What is overpowered?


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 27

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 19:56

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 19:30

What is overpowered?

I've played Stone Soup for several years, and over the time I've noticed that there is a bit of "power creep" that is happening in development. For example, since the original Linley's Dungeon Crawl, just about every god has been made stronger and NONE of them have been made weaker. There have also been some nastier unique monsters added to balance this, in a way.

It isn't necessarily any one thing; it the result of accumulation of lots of tweaks. One of the results may be that godless conducts have become harder, or Demigods have had to been made stronger to compensate. And many traditional monsters that used to be fairly dangerous are now easier to handle, especially with some Gods that might be overpowered in certain eras of the game.

There is also the issue of just how hard the developers think the game should be. I like it to be pretty darn hard. I like intelligent enemies. I like to see every level of the game be challenging. But I'm not really a developer.

I'll throw out one possible over-poweredness:

Beogh's ally conversion seems to be too high. With a little bit of micromanagement to make sure my Orc allies get properly equipped, I can build some extremely powerful armies that sit around in the dungeon until I want them. I'm playing a game right now, and it's stupidly easy with an Orc Warlord, a couple of Orc Knights, some Priests, Wizards, Warriors, etc., all decked out with good armor, weapons, and ranged weapons. I expect to start losing them when I get to the tougher branches in the Lair, but in the main dungeon, it's just ridiculous. I tried to ditch the army to see how well I could do by myself for a little while, and Beogh even teleported in an army for me at one point. Either the ally conversion rate is too high, or there should be other penalties for keeping a very large army around - perhaps by having orcish allies start to feud with each other after spending too much time without killing anything. Or both.

For this message the author tromboneandrew has received thanks: 2
Cybermg, evktalo
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 19:47

Re: What is overpowered?

That would be hilarious if orc allies started killing each other - either to impress you, or they just get hungry (a la LOTR's marvelous scene: "Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!").

Even more interesting would be if one of the orcs would challenge you for leadership occasionally. In these instances, all the other orcs turn neutral until the fight is resolved.

This would do two things:
- add an interesting challenge dynamic to make having an orc army a bit more volatile
- periodically weed out your toughest allies.

My question is, what happens in the endgame when even the toughest orcs become fodder and you are suddenly without the army that has done everything for you until then?

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 20:26

Re: What is overpowered?

tromboneandrew wrote:I've played Stone Soup for several years, and over the time I've noticed that there is a bit of "power creep" that is happening in development.

There definitely is power creep. In my opinion (I am a developer), it is most plain to see with new spells and new monsters.

However, I believe that the Crawl devteam is aware of the problem, which is a non-trivial statement (check other roguelikes). We have nerfed many, many things during the Soup. Let me mention some bits off the top of my hat:
  • Self-banishment via spell was broken (instant life saver for any advanced spellcaster), so it got removed. Now it is available via weapon (which takes some turns) and via god (which comes with a cost).
  • The Tomb of Dorokhloe spell was overpowered. We first nerfed it, but then removed it outright. Now it survives as a card effect. (Cards at least are limited.)
  • There was a time when MDFi was considered the easiest combo and quite strong (some said broken). We have nerfed AC considerably -- granted, we overshot back then, but we have been addressing an actual problem!
  • Adding vaults and particularly portal vaults increases the amount of xp and loot available to the player. We are aware of this. This is why we don't add new branches, but rather add competing branches (like Shoals competing with the other Lair subbranches). Also, we have started (and will continue) to shorten the main branches. This directly reduces xp and loot.

tromboneandrew wrote:For example, since the original Linley's Dungeon Crawl, just about every god has been made stronger and NONE of them have been made weaker.

I understand this sentiment, but it is not quite founded: For example, Okawaru has been nerfed (the god used to also have minor healing). Some would say that Zin is much weaker than before. Nemelex may be overpowered now, but the Trickster was outright broken before Soup. Elyvilon got the pacifying mechanic (a boost) but lost Incredible Healing (there is Divine Vigour now, but full healing is gone).

I agree that new stuff has a tendency to be too strong. However, from a designer's point of view that's not necessarily so bad: if new stuff is too weak, is just won't be used. If it is much too strong, it will abused and we can then nerf. New Zin started too weak and we have a hell of a time getting the god to a good power level. It is easier to get feedback telling you what/how to nerf then what/how to boost.

tromboneandrew wrote: Beogh's ally conversion seems to be too high. With a little bit of micromanagement to make sure my Orc allies get properly equipped, I can build some extremely powerful armies that sit around in the dungeon until I want them. I'm playing a game right now, and it's stupidly easy with an Orc Warlord, a couple of Orc Knights, some Priests, Wizards, Warriors, etc., all decked out with good armor, weapons, and ranged weapons. I expect to start losing them when I get to the tougher branches in the Lair, but in the main dungeon, it's just ridiculous. I tried to ditch the army to see how well I could do by myself for a little while, and Beogh even teleported in an army for me at one point. Either the ally conversion rate is too high, or there should be other penalties for keeping a very large army around - perhaps by having orcish allies start to feud with each other after spending too much time without killing anything. Or both.

Thanks. We need as much feedback of this type ("Feature X is too strong" -- ideally with reasons) as possible.
Regarding Beogh, the main complaint seems to be about micromanagement. Usually, players ask for commands to make management easier, but I believe this is the wrong direction. Your point that permanent warlords are insanely powerful allies stands, of course. Please direct feedback to https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:god:beogh -- none of this goes unnoticed. It may take a while until we get to Beogh again, but the time will come.

By the way, I also like the game to be hard. Hard as nails. I don't think that every game should be winnabel. See the manual's philosophy section for more of this drivel. :)

Many thanks!

Spider Stomper

Posts: 233

Joined: Monday, 20th December 2010, 20:58

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 20:39

Re: What is overpowered?

