Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defenses


Although the central place for this kind of discussion is on the CDO wiki, some may find it helpful to discuss potential requests and suggestions here first.

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Barkeep

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 14:12

Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defenses

From the hornet thread:

sanka wrote:I think that from a game design viewpoint paralysation either should not remove your EV, or should also remove your AC, but in any way, should affect all defences equally. Right now if paralysation is an ok threat to builds with AC, it is too strong against EV builds, and if it is ok against EV, it is too weak against AC builds.


I'm in agreement here, and would extend it to things like being attacked by invisible monsters (I'll just take it as axiomatic that invisible monsters are staying).

I'm willing to bet that the historical gameplay reason spriggans have innate sInv is to mitigate unseen horrors.
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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 16:19

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

Why should all builds be affected equally by statuses? If it is for clarity, I understand--there are far too many statuses in this game as is, and many of them have complicated effects.

But I don't agree that, assuming its mechanics are clearly conveyed, corr should affect ac, sh, and ev equally. Characters that are built differently should have to evaluate threats differently. I don't think that paralysis is too strong vs light armor characters right now, but I do think that chaos paralysis is stupid because it is a complicated poorly-conveyed mechanic that has tiny chance of having drastic consequences. Are hydras bad from a game design standpoint because ev and sh aren't as effective as ac against them? Maybe, because it is hard to convey this to an unspoiled player. But for players that understand how multiple attacks affect combat this effect of penalizing different characters differently leads to divergent gameplay between runs and rewards good threat evaluation, which is one of the central skills of the game.

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 16:44

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

amaril wrote:But I don't agree that, assuming its mechanics are clearly conveyed, corr should affect ac, sh, and ev equally. Characters that are built differently should have to evaluate threats differently.


I kind of agree with this, but, even taking this stance, things are clearly heavily imbalanced right now in favor of AC and it's the clear king of defense to the point where building up EV or SH while AC is low feels bad. I'm not going to speak aloud of the mechanic that must not be named, but even not counting it there are many more situations where EV/SH are stripped totally from you. The only status that punishes pure ac would probably be corr, but even multiple corr levels wont totally strip ac from a character building for it, and it has many many more counterplay options then say, confusion or paralysis.

For me the biggest punishes are the auto hit spells that ignore EV/SH but check AC like fireball and airstrike and such.

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VeryAngryFelid

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 16:54

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

Not all build (or rather, defence) should be equally effected by statuses in general. If every attack treats defences the same, then there is not really any point in having different defences in the first place.

I do not feel that clarity is the problem here. After all, as I mentioned, flavour may favour the status quo. A paralysed hero could have a hard time to evade attacks, but she is still protected by armour. (Ok, it is not how it would work in reality, but crawl is not simulationists, and this is what one might expect from such a game.)

However, paralysis is a very special status effect, which prevents you to do anything afterwards. So the only point of its existence is that you can only mitigate its effect before it happens. It is interesting because you not only try to avoid it to ever affect you like a kind of death ray, but also to be in a position that when it actually affects you you survive. If we agree that this counter-tactic is the point of paralysis existing in the game (against players), then it follows that it should roughly affect every defence the same way.

Because if defences are treated so differently like now, then either paralysis is not a real danger to high AC characters, because they survive it easily anyway, so they do not need to play against it, or it is a death ray like attack for EV based characters, where their only option is to not get paralysed in the first place. Neither is good for paralysis I think.

I feel that the same is not true for fireball (ignores EV, checks AC) or whatever damage ignores AC but checks EV.

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 17:08

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

Right now the defenses fill slightly different defensive roles within the game, and they are acquired by the player in different ways, so it is not a problem that they are not all as 'good' as ac. High levels of ac are usually attained by taking a malus to spellcasting after all. I don't feel that Sanka's central point is that defenses/character builds etc are imbalanced -- they are, but that is a tangential concern.

I feel like the logical conclusion of sanka's line of reasoning would lead to the removal of all defenses except for ac (sorry if i am misconstruing your point!) and hp, which would perhaps improve the game but would not necessarily improve the game, imho. It is possible for there to be different well-differentiated mechanics of damage avoidance/reduction in the same well-designed game.

[the above was written before i saw sanka's post, in response to platypus]

sanka wrote:Because if defences are treated so differently like now, then either paralysis is not a real danger to high AC characters, because they survive it easily anyway, so they do not need to play against it, or it is a death ray like attack for EV based characters, where their only option is to not get paralysed in the first place. Neither is good for paralysis I think.
Paralysis poses a different threat to ac and ev characters. 'ev' characters usually have ways to fight effectively at range/with allies or they are stealthy so they can minimize the # of enemies in los and thereby minimize the effect of paralysis. 'ac' characters have to fight up close (remove bows pls) so they treat paralysis as something more akin to LCS in which the damage can be reduced by good positioning.

