After further review: Melee still sucks

Discussion in 'Dungeons of Dredmor General' started by Marak, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Marak

    Marak Member

    He sums up my arguments so much more eloquently than I do. :(

    But the point still stands: you win with Bolts and Spells, or not at all. Regardless of your gear and skill build.
  2. Sniktch

    Sniktch Member

    Overall, I think Melee is ALMOST there, almost "just right", just not enough "oomph" offensively or defensively to seal the deal in the end. It's underperforming the "midline" - but not by much. As several have noted, it IS possible to melee down through most of the game, though it can be nerve-wracking(or stapling, depending on your viewpoint). It's just that you then slam into a dead end alley, due to lacking tools to deal with mass elemental incoming plus repeated weapon corruptions if you can't one-shot a Corrupting Blobby(and yes, I know Magic Resist is supposed to help - but resisting 1 out of 4 attempts is nowhere NEAR enough). I think the real reason for the perception of melee as a lame dog is the vast over-mark performance of mages - and that comes from, as noted in , the fact that for mages, the only things that matter are the blue bar and blue stat. So instead of trying a million different things to try and bring warriors up, why not first try to even mages out - and not through a "hard nerf", either.

    Think about what happens through the course of a game. Stuff tries to hit you, tries to kill you, whether via straight attacks or debuffs to your health or DOTs on your health get the idea. The game attacks you HEALTH at all times.....never your mana. So add in some critters that nom on mana, or that apply debuffs that scale with the TARGET'S magic power, or critters that ABSORB magical attacks(namely, anything other than the warrior staple of Hitting Them In The Face) to get stronger. Make the mage feel the same "ow" as a warrior...just in their blue bar, not in their red. Good example: Let's call it a Foo. Its melee attack does physical damage equal to .25 the target's magic power, its ranged attack does mana-damage equal to the target's magic power and adds a non-stacking debuff of -8 Mana Regen Rate for 10 turns. Its AI is tuned to ALWAYS fire the bolt on the turn it detects a player, and every 10 turns thereafter as long as a player is in view. The bolt also adds a trigger conditional, "Dangerous Synergy" - if the Invisibility status or any teleport effect is used on the player from any source, they IMMEDIATELY take mana damage equal to their Magic Power, but the debuff is dispelled as well. Hardcode there to be at least two per zoo, and they wander the floors rarely(once or twice a floor), usually in a "loose deuce" pair, far enough apart to ensure nuking one won't catch the other but close enough that hammering one WILL alert the other. And to be merciful, they're coded to NOT be available for Inconsequentia or Evil Chests. And make them HEAL from necro, existential, or promethean damage. Voila, most mages will HAVE to close to melee, or rain bolts while having their mana sapped regularly and the melee monsters get time to close. Rogues are spared the worst of the effects, but are required to lay into a stand-up fight or expend acid or poison resources to take them down. Melee? It's right in their wheelhouse - Foos have lowish HP and warriors have squat for magic power thanks to heavy armor, so they're a speedbump.

    Whether or not that ends up balancing things out, at the very least it'll share the experience of "whoops, your character can never handle this threat in a manner befitting its class, so hope you stockpiled gear to allow you to effectively change class!"
    Marak and Daynab like this.
  3. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    I love your posts, man.
  4. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    It seems to me like the big deal with melee is that there aren't any expendables. Rogues win because they stockpile BoMDs and Squids; Wizards win by casting or utilizing Tentacular Wands or other big spells (which, by virtue of being Mana-powered, are considered "expendables" that slowly regenerate, even though in this particular game, they're often effectively infinite).

    Melee combat, however, is based on a trick that is intended from the beginning to be repeatable. That means that the BBEG has to be beaten in the same manner as his non-BB cohorts, because melee isn't supposed to do anything but hit people with sticks. That means a forced choice between making the BBEG seem lame (because he can be meleed without any special effort) or impossible (because he can't.)

