Vampirism needs to be reworked.

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Ruigi, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. banjo2E

    banjo2E Member


    Remember, guys, skills in this game were designed like this:

    1) Think of a mechanic the tree can be designed around (Battlefield control, Artifacts, Quadratic leveling)
    2) Think of a theme that fits the mechanics (Golems, Archaeology, Meteorology)
    3) If you've still got space, add some stuff that fits the theme more than the mechanics (Bees, Birds, Meatballs)

    The mechanic comes before the theme, and for vampires the mechanic is "heals by stealing life, and only by stealing life". Therefore, even if it fits vampire lore, vampires should not get regeneration, but they could gain resistances if you like. Though do keep in mind, there aren't actually that many sources of elemental damage in this game. Asphyxiative, for example, shows up from potatoes, and not much else.
    OmniNegro and Kazeto like this.
  2. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I think the ultimate problem with current Vamps is that the :life_steal: does not scale well enough to keep them alive when fighting monsters with massive health and doing insane damage.

    The easiest and best fix from a balance prospective is to allow them to steal a flat percentage of the actual damage they do, but NO MORE than the monster's original health should be used for the calculations.

    If you hit a Sickly Diggle and do 200 damage, you should not reap the same rewards as when you hit a Uber-Master of the Universe Diggle for the same 200 damage and it laughs it off.

    *Edit* Please consider this. I tried thinking of new abilities to fix them, but that is off topic really. We are not trying to fix "Anne-Rice Vampires" that spend all day combing their luxurious hair and painting their 'effing fingernails. These are Vampires. Undead abominations that slay the living for sustenance. Let us keep it that simple. :)
  3. DavidB1111

    DavidB1111 Member

    Omninegro says it best here.

    Mr. Strange, I wasn't trying to be annoying or anything.

    Mustache golems as well.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  4. Mr_Strange

    Mr_Strange Member

    Not at all. I actually think the idea of making Vampirism a healing-based skill tree is quite a good one. And, frankly, I was disappointed that your "long" post wasn't longer! ;)
  5. Mr_Strange

    Mr_Strange Member

    I'm not 100% sure I follow what you mean - do you mean you dislike giving monsters a status effect which debuffs :resist_nercomatic: when the same skill tree doesn't directly add :dmg_necromatic:? I don't think I've EVER had a character that wasn't dealing a few points of :dmg_necromatic: damage by the second or third floor...

    Looking at my post again, I didn't mean to imply that -:resist_nercomatic: was 100% of the curse's effects - I figured it would do some minor damage, stat debuffs, etc - but the -:resist_nercomatic: was the interesting part in my mind.
  6. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    Were they really? Because not all of them seem that way. In fact, some of them just look like a lot of abilities that could fit definition X thrown into a pile. Examples - Fleshcrafting, Psionics, Emomancy. Magic Training. Why not Vampirism too?

    It's an extreme fallacy to say every tree needs a mechanical theme to build around. There are several core game skills and more than a few mods that are just a pile of thematic ideas, and they're perfectly valid. Now, I admit that neither flavor nor mechanics can rule the day entirely, but I feel that you're not' seeing the big picture with Vampirism.

    Besides, you're wrong. Vampires can heal in ways other than stealing life. The tree lets them eat corpses, which has only a flavor tie to draining life on hit, and consumables/magic work on them as well, for obvious balance reasons. Should Vampires have some kind of regeneration ability in DoD? No, because it steals what the tree is trying to do. But should they only heal on hit? I'm feeling the answer is still no.

    So what if Vampires had something like the Phylactery skill, making a healing item that they can pop later, except the debuff that it inflicts could be removed by a proc on death effect with a small, say 3% chance of happening whenever the vampire kills a creature? In effect, you could stockpile some of your own blood for use later and remake the loss from your victims.
    TheJadedMieu and OmniNegro like this.
  7. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I like this idea.If the game had a means of testing you for how much health you had, you could have that 3% chance to put 20 health in a Phylactery. (But it would have to cease functioning when you had less than ~70 health.)

    The odds of procing could be scaled to total current health. The more you have, the more likely you will make a Phylactery. But the only way this would not backfire is if the player had a means to disable the proc entirely when they wanted.

    For example, if you are about to fight a named monster that is likely to take a massive amount of health. Or alternatively, if the Phylacteries were automatically used when your health would have hit zero or less. But there would still need to be a limit on that last possibility. Say no more than one used every ten turns?
  8. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    What if it was just a nonstacking buff that sapped some HP, but removed itself and healed you for 25% HP when you dropped below a certain point? Not sure how easy that would be to code, it would definitely require making a whole bunch of new XML tags.
  9. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    That could be done. And quite easily really. Just make it consume a set % of health that you get back when the buff is removed.
  10. Nikolai

    Nikolai Member

    I guess I never considered the stuff about MoA and SB. I always found it weird they didn't need their corresponding gear to work. I think they ought to require wearing heavy armor and shields respectively. And yes, they are really similar.

