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New Huntress Development
Jan 3, 2021 10:45

This topic relates to development of the New Huntress.

We are wondering about how everyone feels about the current Leap Attack. Specifically, does it bother you that you are forced to attack anything you leap over, such as gas spores, purple worms, or maybe a weak monster that you’d prefer to keep in the room?

We are considering making leap attacks a bit stronger (like increase the disorientation percentage and adding focus), but limiting the attack to just one monster. In the cases where you want to leap over two monsters, even though only one will be attacked, we would prompt you to ask which monster you want to attack. Does that sound like a better approach?

An additional idea for the elf is to make her even stronger when she has room to work, but more vulnerable to melee attacks. Specifically, we’re considering increasing her Dodge percentage, but have it only apply to Missile and Breath attacks. To further compensate, we would increase the disorientation from leap attacks. And we would change Evade so that when evading, Dodge applies to all attacks - so if trapped with no good place to leap to, she can use Evade.

Jan 3, 2021 11:46

That’s a lot to process. I really like being able to attack two at a time. Not sure how much halving the disorientation would cripple that. I will comment on the one thing I have a definite opinion about. I would like to be able to choose between leap and leap attack. I see it more beneficial in the opposite case when you are invisible and you are in the perfect spot for a leap attack but you just leap over harmlessly. If we had the ability to choose when to attack and when to not I would like that.

Jan 3, 2021 12:03

I think the ability to choose would be nice if it can be done smoothly enough in the UI.

I also feel that it’s really nice to be able to attack two monsters with leap, especially in the lair and in other sticky situations. One option might be for focus to apply only when leaping over a single monster, but not when leaping over two (since leaping over two is an unfocused act).

I like the idea of not applying melee dodge unless evading, but making disorient and missile dodge stronger. This plays nicely into how the huntress works, with a playstyle that avoids taking direct melee attacks undefended whenever possible. Sounds like it would be fun to play!

Jan 3, 2021 12:33

@eddiert - yes, we plan to add the ability to choose between Leap and Leap Attack. We were thinking we’d put a button under the portrait (like we do with the dwarf bow) which you could toggle. During stealth, the default would be Sneaky Leap but you could manually change it to Leap Attack. During combat, the default would be Leap Attack, but you could manually change it to Leap. How does that sound.

@studentofbrand - Letting leap attack be against 2 monsters, but only getting focus if you are leaping over one monster, is a good idea.

Jan 3, 2021 14:01

I like both suggestions

Jan 3, 2021 14:26

@eddiert - which ones?

Jan 4, 2021 13:52

@rowdius Selectable leap attack and focus if it’s a single attack

Jan 4, 2021 15:53

Selectable leap attack and focus both sound like good ideas.

Nevertheless, I would be sorry to see the Elf ability go away that involves attacking two enemies at once, in a leap attack.

Jan 4, 2021 17:11

We are no longer considering removing the 2 monster attack. In fact … we might go the other direction with that. :)

Jan 5, 2021 2:33

I think elf is the strongest character at the moment, but the hardest to master completely - and I like that! Although I lead the campaign mode I am still “learning the elf” - and I like that, did I say that? One important aspect is to toggle between shots and leap attacks against 2 dragons. Having them in the right positions, a double leap attack can even be stronger than the shot. I like that a “elf master” also needs to master the sword. I fear leap attack just one monster, will break this. You would also take a lot of value from the leap scrolls with just one attack. Somehow “it fits” that leap is a great scroll for the elf and can compensate if not many fire scrolls are found (so much, that it might be more valuable to increase the sword on the altar in certain circumstances and not the bow). That said I would suggest to leave the default behaviour as it is (attack both in combat, but nothing from sneak), but make this button “tactical leap” like allreadysuggested (and the dwarf has) to specify the attack. That button allows to leap and can give a similar choice like the fire scroll. It should be possible to choose 0, 1 or 2 targets. The behaviour could be like:
1. press “tactical leap”
2. choose the leap field
3. choose monsters
4. confirm
Of course it would be great if the system would “guess” the right monsters directly. So from sneak all(if 2) monsters are chosen and from combat mode, no monster is chosen (but I hardly need the second: Only during feats or on worms. I cannot remember a concrete situation involving gas spores, but I think I had one once.)

