Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

This is the place for people to research themes and ideas for their mods as well as for others to post their suggestions for mod makers to make use of.

Moderator: Nefarius

User avatar
Hoob
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 6:14 pm

Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Hoob » Wed May 24, 2006 5:39 pm

Basically my melee players are complaining the AoE types are killing everything before they can even get to it much less attack it. They say it makes them useless other than as a (insert buff of choice) [filtered]. And they are correct in thinking this. Needless to say they aren't happy about it, but I'm not sure how to fix aoe without overdoing it and making it useless. For example taking the approach of dividing damage by what I expect to be the average number of targets hit is no good, as it doesn't consider things like regen, and the fact that those 20 units (/random number) are beating the crap out of you while you slowly whittle down their life.

This is obviously a mod balanced for multiplayer (tcp/ip of course) ;) so I want everyone to play a meaningful role, and buff [filtered]s don't qualify. I want the melee types to feel they are really helping by being there, the caster types to be glad they have a nice barb/druid/pala to intercept the incoming enemies and the single target casters to not feel overshadowed by their AoE brethren.
Last edited by Hoob on Wed May 24, 2006 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Nefarius
Retired Admin
Cherub
Posts: 11607
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 8:13 pm
Location: Where the blood forever rains
Contact:

Hand-picked

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Nefarius » Wed May 24, 2006 6:50 pm

The problem is that the spells simply do too much damage. The larger the AoE the lower the damage should be, and not vice versa as it is now. (largest radius = largest damage, if you ignore damage aurae) Look at the skill damages listed in the original skills.txt from 1.00 for the sorc skills how it originally was and how it was blizzed up in the expansion and especially after adding the synergies.*

*the problem with those is that they don't contribute to variety but lead to even less variety.


Simply put, a single target/low AoE spell should do a lot more damage then a multi target/large AoE spell of the same level.

Lets say you have two spells which are both available at clvl 24, one does 100-200 damage over 15 subtiles, the other does 20-50 damage and hits a single target? See whats wrong there.
''(...) The game can basically be considered unhackable. '' - Blizzard Entertainment (30th May 2000)
Black Omen Productions | MetalStorm: Progress Report | Screenshots

User avatar
dfnord
Forum Regular
Angel
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:18 am

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by dfnord » Wed May 24, 2006 7:13 pm

Simple fix: make very low crowded mobs, with very powerfull monsters. This is where melee shines (ever heard a smiting paladin solo ubber tristam?). To actually balance a aoe, estimate the avarage (expected for those who know better) amount of monsters that will be found throughout the spell's duration on the spell's area. Then, estimate the avareage damage (which is tricky, as monster types and damage, and mobs a player will choose to fight are not independent).

Or, an approach that worked very good with whirlwind, make aoe melee skills (see median's rolling thunder for another example). Zeal and fury also follow this same line (even though they are not aoe per se, they try to simulate it, by increasing attack speed and affecting monsters around you). Either way remember that aoe physical skills can be very overpowered with crusing blow, hits blinds target, freezes target and procs.

User avatar
Hoob
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 6:14 pm

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Hoob » Wed May 24, 2006 7:38 pm

I have no idea how it was back then nefarius, do you have the texts for that or something so I can look?

As far as synergies and variety, there will likely be a lack of vareity regardless, just in different forms. Without them 3 sorcs will probably be using the same 2 or 3 skills and the same 2 or 3 masteries to support them. With them 3 sorcs will likely be using 3 different skills, but any sorc of a given build will also have the synergies to it maxed. Either way there are only a few types of sorcs that get made, the difference is whether they are the same because they use the same skills, or the same because anyone using the same main skill also uses a b and c to support it in some way, either as an actual support skill or (more likely) as a synergy.

And actually dfnord, I was strongly considering that idea, although it is a bit daunting as it would require a near complete revamp. After all if there are fewer monsters they need to have more hp so it isn't just super easy (and if regen is a problem it can be set to 0 iirc) and damage and so on, and they need to give more xp when killed so players aren't underleveled without doing runs, and more drops for a similar reason.

AoE melee skills could also turn the tide I suppose, fight fire with fire? I'm not worried at all about hit blinds target, as it reduces enemy awareness to melee range. Since you're in melee range, they're still attacking you. Even if they are a ranged unit the agro system is horrible enough to where they'd sooner attack that barb sitting in front of them calmly eating his lunch than the sorceress 2 feet behind him raining elemental death to all... :roll: In other words, any ranged units you're in melee range of aren't going to be bothering anyone else anyways. As for cb, it's already quite nerfed in effect as well as in quantity. Still, a 20 cb several yard radius AoE attack might be too much. I don't suppose there's a way to make cb not work with it?
Last edited by Hoob on Wed May 24, 2006 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Brother Laz
Forum Legend
Dominion
Posts: 6715
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2002 10:06 am
Location: Fallen Like Lightning
Contact:

Hand-picked

Post by Brother Laz » Wed May 24, 2006 8:55 pm

The Chaos Sanctuary!

