[Skill] Barrier Maiden

Discussion in 'Mod Releases' started by Kaidelong, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    You ever wonder how female video game characters survive more than three seconds in their terribly impractical armor? This mod adds a new Wizard archetype skill that lets you find out those secrets, and apply them in Dungeons of Dredmor. It is helpful to males as well, along with people who like being in armor.

    Level 1: Your Basic Ward
    The bread and butter of a barrier maiden, these energy shields orbit you and provide some basic defense:
    • 2:resist_voltaic:
    • 2:resist_piercing:
    • 4:block:
    • 2:armor_asorb:
    Although tough, these do not last forever, and will eventually overload upon blocking a blow.

    Level 2: Ward Tosser
    This skill lets you fling one of your basic wards at an enemy to zap them. It does formidable damage for a low price at casting, but it will only do something if you have a basic ward up already, which this skill will consume. If you do not have a basic ward up when you cast it, the mana cost will be wasted. This attack deals (6 + 0.5:magic_power:):dam_voltaic:. If this seems too strong, remember that it is a missile spell, and can only be cast up to 5 times consecutively, afterward effectively having a 1 turn cooldown.

    Level 3: Major Ward
    This ward substantially helps your defenses. If you do not have a basic ward up when you cast it, the mana cost will be wasted. Its buffs are:
    • 10:block:
    • 10:magic_resist:
    • 2:armor_asorb:
    • 3:resist_voltaic::resist_aethereal::resist_transmutative:
    It's more stable than a basic ward, and thus will tend to last longer. You can detonate this ward by casting its summoning spell a second time.

    Level 4: Tattoos of Warding
    Your bare skin is far more defensive if only from the sheer numbers of tattoos on it, but probably more to do with these being magic tattoos. You gain 1:resist_slashing: , 1:resist_piercing:, 1:resist_acidic:. Sometimes, when attacked, your tattoos will conjure a basic ward for you, free of charge. They are magic tattoos after all.

    Level 5: Dredmor or Alive XTREME! Beach Volleyball Champ
    You've gotten good at hitting balls (and spells, given how you tend to conjure wards on your hands at a moment's notice) back toward their source, and have gotten a lovely tan in the bargain.
    • 1:burliness:
    • 1:nimbleness:
    • 8:reflection:
    • 1:resist_conflagratory::resist_righteous:
    Sometimes, when you block, you will have six turns where you return blows with crushing foot-based counters that scale off of your :magic_power:

    Level 6: Hula Ward
    You gain 2:nimbleness: from the workout that led up to perfecting this technique. It involved a lot of shaking of hips. To cast a hula ward, you need to sacrifice your major ward. If you do not have a major ward up when you cast it, the mana cost will be wasted. While up, it provides you with the following bonuses:
    • 20:block:
    • 20:magic_resist:
    • 3:armor_asorb:
    • 3:resist_voltaic::resist_hyperborean::resist_conflagratory:
    It is more stable than the Major Ward, and thus should last a tad longer. Cast the hula ward summoning spell a second time to detonate it!

    Level 7: Freestyle Offensive Warding
    You imbue your weapons with their own special kinds of wards, not especially protective or sentient but definitely extremely sharp. This makes your weapons keener and more resilient, and all in all you gain the following passive buffs:
    • 1:dam_voltaic::dmg_slashing:
    • 3:block:
    • 2:counter:
    Whenever you attack in melee, fragments of wards will pull at enemy flesh and temporarily expose their weak points so that you can hit the crab for massive damage, debuffing them with -3:resist_piercing: and -1:resist_voltaic:. This means you will gradually do more damage with repeated hits, especially on weapons that do some piercing damage.

    Level 8: Complexio
    When you're in a tight spot, you can absorb your Hula Ward to temporarily dump all your remaining mana into becoming a living embodiment of lightning for 11 turns. This is a complicated spell and I am too lazy to explain it here, but in addition to some AoE centered around you, you will recieve a massive buff to your evasiveness and voltaic damage, and regenerate mana at an accelerated pace.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013
  2. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Nice dirt-cheap mage armor. I like it. Combined with a few other mods, this neutralizes about a third of all incoming damage.

