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Information and updates for the "Legacy of the Horadrim" mod by quatl. If you have any questions or suggestions for these mods, please post them here.

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Quatl
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Post by Quatl » Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:13 pm

Work continues on Skill descriptions. I'm about half way done with the text entry, hopefully I'll finish them up soon. I ahve the barbarian, drui and assassin skills left to finish.

I've added some new graphics, there are now several looks which corospond to different skill types. For example a Tome, a smallish book graphic, contain "spells", while a Practicum, a scroll type image, holds an attack form type skill.

Each type comes in designer colors too, showing at a glance the element, or psuedo-element the skill belongs to. Cold skills come in dark blue writings for example, while fire ones wear red. There is some duplication of colors, but I think it greatly improoves the shoping experience.

Here's another teaser for how skill related thingies look : Picture

Skills are grouped by sets of overlaping "Affinities" rather than by class. These include elemental types as well as less specific things. Each skill has three of these. A general use oriented type (like melee, bolt, nova etc), an element or pseudo-element (fire, cold, alacrity, prowess etc), and one from the least well defined catagory, it's "school" which has to do with how the skill delivers it's element (examples include, Transmutation, Invocation, Conjuration etc..)

In the long run Affinities will come to replace both masteries and synergies, but as of now they do nothing. Synergy and Mastery will become automatic based on the skills you select, so chooseing alot of melee attacks will improove weapon mastery, or picking alot of fire related skills (spells, attacks, auras or whatever) will improove fire mastery.

So for example a dark blue smallish book could be "A Hiemal Tome of Ice Bolt", which would contain "a cold-related spell that is named Ice Bolt", with Bolt, Cold Elemental, and Evocation Affinities.

-Quatl
Last edited by Quatl on Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Maxx Power » Fri Oct 27, 2006 12:35 am

A proposition: If you haven't already done so, you may consider combining the scrolls into one item. It's easy (well, relatively easy) to code a single item to hold all of the scrolls of a certain class (or tree, whatever way you want to go) and be able to simply right-click through them. The benefits to this are two fold : one it eliminates the need to have loads of seperate scrolls, and two it means that characters can access all of the skills when they reach a certain level, much like it would be in regular diablo, rather than waiting to get to the next act. It would be even more helpful if, ala the scrolls being spat back out for removing a skill, that this be done for all skills. The whole thing about having to buy skills in the first place is offset when you consider how much money you can make (I rarely touch a fraction of the gold I have stashed to buy a new skill).

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Post by Quatl » Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:25 am

Maxx Power";p="292671" wrote:A proposition: If you haven't already done so, you may consider combining the scrolls into one item. It's easy (well, relatively easy) to code a single item to hold all of the scrolls of a certain class (or tree, whatever way you want to go) and be able to simply right-click through them. The benefits to this are two fold : one it eliminates the need to have loads of seperate scrolls, and two it means that characters can access all of the skills when they reach a certain level, much like it would be in regular diablo, rather than waiting to get to the next act. It would be even more helpful if, ala the scrolls being spat back out for removing a skill, that this be done for all skills. The whole thing about having to buy skills in the first place is offset when you consider how much money you can make (I rarely touch a fraction of the gold I have stashed to buy a new skill).
Those are very good sugestions. I have been thinking about these very same problems recently. These isues are being adressed in slightly different ways.

Now that the skills are (mostly) seperated from their classes and orgonized by type, I'll be useing more than one store page for them. Some types will apear on the armor, some on weapons etc. Based on the type of skill they are. This way they will all fit in one shop at the same time, even if I add alot of skills later.

They'll be further resorted by level and element (in that order, like firething lvl1, firething2 lvl1, coldthing lvl1, firething3 lvl6) This will allow me greater freedom to shift some things around as far as skill levels and quanties without worrying about scrolls not being in the right place.

Your Right clicking sugestion is a good one. Unfortuneatly I can't have both a t-mog and the descriptions as they are, as they don't play nice with each other.

The other factor is that I hope eventualy to do some code editing to filter the scrolls out of the stores in hardcore mode, so I want the drops to be balance a certain way for that. I'd like it so that for hard-core you have to make do with the skills you find basicaly.

Hopfuly these changes will address your concerns suficiently, but If you don't think so, or have some additional insight please do let me know about it :)

-Quatl
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Post by Maxx Power » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:38 am

That seems fair, especially since the skill system will be getting an overhaul. Another question I have now is how does the item system stand? All this talk of skills and the original purpose of the mod seems to have been put on the backburner. What are you planning to do with uniques?