Another question is, how to handle focus with 2 monsters. I always thought, it is wished to not have a focus during leap (the monsers are disoriented and the hero cannot focus). So you can leave it as it is, but I suggest one small change: Make leaping over two (as it is) “focus neutral” (it neither destroys or builds any focus, when missing), but leap attack against only one monster increase the focus. In very special circumstances (rat near dragon) it might be better to “focus” on the dragon, but leap over both. This can be done with the tactical leap option above.

A complete different thing is the defense roll. I fully agree here. From a fundamental perspective, it is a nice idea to remove dodge without guarding for melee attacks. I would even not increase the chance to disorient much. Maybe to 60% on lvl 3 and not increase the dodge chance much further, too. Otherwise you will get an invulnerable guard-tank that shoots back against breath. This should not be the main gameplay of the elf, but just a “tactical option” for difficult rooms. Instead of a higher dodge chance, it might be interesting to have a trinket-driven defense, because of the low defense dice. E.g. an evade skill (on guarding) could be to also consume a trinket (if hit otherwise) for a thrown 2. That would allow such kinds of “tank behaviour” for critical moments, but not for the whole game.

Jan 5, 2021 12:05

Thanks, everyone. This is what we’re looking at as the first implementation:

ELVEN HUNTRESS:

ABILITIES:

Leap: Leap 2 spaces (not in tunnels) 

Dodge: 30% chance to dodge missile & breath hits 

Prowl: 50% less likely to be spotted sneaking (not pilfering), extra +2 to surprise sword attacks

SKILLS:

Leap Attack I: Attack what you leap over, with 40% chance of causing panic (aka disorientation) 
 Leap Attack II: 50% panic 

Leap Attack III: 60% panic

Evade I: If guarding, dodge applies to all hits, counter with bow or sword 

Evade II: 40% dodge

Evade III: 50% dodge

Long Shot I: Bow distance penalty is -2 

Long Shot II: Bow distance penalty is -1 

Long Shot III: No bow distance penalty

Flaming Arrow I: +1 per flame along arrow’s path (flames of equal range only count as one, so it’s a max of 2 flames that add to the bonus)

Flaming Arrow II: +2 per flame along arrow’s path

Flaming Arrow III: +1 to above total

DURING FEATS: Huntress can leap 3.

OTHER CHANGES:

• Allow surprise leap attacks. (with button to toggle between sneaky leap and surprise leap attack)


• No non magic leaping in tunnels, and tunnels will have slightly lower slime density. 


• Leap attacks get any applicable focus bonus and generate focus on the last miss. (When leap attacking multiple targets, the first target counts as an attack, thus causing loss of focus on anything else.) 


• Extended Leap Attacks (from elf using leap scroll) generate an attack against all monsters on tiles along the leap path even if two away. (up to 4 monsters can be attacked!)

Jan 5, 2021 13:34

Edit to the original post above: Changed base dodge to 30%. Evade II/III to 40%/50%.

Jan 5, 2021 14:27

Leaping in the tunnels was one of the huge advantages of the Elf. While I will sorely miss it, it might bring level the playing field with the other classes. Hopefully not swinging too far as to be detrimental.

Jan 5, 2021 15:37

Most of this looks awesome!

My main concern is regarding the tunnels: simply a slight decrease in slime density may not be enough to compensate. Even currently, I occasionally get into situations where there’s nowhere even to leap to to avoid slimes from room spawn, and I usually have to leap a large number of times to get through a room safely (unless using scrolls). If the density is only slightly lower, but leaps are removed entirely, I worry that most tunnel rooms may necessitate either 1-2 fire scrolls or several other scrolls to clear.

Otherwise, big fan of these changes :)

Jan 5, 2021 15:41

Could it be implemented that way, that the leap over two, attacks the current focus target first? That would make sense I think. Or what else is the order? Right, left? Randomness seems strange.

Jan 5, 2021 16:12

We were thinking the leap attack order would work like this:

Targets adjacent to the elf are attacked first. If you have focus on one of them, you attack that one first. If not, the order is random.

Any targets not adjacent to the elf are attacked after any adjacent ones. If you still have focus on one of them, you attack that one first - otherwise it’s random.

Jan 5, 2021 17:54

The changes seem great, you should be able to choose IF you attack when jumping over a monster, it should not be automatic!

