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Author Topic: Balancing Assemblies  (Read 8502 times)

Kornel Kisielewicz

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Balancing Assemblies
« on: April 02, 2016, 08:51 »

In the next version, I want to tone down the assemblies, to put them on a power level similar to exotics. This isn't always true, especially in the case of Nano-mod based assemblies. In theory I aim for assemblies to be a tool for high-level players to guarantee needed exotic level of equipment, not a "I must do this to win" button. A good unique should always beat a assembly.

Hence, I need a ranked list of assemblies, with possible comments on which ones are overpowered, and (REALLY HELPFUL!) how to nerf them in a way that wont make them useless.
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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2016, 21:30 »

I could answer this accurately if it were 3 years ago.. :(

The only ones that still stand out for me and still remember is:

1. Tactical shotgun

Basically if you had the mods, this was a no-brainer. It's better than its exotic equivalent the assault shotgun in every way imaginable except for having a clip size of 5 instead of 6, and the combat shotgun was fairly easy to get. I think preserving the combat shotgun's original damage could be a reasonable nerf: you're mostly making this assembly to avoid pumping the shotgun. This way there's *something* in the way of trade-offs, since you could consider keeping a combat shotgun with just a single P mod if you really needed the extra damage.

2. Antigrav boots

It's fairly overkill to get +50% move speed, period. The only reason this is "balanced" is because you just won't find a N mod in most games. I think a cool way to nerf this assembly could be to make it so the bonus depends on your tactics, starting with a modest move speed bonus (say 25%), but switching tactics to running makes the boots count as though the move speed bonus is 50%. If you're tired, the boots go down to 0-15% bonus. This might need a name change though :P

In general, the problem with nerfing assemblies that have rare mods like Obsidian or Nano is that for the most part they *should* be "overpowered" given the drop rates for O and N mods as well as the Whizkid requirements. If you wanted to nerf the super assemblies, I think drop rates should be improved; otherwise it'd be pointless to ever risk planning around finding these rare mods for a exotic-tier reward.

In general, most mods that have N And O on them are "overpowered" to some extent, but the ones are aren't always introduce some kind of trade-off that balances them out somewhat (can't take off, reduced damage, reduced move-speed, etc). In addition, N and O's base effects can be considered overpowered in and of itself with the right weapons or armor, and I'm not sure how that would be fixed aside from nerfing their base effect alongside increasing their drop rate if we want to go the route of making assemblies a tool to guarantee a certain level of equipment quality.

I think there's potential for very fun changes here though: if you nerf assemblies that need nerfing but adjust drop rates so the player can more freely experiment with assemblies in most games then I can see it working out. I do feel it's ok for assemblies that require WK2 and rare mods to be almost overpowered to some extent; hoarding the right mods and withholding on using them can be a pretty big risk if you don't already have good equipment, after all. The payoff should always be relatively big with these otherwise the player would feel cheated for investing in WK2, IMO.

(This is BananaKen on twitter, btw)
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2016, 03:55 »

I wonder if my post matches your expectations, but here is my point of view about current assemblies.  Subjective point of view, btw, but I remain quite experienced, and think many of my points are undenyable.
I craft really few assemblies.  To be honest, outside of my Tac RL, Tac boots, and ideally nanomacheat plasma or laser rifle, I rarely see any use in crafting assemblies.
The main reasons are :
  • Most assemblies are not as powerful as correctly modded weapons (e.g. 11d3 regular shotty with P3T2 vs Elephant gun, or any non-(A+P) armor).
  • I think it's good to have assemblies with drawbacks, but they need a more significant buff to go beyond thoses drawbacks.  Protecting boots should *really* protect you.  Maybe speed boots should make you more vulnerable (like the Tac armor does), and so on.
  • Many assemblies are situationnal, and would be useless most of the time.  It's a roguelike => You have to manage your inventory => Items which are too specific are useless (I don't even pick plasma shields or Jackhammer anymore.  Ignore Jackhammer ! Sad, isn't it ?).  Wasting mods or other resources to get them doesn't help either, of course.
  • The game relies too much on cornershooting.  Unless you're going melee, you can't rush into monsters (which makes shottyman / HR a fail, from my pov, since they don't reach the initial goal.  Gunrunner doesn't seem like a usable alternative to me, for a lot of reasons).  This means, as long as you can kill an approching monster (or group of monsters) with a weapon, you don't need any improvement.  Regular shotty and plasma gun are enough for that, so... I don't need anything else.
  • I probably would say the same about most of the game's exotics / uniques (save armors.  Many can be useful)
note : Ao100 probably makes many of those items more useful (melee ones, both cerberus...).  but while having assemblies dedicated to a playstyle seems fine, I don't think having ones relevant only in one game mod is a good thing.
Also, I know you can play without WK, which makes several basic assemblies more valuable (like Tac shotty), but the fact that many Advanced/Master assemblies have no real use will still remain.


Basic
Assembly            Base                Mods     Personnal opinion
--------            ----                ----     -----------------
chainsword          combat knife        PB       Melee assembly : Good on paper, but useless after CC => useless outside of Ao100...
piercing blade      any melee weapon    AP       Melee assembly : Good on paper, but useless after CC.  I used to create piercing chainsaws, but honestly... who needs that ?
speedloader         pistol    pistol    AT       THE pistol assembly.  Cheap and useful.  Helps against THE weakness of pistol builds : reloading time.
elephant gun        shotgun             PP       Not useless.  Power is insane.  I don't craft it because reloading time is too high, which makes it dangerous. (and imo, cornershooting >>> "shottyman"), but it looks decent to me.  It's the assembly which made me stop using 7d3 shotguns, since I fell in love with this ridiculous knockback.  Maybe reduce reloading time anyway, since 10d3 with 1sec reload time and 3 assembly slots seems way more powerful than 12d3 with 2.5 rel time and 0/1 assembly slot.
gatling gun         chaingun            BB       Maybe useful.  I save my B mods for a tac RL, and ideally a nanomachic plasma rifle, but this assembly clearly works well, and is usable early.  The two weaknesses I find are that it "wastes" my precious B, and that bullets are weaker/harder to find than plasma in late.
micro launcher      rocket launcher     TT       Useless.  I love the whole concept, but it sucks at destroying walls, which is one of the main use of RL.  Too bad, because it would give a use to my T mods, which I never really know where to spend. It may have the same issue with gibbing.  Also, IIRC, it consumes a lot of rockets for medium DPS, which creates ammo problems.  I think damages really should be buffed.  Maybe to 6d6, maybe a little less, but the minimum for me is to be able to shoot walls/corpses efficiently.
tactical armor      green armor         AA       Good.  I don't craft it anymore since it makes you very vulnerable to stupid mistakes, but it's an interresting and accessible assembly.  Gives good speed, and the dodge bonus combines well with it.  Sort of "Phasecheap armor" :p
tactical boots      steel boots         AA       Must have.  This has already been discussed, but no other boots are useful, except for some uniques and --in rare cases--, cerberus.  I don't think they should be nerfed more, but they point out the lack of useful boots items/assemblies.
nanofiber armor     any armor           BP       Looks decent.  I never craft any, and consider reducing a red armor from 6 to 2 is a crime (plus, you divide the resistance), but now that it doesn't cripple movespeed, I think it has uses, especially for vampire builds, which love getting hit.
high power weapon   any non-sg, >5ammo  PB       Useless.  I see it a a pistol-only assembly.  To me, the only use is to give knockback to a pistol in early game, pre-whizkid.  I doubt I'd use it outside of AoMr, since shottys are better at knocking back and pistols lack magazine size  (seriously... 4 bullets ? xD).  The damage buff seems to suck hard compared to the magazine drawback for most weapons. The P already gives one extra side, so keeping a normal buffed weapon seems better.  Even a MAC marine, which wouldn't suffer too much of the magazine drawback... wouldn't profit of the assembly either.
power armor         any common armor    PN       Great.  Having a (4+1)+2 red with 50% fire res and regeneration is insane :D  Making it indestructible could be cool... but it's powerful enough already, and it doesn't even need WK. 
tactical shotgun    combat shotgun      PT       Good.  I don't craft it anymore either... but it doesn't need WK, got nice damages, and doesn't need pumping.
tower shield        red armor           PO       -50% ms, not repairable (nor moddable), and require an Onyx ?  Looks useless to me :|  Bah, I would call it situationnal, but I think it definitly needs to be repairable.  At least, it seems to do its job well... its just too bad no one can afford to make and/or carry it.
fireproof armor     any armor           BT       Probably good against Cybie.  For any other use, I doubt an armor with +30% melee vulnerability is a very good choice.  I had completely forgotten it exists.  Way too specific from my pov.  I'd advocate removing the melee vulnerability.
fireproof boots     any boots           BT       I guess they coud (in theory) have some use, but in the real game ?  One suit is enough for the whole game (for Lava pits/Erebus), and non 100% resistance boots are not enough to make lava walking comfortable.  I think the problem of stuff like this, like fireproof armor (or even tower shield) is that you DON'T have an inventory slot to waste with such a situationnal item (and Tac boots will 99% of the time be more useful than fireproof ones, which don't even protect you against acid).  Maybe you should think of acid-proof (100%) boots with some speed bonus (or anything useful... but what else ?), and real fireproof (read 100%) which would still suck vs acid, but would, at least, have a real use for hell.
ballistic armor     any armor           AT       Same as fireproof armor, except there is no need of protection against bullets.  Melee buff looks cool for UC, but I wouldn't venture into any other hell level with an armor giving fire vulnerability.  At least, I think this armor should have ms and/or knockback boosts.
plasmatic shrapnel  any shotgun         PS       Probably useful, and very fun for the mortuary.  I don't use plasma shotguns anymore since they ruin your covers, but it is very powerful, and gibbing with shotguns can be priceless.  Looks too much situationnal, but like grappling boots, it's good at what it does, so I'd keep it as-is.  Maybe it should be more accessible, though, since you will rarely have the needed S mod when you'll need this one.
grappling boots     any boots           TT       Probably decent.  I don't have the use for this, but I think it can be good for a melee char which doesn't have a nano.  I'm still afraid Tac will be way better, but those ones, at least, give some protection, and look good vs knockback.  If they still suck, remove the movespeed penality.
lava boots          any boots           TO       Useless to me.  Except for some MAD marine which can't pick WK, who has an Onyx to waste for non-acid protective boots ?