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 17:40

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

Maybe if your assumption about AC builds having to fight up close would be true then I would partially agree. But even then, the difference here is simply too big. Removing your EV can easily quadruple the incoming damage of an AC build, that is too big of a difference to balance well.

But AC builds also have access to ranged attacks, summons, etc., god abilities exists, evocables exists, and you can cast spells in armour. (And yes, unfortunately ranged combat also exists.)

That said, I could imagine a game where AC could only be used on melee builds. It would be interesting to try out, and, well, maybe you would have a point there, and it would work after all.

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 18:43

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

There's no such thing as an "AC character" or an "EV character". Every character wants as much of both as possible. Having AC does not make it harder to attack at range or minimize the number of enemies in LOS. If you are running around with no AC all game on conjurers/stabbers/whatever then you are not taking advantage of enchanting aux armour, Ozocubu's Armour, etc., and that's fine and fun and all, but don't pretend that any build is forcing you to do it.

I will also suggest that heavy armour is not overpowered. Heavy armour greatly penalizes spell success, and spells are really good. Unless you're a minotaur or something, you would be crazy to put on even D:2 plate armour as any of the backgrounds under the "Mage" heading. A bit later you get enough XP to cast spells in plate, but that XP could have also been used to get the summoning/necromancy/translocation spell of the day instead, which is just as good (usually much better imo).
braveplatypus wrote:The only status that punishes pure ac would probably be corr, but even multiple corr levels wont totally strip ac from a character building for it, and it has many many more counterplay options then say, confusion or paralysis.
There doesn't need to be a status for that. There's already a parameter that controls how well AC compares to EV or SH: damage. The more damage something does, the better it is to dodge/block it, whereas AC subtracts the same amount from 100 damage as it does from 10 damage.

Of course this also means there doesn't need to be a status that specifically hurts EV or SH; I think paralysis would work better if it didn't affect your defenses, for the same reasons as sanka.

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 19:34

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

Petrification used to have this problem as well, and then they changed it so "you could feel your limbs stiffening" which gave you a couple rounds or so to either eliminate the threat or try to escape the immediate area or whatever.. So, you could do the same with paralysis. But now we are asking, why do we even have petrification and paralysis at the same time, aren't they the same damn thing?

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 19:48

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

no obviously there are no "ac" or "ev" characters, it was a false dichotomy created to illustrate a point. reality tends to (but does not always) occur along a spectrum where as you wear heavier armor and gain ac you lose access to the ability to control space with spells and stealth. this to me seems to be the mechanical intention, even if it does not always play out this way in practice.

duvessa wrote:There doesn't need to be a status for that. There's already a parameter that controls how well AC compares to EV or SH: damage. The more damage something does, the better it is to dodge/block it, whereas AC subtracts the same amount from 100 damage as it does from 10 damage.

Of course this also means there doesn't need to be a status that specifically hurts EV or SH
This is a good point.

crawlnoob wrote:Petrification used to have this problem as well, and then they changed it so "you could feel your limbs stiffening" which gave you a couple rounds or so to either eliminate the threat or try to escape the immediate area or whatever.. So, you could do the same with paralysis.
This has been discussed to death but literally the reason paralysis is a good well-differentiated mechanic is the fact that it happens instantly so you have to prepare for it before it happens.

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 20:10

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

I would argue that there used to be two bad mechanics with poor differentiation, and then they fixed one of them but the differentiation, while increased, is still pretty piss poor. Petrification is just paralysation that doesnt totally suck.

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 20:34

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

I consider petrification a failure. It's a complicated effect that ends up almost never being threatening anyway, if you know how it works (which apparently most players don't). I think the best two status effects in the game are slowing and paralysis, and it's not close.

Slow is pretty much perfect as it is. Paralysis works great against most characters but would work even better if it didn't negate defenses. A few sources of it are also bad (there shouldn't be melee attacks that inflict paralysis, and there shouldn't be monsters like floating eyes that are harmless on their own), but that's not a problem with the effect, that's just the effect being misused.

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 22:19

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

duvessa wrote:I consider petrification a failure.


But it's fun to dance around catoblepas clouds and stab petrified monsters.

If you mean chaos-branded petrification attacks or whatever, yeah, those can go.

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 23:18

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

Maybe catoblepas clouds should just paralyze you every time you spend more than one turn in them.

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Post Thursday, 13th September 2018, 23:49

Re: Defense reductions should be applied equally to all defe

Catoblepas breath specifically will never be threatening as long as it gives you the free turn to move out of the cloud. I was thinking of all sources of petrification (basilisks etc.)

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