Thank you for continued improvements…..

Jan 5, 2021 17:54

Additional note, when jumping two monsters your should be able to choose to attack one, two or none!!

Jan 5, 2021 18:59

All sounds good to me, but I haven’t played the elf much.

Jan 6, 2021 0:50

I assume that the huntress can attack 4 also during feat. That sounds very strong, especially because of all the bonus hit chances and the possibility to move “almost anywhere” before the attack leap. Currently it sounds a bit OP, but lets see… Maybe I underestimate the weakening of the close combat dodge loss.

Jan 6, 2021 9:32

Thanks for the opportunity to provide comments. Sorry if some of these ideas have already been resolved and the opinions are late, but included, are new ideas:

The forced attack of monsters leaped over is acceptable if she attacks all adjacent monsters. It’s the trade off for being able to take two attacks in the round. If she must decide which monster to attack, the other should be disoriented, perhaps automatically, similar to the dwarf’s ability for charging around a monster. Alternatively, leaping does not attack, but automatically disorients, so she can escape or move to a better position. She frequently misses the monster anyway, then gets hit.

As mentioned before, I really would like a focus bonus when she leaps over monsters, otherwise she fails to hit and if the monster is not stunned, she wasted her action and often gets hit. Also, being able to leap in tunnels is often the only move upon arrival, so please do not take that away.

The elf is already extremely vulnerable to melee attacks, because of a d8 shield and only 2 hit points. She uses far more potions than the other characters. Often, she is forced to be adjacent to monsters, with nowhere to leap that is open.

I agree with eddiert: often, I would like to begin attacking with a double attack by leaping over two monsters while invisible. The other characters can attack while invisible. (I think this point is resolved already.)

What happened to the idea of flaming arrow bonus if adjacent to a flame? I would like to add if the monster is adjacent to a flame, especially if the flame is between the elf and monster. Frequently, I must ignite two or three hexes to keep a ranged attacking monster at bay. (Yet, I can see a technical difficulty implementing this, similar to the Leap attack that doesn’t hit unless adjacent, even if you land next to a monster. But, I think this is being addressed under Extended Leap attacks.)

Nice bonus to feats, adding the ability to leap farther.

Jan 6, 2021 10:39

It will be interesting to see how things balance out. One possibility I am seeing, which may or may not be realistic, is the possibility of the elf have significant surprise room clearing potential by opening with a surprise leap scroll attack, attacking up to 4 enemies and still having a turn available to continue combat. Whether or not this could end up being unbalanced I am not sure yet.

Jan 6, 2021 12:32

Yes, we’ll need to test to see if the extended leap attack is OP. I think it might be okay because you need to use a scroll or generate a feat to do it, and be willing to land next to monsters. (And it is difficult for the elf to trigger a feat with her sword, and adjacent monsters implies that she is probably not using her bow.)

@Deranged - you make a good point, although after a surprise leap attack, she would not get to take another turn because after, after you attack, the monsters immediately take their actions (unlike a sneaky leap).

However, it would certainly be OP to get a surprise bonus (prowl is +5) for all the targets on a leap attack. To address that, we plan to say that Surprise and Feat bonuses only apply to your first attack. (Feats already work that way.)

Nonetheless, if the extended leap attack does prove to be OP, maybe we will cap leap attacks at 2 attacks. So when doing an extended leap with 3+ targets, you attack one that’s adjacent to elf and one that’s adjacent to target, and apply the disorientation chance to all monsters leapt over. Or maybe we’d just go back to the original rule where you only attack the adjacent monsters.

Jan 7, 2021 0:12

I think to hit one monster in the “starting phase” and one in “the landing phase” makes the most sense from a “realistical” point of view. That means both monsters for a jump over two and one in each row, when making a 3-row-jump.
She should turn towards her last target by the way.
In such an implementation I would give the surprise bonus for both. I mean: She jumps “out of nowhere” over the heads of the monsters and strikes “from two sides”. That must be a big surprise. However, when she is able to hit 4 targets, I would indeed reduce the surprise to the first.
But again there might be complains what the first target is that gets the bonus… In the “1+1=2”-implementation that is more easy, because both get the bonus. I would still prefer to hit the right target first (because that is where her sword arm is) and the left second (on landing, including that turning I mentioned above). That would be also a clean solution when jumping over 3 fields. The more I think about it, the more I share the fear of Deranged, that a 4-attack is OP.
I remember you gave a hint somewhere “leap early and often”. That would not be the case any more. It would be more like “use leap scrolls with the elf in the dragon lair only”.

