[Skills] Masteries Mod

Discussion in 'Mod Releases' started by lockeslylcrit, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. lockeslylcrit

    lockeslylcrit Member

    So finally decided to try my hand at skills this time. Forgive me if something here seems the same as other skill mods, I haven't gone through the entire list to check.
    As always, I encourage feedback.

    * Added a small experience bonus to the various Slayer skills.
    * Added a new capstone skill to Slayer Mastery, allowing you to change into a demon for 30 turns every 60 turns. Also grants you a passive 20% to stun your target in melee.

    New Skills:

    Resistance Mastery
    You have learned how to ignore such things as pain, suffering, injury, and dubstep.
    Rogue skill. Copper Ring and Leather Girdle as starting equipment. Skill tree focuses purely on adding resistances.

    Dark Arts Resistance. +1 to Necro, Transmutive, and Putrefying resistances.
    Magic Resistance. +1 to Conflagratory, Hyperborean, and Voltaic resistances.
    Physical Resistance. +1 to Piercing, Blasting, Slashing, and Crushing resistances. 15% chance when hit to grant +5 Block. NOTE: Resistances may or may not work as planned in 1.0.10 due to melee resistance bug.
    Natural Resistance. +1 to Toxic, Acidic, and Asphyxiative resistances.
    Light Arts Resistance +1 to Righteous, Aethereal, and Existential resistances.
    True Mastery. No passive bonuses. Spell grants +1 to all resistances, requires 1 mana every three turns, and costs 20 -0.25 mana to cast.

    Slayer Mastery
    Through long hours of training with your weapon and watching anime, you have vowed to kill anything that grows tentacles.
    Warrior skill. Infernal and Hyperborean Potion as starting equipment. Skill tree focuses purely on damaging certain types of enemies.

    Plant Slayer. +1 Burliness. 50% chance of 4 Righteous damage when hitting Vegetables.
    Animal Slayer. +1 Burliness. 50% chance of 4 Righteous damage when hitting Animals.
    Otherworldly Slayer. +1 Burliness. 50% chance of 4 Righteous damage when hitting Others.
    Undead Slayer. +1 Burliness. 50% chance of 4 Righteous damage when hitting Undead.
    Construct Slayer. +1 Burliness. 50% chance of 4 Righteous damage when hitting Constructs.
    Demon Slayer. +1 Burliness. 50% chance of 4 Righteous damage when hitting Demons.
    Slayer Mastery. Change into a demon for 30 turns (60 turn cooldown). 20% chance to stun your target for 2 turns.

    Arcane Warrior
    Most mages wear bathrobes and polish their staff daily. You call these mages pathetic cowards.
    Wizard skill. Gold Pantaloons and Rough Iron Sword as starting equipment. Skill tree focuses on armour, magic power, and other goodies for a melee wizard.

    Suited For Success. +1 Stubbornness, +1 magic power. Spell grants +1 mana regen, +4 block, +2 armour for four hits.
    Martial Prowess. +1 melee power, +1 magic power. Spell grants 20% chance to stun on attack, requires 1 mana every 4 turns.
    Change of Underwear. +1 life regen, +1 mana regen. Ability grants curse removal once every 99 turns.
    Life Reserves. No passive bonuses. Spell grants a heal for 10 +0.20. Costs 16 -0.20 (min 6) mana.
    Mana Reserves. No passive bonuses. Ability refreshes 10 +0.5 mana for free. Any time. No catch. Honest!
    Arcane Warrior Mastery. +2 melee power, +2 magic power, +5 magic resist, +10 magic reflect, +2 righteous damage.

    New Items:

    Gold Pantaloons
    Magical Undergarments
    Armour of the Arcane Warrior
    Leggings of the Arcane Warrior
    Boots of the Arcane Warrior
    Gauntlets of the Arcane Warrior
    Helm of the Arcane Warrior
    Shield of the Arcane Warrior

    Attached Files:

  2. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    This may well be very OP, but I like it. Well done!
  3. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Not only OP, but also slightly...dunno. One-dimensional? I can't see myself using these, but as a first effort, it's certainly not a bad one. :)
  4. lockeslylcrit

    lockeslylcrit Member

    So any suggestions for improvement?
  5. Kazeto

    Kazeto Member

    Take the skills trees you created, a sheet of blank paper, a pen, and ask yourself this question:
    "What can I do to make these skills more interesting?"
    Write down every single idea you have that might be of some use, and look at your code again after you fill the whole sheet with text.

    If I were to suggest something personally, it's "make skill trees that are thematically close but not identical, instead of ones that are just similar". Let's take Burglary from the core game as an example here - it's a bundle of different things, but if you thought about it, all of it can somehow be linked with the theme of "burglary". And here, for the most part, it's "more of the same".
  6. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Your flavor text and jokes in the download are pretty good. I found the read-through quite enjoyable.

