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#546256 20/08/14 09:02 PM
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I think most people that completed the game agree that its horribly unbalanced and allows to do ridiculous stuff that eliminates any difficulty. Maybe we can come up with a list of problems and suggested changes and maybe they will be fixed by a patch or a difficulty mod. I'll start out.

I would divide stuff into 3 categories - Survivability, Damage, CC and Misc for more structure.

I. Survivability

(This is probably the most broken area because if you can't be killed everything else doesn't matter)

1. Invisibility/sneak - sneak costs too little ap at high level, enemies don't know how to counter, mage invisibility spammable each turn, sneak spammable each turn.
Suggested fixes:
-Reduce sneak efficiency(easier detection). Efficiency scales with level. Ap cost is not reduced.
-Make farsight (aero) detect sneak/invis. Give it to boss level enemies at least.
-Sneak/invis breaks if an enemy moves close to you during his turn
-Enemies actively seek invisible targets

2. Elemental immunity - too easy to get, while shouldn't be a thing at all
Suggested fixes:
-Use the same damage mitigation formula as armor
-Being healed by an element is a unique trait of certain chars
-Possibly add immunity perks as lvl 5 perks for the corresponding magic schools. They should make taking the perks of the opposite element impossible and also reduce resistance to the opposite element.
-Nerf resistances provided by crafting (rubies/essences)

UPDATE: Elemental immunity is now capped at 80% outside of buffs. This is an improvement, but since you can spam elemental absorption like there's no tomorrow, not a big one.

3. Leech (with comeback kid or not) - pretty obvious
Suggested fixes:
-Leech triggers only once per turn
-Leech does not trigger after comeback kid triggered

UPDATE: Leech is now fixed. Hooray!

4. Shield block - can make virtually immune to physical damage
Suggested fixes:
-Nerf across the block
-Introduce a cap

5. Mage shield spells doubling your hp
Suggested fixes:
-Nerf to something more sensible

6. CC immunity - immunity to common CC like knockdown, stun, freeze easy to find on items making willpower and bodybuilding much less useful
Suggested fixes:
-Remove all permanent CC immunities from the game (For the PCs, for mobs they are ok). Add temporary immunities to existing spells. Example:
Rage - KD immunity
Earth shield - petrification immunity
Farsight - blind immunity
etc...

Limit the number of active buffs on a char so you can't buff up to be immune to everything e. g. one elemental shield at a time.

II. Damage

The biggest problem with the damage is tons of high value damage bonuses that all stack and are either passive or spammable with low AP cost.

Main offenders:
-Guerilla
-Bully
-Rage
-Oath of desecration
-Stacking +weapon skill items
-Resistance debuffs

Suggested fixes:
-Guerilla will be fixed if stealth AP cost is fixed. Also sneaking in heavy armor is stupid and should be nerfed
-Bully should be nerfed at least to 25%
-Rage and Oath should not stack. Also maybe nerf both
-Damage bonus from weapon skills should be additive with other %based damage bonuses, not multiplicative
-Resistances should't go below 50% when using debuffs
-General spell/weapon damage scaling rebalancing. Some spells are OP, some are useless at high levels. Weapons could use higher damage at start and lower endgame.

III. CC

1 Big problem: CC is too easy to apply, even on bosses. Now I don't like these kinds of games that have bosses immune to everything. But it could use some tweaks:

Suggested fixes:
-Diminishing returns on CC. Enemies get a bonus resist chance if you try to chain CC them.
-Reduced duration on bosses. Petrifying a boss for 3 turns is stupid.
-Charm duration nerfed


IV. Misc

-Telekinesis is obviously broken in combat and needs major tweaks

Reserving to make edits later

Last edited by MadDemiurg; 23/08/14 04:21 PM.
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Mostly agree with everything. Especially like the idea of spells granting specific immunities and ditching armor immunities. Honestly a lot of balance should just focus on making the AI smarter, do more damage, and have more spells. The Source Difficulty Mod targets those last two things, but Larian needs to fix several AI inadaquacies: enemies walking through fire and attack of opportunities for no reason, enemies flcoking to charmed people like immaculates to blood.