Jan 7, 2021 2:57

Maybe an attack on four could be a feat feature, but then you have to implement both.

Jan 7, 2021 10:20

Her leap attack forcing her to attack gas spores is a problem, especially since she has few hit points.

Jan 8, 2021 13:16

I think we are going to make it so that leap attacks never affect gas spores or the purple worm. Spores float out of your way and worms descend out of your way. How does that sound?

Also, a UI question relating the leap attacks during stealth:

We are thinking that the default leap during stealth would be a sneaky leap. But you can change the default to leap attack (if leaping over something) using a button near the hero portrait like the one the dwarf has to use his bow.

An alternate approach would be that any time you click to leap over a monster while in stealth, a dialog appears asking if you’d like to do a sneaky leap or a leap attack.

The first approach eliminates a lot of prompts. The second approach prevents the case of accidentally doing a sneaky leap when you really wanted to do a sneak attack.

Which approach sounds better?

Jan 8, 2021 18:00

I would strongly advocate for keeping the Elf’ s ability to leap-attack two adjacent opponents at once. That’s a distinctive and core feature of the fighting style when using the Elf. Finding hexes that set up a double-attack without adjacent monsters adds a tactical element to the game.

Jan 9, 2021 7:36

I would recommand doing a survey/pool with main questions in the form of mcq + comments

Jan 9, 2021 9:36

I think your original plan of using the button is fine - leaping over monsters is a common attack for the elf and most of the time your default actions are the ones you want. I think the prompts would just get in the way. I occasionally charge with the dwarf when I meant to shoot something (like the Reaper!), but I don’t want the game prompting me “did you mean to shoot?” every time I go to charge with the dwarf. It would be so common that I’d end up automatically clicking on “No” every time, even if I did mean to shoot!

Jan 9, 2021 13:40

I like the idea that if you are operating in stealth mode, then by default, your leaps are stealthy (and require a portrait button to toggle). If you are operating in attack/non-stealth mode, then by default, your leaps are attacking (and require a portrait button to toggle, and, just this once, decline to attack).

Jan 9, 2021 16:29

Below is the new design for the elf which we are starting to test. If you would like to playtest her on our testing server, and give feedback, please email me at alex@dungeoneers.com - we’d appreciate it.

There are a lot of changes. The major change, which we have not discussed, is that elf leaping is no longer something that can be done stealthily (unless using a scroll).

ELVEN HUNTRESS:

Abilities:

Leap: Leap 2 spaces (including tunnels, but see below)
Dodge: 30% chance to dodge missile & breath hits
Prowl: 50% less likely to be spotted sneaking (not pilfering), extra +2 to surprise sword attacks

Skills:

Leap Attack I: Attack what you leap over, with 40% chance of causing panic. (up to 4 monsters if leaping 3 spaces)
Leap Attack II: 50% panic
Leap Attack III: 60% panic

Evade I: If guarding, dodge applies to all hits, counter with bow or sword
Evade II: 40% dodge
Evade III: 50% dodge

Long Shot I: Bow distance penalty is -2
Long Shot II: Bow distance penalty is -1
Long Shot III: No bow distance penalty

Flaming Arrow I: +1 per flame along arrow’s path (max of once per range)
Flaming Arrow II: +2 per flame along arrow’s path
Flaming Arrow III: +1 to above total

During Feats: Huntress can leap 3.

Other changes:

  • No Sneaky Leaps – Elf leaps during stealth always get you spotted, although it stays your turn if you didn’t attack anything. (Magical leaps keep you in stealth.)

  • If you elf leap over a monster during stealth, it’s a leap attack. (scroll leaps during stealth will not be leap attacks)

  • No Leap Attacks against Spores or Worms – Leaping over a worm or spore does not trigger a leap attack against it.

  • Leap Attacks (and counterattacks) generate focus against the last target missed. Leap Attacks get a focus bonus if there is there is focus on the first monster attacked.

  • Surprise and Feat bonuses during leap attacks apply to only the first monster attacked. If attacking two monsters, you first attack the one that you have a higher bonus against, otherwise random. If leaping 3 spaces, the monsters adjacent to your starting space are always attacked first.

