Chests of Evil balance discussion

Discussion in 'Dungeons of Dredmor General' started by Essence, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I'd like to propose that it's not Crafting that's killing itself -- it's Chests of Evil. Those CoE weapons are literally overshadowing everything else in the game, so much so that half of the balance discussions on the forums are essentially centered around them. It was OK back when seeing one CoE every 4 floors was a lucky find, but Dwarven Post Express rooms have completely shattered that, and made a CoE weapon a quite common find.

    Those weapons are so damn strong, I've had pure casters whose best option was to enter melee with their CoE Lirpa rather than stand back and cast -- and that's saying a lot. Either nerf the CoE weapon damage formula, or drop the Dwarven Post Express room's spawnrate significantly. Like make it only viable on floors 5, 10, and 15. Or something.
    SkyMuffin, Marak, Daynab and 2 others like this.
  2. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    Or/Also, put only 1 chest in Express Post rooms.
  3. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with the opposite of what Essence says (sorry bro) :D. I do think CoE weapons are somewhat OP, but mainly what I think is all the other artifact types are terrible. We're finding many artifacts but they're pretty much all bad and weak. Reminder: the end levels as a melee were (are still in some ways) brutal if you didn't find good CoE weapons.

    That's the problem to me, everything except CoE items are bad. Those should get a little nerf, though.
    coldcandor, Shwqa and Essence like this.
  4. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    How about changing the chance of an *Item* from CoE? It *Can* spawn named monsters too, Right?

    So make it massively dangerous by spawning many more named monsters than weapons. That should keep the allure, while balancing things in that regard.

    That said, crafting still needs a fix. I still say the inventory side of crafting is the weakest point. The crafting skills themselves can be augmented to unholy levels through mods. I support this sort of abuse too. :)
  5. Marak

    Marak Member

    I second the motion to nerf the hell out of either A) the massive damage/level bonuses given to Evil Chest Weapons or B) how many Evil Chests you get in an Express Post room or C) how often the the game throws said Express Post rooms at you.

    Currently, even the lowliest of Glass Cannon Casters can get an Evil Chest Weapon with so much damage piled on it that their no-:burliness:, no Skill-boosted melee attacks with these things can outshine the damage output of their best single target nuking spells - and I'm sorry, but that's just broken as hell.

    I did this with one of my mage-y characters in 1.0.9 - she was a Pyromancer/Psionisist - and her Evil Chest Weapon(s) were dealing more damage in melee (with about 7 :burliness: mind you) than Gog's Tactical Pyre was doing with almost 100 :magic_power: (unless stacked up several times on a square). Not good.
  6. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    For the record, Daynab, I entirely agree with you in theory -- I'm always in favor of balancing to the upper end of whatever spectrum you have -- but I recognize that in all likelihood, the GLG Powers that Be would rather not upscale everything else in the game when it's much, much easier to downscale the one element that's throwing the game off.

    IDK what your mod powers are, Daynab, but it might actually behoove us to get the CoE discussion broken off from the rest of the thread; it seems like it might deserve it's own title and entry. :)
  7. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    Very good point, done.
  8. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    I like the idea of upping the chance of monsters spawning from CoEs. Also, as I've pointed out in other places, I feel very strongly that increasing the power of Weapon skill trees will make CoEs less appealing as you'll have a much smaller chance of finding the weapon that works with your tree. It also makes crafting better 'cause you can get your favorite weapon type, ect. I made a similar point in the EDR thread.

    There are a lot of little knobs in the game, other than damage, that can dwindle the CoE power level. Unfortunately the biggest one, nonproficiency penalties, is gone and probably shouldn't be brought back, so they still need to get cut some. I'd say reducing the damage bonus to 60% the current amount and spawning them only on levels 5, 10 and 12. If they appear on 15 there's a good chance they'll not be found before Dredmor. Also, how do you get a monster from 3 levels deeper than that?

    I mean, imagine opening a chest and spawning Lord Dredmor, the Almost (but not quite) Folder of Tesseracts. :shudders:
    kino5, Kazeto and Essence like this.
  9. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    I disagree with touching the chest chance for the purpose of a nerf simply because it doesn't actually touch the problem of its weapons being overpowered. It's more risky, but when you do find them you have the same problem.
  10. SkyMuffin

    SkyMuffin Member

    What if you spawned a mandatory high-level boss monster when you pulled the lever? No change to CoE, just to the Dwarven Express Post room. And it presents the clear risk again for the player instead of allowing the decent chance to get all three chests without any monster.
  11. Marak

    Marak Member

    To piggyback on SkyMuffin's post, make Chests of Evil like little, self-contained Quests. Pop open chest; Named Mob appears; you kill it (hopefully), you get a splash screen (maybe a new one?) saying "grats, you beat the evil that you foolishly released from the chest; it dropped this weapon, here you go".