Charm needs to be completely slammed with nerfs. It's absurdly OP, though a lot of it does have to do with how AI react to it. They should CC charmed enemies, not try to kill them. Charm should also last at most 2 rounds, if not just one. Maybe charming touch should be two, and rapture one. In turn, I think charms should have shorter cooldowns and maybe you should be able to control the charmed enemy.

Oath of desecration needs a big nerf. It should be either only a 25-30% damage boost, an increased AP cost (even just by 1 maybe) or perhaps even both. Maybe damage could scale with intelligence, so you can't have a dumb warrior able to boost his damage obscenely with a single point in witchcraft. Bully should also probably be knocked down to 30% more damage on slow/kd/crippled enemies.

As far as numbers of elemental resist go, I would say the amount you can reasonably achieve should be QUARTERED. Rubies should be a quarter as effective, armor should have a quarter of the elemental resist. That sounds drastic, but as of now it's pitifully easy to get a ton of resist.

Points in sneak should maybe reduce AP cost of sneak by .5, rounded down, so 5 points in sneak would give you 3 AP sneak, or if you want to invest a whole 8 points in sneak, it could go down to 1 AP. But that's a pretty huge commitment.

For Leech I would say that it shouldn't proc immediately off a melee strike. You'd have to wait till your turn to get the heal from standing in your own blood. I also think Leech could use some kind of downside, like other healing is 20% less effective or something.

Glass Cannon is another talent that everyone knows is insane. A lot of it is because monsters are too dumb to target squishy people first or at least sometimes. They tend to prefer attacking whoever is closest, only occasionally targeting someone else. Not sure if there is much of a threat system in place. There must be, or else stench wouldn't work, but not sure how fleshed out it is. Anyway, GC needs a big nerf. Having 20 AP with only a little investment in speed is just insane. I think even a 50% boost instead of 100% boost to your AP would be strong enough, especially since with the other changes to elemental resist and AI and stuff, the health loss would actually be something to worry about. Going from 8 to 12 AP is still a huge bonus, but not gamebreaking like going from 8 to 16 is.

Last edited by Baardvark; 20/08/14 10:50 PM.
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Yep, I'm planning to add charm as one of the points of the CC section, its indeed quite crazy.

In terms of oath/rage/bully and similar that does to the damage category and I think the main problem in the game here is uncontrolled damage stacking, although individual buffs could take a nerf as well. Making some bonuses additive instead of multiplicative as well as mutually exclusive might help.

Quartering the resistances could work with the current system, but I like the idea of not having absolute percentage based absorption more. Alternatively maybe cap them at smth like 75 + reduce the values.

GC actually contributes to damage, cc, and arguably survivability (since you can buff/heal/reduce enemy damage more) so yeah, it's a no-brainer atm.

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Nothing bosses that deal upwards of 1000 damage per hit(piercing), 100% chance to hit and melee limit breaks cannot solve.

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Made some additions to suggestions and also updates related to the latest patch. Fixes in the latest path are not ideal, but probably the fastest thing to do that will work (as a developer myself I understand the concept pretty well :)). Good to know at least some balance changes will be done by the official patches.

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So having only done one playthough I can't comment on all of these, but...

2.
Why would you want to get rid of one of the coolest parts of the game? I'm fine with admitting it's too easy to get, but the 'shouldn't be a thing at all' is ludicrous to me. Single-player RPGs have a long history of allowing elemental immunity, and occasionally absorption, through equipment. Divinity just lets you build up to it instead of having to find the legendary Flame Armor or Bolt Ring. Is it too easy to build up in D:OS? Sure. But the problem is not "People can build to heal from ice" but "People can easily build to heal from all four primary elements." I'd suggest dropping overall resistance buffs by about 30%. Maybe a bit more. But I'm actively opposed to a cap. Make us work for immunity and absorption, but let us have it.


3. Leech needed to be fixed. Thumbs up here.

5. That's what that is? Man, no wonder they seem completely ludicrous. Okay, yeah. Fix that.

6. Clearly we have different definitions of "easy." While I've found items that give CC immunity, the're... pretty much all boots. Maybe the RNG gods just don't love me like they love you, but my character at level 20 is immune to petrification and slow, and that's it. Slipping, of course, because I'm a crafter, but other than that, I just don't have this experience at all. Never found anything that makes me immune to knockdown or stun, the two most common and most debilitating mezzes.


