Making the werediggle the true terror of the night.

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Vitellozzo, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    Ok, I wanted to remain in the Essence's thread of bitching about the skills, but I also want to enjoy again the werediggle skill tree like I enjoyed in my first runs, where every character could never see the 5th floor.
    So I'm creating this thread (I hope Essence doesn't think I want to steal the scene :p ) to collect my, and your, thoughts about this skill tree, and how to try rebalancing it.
    It will not be a fast made mod, since I have to understand better how things could be balanced for the vanilla game, but I don't think I should have many difficulties in coding things (aside from really weird effects).

    Well, for the first post I'll try to quote every discussion about this topic made in the past from every user, to help in the discussion and see how many do like the possible changes - I also hope every single quote can notify its owner about this topic.
    Starting from Mr. Strange, the first user I've saw complaining about werediggle; it summarize the problem here: the werediggle is very cool of his own, but on late game a werediggle build lose against every single other build, in terms of utility.
    And, in response
    This is something Essence made, and I can tell that it works. Werediggle form becomes a sort of life saver. He didn't made the polymorph to heal you completely, since it would be a broken ability by then, but it heals you something that means really something.
    With this, I can summarize my view. There are skills which synergies very well with werediggle form, after all.
    So, we've discussed about giving werediggle more fire power. I do not agree to much with this point of view, since the fact that werediggle erase your levels isn't a full time lose: you still can summon fire wyrmlings, dark rifts and stances, but not in werediggle form. And that's ok, since it's the point of the whole skill tree. So, here's one of my suggestions
    I'm starting to like this idea more and more.

    That's all for now, since I just lurked again the Come Bitch About Skills! [Skills Rebalance Brainstorming], that contains the latest suggestion for tweaking the werediggle.

    What I have in mind is to mantain the actual power of werediggle (maybe just boost it a little), and instead focusing about giving it more utility, or to adjust it's actual utilities: the best invisibility in the game (the only one which doesn't debuff you upon use), the creation of diggle eggs, useful for healing every not-vegan character, the wall dig, shared only by golemancy (using :mana: instead of :cooldown:), debuffs and general strengthening of the character.
    I have some suggestion for it, but I just want to start hearing your opinions (Shreeper in first).
    To start, you can see how I've changed the Diggle Plague into something more useful (and similar to it's flavour) here.
    OmniaNigrum, Mr_Strange and Essence like this.
  2. Shreeper

    Shreeper Member

    Wall of text incomming:

    First of all we need to figure out whether people think of Werediggle as a warrior skill that somehow got the rogue class or if they consider it a rogue skill, otherwise we'd end up with a clusterfuck of a skillfix that attempts to do too many things at once. Secondly we need to figure out how to make it appealing and I'm not talking about increasing it's power here, I'm talking about making it more fun and useful for the player. Finally we should consider what kind of builds it's going to be used for and try to either keep it synergitic with the skills that it DOES work with aswell as encouraging players to use it with skills that it SHOULD work with while still making it useful for standalone purposes so that it won't be a reroll if you get it with a random build.

    I agree 100% on that the strength of the Werediggle is to be found in it's powerful utillity skills, it's a rogue skill after all and they're easilly the main appeal of the tree as of now. Both "The Mighty Augur" and "It Comes Out of Where?!", for example, are among some of the best skills in the game in terms of raw power and flexibillity, ESPECIALLY "It Comes Out of Where?!". Item spawning at will is just bonkers. One of the big problems with the skill however is that while it does provide insane utillity it also comes with a melee focus in terms of it's stat boosts and both "Diggle Plague" and "Arch-Diggle Smash" and neither theme goes that well with the other without external support, which the Werediggle can't have by default.

    I'd suggest keeping the stat boosts and either change "Diggle Plague" and "Arch-Diggle Smash" completely so that they become utillity skills rather than having their current melee focus OR turning the skill into a warrior class tree and put more emphasis on the melee aspect of the skill but as mentioned the true strength of the Werediggle lies in it's utillity so the fomer may be the perferable solution.

    As for making it more fun and appealing without going nuts with the numbers I don't really have any suggestions right now has I haven't had any time to think about it. But as a rule of thumb for game design less is always more so when you're in a situation where you're unsure whether to add a point to a skill I recommend stopping with what you're doing, have a cup of tea and ask yourself if there isn't a better and more constructive way to accomplish what you were doing rather than just spiking up the numbers. Always remember that numbers arn't fun.

    Another thing to keep in mind is, as mentioned before, is synergy. Right now Werediggles have amazing synergy with Alchemy for instance as they can cram out Diggle Nog's and Noxious Brimstone Flasks like nobodies bussiness using those wonderful eggs, same goes for Dual Wielding, Assassination, Fungal Arts, Bezerker Rage and Throwing to a lesser extent. Simply because they rely on procs/passives more than anything else. You have the opputunity to shift the common Werediggle build away from procs and into, say, the realm of thematically matching skills like Vampirism, Killer Vegan and Big Game Hunter, if you so choose.

