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Old June 3, 2010, 18:30   #1
Derakon
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Drain experience => temporary level drain

This is an idea I had for changing how experience drain works. The current system is largely just an annoyance -- the amount of experience you have is reduced, but can be restored; in the meantime, you only effectively get 10% of the normal amount of experience for killing enemies. Except in the early game, this rarely has any significant effect on your capabilities (and in the early game, you're very unlikely to have a source of hold life). All it does is slow down your experience gain and occasionally drop your level by 1.

I propose changing experience drain to a temporary level drop -- if a monster hits you with a "drain experience" ability, your current level would be reduced. A level 10 character would be level 9, a level 50 character would be level 45, for example. This would have no effect on your XP total, and would go away on its own after awhile. Restore Life Levels would then be the healing item that causes the effect to go away immediately, much like C*W remove blindness, confusion, etc. The actual level drain could perhaps depend on the strength of the attack, the level of the attacker, your current level, and so on; I don't think it should ever be more than 20% of your max level at the very most, though (dropping a level 50 to level 40). Time attacks would of course drop your level more than Nether/level-drain melee attacks would.

I think that changing experience drain as I describe would turn it into a legitimate threat without making it overpowered. Spellcasters would lose access to high-level spells, HP and SP maxes would be reduced, characters might lose extra attacks or shots -- but none of this is overtly fatal, and it would go away with time.

As an added bonus, the name of the Restore Life Levels potion would make vaguely more sense.
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Old June 4, 2010, 15:12   #2
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Man, I would've thought a change this significant would attract some comment. Did I wall-of-text you guys too hard or something?
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Old June 4, 2010, 16:34   #3
Tiburon Silverflame
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This proposal needs some thought, Derakon.

I think this affects mages and priests to a much greater degree than others, because it's lowering damage output and increasing the risk of spell failure on the more crucial spells. And, of course, there is the chance of losing spells altogether. The next most affected would probably be the ranger, but only in the case that he loses a shot. That's most likely only in relatively narrow stretches of the game.

There would also have to be some tests to see how many levels to drain, per strike. And, does this accumulate? Does it apply to nether bolts and nether breath? Consider: if it does, then 3 such strikes would drop you from, say, 40th down to 30th. So, yes, it would probably have to be capped...but even your 20% would drop a 40th down to 32nd. Goodbye Mass Banishment and Rift for a mage.

So no, it's not overtly lethal, but it feels like it's raising Hold Life up to a very high-priority ability.
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Old June 4, 2010, 17:12   #4
Rizwan
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I was thinking along slightly different lines. I would like exp drain to be more like stat drain where the amount lost is not regained until you quaff a potion of gain stat or restore stat. Your experience gained after exp drained should all go into your current exp and the gap between current and max exp should stay the same until you quaff a potion of exp or restore life levels. That way it would be more of a pain and something to be more afraid of than it is right now. Plus to me it seems more consistent with the way stat works.
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Old June 4, 2010, 20:11   #5
Magnate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Man, I would've thought a change this significant would attract some comment. Did I wall-of-text you guys too hard or something?
I rather liked it, but didn't have anything else constructive to add, so was going to wait and see what other people said. I certainly think temp level drain would be a more interesting mechanic than the pointless flyswatting irritation of the current xp drain. IMO a timed level drain would be better than requiring yet another mostly useless restore potion (which will exacerbate the game of shopping problem still further). In fact IMO all drains should be temporary, for that reason.
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Old June 4, 2010, 20:27   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rizwan View Post
I was thinking along slightly different lines. I would like exp drain to be more like stat drain where the amount lost is not regained until you quaff a potion of gain stat or restore stat. Your experience gained after exp drained should all go into your current exp and the gap between current and max exp should stay the same until you quaff a potion of exp or restore life levels. That way it would be more of a pain and something to be more afraid of than it is right now. Plus to me it seems more consistent with the way stat works.
I've suggested this before, but you have it backwards on pain. When you kill when drained:

current mechanic is curr_exp += exp; max_exp += exp/10;
proposed mechanic is curr_exp+= exp; max_exp += exp;

Clearly the current mechanic is more painful than the proposal.