    I agree with the previous assessments that all three are a bit over-powered and somewhat too single-minded. As a general observation, most of the skills in Dredmor are built top-down. That is to say, they aren't collections of mechanical effects, they are colorful themed concepts with the exact mechanics being secondary to the general notion of what the concept says about your character. Yours are more workman-like, more dependable, transparent and mechanical. In terms of general game design, those are all good things, but it does make them stand out as being different from (and not as interesting as) the default skills.

    Most of the skills in the main game have two things going on: a concept or flavor, and a mechanical focus. Your skills by contrast basically have the same thing for both the mechanical focus and the in-character concept.
    * Golemancy (a skill tree about tactical control of the battlefield, and the making of golems is just the window-dressing),
    * Necronomiconomics (necro damage primarily, but wound up in this goofy mix of cthulhu and tax preparation)
    * Archaeology (a pretty focused tree about artifacts and kronging, but with Indiana Jones themes that go so far as to add the Remember Your Charlemagne power for purely thematic reasons)

    Your skills might fit the game better and be more appealing with more flavorful titles. Your skill and spell descriptions in the download are witty. Work some of that humor and/or references into the names of the skills, and I think it will help them fit the main game much better.

    All that out of the way, I'll address the balance issues I see with these...

    Resistance Mastery:

    Most trees that offer resistances, offer 4 or 5 points of resistance across the whole tree. Obviously, you'll want to exceed that if the whole point of your skill is just resistances... but you've got over 20 before you even get to the final level. That's a lot less damage over the course of the dungeon.

    Compare to Master of Arms. It's a purely defensive skill tree from the main game that gives 3 armor, 3 piercing resist, 7% block, and 10hp if you max it out. You're giving effectively 3 armor (in the form of 3 resist to each of the normal damage types), 3 piercing resist, and 14 hp. It has two procs to your one, so basically what you want to think about is how the extra 7% block and a 12% proc compare to another 20+ points of resistances. Personally, I'd say the resists are much better... and I happen to like Master of Arms.

    Also, easily-attained Necro resist combos extremely well with Necronomiconomics skill. I'd move the necro resist further down the tree, so you have to spend a point or two before you get it. Having it free right out of the gates is probably too easy.

    Damage Mastery:

    Main-game weapon skills give +7 damage if you max them out. Admittedly, those weapon skills seem a bit underpowered by the lower levels of the dungeon, so your +6 damage and +6 melee power is probably okay power-wise, given that the weapon skills would also boost EDR (and a few other stats) and have area-affect attacks. If that were the majority of what it were doing, +12 instead of +7 would be fine.

    The real issue though is the activated powers.
    * There's an evil chest? Before I open it I'll trigger all my abilities to do +20 extra damage per hit if it spawns a named foe.
    * Given the way timing works, a warrior could easily walk around with two of those active pretty much at all time. So it's not +12 damage from the tree, it's +22 most of the time with occasional peaks of +32. That's a bit much, isn't it?

    Plus you're setting up a Man vs Boredom contest where the best strategy is mash the spacebar periodically waiting for the timers to run down before opening the next door. That sort of thing is less than ideal.

    In general, it would probably be more fun if the power-ups weren't quite so tightly mirrored. If the conflagratory boost did less damage but set targets on fire with the burn effect, it would stand out more from the others. I'd say tweak the damages a bit, maybe make one of them an area effect, and a different one do more damage than the others but have a longer cool-down or last for fewer hits, etc. Making each power more distinct will go a long ways towards making the player think about which one to use. That way they won't just auto-cycle through them as they walk around the dungeon.

    Also, conceptually, it's hard to understand why the character masters all these different damage types. What justifies or explains the necro damage, for example? I realize this a computer game, not a table-top RPG, so rationalizing such things isn't terribly important, but I think the lack of obvious concept contributes to what Essence described as "one-dimensional" about them. This skill may be better off just focusing on one or two damage types, instead of all of them. If all it added were the basic non-elemental damage types (or that plus one extra elemental type explained in the skill description), then it might be more grokable.

    Resistance Mastery and Damage Mastery:
    This observation applies to both skills: the "little bit of everything" aspect of these trees isn't very flavorful or tactically interesting. Both your Resistance Mastery and Damage Mastery skills essentially just make the builds they are featured in just that much more similar, and make the dungeon levels less unique. Especially the resistance one. I think they'd be more interesting if they were split up, with a couple different versions that each focus on just 3 or 4 resistance or damage types.