Advanced
Assembly            Base                Mods     Personnal opinion
--------            ----                ----     -----------------
double chainsaw                   chainsaw            PPB Melee assembly : Good on paper, but useless after UC.
tactical rocket launcher          rocket launcher     BBB Good.  I love it, and always try to craft one. Reasons ? Normal damages, low collateral damages thanks to radius 2, no reloading problems with 5 rockets magazine, which also extends your global stock significantly (weapon + 1 slot = 15 rockets, vs 11 with a normal RL), and having a good RL early helps getting the shambler's head.  The (free) missile launcher is a serious competitor, which saves 3 bulks and has a better precision, but its reloading time can make it insufficient, and I don't like that it's missing the rocket jump alternate fire (which is a GOOD thing, since it needs you to make a choice !).
storm bolter pistol               any pistol          TBB Pistol assembly : I doubt getting more attack speed is really useful when you have SoG (and pistols are useless in other cases).  On the other hand, losing 2 accuracy and wasting ammo / increasing frequency of reloads can be a serious drawback.
assault rifle                     any rapid fire      AAA I think I crafted one, once.  Doesn't look like wasting 3 A mods is worth it.  (alias, no significant gain, at a significant cost).  The only real difference is +2 accuracy, and... well, 3 a-mods already give a +3 if not assembled.
energy pistol                     any pistol          PPT Pistol assembly : Very useful for AoMr, may be of use for a SoG... and useless for anyone else.  Plasma damages are cool, but a RL is way better at digging walls, and so is a plasma rifle at shooting monsters.  The main use is that it gives you less ammo dependency, but this is probably enough to make this assembly a useful one, since it has a real purpose.
burst cannon                      any rapid fire      PBB Same as assault rifle : doesn't seem worth wasting mods.  One pseudo-trades shooting speed for accuracy, this one is the opposite... I doubt any is worth wasting any mod.  If I got two B to put on a rapid fire, I'll either B2 mod my plasma rifle, or make a gatling.
VBFG9000                          any BFG 9000        PPP I don't quite get the point of this one.  Basic BFG does 35 average dmg.  VBFG does 45, which I don't see as a significant boost, as the cost of 50% MORE AMMO !?!?!  Ok, it has 2 more radius, but BFG already have enough, don't they ?  A P3 modded normal BFG consumes less ammo... and does 43.5 average damages, which is roughly the same as the VBFG, but still has 2 slots for mods :|
enviromental boots                any boots           PBT I crafted a few, a long time ago, but honestly : one rarely need to walk in fluids. Losing HP (and boots %) everytime you do makes it uncomfortable, even with 90% resists, and you lack speed boost, btw.  The fact that you shouldn't add the B mod last is another little annoyance (dunno if adding the P last changes anything, with 90% resist).
fireshield                        red armor           BTO I doubt -20%ms is worth wasting an onyx.  Not very different from tower shield : less ms cripple, but worse vs plasma, need WK1... and same terrible shield drawbacks.  Useless for me.
nanofiber skin armor              any armor           PPN I tried it a few times, but don't think I got any satisfaction with it.  It prevents you from using inquisitor or phaseshift set (or any situational armor, like a duelist or plasma shield).  Even if that one is quite efficient, I doubt wasting a nano for a cursed armor is a good idea. Also, if you manage to get your armor lowered, 1% regen on cursed stuff may become lethal very quickly.
antigrav boots                    any boots           AAN Great !  I crafted 2 or 3 pairs only, since I prefer my nano plasma, but it's always delightful.  Tested and approved in my recent apostle run.  May need a nerf, but nerfing the nano mod (how ? :|  cripple it ?) would be the only sensible approach.
nano-shrapnel                     any shotgun         PPN Useless.  I think I crafted 2. The first was a plasma shotty in Ao100, "to try it".  The poor weapon went down from 9d3 to a 4d3 unusable junk, not even capable of knocking back a simple former.  Wasting a nano to ruin a shotgun is one of the most expensive available assembly mistakes in the game : this sucks.  Of course, it works well on a super shotty, but I can't imagine any other use, and you don't have a nano to waste for this if you're not in Ao666.  For shotty assemblies, I would look for something better.  E.g., "automatic shotgun", not giving free ammo, but just free reload as long as your inventory has shells. (it would not need a precious N, just something like TBB.  Maybe limited to combat shotty to nerf damages ? Bah, for me, assembling is already a big nerf)
hyperblaster                      plasma rifle        ATT Great.  It used to be part of the items I craft on every run.  Now, I go for B3 plasma instead (and rarely waste a slot for a 2nd plasma gun), but that one remains excellent. On the contrary of other average assemblies, this one has no drawbacks, and serious improvements. (accuracy, shooting time, multi-targetting flexibility, and ammo saving) Using the game's "best weapon" as a basis helps.  Great.
focused double shotgun            double shotgun      PAT Dunno well... Technically, it makes double shotty usable, and damages are good.  On the other hand, I wonder what's the extra value compared to a regular shotgun.  Maybe it lets you "shoot at twice the speed", but you don't need that when cornershooting (which is, from what I know, the only UV/N! way to go).  Looks useless to me, despite nice stats.  Also, a double shotty is quite unusable before beeing assembled