Spellcasting is overpowered. It is mostly a result of the progressive experience system, but even on a flat system it would be too powerful. Almost every character no matter how they start ends up dabbling in spellcasting. This should not be the case. High level casters can demolish whole rooms full of monsters in one spell. How is a non-caster supposed to compete? If you make all the monsters in the late branches able to stand up to firestorm and tornado then how is a lowly sword-and-board fighter supposed to handle them. Even if you could fix the experience system and make it so branching off into casting actually cost something you would still need to nerf the high level stuff significantly, or increase mundane damage dealing sources. Lets look at the facts. What is the best fighter type? Merfolk crusader. What is the best stealth build? Spriggan enchanter. This should not be the case. The best stealth build should be somebody that actually focuses on stealth. Somebody that doesn't waste experience on spellcasting. But that is not how crawl works. Its all about the spellcasters.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 21:09

Re: What is overpowered?

acvar wrote:Spellcasting is overpowered. It is mostly a result of the progressive experience system, but even on a flat system it would be too powerful. Almost every character no matter how they start ends up dabbling in spellcasting. This should not be the case. High level casters can demolish whole rooms full of monsters in one spell. How is a non-caster supposed to compete? If you make all the monsters in the late branches able to stand up to firestorm and tornado then how is a lowly sword-and-board fighter supposed to handle them. Even if you could fix the experience system and make it so branching off into casting actually cost something you would still need to nerf the high level stuff significantly, or increase mundane damage dealing sources. Lets look at the facts. What is the best fighter type? Merfolk crusader. What is the best stealth build? Spriggan enchanter. This should not be the case. The best stealth build should be somebody that actually focuses on stealth. Somebody that doesn't waste experience on spellcasting. But that is not how crawl works. Its all about the spellcasters.


This is too simplicistic and not helpful as feedback. If you don't like Crawl, fine. But sweeping statements like this won't help improve the game.

Some points you glossed over: Spellcasters rely on MP to keep going. This resource is limited. I believe that there is too much access to too much cheap channeling, but that's a much more precise complaint than "spellcasting is overpowered". Also, casters have fewer hitpoints. You are comparing a late game caster with ... something else. Also, you fail to see that casting is expensive xp-wise (much more than for other styles). But then again, you write "even if you could fix the experience system" which makes me suspect that you're a troll but not a crawler.

My time is limited, I will not reply.
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 21:41

Re: What is overpowered?

Whoa, let's dial it down a notch.

People will have different ideas of what is "overpowered" and what is "playable". For me, my win rate in many games is still 0.0%. I guess the fact that I keep coming back for more is an indication that the game is well designed. But for me, nothing in this game is overpowered, because nothing has kept me alive to the end (yet).

I sometimes wonder if everyone could benefit if the game had an "easy" mode. Not wizard mode, that completely breaks everything. Wide open.

I'm thinking just something that would let people who want an easier game have an easier game, and those who want a challenge game can have a challenge game. Scoring would be modified by difficulty level.

This could be very very simple to implement with a single variable - a bonus to XP, to HP/MP, to base stats or base AC/EV. The trick would be finding a toggle that would not favour any particular playstyle.

If this were the case, then the devs could nerf away to their heart's content and to a difficulty level that is appropriate to their advanced play skills, but new players who would like to live past Sigmund a bit more often could also get more chances to see the later parts of the game.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 447

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 22:10

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 21:54

Re: What is overpowered?

play an easy combo; there are lots of them (e.g. SpEn, MfCr, MfTm, DDNe).
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 22:20

Re: What is overpowered?

MrMisterMonkey wrote:play an easy combo; there are lots of them (e.g. SpEn, MfCr, MfTm, DDNe).

I am playing "easy" combos. I'm also getting better at the game, now that I check the knowledge bots when I see something new, and am getting more comfortable with spellcasting. I used to just play bricks, but then those got too hard :( so I had to diversify.

I just think an "easy mode" could be very easy to add (e.g. just give +15% XP) and would not detract anything from those who want a challenge. Once you know how to beat the game on easy, you can try "normal". And once you have normal down pat, a "challenge" mode could be added just as easily (where you get -15% XP instead of +15% XP, for example) and then the most macho players can brag about their "challenge" wins.

It would be easy to implement and add another dimension of replayability. It would also remove some of the pressure from all those wimps like me who would like the game to be just a bit easier and come here to whine about it. Then you can tell those people to just play on easy mode instead of having to respond to their crazy game-breaking buff suggestion.

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 27

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 19:56

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 22:38

Re: What is overpowered?

dpeg wrote:
tromboneandrew wrote: Beogh's ally conversion seems to be too high. With a little bit of micromanagement to make sure my Orc allies get properly equipped, I can build some extremely powerful armies that sit around in the dungeon until I want them. I'm playing a game right now, and it's stupidly easy with an Orc Warlord, a couple of Orc Knights, some Priests, Wizards, Warriors, etc., all decked out with good armor, weapons, and ranged weapons. I expect to start losing them when I get to the tougher branches in the Lair, but in the main dungeon, it's just ridiculous. I tried to ditch the army to see how well I could do by myself for a little while, and Beogh even teleported in an army for me at one point. Either the ally conversion rate is too high, or there should be other penalties for keeping a very large army around - perhaps by having orcish allies start to feud with each other after spending too much time without killing anything. Or both.

Thanks. We need as much feedback of this type ("Feature X is too strong" -- ideally with reasons) as possible.
Regarding Beogh, the main complaint seems to be about micromanagement. Usually, players ask for commands to make management easier, but I believe this is the wrong direction. Your point that permanent warlords are insanely powerful allies stands, of course. Please direct feedback to https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:god:beogh -- none of this goes unnoticed. It may take a while until we get to Beogh again, but the time will come.


