[Skill] Blood Knight

Discussion in 'Mod Releases' started by lccorp2, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. Sniktch

    Sniktch Member

    Oh, I completely understand and agree that all the actual attacks should be on-use-hurt - especially To The Slaughter and Crimson Flurry; in their case, it's a very reasonable cost to counter the high power and multitargeting nature - it's just for Blood Pact and Crimson Aegis that I'd want to see this. And in a way, they'd help balance the latter two above and beyond the cooldown. In the end, your mod, your choice, of course; using Blood Pact as an attack is at least workable if not optimum from my perspective.
  2. Sniktch

    Sniktch Member

    Forgive the doublepost - two things. One, to further the argumenta for making Blood Pact and Crimson Aegis into buffs similar to Stone Fist: At the moment, if you activate one or both, you take health damage - which can be immediately repaired with other skills and items, removing the health-fuelling aspect entirely unless you're already in combat. Making them actually debuff your max health makes them a much larger investment and a much larger factor in your thinking - I've actually edited a copy of the mod to do just exactly that. Mathematically, it's exactly the same in the end; either way, when you activate the skill, you have x less health to lose before death. it's just as a permabuff/debuff combo, you can't gulp a healing potion and negate that cost. And the health buffs the tree as a whole gives counterbalance the cost in both cases, leading to point 2

    Even untweaked, the tree may be a bit strong - on my first playthrough(before I thought of changing Pact and Crimson Aegis) I got to a point where I wasn't using Pact all that often, instead relying on Slaughter Healing and Bloody Mess alone for killing power and health. Then again, that may be due to Geology's Stone Fist....have to do a run with JUST Blood Knight active.
  3. lccorp2

    lccorp2 Member

    Actually, Sniktch, I'm running with a version w/Crimson Aegis active as a permanent dispellable buff, and I'm going to say that I do like it a lot--and definitely am overcoming my initial resistance to the idea. I'm going to change Blood Price when I have some free time and try a run that way.

    If I do change it permanently, though, expect the heal amount per hit to be nerfed in the region of 50% per hit to keep things in line as to the current standard.

    My main concern with balance is a) slaughter healing, which is prone to streakiness (I've had both good and bad) thanks to the RNG, as well as Crimson Flurry, which I feel may make a full stack of Bloody Mess too easy to keep up. I may nerf either the damage on CF, or change the template to a smaller one.
    Essence likes this.
  4. lccorp2

    lccorp2 Member

    Hmm. If this version of Blood Price and Crimson Aegis are going to stay, I'll probably have to make a few changes. Having a constant stream of incoming health during combat as opposed to spikes has had interesting effects:

    -Tone down slaughter healing somewhat, maybe reduce it from 4 health to 3, or maybe from 4 to 2 and slightly increase the proc rate.
    -Reduce Bloody Mess duration so it's harder to keep up a full stack going. Maybe 10-12 turns.
    -Given what's happened with Essence's Bushido, I may have to change the bonus damage type of Crimson Flurry and TTS--I never quite realised they were proccing a whole extra attack due to the mundane damage type and chalked the high numbers during testing up the damage bonus. Either I eliminate the bonus on TTS altogether and let it give you an extra attack, or change the damage type so it doesn't. I do want to keep the 2x attack on CF, though (although throwing out the bonus is possible), so I may increase the cooldown somewhat on that.
  5. Sniktch

    Sniktch Member

    Having reached DL6 so far with my "baseline" run:

    Halving the HP leech is a good thing, especially going with the debuff idea. You MAY want to also halve or remove entirely the HP buffs that skill levels give (possibly only those above Aegis, possibly all of them) - I understand giving a cushion, but the idea of the skill tree seems to focus on "redlining", high-risk, high-reward style. Requires some thought and maybe some testing.

