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Priests

I really cannot see them with metamagic things like contingencies and triggers. Reducing Sanctuary casting time to 1 would surely make up for it once we fix this spell to work as per PnP. Actually it could even make it OP imo, because with instant casting time every injured priest could quickly become "invulnerable", heal, and re-buff, before attacking again. Speaking of fixing this spell, in theory I should also make it not affectd by TS-like spells, as it's neither an invisibility spell nor an illusionary protection. :thumbsup:

This is not really a problem if you consider that the priest will effectively be unable to aid his/her allies during this period, which is really the whole point of a priest.

 

NEVAA-AAR!!! biggrin.gif

That's the only trait making them unique and dangerous opponents, otherwise they're no different from drow wizards. Not to mention it a PnP feature

I agree with Ardanis. If you remove these immunities it also removes the players' need to use alternate strategies to defeat them. It is still quite possible to defeat these foes as it stands, and I really do not want to be able to use the same rinse-and-repeat strategy to deal with every enemy mage encounter. (I could care less about the "PnP feature" thing though except in the case when it makes the game more enjoyable.)

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This whole "anti-SI:Div" discussion exists almost only because of liches and rakshasas sad immunities imo. If it wasn't for them within SR you already have plenty of options to counter SI:Div+II combo:

a) thief's Detect Illusion

b) wizard's Glitterdust (this one bypasses even SI:Div+SI:Abj)

c) cleric's Invisibility Purge (it's stopped in case of SI:Div+SI:Abj)

d) druid's Faerie Fire (it's more or less a lesser Glitterdust)

You have 4 different classes there! If you add Inquisitor's Dispel Magic (to a lesser extent single class bards and priests) almost any party can handle SI:Div+II.

Most of these solutions are (or, I suppose, should be: I don't know how you've coded them) blocked by Minor Globe (which in turn can't be dropped by single-target antimagic when II is active).

 

Agains liches and rakshasas instead it's a whole different story, not to mention the formers are also immune to cleric/druid's TS, and the latters to wizard's 6th lvl version too (making SI:Div "redundant" for them :thumbsup: ).

That's a good point; I ought to bear it in mind in scripting. (Though again, Ardanis's modification of TS still works.)

 

(Minor) GoI is why Liches and Rakshasa's are not actually a special problem within the spell system, but are rather just more powerful examples of the general problem of layered defenses. A mage with II +SI:D + SI:A + GoI + Weapon/Magic damage defenses becomes very hard to defeat. GoI is very close to as good as Lich Immunity once Breach can affect Liches, and stuffs many of the area disabling workarounds that can routinely kill Wizards who don't run it. And within SCS they always run it!

 

I agree that it's best to take a step back and decide what sort of magic attack/defense dynamic is desired. As DavidW has earlier stated, to tear down layered defenses what is desired (once Breach can be bounced by spell protections) is to:

 

1. Remove Invisibility

2. Remove Spell Protections

3. Breach (or cast around any specific protections)

4. Attack

 

If SI is preventing Invisibility from being removed, then SR and SCS should have different responses:

 

IMO, the best SR response is to create 5+ level spells that remove invisibility for schools besides Abj and Div. That way the combo is still good, but requires a particular spell or spells to break.

 

The SCS response must be different. AoE is one response. Currently, the resulting best attack routine against an optimally protected Wizard is:

 

1. Remove high level spell protections until GoI is removed

2. Spell Thrust removes SI's

3. Remove II

4. Breach

 

This is a good dynamic, but results in odd things like Spell Thrust is really powerful, particularly in the early game, as it removes MGoI, and can dispel protections from multiple enemies at once in many circumstances. In SCS, only GoI can provide real protection for the wizard. There are also the issues with targeting which playtesting has revealed are undesirable.

 

Personally, I am unconvinced that we can really improve upon this, as the ideal order of magical attack/defense is perfectly emergent. If it is technically possible to have spell removal remain single target but go through invis then that is ideal.