    The only thing you need in order to even the playing field is the addition of some sort of melee-based expendable that would make Dremdor meleeable and a zoo conceivable to beat without resorting to tricks other than the basic choke point strategy. Something that would be the swingable equivalent of a Squid Bolt or a Tentacular Wand. A consumable that other classes could use, just like a Warrior can use a Tentacular Wand or a Squidbolt, but requires melee range to activate and just kills the **** out of whatever it hits.

    For example:
    Oil of Haste
    ********** (that's 10 stars)
    Because haste...makes...waste!
    The next time you attack in melee, you enter a timewarp. Until you take 2 turns either not swinging your weapon or swinging and missing, your melee attacks do not end your turn and you may attack in melee again. And again. And again. And again.

    vs. a Zoo, that stuff is great. vs. Dremdor, you have an easy time missing twice and he still has the ability to Counter you and get lucky, so it's not a sure thing, but it's a good bet -- like a Squid Bolt or Tentacular Wand.
  5. Sniktch

    Sniktch Member

    A good idea - would one square of movement kill the effect, or would move-and-whack reset the counter to 0? What about blocks, dodges, and counters? The other problem I see is one of availability - if it's ONLY random appearance or not in Smithing, then we're back to "warriors need good RNG or out-class skills to keep up", IE square 1. Could almost see it as a high-cooldown skill in one of your "new" warrior trees - definitely a max-tier, and would have the problem of making that tree a "must-take" for all warriors. Hm....or an actual proc effect...aha. Add procs to the tier 6 weapon skills. Not an "absolute" by any means, of course, and Maces might have some issue with the knockback... but it gives a good incentive to master your chosen skill, while not being TOO broken, and at no point makes any skill "must-have". Maybe a 50% chance on every swing of activating it, 2 turn "duration", and a conditional that checks if the buff is already on you - if it is, it goes from 50% to 100%.
  6. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I deliberately suggested 2 turns specifically to allow single steps in between attacks, so that a Zoo wouldn't end up being "you kill the 4 adjacent monsters and then you're done". Eventually in a Zoo you'll get double-Dodge/Block/Countered, and it'll all be over.

    I like the idea of it as a proc, though I still think SOME form of expendable for melee should appear in-game. :)
  7. SlaynCruz

    SlaynCruz Member

    I think the weapon trees should have an active skill at every tier that doesn't already have a proc. Like, say, a guaranteed stun for maces, a bleed dot for axes that scales with damage, and a debuff that lowers dodge/block/counter/accuracy for swords for example. Also, make the current aoe actives have a low cooldown. I'm thinking axenado should have a cooldown of 2? Should it even have a cooldown?
  8. Sniktch

    Sniktch Member

    Another idea, along a similar vein, Essence: A consumable, craftable in Smithing and randomly findable:


    Components: 2x silver ingot, 1x aluminum ingot, 1x electrum ingot

    "potion" - graphic should look like spilled mercury.

    This stuff is FAST. C-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-c-OMBO!

    Effect: 10 turn duration. +50 crit stat. Whenever you make a melee attack, if it hits, the game calculates another melee attack immediately on the same target within the same turn, If that one hits, it calculates another, ad infinitum, until a combo breaker(dodge, block, counter) pops or the vic is dead. Close, but not the same idea - this really IS a "bolt of squid" for melee, in that it will very likely obliterate a single target in a single turn. And hey, even gives Announcer Guy something to shout out :)
  9. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    Sounds like the calculations used for vorpal swords in some roguelikes I've played. Keep on hitting until that coin flip fails you. :)

    I suspect that, as described, it's overpowered, but I'd have to try it to see.
  10. Sniktch

    Sniktch Member

    Heh. Brainstorming doesn't call for precision, just ideas - precision is left to the professionals :p And it's not a sword - it's a craftable consumable, and the recipe is just thrown-together. Honestly, I'd like to see more uses for Electrum, but aside that, all the rest really could be up to balance - heck, even a good place to use one of the otherwise "worthless" gems, like Amethyst or Turquoise.​