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Psi
January 14, 2008, 11:37
Firstly Ents...

Much as I love the superstealth in forests, it is not consistent. I've had situations where the whole visible screen has been eaten away by gnawing bugs, but I'm still hidden even though I stand out like a sore thumb! Also if you are getting meleed by a hidden character you'd still know about it! On the other hand if an Ent walks into a patch of trees anywhere else, then he is not hidden when you'd think he should be.

I know this would be a bit of a change, but how about setting superstealth whenever an Ent walks on to a tree grid (anywhere) and then unsetting it whenever they leave the grid or attack a monster (I think this mirrors the change you have made to the speed boost for Elvish rangers/druids)? You would also want monsters to walk into tree grids when an Entish player is hidden as if they're trying to find him (you wouldn't want an Ent to be able to hide when there is only one tree grid in sight...).

The complication here is of course Entish rogues and assassins who can also cast the superstealth spell. You don't want to cancel the spell if he walks through a patch of trees.

and Druids...

I still don't really know what to make of them. Their early melee is rubbish and similarly the early offensive spells. Bare-handed melee skill increases dramatically through the game, though it doesn't seem to compare to using a good weapon - even with less hits due to substantially less skill.

A high level druid though is an awesome character. With beguiling and heighten magic, I even managed to slow Morgoth. Then with the ability to stun using thunderclap and create glyphs to melee from, it is not too difficult to take out any of the uniqes (providing you play carefully of course) despite having the 'weak' melee of a full caster.

This was my first attempt at meleeing with a caster, so it may just be the case that all casters get too high a melee skill - I certainly imagine that a priest would be even easier with his combat skill coupled with being able to create glyphs. However one solution would be to increase the mana cost of glyphs considerably, so they can't be simply recast on breakage (without a lot of !RestMana anyway). It would also be good to encourage druids to use barehanded over melee - perhaps a monster should save against stunning as well as confusion (most high level baddies cannot be confused so it would be nice to have something to hit them with).

I didn't find the new spells to be useful in their current form. Nature's vengeance does not do enough damage and the Song of Growth does not provide enough 'useful' growth (and is high level/high mana). As I mentioned elsewhere it would be useful to have growth at a low level, covering a surrounding radius (depending on clevel) in grass and creating trees at random intervals. This would be good for disrupting LoS. Then have Nature's Vengeance in a dungeon book doing some more serious damage.

Proofing is a good idea, but it isn't very user friendly yet. It doesn't tell you the reason you can't see your rods in the selection to be proofed is that you have a stack of three and you can only proof one at a time, so you need to drop the other two to be able to cast it (also at present if you pick up the rest then they stack and all become proofed anyway - though you've probably fixed that now). Is there anything against being able to proof a whole stack at a time anyway?

The other offensive spells have a big variance - for example x + randint(90 + plev * 4) - it would be nice to have a little more consistency. Also spells like tsunami should maybe push the monsters back as in a force effect - it would be more fitting with the "You hurl mighty waves at your foes!" message.

My thoughts are that Druids are tough to get going, but once you get to CL45 they are *very* powerful. With Ents currently being easy to get going - Entish Druids are a very strong combination if you can survive the midgame.

Hope that helps and is by no means meant to be critical as this is my favourite variant!

Cheers,
Si

Nick
January 14, 2008, 20:01
I like the Ent idea - I'll need to kill the message every time the hidden status changes, though.

I want to encourage druid barehand melee too, so I'll think about how best to do that. Should druids even get glyphs? NV was supposed to be chiefly useful for early to mid-game in wilderness - would it have been useful for a non-Ent, do you think? I'll have a look at the high level spells for usefulness, too.

Proofing a whole stack of, say, 30 healing potions seemed a bit cheesy. The message does ask for a single item for proofing - would it be clearer a failure gave a specific message rather than a generic one?

Ent druids should be very strong, I think - it's maybe the most obviously appropriate race-class combination. Thanks for all the comments.