Master
Assembly            Base                Mods     Personnal opinion
--------            ----                ----     -----------------
nanomanufacture ammo              ranged non-sg/BFG   BBBN Sweeeeeet.  Maybe too much ? Bah, it doesn't make a big difference compared to a standard B3N weapon, which will usually have enough magazine for most situations.  Nano is OP by design, anyway.
demolition ammo                   any 10mm weapon     PTTF Sort of energy pistol, but whichs needs one more WK, doesn't have plasma damages, destroys stuff and barrels randomly, and require one F.  What the... ?  Btw, you can also prefer modding a minigun, but if you ever tried, I doubt you found any use in this.  Not even usable in melee...  too bad, because the concept was fun.  Maybe it shoud become a basic assembly, like "PF" ?
cybernano armor                   any armor           PPON Cursed again... and costs the game's two best mods :|  Well, it seems quite efficient, but who can afford that ?  Btw, denying the use of Malek, and having to choose between Phaseshift or Red (or other) suit remains dubious.  Quite innaccessible, and yet not as useful as nano gun or antigrav boots, at a higher cost.  Useless for me.
biggest fucking gun               any BFG 9000        BBFF So fun !!!  To bad no one can craft that.  Pretty efficient at doing its job, but who is unlucky enough to find two F mods in a non-Ao100 game ?  Maybe change this to BBPF ?  Bah, it might be impossible to craft, but at least, it's worth it.
ripper                            chainsaw            TPPB Melee AND Master assembly : useless after UC, and would need a chainsaw in Ao100.  Funny joke :)   I remember I tried to craft one once in a regular game.  Didn't found my 2nd P mod before... the mortuary :o))
cerberus boots                    any boots           PPTA Freaking drawback with -30ms while Tac boots usually give you +25, but at least, it's worth it.  Very expensive, though.  In a regular game, my lava-proof inventory slot is the single suit for the pits.  No needs for that, really.
cerberus armor                    any armor           PPTA Expensive and not that efficient.  Is it really worth it ?  The slow cripples you, and the 0 armor needs another P to get some real efficiency.  Maybe useful for an AoHu, but I'm not sure.  A tac suit might be less dangerous than the -30ms this one gives, and P-modded red or blue are way more accessible.  In theory, I used to think Cerberus gothic / phaseshift or onyx are cool.  In reality ?  In Ao100 only.




While I have a few purposals, like nano-shrapnel or demo ammo, I think the biggest problem comes from the game mechanics themselves (a turn based doom is, by definition, either unplayable, or 2-devable)
I have no idea about what JH is going to be, but I'd love reading that it will be in real time.  Turns-based games are great, but doomRL leaves me with the impression that the concept reached its limits (again, see 2-dev, or the different challenges like AoP, AoI, AoHu...  the invariant between those is roughly : "go damageless or die" !).
The most interesting / replayable "roguelike" I've found so far is Binding of Isaac (FTL was great too, but not well balanced).  I think being real-time-based helps, since it needs the player to react fast, and adapt to different situations (While in DoomRL, I can play in a way different situations won't occur)

Well, I'm digressing again.  What d'you think of this ?
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 01:36 by Evilpotatoe »
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2016, 06:47 »

Perfect guys, that's exactly the feedback I need! Still waiting for others, especially if someone doesn't disagree with what has been written :).

The reliance on cornershooting is so deeply rooted in the game, that this will be something I'll have to let go, and find a suitable replacement for JH.

P.S. You'll soon see a BETA 2 with some initial changes.
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Kornel Kisielewicz

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2016, 08:13 »

Oh, I havn't noticed the turn-based argument - (un)fortunately JH will still be turn based - I think there's still much to explore in this format, especially if we remove the reliance on a buggy cornershooting mechanic :P. You might be glad to hear though, that we are playing around with an idea of a non-turn-based sequel to it -- but that is the far future, and only if JH works out!
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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2016, 08:54 »

Bah, as long as the game doesn't use such an exploitable mechanic as its corner stone, I guess it still can be interesting (And I'm quite confident that you'll come up with something nice).
To give an example where turn-based "is better", turning Blood bowl into a real-time game is an Idea I never liked (and the result was terrible).

One of the things I would worry the most about is balance, since it's freaking hard to find the good compromise, and the whole DoomRL thing, while very good, has some issues about OP melee, nano, dual-angels combos... (which is quite by design, since those are the result of your way of "chaos forging" things, and see what happens).

That's why I say, about exotics/uniques, that I would expect a "clean-up" more than "new stuff".  Putting new stuff in seems pointless to me if we don't try to understand why current ones are unused, and try to fix what needs to be.
The same could apply to traits and masteries, many weapons, fire skull, F-mod, and so on, but all in all...  DoomRL remains a great game, despite all useless stuff and masteries.  I'm just trying to make it (or JH) even better.

Now that I know games like DoomRL, I can't play old-school ones like Hengband : Too much crappy stuff, random things, grind, exploits...
I'd love JH to make me definitely stop playing doomRL (well, I doubt I would : shootgunning hordes of demons is too sweet, and I love that caco death sound), but if JH is deeper, harder, less repetitive... it might be what happens.
I can mainly wait and see anyway, but I have to bring what I can to the edifice.
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appuru

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2016, 10:06 »

To add to the cornershooting topic, I think one big takeaway from its advent is that *some* form of cover-based defense is essential in the context of DoomRL. It doesn't need to be as binary as it currently is (aka a low level character with some weapon traits can render even archviles harmless with a tactical shotgun and a corner, yet 2 imps can be deadly in the open). Take XCOM, for example; you can use map geometry to vastly boost your defense, and getting flanked nullifies this defense bonus. I really think cornershooting can be fixed and replaced with a system that provides chance to dodge and/or even damage reduction based on your cover (or even the type of tile you're standing on).

It would need some math to calculate hit chances based on proximity and whether you're flanked or not, but it's a tried and true method of emphasizing the use of cover in turn based combat, and I figure this would be the natural evolution of cornershooting.

I don't mean to derail from the topic though, I'd be glad to talk more about this elsewhere :P
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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2016, 12:00 »

When I was creating DoomRL, I didn't fully know what I was doing :P. The tactics and gameplay kind of evolved. AliensRL and Berserk! are more of an example of controlled design, and I think that despite their comparable simplicity they show a much more thought out design.

JH is the same - we'll first try to make an enjoyable Arena-style combat game before stretching it out to a full game. Actually when the time comes you're both invited to help out :P.
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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2016, 23:01 »

Excellent analysis, Evilpotatoe!  :D  *Applauds*  I would've said pretty much the same thing with a few addendums...

Gatling Gun:  I like having one around in masterless games.  It's good to have something that uses bullets in case you run out of other types of ammo and it's nice to have a bullet weapon that's slightly more powerful than the regular chaingun.

Micro Launcher:  I've gotten this one a bunch of times in games where I was unable to get Eagle Eye.  I think the point of this weapon is to give the rocket launcher more of a chance to be a "primary" weapon.  The rocket launcher is good for wall-busting and corpse-disposal, but in regular combat, it's uncommon to find a situation where it's the best one to use, because enemies can get shots in during the slow reloading time and this gets exacerbated if your shot misses.  The micro launcher trades a bit of damage for being able to fire and reload faster and have better accuracy.  I disagree with Evilpotatoe about giving it a damage buff; I think the reduced damage is a fair trade for more versatility.

High power weapon:  Agreed on all points, except that I would be more likely to use it on rapid weapons than on pistols, since having a smaller clip size means more frequent reloading which exacerbates the pistol's biggest drawback.

Tower Shield:  For the record, Evilpotatoe, all "shield" types of armour can be repaired with a Megasphere.

Fireproof armour/boots and Ballistic armour:  I personally never get these; I don't like the idea of armour that decreases any of my resistances.  That could just be my playing style, though; I know they are popular amongst other players.

Grappling boots:  I'll get these once in a while if I want something with slightly better protection against fluids, but for the most part, I'd rather have extra speed and avoid stepping in fluids at all.

Storm Bolter Pistol:  I much prefer the one that we had in the previous version; that storm bolter kicked ass!  :)  I suppose it's understandable that it had to be nerfed, but I think it got nerfed too much.

Assault Rifle:  This one has been brought up a bunch of times, I think.  There are a lot of much better uses for agility mods and this one doesn't come even remotely close to being useful enough to justify using three of them!  Also, it just feels weird, turning a rapid-fire weapon into, essentially, a pistol with a big clip.  I can only see it being useful if it has much higher accuracy and/or damage.  (Oh hey!  That could be your sniper rifle, Evilpotatoe!)  :)

Burst Cannon:  As long as I have enough levels in Eagle Eye, I've found this one to be quite useful on a number of occasions.  I think it's fine the way it is.

Focused Double Shotgun:  As Evilpotatoe would say, "it looks good on paper."  :)  It takes away the double shotgun's biggest drawback, which sounds really good in theory, but in practice, I'd much rather use my bullet or plasma weapons for far away enemies.  I suppose it could be good in an Angel of Shotgunnery game, since it gives you a bit more versatility, but in AoSh games that I've played, getting Whizkid hasn't been a priority, so I never used it.