 

However, if we imagine returning to single target spell removal once more, then one or more of the protections must acquire additional vulnerability. As with the SR response above, I think it needs to be II that is more vulnerable, but for SCS to justify it will require further engine modification rather than changing the rules.

 

Priests

I really cannot see them with metamagic things like contingencies and triggers. Reducing Sanctuary casting time to 1 would surely make up for it once we fix this spell to work as per PnP. Actually it could even make it OP imo, because with instant casting time every injured priest could quickly become "invulnerable", heal, and re-buff, before attacking again. Speaking of fixing this spell, in theory I should also make it not affectd by TS-like spells, as it's neither an invisibility spell nor an illusionary protection.

This is not really a problem if you consider that the priest will effectively be unable to aid his/her allies during this period, which is really the whole point of a priest.

 

Already clerics are much more powerful than is generally supposed because of Sanctuary--but keep in mind my change was to help the AI Priests be more competitive. The player can easily make do with casting time of 4 for Sanctuary. The "disadvantage" of not being able to help the party while sanctuaried is negligible considering the priest has likely cast the spell to avoid death himself! In any event the problem for DavidW as I understand it was Enemy priests that were not in a party.

 

I think the biggest misunderstanding in playing Priests is to treat them like Arcane casters or else like Fighter. Priests have a much different optimal strategy, which involves selective combat, frequent withdraws, and creative defenses.

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Already clerics are much more powerful than is generally supposed because of Sanctuary--but keep in mind my change was to help the AI Priests be more competitive. The player can easily make do with casting time of 4 for Sanctuary. The "disadvantage" of not being able to help the party while sanctuaried is negligible considering the priest has likely cast the spell to avoid death himself! In any event the problem for DavidW as I understand it was Enemy priests that were not in a party.

 

Indeed. But is Sanctuary really so effective then? What about area-effect magic?

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But is Sanctuary really so effective then? What about area-effect magic?
Against a standard AI a first level guaranteed invisibility -spell, for a backstabber/Harm'er, whell yeah.

Personally I don't use it though.

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But is Sanctuary really so effective then? What about area-effect magic?
Against a standard AI a first level guaranteed invisibility -spell, for a backstabber/Harm'er, whell yeah.

 

The discussion is basically about enemy use of Sanctuary, not PC use. And my point is that area of effect magic still works against the Sanctuaried. (I can't recall whether SCS attacks Sanctuaried PCs with it.)

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It doesn't. Presumably because you can't target a sanctuaried cre, unlike an invised one.

BEGIN_ACTION_DEFINITION
Name(SpellArea)
TRIGGER
	HaveSpell(scsargument1)
	scsspellsubstitute2
	!CheckStatGT(scstarget,0,SANCTUARY)
	CheckStatLT(Myself,50,SPELLFAILUREMAGE)
	!CheckStat(scstarget,2,WIZARD_SPELL_TRAP) // PM scroll
ACTION
	RESPONSE #scsprob1
	ApplySpellRES("dw#mgsee",Myself)
	SetGlobalTimer("castspell","LOCALS",6)
	Spell(scstarget,scsargument1)
END

Edited by Ardanis
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This whole "anti-SI:Div" discussion exists almost only because of liches and rakshasas sad immunities imo. If it wasn't for them within SR you already have plenty of options to counter SI:Div+II combo:

a) thief's Detect Illusion

b) wizard's Glitterdust (this one bypasses even SI:Div+SI:Abj)

c) cleric's Invisibility Purge (it's stopped in case of SI:Div+SI:Abj)

d) druid's Faerie Fire (it's more or less a lesser Glitterdust)

You have 4 different classes there! If you add Inquisitor's Dispel Magic (to a lesser extent single class bards and priests) almost any party can handle SI:Div+II.

