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16
Requests For Features / Changing rewards on special levels
« on: May 26, 2010, 16:10 »
Special levels. They're there to give a little extra reward, a little extra fun, and (sometimes) a little extra voluntary challenge. Some of them are way harder than the regular levels, and some of them are pretty much just freebies. I think they're well-designed for the most part, but I have a few ideas that would help balance them out, and make sure all of them are worth visiting, on almost any challenge mode. Please note that most of these changes are very minor--I think the levels are good the way they are, but some tweaking here and there could improve things.

And just to see if anyone else shares my view of things, I attached a little poll. Please respond to the poll on whether or not you agree with me, and the changes I suggested.


Hell's Arena:

The reward on the standard game is absoutely perfect. Enough to be worth the challenge, but not so much as to be gamebreaking or anything. I like that it gives special rewards on certain challenge modes, but maybe some of the challenge mode rewards could use a little tweaking.

AoB: The difficulty just seems way out of proportion to the rewards, especially now that demons have been buffed. It seems impossible in most games unless you're really lucky, or at least Blade-level skilled. And what do you get for toughing it out? A few med-packs that barely make up for the ones you'll probably use, and a homing device. Give me a break. Either the reward should be better--how about increasing the medpacks, and adding in plasteel boots with an agility mod? And a bulk mod for your chainsaw? That would make Hell's Arena worth the trouble. Either that, or keep the rewards weak, giving us a berserk pack after each round.

AoMk: Again, this one is considerably harder than the standard game, but the rewards are a lot weaker. Power mods aren't all that great with pistols. A blaster would be a nice reward, but maybe too overpowered. Agility mod + boots, like in AoB, might be better. Oh, and how about a phase device, for people attempting Brick Silver?

AoS: Double shotgun as final reward is good. It's not that powerful, but definitely very handy,and anyway Hell's Arena is pretty easy on AoS so the reward doesn't need to be that great. But how about, after the first round, you get a combat shotgun instead of a useless chaingun? AoS games where you don't find a combat shotgun for 5+ levels are REALLY annoying.

AoP: Why do we even get a supercharge when we can't use it? Just give us another large medkit instead.

AoRA: HOMING PHASE PLEEZ KTHXBYE.

The rest of the challenge modes are probably fine as-is.



Chained Court:

Getting a chainsaw is perfect--makes AoB much more doable. But I think the double agility mods really need to change, because they make Ammochain games way too easy. More about it in this topic: http://forum.chaosforge.org/index.php/topic,3011.0.html
How about two random mods instead? With chance of getting one unique/exotic mod pack if you're lucky.

Second idea: one agility (or random) mod, plus one pair of boots. This wouldn't overlap my Hell's Arena ideas, since you would only get the boots on challenges where the secret rooms are almost impossible to enter.



The Wall:

More or less perfect, but how about a homing device in the backpack room? That way people attempting Brick Silver would only need a single phase device.



Hell's Armory:

I think it should have more weapons. This is supposed to be an armory, right? So why is it that almost every time I go there I wind up finding something like two pistols, a shotgun, and a chaingun? I say it should have one of every regular (non-exotic) ranged weapon. Nothing but blue and green armor is kinda weak, too.

How about a secret area with a motherload of guns and armor? I think you could fit some stuff over on the right side of the map. You would need to cross the lava and step on a certain spot, opening the door to two rooms guarded by Mancubi (Arachnotrons on easier difficulties). The rooms would contain lots of random weapons and armor (with high chance of exotic/unique).


Halls of Carnage:

No changes necessary.


Hellgate:

No changes necessary.


Uholy Cathedral:

No changes necessary, other than fixing the zerk armor bug. ;)


City of Skulls:

How about throwing shotgun/pistol users a bone and giving some ammo? Doesn't have to be that much, just enough that careful players will just about break even. A mod pack or two might be nice, too, to make it more worthwhile for players who don't need the BFG.


Spider's Lair:

I think it would be cool if this were kind of like an arena level. After defeating the spiders, you get a message like "You hear the sound of something terrifying crawling out from the webs!" and the Spider Mastermind appears right in the center, along with ammo and weapon(s)--maybe a nuclear plasma rifle?--scattered all over the map. Final reward would be same as before.