    Definitely tone down the number of stacks of Bloody Mess, or shorten their duration. Berzerker in its entire can only stack 9 times, and that takes some extreme luck and it usually only lasts 2-3 turns. Cap it at 4 or 5, with a commensurate duration drop - running it like Combat Momentum might work well. Duration 5, max stack 5 - keep killing and you keep buffing, get stalled and the party halts. Gives a reason to fire off that Flurry to get the blood pumping again :D

    Slaughter Healing I think is fine - very rarely will it pop in the amounts required to heal you up to full unless you're already running Pact, and if you're running Pact then you're already dancing with the Reaper for the power in the steps.

    Halting regen while under the effect of the Pact won't change too much - unlike vampires, you can use food to heal and if you lack food and are in an otherwise decent situation(or just want to conserve food), you can just shut it off and walk it off. In combat, regen healing is essentially nil, so that's not going to matter much. Maybe a further point in favor of removing the health buffs? Less max health to play with = being thoughtful about every drop you lose or use.

    The potions included that I've found are WAY over-valued - Elven Sociopathy sells for almost 500 a bottle, as does the phoenix ash one; for comparison, Bolts of Squid sell to Brax for about the same. Might want to cut their value - the highest value potion in the base game is like 90.

    May want to tweak the hat a little - it's like the offspring of a hachimaki and a Fedora at the moment. Maybe drop the :melee_power: bonus down to 1?

    RE stepping on Vampirism: Necro, Greedy Blungecaps, and "Heh, Heh, Heh" rooms all do that already quite well - don't worry about it. Vampirism is a skill that really needs to go back to concept - or better yet, become the first "racial" line for a future expansion(with severe rebalancing, of course). What you're making could be termed "vampirism for warriors" in a very real way, and part and parcel of that is that it's going to be different - your skill tree lacks a stun, an escape, a charm, and a mana drain, and instead has hand-to-hand killing power and self-buffs. The only point of commonality is that they allow health-draining in melee.

    Keep up the good work, I'll keep trying to break it! :p

    Late edit: The Crimson Armor is over-line(marginally). Compared to Imperial Boilerplate, there's a definite edge to the Crimson by about 12 "points" worth - more if you weight the stats, as Crit and EDR are more important to warriors than Sneakiness, magic power helps fuel lifeleech, and Nimbleness helps buff a lot of warrior-centric stats. Definitely needs a toning-down - if you want to keep the current positive statspread, the final AA/block/piercing resist values need to be lower, maybe on par with scale mail or armored archmagi - no bigger than platemail, though. The signet ring is OK, though.
    Wi§p and lccorp2 like this.
  6. Loren

    Loren Member

    Since the mechanics of blood price changed, you should change the way it's cast to reflect that change. It's still cast like a melee attack.
  7. lccorp2

    lccorp2 Member

    Hey, Sniktch.

    Appropriate changes have been made to my copy right now. I'm agreeing with you on most things, but just about the crimson armour: it's supposed to be level 13 (boilerplate is 10), but right now the game is bugged so that items of level 11 and above aren't randomly spawning. The level will be changed once the bug is fixed.

    But yes, it'll be toned down somewhat in terms of AA and block.
  8. Werediggler

    Werediggler Member

    I love playing Blood Knight, especially with Blood Mage as a gish-type. It makes me feel like a badass when I get back my health and mana after each kill. Ah, the wonders of blood. By the way when I blessed my Garnet Circlet it gave it 1 conflagratory damage and 1 hyperborean damage. What are the odds?
    ElectricMessiah likes this.
  9. lccorp2

    lccorp2 Member

    Thanks, Werediggler!

    No doubt you like the elven sociopathy potions and crimson gauntlets, then. =P
  10. kino5

    kino5 Member

    Hey, I've been playing Blood Knight and I have to say I like it so much.
    I'd like to show something that just happened to me. Look at the health points in this image:


    This happened after hitting an eely with To The Slaughter and provoking a counter, which I couldn't see in time if it had some effect even though I was 2 steps from the eely. After that, I waited a turn an killed it using again To The Slaughter, causing the game to freeze when showing that amount of health points. Also, the game froze and nothing posted in a thread about freezed input posted in the bug forum solved it. I had to press alt+F4, which made the game go back to the main menu. When I loaded the same game, I was back where I were before the previous load.