One more thing...

Gunrunner doesn't seem like a usable alternative to me, for a lot of reasons). 

This makes me really want to record a game with Gunrunner build.  :D  It takes a while to get going, but it's a lot of fun once it does.  :)

EDIT:

Actually when the time comes you're both invited to help out :P.

Can I help out too?  :D
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 23:02 by Tormuse »
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2016, 03:04 »

@Tormuse :
I'm glad to see my pov doesn't seem too much subjective after all, but yeah, some items can clearly be useful

#Micro Launcher
You seem right, I should not have rated it "useless", I guess it may have (real) uses.
But I really feel it eats too much rockets.  Used it a few times, and got serious problems with it.  Maybe you're right about the accuracy efficiency (I'll try to replace my Tac RL with that for shambler's head... and see if it works.  Still, I'm afraid I'll ruin my -often short at the time- rocket supply.)
I agree a damage buff is probably not the best (not roleplay...), but maybe it could get a clip size of 2, refillable with 1 single rocket ?  Bah, dunno well.  The accurracy buff seems quite weak compared to the drawbacks to me.  Gotta retry it for Shambly, though. (and get Pwned if I get Lab instead of HA:)

#High power weapon
Do you ever craft one ? :p  I doubt one extra side is worth losing 1/3 ammo and blocking other mod slots. I think the only ones I crafted were pistols, to get rid of demons in early AoMr.

#Grappling boots :
Those ones shall get a melee damage buff and get renamed into "Tormuse boots" :D

#Burst cannon :
Do you use this with MAc ?  Looks like it eats ammo pretty fast (which means wasting 2 more shots for every former), and I don't feel like it's of any real use in most cases.  I don't pick TH for the same reason (SOB seems much more relevant to me), since once you're behind your corner, you don't have to worry too much about your DPS as long as it's high enough.
The numbers don't seem too bad with EE to back-it up, but I can't really imagine a scenario where I would "need" this.

#Gunrunner :
I don't doubt it can be used, and it's one of the master-traits which brings a real upgrade to the player, but blocking SOB is violent, and blocking Whizkid is frustrating.  I agree this "could be OP" (...not as much as MVm or MAc, imo), but the first thing I want to do with such a mastery is crafting a nanomachic missile launcher and run through monsters, wrecking chaotic havoc.
Currently, I can't.  Nor can I craft an hyperblaster, or whatever funny I'd like to... :'(

I love the idea, and the gunrunning aspect fits my playstyle well, but it's not enough "cornershooting-compliant" with the current game.
I find it very frustrating to have to weaken your char in early by picking weak traits, and then be capped without WK or SOB.
Also, not choosing your targets while running looks like a lack of crontrol to me : placing shooty blasts or rockets with precision is a part of the tactics/strategy which I guess I would miss... if I managed to get one of those wimpy chars to lvl 6, which I doubt I ever did (they probably all got a Darwin's award very quickly... kind of natural selection :p).
And (icing on the cake), having to run for it to work looks like "Yet another constricting nerf".  I can understand it, but this means my mastery won't be usable, or will quickly cost me a lot of kits if I fall in levels without powerups (while my inventory shall be dedicated to more ammo since I lack SOB.)

I'm sure the "running turret" mode can be fun once enabled, but in the current game, it looks too weak to me.
A bit like "Bullet dance" : sure you can play and win a game with it (Look at my recent "MBD conqueror !"), but... well, I'm not sure it's the easiest way to go.
Btw, feel free to record a gundancing demo if you enjoy it, I'll be your first viewer ^^
« Last Edit: April 05, 2016, 14:13 by Evilpotatoe »
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Tormuse

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2016, 22:39 »

Btw, feel free to record a gundancing demo if you enjoy it, I'll be your first viewer ^^

Now, that sounds like a challenge!  :D :D :D
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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2016, 18:10 »

Is Gun Kata totally useless, then? I've beaten HNTR and nearly beat HMP with it (panicked while well stocked, YASD, and I realize it's not UV), but it encourages the opposite of corner shooting, though I suppose it's partially compatible with it if you have Int2, a backup Shotgun, or are willing to waste pistol shots guessing at enemy positions. I would have to agree about the power of speedloader pistols, though bulkmodded pistols are okay once you get MGK and can reload for free, which makes speedloaders more of a backup option.

Out of curiosity, how would DoomRL even work without a way to prevent all damage? I guess stronger dodging might work, but given how punishing getting hit is, leaving that to chance seems like a great way to run out of medkits and die.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 18:13 by Shadowfury333 »
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appuru

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2016, 03:51 »

Out of curiosity, how would DoomRL even work without a way to prevent all damage? I guess stronger dodging might work, but given how punishing getting hit is, leaving that to chance seems like a great way to run out of medkits and die.

Roguelikes like DCSS (or just "Crawl") work just fine with extreme amount of variance on damage and hit rates, it's all math and probability in the end (you just gotta make sure the math checks out and you don't have extreme scenarios like too little/too much damage). However, being forced to use tactics to avoid damage is fun, specially when you're threatened by potentially lethal amounts of damage. Cornershooting works surprisingly well with relation to how monster damage currently works, but I'm sure this strategy can be fleshed out into a more elaborate way of gaining positional advantage (maybe for JH :3 *hint hint*)
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Thomas

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2016, 07:16 »

I haven't played in a while and I only make basic APTB assemblies, but here we go:

Way too good:
Tactical boots
Nobody cares about anything on boots except for movespeed.
How to fix it: Another complete overhaul of the boots/liquid mechanics? Again? We didn't go far enough years ago!?

Tactical shotgun
Upsides over combat shotgun:
  • More damage
  • No pumping
  • Reloads all 5 shells on shottyman movement
  • Negative opportunity cost: Frees up your inventory slot(s) from the mods that you wanted to put on your combat shotgun anyway.
How to fix it: uh. give it some kind of downside.
Anything would work. Maybe a recipe that makes 'less damage' make more sense, like TT or AT. Then it can be 6d3 and at least it would be a poor choice against armored targets.

Speedloader pistol
ugh, who even plays pistol games
This is pretty clearly the best direction to take your pistols in because it's the only basic pistol assembly.
How to fix it: Introduce an alternative.
How to actually fix it: Reduce damage. Damage and reload time are basically the big things for pistol users so you might as well have one trade off for the other.

Good:
Micro launcher
Bordering on too good. The regular rocket launcher is bad for actual combat, and the micro launcher improves it in all the right ways with little downside.
How to fix it: Don't fix this, fix the regular rocket launcher!

Tactical armor
The only armor assembly I bother with. There's no other basic armor assemblies, but P-modded armor is good enough (and armor, fragile/plentiful enough) that it's not a no-brainer.

Elephant gun
Even in a world where the tactical shotgun exists, I still use this from time to time. Easy to make, good armor penetration. The only buff it needs is a nerf to its compeditor.

Gatling gun
ugh, who even plays rapidfire
It's alright. Honestly it might be too good, but it doesn't feel like it because it gets in direct competition with the plasma rifle shortly after you make it.

Almost there:
Fireproof armor
Oh right! Tactical armor isn't the only one I bother with!
Nobody ever remembers this exists. It seems good, fire and melee are both important so it's an interesting trade.
How to fix it: Put big neon letters in the title screen telling the player how to make it.

High power
So you get two extra sides on your dice. Isn't that just what we call P2-modded?
How to fix it: Make it do the reverse power mod - it increases the lower XdY number by 1. Then when everyone's melting faces with their 2d7 plasma rifle, nerf it down to balanced from there.

