both health and mana so that I'm practically fully rested for my next battle. My druid takes the speed spell first but I don't find it that awesome.

Anyway let's talk about what sucks, apart from having these default skills altogether (is there no way we can pick our first skill?). One, Poison Bite. Spiders are the mobs I fear the most because they can use that on the back row. Is that intended?

Next, the whole block mechanic. When I saw it explained I thought of it as something like, well don't think your pitiful mageswing is gonna hit the warrior. It happens far too often that Vaelis' attacks get blocked, and add to that the general difficulty of causing much damage (at least on nightmare) and fights just take too damn long to end. Plus in Loren as well as in SotW I get FPS drops in long battles which makes them even longer.

I am hunting for a white bear now, and it confuses me that I have 5/6 areas discovered when it was 6 at this point in my normal playthrough... can't figure out what I missed (also 7/8 quests done). Is it because I killed the ratmen, is it because I kept some of the stolen pelts? Anyway, rating battles by difficulty:
1) Ratmen, until I figured out thieves take more damage from a frontal attack
2) Giant spider
3) Ratmen after I figured it out
4) Dual spider fights
5) Normal encounters
6) A hypothetical fight against Shagala where she may only use a bite attack
7) Huge kodiak, seriously that was ONLY BORING to kill. The very hard part about that fight was staying awake.

P.S. I am dubbing this first season "GET THAT PELT!". These twins are seriously not afraid to get their hands dirty. A druid and a ranger, traditional protectors of the wild. Oh what's that, a wild animal. GET THE PELT before someone else does. MONEY.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 13620
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: Let's talk combat

Post by jack1974 » Thu May 01, 2014 6:02 pm

Yes I want to get this kind of feedback like if a class is too much overpowered or another is too weak.
yayswords wrote:The ranger is an awesome... HEALER. The default ranger skill is such a great skill. The druid default skill is a terrible heal when your party is spread across the rows. The ranger heal, and the ranger mana restore spell.
I might reduce the power of the mana regen of ranger, since it could become too much powerful :twisted: and maybe tweak the druid heal to make better.
yayswords wrote:Anyway let's talk about what sucks, apart from having these default skills altogether (is there no way we can pick our first skill?). One, Poison Bite. Spiders are the mobs I fear the most because they can use that on the back row. Is that intended?
I think I could have the player choose the first skill, will try to add it. As for spiders yes, is like if they spit venom or jump on the back row. They're bastards :mrgreen:
yayswords wrote:Next, the whole block mechanic. When I saw it explained I thought of it as something like, well don't think your pitiful mageswing is gonna hit the warrior. It happens far too often that Vaelis' attacks get blocked, and add to that the general difficulty of causing much damage (at least on nightmare) and fights just take too damn long to end. Plus in Loren as well as in SotW I get FPS drops in long battles which makes them even longer.
OK, could tweak that too, so happens less often than now, is easy to adjust. In Nightmare since enemies have higher defense I guess must happen more often. I could also change the nightmare so that enemies have more attack than defense, so battles should still be hard but last less rounds.
yayswords wrote:I am hunting for a white bear now, and it confuses me that I have 5/6 areas discovered when it was 6 at this point in my normal playthrough... can't figure out what I missed (also 7/8 quests done). Is it because I killed the ratmen, is it because I kept some of the stolen pelts?
One location is when you visit back the ratmen, doesn't matter if you fight them or not. Don't remember now by memory but you should be able to max all the location and quests, thus get the bonus XP :)
yayswords wrote:7) Huge kodiak, seriously that was ONLY BORING to kill. The very hard part about that fight was staying awake.
Hmm then I think really I must tweak the Nightmare difficulty on attack rather than increasing defense/HP. Will do that on next update :)

User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Re: Let's talk combat

Post by yayswords » Thu May 01, 2014 6:18 pm

Spiders don't need to hit harder though. Absolutely not. And I think you need to do something more than just make the kodiak hit harder, unless we're talking like tripling his damage or so. He can still only hit the front row.

Picking the first skill would be awesome. I want to try an aggressive party, but that's hard when the twins always start with a defensive spell known.

As for nerfing the ranger longevity spells. Well, they are damn great compared to the druid spells. But I mean, I don't think I could beat nightmare without them either. I feel like I am playing Loren on hard difficulty, where I always had to weather the first onslaught of enemies and live through the stagger until I could turn the table on them. There are many fights where I do nothing but bunker up and wait for the enemy to run out of mana, and that works because I have an efficient heal and a good way to replenish mana. I eventually had a fast and aggressive Loren party that massacred the enemy team with the first wave of attacks so they couldn't hit hard (staggered or dead) and thus I didn't need much healing. I don't think I can pull that off here.

