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Topics - MTaur

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Veterans have probably encountered this already, but whenever a modded skill grants bonus stat points, the game can sometimes crash when you spend stat points.  It seems to have something to do with checking equipment pre-reqs.

The bug has been known for a long time, so I guess Runic won't be fixing it.

Anyway, my two bonus classes heavily use bonus stat points.  You can avoid the crash by unequipping everything before spending stat points.  If you feel lucky, you can just save your game first and hope it doesn't crash.

That seems to be the only problem.  Bonus stat points are nice to have, so I'm keeping them.

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MTaur's Class Mods / Pirate + Ascetic
« on: June 17, 2016, 04:59:23 AM »
Has anyone tried the extra classes yet?

Pirate has a bit of extra flavor text, and is a little more fleshed out.  (Also, I should probably go back and let the pistol/1Hmelee work regardless of L/R mixup.  Guts prerequisite code uses "or" logic, so it's trivial to do it that way.  For now, pistol right only as described)

Ascetic has some spikey health recovery that might give it some advantage fighting against the restoration nerfs in the overall mod.  It was almost necessary just because the class playstyle favors dipping a bit low at times in the first place, and the passive alone doesn't get you up to 50-60% between fights fast enough without tons of regeneration gear.  There's a weird zen-like quality to lower levels - everything is so slow and deliberate, and you can see how much of a difference individual skill casts make.  It feels like it's missing something overall, but it still sort of holds together thematically.

The shadows and shadow summoning are kept for both classes.  Ghost pirates are kind of a thing as it is, and ascetics communing with spirits should be pretty reasonable.  I'm not sure if either should have custom tweaks I haven't considered yet, though.

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MTaur's HP/XP Mod / Enemy damage graph (Veteran)
« on: June 16, 2016, 08:03:59 PM »
I tried some tweaks for the enemy damage graph.  The two are stated relative to the graphs in vanilla:

Original (not changed as of this post):  -12.5% enemy damage, Veteran and below.

Recent play test (Veteran only):  -5% enemy damage at level 1.  -0.5% enemy damage (multiplicative each level) for each additional level.

The changes bring the damage graph pretty close to Normal, but the difference might still matter.  If I applied the same changes to Normal, then it would of course separate out again.  IIRC, Normal starts to actually pull ahead around level 70 or 80, but the enemy Health in Normal is still lower.

Remember that these nerfs coincide with a 60% enemy HP buff, and a big nerf to potions, heals, and Forcefield.  (Some other survival tricks may have escaped, such as scrolls, but scrolls were never as big as Healbot or potions in long-term recovery rate.  Gems have not been modified, but these were also outscaled by potion spam in the past, and they seem sort of reasonable as is)

Anyway, the last act of Veteran NG0 is still dangerous, but a bit more bearable than before.  Enemy damage has dropped with this graph from 87.5% vanilla to 75% vanilla at enemy level 50.  The forest act had been pretty dangerous, too.  The tundra and the desert might be a bit dangerous now, however, since the new damage graph is higher than the previous one until level 25 or so.  (The first half of Act 1 is sort of innately safe just because of how slow most of the enemies are, and the Tundra is the first real test).

NG+ Act 1 is a little weird so far.  It's mostly safe, but bosses (or even a stray spear) can do 50-75% max health damage to a less-sturdy character.  The enemy damage spike as you start the Tundra might be a bit much.

It also gets harder to burn enemy health, and I think the reason is that casted DPS skills are "supposed" to multiply off of cast speed to get a new total DPS.  My mod mostly shoots that in the knees, and there are two broad and tedious things I would have to do - (1) make sure 2-3 DPS skills survive unchanged per class, (2) increase skill level scaling on cooldown skills (but not too much).  As far as (2) goes, I have a lot of skills already whose cooldowns shorten with skill rank, but that alone doesn't seem to maintain the pacing that was in effect in the earlier acts.  Somewhere around the mines, player DPS starts to drag a little.

I'm not sure if I want to tweak this further, or if I should just shrug and say that all difficulties might be half a tier higher than stated.  Alternately, I could just say that the last part of NG0 is harder than before, and NG+ is most likely perilous.

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Link:  http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/vbdownloads.php?do=download&downloadid=649

The download link includes a lot of my thinking, but I wasn't sure it directly addressed what @Phanjam had to ask about them.  So below is more or less what I was thinking.  For now there is only one combined mod, but in theory they could be separated along certain lines, so those have subforums of their own.  I probably won't separate them anytime soon, if at all.  If I do separate them, it would be after significant balance feedback has been taken into account.  For example, my extra classes use skills from the base classes, and I don't like making every change twice in the mean time.