Grappling boots
Bordering on garbage. But occaisionally I'll be playing a melee game and I'll be getting knocked around by enemy attacks and the whole world will go in to black and white infomercial-vision.
"There has to be a better way!"
and if grappling boots were better, maybe I would buy them for 5 easy payments of $11.99.
How to fix it:
-50%? We'll double it! -100% knockback!
Use the new "Toggle boots" keybinding to turn the knockback reduction on and off without taking any time!
Order now and we'll throw in a fancy new shotgun, absolutely FREE!*

Garbage:
Nanofiber armor
I already have infinite armor. I'm leaving entire suits of armor on the ground because I can't fit any more in my inventory.
Infinite durability is actually a pretty small upside (on regular armor. on really good armor with movespeed bonuses, holy moly that's not true)
How to fix it: Remove all protection penalties. The only downside should be "you used two mods to make an armor with no +protection or +movespeed"

Fireproof boots
come on, do I need to spell it out
How to fix it: "The intense heat of Mt. Erebus/The Lava Pits has hardened your fireproof boots! A glorious new power is welling up in the bottom of your sole!"
"You now have equipped: Neo-fireproof boots [99/99]"
How to actually fix it: overhaul of liquid/boots system

Chainsword
Okay so this weapon is actually pretty good for malicious blades and whatnot, but it gets to be the big poster child for "melee assemblies are a bit dumb"
All melee assemblies have two big problems:
1. you get artifact melee weapons for free outside of A100, and other melee weapons basically don't try to compete with them
2. They're all basically just 'the same thing but more damage'.

How to fix melee assemblies:
When I was playing with the modding tools back in the day, I made a combat knife variant called the "big stick". 10d2 damage, +6 acc, 3.0 firedelay. I also heavily reduced ammo drops to force myself in to a really generalist playstyle. So while nobody with any levels of Brute is going to choose that over the chainsaw, my usual kind of character would be nervously counting the shotgun shells in his jeans pocket as he gets in to batting stance for the lost soul charging at him.

Basically I'm trying to make two points:
1. I have great ideas.
2. Even after modding your game pretty hard (I really reduced ammo drops) there's only a small amount of melee weapon design space to explore.

Roguelikes like DCSS (or just "Crawl") work just fine with extreme amount of variance on damage and hit rates,

As someone who disagrees with you right here, Crawl's long fights and big damage swings work (for people who like that game) because of its other mechanics, like the regenerating HP system.

Personallly I vastly prefer games balanced around non-regenerating HP - it's much more intuitive to be terrified because you're on 5 HP and the next fireball will kill you rather than because you're on 0 scrolls of blinking (note: I am garbage at crawl. Obviously I mean "consumables in general", though) and the next entire fight with a centaur (really garbage) will.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 07:29 by Thomas »
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appuru

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2016, 08:30 »

As someone who disagrees with you right here, Crawl's long fights and big damage swings work (for people who like that game) because of its other mechanics, like the regenerating HP system.

Personallly I vastly prefer games balanced around non-regenerating HP - it's much more intuitive to be terrified because you're on 5 HP and the next fireball will kill you rather than because you're on 0 scrolls of blinking (note: I am garbage at crawl. Obviously I mean "consumables in general", though) and the next entire fight with a centaur (really garbage) will.

Regenerating HP has little to do with making this high variance work though.. it works because you can react even to worst-case scenario rolls with an appropriate action, and there's (almost always) enough information on screen to tell you whether or not you should be taking a particular fight. Heck, there's classes centered around not being able to regenerate (deep dwarves) and they work just fine, they work quite well in fact: you just have rough parallels to DoomRL's TaN traits, medkits and vampirism to keep you alive.

Don't get me wrong, I actually dislike the swinginess of Crawl's damage and I wish enemy damage was easier to anticipate, but it works just fine. I wouldn't *want* DoomRL to go this route without a good reason, I'm just trying to say it's definitely possible to have a system where you're not always able to avoid damage even with ideal positioning. Would said system be more fun and interesting IN DoomRL? I don't know! But whatever becomes of DoomRL and/or JH I'd be glad to test it out.
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Thomas

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2016, 09:47 »

Well, there are multiple reasons that they chose to use high-variance damage (I would hope), I just felt like there was a connection there. Because damage doesn't add up in the long term (usually), at least some individual fights have to be dangerous on their own. And to make some fights dangerous without making them all dangerous, they made most attacks deal 2d20 on a 50% hit instead of 8d3 with perfect accuracy.

Don't get me wrong, I actually dislike the swinginess of Crawl's damage and I wish enemy damage was easier to anticipate, but it works just fine. I wouldn't *want* DoomRL to go this route without a good reason, I'm just trying to say it's definitely possible to have a system where you're not always able to avoid damage even with ideal positioning. Would said system be more fun and interesting IN DoomRL? I don't know! But whatever becomes of DoomRL and/or JH I'd be glad to test it out.

Ah, the reason I replied earlier is because I don't agree with this. I love DoomRL much more than any other roguelike and it's because it's basically unique among its classic roguelike peers in being about positional tactics.* Removing cornershooting from DoomRL without replacing it with something else, or not including positional tactics in JH wouldn't make things fun and interesting and I wouldn't be glad to test it out.

*also it's not four times too long
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2016, 12:22 »

I fully agree about the positional tactics you mention and its value, but currently, cornershooting is just WAY too easy.
An example of nerf would be the "Hell froze over" levels.  I played a game a few days ago, where I sacrificed an assault shotty into plasmatic, hence ruining my covers (and finally dying to a lack of medkits / armors since every other shell removed my cover, giving barons, spiders and other friends dozens of opportunity to show their superiority).
I did it for the challenge, but hell... I wasn't disappointed !
The problem is that currently, the game is not ready for a removal of this mechanism.  Remembers me when I didn't know about cornershooting... every run we tried ended-up at the wall... (Dlvl 7 IIRC, as of 0.9.9.6).  And we were playing HNTR !

One thing I could imagine, if covers get removed, would be the idea of implementing lost-soul-like projectiles, which take time to reach the player, and can be dodged. (also, monster's attack should be preceded by an animation so that the player can stand-up in the open without too much risks of getting shred in 2 turns).
I really love the way lost sould work since 0.9.9.7, they force the player to choose between taking some damages or get forced to move, which is something you often would prefer to avoid.  I think the games needs more mechanins forcing the player to choose between plague and cholera, it's something always fun to deal with :)

Other cool constraints include time-limited levels (I *hate* nukes !!!), which both prevent you from perma-waiting, and also encourage you to go for non-100% (I don't see why I would play less than 100% when it has no cost, but gives more xp and stuff).
I Guess this means it should have drawbacks : your precious time, ammo...  also, not giving XP for monsters, and/or creating different kind of areas, not always worth visiting, would make the player more goal-oriented (currently, even a single imp is a goal in itself, since it gives XP.).


Oh, and btw, having to choose between moving and shooting doesn't help promoting "dodging" strategies.  The contradiction is quite obvious : as soon as you encounter an enemy, you can :
A) try to dodge, leaving the baddy unharmed, and still getting some little chance to get hit
B) attack, negating all of your dodge, and making your traits useless, but... at least, after some shots, you'll have shot the bad guy.
You can't rely on your dodge if you need to stop and stand still everytime there's an enemy.  I know I simplified the problem (dodging mancubi, or dodging between bareels can be more effective than what my A) pretends), but the issue remains : choosing A) will most of the time lead you nowhere, and you'll have to choose B) soon or later, making the dodging just an uneeded way of taking some extra damages.

Also, I think monster's chance to miss is currently too high without skills, and skills don't help the way they would need to.  You don't need HR to just start "running" and shotgun-to-death an enemy with your 100% accuracy while your "running" tactic makes him miss 2/3 of his attacks, despite the fact you're not actually moving.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2016, 14:15 by Evilpotatoe »
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Thomas

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2016, 23:51 »

(A story about how important cornershooting is to victory)
The problem is that currently, the game is not ready for a removal of this mechanism.  Remembers me when I didn't know about cornershooting... every run we tried ended-up at the wall... (Dlvl 7 IIRC, as of 0.9.9.6).  And we were playing HNTR !

Yep. I think everyone knows that if cornershooting were removed it would need to be replaced by something else immediately. But it's (probably) not happening for DoomRL, and if it did happen for JH then I would want this 'something else' to also promote positional tactics.

Quote
Oh, and btw, having to choose between moving and shooting doesn't help promoting "dodging" strategies.  The contradiction is quite obvious : as soon as you encounter an enemy, you can :
A) try to dodge, leaving the baddy unharmed, and still getting some little chance to get hit
B) attack, negating all of your dodge, and making your traits useless, but... at least, after some shots, you'll have shot the bad guy.
You can't rely on your dodge if you need to stop and stand still everytime there's an enemy.  I know I simplified the problem (dodging mancubi, or dodging between bareels can be more effective than what my A) pretends), but the issue remains : choosing A) will most of the time lead you nowhere, and you'll have to choose B) soon or later, making the dodging just an uneeded way of taking some extra damages.