    I really don't know if this is bug related or not, but I cannot get the savegame due to force-quitting. If it is not a mod thing, I can post this in the bug forums, but I thought you may want to check this.

    Great mod though!
  11. Loren

    Loren Member

    It has to do with the way that negative heals work in the game. The self damage from slaughter is a negative heal. The negative heals are the only way to give unresistable damage in the game, but as you've seen, can take you into the negatives if you are low in health. Technically you died; play as you will knowing that.
    lccorp2 likes this.
  12. lccorp2

    lccorp2 Member

    Thanks for playing, Kino! All I had to do was look at your health bar and knew what the problem was. :p

    It's a known issue with how negative heals work, which is how the costs for the skills are kept constant. Since the game only kills you when your health drops below zero via damage (since there is no negative healing in the base game), if you kill yourself with a negative heal, the game doesn't know what to do and hence freezes up (as in the program is still running, but you can't do anything).

    This usually isn't an issue, since players usually stop using Blood Knight skills instinctively once their health drops too low, so I left it in despite discovering it during testing--I figured constant health costs were more important (since the earlier versions which used damage went all wonky).

    In the end, it doesn't really matter, since you'd have died anyway and if on permadeath, lost the character. It would be nice if the devs made it so that the characters die properly from negative ehals, but they have bigger things on their plate.
  13. kino5

    kino5 Member

    Thanks for your answerings. I didn't understand quite well how some abilities worked, but reading the first post in this topic has cleared all my doubts (I got the mod from the completed mod list thread). I'll give it another try, since I liked it a lot! At first I was like "Oh god, this is completely OP", but then I started checking often my hp and thought "well, it's not" :-P
  14. Sniktch

    Sniktch Member

    Apologies for my recent absence - life's been "interesting", in the ancient Chinese sense of the word. Floor 10 killed my "baseliner" run - or rather, I killed it by misclicking a Move In Mysterious Ways during a zoo and then not being smart enough to RUN from a boss instead of trying to fight him head-to-head. So yeah...counterfucked is still lethal for a Blood Knight, and YASD is YASD. However, the rest of the floor was rolling quite well - even with Katanas instead of my brokenly-good pair of Evil Chest Blue Steel Swords(had to sling them to spare them from the blobbies' touch), I was one-or-two shotting most stuff once Berzerker, Bloody Mess, and Combat Momentum started stacking. In a way, this skillset inverts the usual warrior combat survival line - you have greatest risk against single enemies and at the start of large combats, and getting stuck-in and surrounded makes your survival line rise rapidly. Very much a "melee mage" feel.

    Bugs: Just one, bit it's a big one. Burning Adrenaline's explosion suffers from the "corpse bug" - if you're standing on corpses when it goes off, you get one blast per corpse. Turns the skill from "cool but risky" to "pocket nuke on a timer" with just a little planning.

    Overall balance: Given that floor 10 is pretty much the hardest floor meleewise and I was slowly steamrolling it with the current version, I stand by my earlier points - cut Bloody Mess to 5 stack, 5 duration or reduce its effect, either keep the leech the same and axe most or all the healthbuffs from the skill line, or go with about .5 "normal", .3 "special" leech, and nerf the hat by 1 Melee Power. The Crimson Armor still needs a tweak downward as well - even as a level 13, the only "real" edge Imperial Boilerplate has over it is the slightly higher Conflag and Acid resists, and the Crimson's lower penalties and higher buffs are REALLY lower and higher..