Cooldowns - I don't like everything to be spamable.  When everything is spammable, you can end up with swiss army knife skills like Shield Bash where you can right click endlessly, performing multiple functions with no restrictions (assuming you have mana and mana potions).  Cooldowns can allow other power levers to be moved to compensate.  So instead of spamming a 40% stun chance, maybe you can get a 100% chance stun every 12 seconds instead, and much better damage.  Spamming just one skill shouldn't be the answer to everything.  Some of this is inspired by League of Legends to some extent, but PvE is slightly different, so some of the extremely long cooldowns aren't quite necessary here.  60 seconds is about the longest that seemed reasonable.

Potions - My experience in vanilla Veteran was extremely binary.  Either you get one-shotted, or you heal to 100% in just a few seconds with a health potion.  Gameplay shouldn't hinge on whether they can burst through the sustain barrier, with damage completely failing to stick or accumulate otherwise.  Mostly, I nerfed potions.  They're diluted over a longer duration (30 seconds, but not strictly an 8:30 ratio necessarily).  There are also Philosopher potions, which last 15 minutes, but are about half as strong - these are farming-oriented, and can be used whenever you don't need that bit of extra healing rate.  All potions are now level-restricted.

Health, damage, and XP graphs - I thought that Normal monsters were too trivial on Veteran and below, so they got a 60% health buff.  Since I nerfed potions, I nerfed all enemy damage by 12.5% (I think that's the number I used).  Also to compensate for the extra 60% health, Normal monsters grant 10% more XP.  The 12.5% figure feels a little low as you get into the final acts of Veteran NG0, but maybe the game is just supposed to get harder regardless.

The classes - Pirate and Ascetic are remixes of existing classes with some custom passives cooked up on the side.  They fit in with the above approaches to the game rework without changing the main idea too much.  Pirate is a mid-range melee+ranged fighter who passively heals if they've killed something recently, 1-2% max health per second for 1-5 seconds depending on passive level.  Ascetic uses either bow or polearm.  The Ascetic's health rises or falls passively toward 50-60% or so, and has a 70% penalty to potions.  They start with a 20% AS penalty and a 20% damage bonus, losing up to 15 of the AS penalty as they level up the passive.  They are slow and deliberate, and benefit a lot from pacts, which help them avoid early deaths when hovering at lower health amounts.  Sacrifice lets them double down on their passive, largely for the purpose of lowering their downtime, but in a very double-edged way:  They lose 50% current health over 3 seconds, but restore 75% maximum health over 15 seconds.  (These numbers could be lowered a bit, but beta testing was way too slow-paced before adding this skill in)

Both classes have some hyperscaling - HP and VIT scale off each other by 10-50%, and DEX and FOC scale off each other by 10-30%.  Additionally for Pirate, ranged and melee damage scale off each other by about 20-30%.  This last bonus is a clear analog to the usual dual-wielding passives, but designed for Pirate.

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Hey, I already posted this in the mod showcase, but I'm not entirely sure the overall experience is balanced, so if possible, I'd specifically like to hear about skill balance if you get a chance to try it:

http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/vbdownloads.php?do=download&downloadid=649

It should feel sort of similar to vanilla but with a different flow, overall.  Maybe it does, but maybe it doesn't.  I'm more concerned about Veteran and maybe Normal than any other modes.  And NG+ might be a lost cause.  I'm not sure.

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Help Wanted / Icons and portraits
« on: June 11, 2016, 04:03:25 AM »
Are there any decent places to dig for icons and portraits?  I've been doing without and reusing whatever the templates used previously.  It seems like you just need art skills or you just have to pay someone who can do it.  For polishing up an obscure mod, it's not worth it to me, but if there are any good places to browse generic freebies, it might be worth a look for me.

I know for some games, people like to recycle Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights art and anything similar, because oil-paint fantasy realism is sort of generic enough to mesh with itself... but none of that looks good with T2.  If anything, the default portraits in Torchlight are irritatingly distinct.

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Mod Showcase / Mtaur's mod pack
« on: June 10, 2016, 12:55:03 AM »
http://www.runicgamesfansite.com/vbdownloads.php?do=download&downloadid=649

After T2 came to gog.com, I dusted off my old mods and tuned them up a little.  They're still far from perfect, but I have stopped making changes the last few days, and now is probably a stable time to let it sit and look for feedback.  I'm a little burned out on it now, but I might consider a final balance pass or two if I get feedback, or if someone wants to publish a changed version.