Yes, someone actually mirrored the old Blizzard site with all the pre-LoD information on it! Why, I have no idea, but it is there.
19.may.2007 | Adun Tori Laz.
Median XL released!
Flesyht sa ruobhgien yht etah.


y dont u play the game the way its supposta be played? -SlothNathan

User avatar
Nefarius
Retired Admin
Cherub
Posts: 11607
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 8:13 pm
Location: Where the blood forever rains
Contact:

Hand-picked

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Nefarius » Wed May 24, 2006 9:10 pm

I have no idea how it was back then nefarius, do you have the texts for that or something so I can look?
D2Data.mpq :roll:
Last edited by Nefarius on Wed May 24, 2006 9:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
''(...) The game can basically be considered unhackable. '' - Blizzard Entertainment (30th May 2000)
Black Omen Productions | MetalStorm: Progress Report | Screenshots

User avatar
Hoob
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 6:14 pm

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Hoob » Wed May 24, 2006 9:17 pm

Interesting read there brother laz, thanks. I am a bit shocked at just how low the numbers on everything were back then. Sorc damage in the low hundreds being considered good, enemies having hp in the high hundreds or low thousands even in the final areas, even the lord of terror himself having under 40k hp... Seems everything has increased a lot since then, but players more so than monsters.

User avatar
dfnord
Forum Regular
Angel
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:18 am

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by dfnord » Wed May 24, 2006 10:19 pm

I don't know. Imho Lod 1.10 was much harder than d2 1.00. Those pesky guest monsters on act 5 sure made life in hell, err, hell. But i digress.

User avatar
Nefarius
Retired Admin
Cherub
Posts: 11607
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 8:13 pm
Location: Where the blood forever rains
Contact:

Hand-picked

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Nefarius » Wed May 24, 2006 10:26 pm

1.10 is not hard, its downright annoying (at least in my eyes). There is a difference between frustration caused by annoyance and frustration caused by actual difficulty.

The game was a lot more balanced before 1.07 hit us. It was not difficulty to play as any class, neither was it too easy to solo hell. The only stuff that spoiled the otherwise great balance before that: critical hit bug and static field (Corpse Exp. was nerfed before 1.07).

As an example, right now I'm playing 1.06 again, and I find it more challenging to play then the current bloated patches (not to say more stable! it doesnt lag at all), I can survive Act 4 normal with 11-20 damage (!), but it isn't easy, because I didn't get flooded by uniques/sets and the like (while I did find a few useful ones and a rare bow).
Last edited by Nefarius on Wed May 24, 2006 10:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
''(...) The game can basically be considered unhackable. '' - Blizzard Entertainment (30th May 2000)
Black Omen Productions | MetalStorm: Progress Report | Screenshots

User avatar
Brother Laz
Forum Legend
Dominion
Posts: 6715
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2002 10:06 am
Location: Fallen Like Lightning
Contact:

Hand-picked

Post by Brother Laz » Wed May 24, 2006 10:32 pm

Yes, because they kill characters in one hit... early D2 was more balanced.

Also, much more fun. Think 50 damage hydras with a gigantic duration. Really made you think about how to use them, as opposed to just casting one and waiting on the timer while it kills the enemies in 5 shots.
19.may.2007 | Adun Tori Laz.
Median XL released!
Flesyht sa ruobhgien yht etah.


y dont u play the game the way its supposta be played? -SlothNathan

User avatar
Hoob
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 6:14 pm

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Hoob » Wed May 24, 2006 10:40 pm

...I see. I completely missed this as I did not start playing until 1.07 or 1.08, and did not begin serious play until 1.09 or 1.10.

