Brand Build Testing

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Re: Brand Build Testing

Postby donothero » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:38 am

Did not post for a while, but I see
* If a character with very low MaxHP loses Vitality due to a Brand, their MaxHP may reach 0 causing a crash/hang.
Was found and fixed.

I'd like to note that the ri-family of cost reducing brands would appear to be too strong.

Stuff like:
Soul Brand:
Ri-Cl-Tra (Lv.30)
HP equal to MaxHP
Agility: -19
SP Costs: -93%

Ri-Ef-Fr-Tir (Lv.9)
SP equal to or less than 50
Vitality: -9
SP per Turn: +2.4
SP Costs: -28%

Ri-Ef-We-Tir-Ab (Lv.15)
No Body abilities
SP equal to or less than 50
Strength: -12
SP per Turn: +3.6
SP Costs: -45%

Are all absurdly strong, and generally obtainable at a reasonable level.

Also, strength runes probably need higher numbers than other stats, because otherwise, due to the lack of high-sp cost physicals, they aren't very potent(until powers show up, which feel like a mini-perseus in packs)

Edit:
These were all different runs that ended up on floor 20+
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Re: Brand Build Testing

Postby donothero » Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:52 am

I would also like to petition to remove low profile from the artificial modifier, because it's literally the only ability that is completely useless in it.
Furthermore, unless I'm missing something huge, there is literally no way in the later stages of the tower to prevent fights from turning into lethal two turn-exercises. This has led to me feeling every defensive aura(heal/debuff clear) except for vigorous aura being pretty terrible
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Re: Brand Build Testing

Postby Ferret » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:42 am

Whew. :D Yeah, -93% to SP costs is a bit much, even paired with HP == MaxHP. :)

Not as worried about the 2nd example, but the 3rd also feels a bit high... though not as silly as -93%. :) I'll take a look at the formula on that modifier. :)

I'm not sure I entirely follow the point about Strength needing higher values on Brands. I of course agree physical abilities generally have lower SP costs, I'm just not sure I understand why that leads to Strength Brands being less powerful.

That said, Strength is probably the most generally useful stat in the game already, since it both reduces *all* damage taken and increases physical damage dealt (only Agility shares this offensive+defensive mixed usage, and Agility is both RNG-vulnerable and has a natural cap on its offensive component.)

I agree with you about Low Profile. :) I'm a little surprised I put it there, given it's available on T:1. Most of Artifical's other abilities are more interesting/rare than that (and are supposed to be.)
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Re: Brand Build Testing

Postby donothero » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:55 am

Re-reading what I wrote, I definitely am talking about the wrong issue with the strength brands.
Rather, the problem is that strength brands tend to be binary power spikes for certain demons.
Stuff like +50 strength at maxhp sounds terrible, but centaurs are liable to OTK summons in the initial salvo.
However, that brand is mostly pointless on most ranged caster types.
Increasing the potency of the strength bonus really isn't the solution to it, and probably actually makes the problem worse, but I'm not sure how to maintain relevant levels of strength bonuses without seeing stupid strength stack mob packs that simply execute you on sight
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Re: Brand Build Testing

Postby Saler » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:03 am

Honestly, the best solution, probably, is to put a cap on how big brand effects can be. There have already been problem with brands increasing a single stat so much, that it's downsides don't matter. The cap would probably have to be based of brand's level.
Ferret wrote:It's funny because I mostly intended them to be a support unit: the one attack and the high Strength were more a nod to them being bears than anything else. :D
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Re: Brand Build Testing