    I'm not sure if I agree with the idea of making the Werediggle into a spell, effectively removing it's cooldown, as we've already got a solution to the cooldown issue in the form of Diggle Nog and removing the cooldown would effectively remove the Nogs (unintended) purpose. Besides I've never experienced the cooldown as a major downside myself as you can always either go commando, eat a Hog Lantern or use a teleport to get away when the buff expires. The cooldown is actually, believe it or not, one of the "fun" aspects of the skill and was intentionally designed to be that; long enough to pose a threat but short enough to avoid being annoying.

    Loved the Diggle Plague fix by the way, was nice to actually be able to use it for anything other than making Sickly Diggles sicker.

    TL;DR: Make it more fun to use, boost the power a tad but don't rely on powercreeping and keep the main game in mind. Common game design rules, yada yada yada.
    OmniaNigrum, mining and Vitellozzo like this.
  3. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    I'm not sure what in my text told you that I disliked the cooldown on werediggle. ^^

    Anyway it's true we need to focus on his role, but I think the main idea of GoG guys is to have a skill both for melee and for utility. More discussion is needed at this time.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  4. Mr_Strange

    Mr_Strange Member

    To be effective, Werediggle MUST draw utility from your other skills. Simply making Werediggle strong enough to beat the game all on its own isn't a good solution (obvously) so I think we need to find an approach where your other skills matter.

    Since we can't assume that all skill trees have proc effects, and we don't want to do anything ridiculous like adding new WD-specific abilities to each tree, I think the cleanest solution is to let the power of diggle form grow with your stats. Your stats are a direct reflection of your level, and your skill selection, so if we can somehow augment the basic stats you've earned from your levels, that would help keep Werediggle relevant throughout the game.

    Here's a suggestion - when you transform into Werediggle grant a +10% bonus to :burliness:,:caddishness:,:nimbleness:,:stubborness:. Increase that bonus every few levels of Werediggle - so by the capstone you have a +50% bonus.

    Now this means your Werediggle form is still fairly weak when your character level is only 10 or so - but by the time you hit CL 20 or 30, those bonuses start to become really impressive. A dedicated warrior might have 20 Warrior levels by then, which means 40:burliness:. A 50% bonus to that would be nearly 7:melee_power:. That's a substantial boost, but not ridiculous. This allows werediggles to focus on dodge, counter, or block, and have Werediggle form help them.

    As a bonus, this sort of approach could also be used to make Demon Form something positive! (An absurd idea, obviously)
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  5. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    I'm afraid to say that this is impossible, percentuale bonuses are not codeable. One can add 1, 20 or 500 to stats, but not x% of them.
    Someone could correct me, but this is what I learned here.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  6. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    This is true. Scaling buffs are one of the very first things I ever asked the devs to code, but the response was basically "That's such a giant cluster**** that it's probably never going to happen." So, yes.

    As to the warrior/rogue skill, the question shouldn't be whether or not the skill offers utilities or not -- Communism offers utilities, but it's a Warrior skill. The question is whether or not being a Werediggle is benefited more by Burliness or Nimbleness. IMHO, Burliness wins and Werediggle really ought to be a Warrior skill.
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  7. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    Perhaps, and this is just me spitballing here, but perhaps we could simply make one level from every skill line relevant when polymorphed? For example, give Piracy's Mists of the Corsair ability "polymorph = 1" (or whatever the appropriate tag is) so that Werediggles can augment their mad Commando abilities with the Mists. Likewise, let them use Ragnar's Meteor or cast the Knit Flesh spell. Ideally, these abilities would come from the middle of their trees, so the Werediggle player still has to invest some in other skills, but isn't left entirely blowing in the wind when he transforms.
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  8. Nacho