My overall gripes with T2 are addressed by these modifications:

1.  Potions - massively nerfed recovery rates are used in this mod.  Potions now last for 30 seconds, but I don't remember if the total amount is more or less.  Level restrictions also apply.  Additionally, there are Philosopher potions, about half as powerful, but they last for 15 minutes for farming convenience.  (Rejuvenation potions are supposed to be disabled, but I don't think the .mod file itself contains this - I think a separate .dat file, not included, is what does that.  If you choose to use the purple stuff, just realize you're bending the house rules for the mod)  (Small bug:  Potions don't work if you try to use them while at full health and/or mana.)

2.  Cooldowns - Some skills are designated as DPS and cost less mana now.  Others are designated as burst and/or CC skills, usually costing more mana and having significant cooldowns, but often bringing significantly more damage to the table.  Hit-and-run might be a little bit over-tuned in this mod, in hindsight, but I tried not to overdo it.  I also recently started lengthening some of the shorter animation times by 50-150%, but not every skill has been looked at for this last change.

3.  One-shotting - (Elite left unchanged)  All enemies do 12.5% less damage, and Normal enemies have 60% more health.  Normal enemies grant an extra 10% XP as compensation.  It is more difficult to one-shot things, and a little bit was needed in return to help the player survive, especially with potions being much weaker.

Health regeneration gear is now more valuable, and perhaps mana regeneration, to a lesser extent.  Why would you bother when you can get 40x as much by spamming the 1 and 2 keys?  Now you can't!

I also modified Arcbeam, Rapid Fire, and Magma Spear so that they do not lock on to the first target, but unfortunately they often shoot straight into the ground on non-flat levels.  I do not have a fix for this yet, so they should be avoided (or respecced at will with the console)

New classes:  These are mostly Frankenstein classes.  Nothing too ambitious, but some of the new passives are kind of fun.  Both of them sort of hyperscale, maybe a little too much, but I'm not sure.  I wanted to have some sort of analog to Akimbo, and I wanted to mitigate equipment requirements for hybrid characters, while leaving room for decent armor.

Hyperscaling - Both of my classes have scaling bonuses.  VIT and STR scale off each other by 10-50% depending on passive level, and DEX and FOC scale off each other by 10-30%.  The VIT/STR thing is because VIT is generally regarded as a weak stat.

Pirate -  Requires a right-hand pistol and a left-hand melee for many skills and passives.  Sort of a mid-range fighter based largely on Outlander, but has goodies like the Engineer's Cannon Blast (with big damage and cooldown, but with a shortened range), the Embermage's Implosion, and the Berserker's Rupture (renamed Pirate Handshake).  Skull Mug restores 1/1.5/2% max health and mana per second for 1/1.25/1.5/.../4.25/5 seconds after killing a unit.  As a dual-wielding bonus, melee damage scales off of ranged damage and vice-versa.  I forget how much - something like 10-30%.

Ascetic -  I wanted to give Bow and Polearm some love.  I made Crossbow elligible to, even if it bends the theme slightly, because Outlander proper would generally prefer pistols or shotgun.  Anyway, this class gains or loses health, trending toward 50 or 60% or so, losing 1 or 2%/sec from maximum and gaining about 3%/sec from near death.  The class gets damage bonuses based on missing health and mana %, and suffers -70% potion effectiveness.  Additionally, the class starts with +20% damage and -20% attack and cast speed, gaining back up to 15% speed based on passive level.  As an archer, the class shoots Rupture on a lengthy channel (1.5 seconds or so), renamed as Kill Shot.  The class also has Stormclaw procs on both melee and ranged attacks.  In melee, Flame Hammer, Ember Hammer, and Onslaught do most of the work.  Sandstorm is sort of nice for both.

Overall, Ascetic does slow, deliberate strikes.  Pacts do a lot of the heavy lifting, especially in melee, where an Outlander wouldn't necessarily have to bother with pacts because they can just vault and spam.  To speed up play a bit and to compensate for the -70% potion penalty, I added Sacrifice, which drains roughly 50% current health over 3 seconds while regenerating 75% maximum health over 15 seconds.  The class does not have Rapid Fire, and I might remove Ricochet later, but I decided to leave it in for now - Shadowshot was a little bit lonely as a mouse-button bow skill, and I didn't feel like Ricochet would feel good on a cooldown timer.

I considered slowing down the animation on Ricochet, but I didn't for now.

Anyway, I would appreciate some tester feedback on the whole.  Unfortunately, some of my custom classes directly refer to the base class skills and affixes, so it would take extra work to separate them out thoroughly.  Since all of my mods are designed to work together regardless, it seemed like the best thing to do anyway, but further work would be needed if you wanted to keep the base classes one way and let these custom classes be as presented in this mod.

One last thing - I didn't bother with portraits.  I couldn't find any resources for portraits which would look good on the menu next to the defaults.  For now, you just have to hover the cursor and read.

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