Author Topic: Spell balance!  (Read 6267 times)

Offline Ashnal

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #15 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 :)

Offline Misery

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #16 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.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 02:04:37 AM by Misery »

Offline Jerebaldo1

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #17 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!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 05:01:58 AM by Jerebaldo1 »

Offline Misery

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #18 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.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2013, 08:27:56 AM »
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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.

Offline madcow

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #20 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.

Offline Misery

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2013, 08:37:30 AM »
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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.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #22 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.

Offline madcow

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #23 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.

Offline sojourner

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #24 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.



Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2013, 09:13:30 AM »
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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.

Offline Misery

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2013, 10:33:54 AM »
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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. 

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2013, 03:42:27 PM »
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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.

Offline Panopticon

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #28 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.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Spell balance!
« Reply #29 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.

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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?