The Vaults:

This is another one where the reward isn't worth what a pain it is to get the treasure. It seems like most of the time there isn't even a single exotic or unique in either of the side vaults. The one time I got to the middle I didn't see any either (although there might have been some--I was fried almost instantly and so I didn't get a chance to see).

Is it possible to make it so that the left and right vaults have a guaranteed exotic (one total, not per vault) without specifying which one? And one exotic plus one unique in the middle? That would be nice. Also, it's been said before, but how about a couple phase devices? One per side.


The Mortuary:

This one is perfect as it is--super hard, with super items as your reward for finishing.


The Lava Pits:

I think everyone complains of the same thing: it's a pain in the ass to get through, and the rewards are piddly at that point. At that stage in the game, you're probably set to win already, so how about something fun? How about you get two random pieces of gothic / phase equipment? Maybe one time you'd get two gothic boots, and the next time you'd get 1 of each armor type, but the next time you get a phase armor set. All right! A chance to try out a gothic/phase set would make mucking through all that lava worthwhile.

17
Bug Reports / [Win 0.9.9.1] Fireangel bug
« on: May 19, 2010, 01:26 »
--------------------------------------------------------------
 DoomRL (v.0.9.9.1) roguelike post-mortem character dump
--------------------------------------------------------------

 Junsui, level 7 Hell Baron Warrant Officer, committed a stupid suicide
 on level 13 of the Phobos base.
 He survived 68721 turns and scored 34394 points.
 He played for 2 hours and 6 seconds.
 He didn't like it too rough.

 He killed 297 out of 299 hellspawn. (99%)
 He was a real killing machine...
 He was an Angel of Purity!


 He saved himself once.

-- Awards ----------------------------------------------------

  UAC Star (bronze cluster)
  Hell Champion Medal
  Inquisitor Bronze Badge

-- Graveyard -------------------------------------------------

  ###########################################################
  .......................#.............#..===..#.............
  ........................................===..#..#########.#
  #........#...#######....................===.....#..........
  #........#.........#....................===.....#.####.####
  .........#.........#|.|#####.#####......===.....#.#........
  .........#.........#.}..................===.B.....#.#######
  ........./.........#..}......#..........===................
  ....######..#####.|.%}.%..|.............===...........#####
  ..........}%#....}.#.}....}......#......=.=...........#|}|#
  ............#......#..........X......#..===..#..#.....#...#
  ####........#......#.................#..===..#..#...B.#+###
  .../...............#...######........#..===..#..#.#.#......
  ...#..........######..|..........#...#..===..#..#.#.#######
  ####.................|}}....######...+..===..+..#.#........
  ............................#........#..===..#..#.######.##
  .........#########/###....../........#..===..#..#..........
  .........#..................#........#..===..#..#####.#####
  .........#...........................#..===..#.............
  ###########################################################

-- Statistics ------------------------------------------------

  Health -20/50   Experience 19580/7
  ToHit Ranged +0  ToHit Melee +0  ToDmg Ranged +0  ToDmg Melee +0

-- Traits ----------------------------------------------------

    Hellrunner       (Level 2)
    Reloader         (Level 2)
    Dodgemaster      (Level 1)
    Shottyman        (Level 1)
    Fireangel        (Level 1)

  HR->HR->Rel->Rel->SM->DM->MFa->

-- Equipment -------------------------------------------------

    [a] [ Armor      ]   nothing
    [b] [ Weapon     ]   modified missile launcher (6d6) [2/4] (T1)
    [c] [ Boots      ]   modified protective boots [2/2] (100%) (A)
    [d] [ Prepared   ]   Jackhammer (8d3)x3 [9/9]

-- Inventory -------------------------------------------------

    [a] modified combat shotgun (8d3) [5/5] (P1)
    [b] modified blue armor [2/2] (100%) (A)
    [c] modified red armor [4/4] (200%) (B)
    [d] shotgun shell (x49)
    [e] shotgun shell (x50)
    [f] shotgun shell (x50)
    [g] shotgun shell (x50)
    [h] shotgun shell (x50)
    [i] rocket
    [j] rocket (x10)
    [k] rocket (x10)
    [l] power cell (x50)
    [m] power cell (x50)
    [n] large med-pack
    [o] large med-pack
    [p] large med-pack
    [q] large med-pack
    [r] homing phase device
    [s] technical mod pack
    [t] plasteel boots [4/4] (100%)

