Arcen Games

Games => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => Topic started by: Misery on February 10, 2013, 02:03:12 AM

Title: Spell balance!
Post by: Misery on February 10, 2013, 02:03:12 AM
Surprised there wasnt one of these here already, so I thought I'd just make one.

Similar to the monster thread, just give some thoughts on spell balance as it is currently!  Either for individual spells, entire spell types, or specific classes.   There's definitely some screwy balance issues with some of these, so I figured this would be a good idea.


So let's see here....


Rocket spells:  The only ones I currently consider entirely useless right now.  These are, at least in my view, really terrible.  The only thing they help me do is blow myself up.  As far as I'm concerned, a class with a rocket spell is a class that actually only has 3 spells instead of 4. 

Touch spells:  These are good for the Shallows areas.... but that's about it.  I know they're also meant to stop enemy shots, but I've honestly always found them useless for this.   The hitbox and the timing and all that is just too screwy, most of the time it just leads to me taking a hit, so I ignore this aspect of these entirely.   Only use them in the shallows.

Whips:  Sorta the same as the touch spells.... good only for the shallows.   There's the armor-breaking, but.... never really found much use for that.  Particularly since the damage of these just seems very weak.  At least the touch spells can be fired more rapidly.

Seekers:   I forget what these are actually called, but they're the homing shots.   They're very, very situational, and they actually seem to glitch out alot;  sometimes they'll fire BACKWARDS, and completely ignore an enemy that might be right in front of me at varying possible distances.  Their cooldown is really nasty.... gotta have a very specific sort of situation indeed for these.  Dont use them all that much, but they're decent at least.

Sliders: These are pretty useful.  Great against crawlers of any sort.   I seem to remember some versions of these where the caliber was a bit too high though.... a spell with as much utility as this already has should probably always have a very low caliber.

Sines:  Another good utility style spell.  Super useful in towers, often not easy to hit with though.   These seem well-balanced to me.

Bombs: I use these whenever I can.  I suspect alot of players wont use these much, because they're rather strange compared to other spells, but I use them for basically everything.  LOTS of possible uses balanced out by being difficult to learn to use.

Campfire:  Why arent there more defensive spells in the game?  That sort of spell is pretty neat.  Campfire is useful without ever being overpowered.  Same with that water ring ammo spell, which has alot of the same uses.

Fullisades:  Honestly, these may as well be straight shot spells.  There's not THAT much difference in possible angles with these, and I've never found all that much of a practical use for them.   Not sure what could be done to make these more useful....

Those are some that I can think of right now.


As for actual spell classes, any class that has two straight-shot spells should probably be changed.  There's a particularly awful one in the tier 1 set, it's an entropy sort of thing, has two straight-shot spells and a touch spell.... very bad class, definitely the most useless one I can think of.   Shouldnt be two straight-shot spells in any single class though, as there's not all that much difference between that sort, so you end up with a class that just has less possible uses.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: x4000 on February 10, 2013, 07:01:33 AM
Thanks for starting this thread!

Just a note, but wholesale new spells are off the table for the time being; we don't have time to balance those, do the particles for them, and get new icon art for them. We're looking at tuning what is there only.

Interestingly, I find myself using the rockets a lot and loving them. I'm curious what others think of those.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: tigersfan on February 10, 2013, 07:24:52 AM
Personally, I like them too. I use them a lot, but, they can be tough to use in tight spaces.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: x4000 on February 10, 2013, 07:36:08 AM
One potential solution, if there is a wide dislike for them, would be to make them all special attacks (third slot) and have them cost small bits of ammo with each shot.  Then they could be nice and powerful but also with a secondary cost (ammo), but on a different scale from most ammo spells.  And that would introduce the concept of "sometimes the third slot has ammo costs too."
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: madcow on February 10, 2013, 07:54:56 AM
I love the rocket spells, in early alpha/beta they were super overpowered, but they're at a good place now, and I grab them when I can.

One thing I've noticed is that the damage of the straight shot spells in a single tier is not consistent. I'm not sure if it's by design or not, but almost all of them have straight shots with different damages.

One thing I've mentioned on mantis a few times is blast spells. Those are the rapid fire tri-shot spells. Especially once you build up concentration these are really powerful. The good caliber/damage of high concentration mixed with the rapid fire and impossible to miss spell makes it overpowered. I would love if the cooldown was raised, and then with a bit of a damage buff it could be used as a shotgun type attack.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 10, 2013, 08:19:14 AM
Not much time to post, but might as well big up my Spell Class reports on Mantis, here then.

Tier 1 part 1 http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=10445

Tier 1 part 2 http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=10465

Tier 2 Part 1 http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=10551

Tier 3 Part 1 http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=10626

Tier 4 Part 1 http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=10649

The earlier reports might be a little outdated in places due to the changes since (melee monsters etc).

Quote
Rocket spells:  The only ones I currently consider entirely useless right now.  These are, at least in my view, really terrible.  The only thing they help me do is blow myself up.  As far as I'm concerned, a class with a rocket spell is a class that actually only has 3 spells instead of 4.

Really disagree here. Some of the higher Tier ones are even OP, doing as much damage as a primary but with the AOE effect.

Quote
Touch spells:  These are good for the Shallows areas.... but that's about it.  I know they're also meant to stop enemy shots, but I've honestly always found them useless for this.   The hitbox and the timing and all that is just too screwy, most of the time it just leads to me taking a hit, so I ignore this aspect of these entirely.   Only use them in the shallows.

Yeah, they are pretty tricky to use. The one that was recently changed from a rear attack to a front attack actually has autofire and is a lot more usable. Maybe all should autofire, or is that too much.

Quote
Seekers...

The good thing about these is that they seek out enemy weakspots. Pretty handy.

Quote
Sliders...

Always useful.

Sines/bombs/campfire are pretty cool.

Quote
Fusillades...
I agree. I pretty much only use these for the novelty factor. The primary is usually better in every way.


 




Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Misery on February 10, 2013, 08:21:02 AM
I love the rocket spells, in early alpha/beta they were super overpowered, but they're at a good place now, and I grab them when I can.

One thing I've noticed is that the damage of the straight shot spells in a single tier is not consistent. I'm not sure if it's by design or not, but almost all of them have straight shots with different damages.

One thing I've mentioned on mantis a few times is blast spells. Those are the rapid fire tri-shot spells. Especially once you build up concentration these are really powerful. The good caliber/damage of high concentration mixed with the rapid fire and impossible to miss spell makes it overpowered. I would love if the cooldown was raised, and then with a bit of a damage buff it could be used as a shotgun type attack.