Cool. I added my paragraph to the develz page.

I agree that micromanagement is not the problem. The only micromanagement that I have been doing is resetting the ally equipment pickup option between "all" and "default" so I can easily get my orcs to pick up spare equipment after I have looted a battle, and a bit of stair management. That's not bad at all. Perhaps the AI could be enhanced so that allies actively seek out good equipment at appropriate times instead of just picking up what they happen to step on, but that's an issue for all creatures in Crawl, not just allies, with consequent problems if implemented. That's not to say that what micromanagement exists can't be tweaked, but I don't see it as a major problem.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 22:47

Re: What is overpowered?

minmay wrote:horribly overpowered spells:
abjuration (trivializes summoning monsters)
blink (ridiculously good with teleport control and still great without)
mephitic cloud (trivializes anything with less than 15 HD and no rPois)
sticky flame (stupid kiting spell that should die painfully)
summon butterflies (level 1 and excellent escape from any ranged attack)

Great list, many thanks. It is a bit disconcerting to discuss design is several places (irc, wiki, forum)... I hope good stuff from here will make it to the wiki.
Note: The wiki is the place which coders will check against!

Sticky Flame has just yesterday been nerfed to a touch spell (range 1). Do you think it should still day painfully? (Question is not rhetorical: I have seen the nerf-nerf-remove cycle several times already. Every time I hope that the nerf will do...)

minmay wrote:probably somewhat overpowered spells:
alistair's intoxication (trivializes anything natural with no rPois, but needs clarity)
apportation (mostly the fault of those vaults with items over lava)
evaporate (like mephitic cloud but at least it's limited)
flight (only because of swiftness)
swiftness (no glow, level 2, easy escape from most melee monsters)
necromutation (scumming)
regeneration (nearly required for hells)

proposed fixes: make abjuration targeted on a single summoned monster, make alistair's always drain int, make sticky flame die painfully (or just give it a range of 1 as was the plan), make summon butterflies level 3


Good plan! Once this discussion becomes stale (or also right now), please move your ideas to the wiki.

For summon butterflies, there is the idea to restrict summons by a hard cap. I would also like it if you got one butterfly at Sum 0, but more with better skill.

Blink should cause glow, every time it is used (including the scroll).
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 23:07

Re: What is overpowered?

Alistairs: if it always drained Int, I would never use it. A spell that requires you to equip two pieces of jewellery (Clarity, Sust. Abil.) just to cast it safely? No thanks.

Abjuration: I had to cast this four times before it made anything go away, and that was summoned bats and rats mostly. This is in 0.7.1.

Please remember that not everyone is an expert at this game. The game should have a few crutches, and not every decision needs to be as complex as a chess move.

I know I'm not a dev, and I'm not well versed in game design, but it seems to me that whatever I consider reliable / useful gets tagged as "overpowered" or "broken" and then it disappears. It makes me cry :(

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Wednesday, 29th December 2010, 23:49

Re: What is overpowered?

danr wrote:Please remember that not everyone is an expert at this game. The game should have a few crutches, and not every decision needs to be as complex as a chess move.

I know I'm not a dev, and I'm not well versed in game design, but it seems to me that whatever I consider reliable / useful gets tagged as "overpowered" or "broken" and then it disappears. It makes me cry :(


We know that not everyone is an expert. In fact the game is supposed to be winnable by new players without use of spoilers (and we delivered, at least up to 0.6).

You should put more trust in development. The idea is not to kill players blindly -- there are easier ways to achieve that. But if certain features becomes no-brainers, we should react. It will result in a better game for everyone.

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 447

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 22:10

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 00:17

Re: What is overpowered?

danr wrote:Abjuration: I had to cast this four times before it made anything go away, and that was summoned bats and rats mostly. This is in 0.7.1.
You need decent Summoning skill (I like about eight) for it to work well.
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 00:48

Re: What is overpowered?

MrMisterMonkey wrote:
danr wrote:Abjuration: I had to cast this four times before it made anything go away, and that was summoned bats and rats mostly. This is in 0.7.1.
You need decent Summoning skill (I like about eight) for it to work well.


It seems to me that this is part of what makes it balanced. Eight levels into summonings is XP that didn't go into dodging or spellcasting etc. So you may have an easy way to deal with summons but you are a bit weaker in other things.

Other things to consider with abjuration specifically:
- one can just run away and the summons will disappear with time, just as easily. Abjurations is mostly a timesaver.
- you don't get XP or items from summons.
- enemy summoners can always summon more.

So it is not at all like a spell that just wipes out a similar number of monsters.
User avatar

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 24

Joined: Sunday, 26th December 2010, 19:49

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 02:51

Re: What is overpowered?

Ashenzari. I like the god, but the EXP boosts are nuts. I also think Tornado could use a little more of a nerf since damage is completely irresistable (!)
oh but who are they to judge us
User avatar

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 24

Joined: Sunday, 26th December 2010, 19:49

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 02:52

Re: What is overpowered?

dpeg wrote:My time is limited, I will not reply.

lol
oh but who are they to judge us

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 447

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 22:10

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 03:02

Re: What is overpowered?

danr, I take it you haven't tried extended endgame; you have to do that to appreciate abjuration or dealing with summons at all. 8 levels of summonings isn't much of a sacrifice, either. On your specific points:
  • Not in the case of heavy summon spam (pinned down, have to get fancy to escape), summoning of fast/ranged monsters (no running or running is death), in hells (waiting means hell effects) and often in pan and abyss (other monsters show up).
  • Getting rid of summons is about surviving; see what I said earlier about doing extended endgame (1s are much more deadly than bats).
  • Keeping hellion/fiend/tormentor level down is very important, and abjuration is a fast way to do that, regardless of if you have to cast it every time a bunch of them show up; it's better than running away and hoping to get lucky, beating them up one by one, and taking heavy hellfire/torment beating, at least.