-- Kills -----------------------------------------------------

    75 former humans
    43 former sergeants
    11 former captains
    53 imps
    38 demons
    33 lost souls
    20 cacodemons
    7 barons of hell
    13 hell knights
    2 arachnotrons
    1 former commando
    1 pain elemental

-- History ---------------------------------------------------

  He started his journey on the surface of Phobos.
  On level 3 he entered Hell's Arena.
  He left the Arena as a champion!
  On level 5 he stormed the Chained Court.
  On level 9 he found Hell's Armory.
  On level 10 he found the Jackhammer!
  On level 10 he witnessed the Wall.
  He massacred the evil behind the Wall!
  On level 13 he ventured into the Halls of Carnage.
  On level 13 he finally committed a stupid suicide.

-- Messages --------------------------------------------------

 Your missile launcher is already loaded.
 Your missile launcher is already loaded.
 Fire -- Choose target... 
 The demon dies.
 Fire -- Choose target...   The missile hits the demon. The demon dies.
 You reload the missile launcher with rocket.
 Fire -- Choose target... 
 Fire -- Choose target... 
 Fire -- Choose target... 
 You reload the missile launcher with rocket.
 You reload the missile launcher with rocket.
 You reload the missile launcher with rocket.
 Your missile launcher is already loaded.
 Fire -- Choose target...   Boom!
 Fire -- Choose target...   Boom! Your blue armor is completely

-- General ---------------------------------------------------

 Before him 426 brave souls have ventured into Phobos:
 392 of those were killed.
 2 of those were killed by something unknown.
 1 didn't read the thermonuclear bomb manual.
 And 25 couldn't handle the stress and committed a stupid suicide.

 Some rumours though, say that the Cyberdemon was killed already!
 Is he immortal? 6 souls claim to have killed him...
 5 killed the bastard and survived.
 1 showed that it can outsmart hell itself.

--------------------------------------------------------------

So here's what happened. I was doing an AoP run. I was in the Halls of Carnage, using my missile launcher to kill off everything. I wanted to make an opening in the wall, so I shot it. I stood right next to the wall and fired. Since I had Fireangel, it shouldn't have hurt me, right? Wrong. It took off the last of my health, killing me.

I had a Jackhammer. ;_;

18
I like the idea! There would have to be a message warning you when you entered the level, of course. And 3 turns is too quick. How about the nuke goes off in 1-3 minutes, randomly? That would give you enough time to run away in almost any level. If the staircase is too far, or you haven't found it yet, it's your own stupid fault for going around pulling levers when the level warned you there was a nuke out there.

19
Requests For Features / Re: Saving request
« on: May 18, 2010, 08:37 »
No it wouldn't. Being able to save anywhere would not take away ANY of the challenge, unless you savescum. In which case you have no right to complain about it being too easy.

Am I the only one who understands this? >_<

20
Discussion / Re: Badges, badges, badges!
« on: May 17, 2010, 20:17 »
Light Travel - Easy
Shotgunnery - Easy
Marksmanship - Medium
Max Carnage - Medium
Berserk - Hard
Impatience - Hard
Pacifism - Very Hard
Purity - Very Hard
Masochism - Blade
100 - Blade

Mostly agreed, although I would put Impatience at Medium, at most. It just isn't very difficult. Hell's Arena is a lot harder, but it's at the beginning so you don't get set back too far if you die. After that, it's not that much much harder than a standard game, as long as you play carefully and go back to pick up medkits/powerups whenever your health starts to drop. The extra inventory space for ammo and spare armor do a lot to help compensate for the lack of health on demand, too.

21
So, I've been thinking about MAc versus other traits as I play.

First of all, I think that the two rapidfire traits (MAc and MCa) SHOULD be more powerful than the other master traits. For starters, they don't include any defensive traits and they block TaN. Also, I think it makes sense that rapidfire weapons should be stronger than shotguns or pistols. They are in real life, aren't they? And I think it works out to a nice balance--rapidfire weapons are straightforward and (relatively) easy to win with. Shotguns are great in the early game, then gradually become less and less powerful versus the enemies you face... but they have a strategic value that can make up for this if you get the right traits and play to the weapons' strengths. Pistols are the hardest ranged weapons, but you can do very cool stuff with them if you pour the right traits into them.