The bit with the inconsistent damage makes sense, actually.   You might have one class that has a straight-shot spell that does decent damage, right, and another class that has a very similar spell, but one that does less damage.  This second class though, might be balanced out in the sense of it's other spells.... it might be a class that also contains a useful snake spell, for instance, among other things.  The classes need to be considered as a whole, from that point of view.  The weaker shot is (theoretically) balanced out by the other spells in the class being stronger.


To clarify on the rockets, alot of the reason I dont use them is that they're just pointless in more enclosed spaces..... the type of area which makes up quite a huge part of the game, and the type of area which is typically the most dangerous as-is.  Way, way too much chance of being caught in the blast myself, particularly with my typically aggressive playstyle.   For the same reason, I cant use them on the sorts of enemies that chase, because as they get closer, risk of extra damage increases.

For all I know these might be a little easier to use on lower difficulties, but I just find them not worth it.  Using those basically means never having the concentration level being high at all.


I also agree on the blast spells.  I havent seen them that much WITH the concentration bit or equipment, but honestly, even without either, they seem too strong.    I like the "shotgun" idea better.  To add to that concept, you could perhaps make it so that they fire, say, 7 shots, in the same type of arc, but have a heavy cooldown, and quite low-ish damage per shot.   They could be useful as a point-blank  smash, or good at a distance to increase the chances of doing at least a bit of damage to enemies like the eyeballs or whatever that are harder to hit.   Keep the caliber very low on these, I dont think these should be breaking anything at all.

Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: madcow on February 10, 2013, 08:22:20 AM
Yeah, I had hoped that the removal of the old combo system would make fusillade spells more useful, isn't really what happened.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 10, 2013, 08:27:14 AM
Quote
To clarify on the rockets, alot of the reason I dont use them is that they're just pointless in more enclosed spaces..... the type of area which makes up quite a huge part of the game, and the type of area which is typically the most dangerous as-is.  Way, way too much chance of being caught in the blast myself, particularly with my typically aggressive playstyle.   For the same reason, I cant use them on the sorts of enemies that chase, because as they get closer, risk of extra damage increases.

For all I know these might be a little easier to use on lower difficulties, but I just find them not worth it.  Using those basically means never having the concentration level being high at all.

I do actually play at the standard difficulty and I use them all the time. Maybe it's different on the higher difficulties for some reason.

Quote
I also agree on the blast spells.  I havent seen them that much WITH the concentration bit or equipment, but honestly, even without either, they seem too strong.    I like the "shotgun" idea better.  To add to that concept, you could perhaps make it so that they fire, say, 7 shots, in the same type of arc, but have a heavy cooldown, and quite low-ish damage per shot.   They could be useful as a point-blank  smash, or good at a distance to increase the chances of doing at least a bit of damage to enemies like the eyeballs or whatever that are harder to hit.   Keep the caliber very low on these, I dont think these should be breaking anything at all.

I wouldn't mind turning these into a more shotgun style blast, if only to differentiate the spells a little more.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: madcow on February 10, 2013, 08:31:58 AM
Not all of the straight shot damages are balanced by the rest of the class, or I would agree.

One of the spells that jumped out as being widely different is bone shot, which is an incredibly low damage, on a nothing special class.

And the forigician's straight shot is still more damage than all the others, with probably some of the best other tier 1 spells as well. Crescent attacks are really good, completely agree with Misery on campfire being awesome and wishing there were more defensive spells, and the ammo attack is pretty good.


On another note, what do people think of drone spells? I've not really cared much for them, and find them annoying. I guess I can see how it could be useful if you got to be good with them, but eh.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: x4000 on February 10, 2013, 08:34:09 AM
* The fusillade spells now have twice as many shots that come out of them, and a cone of firing that is twice as wide.  This may make them OP for the moment, we'll see, as no other values have been changed.

Personally I use the drone spells a lot to hit monsters over hills from cover.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: madcow on February 10, 2013, 08:54:02 AM
Yeah I can see the potential on them but they just don't work for me and actively mess me up as I have a playstyle with lots of jumping.  If they were based on the movement key input rather than actual character movement I might get more use of them, but then again maybe not. Heh.

Edit. I can actually see how that would mess them up. So I'll just content myself with it as a not for me spell.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: tigersfan on February 10, 2013, 09:52:32 AM
@ Pepisolo, Just so you know, I have seen your balance reports. I've not done much with them yet, as I've been working on other things, but they are high on my list of stuff to go through this week.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 10, 2013, 09:59:09 AM
@ Pepisolo, Just so you know, I have seen your balance reports. I've not done much with them yet, as I've been working on other things, but they are high on my list of stuff to go through this week.

Cool. No worries, I know you guys are busy. Just thought I'd big them up seeing as its relevant to the thread. Thanks!
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Misery on February 10, 2013, 10:13:44 AM
Not all of the straight shot damages are balanced by the rest of the class, or I would agree.

One of the spells that jumped out as being widely different is bone shot, which is an incredibly low damage, on a nothing special class.

And the forigician's straight shot is still more damage than all the others, with probably some of the best other tier 1 spells as well. Crescent attacks are really good, completely agree with Misery on campfire being awesome and wishing there were more defensive spells, and the ammo attack is pretty good.

Oh, I agree that they're not all balanced out by the rest of their respective class.   I just meant that it was the basic theory around them varying so much.  Working within that concept, and actually getting the balance perfectly right..... two very different things :P   It seems a difficult thing to balance all this out, but it keeps getting better.

It doesnt help that some of this is.... very subjective.

The set with bone shot, for example.  That set also contains a charge attack, a trident spell, and a "burst" type ammo spell.    I actually find this set to be pretty good (now that the charge spells stopped sucking).   The bone shot isnt very strong, but it's a good simple attack, the charge bolt is really good as a heavy first strike, or a "poke" against the sort of enemies that are difficult to focus a constant barrage on, and the Trident spells in general are pretty good;  they're excellent anti-air spells, and anti-horrible-leaping-spider-things spells.



That actually brings up a couple of balance points to make:

The trident spells, increase the speed at which the three "whips" actually strike, just because the timing on these is currently rather funky.   Increase the cooldown perhaps to compensate a little.  Maybe up the damage just a bit.   These are good spells though, however they might be in a similar category with the bombs as being hard to learn.

