Author Topic: Mage Class Design  (Read 5006 times)

Offline Oralordos

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2013, 07:35:43 PM »
If you want to test the stuff easily, try typing cmd:set_cheats_enabled into chat, then press L for the debug menu.

Offline x4000

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2013, 07:37:45 PM »
Holy smokes! I forgot all about that somehow. I completely forgot we added that in, thanks for the tip.
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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2013, 07:51:25 PM »
The firing angles are pretty wide, more I think than the three shot ones, so the extra shots help very little in prime damage dealing. As in, multiple shots hitting one foe is a lot less likely than all three of a blast shot hitting one foe.

That was actually my main concern - in the damage dealing department, but if the spread is that wide, it shouldn't be an issue.  Thicketmaster's main problem was in the extreme lack of utility and inability to hit anything that wasn't in a straight line of sight, which obviously won't be an issue at all now and can definitely compete with the "shattered" classes in terms of utility.

I tried out the shotgun-patterned spells, with the range being just shy of the single shots after the boost.  I think since the spread of the shots naturally makes it less effective over range - and each projectile does less damage individually than the single and ricochet shots - the range boost works, and was needed anyways for Radiantist to be good at tier 5.  Tightening the spread would actually make it more powerful in the damage dealing department, which might be too much.

On tier 3 and 4, I think newer players will probably see any three-shot spell as the go-to option if they didn't already, but more experienced players might still get more mileage in the damage-dealing department from the single shots with more damage in the prime projectile and slightly more range.

Quote
If you want to test the stuff easily, try typing cmd:set_cheats_enabled into chat, then press L for the debug menu.

I have a guy at level 4 right now, so I'll probably keep myself in suspense, but that's a good tip for future reference!

Offline x4000

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2013, 07:54:37 PM »
Cool. Definitely sounding good on those points!

By the way, on the cheats menu you can directly select any class from any tier at any time. Would definitely be useful to you, I'm aghast I didn't think of it before.
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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2013, 10:45:45 PM »
So I got my guy to tier 5 and received Thicketmaster as one of the random classes.

All I can say is wowza; I literally ran through the citadel area shooting directly in front of me and destroyed everything without even aiming my shots.  It essentially fills the entire screen area in front of you at rapid-fire speed, cooling down more than twice as fast as the shattered spells.

I understand Thorn Mass Penta - since it's slow by default and has a high cooldown time, five shots is justified as a knockback wave.  It essentially becomes the penultimate defensive spell, either killing or knocking back anything that gets in your face, but is too slow to go on the offensive with at a range.

Thorn Burst Penta is insane though.  A lot can be said about a consistent, fast, long range and accurate straight shot that was Thorn Burst; its problem was the complete lack of complementary utility spells, which was solved by Thorn Mass Penta.  Quintupling Thorn Burst put Thicketmaster from the bottom to being solidly on top, literally clearing out whatever side of the screen you are aiming at, like a rapid-fire "smart bomb".

If you do end up tweaking the spells at all from the update, I think nerfing Thorn Burst Penta back to regular old Thorn Burst might be a good idea.  Still a powerful, go-to option when you have line of sight and know how to aim, then you save the slow Thorn Mass Penta to defend yourself from enemy spells or repel incoming, slippery fliers.  As a single shot, it's not derisive from the three-shot blast spells and not world-dominating like the Penta version. 

Thorn Mass Penta was really all it needed to remedy its weakness, then Thorn Burst Penta put it way over the top.  I think you may have been a bit overzealous in the revision :-).

Edit:  I think Beastmaster is perfect now though, and the charge shots are much more useful and satisfying.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2013, 11:53:25 PM by abdulmuhsee »

Offline x4000

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2013, 08:49:37 AM »
Okay, that is a fair point. :)  I will put that change in for the next release; but feel free to post other thoughts as you have them.
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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2013, 09:22:32 AM »
I feel bad complaining after you released the update :-).

Other than returning Thorn Burst to a single shot, the last change I can think of would be to possibly reduce the 50% range upgrade of the blast spells to something like 30-40%. 

Their main projectile shoots essentially just as far as the one-shots now (perhaps just a smidgen less), and even though the damage-per-projectile is lower, it's incredibly difficult to not choose Lavalock or Meteorist over their counterparts after the upgrade.  You can hit things just as far away, get the great utility of the spread, and if close enough, still do the massive shotgun-esque damage. 