Most of these solutions are (or, I suppose, should be: I don't know how you've coded them) blocked by Minor Globe (which in turn can't be dropped by single-target antimagic when II is active).
You're right, though Spell Thrust do work against (M)GoI, removing the former and ignoring the latter (thus still dispelling SI even if protected by GoI), because both in vanilla (at least in my vanilla install it looks so) and SR it has 'power' set to 0 (a la Dispel Magic).

 

I do agree with amanasleep that ST looks a tad too powerful (that's why SR seriously nerfs it by making it remove only one spell protection at once), but at the same time we have to accept either this or that players can't face mages unless they have a mage themselves of equivalent or higher lvl (almost never early on).

 

If SI is preventing Invisibility from being removed, then SR and SCS should have different responses:

 

IMO, the best SR response is to create 5+ level spells that remove invisibility for schools besides Abj and Div. That way the combo is still good, but requires a particular spell or spells to break.

It's not as easy as it seems but I'll see if I can do something about that.

 

Ruby Ray of Reversal dispels any illusion it strucks within PnP (amongst many other things) and I planned to make it as per PnP for V4, but if we make it again single target then it obviously wouldn't work against II. Let's assume that PnP RRoR could be SR's solution for liches, we still have rakshasas to handle, and in this case it's not 6th+ lvl spells, but 8th+!!! I'd dare to say that for them it's pointless to add an anti-SI 8th lvl spell imo, because Spellstrike is just one lvl higher (though those 2 caster lvl are not cheap).

 

I think David was concerned like me that mid-low lvl parties can do almost nothing against rakshasas except waiting for their buffs to end (isn't it the reason behind SCS tweak to Breach?). Spell Thrust could be enough to handle them if they weren't immune to the highest anti-illusion spell available to players, True Seeing, but they are immune to it, and thus unless I also add an 8th+ lvl TS-like spell any "normal" spell removal is quite pointless. One solution I suggested ages ago was to add to Spellstrike an "Improved Remove Magic" feature (e.g. +5 or even +10 caster lvl), but you'd still need archmages to fight rakshasas.

 

That being said, adding "see invisibility by script" to True Seeing pretty much ends any problem indeed (though describing such feature within spell's description would be a pain :(:thumbsup: ), and it might even makes things a little too easy with SCS Breach.

 

 

Priests & Sanctuary

Already clerics are much more powerful than is generally supposed because of Sanctuary--but keep in mind my change was to help the AI Priests be more competitive. The player can easily make do with casting time of 4 for Sanctuary. The "disadvantage" of not being able to help the party while sanctuaried is negligible considering the priest has likely cast the spell to avoid death himself! In any event the problem for DavidW as I understand it was Enemy priests that were not in a party.
Indeed. But is Sanctuary really so effective then? What about area-effect magic?

They can still be targeted by AoE spells, but if I make Sancutary not affected by Divination spells then the cleric is also "permanently invisible", making it almost untargetable by players unless they start spamming Fireball-like spells everywhere.

 

On a side note, Sanctuary is not available to druids (e.g. Nyalee). :thumbsup:

 

Making Sanctuary more useful can only be a good thing, especially if it's something SCS(II) clerics could/would take advantage of.
My plan was "simply" to make it work as per PnP, thus allowing the cleric to heal and buff both himself and his allies without ending the spell. Edited by Demivrgvs
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This whole "anti-SI:Div" discussion exists almost only because of liches and rakshasas sad immunities imo. If it wasn't for them within SR you already have plenty of options to counter SI:Div+II combo:

a) thief's Detect Illusion

b) wizard's Glitterdust (this one bypasses even SI:Div+SI:Abj)

c) cleric's Invisibility Purge (it's stopped in case of SI:Div+SI:Abj)

d) druid's Faerie Fire (it's more or less a lesser Glitterdust)

You have 4 different classes there! If you add Inquisitor's Dispel Magic (to a lesser extent single class bards and priests) almost any party can handle SI:Div+II.

