Chests of Evil balance discussion

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

  1. Nicholas

    Nicholas Technology Director Staff Member

    I like this; let me run it by David in the morning.
    coldcandor, OmniNegro, Marak and 3 others like this.
  2. DavidB1111

    DavidB1111 Member

    That would work for me too.
    No need for an obscene two monsters popping out of the chest idea. :)

    I can't complain if CoE get nerfed at all. However, as a melee character, they don't really break or make the game. Unless I'm horribly unlucky throughout the game until I get a CoE on the 10th floor, they're mostly XP fodder except maybe one out of every 10.
    Keep in mind, when you're running maces, you only have a 1/3 chance of getting a mace weapon from the CoE.
    A large streak of bad luck makes them horrible.

    Perhaps the game could weight the weapon chance based on your weapon skill? And if you have no weapon skills, uh, it can be random.

    Also, if Uberchests focus on Primary stats, I don't know if that will be too good. What if I don't want an item with 3 :burliness: , 1 :caddishness:? But I want an item with :resist_righteous: and :resist_toxic: resists and :counter: bonuses?
    I'd rather not have Uberchests nerfed. They're already rare. And I don't think there's a way to increase their spawn rate.
    Unless I misunderstood the point of primary stats.
    I'd rather they be more all types as well, otherwise, I really don't see how useful the Burliness bonus would be compared to others.
  3. J-Factor

    J-Factor Member

    The term 'focus on' should probably be swapped with 'bonus'. It's the same system used for Chest of Evil weapons - they still get the normal random artifact stats but they also get bonus damage. There is no nerfing here. Except maybe for Smithing.

    I assigned primary stats to Uber Chests because they're the easiest artifacts to obtain. You're not inhibited by floating islands, traps or a chance of a boss monster - you just have to find a lever (bugs not withstanding). That said, I think primary stat bonuses/penalties should be increased across the board. Too many debuffs have laughable :nimbleness:-1 penalties and the heaviest (normal) armour has, what, :nimbleness:-4? That's :dodge:2 and not even a single :counter:1. Who needs rogue armour?

    I'd really like it if there were more mechanics that relied on primary stats (like :savvy: as spell cost). Particularly :stubborness: as it's especially lacking.
    coldcandor likes this.
  4. DavidB1111

    DavidB1111 Member

    Ah. Okay. Thank you for explaining what you meant.
    In that case, I do agree with you.

    I do think the bonuses/penalties for :nimbleness: should be increased.
    At least it will make people want to use parachute pants more than Serpentine Plate pants. :)
    Honestly, that 10 to dodge makes that the only item I wear when I find it for that slot. On my melee builds with Archaeology and Burglary and Perception, I end up with an amazing amount of Dodge by the time I find Imperial Boilerplate armor. Enough so that wearing that armor is basically turning me into a blocking/dodging tank of doom (TM)
    Also, Krong loves to enchant those pants with good stuff and not just a tiny 1 point bonus damage like he does on my Fedora.
  5. Marak

    Marak Member

    To repeat what J-Factor said, this assumption fails for 3 reasons:

    1) It fails because, once you've opened a couple of chests, you now know what's coming, so you always open them from a diagonal position to (hopefully) prevent the Evil Chest Monster from spawning right next to you.

    2) It fails still further once you've played the game several times and come to the realization that No Snare + No Teleport = Character that will almost certainly die, and you start planning you builds accordingly, being sure to always take something that gives you a Movement or Teleport Skill/Spell.

    3) It fails utterly when you combine points 1 and 2 with the knowledge that one of the best ways to survive in this game - especially on Going Rogue - is to never melee a Named Mob under any circumstances, meaning you stockpile a couple dozen reasonably powerful Bolts and Thrown weapons as soon as you can, and save them for Zoos and Named Mobs almost exclusively.

    At this point, you proceed to plink every Evil Chest Monster to death from ranged using your stockpiled weapons, mandatory movement/teleport skill, supplemented with Lockdown or Bolas for emergencies. It's actually quite rare that an Evil Chest Monster actually hits me - it only happens if the thing goes on a resist spree while I'm trying to root it or resists what should have been a killing blow when it's right next to me or something equally RNG-based. Evil Chests on the first few Floors can be a danger, yes, but once you have all the tools you need (see points 1-3), they no longer threaten you.

    As such, Evil Chests are not only a source of stupidly-powerful Weapons, but nice solid chunks of Named Monster bonus XP, as well. They only pose a threat to characters that are struggling anyway (read: characters with randomly rolled or expirimental builds which might lack a movement/teleport skill).

    I'll also second what others have said, that Inconsequentia and Lutefisk God rewards do not seem to be get noticeably better as you descend into the dungeon. I remember going to a Lutefisk Shrine on Floor 12 or 13 and tithing exactly 500 Lutefisk only to get an Artifact with about +8 in total stats. And I sold pretty much every Quest Reward because they never came close to what I was finding in the various Artifact-spawning rooms.
  6. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    How about making the monsters spawned from a CoE *Always* teleport directly to your side anytime you teleport or get more than two squares away? That would make them still mildly dangerous.