  • You do not leap attack slimes. Rather, when you leap over a slime, it senses you and starts turning in the direction you are leaping. So when you land, the slime will move towards you, even if it was not initially facing that direction. (We are in the process of adding this, so it may be buggy.)

NOTE: With this design, we’re hoping to avoid having to add an on/off button for leap attacks. Or at least, it shouldn’t be something you’d need to use often.

Jan 10, 2021 6:31

The slime thing is a clever solution, but will lead to anger ;D What is with slimes that you don’t leap over? Are they turning and moving? The same is with the unstealthy leap. Now ellf and other are much more similar in lair sneaking. For the balance of these parts this is good, but it takes away some major abilities there… What bothers me in the lair is, that the more dragons there are, the harder is it to find the treasure and it “always” feels like it is in the last room. What I mean is: I think it is “fair” to consume some leap scrolls for getting the treasures as long as you need them, but just “wasting” more and more of them in an infinite maze and dead ends is pointless. At some point one has to stop to look for the treasures and it doesn’t feel good to die because the 9-shield came much too late… This is why I suggest to make either a clear rule where to find it, hints in front or in the lair or you avoid putting it more then 2-3 rooms away from the entrance.

Jan 10, 2021 17:24

Hi, Rowdius,

You say, “when you leap over a slime …”

Just to be clear, are you saying that when you leap over one or more slimes on YOUR turn, then THOSE slimes spend their NEXT turns turning towards you (not moving towards you immediately)?

Rellik’s question seems to be whether slime turning alerts the other monsters in the room. Currently I believe that the turning of a green slime does not alert them.

Also, are we assuming that leaping over a slime is still possible as an Elf skill, even in the tunnels, except that it is no longer possible to do that quietly?

Your write-up mentions that worms and spores are not attacked by leaping over them. Is that intended to apply all the time? Regardless of whether you are being sneaky or not? Regardless of whether you would like to attack them or not?

Jan 10, 2021 18:01

@Beetletoe -

Yes, we decided to allow the elf to leap in the tunnels, but made it dangerous to leap over slimes …

The slimes you leap over (only them) sense the air draft and turn towards the direction you are leaping. They then take their normal action (the turning is a free action in this case). A yellow slime may or may not move into you, while a green slime always will.

Slimes turning does not alert monsters, but the new rule is that all non-magical leaping causes you to be spotted.

The above is just for the elf’s natural leap. Magical leaps from scrolls do not cause slimes to turn (nor cause you to be spotted.)

In the write-up, and the current version we are testing, you never attack spores or worms when leaping over them. However, I don’t really like that. Maybe when leaping over a worm or spore, we’ll stop and ask if you want to attack it or not.

Jan 10, 2021 21:36

Personally, definitely not a fan of removing non-scroll stealth leaps entirely. For one thing, it makes Vanish scrolls much less powerful for elf, especially in situations where monsters are completely blocking the desired paths (especially dragons in lairs, blocking loot).

In addition, stealthy leaps seem to fit the character of the huntress, as a stealthy, highly agile character. It seems to me like that agility should help her be stealthier in some sense, and stealthy leaps accomplish that.

Since the elf currently doesn’t have any toggles, I personally think the suggested default behavior for leap attacks (off when stealthed, on otherwise) would work pretty well, and could even show up only when stealthed (as, with the bloat/worm changes, it seems one would almost always want to leap attack when not stealthed.)

Jan 10, 2021 23:58

Thanks, @studentofbrand.

The ability to leap during stealth, in addition to making little sense, made the elf a bit one-sided, where she is constantly leaping. The prowl approach makes her more stealthy, but cuts back on the excessive leaping, and makes the room feel bigger than when she can just leap where she wants while the other monsters don’t move. We’ll be getting more feedback on it, but personally I feel like the new stealth is more balanced and interesting for her. But I could see bring back stealthy leaps when using a Vanish scroll (giving a choice, either with a toggle or a prompt.)

A related change we’ll be testing is to make it so that dragons prefer not to sleep next to each other.