So yeah those spells are overpowered, but nightmare monsters are overpowered too :D I hope to find something else that works though, especially if you let me pick the first skills. A party based on crowd control or on burst... but yeah if fights are gonna be long then I need to make mana last somehow.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 13620
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: Let's talk combat

Post by jack1974 » Thu May 01, 2014 6:36 pm

I can tweak the difficulty with a global parameter/modifier, then there are the individual monsters. I've tried now with higher damage / speed and less defense/HP and the fights are indeed harder, I've tried only the Kodiak for now though.
But I think I won't change TOO much, just do a small tweak and rather change the Kodiak battle. Is easier to change individual battles. The spiders are tougher because when you have more opponents they're naturally tougher fights (same for Ratmen, if there's a Mage or Cleric is quite hard even if they have low HP).

So will do small tweaks, and in particular the frequency of block, but not touch too much the other global parameter since you said that overall the battles were balanced :)

User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Re: Let's talk combat

Post by yayswords » Fri May 02, 2014 12:47 am

Well yes I said the battles were balanced... in the sense that if you have a ranger with those two spells, they provide what I consider appropriate challenge. Now unless I find more great skill combos I might have to take that back and just stick with nightmare mobs are overpowered, but so are the ranger heals. Sometimes it felt so beautifully tuned though, when with the right choices I could just barely survive until my enemy was out of mana. And yeah it involved even using the druid heal because my ranger was paralyzed, or it was just spiders where I had to keep my back row topped off no matter the overhealing involved. But like I said the druid heal isn't necessarily bad, it's just not very efficient when the group is small. In the long run I don't think it will be a terrible spell at all.

I hope we don't forget as we tune abilities in the first season that we can't force every bit of minmax on the player to beat nightmare mode, because we need to be able to make long-term choices too, to beat the remaining three. My primary example would be when picking a druid nuke - 90% the battles in the first season are in a cold environment, and the other 10% underground. So taking the frost nuke is great, and the earth nuke is okay. But it should also work with the other two. Harder, but not impossible.

Also longterm I'm missing a good dispel. Purification is a gigantic spell to cast. I am sure there are times when it will own, but I should really like to have a simple single-target dispel as well. Or instead, if it has to be one or the other.

Tuning-wise I think the only thing you should try right now is lowering monster defenses/health. They don't need to hit harder or faster if my outlast setup is having their hands full handling them. Also don't get what you mean about spiders and being tougher because they're a group. You never fight more than two spiders (okay three once, can't remember it being more than once). Two ratmen would be a cakewalk, five spiders and I would be crying :P random trap/encounters are 2-3 mobs and only half as scary as spiders.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Re: Let's talk combat

Post by yayswords » Fri May 02, 2014 1:22 am

Finished the first season with that druid/ranger party now. Yes indeed, 6 seems to be the level you finish at. Happened on normal and on nightmare. I picked a nuke on my druid at level 6 and that really made battles faster. It still relies on the ranger to be the mana and health battery, but hey it's something. Going to try hunter/ranger next. Aggressive setup attempts coming when you let me pick first skill :P

I think maybe late in the season the battles were a little too easy for this party. There was a lot of mindless doubleclicking with the occasional heal thrown in.

Okay this really needs tuning. On my druid/ranger playthrough, the druid could use magic attack for 9-10 at any point on any mob. Zero points in arcane or strength or whatever even boosts that attack...

My hunter has invested some points in strength. She sits on the back row hitting for like 4-5 with block (and miss?) chance. I like what I see when I check out the hunter skills but her damage is abysmal. She does like less than the other classes would from the back row, with the added fact that this is actually her role and not just something she does when there's no mana for/reason to cast a spell. Her damage is okay against back row enemies but most fights don't have those.

Hell she does the same damage with a melee attack from the back row as with her bow. But with less delay.

Okay coolest thing: A paralyzed tiger just blocked Vaelis' attack. Actually, three of his attacks and one shot from my hunter.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
Lonestar51
Elder Druid
Posts: 502
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:12 pm

Re: Let's talk combat

Post by Lonestar51 » Fri May 02, 2014 6:22 am

Some feedback from me: Played on normal difficulty, druid+ranger. I did indeed reach level 6 with all party members, after doing any sidequest or random encounter I could find. Except the practice fights with the ratmen, I fought them when doing the carrot-task but not again.

Generally speaking, the difficulty seems about right, definitly harder than "normal" for Loren. For some reason I got auto-healed beginning midway in the season after each fight, maybe the difficulty would be a lot harder if not. (This is the issue where I sent the save yesterday.)

There seems one issue where the game may be in an unwinnable state: If you go to fix the carrot-issue with the ratmen, there appear some bandits on the way back to Ninin. So if you get hurt much and spend all potions/SP on the ratmen (cute as they are) or the spiders in the area, it may be impossible to get by - leaving the player in a frustrating sate where he cannot do anything without dying. A possible fix could be having the bandits demand money for letting you pass - the player can decide to pay, or to cast a few fireballs.

