[Skill] Barrier Maiden

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

  1. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Okay well it's moot now anyway because I've decided against making Barrier Maiden at all modal. It was just taking too long to decide and balance on Cosmic and Chaotic versions of all the spells. Here are my plans as they are now:

    • Minor Wards will overload only 1/4 as frequently.
    • Ward Toss will be unchanged.
    • Resistances granted by major and grand wards will be reduced to 3.
    • The grand ward will provide only 20:block: and will provide 20:magic_resist:. It will no longer provide any regeneration bonuses.
    • Major ward will provide 10:block: and 10:magic_resist: and will no longer provide any :reflection:.
    • Damaging ward overloads will be removed altogether. They will be purely visual.
    • Jovian Complex will wipe out 100% of mana when cast (PS: should it purify, too?). There will be no lasting debuff from casting it.
    • Ward Insertion will have a 100% proc rate, permanently debuff enemies with -2:resist_piercing:, and inflict (0.05:magic_power:):dam_voltaic:. It still won't consume wards.
    • Extreme Volleyball will grant an on-block proc, Spiked!, that deals (0.6:nimbleness:):dmg_crushing:+(0.1:nimbleness:):dmg_piercing:. In The Zone will be unchanged. Passives other than the two resists will be changed to 16:reflection:, 5:counter:, 7:dodge:. For each ward you have up, Spiked! will have some chance of replenishing your mana slightly.
    • PS, forgot this one. Order of Extreme Volleyball and Jovian Complex will be switched.
    Any complaints or concerned?

    The main reason for deciding for such a drastic simplification is a combination of feedback from you guys, wanting to get back to the basics of this as a support spell, and realizing that I should move on to other projects and that this has already become one of the more sophisticated skill mods available and I shouldn't lightly take on tripling the size of its XML files (indeed, as things are I'm likely going to end up with a much shorter spellDB than I had in development).
    OmniNegro likes this.
  2. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    I've edited the front post and attached version 2.3.2 to it now. If all goes well, this will be the version that goes on steam workshop. I've given it a fair bit of playtesting already and I'm rather happy with the first 5 skills at least, haven't gotten much time to play with the last two and they may well be bugged.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  3. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Finally paid attention to the forum thread and bought it up to date with the steam workshop version. Also edited the starting post to reflect the changes.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  4. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I must say that not making you permanently magic crippled makes it worth using Complexio. Thank you for updating it further. It is one of my favorite skills by far. :)
  5. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    So I'm currently playing a Barrier Maiden - Druid - Leywalker - (insert 4 other skills that don't really matter, and three of them aren't even wizard skills). I'm pretty much unstoppable, and I think it's largely the result of the first level of Barrier Maiden. I've literally never put another point into Barrier Maiden, and I'm stomping all over the ice floor with pretty much no need for food.

    Mind you, my damage is all coming from Druid's endcap and it may well be over-the-top as well, but I'm having no trouble sustaining 20+ at all times despite being on NTTG and having no luck with item spawns. All sorts of monsters that normally wreck squishy wizards just can't touch me. I just stand there and hit them with my evil-chest findings. I've actually set my autoloot to not pick up food anymore, because I almost never get hit. I really think that first level is too darned good.

    It's possible it's not too good if you're playing a slightly less in-your-face wizard, or if you're actually using your mana for other things, but I just run two spells and I'm untouchable. That's a sign that something may be broken.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  6. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Basic Wards shouldn't be that useful on level 7, a full stack of them wouldn't tank the damage from a snow baal and with the hyperborean mines everywhere you still have a lot of other problems on your hands. I'm thinking this might be the result of other synergies and nice finds rather than from the skill itself. Could you give me some more details?

    Like for example, with druid you get buffs to your mana regen and on top of that damage that scales to mana regen. With enough mana regen, this is intended to make you roughly similar in function as a heavily armored warrior (ie, not squishy). Making barrier maiden useful even if you never put a point in it but put all your points in other things was actually a design goal right from the beginning. I'm thinking that you might simply be observing the skill working as intended?

    I'm about to nerf volleyball anyway so if there is something to do to the basic ward it can come in the same update.

    I would sooner increase the block overload chance than nerf the :armor_asorb:, but taking the :armor_asorb: down to 2 might be on the books if 15:armor_asorb: when you have 7:mana_regen: to power it with is really too strong.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  7. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    To be clear, it's not that it suddenly got good on floor 7. It's that I've been sustaining 24 :armor_asorb: since floor 1. It only takes 27 :armor_asorb: to get on the "Meta" page of Dredmorpedia. As I go deeper, i will find better armor. I'm tanking as good as a heavy-armor warrior, but I'm 4 parts wizard, 3 parts rogue. And that's all from your first level plus some leywalker to back it up.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  8. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    I'm not sure how to nerf this without kind of defying the spirit of the skill. Perhaps 6 wards that give 12:armor_asorb: when fully stacked?