I understand there were no immunes then, is this correct? Personally I think immunes are an artifical difficulty/frustration more than they are a true difficulty/challenge. On the other hand it seems almost everyone including myself is having a hard time thinking of other ways to slow players down. 1 hit kills (unless it's a really bad player) are artifical, extremely low quality common drops with godly but rare drops is artifical... *shrugs*

I also think we're getting a bit offtopic again. :P

User avatar
Brother Laz
Forum Legend
Dominion
Posts: 6715
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2002 10:06 am
Location: Fallen Like Lightning
Contact:

Hand-picked

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Brother Laz » Wed May 24, 2006 10:49 pm

[quote=Hoob";p="272193"]I understand there were no immunes then, is this correct? Personally I think immunes are an artifical difficulty/frustration more than they are a true difficulty/challenge.[/quote]

Right on! Take a look at the necromancer skill tree for ways to make the game more varied without resorting to stupid immunities. Prior to LoD, it mattered if the monster was melee, ranged or a spellcaster. Now all that matters is whether it is magic immune. Sigh.

[quote=Hoob";p="272193"]On the other hand it seems almost everyone including myself is having a hard time thinking of other ways to slow players down. 1 hit kills (unless it's a really bad player) are artifical, extremely low quality common drops with godly but rare drops is artifical... *shrugs*[/quote]

Many things:

· improved ai (aidelay, ai type, ai parameters);
· increased attack and hit recovery animation speeds;
· cold slow % reduced, all other slowing options (decrepify) nerfed;
· increased damage to regular critters (do reduce boss bonuses though!);
· nerf to hirelings/minions so they aren't invulnerable;
· nerf or removal of uber crowd control (CoS, mindblast, dim vision);
· removal of rejuv potions, regular ones changed to heal over time;
· reduced life steal, and especially weapon damage;
· reduced stamina, so characters can't outrun everything;
· ...
Last edited by Brother Laz on Wed May 24, 2006 10:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.
19.may.2007 | Adun Tori Laz.
Median XL released!
Flesyht sa ruobhgien yht etah.


y dont u play the game the way its supposta be played? -SlothNathan

User avatar
Nefarius
Retired Admin
Cherub
Posts: 11607
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 8:13 pm
Location: Where the blood forever rains
Contact:

Hand-picked

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Nefarius » Wed May 24, 2006 10:54 pm

Just search this forum and also general discussion, there are so many posts by myself and others about how to fix the broken balance, someone only needs to take up the challenge and finally do it :twisted:
''(...) The game can basically be considered unhackable. '' - Blizzard Entertainment (30th May 2000)
Black Omen Productions | MetalStorm: Progress Report | Screenshots

User avatar
Hoob
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 6:14 pm

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Hoob » Wed May 24, 2006 11:14 pm

Right on! Take a look at the necromancer skill tree for ways to make the game more varied without resorting to stupid immunities. Prior to LoD, it mattered if the monster was melee, ranged or a spellcaster. Now all that matters is whether it is magic immune. Sigh.
Is it a good thing or a bad thing the only necromancer skills my players deem worthwhile are amplify damage, decrepify, lower resistance, life tap, iron golem, fire golem, poison nova, and bone armor? I did at least get them to leave hammerdins alone, for better or for worse. :P
improved ai (aidelay, ai type, ai parameters);
Ai I already speeded up a bit, players are noticing. But it isn't stopping them, only slowing them down. Or maybe having no effect at all, the highest level players I do not play with so I dunno, as I fall behind due to modding and work in general. It takes something really nasty like a get-hitskill lightning fury + lr to stop them. Did I mention this is a unit that always spawns with the multiple shots mod? :mrgreen:
· increased attack and hit recovery animation speeds;
I'm not sure how to speed up attack and hit recovery speeds but I do know how to assign units ias and fhr. Some already have it.
· increased damage to regular critters (do reduce boss bonuses though!);
Do you mean increased damage FROM regular critters? I don't want regular enemies to take MORE damage, that will only widen the AoE ranged/melee split.
· cold slow % reduced, all other slowing options (decrepify) nerfed;
Already is.
· nerf to hirelings/minions so they aren't invulnerable;
Alternately, give recastable tanks that don't need a corpse a recast timer long enough so it's unlikely it will outlast it vs anything hard. Those tanks aren't that invulnerable when anything hard kills them in 5 seconds or less. :mrgreen:
· nerf or removal of uber crowd control (CoS, mindblast, dim vision);
I know you'll laugh at this, but none of my players use any of those skills. Ever. Well maybe 1 or 2 soloes with CoS, but if he uses it in a MP game, oh the profanity! :oops: They even go so far as to refuse to use shadow master on their assassins because they cannot control it casting those skills. Now I use some of them for soloing, but I've never had any need for them in any multiplayer game as units simply die too fast for it to matter that they are blinded, and converting slows down the 1337 dudes as someone put it. It probably doesn't help I used (abused?) the boss flag a LOT, especially in the high end areas. So they don't even work.
· removal of rejuv potions, regular ones changed to heal over time;
I refuse to change this on the grounds as soon as I do I will vanish off the face of the earth, no doubt due to angry players extracting their revenge. They regard heal pots as useless because they do not even come close to mitigating the damage dealt by anything hard, rejuvs are regarded as the only option in such situations (common) as any strategy involving heal pots involves 5 seconds of fighting and 30 seconds running around waiting for the pots to work and hoping no AoE nova type attacks are involved that will hit them anyways. And they aren't that far off in their thinking. :P I guess when the aim is high difficulty high damage output compared to the heal over times is unavoidable though. *shrugs*
· reduced life steal, and especially weapon damage;
Life steal is already less effective thanks to changes I have made to drain effectiveness and such. Of course in hindsight I realize I made this pointless by increasing the amounts of it... Not nerfing weapon damage though, there's too much caster favoritism as it is without weakening melees.
· reduced stamina, so characters can't outrun everything;
It'd take more than that to make stamina useful. Also my players are VERY elitist, I'm sure you know the type. Enough str for gear, enough dex for gear or max block, rest vit, 0 energy. Quite frankly I do not need to further encourage the use of a high vitality score.