So I don't think you necessarily need to directly compare rapidfire traits with other weapon types. I'm mostly looking at MAc versus MCa.

First of all, I think most people agree that Int is way better than MCa, especially now that enemy AI has improved. They should probably switch the two--making Int a master trait that includes both levels 1 and 2 of Int, and Cateye a 2-level advanced trait that gives you one more square of visibility per level. Most of the time MCa isn't worth the trouble, especially since it blocks off other traits.

Second, I still think that people tend to overpraise MAc and overlook the advantages of Int. MAc is very straightforward--just shoot, shoot, shoot. And it does work quite well.

But I'm finding Int can be great, too, if I adjust my strategy. I make sure to have weapons that can use all three kinds of ammo, allowing me to scavenge whatever I find on the level. Stockpiling ammo is a huge priority. The Wall is a must do (fortunately Int2 makes it a cakewalk). I usually have around 15 of my slots devoted to ammo by the time I reach Hellgate--not a problem, since I almost never have to worry about getting overwhelmed by enemies up to that point, and knowing where all the powerups are makes medkits much less essential. When I get to Phobos Hell, I just gradually use up my ammo, increasing my healing and escape items as I go. I make sure to have weapons allowing me to take advantage of all three ammo types, so I can scavenge stuff as I go.

One great thing about Int/MCa is its versatility. It goes well with any ranged weapon--in fact, if I happen to find a Blaster, Beretta, or Trigun, I can switch to SoG and give myself a powerful, ammo-efficient alternative to rapidfire weapons. And of course, if ammo does run out, Intuition is very good for avoiding enemies as well. I just make sure to pick up a level or two of HR along the way.

Game Hunter, I think you made a very good point, about MCa being better on easier difficulty levels, while MAc is better on hard difficulty levels. On the standard game, I would say that MCa is definitely better on ITYTD. You get less experience and plasma rifles don't appear until very late, meaning you won't be able to take full advantage of MAc until you've almost won. Meanwhile, an Int run will have you seeing enemies' locations from very early on, and you'll probably be able to kill every enemy you meet with ammo to spare. HNTR and HMP favor MCa and MAc, respectively, but only by a small amount and you'll get different mileage based on your playstyle, and the RNG could push things either way.

On UV, the balance takes a huge shift in favor of MAc. You will get your plasma rifle and Ammochain very early, along with 2 agility mods. This means you are guaranteed to be well-equipped to take on anything from early on in the game. Chances are you'll get at least 1 or 2 each of a power and tech mod, as well, putting your damage output higher than MCa. Meanwhile, there are massive hordes of nasty enemies, often backed by Arch-Viles. No matter how much ammo you have, it will go away fast if you try to kill everything. And a lot of them are blocking the exit, making running away difficult. You can still win, but you have to play smart and take advantage of everything the RNG gives you. And it's a LOT harder than MAc, which doesn't get much more difficult no matter how many enemies you run into.

N! shifts the balance back a little bit. You get more ammo, and ammo-producing enemies respawn, which takes a little bit of the pressure off. But the extra damage output you get from Finesse and Whizkid still pushes MAc ahead of MCa.

About challenge modes: In general I think they're pretty balanced--both have challenges they are good and bad for. For example, AoLT and AoP favor ammochain builds, because inventory space is at a premium. AoI, on the other hand, usually gives you an abundance of inventory space, and makes you more dependent on powerups (which increases Int's value). AoH is possibly the most heavily weighted against Ammochain. Half as many levels means it will take you longer to get Ammochain--on HNTR I think you could kill every enemy and still possibly not get it. Plus, you are no longer guaranteed any agility mods. Half as many hell levels also means that it's a lot easier to make it to the end without ammo running out, which works in favor of other builds.

AoMC is an interesting one. At first I thought Ammochain seemed like the best way to go, since EE is useless. But since hitting enemies before they hit you is so critically important, this makes Int a LOT much more useful. Note that you'll also be using less than half as much ammo as a regular game, since you do almost double damage and never miss. Another thing is that AoMC really takes the edge off of Arch-Viles, which usually drain your ammo and are just the bane of any non-ammochain run. On AoMC, though, it becomes much easier to gib corpses so they can't be revived, and their fire attack is no more powerful than the normal game. I've had really good results just ignoring master traits and getting Int, HR, and Fin.