    Is this Going Rogue? I've found that :mana_regen: cannot be balanced accross different difficulty levels due to its mechanics. So ley walker is far more powerful on Dwarvish and Elvish than on GR.

    I am concerned and interested in sorting this out but I have no idea exactly what kind of fix I'm going to need to push.

    Another concern I have on the back of my mind is that Realm of the Diggle Gods may make :armor_asorb: less powerful than it is in the original game. Like the lack of potatoes on level 1.

    What about putting some of the :armor_asorb: back on the promoted wards instead and giving them some upkeep again?
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  9. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I'm on Going Rogue. The issue isn't that I've got abnormally high mana, though I do have Leywalker and Druid. I'm currently gaining 1 mana every other turn for most of the dungeon. That's above average, but not maxed out. I am pretty good about staying on-top of my Thaumaturgic Tap... and the potency of that level of Leywalker is certainly a factor.

    However, given that my last Necro build took Leywalker + Blood Mage together and it didn't feel wasted, I believe that I could have twinked my current Barrier Ley Druid character out a lot better in the mana department. I don't think this is an issue of something being particularly synergistic about my build or equipment. I feel this is a fairly run-of-the-mill gishy build, and I could be getting similar results if I swapped Leylines out for Blood Mage, or Druid out for Promethean or even Swords.

    I think it's just that Barrier Maiden gives too much, too early.

    Compare your first level to anything else that grants armour or resists at the first level. Here's the most directly comparable ones:
    • Master at Arms doesn't even give passive :armor_asorb: at level one. It starts you with 6:block: and an item that grants 3:armor_asorb: but will be replaced within a few floors.
    • Shield Bearer gives you 8:block: and just a 1:armor_asorb: item.
    • Berserker doesn't give passive armor, but the first level can generate up to 3 :armor_asorb: if you hit 3 times... but also has a 57% chance to have generated zero armor off of those 3 hits, the buff only lasts for 7 turns when it does trigger.
    • Viking Wizardry gives 2:resist_voltaic: for 16 mana plus 1 more mana every 6th turn.
    • Astrology gives 1 :resist_aethereal: passive and a 10-mana 1 :resist_nercomatic: that lasts for 6 hits.
    Barrier Maiden allows for 24:resist_voltaic: 24:armor_asorb: 8:resist_piercing: 40:block: via just the first level. It starts at 8 mana for 3 :armor_asorb:, so a wizard probably has only 3 or 6 :armor_asorb: in their first fight or two. But once they've got their mana-engine online and the cost has dropped to 2 or 3 mana per casting, they can run that first skill up to a constant 18 to 24 :armor_asorb:. That's way better than anything the main game gives you.

    The main game seems to take the stance that characters, especially spell-casters, are meant to be squishy for at least the first half of the first floor.

    Now compare just that first level of Barrier Maiden to what you get if you max out these skill trees. 24:resist_voltaic: 24:armor_asorb: 8:resist_piercing: 40:block: vs:
    • Master at Arms: If you max out the tree and activate suit up ever 3rd hit you get 5:armor_asorb: 4:resist_piercing: 19:block: .
    • Shield Bearer: If you max out the tree you'll get 4:armor_asorb: 35 :block: but only for 2 hits out of every 48 turns.
    • Berserker: If you max out the tree and have all the procs stacked you'll get 15 :armor_asorb:, but for no more than 7 turns in a row. It's all proc-based, so you can't control how much armor you'll have at any given time.
    • Viking Wizardry: 2 :resist_voltaic: 3:resist_conflagratory: (plus admittedly some nice attack spells)
    • Astrology: If the tree is maxed and all the spells are running you get: 2:armor_asorb: 10:resist_aethereal: 2:resist_nercomatic: 4:resist_transmutative: 3:resist_righteous:. That includes an ability that collapses every 6th hit, one that collapses every 8th hit and takes 1 mana every 5 turns, and one that costs 1 mana every 4 turns. All of these spells have minimum costs of 4 or 5 mana. So it's at least comparable to the burden of keeping up 8 minor wards... for slightly less resist and a lot less armour.
    Your first-level skill is outperforming entire defensive skill trees, at least in terms of protection granted. Out-performing existing things isn't automatically bad, especially if there are built-in mechanisms that make it not ideal for every build, but this extreme a benefit for no xp and minimal mana is pretty over-the-top.

    Either the mana burden on minor ward needs to go way up, or the defensive boost per ward needs to go way down. I'm thinking min cast cost of 4, and only 1:resist_voltaic: 1:armor_asorb: 1:resist_piercing: per ward. It may still out-perform any warrior skill option even when scaled down to that, though.

    Another possibility would be to have the wards themselves only grant :block: and a chance to proc a better defensive shield that follows a pattern more like Berserker. That would make it a lot less reliable than you intended, which would be more balanced but probably not ideal from a conceptual perspective.