In case it's unclear, I agree that abjuration is silly, but am of the opinion that summon spam (silly summon spammers include anything with shadow creatures, spammals, vampire summon, or a way to summon summoners (like summon undead can summon vampires, which spam vampire summon)) is ridiculous too, and any fixes to one should pair with a fix to the other.

minmay, here's a section on the wiki about abjuration; perhaps add your idea there, too.

angrykoopa, Ashenzari EXP boosts are going away; this is on the Ashenzari todo list on the wiki.

For this message the author MrMisterMonkey has received thanks:
RangerC
User avatar

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 24

Joined: Sunday, 26th December 2010, 19:49

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 03:27

Re: What is overpowered?

MrMisterMonkey wrote:angrykoopa, Ashenzari EXP boosts are going away; this is on the Ashenzari todo list on the wiki.

So is the only benefit to cursing all your items going to be a faith type effect?
oh but who are they to judge us

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 447

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 22:10

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 03:35

Re: What is overpowered?

User avatar

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 24

Joined: Sunday, 26th December 2010, 19:49

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 03:46

Re: What is overpowered?

I dig the Clairvoyance idea. More powerful/less costly with more boundedness, perhaps.
oh but who are they to judge us

Halls Hopper

Posts: 59

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 22:54

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 05:35

Re: What is overpowered?

tromboneandrew wrote:Beogh's ally conversion seems to be too high. With a little bit of micromanagement to make sure my Orc allies get properly equipped, I can build some extremely powerful armies that sit around in the dungeon until I want them. I'm playing a game right now, and it's stupidly easy with an Orc Warlord, a couple of Orc Knights, some Priests, Wizards, Warriors, etc., all decked out with good armor, weapons, and ranged weapons. I expect to start losing them when I get to the tougher branches in the Lair, but in the main dungeon, it's just ridiculous. I tried to ditch the army to see how well I could do by myself for a little while, and Beogh even teleported in an army for me at one point. Either the ally conversion rate is too high, or there should be other penalties for keeping a very large army around - perhaps by having orcish allies start to feud with each other after spending too much time without killing anything. Or both.


Beogh's orc army is very strong in certain situations (give all your orc warlords branded crossbows or longbows for maximum killage) but extremely weak in others because orcs have no resists and are too dumb to pick up items that actually confer resistances (they go for base damage and base AC). Here's how their effectiveness looks in various branches:
Dungeon: very strong in open levels, decent in most others. Easy to get bogged down in corridors though.
Lair: pretty strong, levels are usually pretty open
Swamp: they all will die from drowning (swamp drake breath) or poison (swamp dragon breath)
Snake Pit: none of them have rPois so Poison Arrow from Greater Nagas wrecks them
Shoals: actually pretty effective on every level. The openness trumps the water disadvantages.
Slime Pit: they all will die on Slime 1 from slimy walls
Vaults: they kill everything on Vault 1-7 though dragons can be a problem
Crypt: usually pretty open, so they do well
Tomb (or any extended endgame branch): they all will die painfully from torment spam
Zot: they have no resistances so the draconians typically kill them, not to mention electric golems without rElec and Orbs of Fire without rF.

So, I don't think Beogh is an overpowered god at all (if anything, Beogh is too weak because the army is worthless in a bunch of branches). I do like the ideas on the Beogh wiki about giving you 12 'apostles' at one time so you aren't being followed by a huge orc cloud.

For this message the author RangerC has received thanks: 4
angrykoopa, cyborgemu, jpeg, mageykun

Halls Hopper

Posts: 59

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 22:54

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 05:53

Re: What is overpowered?

MrMisterMonkey wrote:danr, I take it you haven't tried extended endgame; you have to do that to appreciate abjuration or dealing with summons at all. 8 levels of summonings isn't much of a sacrifice, either. On your specific points:
  • Not in the case of heavy summon spam (pinned down, have to get fancy to escape), summoning of fast/ranged monsters (no running or running is death), in hells (waiting means hell effects) and often in pan and abyss (other monsters show up).
  • Getting rid of summons is about surviving; see what I said earlier about doing extended endgame (1s are much more deadly than bats).
  • Keeping hellion/fiend/tormentor level down is very important, and abjuration is a fast way to do that, regardless of if you have to cast it every time a bunch of them show up; it's better than running away and hoping to get lucky, beating them up one by one, and taking heavy hellfire/torment beating, at least.

In case it's unclear, I agree that abjuration is silly, but am of the opinion that summon spam (silly summon spammers include anything with shadow creatures, spammals, vampire summon, or a way to summon summoners (like summon undead can summon vampires, which spam vampire summon)) is ridiculous too, and any fixes to one should pair with a fix to the other.

minmay, here's a section on the wiki about abjuration; perhaps add your idea there, too.

angrykoopa, Ashenzari EXP boosts are going away; this is on the Ashenzari todo list on the wiki.


Good points about abjuration. Chain summoning, and crap like liches getting 3 1s at once from summon greater demon (unless you have a godly character, your only choices are abjure, run, or die) is dumber than using a level 3 spell to unsummon a horde of 1's (or ridiculousness like Blue Death shadow creatures in Zot). Monster summoning needs to be less absurd before abjuration gets chopped. I would like to see more sane monster summons. Then, abjuration should stay (and remain level 3) but it should be MUCH less effective against powerful summons - it makes sense for a powerful wizard to easily sweep away Bob the vampire's rat horde or some stupid cacodemon's imp swarm, but not an ancient lich's summoned fiend. Then, a new 'unsummoning' spell that was a targeted fireball (like the wiki proposal) could be added (it could be something like lvl 5 Summoning/Translocation) which would be effective against nasty summons.

