Psionics horribly broken lategame

Discussion in 'Dungeons of Dredmor General' started by jzworkman, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. Marak

    Marak Member

    Or something. It's like Vampirism for Mages only three to four times as good and has absolutely zero drawbacks and doesn't rely on a certain stat for scaling.
  2. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    Ehh, Blood Magic helps, but only once your spells are already cheap. Alchemy's the big culprit in letting you get that far, since two starry orbs gives +12 magic power and +4 mana regen. That is going to make a major difference in your ability to spam spells.
  3. Marak

    Marak Member

    It's funny because in all my Mage builds I end up "dual-wielding" Orbs of Nothing, which you can't make with Alchemy - you have to find or buy them. That said, dual Starry Orbs (from Alchemy or otherwise) is fantastic until the Nothing Orbs start showing up. It's really a combination of things that go into making casters stupid-good as you near the character Level 12 mark: getting your Magic Power up (and thus, your spell costs down) via Caster gear; putting that first point in Mage Training for the (at the time) biiiiig Mana boost; putting that first point in Blood Magic for +1 Mana/kill and the Buff; and getting more betterer spells that do more damage as you level-up your Spell Schools.
  4. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    That's actually amazing that you find 2 Orbs of Nothing because it's very rare that I even see one when I'm playing a mage build.
  5. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    Yeah, Orbs of Nothing are sufficiently rare that I wouldn't predicate my builds on them. And anyway I'm trying to identify the point (generally sometime during dungeon levels 2 and 3, character levels 7-10 or so) where the mage's limiters are removed; that's way before Orbs of Nothing become a going concern.

    If we assume the mage has alchemy (and really there's no reason not to for a mage, since it's the quintessential mage crafting skill), then his skill allocations are probably going to look something like this: levels 2-5 go towards getting useful skills for killing things, then three points get dumped into Alchemy for access to Starry Orbs, then all bets are off. Starry Orbs require Pyrite Suns (easy to eventually acquire given gem transmutation) Cracked Orbs (generally not a problem), and Potions of Clear Sight, which in turn require aquamarines (again, easy if tedious), aqua vitae (trivial), and powdered aluminum (trivial). Which basically means that sometime fairly shortly after hitting level 5-8 our mage is tooling around with 20 more mana, 12 more magic power, and 4 more mana regen than he "should" have.

    Take a look at the costs of common killing spells (MP = Magic Power):
    Shove: 5 - .2MP
    Pyrokinesis: 12 - .35MP
    Arctic Vortex: 12 - .2MP
    Rune of Exploding: 16 - .15MP
    Obvious Fireball: 18 - .15MP
    Recursive Curse: 40 - .55MP

    If we assumed that the mage had 0 magic power before getting his orbs (ludicrous), then his costs have improved by 48% for Shove, 35% for Pyrokinesis, 20% for Vortex, 11% for Rune, 10% for Fireball, and 16.5% for Recursive Curse. The more magic power he had before getting the orbs, the more extreme these improvements are, up until the minimum cost is hit, of course. For example, going from 12 power to 24 power reduces Shove from 2.6 to 1, an improvement of 61%; Vortex goes from 9.6 to 7.2 for an improvement of 25%. (Of course, costs get truncated to the next-lowest integer, so this isn't strictly accurate, but oh well)

    And if he had no inherent regen (1 point per 7 turns) before, he just more than doubled his inherent regen rate to 1 in every 3 turns.
  6. Marak

    Marak Member

    I must just have good luck with them then; I've gotten 2 Orbs of Nothing on at least 3 of my beat-Dredmor Mages. I didn't think they were all that rare, but random generation is random. My favorite was roflstomping a high-level Monster Zoo and getting an Artifact Orb of Nothing from it; I doubt I'll ever get that lucky again.

    Personally, wielding 2 shields is another balance thing that might need to be looked at. As quirky as dual-shield Unarmed and dual-Orb Mage builds are, they obviously present us with the ability to achieve some borderline-overpowered stat stacking, be it massive Absorb from Shields in the Unarmed build or massive Magic Power/Regen from Orbs in a Mage build.
  7. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    Regarding dual-wielded shields, perhaps you should need to take Shield Bearer to dual-wield shields skillfully? Otherwise you'd get a "bad shield" debuff or something similar. Unarmed characters wouldn't mind so much, but mages would have a tougher choice to make.

    Or you could tie it to the Dual Wielding skill; again, unarmed characters aren't going to mind getting access to improved counter and Offensive Maneuvering, but mages wouldn't really care.