Also, Insect Explosion:   a very low-damaging spell, this one actually seems like it's made to be used for defense, as in the popping of nearby enemy bullets.  As such.... reduce it's cost by alot.  It's a very expensive ammo spell right now, and while it's useful, the cost doesnt match the strength and unbalances it.   It's pretty good otherwise.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Ashnal on February 10, 2013, 06:06:19 PM
I will say about half of my current 50 deaths are rocket explosion caused. This doesn't prevent me from taking them though, because they're very satisfying when I can use them properly. I try to only use them when I'm far enough away and there are strong enemies. The explosive radius means that these spells will do insane amounts of damage against targets large enough to take damage from both the impact AND the explosion particles. I could easily one or two shot bosses on adept with rocket spells.

Homing spells for me tend to net me max concentration all the time. I usually get hit by flyers the most, and homing spells make flyers a non-issue, as well as greatly increase your available attack angles in more open areas. I know I'm guilty of running through areas holding down my homing spell shot key with perks/concentration/equipment all boosting it into one shotting weaker enemies. I've never run into the issue that misery describes probably

I agree with the spell classes not needing more than one straight shot spell in general. It might just be a playstyle preference, but the ONLY reason I could see behind two straight shot spells is one with much higher caliber but lower dps to block enemy shots. Unfortunately since it is hard to know whether your particular spell can block any given enemy spell, I never really made use of high caliber spells for that purpose. Current spell caliber with all bonuses and enemy spell caliber need to be expressed to the player better.

I agree with Misery on the melee spells. They need to be high damage and high caliber since keeping your distance is the safest way to not get hit. The issue with touch spells in particular is that they can be hard to hit with when a flying monster is right up in your face. Whips suffer less from this because of their range, but could possibly take cues from Castlevania and travel vertically with the player while they're out to ease vertical aiming. Since your aiming keys are also your movement keys, trying to aim a touch spell can often times lead to colliding with your target. I believe the solution to this is to replace touch spells with blade spells that mimic the swing arc of a sword in front of the character. This would solve the issue of aiming in close quarters and make the high risk high reward playstyle of melee more accessible and useful as an all around playstyle, rather than one necessitated by enemy shields. Basically, make melee spells behave more like Castlevania melee weapons :)
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Misery on February 11, 2013, 02:00:13 AM
There's one other thing I kept meaning to point out, as I'm reminded of it every time I start a new game:   Tier 1 spellsets, generally pretty bad.   There's a DRAMATIC difference between these, and every single other tier, in terms of balance and usefulness.   The game usually seems hardest early on, and the central reason is BECAUSE the first tier is so terrible.  It's not the lack of damage that does it, but the spell selection.

For example, Forgician.  With Campfire and a crescent spell, this is almost a good set..... but the primary shot has heavy knockback, and makes things HARDER TO KILL because of it, and the crescent shots can get wonky at times as well and require an extremely specific range, and are pretty situational at best, and utterly useless in caves or towers.  You've got decent defensiveness with this one, but good luck damaging anything all that much.   Or the set that has the light snake in it;  it's pretty much THE set for caves at tier 1, just because it has the snake, buuuut, this is damaged by the presence of a rocket spell, which is utterly worthless in caves, and the "light ball" or whatever it is, is basically a super-slow-to-fire straight shot that's not very damaging.  I end up using the ammo spell way more often than I should simply because the other spells in that set simply cant hit enemies in certain positions; and the ammo spell is super-close-range only.

I cant think of even one class in tier 1 that is not bad for reasons like those.  Well, no, Stonebinder is decent enough after the charge shot change, but that's about it. 



On the note of the drone shots, since those were mentioned, they're ok.... but there are other spells that can perform the same function much better, these being sines or the seekers.   It's super easy to just miss entirely with the drone shots, but that's not usually the case with those other two.  They're still decent enough though.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Jerebaldo1 on February 11, 2013, 04:45:27 AM
Among Tier 1s I feel that Technozoologists are the new lowbie on count of all but the charge spell being inferior in usefulness to that of the other most similar tier 1 classes. I'm rather excited that spell and monster balance is really the last frontier before Valley 2 reaches 1.0..looks like everything and more made it in before deadline this time!
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Misery on February 11, 2013, 08:15:57 AM
A couple more:


Cleft:  These are pretty useful, there's alot of situations where being able to fire backwards while running is a big help.   I dont THINK any of these are overpowered.  They should always be low-ish damage compared to normal shots in the same tier.

New fullisades:  Muuuuuuuuuuch better.  This went from useless, to pretty good.  There's a good number of enemies that this is strong against, yet the quite random nature of the damage it does, based on how many things actually hit, mean that you have to be careful with it, lest you get smacked by something.

Magnet ball:  A really amazing ammo spell, but one that's definitely not at all easy to use to it's full potential.   It's VERY easy to get hit by something while focusing too much on controlling the ball.  They hit pretty hard, so they have SOME use in caves and towers, but for the most part these need a horizontal area to be truly effective.  These seem to squash the crap out of bosses.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 11, 2013, 08:27:56 AM
Quote
For example, Forgician.  With Campfire and a crescent spell, this is almost a good set..... but the primary shot has heavy knockback, and makes things HARDER TO KILL because of it, and the crescent shots can get wonky at times as well and require an extremely specific range, and are pretty situational at best, and utterly useless in caves or towers.  You've got decent defensiveness with this one, but good luck damaging anything all that much.   Or the set that has the light snake in it;  it's pretty much THE set for caves at tier 1, just because it has the snake, buuuut, this is damaged by the presence of a rocket spell, which is utterly worthless in caves, and the "light ball" or whatever it is, is basically a super-slow-to-fire straight shot that's not very damaging.  I end up using the ammo spell way more often than I should simply because the other spells in that set simply cant hit enemies in certain positions; and the ammo spell is super-close-range only.