Jan 11, 2021 0:22

“Dragons prefer not to sleep next to each other” sounds like a funny loophole to sneak. In fact this might make the lair MUCH more difficult. The Easiest rooms are those, where dragons are crowded in one half and the hero (especially elf and human) can “define their paths” by firewalls. When dragons are ugly scattered, this sometimes means 2 more potions for “the same room”. The dwarf is way better suited for “scattered” dragons. The worm even prefers to eat isolated dragon mages… In principle: Good idea. In practice… elf could be mostly dead.

The prowl is the right idea for monsters with 1 health. Maybe it should do 2 damage for heavy stuff like cave trolls.

Jan 11, 2021 11:25

Ah; missed the prowl approach; I feel like that could be enough to compensate in many situations. Thanks for the directed response and consideration! After noticing that, I think the new changes are pretty great :)

Jan 11, 2021 13:40

Agree with Rellik Nogard that spaced-out dragons are better for the dwarf where he has the space to charge from one to the next, and close up dragons are good for the human where he can press and skewer without them running away. Two or three asleep in a line is great for the human where he can hold them there with fire for some hasted attacks with full swing and press that will hopefully get several hits off the dragons before they have a chance to fight back. Or a bolt scroll if you fancy chancing your arm :-)

Jan 12, 2021 11:19

So, the problem with the prowl approach, relative to the situation now, is that it seems much riskier than the sneaky leap is–even though the probability of being spotted is the same, per hexagon travelled (that’s correct, yes?)

One disadvantage of sneaking one hexagon at a time is the possibility of being spotted prematurely three or more spaces away from your destination, and needing to use up a scroll–or risk a battle. The new slime ideas are also going to lead to using up more scrolls in the tunnels.

Problem is, before getting good weapons, the Elf is terrible at fighting, and is entirely dependent on scrolls (and sneaking) to get those weapons.

Later on, in the Lair, the usefulness of the Elf plummets once the supply of scrolls has been exhausted. That does not seem to be similarly true of Dwarves, for example, which are better equipped to survive once scroll-less.

I’m not optimistic that giving the Elf the ability to shoot (weakly) at mulitple opponents in the early game is going to compensate for using scrolls up at a much higher rate.

Or at least, that is my main concern, looking at the proposed changes.

Jan 12, 2021 13:44

I agree with beetletoe. The risk is high and the elf cannot “battle everywhere” like the other two. The dwarf will in the worst case just hunker down in a “bad position”, the elf is just eaten up there. Maybe there should be another bonus to the prowl: The elf is so fast, that she can attack from sneak and guard in the same turn. That is important, because dodge is removed and there is NO shield at the start, just 2 health (in tournament). This guarding might change the possibilities enough, to make the prowl attack a real option.

Jan 12, 2021 14:58

@beetletoe - on an empty grid yes, 80% for sneaky leap vs 90%90%=81% for move two spaces. But with monsters that’s more complicated because you can sneaky leap over a risky space being looked at by one or more monsters to a safe one behind. At best that is 80%90%=72% for move two spaces but still 80% for sneaky leap. And, as you said, you reach your target hex in one go with no risk of being spotted on the wrong hex - which can be disastrous for your cunning plan (whatever it might be). And, of course, you can sneaky leap over a pit or a monster when there is no other way through to your desired location.

Jan 12, 2021 15:39

Based on testing and the above comments, we are making these changes to the plan:

  1. We will add a Leap Attack toggle. The default will be that you attack what you leap over, but you can toggle it off to do a regular leap and attack nothing. We won’t be doing prompts for spores/worms, so you will not be able to attack one thing and not another – it’s all or nothing.

  2. We are going to make it so it’s easier to sneak through the first dragon lair room, without having to leap, by doing this: A) For each dragon above 3, we remove one pit. B) Dragons will not start, and pits will not be placed, on a tile which is adjacent to two exit tiles (this is already the case for exit tiles). [We are scrapping the idea of dragons not sleeping next to each other which, as pointed out, is better in theory than in practice.]

  3. Rather than elven leaps during stealth having a 100% chance of being spotted, the chance will equal 6x the chance of sneaking (prowling) to that space. So a leap to a “safe” location with no adjacent, facing monsters has a 30% chance of being spotted (because prowling would be 5%), while leaping to a space with one adjacent, facing monster would have a 60% chance of being spotted (because prowling would be 10%). We think this approach strikes a good balance where stealth leaps are generally something to avoid, but still a good option in certain situations. [If vanished, leaping to a safe space will have 0% chance of being spotted, just like sneaking.]