Anyway, like I said, I think it's a good thing that some builds are better in some challenges than others, as long as it balances out. There's only one challenge that needs to be changed IMO and that's Ao100. That challenge is more heavily weighted towards Ammochain than any other build. You don't have a guaranteed chainsaw, which makes melee builds impractical. Shotguns? Forget it. And unless you find a blaster or nuclear plasma rifle fairly early, you're going to have a really hard time with rapidfire weapons or pistols. The fact that you have to go through 100 levels is monotonous enough, but having your options limited on what build to use makes this even worse.

So the question is, what to be done?


OK, here are my suggestions. This is what I think would help balance out MAc:

-Get rid of the double agility mods in chained court, like Game Hunter said. Instead give us random mods, or one mod and something useful but not gamebreaking like plasteel boots.

-Lower the plasma rifle's accuracy to +0, and raise the chaingun to +2. This would make an unmodded chaingun just good enough that if you had SoB/Triggerhappy and no EE, it would at least outclass the combat shotgun as a general purpose weapon. And the plasma rifle would really suffer without double agility mods (you might even want triple). Combined with the lack of guaranteed agility mods, this means you could actually have a tough time later on.

-Give us a little more ammo in the late levels. Maybe make it so that bullet stacks can give random amounts up to 50, and shotgun shell stacks can give up to 20. And make ammo spawn slightly more often on UV. Give us just enough that having to depend on found ammo still adds to the difficulty, but isn't quite so crippling in the late game.

-Ammochain blocks HR. This might be a little excessive, but if occurred to me as one more way to nerf MAc a little. It would force you to deal with one of MAc's big weaknesses: increased vulnerability. No HR and no TaN means killing everything before it gets you is even more important--and no HR makes this harder to do. Fewer agility mods would make this even more of a potential handicap.

-In Ao100 games, how about instead of neverending hell levels, how about if we had 5-level cycles? Every 5 levels it would switch between Phobos Base and Phobos Hell levels. The base levels would still have just as many nasties like Arch-Viles, Revenants, and Mancubi, but they would also generate a lot more former humans/sergeants/captains. You would still need to stockpile ammo during the Phobos base levels, but it would be much more doable.

I think these changes would balance it out pretty well. On easy difficulty levels, Int would be better, but taking advantage of Int would depend on being experienced enough to plan ahead and take advantage of all the different things the game gives you. So I think it would even out pretty well for a beginner. HMP and N! would be about evenly split between the two. MAc would still have a slight advantage in UV, but small enough that either build is quite viable. And Ao100 would be compatible with pretty much any build.

So what do you think? More experienced players, please tell me what you think.

22
I suppose that depends on the difficulty level you're playing on.  In particular, with regards to your commando comment, I'm inclined to think you tend to play on HNTR more often than not.

I usually play on HMP. I haven't reached Phobos Hell on UV yet. And while it's true that I usually see a good number of them, there is the occasional game where they just never appear. The time I got all the way to Phobos Hell without seeing one, I couldn't believe it. I was playing with a power-modded chaingun and two levels of EE, so I was okay, but I was REALLY happy when one turned up on level 16.

Commandos are annoyingly common in UV as early as floor nine or ten (with the possibility to show up as early as six), meaning you could even carry the agility mods with you until you get your plasma or do an A1/A1 split between the weapons.  Bullets are common enough that you can waste them all you want early on, and getting the plasma you're usually level five/six at that point.


If you're doing an Ammochain build, I would say it's silly not to save at least one mod pack, and saving two isn't a bad idea. You really get screwed over if you don't find any agility mods after you get your plasma gun, and it is very possible. And there is no need to stockpile bullets or shells--5 stacks total is definitely enough.

The attempt was rather trivial at that point, and as long as you practice listening for monster cues and volleying into places beyond your view, there are little worries when it comes to getting surprised.  Don't forget about the usefulness of near-100% kills on your leveling, either; more levels means you can cover the weaknesses with HR/DM and Iro as necessary.  Cateye, having to worry about ammo and run away at times, must rely only on its singular strength.

I often have to play without sound, which is maybe part of my problem. However, in a Cateye build you should definitely be getting 100% kills up to level 15. With plentiful ammo, it's easier to kill everything with Intuition/Cateye than with Ammochain, as long as you're patient. I'll often go several levels killing everything without even taking a hit. The Wall is a cakewalk with Intuition. Which means I can usually get Cateye, plus two levels of HR, before reaching Phobos Hell. That makes it fairly easy to avoid enemies. Being able to scout them out with Cateye and pick off the easy monsters is nice, but even without Cateye it's easy enough to just avoid them.

