Let's talk combat

The tale of the siblings Althea and Shea
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fabulaparva
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Re: Let's talk combat

Post by fabulaparva » Thu May 08, 2014 5:27 pm

Troyen wrote:
fabulaparva wrote:Well, I'll be curious how the challenge of Hard-mode will turn out to be in the upcoming versions! I guess another sign for a slight imbalance just now is that I managed easily to do all the other quests except the polar bear-one, of course, before Chapter 2 started. That's too easy for Hard-mode, in my opinion.
Beating all the battles should be fine, as long as the difficulty is enough that you have to use your special abilities judiciously and you take advantage of board location. I don't think the aim is to "not be able to beat X unless you have all the best gear" but rather "wow, I beat that fight [on my first try?] but it was really close." There should be some risk of failure, but not complete failure.
I do agree that even in the harder modes, one should be able to complete all quests. :) However, succeeding that in such a fast time frame was, imo, too easy. Act I has 4 chapters, and chapter 1 gives around 5 days to roam about, chapter 3 around 3 days, whereas chapters 2 and 4 don't really give that much freedom to complete quests, right? I thought that doing 7/8 quests before the trio even finds the wolf (chapter 2), indicates that either the random + boss fights don't force them to rest often enough, or the items and pelts found give them too much gold to be able to spam the healing buttons at the inn. I assumed that Hard mode would force the trio to spend more time resting between the fights, so that they'd still have a couple of quests unfinished in chapter 3. Just my view on things.
yayswords wrote:By the way, fabulaparva, you don't actually deal the displayed amount of damage with HiS+ Double Attack. The mouseover calculates it as though HiS boosts both the attacks but it will only boost the first, so you will do 75% of what it says there. Which is still a lot of course :P
Hehe, thanks for clarifying that for me! :) I had started to wonder, as I tried the same trick on some 120HP -guys. The mouseover for double strike told me that the blow was worth 118 HP and up, but after taking my swing, the guy was still standing with more than 20HP. Damn, I felt swindled! :shock:

Troyen
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Re: Let's talk combat

Post by Troyen » Thu May 08, 2014 5:47 pm

yayswords wrote:Er what, I would use the stances all the time if not limited by SP, unless I was looking at a short fight. 15% speed for a big offensive or defensive buff.
All the fights are short. My longest fight was around six actions per character (on the recipe bandits), and that was because I started with my ranger at 10 hp and Vael at 4 hp so the hunter had to creatively do all the work. (Oh, just hide in shadows you say? Yeah, she took all six hits and died every time; I had to Defend instead to survive the first round.) Most fights were <= 3 rounds.
fabulaparva wrote:
Troyen wrote:
fabulaparva wrote:Well, I'll be curious how the challenge of Hard-mode will turn out to be in the upcoming versions! I guess another sign for a slight imbalance just now is that I managed easily to do all the other quests except the polar bear-one, of course, before Chapter 2 started. That's too easy for Hard-mode, in my opinion.
Beating all the battles should be fine, as long as the difficulty is enough that you have to use your special abilities judiciously and you take advantage of board location. I don't think the aim is to "not be able to beat X unless you have all the best gear" but rather "wow, I beat that fight [on my first try?] but it was really close." There should be some risk of failure, but not complete failure.
I do agree that even in the harder modes, one should be able to complete all quests. :) However, succeeding that in such a fast time frame was, imo, too easy. Act I has 4 chapters, and chapter 1 gives around 5 days to roam about, chapter 3 around 3 days, whereas chapters 2 and 4 don't really give that much freedom to complete quests, right? I thought that doing 7/8 quests before the trio even finds the wolf (chapter 2), indicates that either the random + boss fights don't force them to rest often enough, or the items and pelts found give them too much gold to be able to spam the healing buttons at the inn.
I was playing very aggressively (my front row at 10 hp? I don't want to rest, where are some trap battles I can level from?) and finished it all in about three days. Probably could've done it quicker if I didn't overestimate a few of the quest fights. I did find myself with a bunch of gold (~400 I couldn't use), though I didn't pick all of the most honest choices. There were no items available that were real upgrades for me. (By the way, weapons are showing green if they have less damage but more of other stats. That seems wrong?) I used the tavern heal once and the SP rest once and probably didn't need either. (Of course, I haven't tried druid/ranger or druid/hunter lately.)

Honestly, I wasn't sure you could do quests in Chapter 3 since I hadn't made it there before. The game made it seem like you had to finish everything in those five days or else you'll miss out on the bonus exp.

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jack1974
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Re: Let's talk combat

Post by jack1974 » Thu May 08, 2014 5:55 pm

Initially thought to give only those initial days but then I added those 3 extra ones. Unfortunately for plot reasons, chapter3-4 happens in such a short amount of time where you can't wait "days" to do other sidequests :oops:

renke_
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Re: Let's talk combat

Post by renke_ » Thu May 08, 2014 6:21 pm

Troyen wrote:By the way, weapons are showing green if they have less damage but more of other stats. That seems wrong?
The better==green tag is imho often untrue, and I see no useful way to solve this. See, it all depends on the current needs: For my backrow buffer I want mostly speed and will prefer a 3 dmg/-1 speed staff over a 5 dmg/-2 speed every time, frontrow grunts are happier with smaller dmg but Water or Earth elemental advantage, as the first season fights are mostly in cold climate or in caves.