II
As someone who has bully, knows rage, and the -50 resistances power, and regularly gets hit with Oath of Desecration... yeah. My damage output is probably too high.

III
I don't know if I'd say CC is too "easy" normally, so much as it's too swingy. I find a lot of incidental enemies just don't get CC'd no matter what we throw at them, but then, yeah, some bosses just fold like wet paper to a stun or knockdown. My suggestion would be re-checking the Bodybuilding and Willpower of various enemies to make sure they scale with how hard the foe is supposed to be, and let bosses get that -1 turn duration perk, modified so that it only applies to negative effects, not beneficial ones. And yes, Charm is /nuts./

Last edited by BardicLasher; 23/08/14 04:05 PM.
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I - Survivability

1 - Invisibility/sneak - sneak costs too little ap at high level, enemies don't know how to counter, mage invisibility spammable each turn, sneak spammable each turn.

I don't think the ap cost is that much of a problem, sneak is broken when combiner with other stuff.
I think enemies should just have something in their rule-base to do when they see no enemies during combat (Tip: use AoE/damage/effects(Midnight Oil/Slow/etc.), retreat and get cover (get away from the last point they saw the opposition, forcing players to walk a lot to get to them), use far sight).

Spammability is directly related to glass cannon. If you use invisibility every turn, you are probably not being that useful UNLESS you have glass cannon. Sneaking probably should have its distance rescaled.

2 - Elemental immunity - too easy to get, while shouldn't be a thing at all

Right now super hard-cap at 80 is pretty ok (environmental effects like rain reduce cap to 60). Also, this is only really a problem if you get over 150. 110-130.
Elemental Absorption is a bit crappy because it's mandatory, way better to use Elemental(Air, Water, Earth or Fire) Shield

3 - Leech

Solved.

4 - Blocking

I don't know anyone who achieved blocking higher than 80%. I find 80% as cap pretty fair. Maybe 75 or 70 could be ok. I think it's one of the good differences between 2H and 1H. 2H users get more damage. 1H gets better defense. However, if the ratio is equal (the amount of extra damage 2H deals is equal to the amount of attacks a character can block), then people will probably ignore shields. I'd go as far as saying that blocking less than 50% is not that big of a deal at end game and people would be better off dealing more damage.

5 - Mage's Shields Spells

I think right now you receive protection proportional to your vitality. It could be worsened a bit or become a flat bonus that increases with skill level or extra intelligence.

6 - CC Immunity

I think maybe you guys are very lucky, I only started finding immunity to CC on items after i already was able to get some of the talents that granted immunity. And frankly at the beginning those items suck (they don't give good protection) and at the middle of the game, you get better stuff all the time.

I'm far more worried about TRAITS giving immunities. I never saw any reason to not get the traits that give immunity to anything.

As far as I know, shields cannot be on top of each other, but i don't remember using more than one.

II - Damage

Main offenders:
-Guerilla
-Bully
-Rage
-Oath of desecration
-Rage
-Stacking +weapon skill items
-Resistance debuffs

Guerrilla is ok. However i think that sneaking in heavy armor should be impossible. Also, if you mess with Sneaking you better help rogues and ranger with their problems (backstab positioning and animation arrow dodging). Maybe make the minimum AP cost = 2.

Bully is a good talent, maybe reducing the bonus a bit. 30% or 25% seems ok.

(I worry about archers in Cyseal if these first two are changed too much)

Rage - it's ok the way it is. I don't think there is a good way to slightly reduce its power. People mostly use it before flurry and just after enemy got stunned or knocked down. also, it's another power that if nerfed too much will become useless.

Oath of Desecration - It's ok. Move this to Skill level 18. Or at least 14. Put Summon Undead in its place.

Resistances shouldn't get negative. So there should be 3 states for Enemy Resistances:

1 - Normal
2 - Lowered (-20)
3 - Nullified (-total)

And none of them can be simultaneously affecting anyone. So if you use Lowered before Nullified's effect is over you just wasted AP.