    I still think CoE should not be nerfed. They may be too potent, but the problem is not that they are too potent, it is that the risk is pitiful. Make some explode like a BoMD. Make some form a Tenacious Rift when opened. Make some appear only in special rooms that spawn entire rows of unliving walls and a AoE cloud that you simply cannot escape. (Until the walls die out from time.)

    Make CoE dangerous. Really, Really, Stupidly Dangerous.Then the problem of them being too potent disappears like the health of those who open them. :)
    Kazeto likes this.
  7. DavidB1111

    DavidB1111 Member

    That may be necessary on Going Rogue, but I can think of maybe 10 times total in 70 plus hours of playing this game on Elvish Easy that it happened that I needed to run away.
    Also, I play Exclusively melee. Bolts are saved for zoos and weakening Kleptoblobbies and corrupting monsters to prevent them from ruining my day.

    With Smithing, I've either been 100% lucky the last 35 games I played, or everyone else is unlucky, because I've gotten good weapons and manage to easily go toe to toe against Evil Chest monsters except for maybe the first few floors.
    After that, everything dies fairly decently quickly.

    Bolts are still useful for weakening enemies, and killing octos and their overpowered ranged attack.
    Omni, that would be irreparably bad. You would have to make the rewards justify it, and currently, not even a floor 15 evil chest would grant 1/30th the power that an item needs to make those difficulty additions you suggested worth it.

    The most damage I ever took from an enemy in this game was an Arch-Diggle. No Evil Chest monster has ever come close to the 40 something damage that guy hit me with.
  8. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Not to be a total ass, but that statement sound perfect for someone playing on EE. :)

    I expect the game to kill me every time I play. If I get the feeling it is not trying, I usually get careless and walk into traps that kill me. I play GR only. No PD, since I dislike not being able to retry an area if I died due to a stupid mistake rather than the game conspiring to slay me. But I honestly have not played two games of any difficulty other than GR. (I once played EE when I first got the game. Then I saw it was too much of a cakewalk.

    I have had CoE monsters hit me for 70+ damage in one single hit. No kidding at all. And I think they need to be harder, because that was a preventable mistake to let the monster get so close.
  9. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    That last sentence is a complete non-sequitur, Omni. If it's possible to prevent the monster from ever reaching you (it is), then it doesn't matter how much damage they deal, because they will never get the chance to deal damage unless you screw up (you will, but that's not the point.)

    Really, if CoE weapons are only one point above the norm for their floor, then the problem isn't that they're super-powerful, it's that 100% of their stats are damage bonuses. Letting CoE weapons have one big damage bonus but then allowing their other stat bonii be non-damage would probably go a long way toward mitigating the problem.
  10. Marak

    Marak Member

    This. Even on DM they can deal massive (elemental) damage, and while you can melee them if you have good gear/armor/procs, it's still not a good idea to (unless you're feeling lucky or are really low on bolts). On GR, it's pretty much suicide until the later Floors, in which case it gets more like DM always is: very risky but sometimes doable (say, if it's really low on health). In either case, the best way to kill them (and this is still unfortunately true for the game as a whole) is to get ranged and pelt them with bolts or spells until they die. While you can go toe-to-toe with them, the risks are such that it's a sub-optimal strategy.

    A good point. Keep the "higher item level", lose the "all points go to Elemental Damage" part of it. Weight it in favor of damage? Sure, makes sense. Guaranteeing that a Floor 10+ EC Weapon will have +50 in total damage mods on it? Broken.
  11. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Alright, let me rephrase and see if it becomes more clear.

    Despite being able to do 70+ damage in a single non-critical hit, (No, not a single turn, I mean one singular hit.) the monsters only hit me when I make a mistake. They need a teleport spell of some sort. They need ranged attacks of their own. or the CoE need to only spawn in a special room that locks you in and nukes the everloving *Expletive Deleted* out of you when you open the CoE.

    I think that monsters that are melee only, cannot in any way be good for a CoE negative. They should be a miniature deathtrap that can potentially be very rewarding.
  12. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Nicholas, could you please elaborate on what you mean when you say CoE artifacts are "one point better"?

    I would describe what's actually happening in the game as much more like "CoE artifacts are (2 x floor) points better" or "CoE artifacts are always at least twice as good".

    An artifact from Krong/Lutefisk/Inconsequentia on the 10th floor provides no more than maybe 5 points of stat boosts, plus the artifact quality rating of the base item, so 5+X points maximum.
    A CoE weapon from the same floor has those stats plus a ton of bonus damage, for a maximum power level of 20+5+X. That's pretty huge, especially since those extra 20 points are damages, which are guaranteed to be useful on a weapon, as opposed to the Krong/Fisk/Quest boosts that could be points of a primary stat that does nothing for your character build. In the late game, CoE items are practically an order of magnitude better than anything else.

    I'm scared to say this because you'll only make them nastier, but I'm pretty sure most people open nearly every single CoE. The monster inside rarely deters that behavior. There's plenty of ways (teleport, lockdown, etc) to slip loose from a single monster. Sure, you make certain your health is close to maximum and all your activated buffs are up before you flip the latch, but there's no way you're not going to open that thing (unless you're playing on PermaDeath and your build just isn't coming together like you'd hoped). If you're not on PermaDeath, then at worst you're trading some food, bolts, or mana for that shot at a spiffy new super-weapon.