The game does a rather good job with weighting the different attributes of an object but it will be impossible to find The Right Way.

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jack1974
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Re: Let's talk combat

Post by jack1974 » Thu May 08, 2014 6:36 pm

Yes I just compare the sum of values, with some modifiers, but as renke said is impossible to find a way to determine if an item is "better" in general :)

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yayswords
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Re: Let's talk combat

Post by yayswords » Fri May 09, 2014 12:47 am

All the fights are short. My longest fight was around six actions per character (on the recipe bandits), and that was because I started with my ranger at 10 hp and Vael at 4 hp so the hunter had to creatively do all the work. (Oh, just hide in shadows you say? Yeah, she took all six hits and died every time; I had to Defend instead to survive the first round.) Most fights were <= 3 rounds.
Aye, fights should be longer. I still think they are sometimes long enough to merit using a stance though. If you want to turtle for regen they definitely are ;p

Your hunter needs more defense so it can do what mine did :P
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

Troyen
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Re: Let's talk combat

Post by Troyen » Fri May 09, 2014 3:48 am

yayswords wrote:Your hunter needs more defense so it can do what mine did :P
Dunno, I enjoyed beating the "game" without taking IP (or resting a whole lot). :P

It occurred to me when I was sending my save files to Jack that Nightmare difficulty doesn't necessarily mean "every fight is hard". Sometimes it's actually the combination of fights. A good example in 0.8.5 is I was doing the first ratmen fight before clearing out the bandits that want my money and with the pelt-thief and spider queen quests in my log (so all traps led to the bandit cave fight). I beat the ratmen barely and then quickly realized my party had like no SP and very little HP and no potions. I ultimately managed to get back to town, but it required being a bit creative with hunter-tanking some spiders and the escaping bandit fight so two of my characters could level and regain enough SP to take on the bandit blockade. Making it through that was some of the most fun I've had in combat in SotW and it was definitely a step up from Loren's Hard difficulty.

To extrapolate more generally, basing difficulty off of a series of single fights is difficult to tune because you can only do so much to test a player in one battle. Here and there it works out (like chasing off the ratmen or the Kodiak), but it doesn't quite work everywhere - and it might not need to. Resource management becomes a much bigger part of the game when you have to decide if you want to use that skill for 30SP now or try and manage without it and take an extra round of damage so you have that SP later on (assuming you're not turtling with IP or a boatload of regen) when you're forced into a series of fights.

The Chapter 4 battle was kind of easy, but I think it might be more interesting if you regained say 5% of your HP/SP (if any) on Nightmare (and 10% on Hard) in addition to the monsters being more powerful than normal. (Also, for that battle in particular, it was like four waves of the exact same setup - at least change up the bowmen positions so you can't clobber them all with strike-through!) It's one way to add a challenge without constantly tweaking mob numbers, or at least a way to add a challenge via a different mechanism, for variety.

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yayswords
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Re: Let's talk combat

Post by yayswords » Fri May 09, 2014 4:33 am

Troyen wrote:Dunno, I enjoyed beating the "game" without taking IP (or resting a whole lot). :P
I wasn't talking about IP :P

IP has nothing to do with why I think hunters are a well designed class. I think it's a powerful but boring spell that should just be removed.
(assuming you're not turtling with IP or a boatload of regen)
The problem is that as long as this is possible to do it can be used to somewhat trivialize the game. I mean you still need to know how to win fights, but you don't really have to worry about how you're gonna win the next fight at the same time. However, there are some more painfully boring things you can do in the name of power:

- Save before visiting a shop the first time and reload until your dream item is randomed. I've done this occasionally but not really gone for "dream item", just "good upgrade".
- Save before checking traps and reload until you get an encounter or at least good pelts. We caught something! Ruined pelt x1! That's worth two gold if you haven't noticed... I reload over traps quite often.
- Save during fights and reload until a random factor (AI decisions, attacks missing, etc) works in your favor, then save again and repeat until victory. NEVER done.

Point being it's impossible anyway to prevent every circumvention of the system so it's better to talk about where we should draw the line for what kind of tricks shouldn't work and which should still work if someone really wants to go through any kind of suffering for power. And I think IP regening when a battle is practically won shouldn't work. I also don't think the spell suits hunters. So I want it gone :P

That being said Vaelis can go regen-stance too, it's going to be more obvious once it's buffed. At least it's only HIS mana, and he can't use it for anything but tanking/damage, but still. As I've said before I'd like Recovery to require him to use a melee (normal or special) attack to regain mana, that way he will eventually win the battle even if you try to turtle it for regen.
If at first try it doesn't explode, it ain't Jack who wrote the code.

renke_
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Re: Let's talk combat

Post by renke_ » Fri May 09, 2014 5:55 pm

Was the stagger calculation changed in 0.8.6+? I just hit a wolf for 40 damage an the stagger value is 1/6 - seems a little bit low.

-- small addition:

And normal feels much harder, both the arena fight (my ranger was hit THREE times - unheard of!) and I'm nearly dead after one snow wolf fight and a 2-pack of grey wolves.

Not necessarily a bad thing, but a very noticeable change.

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jack1974
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Re: Let's talk combat

Post by jack1974 » Fri May 09, 2014 6:14 pm

Yes I think the new difficult is because the stagger is a bit too high now. When you stagger the enemy becomes much weaker, and now is difficult to stagger, so even normal feels harder.
I'm definitely going to reduce the stagger amount on next update!

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