III - CC

I see no problem with CC. However, I think enemies should use CC more. Maybe try to make them do magical combos too (Rain + Frost/Lightning or Poison + Fire, or Teleporting me to a mine that they can see, or using more summons to raise their numbers).

Finally, getting some stupid behavior out of the AI system could be a priority (no more fire elementals hitting each other for nothing).

Also, a question, how the hell they were able to capture that Ice Elemental in Hiberheim if their attacks are Ice based? Did Boreas himself use his newly acquired staff to capture a crappy ice elemental?

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Originally Posted by BardicLasher
So having only done one playthough I can't comment on all of these, but...

2.
Why would you want to get rid of one of the coolest parts of the game? I'm fine with admitting it's too easy to get, but the 'shouldn't be a thing at all' is ludicrous to me. Single-player RPGs have a long history of allowing elemental immunity, and occasionally absorption, through equipment. Divinity just lets you build up to it instead of having to find the legendary Flame Armor or Bolt Ring. Is it too easy to build up in D:OS? Sure. But the problem is not "People can build to heal from ice" but "People can easily build to heal from all four primary elements." I'd suggest dropping overall resistance buffs by about 30%. Maybe a bit more. But I'm actively opposed to a cap. Make us work for immunity and absorption, but let us have it.

I don't like immunities because they remove tactical depth, at least in their current form. If you're immune to all elements, you are basically invincible to a lot of mobs which were meant to provide a challenge. I'm ok with having a character immune to 1 or maybe even 2 elements (see my traits suggestion) , but definitely not all. And if that's an option, AI should be smart enough not to attack you with spells that heal you, at least after the first try.

Originally Posted by BardicLasher

6. Clearly we have different definitions of "easy." While I've found items that give CC immunity, the're... pretty much all boots. Maybe the RNG gods just don't love me like they love you, but my character at level 20 is immune to petrification and slow, and that's it. Slipping, of course, because I'm a crafter, but other than that, I just don't have this experience at all. Never found anything that makes me immune to knockdown or stun, the two most common and most debilitating mezzes.

I've managed to find a fair amount of rings with stun/freeze immunity and armors with knockdown immunity, which seem to be most common forms of cc. Guess it's luck dependent. Overall I just think this is a bad design, since it again removes tactical depth.

Originally Posted by BardicLasher

III
I don't know if I'd say CC is too "easy" normally, so much as it's too swingy. I find a lot of incidental enemies just don't get CC'd no matter what we throw at them, but then, yeah, some bosses just fold like wet paper to a stun or knockdown. My suggestion would be re-checking the Bodybuilding and Willpower of various enemies to make sure they scale with how hard the foe is supposed to be, and let bosses get that -1 turn duration perk, modified so that it only applies to negative effects, not beneficial ones. And yes, Charm is /nuts./


Since the toughest enemies have about 10 willpower/bodybuilding and the fact that you can have 150% cc efficiency and debuff willpower by -12 and bodybuilding by -9 (so 270% and 240% chance respectively) I'd say they are kinda easy.

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Originally Posted by kurausu
I - Survivability

1 - Invisibility/sneak - sneak costs too little ap at high level, enemies don't know how to counter, mage invisibility spammable each turn, sneak spammable each turn.

I don't think the ap cost is that much of a problem, sneak is broken when combiner with other stuff.
I think enemies should just have something in their rule-base to do when they see no enemies during combat (Tip: use AoE/damage/effects(Midnight Oil/Slow/etc.), retreat and get cover (get away from the last point they saw the opposition, forcing players to walk a lot to get to them), use far sight).

Spammability is directly related to glass cannon. If you use invisibility every turn, you are probably not being that useful UNLESS you have glass cannon. Sneaking probably should have its distance rescaled.


AP cost is more related to Guerilla, and yes, enemies should have counters to invis, both AI and rules wise. Sneak definitely could use distance rescaling, that's a good idea. If will become more suitable for archers in combat in this case. Sneaking at 1m distance from the enemy looks a bit stupid.