Also some thoughts I had on the whole quintessence system. While it's so far done well and I can't fault you, two things spring to mind. Firstly the fact that quintessence amount is fixed when you cube it based on clvl. This seems logical in terms of balance, but in the long run it will put players off "quintessing" an item, since they may think "well, I don't want to spend too much money if I'm just going to make something better later on". Perhaps a system whereby you can choose to "top up" on the quintessence on an item, but will increase the level requirement of the item, as well as providing slightly less quintessence than if you were to wait until you were higher in clvl.

The other concern I had is the fact that magic/rare/set/unique items can be quintessence. Again this is the same problem as above, one may decide to bite the bullet and cube an item, start adding bonuses, only to find a rare item of a better type with better mods, causing them to redo the whole sequence again. Diablo's economy of course is based on what you find, but the added emphasis of customisation adds an element of russian roulette to the proceedings, whereby you can't know what you may find next. Two options present themselves to me. One is to have all items be "cleaned" when cubed, thusly removing any need to search for items in the field to cube. The second is to remove magical items altogether (I know S_G Rune Mod had a similar system to yours and went the same route with some success).

Also on the current difficulty of the mod. I've found that the marked increase in monster density/strength and the lowered character Life don't mix very well. Indeed I see a situation later on in the game whereby characters with AoE spells have much more of an advantage than those with single attack (read: most melee builds). It's not usual for me to have to back up every time I meet a mob with my life orb going down to a sliver within seconds (this is with a character with almost every single point so far spent in vitality as well). Whether or not this was your intention I can't say, but I will say there's better ways to increase the difficulty of monsters without resorting to increasing damage output.

EDIT: Almost forgot, I seem to remember there being a rune bottle with +1 to all skills. Am I missing it or has it been remove? If so it doesn't bode well for spellcasters...
Last edited by Maxx Power on Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Quatl » Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:22 pm

There's alot in there :) hopefuly I'll hit it all.

As for difficulty, I agree there are certain monsters especialy that are causeing more pain than they "should." There are certain monsters which present suden jumps in difficulty, seemingly from no where and this is definately not what I was going for.

I've identified a few areas in which my initial changes are out of whack. I do plan to address these very soon. Some of these were just oversights or failures of knowledge on my part. As an example Woodfist (the brute guarding the scroll/key at the tree of infus) I hadn't been aware of exactly how his group was spawned (my intention was that he spawn alone,) And his modifiers are more potent than I had thought. A late tweek to the normal monsters he's based on makes him obcene when combined with his modifiers.

My intentions as to difficulty are roughly as follows:
Each monster should have a role to play, this means it should have the nesassary tactics and stats to perform one job well (from it's perspective) That is it shuold be good at killing players who fight in a very specific way. The player should always be able to overcomethis by shifting their starategy slightly (utilizeing a secondary skill or potions or alternate weapon etc)

The "balance" I want actualy has nothing to do with "hardness." I want to have to think a bit while I'm playing. I have a tendancy when playing vanilla to space out and play on auto pilot. The experience I want is to be engaged in the game and mentaly present.

Clearly the changes to monsters, as they are , do not hit this mark. In some cases they are an improvement. But I need to reassess them all. There are a few which are definatly worse now than they were before.

Another part of the problems is that the vanilla skill set does need some tweeking to get to where I want things to go. Likewize equipment changes, which I have some prety firm ideas about.

Another trouble I'm haveing, is that I'm esentialy aproaching a point in the future, that I have a pretty solid view of, but the path itself is unclear. Every aspect of D2 is inter-dependant. So I have to be careful about back tracking on changes that look bad in the short term when they match the long term theory. Although if the theory turns out to be "bad" I'm more than ready to modify it, or replace it :)

Which brings up some of your other coments/questions. Equipment in general has some changes coming. Each weapon class will be more specific different. There are a few part to this in my current plan.

Firstly bonus damage from attributes (str,dex) will be shifted around a bit. This will be made clear on the items themselves. Weapon classes will have different balances of bonus damage and to hit factors as well as common specials.

Things like very low amounts of deadly strike or crushing blow will apear on some (in the neighborhood of 5%) Bonus damage vs monster types other than undead is something I've been experementing with as well.