    Nacho Member

    That sounds horribly unflavorful Lorrelain. If you can find some abilities that actually make sense when used by Werediggles, that's one thing, but I don't like giving them random spells and abilities. For instance, I could see them using Quake or Basalt Skin or Animal Friend or a few others.
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  9. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Yeah, I think the idea of 'balancing' Werediggle by giving them a bunch of random one-off abilities from other skills trees is a horrible awful wrong evil bad pedobear very bad idea. For one thing, it makes mod skills disagree with Werediggle more than core skills do, which is dumb. Werediggle needs to be balanced on it's own merits, end of story.
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  10. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    This was one of my first ideas about balancing werediggle, but as Nacho and Essence share my full point of view. Expecially Nacho, saying
    For what I've thinked for now, it seems that Animal Friend, Release the Hounds and Monster Toss could be some of thematically-friends of werediggle.
    But, anyway, Essence takes the full right.
    So, we should just think how much fighter and how much other thing werediggle is, in terms of level distribuction.
    Like, for example, a really powerful thrust when invisible (and give him a little less Going Commando :cooldown: just to give it some utility aside from "one invisibility per polymorph"); effects upon eating food (because primeval forces always have deep hunger, and it could be useful with the eggs It lays) like stat boosts (it is possible to give procs upon eating specific food?); maybe worst random effects for those already with the diggle plague debuff (although, as far as I recall, checking for specific buffs on enemies is impossible now) or maybe more debuffing effects in various blank spaces.
    We could even half the cooldown of The Mighty Auger to 1, so it could dig, walk, dig, walk, dig, run. You know, those wild diggles have that full time floor-drill, so it should be fair to give the player a similar way of getting out, or into, trouble.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  11. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    I'll admit it's not a very elegant solution, but I honestly can't think of any way, outside of buffs that scale to player level, to make Werediggle better able to function in DoD. After all, the surviving game is about synergy (name one skill you love to use to win and then ask yourself how many other skills you think of along with it, I'll bet it's at least two) and the polymorph mechanic actively fights against synergy. There are other points I could bring up, but the reaction to idea one was negative enough that I should probably just leave well enough alone.
    On the other hand, we could think of Werediggle as just relevant in the early and middle game. Most people claim late game is dominated by equipment and I can't say that, outside of a wizard build which is probably never going to take Werediggle, I really disagree with that assessment. So, if we just want Werediggle to carry through DL 8 or so, perhaps we could do something else.
    What if each level of Werediggle came with a second, human-form skill that let you transform into a new diggle form? IE, level 2 gives you the sickly diggle form, later you get the diggle chef form, the Arch diggle form and the muscle diggle form.
    This would require a lot of coding, but it we could use it to give the player situational choices (Sickly diggles deal more toxic damage but are vulnerable to asphyxiation, 'cause they don't breath so well, Arch diggles are powerful but weak to something common like crushing damage, ect) and it would allow the player to spend more time in Werediggle form (not a power boost, IMO, as polymorphing is not always the optimal choice.)
    New diggle forms should be comparably more powerful than the normal one, and have a corospondingly large cooldown (ranging from say 50 turns for Sickly Diggle to 200+ turns for Muscle diggle) forcing care in their use, and they should come with some sort of noticable drawback, like a vulnerability of 5 or more to one damage type, -25 block or magic resist, ect.
    Again, consider this to be strictly thinking in type.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  12. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    This is what changes to you where in werediggle:
    Abilities retained from other skills
    Stat bonuses from weapons skills (and only weapon skills!), including doubling the bonuses for dual wielding.
    Any passively activated ability (such as weapon procs, vending machine looter, and blood mana).
    Any spells you have already cast will remain in effect (great for mana draining self-buffs).
    Abilities lost from other skills
    Bonus damage from weapon skills.
    Stat bonuses (and penalties) from non-weapons skills.
    Any activated ability from other skills.
    So weapon skills works enough well in synergy with werediggle (the only thing you lose is raw damage, so maces are the worst synergy skill for this reason); plus, counting Essence changes to weapons, those skills are 90% werediggle compatible. Procs works well too, so things like armor mastery, berserker and assassination can work with it too.
    And some of the gish trees also have buffs which can futher enhance werediggle form.
    So, like other skills, it has some synergyes and some other skills useless to it (like, lemme say, Magic Training for a 6:1 warrior/wizard); and for this, I don't think there is the need to change other skill trees, but making the tree more interesting.
    Your idea of multiple transformations seems too drastic, and after all the whole werediggle tree seems to be taking different skills from different diggles, like the champion of every diggle; more forms will only confuse the whole thing. But maybe we can take something from that: what about only a second, more powerful form for the capstone (aside with the current bonuses), with maybe different - and better - effects for existing skills?
    We could balance it giving this buff less duration, and the prerequisite to cast this is to stay in werediggle form (canceling the standard werediggle form).
    In this case we can power up different level skills without changing the whole power of the skill tree - until the cap is touched. And after that there is the duration of the form to balance a little more.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  13. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    I wasn't aware that weapon bonuses now carried through to Werediggle. Have those trees simply been made polymorph compatable? If so, why not just make all trees with large passive bonsues polymorph compatable? Why only love for the weapon skills? If not, why can't we carry passive bonuses from all trees into Werediggle? It would make more sense for the polymorph mechaic as a whole.