I think you were right to give them a range upgrade, but I think somewhere between where they were and what they are now would be perfect to balance the three-shot advantage while not always having to get up close and personal to hit things.  Even as they are now, they're fairly balanced, and at least better than before.

But yeah, I think everything would be pretty solidly balanced after that, and Thicketmaster would become a very fun class to play; you have to pursue your target and have good aim for the offensive spell, but can fire off your slow-moving 5-shot if you need some cover or to take down fast, incoming enemies that are hard to target.

Offline x4000

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2013, 09:26:57 AM »
No worries at all on the further commentary; I'm quite aware that design and balance are iterative, and I don't expect perfection from one pass of anything, heh.

The changes are collected here, including your blast shot range change: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Valley_2_-_Post-Launch_Release_Notes#Official_1.007

Cheers!
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Offline Aquohn

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2013, 09:34:28 AM »
Sorry to derail this thread quite a bit, but while we're on the topic of Valley 2 updates, I should mention this thing I discussed with Chris a while ago: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=11754

And also, I've noticed that wall crawlers are acting weird again. Mantis the next time I remember to save

Now that you guys are done(-ish) with SC and VotM, I guess you can think about working on good ol' Valley 2 again, huh?
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Offline x4000

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2013, 10:02:21 AM »
Sorry to derail this thread quite a bit, but while we're on the topic of Valley 2 updates, I should mention this thing I discussed with Chris a while ago: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=11754

I just put a note in there, but the TLDR is that I've never really been able to repro it.

And also, I've noticed that wall crawlers are acting weird again. Mantis the next time I remember to save

I've seen it, but I don't plan on doing anything with it, honestly.  This isn't anything new, it's been since well before 1.0.  It's only in some cases, and I'm not sure why they do it.  But it's in a better state than they ever have been, and frankly the code for these guys is absolutely obnoxious to make work right, heh.  So I'm not really inclined to dive into that one.  From my play experience it's something that doesn't really affect gameplay in a material way most of the time, it just looks goofy.

Now that you guys are done(-ish) with SC and VotM, I guess you can think about working on good ol' Valley 2 again, huh?

Unfortunately not.  As things with Valley 2 are raised, we'll always take care of the ones that are large material defects or that are small things that we can tweak to make the game better.  But that's about it, and isn't anything new.  We just weren't seeing any reports that fit that until the latest surge in players from IndieRoyale.  Our main foci are now on SC, the SC first expansion, AI War, and Bionic Dues.  Nothing else on our roster of games is in what I would call active development; they're all in "extended support" more or less.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2013, 10:08:17 AM »
One thing I should point out lest the wrong impression be had: we certainly haven't abandoned our other games; it's not like they are not supported.  But "extended support" is basically the sort of mode that almost all AAA games, and even most indie games, go into as soon as they are released at 1.0.  The game is what it is, bugs are fixed as they can be, and some bugs wind up sticking around forever because the rabbit hole is too deep and/or it's not material enough.  Pursuing a zero bug count isn't really possible unless you are Nintendo. ;)

But anyway, I really hate the thought of people thinking "oh these games are abandoned" or whatever.  It's not any different from most any other games you play that aren't Arcen titles.  It's just different from other Arcen titles, since we have to focus our efforts on things that actually will help keep us in business.  Doing three months of fulltime post-release development on Valley 1 after it came out was a big money drain for us and ultimately put us in a really rocky situation.  In that case it was needed either way... but it wasn't a good thing.
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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2013, 09:44:42 PM »
Oh, I did find a typo too.  Doom Crescent's description reads: "A crescent of bursts forth in front and above you..." 

I'm guessing it's supposed to tell you of what, or something like "A crescent bursts forth in front and above you, opening a rift into another dimension.".  May as well add an extra noun after "of" in the update :-).
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 09:29:03 AM by abdulmuhsee »

Offline x4000

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2013, 01:28:54 PM »
Thanks!  The issue was actually in all of the crescent spells. :)
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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #28 on: June 21, 2013, 08:08:32 PM »
I think you may have accidentally added even more range to the blast spells instead of reducing; I just shot off a few "Bacterial Blast" volleys, and they now appear to reach all the way across the screen.  Nothing can even get close to me.

Offline x4000

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Re: Mage Class Design
« Reply #29 on: June 21, 2013, 08:11:32 PM »
Hmm, I don't believe so, and I just checked the code.  They had a range of 400px originally, then two versions ago it was 600px, and now it's 540px.  I just checked the code.

Do you perhaps have some equipment on that augments range?
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