Our playing styles must be much different. You've picked out my favourite Tier 1 spell classes. I find Forg and Illum great, although I wouldn't mind knockback being removed from the Forg primary although it is significantly more powerful than the other primaries to compensate anyway. The light ball is useful for the illumination effect in Caves. I really don't struggle on my difficulty level at least with those AOE shots, even in caves. Yes, you will hurt yourself occasionally, but the reasonably high DPS combined with the AOE effect still make them pretty useful.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: madcow on February 11, 2013, 08:31:05 AM
Pepisolo and me must have similar playstyles, my thoughts pretty much match his on tier 1 classes. I have to force myself to use the others but those two are my favorite/feel the strongest.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Misery on February 11, 2013, 08:37:30 AM
Quote
For example, Forgician.  With Campfire and a crescent spell, this is almost a good set..... but the primary shot has heavy knockback, and makes things HARDER TO KILL because of it, and the crescent shots can get wonky at times as well and require an extremely specific range, and are pretty situational at best, and utterly useless in caves or towers.  You've got decent defensiveness with this one, but good luck damaging anything all that much.   Or the set that has the light snake in it;  it's pretty much THE set for caves at tier 1, just because it has the snake, buuuut, this is damaged by the presence of a rocket spell, which is utterly worthless in caves, and the "light ball" or whatever it is, is basically a super-slow-to-fire straight shot that's not very damaging.  I end up using the ammo spell way more often than I should simply because the other spells in that set simply cant hit enemies in certain positions; and the ammo spell is super-close-range only.

Our playing styles must be much different. You've picked out my favourite Tier 1 spell classes. I find Forg and Illum great, although I wouldn't mind knockback being removed from the Forg primary although it is significantly more powerful than the other primaries to compensate anyway. The light ball is useful for the illumination effect in Caves. I really don't struggle on my difficulty level at least with those AOE shots, even in caves. Yes, you will hurt yourself occasionally, but the reasonably high DPS combined with the AOE effect still make them pretty useful.


Hard to say how much of that is due to playstyle, and how much is due to difficulty.   I'm on hero, and one huge problem with the rocket spells is that enemies that actually chase you tend to be *fast*.... not only is it easy to miss with the actual shot, and thus get smacked, often if you DO hit with the rocket, the enemy is already close to in your face, so this is going to hurt you.... and the enemy probably wont die from just one shot;  the rockets currently seem pretty weak, honestly, I can usually do more damage just with the light ball.   I definitely dont have the spare health to use those at all.   I'll have to experiment more with the higher tier rockets, but I suspect this'll still be the case.   They're not completely awful in surface areas, but anywhere else.... bleh.




One other spell I wanted to mention, Feather Jetpack:  This one is really cool.   Not easy to use, and it's easy to screw up with this and crash into something dumb, but this is a great utility spell with alot of uses.   I like "utility" spells like that or Campfire or Water Ring or any of those, the ones that arent really meant for damage, but serve other purposes, they add some flair to the spell selection.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 11, 2013, 08:39:33 AM
Maybe it's just the difficulty level. I'll try a new game on Hero for a bit, see how I get on.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: madcow on February 11, 2013, 08:45:00 AM
I've been playing on skilled myself. And one note is that the light rockets pattern is probably the worst of the rockets.  It's a little strange I've found, and if I'm at all worried about getting smacked in the face, I use the flare instead.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: sojourner on February 11, 2013, 08:45:26 AM
One potential solution, if there is a wide dislike for them, would be to make them all special attacks (third slot) and have them cost small bits of ammo with each shot.  Then they could be nice and powerful but also with a secondary cost (ammo), but on a different scale from most ammo spells.  And that would introduce the concept of "sometimes the third slot has ammo costs too."
I couldn't like this idea more, I feel like the special attacks should be truly "special". In some cases, different mage classes have the same style spell in their secondary and special slots. This system would also give ammo much more worth, as well as giving more strategy to it's use, with two ammo spells instead of one.

My choices for special attacks would be improved rockets, bombs and homing missiles, and maybe the reckless attacks.  The other great thing about this is that it gives the rockets, bombs and homing missiles a chance to shine like they really should, without being ridiculously overpowered like they would be without any cost associated with them.


Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 11, 2013, 09:13:30 AM
Quote
I couldn't like this idea more, I feel like the special attacks should be truly "special". In some cases, different mage classes have the same style spell in their secondary and special slots. This system would also give ammo much more worth, as well as giving more strategy to it's use, with two ammo spells instead of one.

It is actually an interesting idea. Not as a solution to fix existing problems with rockets or any of the other specials as I don't think that there are many major problems in that regard, but it might be better to make the special attacks truly special and as you say to give ammo attacks more worth. It would also create a little more consistency in the spell classes. My only problem is that it would require a fair bit of reworking of the current spell classes, possibly more work than we might think. Generally sounds on the cool side to me, though.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Misery on February 11, 2013, 10:33:54 AM
Quote
I couldn't like this idea more, I feel like the special attacks should be truly "special". In some cases, different mage classes have the same style spell in their secondary and special slots. This system would also give ammo much more worth, as well as giving more strategy to it's use, with two ammo spells instead of one.

It is actually an interesting idea. Not as a solution to fix existing problems with rockets or any of the other specials as I don't think that there are many major problems in that regard, but it might be better to make the special attacks truly special and as you say to give ammo attacks more worth. It would also create a little more consistency in the spell classes. My only problem is that it would require a fair bit of reworking of the current spell classes, possibly more work than we might think. Generally sounds on the cool side to me, though.


I do think that while this is an interesting enough idea, it'd likely imbalance things pretty heavily.

I always figured that the term "special attack" was just that, just a term.   They're not that much different from any other spell, and often need to be fired pretty darned often.   Having another type of spell that takes ammo seems a bad idea to me.... for alot of players, it's going to actually mean LESS options, because you always stand a chance of running out of ammo.... the first two spells would become the focus of any given class, as opposed to 3 of them.     It's kinda like the current ammo attacks; the majority of them are very powerful when used right, but you have to use them quite sparingly, and alot of your tactics should mostly be focused on the other 3 spells, with the ammo spell being situational or used in very difficult encounters.

In my view, the way to make more "special" attacks is to add more things like Campfire, the water ring, or that Jetpack bit.... stuff like that.  Spells that have very unique uses, as opposed to anything that's just used for damage.   Spells like that dont need to be balanced out by costing ammo;  they're balanced by being a bit tough to use, and usually being unable to really kill all that much (though the ring and jetpack can do OK damage at times, you're usually not using them to defeat things entirely).    It's probably not something that could possibly be added NOW, with the game's impending release, but I sure wouldnt mind more things like that being added at a later date. 
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 11, 2013, 03:42:27 PM
Quote
In my view, the way to make more "special" attacks is to add more things like Campfire, the water ring, or that Jetpack bit.... stuff like that.  Spells that have very unique uses, as opposed to anything that's just used for damage.