Edit: Added a bit more detail.
Last edited by Hoob on Wed May 24, 2006 11:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
dfnord
Forum Regular
Angel
Posts: 707
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 3:18 am

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by dfnord » Thu May 25, 2006 12:36 am

[quote=Nefarius";p="272190"]1.10 is not hard, its downright annoying (at least in my eyes). There is a difference between frustration caused by annoyance and frustration caused by actual difficulty.

The game was a lot more balanced before 1.07 hit us. It was not difficulty to play as any class, neither was it too easy to solo hell. The only stuff that spoiled the otherwise great balance before that: critical hit bug and static field (Corpse Exp. was nerfed before 1.07).

As an example, right now I'm playing 1.06 again, and I find it more challenging to play then the current bloated patches (not to say more stable! it doesnt lag at all), I can survive Act 4 normal with 11-20 damage (!), but it isn't easy, because I didn't get flooded by uniques/sets and the like (while I did find a few useful ones and a rare bow).[/quote]

I had a d2 hiatus, from 1.03 to lod 1.09d, therefore i can't really compare with 1.07 and 1.06. Until 1.03 I remember using whirwhilinding barbarians wielding a rare lance (and dying to im, but that is life), long before elite items were introduced, and the game was not as hard as 1.09d.

Only when on bnet (and that was only for 1.10) i did some extinsive runs (until i found out how much i hate farming/runs), but besides this i usually played without uniques at all. Therefor, most runewords and ubber items were never avaible to me (bnet was another story, but there you just make a build to kill pindle, ball and meph, and it is enough), and it really did not matter. Thus, 1.10 felt quite harder as monsters were quite stronger, lasted quite longer (one hit kill was only introduced to me by some few mods, like hades, which was the whole point of hades, but digress). There were even those burning souls that one hit killled everything (bnet feature mostly).

I guess the only annoying part of the later patches were the requirement of farming to make the game easier, and to actually one hit killl anything, and not being one hit killed by some monsters. IMHO if some item requires farming to be acquired, it should not exist at all.

Still, i find that one of the funniests experiences were on d1, when you could clear rooms (the save would actually save the map), and the fact that each and every monster you killed counted. They were less numerous, they hit harder and lasted longer, but that is what made them interesting to fight. This, however, does not work quite well on d2 (unless the number of mobs and mob density are reduced a lot), as the monsters respawn when you restart a game. It not necesserily a bad thing, but it just makes the whole experience different (not to mention that makes farming possible).

User avatar
misharohac
Forum Regular
Angel
Posts: 814
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:05 am
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by misharohac » Thu May 25, 2006 8:05 am

Hoob";p="272197" wrote:Is it a good thing or a bad thing the only necromancer skills my players deem worthwhile are amplify damage, decrepify, lower resistance, life tap, iron golem, fire golem, poison nova, and bone armor?
Hoob, I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic... if yes, right on. But if you meant that seriously, do you realize you just listed no less than 8 non-passive skills? I think this is exactly the variety that Brother Laz was approving of. Show me another character with 8 very useful non-passives.
Hoob";p="272193" wrote:Personally I think immunes are an artifical difficulty/frustration more than they are a true difficulty/challenge.
I will play devil's Blizzard's advocate for a moment and tow their party line a little. I think immunities are supposed to encourage party play, so that no one soloist can go through hell alone and defeat every monster.

