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Old February 3, 2014, 21:03   #21
Derakon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekolis View Post
No, it's pretty much the same thing. Just wanted to flesh out the idea of "cumulative" status effects as buzzkill mentioned a bit more. I see in your original post you said you didn't want status effects to stack. What's your reasoning on that? I think making them all-or-nothing just makes the problem of them being either overpowered or worthless worse - they're either useful or they're not at whatever strength they're set at, and there's no shades of gray enabling different players to make different choices as to how much to use them.
My main concern is that I don't want the player to have a win button. A status ailment that locks the monster down for a few turns is okay so long as they get a chance to break free, but if you can pile the things on top of each other, then you make it potentially possible to completely lock down a monster into helplessness.

Basically, I suspect that the utility of most status ailments has increasing returns (i.e. the second application is worth more than the first one), which makes stacking potentially unbalancing. Certainly I know that Wands of Slow Monster used to stack, and being able to fight a unique when they're at -20 speed and you're at +0 wasn't really all that interesting.

Hence the goal was to have ailments that are useful but not overpowering when applied once.
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Old February 3, 2014, 23:58   #22
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Hence the goal was to have ailments that are useful but not overpowering when applied once.
I believe you're working on the assumption that the player has limitless access to cause said aliments (which may well be the case and if it is, then it's a problem unto itself). If that's the case, then you'll never have a balance that's interesting. If it's not the case, which is how I prefer to envision it, cumulative effects make sense because they reward a player for a) risking resources and b) risking time/turns in order to c) produce a desired outcome.
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Old February 4, 2014, 01:21   #23
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The main reason why debuffs (lets call it that ? its shorter) are worthless is that monsters get a saving throw. I remember trying to use them in desperate situations: mage in trouble because a fast critter approaches ? try slow *it is not affected* try sleep that orc ? *its immune* (wtf its a lousy uruk!) etc.

These days in the early game I sometimes carry a slow wand instead of squelching it immediately to slow uniques. Nothing else is worth the trouble.
But other than that, I dont bother; I dont even learn the debuffing spells with my mages anymore.

Wouldnt it be better to remove the saving throw (i.e. make the effect automatic; theres still the usual chance to fail the wand application or spell casting) and make uniques immune to all debuffs ?
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Old February 4, 2014, 01:26   #24
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Stacking debuffs is fine if the resistance goes UP every time, so that more than a reasonable number of debuffs stops being a good use of time because they'll make their save too often.

Or just having a adding duration or resetting duration
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Old February 4, 2014, 01:46   #25
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Originally Posted by Estie View Post
The main reason why debuffs (lets call it that ? its shorter) are worthless is that monsters get a saving throw. I remember trying to use them in desperate situations: mage in trouble because a fast critter approaches ? try slow *it is not affected* try sleep that orc ? *its immune* (wtf its a lousy uruk!) etc.
This was exactly my point in my OP, though I may not have said it so clearly. Status ailments that can be resisted are basically worthless -- why would I spend a turn to maybe debuff a monster when I could spend that turn more profitably on hurting them, guaranteed? IMO all resistances should either be 0% or 100%, excepting maybe for the mage attack spells that also deal damage, where the debuff is only secondary. You're already spending a turn trying to use the debuff; if the monster has any remotely significant chance of resisting then that action is too risky to be worthwhile.

In the current game, Slowing early uniques is pretty much the only exception I'm aware of. This only works because early uniques have few if any ranged attack options, and the same goes for the player, so the player can afford to dump 5-10 turns on trying to slow the unique because what else are they going to do with their time?
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Old February 4, 2014, 03:52   #26
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Originally Posted by emulord View Post
Stacking debuffs is fine if the resistance goes UP every time, so that more than a reasonable number of debuffs stops being a good use of time because they'll make their save too often.

Or just having a adding duration or resetting duration
Yes, this kind of thing. Stacking a debuff over and over should not result in eternally growing benefit (unless of course the game was balanced around it!), the more it's stacked the more it should be resisted/the less additional effect it should have/the quicker the enemy should shrug off levels of it/whatever makes the balance work
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Old February 5, 2014, 05:17   #27
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the eternally growing benefit of stacking debuffs could also be resolved if the times does not increase with additional stacks. Say you apply slow, apply once gives -5 speed for 3 turns. If you apply it again, it goes down to -10 speed but you have already used one of the 3 turns, so it will only be -10 for 2 turns. The first application of a debuff sets the total time, if you stack the debuff the effect will be stronger but you are using part of the debuff time to apply more of it instead of actually doing damage or running away.
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Old February 5, 2014, 05:40   #28
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the eternally growing benefit of stacking debuffs could also be resolved if the times does not increase with additional stacks. Say you apply slow, apply once gives -5 speed for 3 turns. If you apply it again, it goes down to -10 speed but you have already used one of the 3 turns, so it will only be -10 for 2 turns. The first application of a debuff sets the total time, if you stack the debuff the effect will be stronger but you are using part of the debuff time to apply more of it instead of actually doing damage or running away.
This is a pretty cool idea. In fact, it's the kind of idea that could be stolen for new roguelikes/other games...
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Old February 6, 2014, 01:34   #29
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currently the debuffs on the player are the same as on the monsters and I feel that causes at least some of the issues we have with making them useful to apply to monsters. If one drops this restriction, I think one can create debuffs that are useful in some situations without being mandatory or overpowered. For example:
Bind legs: the monster can only walk at half its usual speed but is not restricted in its melee or spell casting ability, 100% sucess rate for 5 to 10 turns
Bind hands: reduces melee damage by say 25% for 5 to 10 turns
Bind mind: sets spell failure rate to 50% for all spells for 5 to 10 turns
Bind mouth: cuts breath damage in half for 5 to 10 turns
If they all have durations like that you can't just apply all of them to any monster you see because the first one will have almost run out of time when you are done, but keeping one or maybe two applied while fighting the monster could be useful for some monsters.
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Old February 6, 2014, 02:12   #30
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Well said, and I like your suggestions. Making them clearly distinct from the player's debuffs is helpful for setting expectations properly, which I admit was a problem with my original set of suggestions (especially for Slow Monster).
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