    That way every chest - or even just the Express Post ones - always have the risk to get the reward. Even if you don't alter anything else (chest/room spawn rates, item budget on EC weapons, etc) that would still make EC Weapons slightly less game-breaking since you'd have to "put in the work" for each weapon you get that way.

    I'd still drop the number of Evil Chests per Post Room down to 2 since you're "guaranteed" a weapon if you can win the fight, and a "guaranteed" 3 weapons per room would be far too good, even with the new risk(s).

    Also, making the game generate more Base Stats on EC weapons instead of piling on the obscene amounts of damage all the time would help with the underlying problem of EC weapons outshining literally everything.
  12. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    I like that one. It's not like most of us can't beat a named monster when we know it's going to appear (only "pure melee" characters would have problems, but then again, creating a "pure melee" overspecialised character is a sign of masochism either way), but it is going to force the players to plan around it, and possibly forgo some of their resources if they want to get a weapon.

    And how about this one: give weapons from chests of evil debuffs that would work just like buffs artefacts get, 1 point per floor on which you found the weapon. That way this "something" you got that has +20 to one damage type would also have 10 random points of negative stat "bonuses". Still unbalanced, but now there'd be a chance for the weapon to have some nasty (like -sight, or -trap sense) "bonus"; after all, those are the weapons from the Chests of Evil, and I don't see how the massive damage increase should appear on any piece of equipment for no price.
  13. OmegaJasam

    OmegaJasam Member

    I'd be aganst 'solving' it with garenteed mobs.

    For the good player, thats throwing in some free exp with your oversized weapon :)
  14. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    It's not like that little bit of experience is of any significance in the end, unless you were lucky and got your last level just before Dredmor because of a Chest of Evil (and I reckon if something like that happened, the player would just stall for a bit to gain said level by grinding on lesser mobs).
  15. FaxCelestis

    FaxCelestis Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I'm going to agree with Daynab and say that artifacts from non-evil-chest sources are pretty terrible. I remember getting a rusty sword with +2 aethereal damage on it from a 12th floor Inconsequentia. Which was pretty much a giant slap in the face. So maybe Inconsequentia's formula should be something different, like item quality is 1.5*Floor Level, and artifact quality is (2*Floor Level)-1. In fact, Inconsequentia, Lutefisk Shrines, Monster Zoos, and Evil Chests should all use the same formula, but they should weight to different stats/damages. Krong is fine.

    Evil Chests should weight towards toxic/putrefying/necromantic/asphyxiative/toxic damage and righteous/aethereal/existential resistances. Monster Zoos should weight towards primary stats, melee power, magic power, crit, and haywire. Lutefisk Shrines should weight towards support skills (like trap affinity, trap sight, reflect, resist, block, etc.). And Inconsequentia should weight towards righteous/aethereal damage and the spectrum of resistances.
  16. madcow

    madcow Member

    It would be interesting if the chest of evil weapons had not only powerful offensive stats, but had drawbacks associated with them too. That would really add to the risk/reward factor of them beyond "if you survive maybe getting a fight you get ubergear"

    So keep them as powerful, but add maluses as well to counterbalance the pluses, which would add interesting gameplay options of. If you want to use the safe but weaker weapon, or the more powerful risky weapon.

    As they are now, I do believe they are overly powerful. I had been playing no time to grind for awhile, and then when I switched to regular mode, there was a huge difference in my dungeon delving abilities - I think chests of evil were a big factor.
  17. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I'd vote for a three-pronged approach:
    • Evil Chest weapons downgraded. Damage bonus = 1 x Floor, instead of 2 x Floor, so at the high end damage is dropping down by 12 to 15 points.
    • Other quest/zoo/lutefisk artifacts being upgraded. Probably by adding + 1 x Floor random power-ups to them. Ideally weighted towards primary and secondary stats as opposed to damages or resistances.
    • Weapon skills being pumped up to +6 damage above what they currently give, either via a new 7th level that does +6 damage, or via boosts to the end of the tree such as +1 more at 4th level, +2 more at 5th level and +3 more at 6th level.
    The first and third point should be easy to implement, one being just a variable somewhere in the code and the other being minor tweaks to the xml. The second point on the list there may or may not be difficult for the devs, I don't know.