--- --- ---
devil's
Anyone know the code for a strikethrough?
Last edited by misharohac on Thu May 25, 2006 8:12 am, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
Nefarius
Retired Admin
Cherub
Posts: 11607
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 8:13 pm
Location: Where the blood forever rains
Contact:

Hand-picked

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Nefarius » Thu May 25, 2006 9:40 am

so that no one soloist can go through hell alone and defeat every monster.
And that is a dumb idea in a game that also has single player mode ;)

One major issue was that 1.00-1.06 was balanced towards SP to a greater extent then MP (and characters were not supposed to get to cLvl 99 --- the most people used to get to back then in SP was 65-70, and that took weeks, not like today were you can get to clvl 70+ within a few hours...), the balance in LoD-1.11b is aimed towards realm play, here also the rarity of some items, they often take average items dropped a day per realm into account in their calculations me thinks.

Likewise, immunities are a good idea for a MP environment, but they are a bad thing for SP. A better idea would be to make highly resistant monsters (ca. 95% resistances), but not going to the 100%, except for special occasions.

---

Another thing that was mentioned in this topic was leech, this would never have been such a problem if they had kept the amount of items that offer leech limited to a few, in D1 you could pretty much not get this from "everything", so it wasen't unbalanced there. But look at vanilla, you have: leech rings, amulets, gloves, body armor, helm, belt, boot, weapon... It is not impossible to obtain >30% LL. But again, the unbalance does not lie in the modifier, but in the items.

---
It'd take more than that to make stamina useful. Also my players are VERY elitist, I'm sure you know the type. Enough str for gear, enough dex for gear or max block, rest vit, 0 energy. Quite frankly I do not need to further encourage the use of a high vitality score.
Go ahead and search this forum as I told you before, there even is a topic dedicated only to stamina and how to balance it.
Ai I already speeded up a bit, players are noticing. But it isn't stopping them, only slowing them down. Or maybe having no effect at all, the highest level players I do not play with so I dunno, as I fall behind due to modding and work in general. It takes something really nasty like a get-hitskill lightning fury + lr to stop them. Did I mention this is a unit that always spawns with the multiple shots mod? icon_mrgreen.gif
Speeding up AI alone will not help, you need to make it less predictable, using all 100s params is bad for this purpose, an approach that you can use to make the AI less predictable is to use those AIs that can cast many skills (oblivion knights, summoner, vampires, mephisto, diablo) and melee AIs like (duriel) to a greater extent for base monsters. Also, adding units that look identical to other units but act totally different can be a neat gimmick.

Lets say you have 3 skeleton warriers, one is plain melee attacker, the other can charge and a final version uses berserk/bash. But there is no way for people to tell which is which.

I'm not sure how to speed up attack and hit recovery speeds but I do know how to assign units ias and fhr. Some already have it.
MonProp.txt - but this can lead to glitches, doing it via CE is recommended.
The default movement speed is only 75% of whats listed in monstats and not 100%, because thats how the code is loading it.

Do you mean increased damage FROM regular critters? I don't want regular enemies to take MORE damage, that will only widen the AoE rangedHooblee split.
The problem with damage in d2 is that characters pump too much into vit, find a reason for people to invest more then they do into other stats. The best way to do this is change internal calculations around and make use of str/dex there.
''(...) The game can basically be considered unhackable. '' - Blizzard Entertainment (30th May 2000)
Black Omen Productions | MetalStorm: Progress Report | Screenshots

User avatar
misharohac
Forum Regular
Angel
Posts: 814
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:05 am
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by misharohac » Thu May 25, 2006 10:09 am

[quote=Nefarius";p="272244"]Go ahead and search this forum as I told you before, there even is a topic dedicated only to stamina and how to balance it.[/quote]
HERE is that stamina topic, I'm proud to say that the inital impulse was mine. :wave:

User avatar
Hoob
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 6:14 pm

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Hoob » Thu May 25, 2006 1:30 pm

Hoob, I'm not sure if you're being sarcastic... if yes, right on. But if you meant that seriously, do you realize you just listed no less than 8 non-passive skills? I think this is exactly the variety that Brother Laz was approving of. Show me another character with 8 very useful non-passives.
It was a serious question. I was not sure if that was considered good or bad.
I think immunities are supposed to encourage party play, so that no one soloist can go through hell alone and defeat every monster.
In theory, yes. In practice it means one of the following:

Players simply run or teleport past the units that are immune to their element.
Players mass repeat areas that rarely or ever contain immunes to their element.
Players kill everything because they have 2 or more elements.