Yeah these types of unique spells definitely make the classes a lot more interesting.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Panopticon on February 11, 2013, 05:21:53 PM
I'm personally not a fan of Special attacks picking up a cost in Ammo. Most of these spells are at least somewhat situational to start with, and also play style is a factor. I like the flares in Illuminologist too, I tend to use them as traps as well as for illumination. With the Special+ perk they do some pretty nice damage. If they suddenly picked up an ammo cost I'd probably stop using them, since the spell class also has such a powerful ammo attack. I tend to use Ammo attacks rarely enough as it is, saving them for Henchmen encounters and the occasional Panic Button moments. This is the kind of choice that makes me feel like I'm losing out on both ends.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 11, 2013, 06:20:28 PM
The ammo thing, if it were to work, would probably cause too much extra work at this stage, I think anyway.

A player called Setsway posted this on the Steam forums related to spells.

Quote
Also I think some of the "homing missile" spells need to be worked on a bit. Sometimes when you face the right side of the screen, since there is an enemy close to you, and fire...the shot goes off to the left, then circles around towards the enemy. If it was a once in a while occurence I wouldn't mind, however it did this frequently. Furthermore the cooldown for some of the spells seems off. What I mean is, say you fire off a spell that has a 1 second cooldown, you need to wait 1 whole second before you can fire any other spell. Even if the spell you are going to fire is a totally different one with a cooldown of 0.2 seconds. IMO the cooldowns should be independant for each spell, not global for all spells. I should be able to fire off a 1 sec cooldown spell and then be able to fire off/use a different spell. Then after that 1 sec expires be able to use that 1 second cd spell again.

Anybody got any thoughts on making cooldown spell independent? A few times I actually use a spell and then try to react quickly by firing off another spell, but I can't do it and it is a little frustrating. Making the cooldown spell independent would increase the fluidity of the combat a fair bit I think. Yes, you could then chain combos of different spells, but isn't that really a good thing? Actually, is there really a reason why cooldown on one spell would carry over to a different one?
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Winge on February 11, 2013, 06:54:47 PM
Anybody got any thoughts on making cooldown spell independent? A few times I actually use a spell and then try to react quickly by firing off another spell, but I can't do it and it is a little frustrating. Making the cooldown spell independent would increase the fluidity of the combat a fair bit I think. Yes, you could then chain combos of different spells, but isn't that really a good thing? Actually, is there really a reason why cooldown on one spell would carry over to a different one?

I second that motion.  Or reduce the cooldown that one spell causes another.  Switching spells is frustrating because of that alone (was really bad under the old 'combo' system).
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: madcow on February 11, 2013, 07:10:38 PM
I actually also agree about separate cool downs on spells, and changing them to not affect other.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Misery on February 11, 2013, 09:38:44 PM
I'm guessing that the cooldown on spells is probably another balance thing.... it prevents players from, say, just firing all 4 spells at once, which could be used as something of an exploit to deal massive damage.   Also probably used to balance out the spells individually as well....  like the heavy cooldown on the seeker spells, it prevents the player from firing a weak shot that cant miss (or isnt supposed to miss anyway), to cause hit-stun, and then instantly diving in with the other spells to do heavy damage.   Without the cooldowns, some spells would get dramatically overpowered for reasons like that.

I'd be against changing any of that.   Cooldowns CAN be annoying in any game that uses them, but they tend to be there for very good reasons.


However..... what about instead, perhaps perks that might reduce the cooldowns a bit?   That might be a nice idea, just so long as the reductions dont go overboard.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 11, 2013, 10:25:56 PM
Quote
I'm guessing that the cooldown on spells is probably another balance thing.... it prevents players from, say, just firing all 4 spells at once, which could be used as something of an exploit to deal massive damage.   Also probably used to balance out the spells individually as well....  like the heavy cooldown on the seeker spells, it prevents the player from firing a weak shot that cant miss (or isnt supposed to miss anyway), to cause hit-stun, and then instantly diving in with the other spells to do heavy damage.   Without the cooldowns, some spells would get dramatically overpowered for reasons like that.

I'd be against changing any of that.   Cooldowns CAN be annoying in any game that uses them, but they tend to be there for very good reasons.

For me the current cooldown setup seems to be stifling combat fluidity a bit too much. It can be good to have some restrictions in place for situations like those you have you have outlined, but at the moment I feel too restrained. I don't think that there's anything wrong with being able to fire off a homing shot and then be able to follow the attack in to some extent with a different attack rather than having to wait for the strait jacket to be removed first. I want to be able to mix my attacks up as much as possible -- within reason! 
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Misery on February 12, 2013, 06:56:17 AM
Quote
I'm guessing that the cooldown on spells is probably another balance thing.... it prevents players from, say, just firing all 4 spells at once, which could be used as something of an exploit to deal massive damage.   Also probably used to balance out the spells individually as well....  like the heavy cooldown on the seeker spells, it prevents the player from firing a weak shot that cant miss (or isnt supposed to miss anyway), to cause hit-stun, and then instantly diving in with the other spells to do heavy damage.   Without the cooldowns, some spells would get dramatically overpowered for reasons like that.

I'd be against changing any of that.   Cooldowns CAN be annoying in any game that uses them, but they tend to be there for very good reasons.

For me the current cooldown setup seems to be stifling combat fluidity a bit too much. It can be good to have some restrictions in place for situations like those you have you have outlined, but at the moment I feel too restrained. I don't think that there's anything wrong with being able to fire off a homing shot and then be able to follow the attack in to some extent with a different attack rather than having to wait for the strait jacket to be removed first. I want to be able to mix my attacks up as much as possible -- within reason!


Perhaps the matter isnt so much the way the cooldowns work, but instead the AMOUNT of cooldown on certain spells.    Since you mention it, yeah, I know exactly what you mean with the homing spells.... they really do have a problem with that!   Every now and then I'll fire one, and then afterwards wonder why my controls are glitching out, hah.    So some of the cooldown numbers might be worth looking at for better balance.   
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Mick on February 12, 2013, 07:21:51 AM
There should just be a global cooldown. That way, you cannot fire all your spells simultaneously, but a long cooldown spell won't "block" a fast firing spell.

I think it'd be much more fun to 'weave' the long cooldown spells in the middle of your spam instead of just being shut down completely.

EDIT: And yes, more than once I've thought my controls were 'glitch' out after using a long cooldown spell. I guarantee many players will find this disconcerting. I'm trying to think if there is even much precedent for it in other side scrollers, none come to mind.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 12, 2013, 11:08:35 AM
Quote
Perhaps the matter isnt so much the way the cooldowns work, but instead the AMOUNT of cooldown on certain spells.    Since you mention it, yeah, I know exactly what you mean with the homing spells.... they really do have a problem with that!   Every now and then I'll fire one, and then afterwards wonder why my controls are glitching out, hah.    So some of the cooldown numbers might be worth looking at for better balance.