    It seems overpowered until you realize how many damage types are not even touched. Then you immediately see it is not. :)
  3. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    It takes a while to get powerful enough to keep all those barriers up, but once you do, all armor effected damage types are worthless against you. I like this very much.

    I find the stackable nature of the wards confusing however since they are brittle. I keep spamming the basic ward whenever it I am hit, but eventually I will run out of mana. Does the brittle effect take down all the barriers when you are hit six times, or just one? If all then this is more of a waste later in the game. (But still well worthwhile.)

    Early on this makes you all but invulnerable and immune to basic damages. Later I think six hits will often come in only a few turns, making this rather weak. Perhaps making Major Ward the capstone and allowing it to stack twice, as well as costing twice the mana upfront and 1 mana every other turn would balance the end game side of it.

    Either way, it is your mod to do with as you please. I like it nonetheless. :)
  4. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    Overlooking the obvious problem with this mod, that Dredmor's female protagonist wears Sensible Clothing +5 and doesn't really need this skill, this mod is pretty neat.

    For one thing, I like the fact that it turns your buffs into a secondary resource. The way the second skill uses up instances of the first is pretty slick. I also like the way Ward Toss eventually becomes "free" except for the cost of the actual Ward, and the way it scales to :armor_asorb: as a way to keep its damage under control. Keep in mind that suits of Serpentine Plate and Boilerplate are going to seriously skew these damage numbers, though. The third level skill that conjures a ward for you as a proc is doubly cool.

    My problems with this mod are threefold. First, your really neat theme of wards as a secondary resource falls apart after the third level skill. Major Wards and Ward Insertions don't care if they're there. If nothing else, I'd make eating Basic Wards part of both skills just to keep with the theme.

    Second, I hate buffs that are both hungry and brittle with a passion that would make even FF3/6's Kefka pale in comparison. They are just obnoxious. The fact that I have to monitor eight of them is even more so. I hesitate to take this skill for that reason alone. I would make them either hungry or brittle, but not both. Of the two, brittle is far weaker even though it would probably use less mana in the long run. Scratch that, maybe it wouldn't. It's hard to be sure. Brittle buffs get stripped off of you very, very quickly on the lower floors where persistent DoT fields are more common and the spell using enemies cast at a much higher rate. Anyway, I think it'd be better to just make them hungry buffs and possibly turn up the consumption rate and down the stacking. Maybe 6 layers at 1 mana every 12 turns?

    Third, this mod does things at some levels that don't make a whole lot of sense. Magic Reflection at Level 1? You really don't need it until the lower DLs, except for Octos and Potatoes nothing uses projectile magic until much later. (Also, if I'm in a bubble that reflects magic, how is my own magic getting out? Just food for thought there.) I'd swap the low lever Reflection for :resist_slashing:, so you've got all the physical damage types covered. Actually, I think having the Basic Ward being purely physical and the Major Ward protecting from a number of exotic damage types would make the most sense ( :dmg_aethereal:,:dmg_conflagratory:,:dmg_existential:,:dmg_transmutative: and :dmg_righteous: would all be suitable choices, although I wouldn't have all five along with :dam_voltaic:, that's probably too much). I think Ward Insertion would do better with lower damage numbers and a lower place on the totem pole. I'd love to see an ability or two that I could sink my Major Ward into as well.

    Finally, power level. It's high. Honestly, Major Ward should probably shed about 5 :counter: and :reflection:, Minor Wards should probably provide only 1 each :resist_piercing:,:resist_slashing:,:resist_blast:,:resist_crushing: and :armor_asorb:, plus maybe 3 :block:. And I'd double check whether mundane resistances stack with :armor_asorb:. Last I checked, they only applied to spell effects with mundane damages like traps, while :armor_asorb: applied to melee attacks. If the stack in any way, I'd just stick to the :armor_asorb:. Also, the whole tree needs a little more scaling to :magic_power:, otherwise this tree is going to be all a Gish ever needs. After all, if their :magic_power: is almost entirely unnecessary to the tree why both worrying about it? Make the attack abilities scale entirely off of :magic_power: (remember that Ward Insertion will get a :melee_power: boost from the attack that comes along with it anyway) and maybe add a Ward Detonation ability that strips your Major Ward and does some hijinks with the Stars Aligned spell template and I think you'll add enough incentive for :magic_power: to put things back in perspective.
  5. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Yes I haven't abandoned this mod and it's going to see some major changes. Some things specifically I'm going to address.
    At this point I'm actually concerned the mod is underpowered. Minor Ward was buffed a bit since first release so that it increased Block and Magic Reflect as well.