    On topic, I've gotten to floor 5 using Vampirism on a warlockery gish build on Going Rogue/PD. Unfortunately, that's all I could manage, as my healing and damage both fall off too hard to work.

    I'm afraid I have little further to add. I do still want to see Vampirism as a primarily healing tree (with the method for healing being changed, of course). I also like the idea of capstone ability being resurrection.
  11. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I propose a poll. I can make a thread for it or the OP can change this thread to have it or Daynab can change this thread.

    The question is "What is the best fix for Vampirism?"
    1. For every skill point added you gain 1% of the health you deal to a monster, capping at the monster's max health.
    2. Gain a skill later in the skill tree to make Phylacteries that will be auto-used when your health would drop below 1. Each would cost you 20 health and return the same.
    3. Auto-Siphon corpses you come near like was done for Fungal Arts. (I'm actually a bit unclear on this one though.)
    4. All of the above. (OP as all hell, but it would make Vampirism really impressive.)
    5. ???
  12. banjo2E

    banjo2E Member

    Pretty sure Fungal Arts is proc-on-kill, corpses that didn't generate shrooms when they died don't generate them later, and enemies can spawn shrooms even if I kill them with a spell from across the room.

    Option 1 is underpowered, you're never going to deal more than 100 damage so you'd end up with like, +5 hp per attack for the entire tree.

    IMO phylacteries should stay in Blood Magic where they already are.

    A better way to organize the poll would be:
    1. Increase vampires' skill scaling to keep its healing competitive across all DLs
    2. Increase vampires' defenses so it doesn't matter whether the healing's on par with non-Vampirism.
    3. Increase vampires' offenses, make them the melee version of Radiant Wizard.
    4. ???
    5. Digglebucks
  13. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    Hmmmm. A few things I would say need changing about this. But we are making good progress!

    5% would be too weak. How about 8%? There can be eight skills in a skill line. (Skills do not branch, so I am trying to avoid the more common tree reference.) We can come up with additional skills easily enough.

    Vampiric Phylacteries are not the same as normal blood magic phylacteries. They would have to be added. You could not normally find them, whereas you *CAN* find the BM type. (I have.)

    What if it was 10% of your damage? 15% even? Would that be more balanced? I am trying to be reasonable and no go ape-shit with Ultra-Mega-Uber Vamps like that insane writer known as Anne Rice would say it. (She is crazy. She would set it to be a full heal every attack.) But I acknowledge that 5% is a bit low for my idea when you are limited to only that and potions/spells for healing.

    However to counter what I just said, I should point out that even Vampires can reliably use Fax's Avenging Executioner skill from FAXPAX. That effectively doubles your gain if it were 5% or so. (I think... I could be wrong though. I will edit this after I read the XML again.)

    Vampirism *Should* be a dangerous bargain. It requires good or even great utility for significant risks and problems normal players would not encounter. How about we change things a bit and add a different negative to counter the awesome healing you can reap in melee? I suggest the more skill points you invest, the greater the chance that upon killing an enemy, a Lutefisk Cleric is summoned to kill the unclean undead unwashed fanged eyebrow monster?

    This way there remains a significant if not lethal risk to you even when killing a petty monster. Make the summoned monster scale to your number of points in Vampirism. So it can actually be a threat when you are fully decked out in late levels when you are debuffed by another enemy. The proposed Lutefisk Cleric would use a few at most points of :dmg_righteous: in addition to the normal attacks for that monster.

    I would welcome the chance to test any proposed modification to incorporate this or any other expected fix. But then, I suspect everyone here is.

    Gaslamp Games, Use us. We want to fix this. We want to make it work.
  14. SilvasRuin

    SilvasRuin Member

    Vegan would negate the paladin threat and still allow Vampire to heal off of Demons. Combining them would be risky in other ways, but I don't think that's the way to go.

    Hm. We need Vampirism to be able to heal right out of the gate. We need it to scale well enough that it doesn't level off so soon that it it becomes incapable of staying alive on higher floors. We need it to not be a skill you only put a single point in. Almost sounds conflicting.