If it is possible to fix this occasional sense of being restrained by tweaking the cooldowns of specific problem spells a little then it might be the easiest solution. The main ones that stand out for me as being problematic are homing shots and crescent walls. Wouldn't reducing these cooldowns, though, make the spells themselves more spammable? If so, then that is not really the intended behaviour. It seems like some of this clunkiness is an unintended by-product of having cooldowns from one spell also affect other spells. For example, let's say that I were to use a homing shot and then attempt to defend against an enemy projectile with one of the high caliber touch spells, I simply couldn't do it for a few seconds. Surely these defensive spells are meant to be available pretty much at all times?

Maybe something along the lines of what Mick suggests might work. Possibly a global extra cooldown that only affects the rate at which you can fire off different spells. Just something very basic in order to prevent spamming 4 spells at once etc. This would still stop you from spamming homing shots, but it would let you weave together different combos of attacks more effectively.
 
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: tigersfan on February 12, 2013, 05:32:48 PM
Just in for the new version!

* The Clinging spells now have separate cool downs in addition to the global cooldown.
** This means that while one of these spells can only be fired once every 1.5 seconds for example, other spells can still be fired in a more reasonable time.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Mick on February 12, 2013, 05:41:25 PM
Does that mean it won't work for spells like campfire?
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: tigersfan on February 12, 2013, 05:50:37 PM
Does that mean it won't work for spells like campfire?

You can already fire spells really quickly after campfire.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: tigersfan on February 13, 2013, 11:44:24 AM
How are Fusillades feeling for folks now?

Also, in case you aren't following the changelog, this is just in:

* All charge spells now have higher calibers when you let them charge up.
** Each charge spell has 4 levels to it. The first level (and fastest to fire) is unchanged, but, the caliber of this spell goes up more for each successive level.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 13, 2013, 12:20:00 PM
Quote
Just in for the new version!

* The Clinging spells now have separate cool downs in addition to the global cooldown.
** This means that while one of these spells can only be fired once every 1.5 seconds for example, other spells can still be fired in a more reasonable

time.

I like the new change. Being able to shoot a homing attack and then follow it in with other attacks helps to make the combat feel much more responsive.

The only problem is that I like the change so much that it is making me think about the potential of a having a separate global cooldown for alternate attacks for ALL spells. The more I think about the current setup of having standard cooldowns apply to other attacks, the less I like it. It is really restricting the ability to weave different combos together effectively (as well as reducing the responsiveness of the controls). This is because different combinations of attacks under this system have different timings required that would need to be learned by the player to effectively put spells together. Given the multitude of different spell combinations this is tricky. If you were to have one uniform short cooldown (just to prevent more than one spell being spammed at once) that applied to alternate attacks the player could know exactly when they could time their combos and there would also be an incentive to do so.

I believe this seemingly small change has a chance to elevate the controls to a higher level.

As for drawbacks, giving the player this increased level of control is of course going to make them perform better than they otherwise would under the old system. However, I don't really see this as making the game easier, you are just allowing the player to perform better. There will be situations where a higher DPS can achieved through comboing, for example by firing a blast attack then following up with an illumination shot, but that small increase in DPS might even be a just reward for that little bit of extra skill shown by the player.

Yes, this would change things up a little balance wise, although not too much I don't think, but I truly believe that this might have a chance of adding a whole new dimension to the combat. OK, I can't guarantee that it'll 100% work, but if the coding required is not too excessive then it should be worth trying at least.

For research, I was playing a little Metal Slug 3 and the thing that stands out is the responsiveness of the controls. You can throw a grenade and a split second later you can shoot or vice versa. Imagine if there was a 1 second cooldown on shooting after you threw that grenade. The combat would lose a lot of its responsiveness.




Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: tigersfan on February 13, 2013, 12:38:54 PM
Well, I think a global cooldown of some sort is important, otherwise what is to prevent the player from just button mashing to win?

That's not to say we're unwilling to make changes here. But, don't you agree that at least some global cooldown is needed?
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: madcow on February 13, 2013, 12:48:28 PM
0.2 seconds seems to be the typical cooldown on spells, so that seems reasonable as a global cooldown.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: nas1m on February 13, 2013, 01:06:25 PM
The cooldown issue related to switching spells has been on mantis for some time

http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=10070

Just in case you feel inclined to vote ...
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 13, 2013, 01:06:56 PM
Quote
But, don't you agree that at least some global cooldown is needed?

Oh, yes. Absolutely, some small cooldown is needed to prevent button mashing. But as long as it is fairly small perhaps 0.2 as Madcow suggests, it should work fine. With a global cooldown for alternate spell firing (the standard per spell cooldown would be unchanged) the important thing is that it is consistent. You are then letting the player know that if they want to combo spells together, this is the timing they need rather than expecting them to learn all the different combinations of timing.

Metal slug has a very small cooldown. Just enough to prevent the player from mashing grenade and fire simultaneously.

Quote
The cooldown issue related to switching spells has been on mantis for some time

http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=10070

Just in case you feel inclined to vote ...

Completely missed that report. Thanks Nas1m. Supported.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: tigersfan on February 13, 2013, 05:43:33 PM
Here you go, just in:

* Spells should no longer prevent other spells from firing after the .2 second global cooldown.
** The only exception to this are the intentionally paired Mass and Burst spells.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Winge on February 13, 2013, 05:52:17 PM
Here you go, just in:

* Spells should no longer prevent other spells from firing after the .2 second global cooldown.
** The only exception to this are the intentionally paired Mass and Burst spells.

<3
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 13, 2013, 06:04:17 PM
Quote
Here you go, just in:

* Spells should no longer prevent other spells from firing after the .2 second global cooldown.
** The only exception to this are the intentionally paired Mass and Burst spells.

Nice! Very much looking forward to testing this change.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: tigersfan on February 13, 2013, 06:12:50 PM
Quote
Here you go, just in:

* Spells should no longer prevent other spells from firing after the .2 second global cooldown.
** The only exception to this are the intentionally paired Mass and Burst spells.

Nice! Very much looking forward to testing this change.

Please test it into oblivion. Truth is, I'm not really a programmer, but, I made this change, so, bugs may abound!
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 13, 2013, 06:18:20 PM
Quote
Please test it into oblivion.

