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Any ability as good as leech is should have some kind of significant drawback.

I believe Leech should have a -100 poison resistance drawback because you are soaking in everything around you, thus what might only be inhaled or felt by other players is straight up consumed by you.

Comeback Kid should restore you to 1 HP, and immediately make you immune to all forms of healing.

Breaking Sneak/Inviso is more difficult. Enemies should cast AoEs at where they *think* you are, which really just amounts to a highly randomized element where the computer decides whether it's your time to eat a fireball or not.

How the enemies would know where you are is based on hearing. Enemies that go inviso would have leave an aura that gives you a rough idea of where they are. They won't always be dead center or even in it, just near it. Creatures with superior hearing would be more accurate. Creatures with the "sniff" talent as well. Different surfaces either make this more or less obvious, as does the speed at which you walk.

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Comeback Kid is fine. Doesn't need a fix.

Fixing Leech is simple - only heal when you ENTER a pool of blood, and change it so that it doesn't consume the pool. This prevents the character from healing one billion times while getting hit / being hit with bloodletting.

Sneak is also easy - make the enemies "look around" when they can't find any of your party members. Literally just walk toward your last known location, and rotate their facing a couple times.

Invis is fine as is, imo. It's not spammable unless your entire party is mages, and even then it still has a significant AP cost.

Alternately, you can add detection based on hearing. If an enemy walks too close to you while you're stealthed/invisible then it removes your stealth/invisibility. Enemies all already have a 'hearing range' stat, same as the player characters.

Last edited by dirigible; 25/07/14 08:45 PM.
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The comeback kid + leech combo should be nerfed.

Anyway, I can heal my whole party almost instantly by casting fireball on them, because they have very high elemental resistance to fire. Meteor shower is the best though, I can watch the enemy burn to ashes while my party heals while basking in the extreme heat. My entire party actually has 100+ percent resistance to every element, so even breathing in poison heals them too.

groovy

...That is much worse than leech, but nobody seems to care. Strange how that works. rolleyes

Last edited by dlux; 25/07/14 09:31 PM.
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Originally Posted by dlux
The comeback kid + leech combo should be nerfed.

Anyway, I can heal my whole party almost instantly by casting fireball on them, because they have very high elemental resistance to fire. Meteor shower is the best though, I can watch the enemy burn to ashes while my party heals while basking in the extreme heat. My entire party actually has 100+ percent resistance to every element, so even breathing in poison heals them too.

groovy

...That is much worse than leech, but nobody seems to care. Strange how that works. rolleyes


Because it requires a significant investment both financially and in points spent.

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Fixing both Leech and Combat kid would be as simple as making Leech heal only when you deal damage, maybe you heal X% of your damage you deal with autoattacks. This increases your longevity without heals, but you can't just soak up your own blood to heal for more than you're taking in damage. It also means you'd only get heals on your turn, so comeback kid wouldn't be able to keep you alive through several attacks.

As for sneak I'll quote myself from another thread -

Originally Posted by Fellgnome
Currently, it's optimal to get Sneak 5 on every character if you want the easiest combat experiences.

It's boring and cheesy though.

Now, I'm going to preemptively bring up the "Single player game don't use it you don't want" argument.

This does not apply here because you can't use sneak without it being cheesy. It should be a fun and balanced element of the combat, but due to AI not being able to handle it, you can't really play a stealth character in an enjoyable manner. It ruins stealth characters because it's so broken.

What would be nice is if stealth offered real in-combat benefits but was not a near 100% reliable way to cheese every fight. This means changes like giving the AI a sort of "memory" of where stealth characters were when they last saw them. They should be dropping AoEs, or melee should move towards the spot to regain vision on them.

There might be other needed changes but at the very least AI needs to sensibly react to the tactic of stealthing at the end of every turn.

Last edited by Fellgnome; 25/07/14 11:15 PM.
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Originally Posted by Fellgnome
Fixing both Leech and Combat kid would be as simple as making Leech heal only when you deal damage, maybe you heal X% of your damage you deal with autoattacks. This increases your longevity without heals, but you can't just soak up your own blood to heal for more than you're taking in damage. It also means you'd only get heals on your turn, so comeback kid wouldn't be able to keep you alive through several attacks.

I like this solution.

Problem is, it would need a rework of the game system.

Last edited by dirigible; 25/07/14 11:22 PM.
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Originally Posted by dirigible
Originally Posted by Fellgnome
Fixing both Leech and Combat kid would be as simple as making Leech heal only when you deal damage, maybe you heal X% of your damage you deal with autoattacks. This increases your longevity without heals, but you can't just soak up your own blood to heal for more than you're taking in damage. It also means you'd only get heals on your turn, so comeback kid wouldn't be able to keep you alive through several attacks.

I like this solution.

Problem is, it would need a rework of the game system.