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 13620
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: Let's talk combat

Post by jack1974 » Fri May 02, 2014 7:04 am

yayswords wrote:Finished the first season with that druid/ranger party now. Yes indeed, 6 seems to be the level you finish at. Happened on normal and on nightmare. I picked a nuke on my druid at level 6 and that really made battles faster. It still relies on the ranger to be the mana and health battery, but hey it's something. Going to try hunter/ranger next. Aggressive setup attempts coming when you let me pick first skill :P
OK good, indeed NOBODY should be able to reach over level 6, so at least this is the expected behavior :)
yayswords wrote: Okay this really needs tuning. On my druid/ranger playthrough, the druid could use magic attack for 9-10 at any point on any mob. Zero points in arcane or strength or whatever even boosts that attack...
The Magic Bolt attack uses Magic to determine damage, so if the target has low Magic value you'll always hit for that amount. I am thinking if to make that cost 1 SP, just to balance it a little. It's an attack that never does critical/lot of damage but also should never fail (be blocked) so that's a big plus.
yayswords wrote: My hunter has invested some points in strength. She sits on the back row hitting for like 4-5 with block (and miss?) chance. I like what I see when I check out the hunter skills but her damage is abysmal. She does like less than the other classes would from the back row, with the added fact that this is actually her role and not just something she does when there's no mana for/reason to cast a spell. Her damage is okay against back row enemies but most fights don't have those.

Hell she does the same damage with a melee attack from the back row as with her bow. But with less delay.
What weapon are you using? for Ranged, the weapon matters a lot for the damage. Even on melee (a 2h weapon does more damage than single hand weapon) but in ranged a good crossbow/bow can make quite a difference. You start with a simple ShortBow with 10 damage, but now in my playthrough I got a more poweful bow with 20 damage, so basically double! I can easily hit enemies for 15-18 with it (depending on enemy level of course).
yayswords wrote: Okay coolest thing: A paralyzed tiger just blocked Vaelis' attack. Actually, three of his attacks and one shot from my hunter.
:shock: yes definitely the block system needs a major overhaul!!! :wink:
Lonestar51 wrote:There seems one issue where the game may be in an unwinnable state: If you go to fix the carrot-issue with the ratmen, there appear some bandits on the way back to Ninin. So if you get hurt much and spend all potions/SP on the ratmen (cute as they are) or the spiders in the area, it may be impossible to get by - leaving the player in a frustrating sate where he cannot do anything without dying. A possible fix could be having the bandits demand money for letting you pass - the player can decide to pay, or to cast a few fireballs.
Yes I made that on purpose, since it happens shortly after a message pops-up saying "SAVE OFTEN!!" to see if players were paying attention! :lol: But yeah true, I think having the option to skip the battle giving all the gold should be added, is a good idea :)

User avatar
yayswords
Elder Druid
Posts: 1436
Joined: Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:34 am

Re: Let's talk combat

Post by yayswords » Fri May 02, 2014 7:26 am

No don't make it cost SP. That would make an OOM druid even worse. They can't even perform a bow attack.

My weapon does 12 damage. Haven't seen better yet. On the Giant Snow Spider I could blow Hide in Shadows + Critical Hit to do... 18 damage. That's 45 mana and 18 delay for 18 damage. Compare this to any of the druid nukes. 20 mana, 10 delay, over 40 damage, and a debuff. Yeah okay I'd get paralysis on other targets and that's great, but you have to realize how useless my hunter is against bosses. I don't think I will be able to kill that spider with this party.

Oh and, hunter abilities use the ranged weapon damage right? The damage on my melee weapons is irrelevant, yeah?

I've gone from a 12 damage weapon to a 15 damage weapon, and still hitting that spider for 5-6. I think I will wait and hope for a new build :P I am not sure how I even beat this with the druid/ranger party, but I know it's partly due to that being two characters able to heal. Paralysis + poison on healer, ggnore.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

User avatar
jack1974
Pack leader
Posts: 13620
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:43 pm

Re: Let's talk combat

Post by jack1974 » Fri May 02, 2014 8:08 am

I think will increase the critical hit damage, since with paralysis is a big bonus, but indeed with bosses is too weak.
yayswords wrote:Oh and, hunter abilities use the ranged weapon damage right? The damage on my melee weapons is irrelevant, yeah?
Hm not sure what you mean? In Loren we had few skills, so Strenght=Melee and Skill=Ranged. Here not, the strength influences the damage done even for Ranged attacks.

And yes wait for a new build, I'm doing many fixes now, including to several skills :) The best for testing would be if you saved before all the big battles, so you can retest it quickly with the various builds and tell me if I made things better, or worse (hope not lol but can happen in this early stages!).

Post Reply