Most certainly will do. Thanks!
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: tigersfan on February 13, 2013, 06:37:09 PM
Also, it's possible that some of the changes I made will have enemies firing spells off way too fast. Let me know if you see any of that too.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: x4000 on February 13, 2013, 06:47:44 PM
I've checked the code and I don't see anything amiss, but a lot of testing never hurt anything. ;)
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 13, 2013, 09:54:26 PM
Very early feedback (15 mins or so), the controls feel a lot nicer now. Much more responsive. You can combo spells together a lot more. Great! Blast attacks can now block your own attacks, though, and you get that "your spell was blocked by an enemy message". Also, have snake spells changed, the snaking effect is absent from horizontal shots, the bounces still work, though.

Also the entrop primary doesn't fire fast any more, not sure if that is a bug.

More feedback when I test more tomorrow. Good work!
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Misery on February 14, 2013, 03:00:59 AM
One major thing for the melee spells:   Pleeeeeease make it possible to just hold down the button with these and keep firing them.   I say this mainly because I almost literally cannot use them the way they are;  constant repeated button presses, done too many times in a row can make my arm flare up bad.   I end up just trying to crash through Shallows areas (or putting them on Featherweight and skipping them outright) just to avoid that.   Also, there are situations where the player might want to use it like on a slope and repeatedly punch at an angle to keep hitting something there.... and the current implementation means you're GOING to slide down a bit or just move a little during all the punching no matter what you do, if you have to do it at an angle.   I've had more than a couple of otherwise totally avoidable deaths because of trying to punch/whip at an angle.


EDIT:   Also, Debris Field..... this could use some sort of major buff.  I almost never see this actually kill anything (or hit anything, much of the time).   I could fire it like 5 times in a row near a bunch of enemies, and have it kill none of them.   It's really the only ammo spell that's at all bad right now.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Nanashi on February 14, 2013, 11:02:25 AM
Although the recent change to their calibers has helped charge spells quite a bit, they still have 2 very important issues.

1) They cannot be held indefinitely because they automatically fire after a certain time. This makes them very difficult to use properly against enemies with limited vulnerability windows. They are possibly the most difficult spells to use in the game as a result (far more than bombs, which are relatively braindead and consist of getting -projectile duration equipment and holding down the fire key while running away)

2) Their damage could use a buff and be at least comparable to the damage a primary shot would cause if held down for as long as it took the spell to charge to its current size. Using them doesn't make sense when they barely do more damage fully charged than a comparable homing spell from another class - at least homing spells are instant and the delay is backloaded rather than frontloaded.

I believe both points combined make them high-risk low-reward spells. Either of them should probably be addressed.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 14, 2013, 11:17:44 AM
Although the recent change to their calibers has helped charge spells quite a bit, they still have 2 very important issues.

1) They cannot be held indefinitely because they automatically fire after a certain time. This makes them very difficult to use properly against enemies with limited vulnerability windows. They are possibly the most difficult spells to use in the game as a result (far more than bombs, which are relatively braindead and consist of getting -projectile duration equipment and holding down the fire key while running away)

2) Their damage could use a buff and be at least comparable to the damage a primary shot would cause if held down for as long as it took the spell to charge to its current size. Using them doesn't make sense when they barely do more damage fully charged than a comparable homing spell from another class - at least homing spells are instant and the delay is backloaded rather than frontloaded.

I believe both points combined make them high-risk low-reward spells. Either of them should probably be addressed.

I agree that it would be nice if you could indefinitely hold a charge. I find the current damage fine. Now that caliber increases too it would be a bit OP to also give them a higher DPS than a primary, I think. Also, homing shots as far as I'm aware do considerably less damage per hit than a fully charged shot.

Overall I agree though that making you able to hold the charge indefinitely would be an improvement. It always annoys me to see the shot fly out of my hands without my say so.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Nanashi on February 14, 2013, 11:32:09 AM
I was never arguing for higher dps, I was arguing for comparable dps. You have to balance risk with reward, which is why I said it was an issue only with BOTH points being true. Right now, since they fly out of your hands, they're too difficult and unreliable to use for the kind of damage they do because there's a high chance that they'll go whiff when the enemy is still being out of range/invulnerable and you'll do a great whopping zero damage.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Pepisolo on February 14, 2013, 11:43:01 AM
Quote
I was never arguing for higher dps, I was arguing for comparable dps.

You're right. I actually meant that with even with a comparable DPS, due to the increase in caliber of charge shots per level it would be too much of a buff.

Quote
Right now, since they fly out of your hands, they're too difficult and unreliable to use for the kind of damage they do because there's a high chance that they'll go whiff when the enemy is still being out of range/invulnerable and you'll do a great whopping zero damage.

I agree. I would prefer them to be able to be indefinitely held.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: x4000 on February 14, 2013, 11:48:00 AM
* The amount of time you can hold a charge shot at full charge is no longer limited to 5 seconds.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 14, 2013, 12:00:19 PM
* The amount of time you can hold a charge shot at full charge is no longer limited to 5 seconds.
Where's that picture of the megaman overload (that nonetheless doesn't kill the little dude with the construction hat) ?
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: x4000 on February 14, 2013, 12:18:02 PM
:)
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Penumbra on February 14, 2013, 12:56:59 PM
Wow, all this time, I thought either my finger was slipping or my controller was faulty.....  :-[
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: x4000 on February 14, 2013, 01:31:29 PM
No, no, it was totally you in your case.  I just fixed a bug affecting other people. ;)
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Penumbra on February 14, 2013, 01:46:56 PM
And I thought Arcen had great customer service before, but custom builds on a per-user basis, wow!!  ;D
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: x4000 on February 14, 2013, 01:49:55 PM
Oh, yeah -- I knew your fingers tend to slip and/or that you have gamepad hardware problems, so I fixed the bug just for you long ago so that it wouldn't be twice as bad for you.  Glad I could help! ;)
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Panopticon on February 14, 2013, 05:25:08 PM
One major thing for the melee spells:   Pleeeeeease make it possible to just hold down the button with these and keep firing them.   I say this mainly because I almost literally cannot use them the way they are;  constant repeated button presses, done too many times in a row can make my arm flare up bad.   I end up just trying to crash through Shallows areas (or putting them on Featherweight and skipping them outright) just to avoid that.   Also, there are situations where the player might want to use it like on a slope and repeatedly punch at an angle to keep hitting something there.... and the current implementation means you're GOING to slide down a bit or just move a little during all the punching no matter what you do, if you have to do it at an angle.   I've had more than a couple of otherwise totally avoidable deaths because of trying to punch/whip at an angle.

