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Old July 1, 2010, 06:16   #1
Therem Harth
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Announcing TFork

Not sure if this or Variants is the right place, but...

Being rather fond of ToME2, I've decided to grab a snapshot of the unofficial git branch and make some modifications. Most of these fix broken stuff, or change things I consider cheesy and/or useless.

- As with Strawberry, stats are gained randomly on level up. I really like this method, because it manages to boost stats in a convenient way without mitigating the danger of stat loss attacks too much, or making potions of $STAT entirely useless.

- And again as with Strawberry, Perception and Searching have been made useful (though using berserker/running tactics will make them useless again ).

- In a weak and pathetic imitation of Vanilla, enabling cheat options no longer enables full debug mode right away. The workaround is cheesy, but it's a workaround.

- Also: Runecraft is (mostly) unbroken, Thaumaturgy is useful now, music doesn't need pval rubbish, some school spells have been made useful, Antimagic no longer provides trap detection, and a couple Mindcraft powers have been nerfed. And some other stuff.

The tarball is available here: http://users.norwoodlight.com/danlev/tfork-0.01.tar.gz

P.S. If there's anyone I missed in the credits, please do tell me.
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Old July 1, 2010, 07:00   #2
Derakon
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How did you make Thaumaturgy useful again? Its area spells were horribly broken beforehand, and the view and beam spells were moderately useful (bolts and balls were quite pointless though, I'll admit).
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Old July 1, 2010, 15:58   #3
Therem Harth
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
How did you make Thaumaturgy useful again? Its area spells were horribly broken beforehand, and the view and beam spells were moderately useful (bolts and balls were quite pointless though, I'll admit).
Answer: I didn't. I just realized that my modifications make area spells brokenly powerful. Will fix shortly.
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Old July 1, 2010, 16:12   #4
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Okay version 0.02 has been uploaded: http://users.norwoodlight.com/danlev/tfork-0.02.tar.gz

This makes Thaumaturgy bolt attacks more powerful, and cuts area attack damage by a factor of five. Hopefully that will be enough!
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Old July 1, 2010, 16:13   #5
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If you want to improve Thaumaturgy, remove area spells altogether (honestly, in the endgame they can deal many thousands of damage per shot to a single target), reduce the mana costs on most other spells, and beef up bolt and ball spell damage so they're actually competitive. Ball spell damage in particular is really terrible; when other spells are dealing 10d100 they deal 100d1.

Edit: though your change is a step in the right direction.
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Old July 1, 2010, 16:46   #6
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Hmm, I'm having trouble getting the damage to scale properly. To be competetive with e.g. Fireflash, a spell that costs over 100 mana points should do a heck of a lot of damage... On the other hand, a spell that costs 1 mana point shouldn't start off doing 8d4 damage, that's too much. Looks like I need some kind of exponential scaling.

(Either that or I can just dump Thaumaturgy.)

Meanwhile, Runecraft. Right now damage scales with Runecrafting skill; if you have 50 Runecraft, 300+ mana, and the right runes, you can one-shot a GWoP... Assuming that you're okay with ending up mana-less and helpless. That's okay.

Of course, you could try to pull that off with a Power Surge rune and kill everything in LoS... The fail rate would be higher but maybe not high enough. That's not okay.

Currently I've just left spell power completely out of the failure rate equation, so as to avoid 95% failure rates with high-powered spells. But this leads to other kinds of brokenness. Ideally, things would look like this:
- A fire bolt spell costing 10 mana would never fail at level 50.
- An arrow bolt spell costing 100 mana would fail maybe 10% of the time, but do a heck a lot more damage.
- An arrow LoS spell for 100 mana, on the other hand, would fail maybe 50% of the time, and do less damage than the bolt spell.

Making this actually work is going to be hard.
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Old July 1, 2010, 19:27   #7
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You should be scaling damage so that different spells do roughly equivalent amounts of damage, but some spells spread that damage out over multiple targets. For example, a ball spell should be assumed to hit, oh, 1, 2, 5, and 10 targets for radius-0, 1, 2, and 3, per cast. So ordinarily you'd say that the damage of a radius-0 ball spell should be equal to that of a bolt spell (or slightly less, since it can hit anything in LOS unlike a bolt), while a radius-1 ball should do about half the damage, or cost twice as much. View spells should do much less damage than bolts because they can theoretically hit hundreds (with 95 being the practical upper limit, i.e. the number of monsters in a pit).

However, you should probably make multi-target spells deal more damage than just that, simply because they're less focused -- the player has to stand in LOS of more enemies to use them effectively. More risk => more reward, i.e. higher damage.

So basically what I'd do is base spell damage on the spell's level, mana cost on the number of targets the spell can hit, and spell failure rate on the total damage the spell can do modified by the player's skill.
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Old July 1, 2010, 22:04   #8
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Blargh &^%&ing crash bug eats #($^ing 100% of my CPU power... I think it is time to give up on this great but sadly broken variant. Maybe I'll see what I can do with Entroband as a base.
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Old July 1, 2010, 22:44   #9
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Thaumaturgy in T2 has two roles. Damage stacking and exotic damage.

Obviously any area spell stacks up for massive damage, but also popular are force beams for hitting multiple times when fired down corridors. Force balls aren't too shabby either. These are generally the only way thaumaturgy does competative damage.

The other role is less broken. You can put in a few points and hope for ice, poison, inertia, and gravity. These can be used to cheaply inflict status effects, but unless they happen to be area will do questionable damage.

The first category is gamebreaking when you first get them, but because of the way thaumaturgy fail rates and mana costs scale at high levels the mid-game powers have to last you all game. Thaumaturgy never got balanced with the T2 spell lists. None of the legacy spell systems were.
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Old July 1, 2010, 22:54   #10
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Thaumaturgy endgame spells are competitive against endgame enemies, though they're typically a waste of mana for most monsters. I had a Warper using Thaumaturgy for attack spells who got Area - Inertia as one of his last spells. I think I counted it out at something like 40 10d100 inertia attacks...and here's the kicker: the inertia stacks. Cast it once, and everything around you can't move any more -- either they're dead or they're stuck in stasis.

Also, thaumaturgy gets the excellent Blast - Wall Creation spell, one of the best LOS disrupters in the game because of the way it can bury an entire room in solid granite. It also sets you up beautifully for area spells -- if there's only one open square next to you, every ball from the spell will hit that square.
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