    Going forward: Despite the above, I'd say make any balance changes with an eye to the impending drop of 1.1; almost certainly you'll want to hook the effect power levels to different stats than MagPower. I'd actually advise AGAINST using Melee Power, since with Berzerk and Bloody Mess, you'll have the problem of an inverse cascade - once they get rocking, your leech will jump, making it harder to die....then again, that does sort-of suit the above-mentioned flavor. Something to ponder, especially since Melee Power scales so slowly otherwise - it gives you a much more fixed range of potentials to deal with for setting the scalar value, since it's REALLY hard to punch over 50 Melee Power and the average tends to run in the mid-20s to low 30s for depths delving. I would also see if it's possible to give the "cost" for To The Slaughter, Burning Adrenalin, and Crimson Flurry a scalar effect based on your current health - if possible, this would eliminate the "oops, game crashed because I went negative" problem, since the cost would be essentially a percentage of current health instead of a flat cost. Since it's a negative heal effect, I'd think that giving it a power multiplier effect would shrink the actual damage inflicted - IE, instead of "heal effect -12", give it an effect of "heal effect -1 + (.1 x whatever number stat current health is)" to make a 10% health cost, min 1 just as an example. This makes the cost rise as your HP pool grows - which gives plenty of reason to put a very solid scalar value on the damages, perhaps even scaling off max HP.. Also allows you some flexibility in targeting the "minimum" cost, I'd think...and the maximum power. Also gives you a reason to diversify stats - the armor might be balanced if you were to turn that whopping 10 crit, 10 EDR into 4 crit, 4 counter, 4 EDR and gave it the standard amount of Nimbleness nerf.

    Anyways. Lots to think about for the future, and it's getting late-ish for me.
  15. kino5

    kino5 Member

    Very nice review. It helped me too, since I'm playing it right now. Also, I LOVE corpse bug. Not because it could lead to an overpowered skill. Just the idea makes me roll on the floor.

    If it gets fixed, I'll do a mod which includes it somehow.
  16. Ditto. Exactly how I feel. I imagine my melee chars bathed in blood splashes and it just being absorbed into his/her pours. :) Sick, I know. :rolleyes:
  17. lccorp2

    lccorp2 Member

    Affectscorpses="0" Has just gone into the tags for the spell, alas. :p
    kino5 likes this.
  18. lccorp2

    lccorp2 Member

    Thanks for the comprehensive review, Snitkch!

    If you were still on your old baseline character (0.4), then hopefully I've addressed some of the problems with 0.51, especially with Bloody Mess now only lasting seven turns (I think a one or two turn leeway should be all right) and the combined effects of Price and Aegis wiping all of the tree's :life: bonuses. Crimson armour's and the circlet's been nerfed somewhat, although armour might take a little more beating.

    -Regarding your concern, the current formula I'm going to try for blood price once 1.0.10 hits is 3:life: + (1 + 0.2 or 0.1:melee_power:, depending on taxa) :dmg_necromatic: Drain. A full stack of Bloody Mess would give 1-2 extra points per hit depending on taxa; anything less would give only one (since numbers are rounded down as far as I know). This will definitely need some tweaking.

    -Unfortunately, as far as I understand it, scaling to health in 1.0.10 will take your maximum health as a base, not your current value. I've also thought about making costs scale to maximum health, but problem would be players being unsure of how much their current skill costs are, and it'd go against the general flavour of your spells getting cheaper in proportion to your maximum resource pool as you progress. I'm still going to give it a whirl, though.

    Again, thanks for playing and the review!
  19. lccorp2

    lccorp2 Member

    Update for Blood Knight imminent once 1.0.10 hits.

    *Skill ID will be replaced with skillname syntax.
    *Blood Price will now scale to :melee_power: instead of :magic_power:. Finally! Expect a full stack of bloody mess to add about 1-2 hp per hit.
    *Slaughter healing will probably be removed.
    *Total health buffs from Blood Price + Crimson Aegis + the whole tree will amount to about -5:life:. Health bonuses taken away will pop up as some other stats elsewhere.
    *Art for custom items will be revamped to be a little less grainy.
    *Crimson Armour will be properly denoted as level 12. Slight nerfs to stats.

    *New Icons, courtesy of a friendly artist. Samples attached, more to come:


    karl hunter, Wi§p and Essence like this.
  20. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    Those icons are really good.