This isn't entirely correct. Obviously dodging around doesn't kill enemies unless, like you said, it's causing friendly fire between them. What the dodging system promotes is repositioning. You find a good spot to shoot the enemies from, you figure out a path towards it made out of sidestep moves and then you dodge your way there. It's what lets you start shooting in the first place.

Dodging can also get you closer to killing an enemy in more direct ways if you're playing Shottyman, naturally. Reloading is just as important as shooting for dealing damage.
And Shottyhead makes fighting in the open actually quite powerful, although it's only sometimes because of dodging (other times it's because of repeated knockback at the edge of your vision circle - cornershooting without the corner)

I'm probably just saying things you already knew. But anyway, comparing "moving" to "shooting" is only part of the picture when you're thinking about how useful sidestep dodging is.

Quote
Also, I think monster's chance to miss is currently too high without skills, and skills don't help the way they would need to.  You don't need HR to just start "running" and shotgun-to-death an enemy with your 100% accuracy while your "running" tactic makes him miss 2/3 of his attacks, despite the fact you're not actually moving.

I never feel like I dodge more when I get hellrunner. I'd only be slightly surprised if someone went in to the code and found "oh, whoops! That part hasn't been working for years!" I still get it a lot for the movespeed, though.

But what you said is interesting. Running mode is very powerful and I'm not sure how it should be changed.

Quote
One thing I could imagine, if covers get removed, would be the idea of implementing lost-soul-like projectiles, which take time to reach the player, and can be dodged. (also, monster's attack should be preceded by an animation so that the player can stand-up in the open without too much risks of getting shred in 2 turns).
I really love the way lost sould work since 0.9.9.7, they force the player to choose between taking some damages or get forced to move, which is something you often would prefer to avoid.  I think the games needs more mechanins forcing the player to choose between plague and cholera, it's something always fun to deal with :)

Actually, since you mentioned this, I've been working on my own game and I'm trying to make it so you can avoid most of the damage with positioning, but without cornershooting (or any kind of cover). I only came up with three kinds of ranged attacks, and you just mentioned two of them: 'Lost soul'-style projectiles, attacks that happen after a warning, and attacks that can only be fired at certain angles.

I'm interested to see what kind of enemy attacks and/or cover systems show up in JH.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 00:02 by Thomas »
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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #18 on: April 08, 2016, 00:33 »

Hey Thomas, thanks for your input!  It's nice to hear from someone who has a contrasting playstyle.  :)

  • Reloads all 5 shells on shottyman movement

The Tac shotgun doesn't do that any more; it only loads one shell per movement in this version.  (It really has been a while since you played!)  ;)  Is that enough of a nerf for you?  I don't think a damage nerf would be a good idea; no one would ever use it again.  Personally, I think it's fine the way it is.

Nanofiber armor
I already have infinite armor. I'm leaving entire suits of armor on the ground because I can't fit any more in my inventory.
Infinite durability is actually a pretty small upside (on regular armor. on really good armor with movespeed bonuses, holy moly that's not true)
How to fix it: Remove all protection penalties. The only downside should be "you used two mods to make an armor with no +protection or +movespeed"

While it's true that there's plenty of armour around, sometimes, it's helpful to have an unbreakable armour to fall back on so you don't have to switch between damaged armours; having to switch armour during combat can be deadly.  (Potentially saves you an inventory slot too)  I don't always get it, but there are definitely situations where it's useful.  I wouldn't recommend removing the protection penalties, because then it becomes the same as an Onyx mod and then the Onyx mod isn't special any more.  Right now, it's sort of a "poor man's Onyx assembly," for games where you don't get an Onyx mod and I think it works well as it is.

Btw, feel free to record a gundancing demo if you enjoy it, I'll be your first viewer ^^

I had a really good recording going today, trying to do a Gunrunner build in Archangel of Red Alert, (figured I should try to get a badge while I was at it)  :)  but alas, I died just before getting Gunrunner due to a careless error where I shot a sergeant at point-blank range with my rocket launcher because I didn't realize I forgot to switch to my shotgun.  (Oops!)  :P  It really sucked because the game was going pretty well up to that point.  :(  (Halfway through Deimos!)  I don't know if you care to see that recording, but in any case, I'll have to try again another day; I have a busy weekend ahead of me and I'm not sure when I'll have free time to make another attempt.
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Thomas

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #19 on: April 08, 2016, 01:23 »

The Tac shotgun doesn't do that any more; it only loads one shell per movement in this version.  (It really has been a while since you played!)  ;)  Is that enough of a nerf for you?  I don't think a damage nerf would be a good idea; no one would ever use it again.  Personally, I think it's fine the way it is.

whoops
When I said "a while" I only meant half a year! I guess I just forgot about that bit.

I still think it's too good, though. It's my most-made assembly (barely beats tac boots, 5x more than tac armor and micro launcher) and every time I assemble it, it's my primary weapon for the entire game, outside of special levels in Hell.

EDIT: this used to say "I might use the tactical shotgun a lot because the other shotguns are bad" but I thought about it and that's not entirely it.
My companions to the tactical shotgun are generally the double shotgun and anything that makes big explosions. But the tactical shotgun is the most ammo-efficient of them all and works at any range, from point blank to edge of LOS.

It means that there's rarely thoughts of "My tactical shotgun won't work here, I need to swap", only things like "Here I am at The Wall/The City of Skulls, where I understand that I'll always be at the appropriate range for my Rocket Launcher/Double Shotgun." and "It's level 23 and I have finally ran out of shells, let's missile launcher our way through the rest of the game"

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While it's true that there's plenty of armour around, sometimes, it's helpful to have an unbreakable armour to fall back on so you don't have to switch between damaged armours; having to switch armour during combat can be deadly.  (Potentially saves you an inventory slot too)  I don't always get it, but there are definitely situations where it's useful.  I wouldn't recommend removing the protection penalties, because then it becomes the same as an Onyx mod and then the Onyx mod isn't special any more. Right now, it's sort of a "poor man's Onyx assembly," for games where you don't get an Onyx mod and I think it works well as it is.

I did forget that Onyx even existed - so if BP and O just gave the same effect then that would be no good. I'm not sure how I would buff it now.

I don't really feel pressured by armor durability most of the time. Unmodded armor only becomes worse than nanofiber armor at 25% durability, and armor shards or new armor is plentiful enough that I rarely see my armor degrade to < 25%. (unless it's A-modded, then I'll gladly wear it all the way down to 0 unless I'm saving it to make tac armor)

And when my unmodded blue/red armor falls below 50% (or becomes nanofibered through some cruel twist of fate) I sometimes just take it off anyway! Do I want to trade 20% of my movespeed for 2 armor? Or 10% for 1? Well, yeah, usually but not always. But when I'm thinking of my armor as a slight upgrade to "literally being naked", there's probably something better just around the corner, like that 80% durability green that just dropped off my latest kill.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2016, 01:57 by Thomas »
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2016, 07:04 »

Dodging is not fully useless, of course, it lets you reposition or flee to the stairs, among other things. (I go for 100%, but not everyone does !  And think of AoPc, btw :)
But I don't think it works as intended initially.
Shottyman or gun-kata were probably designed to be used with a more "doomish" playstyle, running fast though monsters, shooting everything as you go (gunrunner-style), while dodging attacks.
With unpredictable attacks and the need to stop for shooting, it can't work :)
about the dodging mechanics :
Someone correct me if necessary, but the "dodging" HR improves is when you actually move, making monsters shoot at your previous position.  "dodge" from running is a malus to enemy's to-hit, which works whether you move or not.
in other words, HR works when you move (eh... normal, right ?), while running protects you even if you stand shooting.  Btw, another exploit is that running also decreases your to-hit... which doesn't affect your shotgun at all :D


Forgot about the 6d3 shotty xD.  Looks like a "funny" idea to me.  See my comment about nano-shrapnel for more details :p
My preferred shotty remains the standard (ideally T2P3).  You should try it, an elephant gun without the unusable reload time is sweet ! (btw, the lack of magazine is rarely an issue, since you always get enough knockback when cornershooting, and I usually have 2 or 3 unused shell boxes for the (really exceptionnal) situations where I would need fast reload.)