    Perhaps you could move the bulk of the bonuses further up into the greater wards later in the tree. There are greater wards, right? I haven't played at all with the later skills of your tree, so I don't know what any of this would do to the levels that use wards in various ways... but I suspect they'd actually seem better by comparison since you wouldn't be giving up as much when sacrificed a ward.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  10. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    This is not right. A full stack gives you 15:resist_voltaic: 15:armor_asorb: 5:resist_piercing: 25:block:. With what you proposed, it would go down to 5:armor_asorb: 5:resist_piercing: 5:resist_voltaic: if you can keep a stack of 5 alive.

    Is stacking perhaps bugged again?

    What about 10:resist_voltaic: 10:armor_asorb: 10:resist_piercing: 20:block:? or 10:resist_voltaic: 10:armor_asorb: 10:resist_piercing: 15:block:?

    I want to keep :block: at above 50 for a full set of wards, so I may compensate by buffing the :block: for some of the later wards.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  11. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Mine consistently stacks to 8 copies, and not any further. Perhaps I'm not up to date?

    Edit: I see I'm several versions behind, and didn't notice. I hope my feedback is still relevant.

    15:resist_voltaic: 15:armor_asorb: 5:resist_piercing: 25:block: is certainly closer to balanced than 24:resist_voltaic: 24:armor_asorb: 8:resist_piercing: 40:block:.

    However, it still compares very favorably to Berserker, because you can get all 5 copies of Minor Ward running for 5 actions and as little as 10 mana between fights. Berserker does comparable boosts only if you hit and get hit numerous times in the same 7-turn window and have them all fortuitously trigger the procs.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  12. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    I think it was decreased to 5 one or two versions ago. It was easy not to notice it being updated if you weren't checking all the time.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  13. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Beserker is entirely passive and doesn't use any mana (and is warrior archetype, to boot). I did notice the similarity to beserker though and this is one of the reasons why I am nerfing volleyball so hard with the upcoming update (counter attack scales to :magic_power: rather than :nimbleness: and it provides very minor passives except for 8:reflection:).

    Does Ward Insertion perhaps also need nerfed?

    Anyway try playing the latest version for me? I think I am not going to take action against Your Basic Ward this update, but I am perhaps interested in doing it for the one after 2.5.8 (or whatever the next version is that comes out).
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  14. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I'll see what I can do, but I've got a lot on my plate right now. Every hour spent playing and testing someone else's mods is one more hour before ID2.0 (and now Swashbuckler) can release. The best way for me to keep on target on my own projects is to avoid the forums and not actually play the game, either.
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  15. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Planned changes:
    • MECHANICS : Instead of providing :armor_asorb:, basic wards will provide :resist_slashing::resist_blast::resist_crushing: so that they do not count for scaling against armor. They're weightless after all.
    • NERF: Basic ward :armor_asorb: reduced to 2. Hungry changed to 7.
    • MECHANICS: Casting Hula Ward or Major Ward if you already have one will cause the one you have up to detonate for AoE damage
    • NERF: Hula Ward and Major Ward have mana costs increased, and have a hungry of 7.
    • NERF: Volleyball passives greatly reduced. (1:burliness::nimbleness::resist_conflagratory::resist_righteous:, 8:reflection:)
    • NERF: All wards overload more easily
    That's it. Any complaints or suggestions?
    OmniNegro likes this.
  16. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Version 2.6.2 has been pushed to the forums.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  17. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Regarding the double Hulu or Major exploding, does this make an explosion effecting the caster or just everything else? And do you retain the ward when you do this, or will you have to cast it again?

    (I will edit this in a few minutes. Hopefully I will have the answer to my own questions, as well as an answer to if this will break current saves when you replace the older version.)
    *Edit* I was unable to check if this breaks saves using the older version since my current save was not using this skill. (I get so used to using this on every build that I forgot that I tried one without it.)

    I found that youregain Major Ward when you cast it to make the current one explode. (Since the countdown to the hungry cost is reset when it explodes.)

    I like it a lot. Thanks yet again! :)
  18. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    Pushed a minor emergency update turning resists back into armor. OmniNegro are you sure that the major ward gets recast? That didn't seem to happen when I was testing it. It isn't a big problem if it does since it'll still drain your mana, but I might have to tweak the mana cost upward.

    Emergency balance update. Hang on for 2.6.4...
    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  19. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Yes. I can illustrate. I cast Major Ward. I wait until it has 3/7 turns before the hungry cost is taken again, and I recast it. It then has 6/7 turns. There is no way unless it is replacing the first one or resetting it.


    The only thing that happened between these two images is the cast of Major Ward again. The numbers tell the tale.
  20. Kaidelong

    Kaidelong Member

    I... can't replicate this. Weird. Also did you notice that you still have one minor ward rather than zero? I think you might have found a bug in the linux version of the game.

    Or maybe you are using a pre 1.0.10 version of the game?
    OmniaNigrum likes this.