I agree with this completely. It would make angled shots with melee a viable tactic instead of a risky, more tricky than it's usually worth attack. Since they aren't high caliber anymore it doesn't seem like it would overpower them defensively.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: x4000 on February 14, 2013, 06:07:42 PM
Yep, that change is already in the next release. :)
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Penumbra on February 15, 2013, 12:48:38 PM
I am finding the Entopicist's Flying Entropic Finger to be really strong for a tier 1 class. 0.2 second cooldown, decent speed and a large shot with a caliber of High makes it amazing for blocking everything.

I mean, I love it, but... Maybe it's just a little special something for my game!  ;)
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: x4000 on February 15, 2013, 04:11:01 PM
Thanks!

* The eight "flying fist" spells that do negtive status effects on the enemies (plus having awesome high calibers) have been toned down into having a 1-second cooldown.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Psyren on February 19, 2013, 12:14:46 AM
With 1.0 out I thought i'd give this a bump...

With the caliber changes, the Illuminologist got a massive nerf. Its primary is far too unreliable now that its caliber is low, and simply put its unusable in all but open space...

Caliber for the primary needs to be high again.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Gallant Dragon on February 19, 2013, 06:46:40 AM
I have to agree with this one, although when it could block shots it tended to be just a little OP.  The way it is right now, though, the Illuminologist is pretty much a suicide class in tight spaces or against enemies that fire multiple shots (like the bosses!)
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Psyren on February 19, 2013, 07:52:22 AM
I wouldn't say it was ever OP.

While it was great that the primary could pierce most shots, it still has mediocre DPS and the inherit risk of hurting yourself (good luck with not shooting yourself when running up/down slopes). Illum wasn't really DPS-centric, and I liked the utilitarian nature of its kit in exchange for damage...

Buffing the primary back to its old power seems like the best/simplest idea without having to make tweaks everywhere else.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Panopticon on February 19, 2013, 11:22:48 AM
Light Rockets were definitely OP when Valley 2 first hit beta. They'd block pretty much everything and did some crazy high damage. I think they are feeling about right now, and the other spells in the Illuminologist class work fine indoors, particularly Light Snake in caverns. The Flare spell is good too. And even with the additional danger of throwing rockets around indoors (which makes total sense when you think about it), I still find lots of situations inside where I'm happy I have it, like Boss fights or some of the more open slices that have flyers in them.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Psyren on February 19, 2013, 11:50:52 AM
Only started playing the beta around the time the control issues where fixed, so can't really comment on issues before then... If you're going to make one piece of a class kit unreliable in a common situation (indoors/tight passages) the rest of the kit needs to make up for it.

As it stands Illum has no defense outlet except for its Ultimate, and the Special attack is far too slow to be used as a DPS/bulleteater option. So in most tight situations you're stuck with the option of:

- snake spell shenanigans
- block using your Ultimate
- suicide rockets, using your invisibility window to AoE enemies
- hoping to land a hit with your slow, tiny Special

That's a pretty rotten deal. Even if Illum's Primary gets a damage, AoE, and/or cooldown nerf, its Caliber does need a buff.

EDIT: @Panopticon. I totally understand what you mean :). Its AoE is quite useful as a pinger over long-ranges without drawing enemies towards you, but outside of those situations, Illum is horrible in tight mid-range situations and the snake/flare require a lot of skill to be used to get hits on small targets & bypassing projectiles.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: madcow on February 19, 2013, 12:39:05 PM
I'm not sure it's a bad thing that some Mage classes excell in certain areas and are weak in others. You can typically know what sort of situation you're getting into before hand, and pick a class accordingly. Which is one of the game's big selling points.

I haven't been able to play lately, so I say this without being able to comment on how balanced he class is. Last I played snake spells were great in tight places, you just had to be careful and not to into the line of fire.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: danterules on February 19, 2013, 03:06:07 PM
lol i hadn't played the game since a few betas back and decided to give it a try after the 1.0 release , its all good now but was shocked that i died by my own spell twice :O when did our spells started to attack us ? not happy with this , that rocket spell was the only thing i liked in the current list of spells and its killing me :( please turn off the friendly fire on it.

 
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Winge on February 19, 2013, 05:24:29 PM
I'm not sure that making rocket spells High caliber would be a good idea, as they would block almost everything.  However, they definitely should not be Low, as that means even basic enemies will pop them (on that note, why on earth is the Mosquito's spell Normal caliber???).  Normal caliber seems like an OK balance point for rocket spells.  Another option would be to decrease or even remove the friendly fire damage from the spell (the caliber change took care of rocket cheesiness).  One last idea is to make the rocket projectile high caliber, but make the explosion low caliber...but I don't know if that is possible in the code.

The Illuminologist class is definitely one of the most difficult starting classes (although not the weakest...I was thoroughly unimpressed with the damage numbers on the Technozoologist).  Rocket is extremely risky in its current form.  Snakes are situational (but oh-so fun and excellent when their time comes).  Flares are OK for sniping, but fire waaayyy too slowly for close-quarters use.  Light Flare is actually my biggest gripe with the class.  The Ammo spell is very weak, however it does synergize well with the rest of the class, and has a very low ammo cost.
Title: Re: Spell balance!
Post by: Psyren on February 20, 2013, 06:10:38 AM
I'm not sure it's a bad thing that some Mage classes excell in certain areas and are weak in others. You can typically know what sort of situation you're getting into before hand, and pick a class accordingly. Which is one of the game's big selling points.

True.

On the higher difficulties optimizing your loadout is essential for survival, I get that.

But the average player is most likely not going to bother with doing this (on the average/lower difficulties I mean), and they will most likely expect each class to be relatively balanced for most situations. That said, if classes are going to have specialized/hard spell kits then I think each class should at get a basic playstyle description point out key strengths & weaknesses along with a difficulty meter (rating out of 5 stars maybe?) relative to its overall usefulness/skill requirements, and there should be a stronger emphasis on pointing out to players that they should adjust their loadout to better adapt to situations.
/Off-Topic


On topic: I considered the idea of buffing the Flare spell, but if anything else other than damage gets buffed it may as well become the class Primary.

Another suggestion rather than buffing Rockets straight to High Caliber:

+ Lower/Remove player damage
+ Buff Caliber to Normal
- Increase cooldown time
- Slightly smaller AoE explosion (?)

Slightly nerfs its ability to ping distant enemies, and nerf overall DPS in exchange for bulleteating/defensive options