    Are you asking how we currently value them, or what we'd like to see?

    Currently, I think the percieved power level is:

    CoE > Everthing Else (all of which are roughly the same)
    And the difference between those two tiers is huge.

    What I would prefer the power level to be is something more like:

    Zoo and Lutefisk rewards > Inconsequentia and CoE > Uberchest and Krong > Random artifact lying on the ground.
    With the difference between tiers being much smaller, but the average power level across the tiers a little higher. The order listed there is based on the amount of effort it takes to get the item.
    • Zoo is a big risk, a lot of work, and a major resource drain.
    • Getting 500 fisk requires a lot of work or a long duration.
    • Quests and CoE come with a variable amount of risk.
    • Krong also has some risk, but it's offset by 3 factors (you control what you're risking, if it does work the base item is never something that conflicts with your build, and with Archaeology you can totally abuse it for massive XP).
  13. Shwqa

    Shwqa Member

    I would love this to be implemented. Zoos rarely give me good stuff and Lutefisk is just just a pain to deal with.

  14. Right now COE for me are not a gamble, rare mobs don't even get to hit me now as I've adopted methods to dispatch them with complete infallibility.

    Open chest from an angle -> Run or Blink away -> Root/Bola -> Kite with Ranged items / spells or whatever.

    I mean I get that COE is supposed to be hardcore, but if you really want the unique monsters to be scary they need to have more ranged attacks cause they are pushovers right now (they hurt in melee but it's not the case that they get to melee everytime).
  15. Marak

    Marak Member

    Good points by Mr. Bergstrom. My 2 cents on the "order of preference" list goes like so...

    • Chest of Evil Weapons (for reasons stated throughout this thread - almost no risk, potentially game-breaking reward)
    • Inconsequentia (the quests are generally easy to do, even if the artifacts you get are a total crapshoot)
    • Monster Zoos (because I'm a completionist; the rewards seem hard-coded to be useless to your character. I cannot tell you how many times my dual-wielder has gotten a Zoo Shield or my Mage a piece of Zoo Heavy Armor with tons of negative :magic_power: and :mana_regen:...)
    • Krong (one bad Kronging can completely undo an infinite number of positive Krongings, so why bother?)
    • Lutefisk Shrines (spend 6 hours dicking with the Lutefisk cube to get an item equivalent to the Inconsequentia rewards you got four of this floor and spent a total of 5 minutes doing... yeah, no)
  16. DavidB1111

    DavidB1111 Member

    All this convinces me is that the game is horribly unbalanced on anything but Elvish Easy and people playing on the harder difficulties think that beating Nethack/Crawl/ADOM/Angband/IVAN/etc should be made as hard as Dungeons of Dredmor Going Rogue. :confused:

    70 damage on a hit from an evil chest monster?!? Game balance needs to be adjusted more than just making Chests of Evil weapons weaker.
    No, the enemy doesn't need to be made harder. Weaken the reward, not strengthen the monster.

    Again, I think it does need to be nerfed, you can get really powerful items from the chest, but do not increase the power of the monster, it will just make everyone hunt you down and give you a flail whipping. :)

    I fully accept it needs to be nerfed. But let's not make it more broken than a broken clock.
  17. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Marak, I'm a tiny bit unclear on what the ordering of your list actually means. Do you want that list to be weakest to strongest, or are you saying that it's a list of your current interest in them, or is it just your opinion on the power level they currently have? Do you think the things at the top need to be trimmed back, the things at the bottom need boosting, or something else entirely? There's a couple ways to interpret your post.
  18. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    I think it's his "current power level to difficulty of getting" listing, with the ones on the top being either more powerful or easier to obtain, and the ones on the bottom clearly not being wrong the amount of effort one has to spend on them.
  19. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    David, I Ascended in Slash'Em multiple times. Nethack is easy compared to Slash'Em. Slash'Em has soldiers, commandos, and other soldier types shooting rocket launchers at you. I had to edit them out to even stand a remote chance. And probably nine out of every ten characters I made that got far enough died to Demogorgon.

    This game is in no way hard. It kills you quickly, but it did not take me over a year to beat it the first time like vanilla Nethack. (Slash'Em was longer by far.)

    CoE are something that can be passed on. Do you attempt to disarm every trap in the lower levels? Hell no. You skip them because they would kill you dead as a bag of rocks. CoE should be similar. If for some odd reason you need a better weapon than what you have, it may be worth the terrible danger. Otherwise it should be a reminder that you are not invulnerable.
  20. Marak

    Marak Member

    Yeah, my bad. That's the order of relevance I give them. Evil Chests and Inconsequentia Quests are no-brainers and always get done; I clear zoos because my OCD makes me but the rewards aren't really worth the effort (and consumables), and I rarely if ever bother with Krong or Lutefisk (too much effort, too little reward, Krong excels at stacking up 2 good stats for you and then nerfing 5 stats you need to survive the next time you dare to click on an anvil).