In essence it falls into the same trap as situational skills, where you easily kill 1 unit and cannot even scratch another in the same area. And just like situational skills, elemental damage skills have been made incredibly powerful to compensate for this, as they have to be especially good in the situations they do work in or noone will bother, in favor of some more general purpose skill. *cough*blessed hammer*cough*
The problem with damage in d2 is that characters pump too much into vit, find a reason for people to invest more then they do into other stats. The best way to do this is change internal calculations around and make use of str/dex there.
Internal calculations huh? I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that, but I'm guessing it's not as simple as jacking up the strbonus and dexbonus on various weapons? :P (which I already did, old habits die hard even if it did work)

Also if it does force rather than encourage more str and dex, won't that be more of a melee nerf than a caster nerf?

Personally I think my players will adhere to the rest vit formula even if rest vit is something stupidly low like 50 just from force of habit if nothing else. But we shall see.

And I am very reluctant to give any unit a high ed attack such as berserk or charge. I'd either have to make the unit damage way too low to do much damage with anything else, or settle for having another normal unit that does high 3 digit or low 4 digit damage with its high ed attack. :roll: And no, I'm not kidding.

I will look into the stamina thing, but personally my players don't flee much. Except maybe at low levels, but then stamina matters anyways.

User avatar
Nefarius
Retired Admin
Cherub
Posts: 11607
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 8:13 pm
Location: Where the blood forever rains
Contact:

Hand-picked

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Nefarius » Thu May 25, 2006 3:32 pm

First of all, something I forgot to comment on before:
It'd take more than that to make stamina useful. Also my players are VERY elitist, I'm sure you know the type. Enough str for gear, enough dex for gear or max block, rest vit, 0 energy.
That isn't "elite", thats just making a cookiecutter/template char. If people are doing this with ease it is usually indicating that your item system is too predictable (in english: you invested too much into gosu-uniques and thus it's too easy to plan a char to every statpoint), that or your players are duping gear.

---

Now to the new post.
Internal calculations huh? I'm not sure exactly what you mean by that, but I'm guessing it's not as simple as jacking up the strbonus and dexbonus on various weapons? icon_razz.gif (which I already did, old habits die hard even if it did work)
Internal calculations: each and every calculation you cannot alter by mere txt editing.

There are many examples of this, how about making defense work while running IF str/dex are in balance in relation to cLvl (if they need to be in balance it will not be "pump up to xxx to achieve yyy").

Making blocking based on str and dex.

And also non-internal calcs, replace existing damage synergies with energy synergies. So that casters pump enr rather then vit.

Likewise, you must make boni to stats RARE on items, so that people don't just use +str,dex,enr gear to pump themselves. Hint: Do not have charms that add to str and dex, bonus from jewlery should be low as well (very low, not more then +5).

Also if it does force rather than encourage more str and dex, won't that be more of a melee nerf than a caster nerf?
There pretty much is no real difference between force and encourage in this game, since you really can't force someone to do it, if someone wants to make an all-vit char, he CAN do it, force in the way I use the word means that doing so will apply a greater penalty then vanilla does.

Personally I think my players will adhere to the rest vit formula even if rest vit is something stupidly low like 50 just from force of habit if nothing else. But we shall see.
If they are unwilling to learn you must force them to do so (force again in the terms of above :P) - a way to do this is to reduce the number of stat points earned. I do fine with 2 per level, and it makes one actually think were to invest them. On a side note, if a player keeps with his D2 standards in a mod and succeeds make an uber char its a sign the mod isn't really different from vanilla and suffers from the same core problems.

And I am very reluctant to give any unit a high ed attack such as berserk or charge. I'd either have to make the unit damage way too low to do much damage with anything else, or settle for having another normal unit that does high 3 digit or low 4 digit damage with its high ed attack. icon_rolleyes.gif And no, I'm not kidding.
One change will not magically fix D2, everything me, Laz and anyone else will post regarding balance is a small piece of a big jigsaw, In the sense of vanilla units doing that would be overkill, but vanilla is broken beyond belief, with each single aspect being out of sync. To achieve good balance everything must be rewritten and based on common global values. One issue in vanilla is that the various aspects were designed by different people and later on briefly "tested" to remove the most blatant unbalances and then tossed into BNet. Balance is only achieved if all aspectes of the game are in near perfect harmony (unit stats, char stats, item stats, skills, unit density et alia).