For this message the author RangerC has received thanks: 2
danr, mageykun

Halls Hopper

Posts: 59

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 22:54

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 06:13

Re: What is overpowered?

minmay wrote:horribly overpowered spells:
abjuration (trivializes summoning monsters)
blink (ridiculously good with teleport control and still great without)
mephitic cloud (trivializes anything with less than 15 HD and no rPois)
sticky flame (stupid kiting spell that should die painfully)
summon butterflies (level 1 and excellent escape from any ranged attack)

probably somewhat overpowered spells:
alistair's intoxication (trivializes anything natural with no rPois, but needs clarity)
apportation (mostly the fault of those vaults with items over lava)
evaporate (like mephitic cloud but at least it's limited)
flight (only because of swiftness)
swiftness (no glow, level 2, easy escape from most melee monsters)
necromutation (scumming)
regeneration (nearly required for hells)

proposed fixes: make abjuration targeted on a single summoned monster, make alistair's always drain int, make sticky flame die painfully (or just give it a range of 1 as was the plan), make summon butterflies level 3


Good post - you hit most of the biggies spell wise.
Abjuration - touched on it in other post. It's broken but so is late game monster summoning.
Blink - problem is that it requires no spell power to be effective. A lvl 3 Troll Warper does just as well as a lvl 27 Deep Elf Warper with regular blink. Taking it away kills a lot of combos, though, and blink is not a free escape, since you can blink to an adjacent square again. Semi-controlled blink is way broken, and should either go or cause much more glow.
Mephitic Cloud - wouldn't be too bad if monsters weren't so dumb about clouds and it wore off quicker on all monsters
Summon Butterflies - way too good and like blink spell power doesn't matter. It should be lvl 3-4 with variable butteflies based on power.
Alastair's - great in certain spots, completely useless in others (doesn't work on animals either). I think your idea is a good one (maybe make it a 50% drain of 1 point instead of 1-3 100% of the time)
Apportation - not as good since the orb chamber got those pillars
Evaporate - the 'mummy trick' to get like 30 miasma potions is completely ridiculous - mummies should just destroy potions rather than possibly giving you a ton of miasma for free
Swiftness - should have fatigue like berserk so it can't be spammed and glow too, like you suggested. Also swiftness/flight should go and flight/levitation should be made more than superficially different (there's a great wiki page about possible reinvention of levitation)
Necromutation - needs more downsides (slow healing?) and the whole alter self scumming has to go
Regeneration - kinda of a no-brainer spell but not at all required for hells, I think (TSO is best in hells and you can't even use regen!)

For this message the author RangerC has received thanks:
danr
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 182

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 10:26

Location: Germany

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 11:26

Re: What is overpowered?

RangerC wrote:Evaporate - the 'mummy trick' to get like 30 miasma potions is completely ridiculous - mummies should just destroy potions rather than possibly giving you a ton of miasma for free

That's actually an interesting idea. Maybe add it to the wiki?

RangerC wrote:Regeneration - kinda of a no-brainer spell but not at all required for hells, I think (TSO is best in hells and you can't even use regen!)

Does that mean that TSO is required for hells?
Please report bugs to Crawl's bug tracker, and leave feedback on the development wiki. Thank you!
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 182

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 10:26

Location: Germany

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 11:57

Re: What is overpowered?

RangerC wrote:

Awesome analysis on Beogh! I've been so caught up in players' complaints about the perceived needs to micromanage that I completely failed to consider any other aspects.

To summarise, you've spotted the following problems:
  • slimy walls
  • drowning
  • lack of resistances
Each of these can be addressed easily.

Slimy walls absolutely need to be considered in the monster movement AI. It was probably overlooked because you're unlikely to meet non-jelly monsters down there, but for allies it is indeed a serious problem.

It's been suggested that confused monsters try not to move when adjacent to dangerous terrain. Personally, I feel that that would remove a really cool effect from the game; being able to drown monsters that way is just awesome! However, allies at least should probably be smarter about this. We can twiddle with the exact chances between movement and staying put.

For the third issue, I suggest that Beogh partially extend the player's resistances to followers. There could be a chance of your resistances applying if the follower doesn't have it, or your resistances could apply partially to the damage reduction. Also, we can rule that this only applies to the strongest allies, or to named ones. This would be both intuitive and flavourful, and there would be no grinding involved because the player will want to upgrade their own resistances anyway. Another advantage would be that building up new strong followers if your old warlords happen to die becomes easier. One big disadvantage is the power spiral: it would especially benefit characters who are already strong, i.e. someone who's already found a source of rElec as opposed to someone who hasn't, so maybe this could come in the form of a blessing instead: Beogh blessing followers with a random resistance.

In combination with the apostle idea that would mean that the size of your army would be limited (to up to twelve), but your entourage would be much more resilient.

As you can see, your post has given me a lot of ideas. So: Thank you, thank you, thank you! :D
Please report bugs to Crawl's bug tracker, and leave feedback on the development wiki. Thank you!
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 13:32

Re: What is overpowered?

I like the idea of Beogh blessing followers with random resistances. He shouldn't bless their equipment though. Because then, you're either stucked with one resistance per follower, or Beogh starts making randarts and it's getting crazy.
The resistance is just a blessing (it vanishes when the orc dies). Orcs can have 1, warriors 2, knights 3 and warlords 4.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 27

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 19:56

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 14:07

Re: What is overpowered?

The blessing idea does sound interesting. The ally resistance should ALSO vanish if the player loses the resistance, by whatever means.

And I think that allies' movement and monsters' movement AI should be the same. There's no thematic reason why allies should suddenly be smarter.

RangerC wrote:
tromboneandrew wrote:So, I don't think Beogh is an overpowered god at all (if anything, Beogh is too weak because the army is worthless in a bunch of branches).