Jan 12, 2021 17:04

Hi, Rowdius.

We also likes pits, and don’t want to see any of them them go away.

Consider how easy it is to evade most monsters that need to move AROUND pits (e.g., reapers), and how difficult it is to get away from monsters that move across pits (e.g., spores, ghosts, specters). For the most part, terrain now works to our advantage, AFTER we have been spotted. We also likes hiding behind them, and shooting, and making them part of our fire wall, because 3 hexagons of fire isn’t nearly enough, without pits, to keep the baddies out.

I think that what we are lobbying for is for the Elf to keep its current ability to leap sneakily. As mentioned before, the Elf is a horrible fighter, but a superlative thief (which contrasts dramatically with the roles that the Human and Dwarf play).

Overall, it seems like the Elf changes are intended to shift the Elf in the direction of becoming more Human/Dwarf-like, becoming a worse thief, and then trying to compensate by adding multiple attacks.

It leaves me wondering what specific problem the Elf changes are trying to solve. For my part, I am ALREADY making much more extensive use of the Dwarf than I used to (due to the recent Dwarf changes). In addition, as I described earlier, the current Elf is already self-limiting, in that it becomes pretty much useless, once the scrolls run out. (Lately, I have noticed a couple of 50-dragon Tournament results, and I would be very surprised if that was an Elf doing that.)

Using the new Dwarf and the old Elf, in Career mode, I am winning some of the time, and the dragons are winning some of the time, and I assume that that situation is what was intended. Given that both Dwarf and Human have recently been made better than before (and therefore more competitive with the existing Elf), I am not sure that I see the point in putting a bell on the cat (i.e., making the Elf clumsier and noisier than before).

The danger is that any major change in the way that sneaking operates is almost guaranteed to unbalance the game yet again, producing a character that is either overpowered or completely useless. Unforeseen side-effects are a given. I would favor keeping the changes more subtle (and the level-based skill enhancements more subdued).

Remind me again what problem the Elf changes were supposed to fix?

Jan 12, 2021 18:00

@beetletoe -

I think you answered your own question. The elven huntress is not a thief, and her current ability to hop around unseen makes the early game too easy. Likewise, she should not become useless in combat without scrolls.

The new elf is still a much better thief than the other heroes, but the stealth gameplay is now less one dimensional. (Putting in a limited form of sneaky leap, described above, was important, so thank you for lobbing for that.) On the combat side, you are right the addition of the multi-attacks is not very important - it’s more of a fun thing to rare situations. The more significant improvement to Leap Attack is the increased disorientation percentage and the cumulative focus bonus.

We understand the tactical importance of pits, but tactical options are reduced when you don’t have room to move. However, removing a pit for each dragon above 3 is probably be too much. We’ll start with removing 1 for each dragon after 4, and see how that feels. (Remember, this pit rule just applies to the first room in the lair.)

Jan 13, 2021 0:52

Hi Rowdius, maybe it is enough that the outer field between two entrances is walkable (and not the inner). But this for all lair rooms (with two entrances on the same side).
In my current tournament I play the dwarf and use most of the leap and vanish scrolls to find the treasures, because the dwarf hardly need the scrolls. Somehow that still feels “wrong”, but it is possible.
I understand, that “pitfull” lairs get crowded very fast with 6 dragons on top and get “unpassable”, but as beetletoe, I am sceptical about removing pits. They should only be removed if there are also more than maybe 4 pits. There is nothing worse for the elf (and human), than a 6-dragon room with no pits, because the only 2 have been removed…

Jan 13, 2021 11:31

We’re now planning e a more conservative approach with lair change. The number of dragons plus pits cannot exceed 9 (if so, we remove pits). This would apply to all lair rooms.

We’ll then look at this issue again later (after the elf release) to see if more changes should be made.

Jan 13, 2021 12:51

Yes Nudnik and H2FSbF6 were using high-ranking dwarves in the tournament this week and last, not the elf. Although I see Rellik Nogard has taken the top spot this week now he’s learnt the new dwarf :-)

Jan 14, 2021 18:13

I really like the new planned sneak for elf; I think it pans out similarly on average. Leaps are 50% worse than before, direct paths are 2x better.