I will look into the stamina thing, but personally my players don't flee much. Except maybe at low levels, but then stamina matters anyways.
No, your players are constalty fleeing, since they likely run rather then walk ;)
''(...) The game can basically be considered unhackable. '' - Blizzard Entertainment (30th May 2000)
Black Omen Productions | MetalStorm: Progress Report | Screenshots

User avatar
Hoob
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 6:14 pm

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Hoob » Thu May 25, 2006 4:14 pm

That isn't "elite", thats just making a cookiecutter/template char. If people are doing this with ease it is usually indicating that your item system is too predictable (in english: you invested too much into gosu-uniques and thus it's too easy to plan a char to every statpoint), that or your players are duping gear.
Elite does not mean the same as elitist. Elitist = striving to be optmized at every turn. Since said players regard str and dex beyond what is needed for wearing gear and obtaining max block and energy beyond what the character starts with as useless, the "best" way is the formula they have followed. As for being able to follow it, some are better at it than others. And there are a few that have this sort of aversion to str or dex gear bonuses period, so they insist on taking the opposite approach and having enough BASE str to use a sacred armor and a base dex of 220 and then they complain the game is too hard and cry for nerfs because their sub 100 vita at high levels gets them killed very fast. :roll:

Gear is EXTREMELY linear though, which doesn't help.
Internal calculations: each and every calculation you cannot alter by mere txt editing.

There are many examples of this, how about making defense work while running IF str/dex are in balance in relation to cLvl (if they need to be in balance it will not be "pump up to xxx to achieve yyy").

Making blocking based on str and dex.

And also non-internal calcs, replace existing damage synergies with energy synergies. So that casters pump enr rather then vit.

Likewise, you must make boni to stats RARE on items, so that people don't just use +str,dex,enr gear to pump themselves. Hint: Do not have charms that add to str and dex, bonus from jewlery should be low as well (very low, not more then +5).
Will you hate me if I say my players will not go out of their way for defense? :oops: Meaning they won't take it so far as to run around at level 70 with a quited armor on, but they will not sacrifice something off the long list of things they consider more important for it. In other words they are not going to use a high def but otherwise weak item over a medium def and several other nice mods item. Though if they find a high def and several other nice mods item they will use it, provided of course it doesn't have some extremely high stat requirement for the level. For example they won't touch ancient armor or ornate plate with a 10 foot pole. Nor will they put more than a single point into a defense raising skill. Unless said skill makes a massive difference, like 25% per point. :roll:
There pretty much is no real difference between force and encourage in this game, since you really can't force someone to do it, if someone wants to make an all-vit char, he CAN do it, force in the way I use the word means that doing so will apply a greater penalty then vanilla does.
Maybe. But since melees typically need more str and dex than casters, they would then have lower life. Even if they still had more than a caster, it really isn't helping things by nerfing what everyone believes to be underpowered.

On and failing having enigma and other such items, vanilla imposes a penalty harsh enough to make it near impossible. However vit optimized to the best of one's ability, that is commonplace there even among the untwinked. All raising/lowering stat boni does to affect this is alters the final result of the "rest vit" calculation.

Although on this mod stat boni have risen over time, so I have seen it first hand. The result? People made their vit optimized characters using fairly light gear, even the melees. As stat boni rose, so to did the max requirement items people were willing to use. It didn't matter that that unique sacred armor had awesome bonuses, players wouldn't use it because it'd throw off their attempted perfection.

As for why they've risen... Let's just write it off to a slippery slope, and leave it at that, ok?
If they are unwilling to learn you must force them to do so (force again in the terms of above :P) - a way to do this is to reduce the number of stat points earned. I do fine with 2 per level, and it makes one actually think were to invest them. On a side note, if a player keeps with his D2 standards in a mod and succeeds make an uber char its a sign the mod isn't really different from vanilla and suffers from the same core problems.
2? If I recall correctly the block formula is something like 15 + 2 dex * level to maintain the listed block %. Meaning any shield using character would have to be pure dex to even attempt to have max block, and then they'd have base str and base vit. Considering these players consider melee paladins underpowered and thanks to some overbuffing by me (don't ask!) 2 handed weapons anywhere from fine to overpowered, I do not think this is wise. Now I'm sure if I were willing to learn I could change that calculation, but to what? Simply making it require less dex would just be the equilvent of simplifing an equation - it's still the same ratio. Using a classic style block formula would result in noone except ranged attackers having to worry about dex, as few non ranged items have a dex requirement and the players will apply the same formula.
One change will not magically fix D2, everything me, Laz and anyone else will post regarding balance is a small piece of a big jigsaw, In the sense of vanilla units doing that would be overkill, but vanilla is broken beyond belief, with each single aspect being out of sync. To achieve good balance everything must be rewritten and based on common global values. One issue in vanilla is that the various aspects were designed by different people and later on briefly "tested" to remove the most blatant unbalances and then tossed into BNet. Balance is only achieved if all aspectes of the game are in near perfect harmony (unit stats, char stats, item stats, skills, unit density et alia).
Well on vanilla all of the stats are a bit lower. There such a unit would 1 shot most players. Here a player sighs in relief when something hard hits them for high 3-low 4 digit damage. *runs like hell*
No, your players are constalty fleeing, since they likely run rather then walk ;)
What I meant is they rarely retreat, although they do use it to move TOWARDS the enemies sometimes.