    Either I need to nerf the mod's mana use or buff its buffs. I'll go into some of my thoughts on this.

    I actually think major ward is too weak right now, but I may remove :counter: from it entirely and buff it entirely in other departments.

    What I am thinking of doing with Major Ward is removing the brittle entirely, but not allowing it to stack. Maybe raise mana upkeep as well. I've found playtesting my mod that it is hardly ever worth casting Major Ward and that I rarely did it.
    With ward toss, this was actually my intention entirely. I wanted people playing random builds to get some value out of this skill no matter what they rolled, even if they had 0:magic_power:. Having a good low mana attack is great but then you don't get any benefit from the minor wards. Ward Insertion though, as I intended, wasn't possible. I wanted it to scale with piercing damage, not melee power, so that spear and dagger type weapons are more useful. This is not yet possible to do in a mod. I'm disattisified with how Ward Insertion came out. Although it isn't weak, it's kind of disappointing. I've been considering the following options:

    Make damage from Ward Insertion scale with :reflection: rather than :melee_power: to synergize it better with the existing skills.
    Make Ward Insertion scale only with :magic_power:, but allow it to inflict fleshbore.

    I'm open to any other ideas. I'm rather dissatisfied with Ward Insertion.

    They're actually intended to be intelligent, floating sentinels. Like a defensive version of the cutlery elemental thing. Not a big bubble around your character. That said, I agree that some :resist_aethereal:, and :resist_conflagratory: might be welcome on major ward.

    The reason for the silly magic reflection buff is basically because potatoes are annoying yes. The real reason was because I was unhappy with 24 reflect instead of 25 reflect with 8 sentinels running. Same reason for the one block that comes up on the second tier.

    This really troubles me, Lorrealian brings up the same point. I can't fundamentally change this part of the mod without breaking my original design goals, but I have some ideas on how I can make this less tedious, depending on how Halo effects work. If multple halo effects can run at the same time I might be able to give you guys a way to check how many minor wards you have up. I might also raise the brittle on the minor ward a little.

    EDIT: I'd be surprised if a hit didn't take down one brittle from the whole stack. But maybe it doesn't. Someone test this?

    This is a good idea, actually. I will definitely be doing this for major ward. Ward Insertion needs to be completely rethought, period.

    Now for some teasers:

    New art for barrier maiden coming up:

    New mod I'm working on, Viking Medicine, an alchemy tree but warrior rather than wizard archetype:

    Also, I've found out we have a copy of COREL painter IX here, so I'm going to be switching to it now. These were still done on Krita but my art should improve now that I'll have access to better tooling.
  6. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Honestly, it seems like all of your problems would be solved if you just removed the brittle entirely and gave the class a playerHitEffectBuff of 15% or so that removebuffbyname'd one Minor Ward and one Major Ward.
    OmniaNigrum and Kaidelong like this.
  7. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    I did not think of this. That is a great idea.

    However this might be rather broken in conjunction with the tattoos. I will playtest this a bit.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  8. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Obviously that would require Major Wards to be stackable too. Otherwise in later levels you would have to cast it every other turn to keep it up.

    Why not have Minor Wards unbreakable but mana draining? And Major wards much more potent, but breakable in a way like Essence suggests? At 15% chance it would average six or more hits to knock it down. That is at least a few turns of intense combat if you do not get cornered.

    Having Minor Wards unbreakable fits with the theme, since what else is the Maiden wearing? :)

    Any way you make it, we will surely love it. Thank you.
  9. lccorp2

    lccorp2 Member

    A typo that turned secondarybuff into primarybuff when I was working out Witcher turned block values into slashing damage when I was writing up the skillDB. Would it be possible to find a primarybuff that corresponds to piercing damage, and secondaryscale off that?
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  10. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Seriously? I'll wager than that primarybuff 6 is crushing and 8 is blasting. Try it out!
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  11. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    I am loathe to make my mod depend on buggy behavior but I will do so FOR THE SAKE OF SCIENCE

    Incidentally, Major Ward has been heavily nerfed, and now stacks up to two.