Now given, I'm far from an expert in this game. But I would say that, in my limited experience, I'm having a much easier time winning with Intuition than with Ammochain. Even with Cateye, I lose plenty of games--but it was always due to a glaring error on my own part. Either I was just totally not paying attention to my own health, or I got impatient and stepped out into a spot where I was more vulnerable. But with Ammochain, I seldom can make it far enough to get the trait, and even after I have it, a small mistake or even just a run of bad luck can kill me quickly.

23
You know, as much as people talk about Ammochain being overpowered... I've been playing both rapidfire builds lately, and I have to say that the Intuition/Cateye build gives you much better odds of winning than the Ammochain build. With Ammochain, the early game is a real crapshoot--if you don't get the combat shotgun before Hell's Arena, you're going to have a really hard time with it. And you NEED that rocket launcher to get the agility mods in Chained Court. On the other hand, EE + SoB makes the chaingun a killer weapon in the early game. Hell's Arena is a breeze, and even The Wall isn't too tough. Hell, if you manage to get Intuition Level 2, The Wall becomes ridiculously easy.

There's also the risk of not finding a plasma gun. I've gotten all the way to Phobos Hell without seeing a single former commando. Ammochained chainguns are nice, but they don't cut it against Mancubi or Revenants when you lack defensive traits.

Even after you get ammochain, and a plasma rifle, you're still very vulnerable. One run of bad luck can easily kill you. I remember once I turned the corner on a "Khe Khe Khe" level--a Mancubus at the end of a long hallway nailed me with three rockets, knocking me into (and blowing up) a napalm barrel. I had 100% health, and red armor with power and onyx mods--but I died in one hit.

With Cateye and Intuition, enemies will never take you by surprise. You also know where powerups are right away, so you can easily recharge if your health is low, or grab an invincibility pack if you run into an Arch-Vile pack. If ammo turns out to be a problem you can just avoid enemies. So unless you're going for 100% kills, or playing a challenge like AoLT or Ao100 where inventory management is a real problem, Cateye gives you much better chances of surviving the later stages of the game. You have to be more careful with inventory management, and it may not be practical to get 100% kills, but if you really want to win the game I think it's your best bet.

I think people focus on how easy it is to kill enemies after they get the trait, but forget how hard it can be to get the trait in the first place, and how vulnerable they are with it.

24
Bug Reports / Re: Explain me why...
« on: April 12, 2010, 03:44 »
Same thing happened to me today. I was playing on HNTR, and the only traits I had were Brute and Berserker.

25
Requests For Features / Re: Saving request
« on: April 11, 2010, 23:09 »
Has anyone already mentioned the fact that if you could save anywhere, a lot more people would see a monster, get behind a wall, save, and scum it until they won?

Why should I care if other players want to take all the challenge and fun out of their own games? I don't see how it affects me, or anyone else who doesn't savescum.

26
Partial invisibility, definitely.

Monster infighting... although I want to see it, the whole game would need a major overhaul in order for this to work. It would make the game way too easy. AoP in particular would become worlds easier.

27
Discussion / Re: The 2nd most dangerous non boss enemy?
« on: April 11, 2010, 23:02 »
I'm going to say Revenants as well. Mancubi can be extremely dangerous in certain situations, but Revenants are always dangerous.

Arachnotrons used to be contenders for the top 3, but since 0.9.9.1 they are much less dangerous. You still need to watch out, but I don't think arachno caves are anything like the death traps they used to be. If you can keep them at a distance, and/or you have Hellrunner, their shots will miss often enough that you should never be killed by an arachnotron unless you are unskilled or careless. Or both, like me. :P

28
Discussion / Re: time at level start
« on: April 11, 2010, 22:59 »
I don't think he used the invincibility globe. Wouldn't the BFG destroy?

Even without it, though, killing all those enemies with the BFG seems feasible if they started close enough to you. If you were in a small room--and you targeted an arch-vile each time--between your two shots and the splash damage, you would most likely kill both arch-viles, as well as all the revenants. Any that you didn't kill would be close to dead. Then you could just whip out another weapon and clean up the rest. I'm not saying it's something you could rely on, but with a little luck you could definitely pull it off.