    * Vampiric Drain: 100% proc on melee attack, heals the Vampire for (10*VampireLevel)% of the damage done from the triggering melee attack. (If that can't be done directly, a defunct stat like :life_steal: could be retooled for the purpose, providing one each skill level.)
    * Drinker of the Dead: No cooldown. Consumes an adjacent corpse. Heals the vampire for (Vampire Level*Current Floor).
    * Wrench Life: Single target spell, Transmutive damage. Scales with the normal spellcasting stats. Perhaps inflicts Fleshbore. Heals for (10*VampireLevel)% of the damage done.
    * Sparkly Glamour: Loses life steal. Has a chance ((5+(Vampire Level *2))%?) each to inflict 3 turn Paralysis, 5 turn Charm, or 7 turn Pacify on each target.
    * Mana Vampire: Same area as Sparkly Glamour. Restrictive cooldown, enough to last through a long fight. 25? 50? 100? (Vampire Level) Aethereal damage, heals :mana: by an equal amount to total damage done to all targets. Meant to have sucky (no pun intended) individual damage as it's a tool to restore :mana:. Yes, that can be a very sizeable heal when a Vampire is completely surrounded, but that is a very bad situation to be in. High stakes (pun not intended) and all that.
    * Transylvation: As original but summons four adjacent Battys as well, all with high dodge. This is based on Shwqa's idea, because turning into a distracting swarm of bats is a fun escape move, as long as the distractions manage to survive a couple turns.

    So... arguments? Help with numbers? I tried to fit the stated criteria for it to not suck and not be a one point wonder, and I figured maintaining the current flavor but with some actual potency might be nice. I also tried to make it useful on any build, not just Wizards.
    Some resistance trade-offs would probably be nice. :resist_nercomatic: for -:resist_righteous:, :resist_hyperborean: for -:resist_conflagratory:, and :resist_aphyxiative: for -:resist_putrefying: maybe? (For :resist_hyperborean: and :resist_conflagratory:, temperature no longer bothers them but their flesh can still be destroyed. For :resist_putrefying:, vampires are an undead type that are trying NOT to shrivel up and decay...)
  15. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    10* Vamp level is a bit much. 5* would be good at most. Anything more and it is flat overpowered even if there was no other gains. But you filled the skill levels with other gains. Three of your five skills are heals. One good working skill would do. Mana Vamp would make Blood Magic worthless except for the cooldown period.

    I like the ideas, but I think ultimately Gaslamp Games has to decide. It is becoming more and more obvious no-one in this discussion besides a few will agree to the same things. Let us each just hope GLG likes our respective ideas best. :)
    Kazeto likes this.
  16. SilvasRuin

    SilvasRuin Member

    Any numbers I gave are for concept purposes and not concrete suggestions. I don't claim to know numbers balance all that well for this game yet.

    The three heals were to give it options for each build and... is no more than the amount of heals that GLG themselves gave the original design. (Blood Sucker, the melee heal, Drinker of the Dead, the corpse nom, and Sparkly Glamour, the :magic_power: heal. I split up the Wizard-favoring heal and the :dmg_righteous:+paralysis from Sparkly Glamour into two different abilities.) Each heal is also better for a different situation. The only thing I'm currently close to considering an outright flaw with this particular aspect is that the spell doesn't really carry any risk, unlike the other abilities which at least require direct combat. The skill really needs some sort of :magic_power: based heal anyways or else it needs to be moved out of the Wizard archetype. Only healing from melee would make it terrible to use for its actual archetype.

    Mana Vamp is useless when not in specialized situations (launching yourself into a monster zoo with Clockwork Knight would be the most likely cause for an "ideal" situation), and it doesn't get in Blood Magic's way at all. Given that it is situational, said situations are very risky, and it can only be used once per fight (as the cooldown really aught to enforce, so more than 100 might be a rather good idea), Blood Magic winds up being the more reliable option, and they could work as complimentary to each other.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  17. jhffmn

    jhffmn Member

    I think if you follow the above design path you run into a situation where to stand in melee as a vampire you are required to take psionics, necromancy, alchemy, or fleshcrafting to combat the healing. I feel this makes vampirism less interesting as the skill becomes less versitile and leaves the player with the impression that vampirism is simply not working correctly as the first two skills in the set are self healing skills.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  18. Nikolai

    Nikolai Member

    I have to agree here. Again, healing is Vampirism's schtick. It ought to be good at that.

    How about later down the tree, Vampirism gets an added, better version of lifedrain? This one could scale off of actual damage dealt.

    We could also make it debuff the enemy on hit. It'd be a weak debuff, but it'd be reliable. Think of it as mini-fleshbore. We could also just make this into a cooldown spell.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  19. Shaxarok

    Shaxarok Member

    Earlier it was mentioned that if Vampirism is merely as good as other healing options it's worthless. I agree.

    Based on that, and based on the concept of vampires as having peak times and down times, I propose that the healing ability of vampires should oscillate.

    At certain activities in the dungeon (ripping faces off) they should excel at healing. Better than others can hope to achieve. At other activities in the dungeon (traps? etc.) they should be awful. The problem enters of course in that nobody sane would take vampirism without a manual healing ability, which throws the balance of the whole skill off. And that's as far as I've gotten.
    OmniNegro likes this.
  20. DavidB1111

    DavidB1111 Member

    Um, one problem, Silvas, as I pointed out in my long post last page,
    Vampires would be completely immune to that damage type.
    Not weak to it.
    They cannot physically decay any further. Same with :resist_toxic: resist. A Vampire cannot be poisoned.

    Only living things can decay.