I'd think the mechanic exists already

http://divinity.gamepedia.com/Vampiric_Touch

Granted I'm not experienced/knowledgeable when it comes to the technical game design stuff, but I doubt it'd be difficult to bring a similar effect to autoattacks via talent.

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Ah, I see what you mean. It would essentially just do a lifedrain every time you attack.

Yeah, that would work, though it would make 'bloodsplatters' a bit more meaningless.

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Leech is fine, just not balanced, meaning you heal to much from your own blood. Perpetual motions are fun to find and boring to play. This is one of those cases. The problem is not that you heal from your own blood too, the problem is that you heal so much from it that attacking your own characters to make them bleed will replenish their whole HP pool.

It should mitigate some damage and not be a way to gain 100% physical immunity. Somewhat the same issue with all other damage types btw, once you reach those 100% all with leech the game is kind of over. The AI simply can not deal with this problem and does not notice that players have high resistances. A smarter AI would be very, very much appreciated. The AI in general is lacking once the combat gets even a little more complex. Buffs, Board Contro, Focus damage, all massively lacking on the AI part. That should be intentional, because making some a little smarter decisions should be trivial and just a question of time to spend on more complex decision paths. (Just give NPCs a memory about their effectiveness of their attacks and some more situational awareness. No need to attack fire-immun targets constantly still with fire, no need to have the AI use Bloodletting on leech characters.



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unless you just rush in head first like a gorilla then leech and comeback kid are completely unnecessary. i mean really. for 99% of the combat scenarios in the game if you spend the first turn just moving to a better tactical position you can force the enemies to come to you and basically walk into a bottle-neck of death. outside of ridiculous boss battles i almost never take any real damage.

if people can just derp it up and not care about tactics then yeah, leech and comeback kid should probably be nerfed. this is supposed to be turn based tactical combat.

enemies need to look around for sneaked players. there is zero reason a person can backstab someone multiple times in a row and then hit sneak and not even move. who would not turn around and look? just horrendously bad AI programming.

invisibility needs a cooldown where you cannot use it every turn. it breaks many encounters in the game. you can kill the king of frost in hibernia and he wont even fight back if you invis at the end of every turn. he wont summon the elementals and he just stands there. use tornado to sweep away the bad floor and invis at the end of every turn. he will just stand there and let you kill him.

also enemies need to be less scared of environmental effects. you can put midnight oil down to block a path and the enemies wont even cross it 99% of the time. they would rather stand there and let you blow them up than be slowed. its so derpy.

if enemies are to be that concerned over environmental things then give them ranged attacks. throwing knives or something. dont just have them stand there like target dummies.

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AI is where a lot of these rpg turn-based games suffer. Esepcially with open-ended possibilities. It's not like chess where the AI can literally enumerate every possibility for the next 10-20 turns and score the best one.

But even an AI that can approximate outcomes 2-3 turns ahead would be a huge milestone. One that looks for "I win" conditions such as finishing off opponents, executing plans/combos over multiple turns. Just imagine coming upon a group that has 2 mages, and they use both teleports back-to-back to move a low fire resist character into lava? I can just imagine the player screaming that's not fair...but it is, and players would appreciate an AI that can rise to their level.

They seem to have a pretty big success on their hand, I'd get some really smart programmers and dump a few thousand man hours just improving the AI and combat systems, then build some an x-com style campaign, and you got a whole new game players would love.

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The catch, blinkicide, is that the player's skills are not balanced against themselves. They're balanced against the enemy.

If the enemy had all the same tools as the player, it would boil down to initiative.

Nothing you have means jack after they 'nullify resistance' + 'deathpunch' you.

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AI already move around when a player sneaks. After a certain amount of damage, AI begins to run around, or kite since they can't see what's hitting them.

Moreover, sometimes the AI takes a sharp turn. This often occurs during the player turn, so the unstealthed player can just move out of the cone of view.

I can see serious problems with AI looking around as soon as the player has sneaked. First, how far do they look? What is the range? It can happen that stealthed player just stay out of this range and use a bow, essentially needing to work even less than now to pop enemies.

Stealthing in RPGs is always problematic, and really almost always broken. This is because most development studios do not spend time developing proper AI, they would rather concentrate on things that matter more to the players (i.e. gameplay, graphics, animations and the world).

For an interesting approach to AI programming in games (which will probably be implemented in 50 years if we are lucky) I would suggest looking at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD9HGw1ZTZY and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e_xC0MxmvE.

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They could start improving the AI, by removing all those lesser heals. The heals they give themself often effectively only wastes their turn.

Either give them BIG heals like cure wounds or none at all.

Right now the AI often tries to play like a "nice" human. You know healing your buddies, helping them up, but that is not the point. They need to try and win.

It could be easy things at start.

The group sees an enemy mage/ranger, try and create smoke on them so they are forced to moved, preferably something like midnight oil + fire + poison.

Make them ignore a charmed enemy or only CC him once.

A rogue? Time to put poison or fire everywhere.