Based on the efficiency in which the orc army clears out several areas of the dungeon, Beogh definitely is overpowered in some sections of the dungeon, even according to your analysis. And summoned Orc allies is not even the extent of Beogh's powers.

IMHO, no single mechanic should be able to singlehandely clear out ANY part of the dungeon. Beogh's army clearly can in some areas.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 182

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 10:26

Location: Germany

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 14:50

Re: What is overpowered?

tromboneandrew wrote:The blessing idea does sound interesting. The ally resistance should ALSO vanish if the player loses the resistance, by whatever means.

Of course. Codewise, I was thinking we could simply check the player's current resistances in addition to the ally's one and never actually add it to the monster proper. (Which would mean that as soon as an orc becomes hostile, he loses all resistances, which is probably not what we want. But that's for later.)

tromboneandrew wrote:And I think that allies' movement and monsters' movement AI should be the same. There's no thematic reason why allies should suddenly be smarter.

There's precedence with the trap avoidance code. Allies not native to a branch will nonetheless try to avoid traps the player knows about. We're assuming the player has informed her allies about traps and such, and different behaviour while confused can also be handwaved away. If allies have a 90% chance of avoiding movement while confused and hostile monsters 33%, hostile monsters are more likely to drown but allies occasionally will too, so the player won't get the impression of allies being incapable of drowning or anything like that. An alternative way of handling this would be a "don't move" command, but that would be absolutely useless if only a few of your current allies are in danger of drowning, and rather annoying on the interface.
Please report bugs to Crawl's bug tracker, and leave feedback on the development wiki. Thank you!
User avatar

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 15:27

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 15:27

Re: What is overpowered?

So if you cast Insulation, your allies get rElec for the duration of the spell, or does this apply only to permanent resistances? How about resistances from mutations?

About the 12 apostles, it might be a good idea to limit their numbers proportionally to character's level. So at level 5 you can have 1 apostle, then one more every 2 levels. Or one more every level, thus having 12 apostles at level 15.
Mangled by Mennas

Halls Hopper

Posts: 59

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 22:54

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 17:01

Re: What is overpowered?

tromboneandrew wrote:The blessing idea does sound interesting. The ally resistance should ALSO vanish if the player loses the resistance, by whatever means.

And I think that allies' movement and monsters' movement AI should be the same. There's no thematic reason why allies should suddenly be smarter.

RangerC wrote:
tromboneandrew wrote:So, I don't think Beogh is an overpowered god at all (if anything, Beogh is too weak because the army is worthless in a bunch of branches).


Based on the efficiency in which the orc army clears out several areas of the dungeon, Beogh definitely is overpowered in some sections of the dungeon, even according to your analysis. And summoned Orc allies is not even the extent of Beogh's powers.

IMHO, no single mechanic should be able to singlehandely clear out ANY part of the dungeon. Beogh's army clearly can in some areas.


Yeah, the orc army clears out open levels (IF you have a bunch of Warlords and Knights, the other orcs just die) but that's balanced by how mediocre it is in corridors, plus the uselessness in many branches. I used to play a lot of HoPr in 0.5 and while it's a fun class its in no way too strong, and the win stats and amount of use bear that out.

On top of that , Beogh's other powers aren't much -
Smiting is OK early game (its strong but burns piety quickly) never or hardly ever used after XL10
Orcish gear support - weapon support is good since you can brand an orcish battleaxe or bardiche for your endgame weapon (and also helps early on), but still not that big of a deal. Armour support is pretty useless because you will want artefacts and dragon armor, not orc gear.
Walk on Water - its a free boots of levitation, not a big deal

Compare that to Makhleb (Greater Servant is probably stronger than the orc army since it's good in any branch, plus you get HP/MP on kills and Minor Destruction and Lesser Servant for the early game), for example.

One thing that would really help Beogh allies (I'll put this on the Wiki) is to make their pickup (and all monster pickup) based on a better algorithm. Right now you get dumb stuff since they pick base damage and base AC for weapons and armour, and pluses for ammo. They'll do stuff like drop 200 bolts to pick up 1 poisoned +2 bolt, or drop the sword of Jihad to pick up an unbranded bardiche, or drop dragon armour for a plate mail. If their pickup was based on something like shop value it would be a little smarter, and probably an easy fix.

The resistance thing is a good idea - 4 resists for a warlord is probably overkill, though (especially if their inventory is tweaked so that they actually use randarts and dragon armours). 1-2 seems about right - it's OK if scary Zot stuff and demons can kill your orcs, but not OK that a wimpy swamp drake can drown your whole army easily.

For this message the author RangerC has received thanks:
tromboneandrew

Halls Hopper

Posts: 59

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 22:54

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 17:09

Re: What is overpowered?

jpeg wrote:
RangerC wrote:Evaporate - the 'mummy trick' to get like 30 miasma potions is completely ridiculous - mummies should just destroy potions rather than possibly giving you a ton of miasma for free

That's actually an interesting idea. Maybe add it to the wiki?

RangerC wrote:Regeneration - kinda of a no-brainer spell but not at all required for hells, I think (TSO is best in hells and you can't even use regen!)

Does that mean that TSO is required for hells?


I will add the mummy idea. It's less fun flavorwise to just have the potions explode, but the miasma exploit is pretty ridiculous (otherwise guaranteed miasma potions are a pretty limited resource).

For hells, you need either a ridiculous character (I did all of them with a DEFE of Vehumet no necromutation, but had insane gear and skills), OR lots of bravery (many characters can do the Hells, just with a high chance of dying, and no one likes to lose a lvl 27 character who can bring home a 3 rune win), OR Necromutation/being a mummy/ghoul OR TSO. I don't think anything's necessarily required.
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 17:30

Re: What is overpowered?