Psi
January 15, 2008, 08:47
Should druids even get glyphs?
Thematically or balance-wise? I really wouldn't have a clue on the former. On the latter I'd say that as it stands glyphs make a high-level druids life easy - however I'm not sure how playable they would be without. If they lose that then they may need some serious beefing up in other departments. I look forward to playing a priest in the next comp. If I can take it far enough, I'll have a better idea how priests play with glyphs - my gut feeling is that they should be even easier.
NV was supposed to be chiefly useful for early to mid-game in wilderness - would it have been useful for a non-Ent, do you think? I'll have a look at the high level spells for usefulness, too.
As an ent, I stuck to the forests and didn't need spells as most creatures failed to be able to attack me. It might be more useful to a non-ent, but the damage just seems too low. What was it - 6d6 + plev/3? Compare that with the low level LoS Necro spell Dispel Evil - plev + randint(plev). I can't remember how the mana costs compare.
Proofing a whole stack of, say, 30 healing potions seemed a bit cheesy. The message does ask for a single item for proofing - would it be clearer a failure gave a specific message rather than a generic one?
I suppose for me the problem is that I play with the selection lists, so when I tried to cast the spell I was only offered a couple of items in my inventory for proofing. I couldn't understand why I couldn't fireproof my books. It may seem cheesy (and I wish I'd even seen 30 healing potions in the entire game...), however if you have the spell you are going to proof all 30 and that is just going to be tedious, dropping all but one etc each time - and I guess unproofed stuff shouldn't stack so you are also going to waste inventory slots if you don't proof everything. In the end you are just going to be wasting turncount to get everything proofed. I only saw two scrolls of coldproofing in the game - and none of the others (assuming there are scrolls for each element) so having just two cold-proofed potions and them needing their own slot would have been a bit of a waste.

Nick
January 15, 2008, 11:59
Thematically or balance-wise? I really wouldn't have a clue on the former. On the latter I'd say that as it stands glyphs make a high-level druids life easy - however I'm not sure how playable they would be without. If they lose that then they may need some serious beefing up in other departments.

The idea is to make them need to be clever with terrain - I think it might take me a while to get that balanced right. Maybe I should take away glyphs and see what happens. Or nerf their weapon melee. Or both. :)

As an ent, I stuck to the forests and didn't need spells as most creatures failed to be able to attack me. It might be more useful to a non-ent, but the damage just seems too low. What was it - 6d6 + plev/3? Compare that with the low level LoS Necro spell Dispel Evil - plev + randint(plev). I can't remember how the mana costs compare.


I based it on something, but I can't remember what now - it probably needs powering up a bit.

I suppose for me the problem is that I play with the selection lists, so when I tried to cast the spell I was only offered a couple of items in my inventory for proofing. I couldn't understand why I couldn't fireproof my books. It may seem cheesy (and I wish I'd even seen 30 healing potions in the entire game...), however if you have the spell you are going to proof all 30 and that is just going to be tedious, dropping all but one etc each time - and I guess unproofed stuff shouldn't stack so you are also going to waste inventory slots if you don't proof everything. In the end you are just going to be wasting turncount to get everything proofed. I only saw two scrolls of coldproofing in the game - and none of the others (assuming there are scrolls for each element) so having just two cold-proofed potions and them needing their own slot would have been a bit of a waste.

Hm. You could order the scrolls; maybe they should be a little more common, too. I need to think about this one as well.

Psi
January 15, 2008, 12:16
The idea is to make them need to be clever with terrain - I think it might take me a while to get that balanced right. Maybe I should take away glyphs and see what happens. Or nerf their weapon melee. Or both. :)
Before you do that, you probably want someone else to play a druid through and get a more balanced opinion. Whatever you decide to do, (non-Entish) druids could do with a way of getting through the first few clevs a little easier. They struggle with bare-hand, melee, shooting, magic device and have no offensive spells to begin with...
Hm. You could order the scrolls; maybe they should be a little more common, too. I need to think about this one as well.
Does the number of different things you order effect the probability of getting each thing. For example have I got more chance of getting a scroll of *ID* if I only order that as opposed to 8 different things? At the moment I only order the essentials to give myself what would appear to be the best chance of getting it. I can't see myself ordering proofing scrolls because I need to order *ID* and healing (and Rest Mana if a caster) and I tend to race against turncount so I want that as fast as possible.

Nick
January 15, 2008, 12:50
Before you do that, you probably want someone else to play a druid through and get a more balanced opinion. Whatever you decide to do, (non-Entish) druids could do with a way of getting through the first few clevs a little easier. They struggle with bare-hand, melee, shooting, magic device and have no offensive spells to begin with...

The challenge class, clearly. After looking over their combat, I think the best advice is probably to either take Power Strike or use a weapon... And maybe it's right that they need to spend their first few levels scratching around in the dirt killing molds and mushrooms. Kind of an apprenticeship.

Does the number of different things you order effect the probability of getting each thing.

Slightly, but not worth worrying about. Standard shops have 32 types of things they stock; the TM has 24 plus up to 8 ordered. So if you've already got 4 items ordered, ordering another will drop the chance of any shop inventory slot holding your thing from (proportional to) 1/28 to 1/29 - you might as well order up big and hope for the best.