29
I agree that buffing all the master traits, then making the monsters powerful, is a terrible idea. You would be pretty much forcing players to get a master trait.

Having ammochain make your rapid-fire guns automatically refill without having to stop and reload seems like a bad idea too. It would, indeed, be underpowered. I seldom find myself in a situation where I can't step away to safety and reload when I'm using a rapidfire weapon. If I do come across a big enough group of powerful enemies that I would need more than 5 bursts of my plasma rifle, I'm going to use my BFG, Ammochain or no Ammochain.

Having them use no ammo, but require reloading... seems counterintuitive to what ammochain is. ANd I don't think it would nerf the trait much, since beaing unable to stop and reload is seldom a problem outside of a few areas with huge monster generation like the Mortuary. Outside of those areas it wouldn't change anything.

The earlier suggestion of forcing players to get the reloader trait seems redundant. I think that the Ammochain build is already weak in the early levels, even with SoB.

This is mostly because you can't get Eagle Eye. That makes a HUGE difference in the beginning--my Cateye runs are a breeze in the early levels. Having both Eagle Eye and SoB makes Hell's Arena pretty easy once you get the chaingun. And that chaingun continues to be useful throughout the game, so the plasma rifle is just a nice little bonus when you get it.

In an ammochain run, I often wind up using mostly shotguns in the early game. The high miss rate lowers the damage and makes it very unreliable. I would say that an unmodded chaingun is worse than the combat shotgun, even with SoB and Triggerhappy. You can use one or two of the agility mods in the Chained Court, but you run the risk of making your plasma rifle unreliable in the late game. And if you do save those agility mods, you will have an awesome weapon once you find the plasma gun... but you don't know when that will be. I remember one Ammochain run where I didn't find a single plasma gun in the first 13 levels! I finally found one on level 14. A former commando killed me with it.

So I think the game is hard enough in the early game. I think this difficulty does a pretty good job of balancing out how much easier it makes the endgame.

If you want to "nerf" the trait a little bit, how about making it so that you consume no ammo only when you're chainfiring? You could further "nerf" it by making it so that Chainfiring reduces your fire rate by half in the first round, instead of by 1/3. This would let you greatly reduce ammo useage with strategic chainfiring, but it wouldn't be viable to use on everything.

Another idea would be to have more former captains in the later levels. That would take some of the pressure off of Cateye users, who could burn through easy enemies with their chaingun and switch to the plasma rifle when they need a little more power.

In the end, though, I think the balance is pretty good overall. Rapidfire weapons are the most straightforward, and the easiest to win with. Shotguns aren't as powerful, but with intelligent usage they can still be damn good weapons. Pistols are challenging and weak to start with, but with the right traits and playstyle they can also be effective. Melee weapons make you extremely vulnerable, but if you can wipe out enemies quickly once you get close enough. There is a progression from easier to harder, but the harder weapon types don't get weaker so much as they require more advanced strategy. Some tweaks here and there might be good, but I think it's more than good enough as is.

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Discussion / Re: Badges, badges, badges!
« on: April 11, 2010, 07:02 »
Getting through Hell's Arena on AoB is proving much harder than I remembered it. I used to be able to get to the third round in most games, but I found myself having a hard time even making it to round 2. At first I thought it was just me, but then I remembered that demons got a buff in the new version. They really wear down your health now, making iut considerably harder to beat it in the new version. So I'm just skipping the Arena now. I figure the odds are better that way. Anyway I want to try and get some Berserk badges, so I'll keep pushing through the game and trying The Wall if I get there with more than one phase device. So far it hasn't hapened though.

Congratulations glacialxice! Personally, I always seemed to wind up getting killed whenever I tried for Silver on AoMr.

EDIT: I finally get a good run going--I'm on level 4, ready to run and get the chainsaw for the first time in a 0.9.9.1 AoB run, when I go berserk right next to the exit. I go to kill a sergeant, and he takes off 14% health in one shot! Seems I have been a victim of the infamous "berserker" bug in this version, where you don't get the defense bonus if your berserk status comes from the trait. *Sigh* Sorry guys, I think I'm going to call it quits on AoB unitl they get a bugfix out (and hopefully I'm more skilled at this damned game).

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