    What skills a player takes typically has a big impact on which floors of the dungeon are hard or easy for them, which monsters are dangerous, etc. A great example is Promethean magic. If it's your only way to do damage, you'll be screwed on floor 9 (the lava level where 3/4 of the monsters have huge amounts of confragratory resistance). On the other hand if you have Promethean's resistances and some other potent and non-firey way to do major damage, you'll do great on floor 9.

    These sorts of considerations are vital to the game's strategic (knowing what skills work well together, determining if there's any floors you should skip, realizing what equip might that you normally sell might actually be really good for your current character, etc) and tactical (picking the right spell/skill/bolt for a particular monster or situation, knowing which monster is the biggest threat in the current room, etc) challenges.

    They also help keep the game from being boring or repetitive after your first win. When you're playing a new build and suddenly discover that a particular floor or mob is devastating to you despite having been a push-over for your last character, there's a cool little adrenalin rush that livens the game back up.

    Arcane Warrior:
    Of the three, this is the one that I find most interesting, the one I'd be most likely to use. I like that the various levels do different things.

    In general, magic trees in Dredmor fall into one of two types: skills that do the good stuff, or skills that provide the mana so that other skills can do the good stuff. So my kneejerk reaction to mana regen and a mana-recovery power inside an offensive skill tree is that it's out of place. I'm not saying it's broken per se, just that it's redundant. It's not going to prevent a player from having to take Blood Mage or Ley Walker. I'm guessing that your point is to give just enough bonuses to allow a melee wizard to wear a little armor. I have mixed feelings about that.

    Speaking of armor, that +1 Armour is pretty huge for a passive bonus on a first-level skill, especially one that also has a decent castable spell. I'd move that bonus further down the tree. Between the golden pantaloons they start with, the +1 passive boost, and the first level spell, you're looking at the arcane warrior starting with 4 armor. That's more armor points than the best defensive warrior skill starts with. One could argue that your first level of Arcane Warrior is better than the first two levels combined of Master of Arms.
    Xetaxheb, MrAltamente, Wi§p and 3 others like this.
  7. Essence

    Essence Will Mod for Digglebucks

    /adds r_b_bergstrom to the Hall of Badasses.
    OmniNegro and r_b_bergstrom like this.
  8. lockeslylcrit

    lockeslylcrit Member

    The Resistance and Damage Masteries were just afterthoughts, my first attempt. Their only purpose was for me the learn the mechanics of xml skill modding. I just included them for posterity. If people want to use them, that's fine, but I totally agree that they both are overpowered and single-minded. After all, modding is a learning process.

    For Resistance Mastery, the whole point of the skill tree is nothing but resistances. The heals were added in to help me learn how onhit and abilities work out in the game. I'll definitely look into removing those in the future, since they don't fit into the theme. As for the resistances themselves, the only thing I see is that Physical Resist and True Mastery gives too much. Maybe reduce the bonuses for Physical Mastery to +1 each or just +2 Piercing only. As for True Mastery, I'm thinking maybe a cooldown ability instead of passive bonuses, one that does the same thing, but lasts X turns and has a high cooldown. And about the Necro resist, Astrology gives pretty much the same thing at first level, plus the other Radiant Aura bonuses. I thought it might be nice to offer an alternative to Astrology if you plan on rolling a character with Necronomiconomics, especially since you don't get the second Necro resist until the capstone skill.

    For Damage Mastery, originally the abilities were set to use 1 mana per 4 turns, but with enough alcohol or mana regen, you could theoretically keep them up forever. To be honest, I don't know how I would balance this tree out. Lower the damage on the abilities? Increase the cooldown? Replace +1 melee power with +1 burliness? This tree gives me more headaches than I need. It needs some serious redesign if I want it for serious play.

    The Arcane Warrior was the first "real" attempt at a skill. I wanted to try for something that slightly offsets the magic power and mana regen penalties of many heavy armors in the game. Looking back, I agree that the armor from the Gold Pantaloons plus the passive bonus from the start are a bit overpowered. I'll see about fixing the pants but keeping the passive bonus, or vice versa.
    Wi§p and r_b_bergstrom like this.
  9. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Truer words have never been posted.

    I must admit, I never remember that Radiant Aura gives necro resist. Thanks for pointing that out. I only think of it for it's other benefits, the damage boost and the area-effect stun chance. I've never taken it with Necrononomiconomics, and that's probably why I've usually had a hard time getting a necro build started. I guess I now know two of the skills my next character will have. Thanks for the tip!
  10. lockeslylcrit

    lockeslylcrit Member

    Astrology was the sole reason I could survive first two dungeon levels with my Necro character, simply because Radiant Aura gave me that delicious boost to the resist. It was also the ability that killed Dredmor after I was killed, but that's a different story altogether. Celestial Aegis also gives +2 Necro resist, and by that time you've got the mana needed to keep it up all the time.
  11. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    Yeah, I was vaguely aware that level 4 or 5 gave necro resist, but I'd totally forgotten about the point on Radiant Aura, and I didn't want to buy 4 levels of something else before unlocking the juicy necro kill spells. That short-sightedness got me killed, of course.