    End result would be:
    • Weapon skills remain relevant to the end of the game.
    • Dual-wield warrior types would continue to do about the same damage they already do, but only if they are using the correct weapon type(s).
    • Single-wield warriors don't trail as far behind dual-wield as is currently the case. They're still at a disadvantage, but the gap is narrowed a bit.
    • Wizards doing 10 to 15 less melee damage late-game than is currently possible, so their spells stay competitive.
    • Evil Chest weapons would still usually be better than those from other methods, but not by nearly as large a margin.
    • Whether or not the EC weapon matches your skill would now provoke strategic decisions, as well as provide additional character differentiation to keep the game from being as repetitive from build to build.
    • Crafting would better support a weapon skill, since it would allow you to get the correct weapon type. Thus crafting would look a little better as well. It would not magically solve crafting, but it would help. EDIT: Not sure this part helps as much as I was initially expecting it to. After all, miscellaneous artifacts are getting better at the same time as the evil chest weapons are getting worse, so the end result for crafting may be zero-sum.
    The one thing I'd strongly vote against is trying to fix this via tweaking the odds on chest spawn rates. RNGs are notorious, and whether that notoriety stems from some flaw in the code or (more likely) fallacious anecdotal observations by the human brain doesn't really matter. I've had Dwarven Express Posts with 3 ridiculously good items, but also Dwarven Express Posts with 3 named monsters. Those extreme results stand out, while the more moderate and expected results in between kinda blur and fade. No matter what you change the numbers too (provided the percentages remain non-zero), either extreme will remain a possibility, and will appear to occur more often than you'd expect.
    kino5, Essence, Lorrelian and 4 others like this.
  18. SkyMuffin

    SkyMuffin Member

    Oh, I don't know about that. Even for a good player you're still risking a very difficult monster that's likely 1-3 dungeon levels stronger than your current one. That's tons of damage that you may not be able to survive unless you are careful. And the XP is negligible...500 xp is nothing later on.
  19. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I think the idea of having each artifact source provide different stats is awesome, but I disagree with exactly where you put the stats. I love the flavor of the idea, but I worry about the ripples from the mechanical impact.

    Mainly it's Inconsequentia that concerns me. Personally, I complete every single Inconsequentia sidequest, but use at most maybe 1 lutefisk shrine every 5 floors. That ratio might change a little if Lutefisk Shrines gave better swag, but I can't imagine things ever changing so that Inconsequentia wasn't at least 50% of the artifact pay-out. Having Inconsequentia focus on resistances would probably make resists get too high, per the thread in the mod forum about how little resist it takes to nullify certain damage types entirely. It'd also be easy to end up with those two damage types she gives out becoming way too common and powerful.

    Moving the bulk of misc stat boosts to lutefisk shrines would make all those support stat boosts too rare, and would make non-rogues even less interested in Lutefisk. From a flavor point of view, I'd be more inclined to give the Righteous damage to the Lutefisk god, since that's what damage type his fishy servants do. Of course, if you make the fisk rewards too good, you encourage people to micromanage their assets for maximum cube output. Taking off your headgear to put on tinkerer's goggles so you can turn an ore into more ingots and the ingots into more bolts that you'll immediately fisk and never use except to get 3% closer to the goal that might randomly allow you to get a good item... well, that's just not fun.

    So while I think your idea sounds great, I expect it would take a little tweaking and some serious beta testing before we'd know if it were really an improvement.
    Lorrelian likes this.
  20. FaxCelestis

    FaxCelestis Will Mod for Digglebucks

    True, Inconsequentia is rather prolific. In that case, perhaps she doesn't have any weight at all (there's a joke in here somewhere, I'm sure of it), but has an even distribution globally.

    Also I think you overestimate what I mean by "weighting". Non-weighted stats can still appear, just slightly less frequently. Say a 60/40 weighted/unweighted split. This would mean that every source of artifacts could have, say, primary stat bonii, but lutefisk shrines would have more of them (in part due to their lower completed activation rates) in comparison to other artifact sources.
    Essence and Lorrelian like this.