I think the change may typically serve to make easy rooms easier and hard rooms harder: higher monster density means a higher chance to need to sneaky leap. However, I think it will still be quite playable, and may lead to richer sneaking gameplay overall.

One thought I have is that the proposed evade changes might overall make the lair (especially in tourney) much harder for elf, especially after scrolls run out. The biggest factor in this is due to the changes in the evade system. The new evade system will generally make strong monsters feel stronger than before, and weak monsters weaker, in terms of hit chance while evading. The break-even points are below:

With trinkets, the hit probabilities for old vs. new while evading are equal at net -1 disadvantage (Evade II) or +3 advantage (Evade III) to defense, so that the new evade is stronger on average for Evade III, and slightly weaker for Evade II. Without trinkets, the probabilities match up at net +2 (Evade II) or +7 (Evade III) advantage to defense, making the new evade slightly stronger outside lair for Evade II, and almost always stronger for Evade III.

With-trinket, no mithril vest examples: With a net -5 to defense (e.g. +8 shield vs. +13 Red dragon breath in lair) while evading, the old system yielded a 37.5% chance of getting hit per breath attack, while the new system yielded a 51.75% chance with Evade II or a 43.1% chance with evade III. Overall, much harder (esp. in lair) before trinkets run out, though trinkets may run out a bit slower (since evade rolls before using trinket). With a net +5 to defense (e.g. +5 shield vs. +0 beetle), the old system gave a 11.25% hit chance, while the new system hit chances are 7.5% (Evade II) or 6.25% (Evade III), which is much easier.

For lairs, few of the elf changes seem to counterbalance the added lair difficulty, besides the stealth leap attack possibly adding a couple extra starting damage. Due to the Long Shot II nerf, and the rarity of situations to shoot at dragons over multiple flames, many will find no net bonus to safe bow attacks, and an overall nerf without flames.

The only changes I see that may help in lair (before elf level 22) include the higher disorient chance (may not really be advantage without leap scrolls due to lack of melee dodge, and is not a buff at leap attack II), and the new sneak attack. Overall, I predict that lairs will become a good bit more difficult overall with elf after the changes, especially before unlocking Evade III/Long Shot III.

Jan 14, 2021 18:27

I miscalculated on flame scrolls. Summary of difficulty changes, especially for lair:

Flame scrolls, leap scrolls, vanish scrolls are better. Sneak attack is bonus. Trinkets will last longer.

However, due to evade changes, fighting without scrolls or sneak is a good bit harder in lair, especially before unlocking Long Shot III and Evade III.

Evade and sneak changes combined will generally make easy rooms much easier and harder rooms harder.

Jan 14, 2021 19:20

Hi, studentofbrand. Thanks for the information.

So, first impression. Not too long ago, playing the current (old) Elf solo in the tournament, when the (old) level 16 Elf was better at survival than either the (old) level 16 Human or (old) level 16 Dwarf, it was often the case that a score of 30 or 35 successes (followed by an incomplete success) was sufficient to beat everyone else’s score.

So, of course, this led to the problem that with the Human and Dwarf both outclassed, they were mostly neglected, and the game (or at least, the tournament mode) became one-dimensional.

So, one of your most crucial observations about the (new) Elf is that it finds the Lair harder than before (so scores less than 30 or 35 can be expected). At the same time, we see that scores of 45 and 50 are already in danger of becoming routine for the (new) Dwarf, even before people have had the chance to take the time to rank the character up.

So, unless the Elf (and for that matter, the Human) are made to be either more durable, or better killing machines, the one-dimensionality of the competitive game seems destined to occur again (but this time in the direction of the Dwarf, rather than the Elf).

So, what is your impression of how the Elf would play WITHOUT having the Evade skill weakened, relative to the way that it operates now?

Jan 14, 2021 20:18

Impressive analysis, studentofbrand.

But before we sharpen our pencils much more on Evade, we’ve been trying out a new addition for the new elf, which I think you will like (we do):

Leap Attacks are eligible for Heroic Strikes. So any roll of 10 on a leap attack triggers a feat (or 9 or 10 vs. dragons)

Jan 15, 2021 10:47

I think the proposed leap attack change could go a long way towards balancing lairs, especially when combined with feat leap attacks with a bunch of dragons around. Also, sounds like a lot of fun!

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