    Rather than having a skill onhiteffectbuff, each instance of the buff delivers one that gives a chance of a ward detonating. I am hoping these stack, it would make the tattoos tend to leave you with a certain amount of wards up on average, regenerating them faster than they detonate when there are few of them, but slower than they detonate when there are lots of them.
    Wi§p and OmniNegro like this.
  12. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    lccorp2, just letting you know that this doesn't work. If you use a primaryScale of some invalid number, the game just scales against 100 rather than one of your primary stats. This does work on buffs though, <primarybuff id="9" amount="3" /> will give you some piercing damage, or at least make it appear that way in the skills screen. This interacts poorly with <damagebuff...> and the primarybuff is displayed instead of the damagebuff. It is possible that it simply displays the icon for the damage type, rather than actually adding it, too.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  13. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Hey, devs! If it's a simple enough change, being able to use this seemingly-legacy system to scale against primary damage types would be pretty fly. :)
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  14. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Version 1.0.0 released. Badly needs playtesting, haven't had time to do much of it myself. Anticipating bugs and certain there will be balance issues. Mainly I think Ward Push is probably rather OP.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  15. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Version 1.1.0 imminent released. Will post the new skill list shortly. Sorry for the rapid update, but doing some playtesting I quickly was able to find a fair share of problems. Changes:

    Added a new skill that provides some impressive (mostly physical) passives, especially its 15:reflection:, as a capstone. It's more just a joke than anything but it'd give players who want to invest heavily in this rather than others something nice to work with at the end.

    Wards now only overload when blocking, but have a much greater chance of doing so when blocking.

    Reordered the skills to make the skill more useful to other builds as one based on defensive buffs. Hula Ward is now the 5th tier skill, rather than the 6th. The last three skills are intended more for players who use this skill line exclusively.

    Buffed Ward Push, now it is a dangerous panic button that likely will kill you (minimum of 45:dam_voltaic: total self damage) if you do not have enough wards up for about 15:resist_voltaic: . It's mana cost is quite cheap for how powerful it is, but it takes down one of each of your wards when activated. This is probably quite abusable, especially in combination with a Wand of Tesla.

    Ward Toss now triggers an overload, causing self damage if you have no wards up. This was the original intention, but was changed for version 1. Major Ward and Hula Ward now also trigger appropriate overloads.

    I really would like to be able to restrict that the skills require the consumption of what they are meant to consume, to work, but that is not possible right now. The self damage isn't really a perfect solution to this.

    Version 1.1.1: Fixed Ward Toss.
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  16. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    OK, the DoA volleyball reference just made me snort turkey pot pie out my nose. +1 for that. :D
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  17. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Mind the double post. I just wanted to say, the new animatons for the wards are unbelievable. This has rapidly become one of my favorite skill mods (along with Chronomancy, Mana Mastery, and Runecaster) largely because it's clever and visually appealing (not because of the thongs, either.) Thanks!
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  18. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    The thongs are there to attract young and dumb newbies to the mod. :)

    I consider this an essential skill for all my characters. The very first skill level makes it possible to survive the first dungeon level.


    Well done. :)
  19. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I still have trouble figuring out how many of each ward I have at any given time. Have you any ideas about how to remedy this problem? At current I have to waste mana to see if my AC raises and just basically guess what ward dropped and needs recast. If mana were not so hard to keep up I would not care, but with all the wards at max, this is a hellish drain.

    It may be nice to have a single maximum ward that automatically negates all the others and provides the same defensive abilities of the rest combined without the offensive abilities. It should have no actual mana cost to maintain, but rather should recast itself at the same cost every turn. (Or something similar within the restrictions of the scripts.)
  20. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Are the halo effects not helping? I'd rather first make new ones if there is too much of an issue with it. Personally I tend to memorize the amount of block, rather than armor absorption, to tell when things are maxed.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.