    Definitely going Astro-Necro soon. Thanks again!
  12. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    On a completely unrelated side of things, I suggest that *If* you modify your modification to balance it and/or make it less overpowered, please leave the original up too. I really enjoy the idea of comparing the mods side by side. And it irritates me when people remove the original in favor of the newer version of the same.

    I really like the whole thing. Resistance is somewhat balanced because it gives huge bonuses but only has a single activation skill. Please do not take the "criticism" of the comments here too seriously. They have valid points, but they only bother to criticize it because they like the idea and/or the effort that you put into it. We are here to help. We only *Sound* like we are whining. :)

    I like overpowered builds. A lot. I want to wreck the dungeon with uber Godzilla Form and eat Tokyo too while I am at it. Anything can be nerfed. But that does not have to be today. :)

    I think the majority of Damage Mastery can be softened considerably and have a nice passive 5% proc on hit and/or being hit that does a spell-like effect for the theme of the skill itself. Since the focus is clearly damage, it can effect the player too. (But Blinding/Stun/Paralysis should be reserved for monsters only. It would kill the player too often if not.)

    You could have a capstone skill for Damage Mastery that has five weak debuffs and a minor DoT on the player in exchange for a very heavy hit with a bunch of damage types and even a small AoE.

    You clearly have some real skill here. I hope we do not piss you off with pages after pages of complaints and suggestions. It is your mod. Do what you want with it and if we do not like it we can continue bitching to no effect. :) (Really, I like what you have done.)
  13. lockeslylcrit

    lockeslylcrit Member

    I fully plan on doing so, in case people don't like the retooling, or just want to play OP builds.

    Not at all. The only way I can grow is from peer review.

    And as a side note, I'm thinking of COMPLETELY overhauling the Damage Mastery skill so each skill gives bonuses versus various enemy types (Vegetables, Demons, etc), rather than bonuses to every single thing in the game from level 1. Thus, it will be worth leveling up, and the damage bonuses from the abilities wont be OP now that they will be working against specific types.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  14. lockeslylcrit

    lockeslylcrit Member

    Updated to 1.1
    Changelog in the first post.
  15. Are Slayer Masterys passives? Mana maintained?
    If they are passives, consider changing them to mana or health (if possible) maintained)

    Also, are all 3 skills designed to compliment one another? Looks like they do, but just checking.
  16. lockeslylcrit

    lockeslylcrit Member

    The abilities are passive. I consider them to be balanced since, at most, you will only be able to get a total of 4 Righteous damage (plus whatever bonuses from Burliness you get) against stuff, even at the capstone, you'll still only do 4 damage against a single monster.

    And the skills can be complimentary with each other, but I made them to be just like such skills like Magic Training, Shield Bearer, etc. They are support skills, to support the primary skills. At most, I would only suggest taking one of the three if you're going for a specialized build.
    ElectricMessiah likes this.
  17. r_b_bergstrom

    r_b_bergstrom Will Mod for Digglebucks

    I'm sure I've been annoying enough already, but...

    I now suspect you trimmed Slayer Mastery back too far to be playable. The last few levels need more oomph.

    If that's my fault for being such a vocal critic, well, then, I'm sorry.
  18. lockeslylcrit

    lockeslylcrit Member

    It's still a work in progress. I plan on cooldown/mana abilities.
    r_b_bergstrom likes this.
  19. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Slayer Mastery could have a nice proc capstone skill with 25% chance on hit. That would make it worthwhile if the proc is good.
  20. Since, by definition, a support tree will tend to give you utility rather than sheer power. So unless the relevant level gives so much in terms of utility it more than offsets the loss of power, most people will pick a level in something that actually lets them kill stuff outright. The way to work-around that and stay true to the spirit of a "support" tree is to introduce bonus exp mechanics into the tree. That way, even though the tree is sub-par damage/durability wise compared to other trees, it makes up for it by "costing less exp" to acquire. Burglary and Archeology are famous examples of this in action. In the case of slayer, that would simply involve giving bonus exp for each kill you get off of the kill type. However, that would still leave you with the issue of later levels lacking BANG-value. A possible workaround for that would be to have each level give +1 exp from killing everything, and +5 for the relevant monster type. I still feel that it would not quite make slayer mastery worth the pick, but it will take it a long way towards viability without compromising the "support" feel of the tree.