And fod gods sake forbid them to run for 5 ap, while standing perfectly in front of another target running through 50 tiles of fire just to die.

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One of the most effective techniques in this game is just saving AP. It's something a lot of players do Turn 1 of fights, to save points on movement by having the enemy come to them, with a plan to have a really big Turn 2. It's something the enemies should do to; if they can't get an attack off, instead of moving during this turn just to stand still in front of something, they should save their AP and plan to move the next turn.

Last edited by ScrotieMcB; 26/07/14 07:24 AM.
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Originally Posted by Pvt_Booger
I can see serious problems with AI looking around as soon as the player has sneaked. First, how far do they look? What is the range? It can happen that stealthed player just stay out of this range and use a bow, essentially needing to work even less than now to pop enemies.


Yes, it's very involved to write a good algorithm to find a stealthed player. Especially one that players wouldn't soon find ways to exploit with impunity.

I think it's probably better to just nerf stealth to having a debuff (call it "spotted"), where once you exit stealth you can't re-enter again for 2 turns. Perhaps also give the AI an expensive method to force players out of stealth it knows are present (call it "flare" for mages, "track scent" for animals) for 8 AP.

Often limiting abilities are necessary to bring them down to a level that the AI can deal with. If they feel up to writing some sort of next-gen AI, more power to them. But if not, this is how you fix it.


Last edited by blinkicide; 26/07/14 09:46 AM.
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First, the AI shouldn't be looking for sneaked players just because they've sneaked. It should go around looking for sneaked players where there aren't any visible players. It doesn't make sense going on a potential wild goose chase for the guy who disappeared when you have a threat within sight to deal with.

However, if there aren't any threats in sight, the best procedure for finding a sneak is as simple as walking in a small circle. In other words, enemies just check their back (and sides) real quick to make sure there's no one about to get the drop on them from behind.

After that, I imagine most enemies would return to their previous location (or patrol route). Maybe heal up first. Perhaps a few of the more adventurous enemies would actually try to hunt the invisible party members down. Point being, it should be some kind of behavior (not standing still), and it should vary from encounter to encounter.

Last edited by ScrotieMcB; 26/07/14 10:49 AM.
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Originally Posted by ScrotieMcB
First, the AI shouldn't be looking for sneaked players just because they've sneaked.

Obviously not just because they sneaked (assuming other targets). But there's plenty of reasons the AI would pop a sneaked opponent out of stealth. One being the character sneaked to avoid dying, and the AI can finish him off if found.

Originally Posted by ScrotieMcB

the best procedure for finding a sneak is as simple as walking in a small circle.

I don't know. This doesn't detect ranged sneak attacks. Nor players with high mobility who can run in and out of the range, or those willing to switch between spell and sword attacks.

If players can duck in and out of this small circle, they will, and if you say they can't, then what's the point, the AI will detect 100% of the time.

To keep stealth a powerful tool for getting out of combat, without trivializing content, I think it just needs a cooldown. When you break stealth, opponents get a round or two of attacks, before re-stealthing.

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Originally Posted by Mr. C
Originally Posted by dlux
The comeback kid + leech combo should be nerfed.

Anyway, I can heal my whole party almost instantly by casting fireball on them, because they have very high elemental resistance to fire. Meteor shower is the best though, I can watch the enemy burn to ashes while my party heals while basking in the extreme heat. My entire party actually has 100+ percent resistance to every element, so even breathing in poison heals them too.

groovy

...That is much worse than leech, but nobody seems to care. Strange how that works. rolleyes


Because it requires a significant investment both financially and in points spent.

It is extremely easy to get 100+ elemental resistance to every element about mid game.

So you're saying that leech is a problem but getting healed by every elemental attack isn't? I'd say that is a much larger problem than leech, because it makes the game way too easy. If anything needs to be nerfed, then this would be it.

Leech isn't very powerful anyway, it only heals like 15 to 30 hp and is worthless against crushing attacks.

Last edited by dlux; 26/07/14 01:13 PM.
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Originally Posted by blinkicide
I don't know. This doesn't detect ranged sneak attacks. Nor players with high mobility who can run in and out of the range, or those willing to switch between spell and sword attacks.

If players can duck in and out of this small circle, they will, and if you say they can't, then what's the point, the AI will detect 100% of the time.

To keep stealth a powerful tool for getting out of combat, without trivializing content, I think it just needs a cooldown. When you break stealth, opponents get a round or two of attacks, before re-stealthing.
No. No cooldown.

The way I see it, sneaking should be an "aggro" mechanic. If you want to keep attention off of one party member and shift it onto another, you should be able to do that with sneaking.

The only time when sneaking becomes cheesy is when you're able to sneak an entire party, so that no one is taking the damage and the enemies just act all confused. That situation is problematic, and that's why there should be some AI behavior to at least attempt to thwart it. But whatever thwarting occurs, it shouldn't be for parties where some characters sneak and some characters don't, because those parties are just shifting aggro in a relatively fair way.

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