Postby oneeyedjoe » Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:27 am

More brand weirdness I came across.
-SP costs flat and -SP costs % probably shouldn't appear on the same brand, doesn't make much sense. Also it seems that -SP% applies after things like ritualist or twilight. I had -20% costs brand, twilight and vigor drain. Before activating twilight, vigor drain costed 20SP, with twilight - 12SP.
AI seem to really like +strength brands apparently. There was a brand +15 str -8 mag in anomaly 2, and all wrong demons took it. Neroes, fotias, blobs. You could argue that blobs would be kind of fine with that brand since they are melee fighters, but the thing is, there was really nutty brand for them to take. Don't remember actual stats, but it was something like +10 mag + 10 cun +10% SP costs if your last action was matter, perfect match for blobs, yet they preferred +str. But guess who didn't take that brand? RUHIN. It didn't have any brands at all, even though it would benefit from extra strength.
Cunning is another stat that confuses AI. Saw Asrai with +Cunning brand, even though she doesn't need any for her ice abilities. On the other hand there was a pack of Gi, who chose to not equip free +cunning brand (or any brand for that matter) without any downsides. Extra cunning would help a bit with their stunning blow.
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Re: Brand Build Testing

Postby Ferret » Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:37 pm

Oh. :D Now I understand what you meant better, yeah.

I think the root problem may be as Saler suggests: Brand bonuses are probably stacking too high when paired with certain combinations of penaltes/restrictions/conditions. I probably need to have some diminishing returns built in to keep things under control.

- SP Cost Flat and -SP Cost % do stack: having both together on a Brand isn't a bad thing. :) The behavior you describe with Twilight and other similar abilities is intended: If I added all the %s up before applying them, the -SP Cost % effect would probably be overpowered.

I'll take a look at stat increase/decrease Brands and see if anything funny is going on. :) At the least, I think I can guess why an Asrai ended up with Cunning: I probably forgot to make "Chill" an exception to the "applying debuffs == I use Cunning" rule.

Thanks for the reports everyone. :)
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Re: Brand Build Testing

Postby Saler » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:44 pm

I found a level 14 brand with “-2 Sp cost”. I already had a level 9 “-3 Sp cost, -2 strength” one. From what I observed so far, 5 levels up is enough for a brand to have an advantage over an earlier one, but 2 strength isn't much, not to mention that you could put it on a demon which doesn't need strength. It seems like stat penalties give too many extra powers. Vitality might be fine – it's very good for any demon. Agility is good for most demons too. The other stats are only needed depending on the build. Sure, strength reduces damage, but vitality and passives are better for survival.
Also, +70 agility might be too strong even on a “HP is at MaxHP” brand.
Also, I had 2 brands spawn at the same tile. Only one of the tooltips showed up. If we are folowing the design decesion of letting the player see what brand they are about to pick up, then this is definetly problematic.
Ferret wrote:It's funny because I mostly intended them to be a support unit: the one attack and the high Strength were more a nod to them being bears than anything else. :D
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Re: Brand Build Testing

Postby Ferret » Tue Apr 23, 2019 12:51 am

It's a feature, not a bug, that you can benefit from Brands that have penalties to stats you don't use. :)

It's also worth noting that some Brand modifiers do not grow very much with Level: this is usually true of modifiers that have Level-agnostic effects, such as those related to Stamina. A given amount of + or - to a stat, you eventually "outgrow"... but a modifier of some sort to Stamina is the same at almost any level.

The +70 Agility example will be taken care of with the diminishing returns bit.

The two Brands on one cell thing is a problem though, I'll make note of that to fix. :) Thanks for the feedback and report!
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Re: Brand Build Testing

Postby Saler » Tue Apr 23, 2019 1:56 pm

To make it clearer, I meant that, from my observations, stat penalties give too many extra benefits in most cases. Then again, I haven't made that many observations, so I'm probably be mistaken.
There's also an idea I had - what if it was so that on brands with "last used ability" requirements that give mismatching stat bonuses, (like +stregth if last used is healing) those bonuses are bigger than they would normally be under that combination of brand effects? That would encourage making more somewhat outside of the box builds that a good amount of players would probably consider too gimicky to try out. Of course, then there's the risk of more experienced/experimental players getting an overpowered party, but with the amount of possible modifications this game already gives you, it's probably impossible to not have a few of those.
Ferret wrote:It's funny because I mostly intended them to be a support unit: the one attack and the high Strength were more a nod to them being bears than anything else. :D
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