Originally Posted by kurausu

2 - Elemental immunity - too easy to get, while shouldn't be a thing at all

Right now super hard-cap at 80 is pretty ok (environmental effects like rain reduce cap to 60). Also, this is only really a problem if you get over 150. 110-130.
Elemental Absorption is a bit crappy because it's mandatory, way better to use Elemental(Air, Water, Earth or Fire) Shield

If the enemies dispelled the shields and debuffed the resistances it would be good, however right now it takes 1 spell to make you invincible to a large portion of the damage in the game. Still much better than it was.

Originally Posted by kurausu

4 - Blocking

I don't know anyone who achieved blocking higher than 80%. I find 80% as cap pretty fair. Maybe 75 or 70 could be ok. I think it's one of the good differences between 2H and 1H. 2H users get more damage. 1H gets better defense. However, if the ratio is equal (the amount of extra damage 2H deals is equal to the amount of attacks a character can block), then people will probably ignore shields. I'd go as far as saying that blocking less than 50% is not that big of a deal at end game and people would be better off dealing more damage.

I'm pretty sure you can get 90%. Not sure about 100%, but I wouldn't rule that out either. 2H deals roughly 20% more damage per ap. Now 2h is much more effective with fixed price skills like WW and flurry, which imo is a design oversight (such skills should be adjusted to the ap cost of the weapons). 75% cap sounds fair, because 90% blocking is a little bit too much.

Originally Posted by kurausu

II - Damage

Main offenders:
-Guerilla
-Bully
-Rage
-Oath of desecration
-Rage
-Stacking +weapon skill items
-Resistance debuffs

Guerrilla is ok. However i think that sneaking in heavy armor should be impossible. Also, if you mess with Sneaking you better help rogues and ranger with their problems (backstab positioning and animation arrow dodging). Maybe make the minimum AP cost = 2.

Bully is a good talent, maybe reducing the bonus a bit. 30% or 25% seems ok.

(I worry about archers in Cyseal if these first two are changed too much)

Rage - it's ok the way it is. I don't think there is a good way to slightly reduce its power. People mostly use it before flurry and just after enemy got stunned or knocked down. also, it's another power that if nerfed too much will become useless.

Oath of Desecration - It's ok. Move this to Skill level 18. Or at least 14. Put Summon Undead in its place.

Resistances shouldn't get negative. So there should be 3 states for Enemy Resistances:

1 - Normal
2 - Lowered (-20)
3 - Nullified (-total)

And none of them can be simultaneously affecting anyone. So if you use Lowered before Nullified's effect is over you just wasted AP.

Good idea with the resistances. I still think rage and oath should not stack, the result is a little bit too much. 2 AP for stealth sounds fair with the other nerfs.

Originally Posted by kurausu

III - CC

I see no problem with CC. However, I think enemies should use CC more. Maybe try to make them do magical combos too (Rain + Frost/Lightning or Poison + Fire, or Teleporting me to a mine that they can see, or using more summons to raise their numbers).

Finally, getting some stupid behavior out of the AI system could be a priority (no more fire elementals hitting each other for nothing).

Also, a question, how the hell they were able to capture that Ice Elemental in Hiberheim if their attacks are Ice based? Did Boreas himself use his newly acquired staff to capture a crappy ice elemental?

The problem with cc is that you can have such high chances of it to succeed, that without diminishing returns you can chain cc everything until it dies. To me this looks like an "I win" button. Enemies OTOH indeed can use smarter AI and cc related tactics, if they did the game will become much more tactical and challenging, especially if you remove permaimmunity items and talents.

Last edited by MadDemiurg; 24/08/14 07:44 PM.
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Originally Posted by MadDemiurg

Since the toughest enemies have about 10 willpower/bodybuilding and the fact that you can have 150% cc efficiency and debuff willpower by -12 and bodybuilding by -9 (so 270% and 240% chance respectively) I'd say they are kinda easy.



You can reasonably debuff willpower by -12 and bodybuilding by -9? Okay, whatever that is it's not something my partner and I have noticed. If that's the math that happens, then CCs might be too strong, but I think then the answer might be to make the debuffs weaker.


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