Most of these solutions are (or, I suppose, should be: I don't know how you've coded them) blocked by Minor Globe (which in turn can't be dropped by single-target antimagic when II is active).
You're right, though Spell Thrust do work against (M)GoI, removing the former and ignoring the latter (thus still dispelling SI even if protected by GoI), because both in vanilla (at least in my vanilla install it looks so) and SR it has 'power' set to 0 (a la Dispel Magic).

Only if it has an area effect (and wasn't the whole point of this discussion to avoid there being one?)

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I think David was concerned like me that mid-low lvl parties can do almost nothing against rakshasas except waiting for their buffs to end (isn't it the reason behind SCS tweak to Breach?).
Until Ch.7 there're but four places with rakshasas - Sewers (easy to beat at low levels, iirc he doesn't even know PFMW), Ruhk the Transmuter in Windspear (he's almost alone), Ihtafeer's group (optional, as you can kill genies instead to complete the quest), Spellhold (he's almost alone).

So I'm largely unpersuaded there's any need to think of letting low-level party to take down a rakshasa. And against Suldanessellar's guys we already have Pierce Shield and Spellstrike. As well as Shapechange into Iron Golem :thumbsup:

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I think David was concerned like me that mid-low lvl parties can do almost nothing against rakshasas except waiting for their buffs to end (isn't it the reason behind SCS tweak to Breach?).
Until Ch.7 there're but four places with rakshasas - Sewers (easy to beat at low levels, iirc he doesn't even know PFMW), Ruhk the Transmuter in Windspear (he's almost alone), Ihtafeer's group (optional, as you can kill genies instead to complete the quest), Spellhold (he's almost alone).

So I'm largely unpersuaded there's any need to think of letting low-level party to take down a rakshasa. And against Suldanessellar's guys we already have Pierce Shield and Spellstrike. As well as Shapechange into Iron Golem :thumbsup:

 

Yeah, I wasn't all that worried about Rakshasas. It was liches that bothered me more. (Plus, even high-level characters have a problem if they can't use Breach.)

 

 

Returning to the general II issue, I think I'm basically resolved to at least try out the Ardanis solution in the next SCS release. Having thought about the coding a bit, I don't think it would be too tricky to make SCS sensitive to whether that option is installed, rather than just assuming it willy-nilly as I normally do for defensive-magic shifts. It's just a matter of (a) slightly prioritising Truesight when the option is installed, which I can do in SSL via IgnoreBlock trickery; (b) defining a SpellAntimagic option which gets compiled as SpellArea or Spell as appropriate; © giving mages/priests instructions not to actively target creatures with STATE_INVISIBLE active. It's not a hell of a lot of work to try, and I'm very keen on the virtues of experimental test for these things - theory only gets you so far.

Edited by DavidW
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Referring back to the discussion about modifications to Armor spells, what if we were to rework Ghost Armor into something more like this PnP spell ?

 

Invisible Mail (Evocation, Abjuration)

 

Range: 0

 

Components: V, S, M

 

Duration: Special

 

Casting Time: 2

 

Area of Effect: The caster

 

Saving Throw: None

 

A variation of the armor spell, this spell enables the caster to cover his body with an invisible suit of plate mail to temporarily raise his AC to 3. Its effects are not cumulative with other armor or magical protection (a character cannot improve his AC better than 3 through use of this spell), but Dexterity bonuses still apply.

 

For each level of the caster, the invisible mail absorbs 1 hit point of damage that would normally hit AC 3; however, the invisible mail offers no protection against magical weapons or attacks. When the invisible mail has absorbed as many hit points of damage as the wizard has levels of experience, the invisible mail disappears. The invisible mail does not hinder movement, nor does it add weight or encumbrance. It does not interfere with spell casting.