Maybe the Hells are overpowered.

I think it would be good if the devs would cook up more ways for the extended endgame to be playable. Although I don't get there often, my perception is that there are some real "no-brainers" when it comes to doing the extended endgame.

So e.g. TSO and necromutation are apparently something like "no-brainers" for the end game.

I think one design principle should be that all gods should be equally viable in the extended end game. This would have to be done in a way that does not make them overpowered in the early game.

It just seems too scripted that my MfCr of Okawaru has to ditch his religion for TSO in order to make the endgame more viable.
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 4031

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:37

Location: France

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 17:59

Re: What is overpowered?

danr wrote:Maybe the Hells are overpowered.

I think it would be good if the devs would cook up more ways for the extended endgame to be playable. Although I don't get there often, my perception is that there are some real "no-brainers" when it comes to doing the extended endgame.

So e.g. TSO and necromutation are apparently something like "no-brainers" for the end game.

I think one design principle should be that all gods should be equally viable in the extended end game. This would have to be done in a way that does not make them overpowered in the early game.

It just seems too scripted that my MfCr of Okawaru has to ditch his religion for TSO in order to make the endgame more viable.


I guess you meant TSO or necromutation. They are exclusive! :)
It's true that it is the more common strategies (TSO for melee and hybrids, necromutation for pure casters), but they are not the only ones. Kiku is also very useful for the extended endgame. And it's perfectly acceptable that some combos and gods rule in some branches and suck in others. The real problem with the extended endgame is not with the gods, but with the branches themselves. It's all demons, undeads and torments. As it lacks variety in monsters, then so does the player responses.
<+Grunt> You dereference an invalid pointer! Ouch! That really hurt! The game dies...
User avatar

Slime Squisher

Posts: 365

Joined: Friday, 17th December 2010, 15:27

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 18:04

Re: What is overpowered?

Some branches of Hell are doable with Nemelex I believe. I think I've tried this before with mixed success.

However I do believe Hell should be difficult, really difficult. Afterall it is Hell and is not required for completing the game.
Mangled by Mennas
User avatar

Dungeon Master

Posts: 182

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 10:26

Location: Germany

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 19:31

Re: What is overpowered?

RangerC wrote:One thing that would really help Beogh allies (I'll put this on the Wiki) is to make their pickup (and all monster pickup) based on a better algorithm. Right now you get dumb stuff since they pick base damage and base AC for weapons and armour, and pluses for ammo. They'll do stuff like drop 200 bolts to pick up 1 poisoned +2 bolt, or drop the sword of Jihad to pick up an unbranded bardiche, or drop dragon armour for a plate mail. If their pickup was based on something like shop value it would be a little smarter, and probably an easy fix.

Currently, monsters value AC and damage more than anything else. It's only if two items are equal in that regard that the shop value comes into play, but even that's a very crude measure - the pricing system doesn't really make sense.

If anyone has suggestions on how to rate egos and randart properties against AC, please put that on the wiki. How much AC is worth giving up for poison resistance, for fire resistance, for life protection?
Please report bugs to Crawl's bug tracker, and leave feedback on the development wiki. Thank you!
User avatar

Shoals Surfer

Posts: 320

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:02

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 21:43

Re: What is overpowered?

dpeg wrote:Blink should cause glow, every time it is used (including the scroll).


...So combos that rely on that spell to survive many encounters in the early-game will start mutating like crazy?

jpeg wrote:
RangerC wrote:Regeneration - kinda of a no-brainer spell but not at all required for hells, I think (TSO is best in hells and you can't even use regen!)

Does that mean that TSO is required for hells?


I never used TSO for a 15-rune game, so no, he's not required. :P

danr wrote:So e.g. TSO and necromutation are apparently something like "no-brainers" for the end game.


TSO and Necromutation are not "no-brainers". There are plenty of ways to get all the runes without those.

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 22:05

Re: What is overpowered?

minmay wrote:I've done all four hells with Sif Muna and no Necromutation, and in one game. People overestimate the importance of those. I don't know how I could have done it without regeneration, though.
I can think of exactly two problems with the extended endgame: it's horribly biased towards certain builds, and a lot of it is pretty boring. Can anyone here honestly say they enjoy looking for the abyssal rune?

I agree with the analysis. I also believe that the abyssal rune could be removed.
Regarding the extended endgame, there is the question if we really want infinite xp in the game. I don't think so (anymore). This would not affect the hells, but I believe that among Pan, hells, Abyss the hells work best. The Abyss is interesting, deadly and fun for low to mid level characters but generally boring afterwards. Pan is grinding de luxe (the special maps are okay). It would be possible to make Abyss and Pan harder as time goes by...

Lair Larrikin

Posts: 27

Joined: Saturday, 18th December 2010, 19:56

Post Thursday, 30th December 2010, 23:28

Re: What is overpowered?

RangerC wrote:Yeah, the orc army clears out open levels (IF you have a bunch of Warlords and Knights, the other orcs just die) but that's balanced by how mediocre it is in corridors, plus the uselessness in many branches. I used to play a lot of HoPr in 0.5 and while it's a fun class its in no way too strong, and the win stats and amount of use bear that out.

On top of that , Beogh's other powers aren't much -
Smiting is OK early game (its strong but burns piety quickly) never or hardly ever used after XL10
Orcish gear support - weapon support is good since you can brand an orcish battleaxe or bardiche for your endgame weapon (and also helps early on), but still not that big of a deal. Armour support is pretty useless because you will want artefacts and dragon armor, not orc gear.
Walk on Water - its a free boots of levitation, not a big deal


Well, of course we can be free to disagree. And I haven't made it to the endgame yet, so I can't really say how balanced that part of Beogh's design is.