    I do think that unarmed characters need the second shield. Otherwise you're basically saying "Going unarmed means giving up an equipment slot", which is excessively cruel.
  8. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I think that getting a second shield is a decent trade-off for going unarmed, considering the poor damage as compared with weapon builds. I don't believe there's any reason to further penalize an unarmed player.
  9. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    You can still die if you have terrible luck of course like running into a zoo or bad positioning after opening a door without a method of escape. But I find the odds are very low past DL 2 or 3. Because you amass enough resources like potions of invisibility/hoglanterns to handle the odd emergency by then. Or you have a pet that is still golden at DL 3. Or you have time to delve into other skills you have like artly dodger/fungal/alch/burglary or if it's mathemagics just spam the random blink. So as long as you have math/viking/psionics and also have one of the following dodger/fungal/alch/burglary/pyro/golem/burglary you should be able to win no prob.

    I say math/viking as they have the most efficient ways of killing enemies so if you did a random roll you'd end up being a viable caster regardless of other skills quickly. Psionics not so much, but if you roll psionics you can just go dual wield + psionics regardless. Once your character develops its easy mode regardless of other skills.

    Yeah I'd agree DL 3 is the make or break point where afterward you run away to victory. But really, how often have you died on DL 3? Even though that's hard I bet as long as you have one of those skills you could still make it past DL 3 with a 90% win rate as long as you survived DL 1.

    Now of course you can get sloppy and lose with anything. But given perfect play I think victory is assured as long as you have those skills.

    I think viking might have THE best damage spell. You get it early on and it gets cheap fast and scales better than anything outside of recursive. But recursive won't help you until late game and late game a mage with decent spell power is going to have an easy go already. But I'd rather roll math because even the random blink wins games. Enemies can't attack you the turn you blink, so as long as you have a little mana you shouldn't ever get trapped even if you have terrible luck.
  10. jzworkman

    jzworkman Member

    However, viking doesnt have the permanent lockdown ability of shove for 1 mana. The lockdown aspect of shove(where the enemy doesnt get to attack even if they resist the push) allows you to spam shove infinitely once you have it down to 1 mana and mana regen of 1/turn(which with starry orbs or orb of nothing is a breeze)
  11. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    Shove should probably be changed to cost more mana so that it can't be spammed so easily, and/or it should have no effect if its resisted. That combination is what makes it so OP.

    One thing I believe, in general, is that the signature ability of any skill should be at it's last level. If you do have an ability that is awesome compared to the rest of a skill set, then it should be obtainable only at the highest skill level.
  12. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    Actually, IMO shove should simply not deal any damage. Or it should only affect a single tile. Either of those would make it more balanced.

    And yeah, I could support moving Shove deeper into the skilltree. Narcosomatic -> Crystal -> Pyro -> Shove -> Unconditional Love?

    Crystal Healing should also probably be reduced to 3HP/crystal, or made more expensive mana-wise.
  13. Vykk Draygo

    Vykk Draygo Member

    I think taking the damage off would fix it. You could still spam it to get MOBs off of you, but at least you'd be locking out your own damage as well.

    Do you think crystal healing is too good as is? I've only used it once, and it wasn't that impressive. It's good, but it doesn't break the game, or trivialize other skills.
  14. kuhchung

    kuhchung Member

    From a "common sense" standpoint, the sequence of skills seems right. Force pushing something seems easier than setting it on fire with your mind, and charming a mob would definitely be the most difficult.

    I'm sure people will complain about shove being overpowered even if you take the damage off it, because you could instead do something like throw up a rift or some runes of exploding or vortex/whatever and shove endlessly. But whatever.

    Yes this post was extremely unhelpful.
  15. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    It's probably just a bug that a resisted shove still prevents an attack. Just like teleporting into doors or mobs not attacking you the turn you teleport.

    I think shove as it stands is a bug issue not a balance issue.
  16. Stoz

    Stoz Member

    My suggestion would actually be that shove affects you as well as the monsters, either in damage or pushing yourself around (or both) so that when you get surrounded by monsters you can't just shove "yourself" and hit everything around you. You would either need to pick a side to shove or hit yourself and take some damage.
  17. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    Whether it is a bug or not, balance is certainly an issue. You remind me of an old English teacher who argued with me that "Animal Farm is an allegory, it's not fantasy. That had me wondering what kind of a farm she grew up on...
  18. J-Factor

    J-Factor Member

    I don't think it's a bug. I vaguely remember the XML for the 'shove' spell being changed at some point to add a 1 turn 'paralyze' effect.
  19. Derakon

    Derakon Member

    That wouldn't really help because in most situations you have no need to cast Shove on yourself anyway. The only time this could matter is if you have two enemies next to you, which doesn't happen all that often.