 

While I like the notion of Ghost Armor, the 20% stealth bonus is rarely applicable and while a detectable illusion for a protection sounds like a cool idea, in practice this makes it a poor alternative to the first level Armor Spell. I would think an Armor spell that gives Mages some bonus hitpoints (either set or level scaling bonus) would be more useful and more challenging when utilized by enemies.

Edited by Dermit
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...or that players can't face mages unless they have a mage themselves of equivalent or higher lvl (almost never early on).

Allow me to bemoan the fact that this is basically the definition of an imbalanced class.

 

Let's assume that PnP RRoR could be SR's solution for liches, we still have rakshasas to handle, and in this case it's not 6th+ lvl spells, but 8th+!!! I'd dare to say that for them it's pointless to add an anti-SI 8th lvl spell imo, because Spellstrike is just one lvl higher (though those 2 caster lvl are not cheap).

As someone who is currently playing through a SR+SCS/SCSII multiplayer LAN game with some friends, I must say that Rakshasas, while threatening, are not so difficult as to be frustrating. Note that we are using Keldorn and a swashbuckler with detect illusion, however...

 

I would think an Armor spell that gives Mages some bonus hitpoints (either set or level scaling bonus) would be more useful and more challenging when utilized by enemies.

I would very much enjoy a spell that increased hit points on my sorcerer. Tenser's Transformation doesn't count. This would be doubly so if the armor wasn't Breach-able.

Edited by Kalindor
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Spell Thrust do work against (M)GoI, removing the former and ignoring the latter (thus still dispelling SI even if protected by GoI), because both in vanilla (at least in my vanilla install it looks so) and SR it has 'power' set to 0 (a la Dispel Magic).
Only if it has an area effect (and wasn't the whole point of this discussion to avoid there being one?)
Ah fine, I said I was fine with ST (and Spellstrike) having an AoE but if we want to make even ST back as a single target then yes, tweaking TS seems the only alternative indeed.

 

Regarding your suggestion about tweaking the same way Detect Invisibility instead I'm not persuaded, as a 2nd lvl Divination spell seems really too cheap to bypass SI:Div, no? :(

 

... I'm largely unpersuaded there's any need to think of letting low-level party to take down a rakshasa.
I agree for most early encounters, but Ihtafeer's group might be almost unbeatable for many players (depending on their party). I have to run a game sooner or later though, because as David correctly says: "theory only gets you so far".

 

Yeah, I wasn't all that worried about Rakshasas. It was liches that bothered me more. (Plus, even high-level characters have a problem if they can't use Breach.)
High lvl characters within SR have Pierce Shield. "Unfortunately" I really cannot find any reason to justify Breach working on liches and rakshasas. :thumbsup:

 

Returning to the general II issue, I think I'm basically resolved to at least try out the Ardanis solution in the next SCS release.
Fine.

 

As someone who is currently playing through a SR+SCS/SCSII multiplayer LAN game with some friends, I must say that Rakshasas, while threatening, are not so difficult as to be frustrating. Note that we are using Keldorn and a swashbuckler with detect illusion, however...
Well, having a thief with Detect Illusion skill (which bypasses any immunity, be it liches/rakshasas innate resistance to spells or SI:Div) and Keldorn with his Double Strength Dispel (humanoid mages are as good as dead against him without SI:Abj) is a HUGE difference. I think David was trying to find a solution that could suit most parties and not forcing players to have a thief (though I really can't imagine a party without it) and/or an Inquisitor.

 

 

Ghost Armor

@Dermit, I do suggested your solution back then when we were discussing SR V3, but many players voted against it because "illusionary hit points" seemed too strange and they kinda persuaded me, even if it's a PnP effect. Additional hit points are probably more appropriate for a necromantic spell like Spirit Armor. Regarding it being a poor alternative to Mage Armor I can only say that it has slightly better AC, it's not affected by Breach and can be cast on others (this last feature alone is worth a +1 lvl), but I agree it's not particularly appealing. :thumbsup:

Edited by Demivrgvs
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