:)
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1459

Joined: Sunday, 19th December 2010, 05:45

Location: New England

Post Friday, 31st December 2010, 01:09

Re: What is overpowered?

minmay wrote:Can anyone here honestly say they enjoy looking for the abyssal rune?


I can!

Maybe I'm the only crawl player in the world who does, but I like the abyss. By the time I get a character strong enough to explore it, the open-ended-ness of the abyss is kind of a relief. It's kind of relaxing to have this nice endless expanse to wander, instead of another branch-end vault to assault. A pleasant stroll through the forest, bopping demons on the head, interrupted by brief, frenzied moments of panic when something terrible appears.

Maybe it's frustrating to 15 rune-ers, but as someone still trying to pull off a 3 rune win, I'd hate to see the abyssal rune go. Heck, a lot of times I've found the abyss a safer place to pull a 3rd rune from than the vaults!

It might be a perspective thing though. An hour wandering isn't a lot of time to me- I can easily invest a week playing an established character- but I could see it being a pain for faster players.

Danr- I feel your pain. It's one thing to get beaten by the game. It's another all together to see successful strategies disappear before you had the wits to explore them yourself, or worse, right after you started relying on them. Not that I don't think the game's being improved- but it's frustrating sometimes.

For this message the author mageykun has received thanks:
danr

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:52

Re: What is overpowered?

dpeg wrote:I agree with the analysis. I also believe that the abyssal rune could be removed.
Regarding the extended endgame, there is the question if we really want infinite xp in the game. I don't think so (anymore). This would not affect the hells, but I believe that among Pan, hells, Abyss the hells work best. The Abyss is interesting, deadly and fun for low to mid level characters but generally boring afterwards. Pan is grinding de luxe (the special maps are okay). It would be possible to make Abyss and Pan harder as time goes by...


Has any consideration been given to simply merging the Abyss and Pandemonium? They're both infinite hellscapes swarming with demons, and with the sole exception of Lugonu the flavor doesn't even seem to be different. The Abyss would be less boring for a high-level character if there were frequent portals into Pan Lord domains where the challenges were more suitable. Meanwhile, Pan would present a more challenging profile with the Abyss features of unmappability and no teleport control. Prying a rune out of a Pan vault would be harder if you couldn't simply teleport control over to an already-cleared section of the map to recover in absolute safety every time it starts looking a little difficult.

With two of the more similar post-endgame branches fused, there'd be room for some other rune-bearing post-endgame branch for people to play with.

For this message the author KoboldLord has received thanks:
Mike255

Vaults Vanquisher

Posts: 447

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 22:10

Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:58

Re: What is overpowered?

Unmappability without changing dungeon shape is nothing more than an interface burden and should die painfully, so I hope you mean an unmappable Pan would shift and deform (though if levels retain their general shapes, Pan should remain mappable).

Ziggurat Zagger

Posts: 3037

Joined: Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 02:06

Post Sunday, 2nd January 2011, 03:25

Re: What is overpowered?

MrMisterMonkey wrote:Unmappability without changing dungeon shape is nothing more than an interface burden and should die painfully, so I hope you mean an unmappable Pan would shift and deform (though if levels retain their general shapes, Pan should remain mappable).


I mean, when you're facing Cerebov, you don't have a 100% guaranteed chance of success by hasting yourself, kiting him at the edge of line-of-sight until he's away from his little fort, and then teleporting over to ninja the rune and again to bail out of the level. Absolutely safe for nearly every character, no matter how crippled by mutations or poor gear. Minimum requirements are a single potion of speed, which you can use to kite him in a big circle.

Having the level outside the Pan Lords' personal lair shift and deform would be a pretty cool effect, but the main thrust of my position is that you shouldn't be able to easily escape to near-absolute safety at any moment, and then beeline right back over to where you left off with no penalty. If you wildly teleport away to escape the wrath of Cerebov, the random section of Abyss you end up in could be anywhere. Perhaps you will find Cerebov's castle again, perhaps not.

For this message the author KoboldLord has received thanks:
psyshvl

Snake Sneak

Posts: 110

Joined: Monday, 20th December 2010, 21:11

Post Monday, 3rd January 2011, 18:20

Re: What is overpowered?

What about this?

(1) Teleport in Pan sends you entirely out of the pan level you were on.
(2) Unique pan levels instead of being 1-time-only have their probability to appear halved each time you visit (obviously approaching really freaking rare fairly quickly)

I think this would also solve the annoying problem of being Abyssed and losing the rune in an elegant way while disallowing cheesy ways to trivialize the unique levels.

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1500

Joined: Monday, 3rd January 2011, 17:47

Post Monday, 10th January 2011, 22:08

Re: What is overpowered?

I came in here to post about the change to sticky-flame. I will agree that it's overpowered given the range and DoT aspect but nerfing it to touch range will make it effectively useless in my opinion. Almost every caster wants to keep the mobs far away due to fragility. This especially applies for the monsters that one would cast sticky flame on in the early game namely ogres, Sigmund and hydra (and probably J too). By making it a touch spell, it has lost all usefulness. Instead, if one were to reduce it to range 2 then there is still significant risk when casting as you might sticky flame that Ogre, but next turn he's going to be next to you and might get a double turn, pancaking you.

I think what's getting lost in a lot of these decisions is that non-expert players rely on these spells to survive the early game (cf. the recommendation that blink give glow as another way to kill low level chars). Mephitic cloud is at least as powerful as sticky flame on Sigmund, Ogres and it's useful in many more situations in my opinion than sticky flame (orc spell casters, near water, etc.) but I don't see a nerf for that.
User avatar

Vestibule Violator

Posts: 1533

Joined: Thursday, 16th December 2010, 20:52

Post Monday, 10th January 2011, 22:26

Re: What is overpowered?

The RNG is overpowered.
Next

Return to Game Design Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by ST Software for PTF.