User avatar
Nefarius
Retired Admin
Cherub
Posts: 11607
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 8:13 pm
Location: Where the blood forever rains
Contact:

Hand-picked

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Nefarius » Thu May 25, 2006 4:40 pm

No offense, but to me it seams you have just made another vanilla, since all what you described so far is like, if not worse, then vanilla. If this is the case then you cannot achieve any kind of balance without a complete and total rewrite, sorry. Since every suggestion that anyone could possibly give you will be countered by an argument from a vanilla perspective as it seams. Rewrite it. No pain, no gain.


Hoob";p="272270" wrote:Elite does not mean the same as elitist. Elitist = striving to be optmized at every turn. Since said players regard str and dex beyond what is needed for wearing gear and obtaining max block and energy beyond what the character starts with as useless, the "best" way is the formula they have followed.
That doesn't make it any less cookiecutter/template-ish.

All I can say to what you quoted is: you are talking about an enhanced version of vanilla, not about a serious attempt of rebalancing the game.





Sorry if this sounds harsh but thats bout all I can say about this, and I will refrain from further comment as it will lead nowhere.
''(...) The game can basically be considered unhackable. '' - Blizzard Entertainment (30th May 2000)
Black Omen Productions | MetalStorm: Progress Report | Screenshots

User avatar
misharohac
Forum Regular
Angel
Posts: 814
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 9:05 am
Location: Prague
Contact:

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by misharohac » Fri May 26, 2006 6:05 am

Hey, Hoob, don't take it too hard, though. Balancing the .txt files so that skills, stats, items and monstats lead to a seamlessly balanced and logical game across all 7 character classes would be the single most monumental achievement in Modding History.

So start small, take 1 character (i.e. Sorc) and try to balance her AoE skills with her single-shot skills, and you'll have done something positive.

User avatar
Hoob
Posts: 93
Joined: Tue May 09, 2006 6:14 pm

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Hoob » Fri May 26, 2006 12:37 pm

Well that would explain why it has yet to be done. :P

As far as the mod style, balance was my goal from the start. However due to a number of circumstances, most of which were beyond my control that failed quite horribly. It probably doesn't help most of my players are currently highly upset facets now have negative resist all and skillers have negative life, because it makes casters that use them glass cannons. 8-O

Starting 1 at a time is good, but I'd prefer not to implement any unless all are ready. That way they don't pull a "ok sorcs suck now, let's all make javazons". Then I do javas, and they jump to poison necros or something. And by the time I've done em all they don't particularly care as they have already farmed 10 of everything and are working on their uber melee. What can I say, even powergamer modders can't keep up with powergamer players. :P Note suck is their choice of word, not mine. Strong aversion to that n word you see. On a side note they don't mind my buffing the units much, even if doing so has the same effect on their performance as that n word.

As for the sorc, the only single shot skill I can think of that doesn't just exist as a low level skill or a synergy for something is telekinesis. Every other skill has some form of AoE, even if it's a small AoE (fireball). Now the vanilla numbers make this skill useless, but the damage and synergy numbers are the easiest modding change to make.

May be a bit offtopic but what's the best course of action when fire sorcs are regarded as the weakest type due to having a smaller AoE than the various cold and lightning sorcs?
Last edited by Hoob on Fri May 26, 2006 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Hygiliak
Junior Member
Champion of the Light
Posts: 339
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 5:42 pm
Location: Brasov, Romania
Romania

Re: Balancing AoE, is this even possible?

Post by Hygiliak » Fri May 26, 2006 5:35 pm

Implemment things 1 by one, but always keep an eye on the whole picture (consider the effect one modification on one has on the other chars). My other recomandation is don't release the mod until chars are 100% done.

In my opinion, the whole idea of balance is that the game should never stop being challenging(not frustrating), and that staying idle for 5 seconds in the middle of a mob is pure suicide :D. Also, there should always be a viable solution to end all possible situations without boring grind or infinite running away.
Death is not an option!

Post Reply

Return to “Mod Concepts & Research”