Large weapons will all be 2 handed, and reach will be determined by weapon size (it currently is not always.) Polearms and spears for example will have clear reach advantages over 1-h swords etc. 2-handed weapons will also get about twice the enchantment potential as 1-handed ones. And teh before mentioned type-modifiers will be more potent on 2-handed vs 1-handed weapons.

Shields will have a greater contibution to defense. So fighting with a 2-handed weapon will be about power tactics, 2-weapon fighting will be about accuracy, and weapon and shield will be about tanking (assumeing a mele character here.)

Certain skills will be altered/replaced/merged to intensify these diferences, and some new ones created to fill gaps. This will mostly be done "softly" that is power tactics skills will be less effective with unsuitible weapons but not excluded. There will be some exceptions, mainly at the extreem ends of the spectrum, for example daggers and polearms may have a few skills dedicated to them specificaly. I'm trying to find a balance here between flexibility, and restriction that rewards thoughtful play. (because as a player that's what I want to experience.)

(Relaxing the skill setup should also make this less painful. I fully expect characters to have 5 or 10 active skills invested in and used regularly, rather than the usual 3 to 5. And no buffs/summons etc that you recast every 5 mins or so, don't really count; though auras do if they are switched situationaly)

As for uniques I'm still debateing their exact nature. I want them to be "special" emotionaly. My current thinking is that Uniques will have two primary roles. First they will drop with additional quintessence so they will be more enchantable than other items. And secondly they may be set up to violate the normal seperations of items specials. They should not be preprogramed items. At one point my plan was to have all quintessence be from uniques and that was to be their role.

The likely outcome is that uniques will be about twice as enchantable as items are currently, and Items that are enchanted with an elixer will be alot less potent that they now are. If I go this route, uniques will become much more common (somewhere in the neiborhood of 1 in 100)

Sets are less important to change. In the long run I'll mostly make some new ones to suport various strategies, and fix the ones that are now pretty much useless as they overly relied on skill bonuses.

Magc modifiers (prefix/suffix) will be altered a bit here and there, the over all comonality and intensity of a few will change quite alot.

Another source of quintessence I'm working on is modifier recycleing. You'ld basicly cube off modifiers point by point and get the quintessence back at some ratio or other (possibly even, maybe half, or 3/4ths.) This involves alot of brute force though so this won't happen soon (I'll proly have to make a program to generate these recipies were talking 10s of thousands at least as far as I can tell)

The economics of crafting will change somewhat too. I don't want to talk about it in too much detail, because I have a really cool set of ideas that may not work :) Down the raod as I have more thime to test things out I'll talk more of this.

Bottom line, The mod is not close to properly balanced now, on that we definately agree. And some of that is because of partial implementation. And alot of it is because of incautios (possibly stupid is a better term here) modifications I made in certain monsters' stats.

Thanks for pokeing me in the head again though. I've been very destracted trying to get the damn skill descriptions done, and it has prevented "real" work being done on the mod. I'm very close to finished with them though, I hope to have a real realease in a week or so. With some sanity brought to the monster/player balance, the new skill descriptions, and some or all of the base equipment class changes implemented.

-Quatl

[Edit]
I just realized I hadn't addressed on of your direct questions. Reguarding quintessence now or later delimas. I agree that these are issues.

It's all a trade off, for example in Sir_General's Rune Mod (clearly one of my major influences) there were as you say no magic etc items at all and it was all about continuly adding tinny bonuses to the equipment you started with.

One thing that would happen as I played it is that while initialy I got a little thrill each time I added a new point of something, after a while the thrill wore off ... I just ended up sort of taking it for granted. And I missed haveing something special to find or look forwards too.

(don't read this the wrong way, the bulk of my d2 playing in the last few years has actualy been his mod. I think it's great, it just isn't perfect for me)

My idea for a point based system arose out of seeking a comprimise between the a rune mod like system and vanilla. I'm not perfectly happy with it, but I like the idea of the treasure hunt aspect of d2 where you ocasionaly find something really good.

One nice thing about the foundation LotH has now is that I could prety easily change different aspects around. Quentessence could come from another source, as could reagents. I think both of these will change slightly (I aluded to some of this above.)

I'm not certain if I want the game to have no other magic items. I think I like some mixture of the two, however "re-quentessencing" is certainly possible.

-Quatl
Last edited by Quatl on Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: News ...

Post by elamont » Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:08 am

I was able to combine all the scrolls. No problem at all there. Just as you mentioned it earlier. However, the skills......That's another issue. Anyone else having problems with this?
Erin
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Last edited by elamont on Wed Mar 07, 2007 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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