As to the suggestion starting this thread, it looks like an improvement, but it is hard to tell if it is too deadly or not. If we are making radical suggestions, I'd say remove exp drain altogether and replace it with con draining attacks. Do you suddenly forget your last 200 kills? That makes no sense to me. Con as a measure of life force is at least sort of understandable.
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Old June 4, 2010, 20:37   #7
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If we are trying to go the more logical or understandable route, I'd still say current XP drain is fine, it's taking a portion of your soul away, so even if you do have the experience of killing those hundreds or thousands of monsters, I'd guess you aren't able to fully utilize it since you're energy is sapped. The loss of levels drops your max hp/sp which I'd say is like the vitality drain. so I'd agree that !rll should restore the same amount of XP you lost, not, even if you had subsequently gained experience.

The only potential abuse I can think of is possibly gaining a large amount of XP, then getting drained on purpose and leveling some more (gaining more XP due to lower level) then restoring it all. Risky waste of time though, IMO, so it should be a non-issue.
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Old June 4, 2010, 20:54   #8
miyazaki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
I rather liked it, but didn't have anything else constructive to add, so was going to wait and see what other people said. I certainly think temp level drain would be a more interesting mechanic than the pointless flyswatting irritation of the current xp drain. IMO a timed level drain would be better than requiring yet another mostly useless restore potion (which will exacerbate the game of shopping problem still further). In fact IMO all drains should be temporary, for that reason.
This is the biggest thing I fear from this proposal! I think making stat drain temporary would be a big mistake.

I would rather see: (1) hold life offers 100% protection against XP drain from nether attacks and (2) XP drained from melee attacks restored if you destroy the monster that drained you.

This way, you can choose your battles. Melee against undead becomes more feasible, especially for more powerful characters. But there still is strategic decision to be made: "can I win this fight?"

Potions are there is you make an error in judgement or are caught off-guard. I also think hold life should be bundled together with undead slays on ego items/randarts.
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Old June 4, 2010, 21:27   #9
Sirridan
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Originally Posted by miyazaki View Post
I would rather see: (1) hold life offers 100% protection against XP drain from nether attacks and (2) XP drained from melee attacks restored if you destroy the monster that drained you.

This way, you can choose your battles. Melee against undead becomes more feasible, especially for more powerful characters. But there still is strategic decision to be made: "can I win this fight?"

Potions are there is you make an error in judgement or are caught off-guard. I also think hold life should be bundled together with undead slays on ego items/randarts.
I like this, I always wondered why killing that Vampire didn't restore all the XP it took, oh well.

Vamps should also drain CON imo.
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Old June 4, 2010, 21:39   #10
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Sirridan: restoring drained experience when you kill the drainer doesn't make thematic sense to me. It's like restoring drained charges when you kill a charge-drainer. The enemy "ate" those charges; they're gone, metabolized. They don't suddenly rematerialize when the monster dies. Maybe if the player were an undead life-force-drainer himself, then it would make more sense to treat experience as a fungible "good" that can be transferred from one creature to another and taken on death.

Also, how do you feel that this system would be abusable? Temporary level drain would simply decouple your effective level from your experience total. You'd still gain experience as if you were your normal level; however, you wouldn't have access to any of the benefits of your normal level. I suppose to make this clear the display should show you having "negative levels" instead of directly reducing your displayed level.

Tiburon: losing spells is entirely appropriate, and is a major source of teeth for this proposal. The vital spells (those of basic escape and detection) will always be available, so in the worst case you'll be able to run away and wait for your levels to return. But it's not like your mage was incapable of killing enemies before he got Rift. Yes, this does make Hold Life much more valuable; is that so bad? It's almost pointless as it stands (at least in my opinion).

As for how stacking works, I envision this working similarly to the current wounds system. Getting hit multiple times would make you be increasingly "wounded" (i.e. more levels drained) up to a cap; over time, you would gradually recover from the "wounds" (i.e. levels are restored). This might not prove practical, though; certainly there'd be some game balance issues to work out.

Rizwan, miyazaki: personally, I favor temporary drains. Why is changing stat drain to be temporary a mistake? It would allow for the drains to have a potentially larger impact in the short term (e.g. STR drain could chop off more than one point at a time) without calling a premature end to the dungeon dive and forcing the player to return home to farm for restoration potions (or else push on with a "crippled" character). However, ultimately I think that XP and stat drains are different issues and should probably be discussed separately.
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