@armors : are you aware that nanofiber doesn't cripple movespeed anymore ? It still sucks imo, but I think infinite durabilité must have some cost.  I would only remove the resistance nerf, but would keep the "armor value" nerf.
The reason why you are not pressured about armor durability is always the same : it's because you don't get hit enough :)
I wouldn't buff onyx as it is. Its the game's 2nd useful rare mod :p  I'd rather nerf nano, and improve firestorm so that it gets some use other than Biggest fucking guns (which are sort of vapor-weapon-ware : fantastic, but will never happen :)

@Tormuse:
Ha, I'm not the only one failing at switching weapons xD.
Too bad :(  While the fact that you had nearly got your mastery is a demonstration in itself, dying just before makes the "gunrunner demo" quite... pointless, I'd say.  I share your pain, it's what one really calls YASD !
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Shoop da Whoop

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2016, 18:46 »

Okay, this one is not about any particular assemblies (top 10 and bottom 10 and all that), this is about assemblies in general. Or, to call it, "Inherent Problems With Assemblies".

Well, let's just do the math. For simplicity's sake, let it be just about weapons.
Let's assume we're combining just standart mods: PABT. Using a concept known as "combinations with repetitions", we get the following number of potential assembly recipes, without listing:
2 mods - 5!/(2!*3!) = 10;
3 mods - 6!/(3!*3!) = 20;
4 mods - 7!/(4!*3!) = 35.

And if we add back F, N and S mods, we get the following:
2 mods - 8!/(2!*6!) = 28;
3 mods - 9!/(3!*6!) = 84 (!);
4 mods - 10!/(4!*6!) = 210 (!!).

How many recipes do we actually have, again? I'm not even filtering them by type, let's compare. Basic: 19 of 28 possibilities (good); advanced: 14 of 84 possibilities (1/6th of them all); master: 7 for 210 possibilities (1/30th of them all).

That's pretty painful and risky for an average player: to sacrifice two levels for Whizkid 2 (and two more if he's not Technician), and then gamble if he's assumingly fair and doesn't know the schematics - which can, you see, possibly appear in Armory/Deimos Lab. Oh, they didn't appear? Tough luck, try again.

Incorrect solution: adding 150 more schematics. Been there, seen that (hello to Diablo 2 mods).

But wait, we haven't even started! How hard is to aquire a master assembly?
Let's, again, assume, that average player finds 4 to 6 mods during the game. Numbers are obviously arbitrary, that's not the point here. Also, let's revert to the "base" PABT four.
Let's assume that player wants to make a Tartar Tommygun, which requires each of PABT. Possibility of a mod spawning is 1/4, so for n mods we get 4n outcomes. Will the player find necessary mods? It depends. This is the place where you have to trust me without in-depth explanation, but it will be like this:
4 mods found - 4!/44 = 3/32 probability to create;
5 mods found - (4*5!/2!)/45 = 15/64 > 6/64 = 3/32;
6 mods found - (4*6!/3! + 6*6!/(2!*2!))/46 = 195/512 > 120/512 = 15/64, etc.

Let's assume now that player wants to make Hellish Heatray, which requires PPPP. In the same conditions, we get:
4 mods found - 1/44 = 1/256 probability to create;
5 mods found - (1 + 3*5!/4!)/45 = 15/256;
6 mods found - (1 + 3*6!/5! + 4*6!/(4!*2!) + 6*6!/4!)/46 = 259/4096 > 240/4096 = 15/256, etc (note: 259/4096 ≈ 6.3%).

Those were extreme cases (the most and the least available combos), and the former is 24 to about 6 times more easier to assemble than the latter, and such unequality persists even one collects a dozen or more mods. Seriously, on what occasion would one make a Hellish Heatray instead of, like, an elephant gun and some enhanced armor, for example?

Incorrect solution: make mods spawn more often. Then you get 5 bulk mods in a row and still no Hellish Heatray.


So, what to do? Even though I'm not a roguelike programmer, I can pretend that I am and thus set the following "goals" for assemblies-as-they-should-be:
  • no list bloating;
  • basic -> advanced -> master ladder should be shallower and more accessible (easier to discover);
  • slap everything on your gun!

There wouldn't be any sense going into such lengths without proposing some solution, so here it is: mod padding.
For example, biggest fucking gun which is BBFF becomes FF~~, where ~ is absolutely any mod. Nano-shrapnel becomes NP~. Of course, you lose their properties after the assembly - but isn't that's how it works for all mods in the end anyway? There, of course, may be situations where a set of mods suffices several schematics at once (like, WYXZ fits both WX~~ and YZ~~), but since we already have prompts, so theoretically they can appear one after another in some order.

In conclusion, with "mod padding":
  • there are just about 20 assemblies on each level (not like we have that much yet, but anyway);
  • easier to stumble upon and less dependant on random, while still requiring two essential mods;
  • way less "stray" mods in inventory / left on the floor.

Now about "what to do with nano-, onyx- and sniper- and firestorm packs". Well, for example, we can treat them as double ("two-slot") mods, so instead of NFPPT plasma you get "just" NFP. Then abovementioned examples become, respectively, "FF" and "NP", while staying on the same level; within 2-3-4 progression some "basic" things will have to move up though.

If going for "complete overhaul", one can give a normal player 2 slots on a weapon, 4 to a Whizkid 1 and 6 to a Whizkid 2 (2-3-4 for armors, or leaving onyx "1 slot" for that purpose? No clues here). ...6 is still twice as less as 12, isn't it?


This has been a long rant, so hopefully it will be of some use.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2016, 19:30 by Shoop da Whoop »
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raekuul

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2016, 07:37 »

I respect your ideas and like some of them, but part of the problem is that the assemblies themsevles tend toward being "not worth using in place of the non-assembled mod combo."

Let's take the Biggest Fucking Gun as an example, starting from a basic BFG9000 (information taken from the chaosforge wiki, which may be out of date)

A BFG9000 holds 100 power cells, and uses 40 cells per shot. Bulk mods increase clip size by 30%.
(100 * 1.3) * 1.3 = 169 Cells - 4 shots without having to reload.

A BFG9000 has a blast radius of 8. Firestorm mods increase blast radius by 2. In addition, BFG9000 Blasts are chained blasts - entities other than the player caught in the blast create an explosion of their own (though I don't know if Firestorm applies to these chained blasts as well).

With 1 firestorm mod, that initial blast has a radius of 10.

We can't add the 2nd firestorm mod without being prompted for the Biggest Fucking Gun. According to the wiki, chamber size and damage are based on the original gun. Assuming that's off of the BBF BFG9000 and not the unmodded one, then BFG9000 -> Biggest Fucking Gun should hold 422 power cells, use 100 power cells per shot, have blast radius 16 and a damage roll of 20d12.

Unassembled: 4 shots between reloads, blast radius 12. Damage roll is 10d6
Theoretical Assembled: 4 shots between reloads, blast radius 16. Damage roll is 20d12

That theoretical assembly is drool-worthy, but there are a few issues with it.

1) Who the hell has 400 power cells at once?
2) On MAc games, Firestorm is more helpful on plasma rifles because of +2 shots from the mod plus +2 from the two required TH levels.

On non-MAc games, the Biggest Fucking Gun would probably be useful as a power cell storage unit, but I don't see burning 100 power cells at once to be useful at all.

And of course, if the actual doesn't hold 422 power cells, there's really no point in firing it because you're trading chamber size for damage. (Still useful as a power cell chest though)

E: And of course, certain builds can't make advanced/master assemblies - Gunrunner (Scout general) explicitly blocks it, and Army of the Dead (Marine shotgun) blocks the prerequisite. (Entrenchment blocks Finesse but Technicians get Whizkid regardless)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 08:08 by raekuul »
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2016, 14:43 »

While your first sentence kinda sums up what I think about assemblies, you could (very easily) have picked a better example :)

Don't understimate the Biggest fucking gun, it's awesome !  Impossible to craft, of course, but still Awesome.