    Procs are extremely powerful, and corospondingly rare. I get that you can carry them over into polymorphed forms but that alone isn't enough to cut it 2/3rds of the time. Hungry spells are nice, but you're still loosing access to 2/3rds to 5/6ths of a spell tree when polymorphed, and that really hurts.

    I thought about just having an upgraded diggle form for the capstone, but that doesn't really appeal to me as much as multiple forms. After all, the appeal of stances is they give you situational utility. Different forms does the same. It gives the sense that the character is learning from diggles as he defeats them, which makes more sense than the player being the champion form of a creature he routinely massacres...

    In short, I get that giving Werediggle multiple transformations is drastic, but I feel that the tree needs drastic help if we want ot to be a combat tree. On the other hand, I've found I increasingly like to take it as a utility tree, to give me strategic, non-combat options to recover HP and get around obstacles. In all, if left alone it might come to fill a nitch role as an actual rogue skill, which you use more to be sneaky, dig or heal outside of combat rather than an engine of destruction. It could make for an interesting subversion of the usual lycanthropy trope - in the wereform you're versatile but weak and in the human form you're dangerous!
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  14. Nacho

    Nacho Member

    Maybe toss in a 7th level with an AoE attack to make it easier to deal with large swarms of enemies at once before your transformation runs out. That and turning "It Comes Out Of Where?!" into a missile attack would go a long ways towards making this a usable skill set and replacing the utilities it restricts access to.
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  15. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    My idea, in fact, was to maximize this stance-like effect: you choose what do you want to do, and for each form there are different "spell" effects, like the egg tossing ability Nacho and others pointed me, or my already presented "backstab-from-invisibility" spell. It isn't necessarily a better form, since those effects are different, but it could give the werediggle more flexibility.
    But for, like, 4-5 different forms I really cannot think, alone, to different spell effects; aside, there are skills incompatible with each form if you choose it, like the werediggle plague (that doesn't take sense into a archdiggle only form) or the archdiggle smash (which, instead, doesn't match the sick diggle form).
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  16. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Actually, I was pondering Lorellian's idea of having the Werediggle be designed to carry a build that was otherwise a nonstarter down to DLX, and it occurred to me that with it's current 30% player HP heal on transform (as per the Electric Bungalow), in lower levels you could actually kind of use the fact that you were in werediggle form as a cost for having some useful one-time effect occur when you transformed.

    A percentage heal is absolutely one of those things. The ability to become invisible and thus escape is absolutely one of those things. If we gave Werediggle Form a few other items that were on a cooldown long enough that they became 1- or 2-per-transformation items, Werediggle could in fact keep it's Rogue skill nature because it would, in fact, be something more like Burglary with a few extra interesting utilities tacked on. In short, making Werediggle a badass combat form for DLs 1-3 or -4, and then knowing that it's going to drop off, turn levels 3- or 4-8 into sweet Roguey utility stuff.
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  17. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    I think that's something GoG guys wanted, but failed making of because they underestimated the needs of such an ability.
    Any thoughts about making more polymorphs for the tree?
    Also, I want to say that I'll consider in the rebalance the Essence weapon skills, as already stated. Keep in mind that those changes gives at least 2 stances for each weapon skill, so I want to try a different, although similar in some ways, approach to this rebalance.
    It could be useful to gain lot's of data from different users, since as long we are in 4 this will become more a personal mod, instead of a retweak.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  18. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    Points well taken, but since the mustard diggle (or the 'normal diggle' if you prefer) doesn't have those abilities I'm not sure its that big a stretch. Still different strokes for different folks.
    This is what I was talking about in the last paragraph of my last post. I was thinking about this and I was wondering if maybe level two could give you the ability to decurse yourself of all debuffs, but leaves you with the Diggle Flu. That would replace the current ability, which I, personally, have rarely used and never found that useful. Then you could maybe switch it with It Comes Out Of Where? which is, in turn, transformed into the projectile version mentioned by others (if that's possible, although I don't know why it wouldn't be.)
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  19. Vitellozzo

    Vitellozzo Member

    Yeah, the core diggle plague isn't really useful, since it's a castable spell. And uhm, this could work: you clean yourself from every disease, that becomes instead the diggle plague (a terrible disease that is constantly incubating within the body of the diggle).
    After that, the plague can propagate as always, by being hit or by hitting the afflicted werediggle. This could somehow work.
    And it should be simple to create a ranged version of the egg, but I don't know if it should be so early in the tree.
    Deep omelettes are powerful, you know. But maybe not SO powerful.
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  20. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    I'm not sure a diggle egg every 50 turns or so is that big a deal. You find them all over the place on the first 3 levels or so, and if you're rushing Werediggle you have the skill either way by the middle of DL 2. Moving the skill up gives you maybe 10 - 15 more diggle eggs than you'd otherwise get, not a huge swing IMO.
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