The numbers are pretty good : 2*dices and 2*sides, which means approximately 4* damages, at the exceptionnal rate of only 2.5*cost (call now and save 37.5% !).  Also, it doesn't cripple the weapon's magazine.  It devours a ridiculous quantity of ammo, but a regular BFG still keeps his 2.5 shots ammo supply, which makes it usable (...once crafted).
A nuclear BFG, with an average dmg of 28 skyrockets to 104 once modded. 104 !
A regular BFG is probably even more fun, with 130 average AND 2.5 shots in its battery.

Note that since it also doubles the radius, you can clear a third of the level with one shot, and reasonably assume you'll have enough time for your nuclear (or N modded) gun to recharge before you see a baddy again.
If you choose a non-nuclear BFG and mod it with something else (Which I guess would be B, unless you *really* prefer to add yet another F), you'll need to find some ammo after a shot, that's true.... but on the other hand, it's not supposed to be your main weapon !  It has to be kept for exceptionnal / desesparate situations, in which it works like a charm.

Trust me, one-shoting shamblers can produce a hell of fun (and make fun of hell).  I agree that this thing is quite unnecessary in reaching the goal of completing the game, but honestly, while I always keep one when I can, I merely never use BFG, modded or not, since they already consume too much ammo (and destroy stuff (and covers (and bareels...))).

It works incredibly well as a side weapon to clear huge annoying groups and spiders quickly.
Give it a try ! See attached savefile for afree trial : Biggest funning gun(and register before 15th april to get a free pair of antigrav A-modded phasehift boots, and a stainless steel Butcher's cleaver !)
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 15:20 by Evilpotatoe »
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raekuul

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2016, 07:53 »

Admittedly this is true, and destroying everything is fun at times. I just don't like using 100 ammo in one shot where 80 across two would do adequately well.
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Sambojin

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #25 on: April 20, 2016, 23:47 »

Long time, no post.....

Hmmm. I can understand people's thoughts on the value of certain weapons, but much of it comes down to liked play-styles and builds. Most certainly character builds.

Almost every weapon is useful with the right build. Shottyman reloads rocket launchers. Running up to WK(2) still gives the massively powerful option of Juggler along the way. And then there's all the master traits skewing things further on "is this any good?"

There's some assemblies that are too good in comparison to anything else available on a regular basis. Tac Boots, Tactical Shotties, Speed Loaders for pistol runs.

But it's all so very contextual. How good is an O or N mod? Absolutely friggin fantastic on any armour or weapon. You've just saved yourself inventory slots and build space, all with one random, very lucky find.

So that's why I find N and O based assemblies "not that great". They were already awesome as 1-mod weapons or armour. The WK(2) requirements for bigger assemblies is a hassle, but it has it's advantages (Juggler). Even having the option to whip out a DB or shotty or RL at a moment's notice is fantastic, and the big assemblies pale in comparison. So they're not really worthwhile building towards, especially O and N based ones, because the build does a lot with only a smattering of mods applied to non-assembly weapons.

I'd personally deal with it by increasing the number of assemblies (basic and advanced, but not O or N based ones), and let the player work it out. It'll be impossible to balance all weapons and armours due to the variation in character builds and play-styles, so just slightly nerf the "really good ones", and add to an abundance of options.

Maybe make the wall not have a ML in it either. I know, it's heresy, but that's what makes other RLs seem weak (and there's not enough types to build). Give a chainsword, rather than a chainsaw, in the CC too.

Maybe even make a mod that's a "You can mod this weapon more now" mod, about as rare as O/N/F mods, so bigger assemblies aren't always about character build. And the character builds are more key to balance and usefulness than any particular weapon/mod/assembly. Because they can and will happen in every game, entirely controlled by the player. A few masters aren't great, but maybe that just means others are too good.

But a slight nerf to a couple of assemblies, a slight boost to some, and more of everything is how I'd do it. You can't balance everything, but you can give enough options to the player that it's up to them on what they want to overpower in any way they can.
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2016, 03:58 »

The problem about playstyles is that not all currently work.
Same for masteries : I agree Ammochain is too powerful (so is BER, which isn't even a mastery), but some are completely useless (Bullet dance, Entrenchment, scavenger...), and ones like gun kata or shottyhead would have great potential IF only the playstyle they fit with worked as intended.

Agree that O and N are to good to be wasted on (bad) assemblies.  Well, N nearly always end-up on a nanomachic plasma for me (and antigrav boots for many other).  But wasting O for non-repairable armors (or N for cursed ones) is a funny idea :)

Increasing assemblies will be useless if they remain worse than regular weapons.  But giving WK the possibility to mod assemblies 2/3.. maybe 5 times would probably change this (we gotta keep in mind that a 5-modded assembly would cost 3+2 mods, so I'm not sure this would be too powerful).  The problem I see is that currently, WK already seems like a must to me :
1 single lvl of WK gives me 4 extra damages on my shotties, +A/P on armors & boots.  The second levels makes my boots awesome, allows me to make AOP armors, turns my beloved shotty to P3T2, which is really sweet, and gives some other cool buffs (Bs and Ps on BFG, and so...)
=> If I increased the number of mods dropped (and/or made assemblies more moddable), I'd probably also increase basic mod limit, at least on weapons, for everyone, and maybe nerf some mods, so that WK isn't mandatory (nor Overpowered)

About the ML from the wall... I'd agree to replace it (but probably keep it in C-Area).  I extremely rarely use ML (I prefer Tac RL, mainly for jumping), but it's a great weapon, and it kinda makes people forget about any other possible RL in the game.  In such case, don't forget to remove it from abyssal/skulls too (I never understood why there was one here) ^^
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Shadowfury333

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #27 on: April 21, 2016, 21:03 »

I don't know if this was ever the case before, but what if cornershooting was removed, and instead flinching was added? Basically, enemies would either have a chance to not act for a few 1/10ths of a second (weighted by damage dealt in a step) or have a delay weighted by damage taken that step. This would allow running and gunning, since enemies being hit would hit back less often, so the player isn't committing suicide on UV by going out in the open. It would also better fit the source material, since 90s FPS games pretty much all had a flinching mechanic.

This alone would help Shottyhead, and maybe also Gun Kata, though with Gun Kata I wonder if that wouldn't also need something like "Alt. Fire now allows choosing two targets, one for each pistol, to be shot at simultaneously". (NB I am strongly biased towards Gun Kata, so I'm probably asking for it to be overpowered without fully realizing it)

My first concern would be making the game too easy, but given that the current situation involves a strategy which takes no damage by basically shooting into the dark, I doubt it would make it that much easier.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 22:19 by Shadowfury333 »
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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2016, 21:26 »

I like the idea of the flinching mechanic, though I have no concept of how it might affect game balance. Surely it makes more sense and fits the source material better then the current cornershooting mechanic, though.

It also adds an interesting twist to radar shooting - now that you know something's there, do you risk a step into the open, hoping you inflicted flinching with the minimal damage that remained from the shotgun dropoff?
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Evilpotatoe

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Re: Balancing Assemblies
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2016, 04:55 »

Nice idea indeed.  But one other missing thing atm is the possibility to know when a monster will attack.
When you face a Cybie, you can dodge before he shoots, then shoot it until he reloads.

For all other monsters, you just can hope they won't attack. (exception for sergeants)
I think this mechanic would be very important in allowing strategies based on dodging.


You can make choices based on the informations you get.
If a lost soul is charging you, you'll dodge it... but not if there is a baron behind the corner.  Or maybe you'll dodge in some other direction, but not if you are in melee with a spider, which will then be able to shoot at you.


Currently, we just don't have informations about monsters actions, so... it's based on luck or statistics (and in UV, statistics are very bad for the doomGuy fighting in the open :)
No need to mention that, in N!, monsters attack all-the-time, with insane accuracy, making this strat clearly unplayable. (and imp/cacos/barons... don't have any reload time.  In comparison with the original doom, they used to attack like mad, indeed, but had an attack animation time.  Also, the doomguy inherently had GunRunner, which helps a lot, since shooting at monsters didn't turn him into a sitting duck :)
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 18:48 by Evilpotatoe »
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