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Kit Revisions (Fighters)


Demivrgvs

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Well, it has always been there, and conceptually it's a must imo. It also has quite a few balance purposes, such as making sure that the Berserker has a "moment of weakness", because else it would always be either on par or superior to a True Fighter.

A raging Berserker will never be patently "better" than a True Fighter due to loss of control. You could make Frenzy/Rage give +2 attacks per round and +10 damage and the True Fighter would still be appealing in many scenarios because you can select his target and use items.

 

I should say that I am not against either Frenzy trigger solution but do not like the idea of Frenzy triggering at the conclusion of Rage.

 

At some point we need to leave the Berserker alone and consider him a quasi-finished product.

 

*Edit: Also, everyone is definitely not disabled immediately at the beginning of combat. However, if adding the immunities to Rage instead of Frenzy improves the kit and is not nonsensical, then I say do it. I really like your suggestion about the Frenzy-upon-helplessness HLA! If you want, you could remove the immunities from Rage and just let them start with this ability or gain it early in the leveling process.

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At some point we need to leave the Berserker alone and consider him a quasi-finished product.
I should be taking the lion's share of blame for that, since it all began long ago with my tiny idea to use PnP Frenzy, that has sparkled all this firestorm :D
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Berserker

At some point we need to leave the Berserker alone and consider him a quasi-finished product.
I should be taking the lion's share of blame for that, since it all began long ago with my tiny idea to use PnP Frenzy, that has sparkled all this firestorm :D
You are to blame indeed! :D Things would have been so much easier with my initial plan, the Berserker would have just be vanilla's Berserker with a bunch of small adjustments (e.g. the new Diehard feature, a scalable Rage, etc.). The Barbarian was the only one supposed to change so drastically (and it turned out quite well), but I ended up liking your idea despite my concerns, and now it seems like beta testers agree that despite it making everything so hard (both for them to play the kit and for me to mod it) berserking opcode heavily contributes to make the class so unique and fun. If it wasn't for them I would have probably given up by now.

 

Well, it has always been there, and conceptually it's a must imo. It also has quite a few balance purposes, such as making sure that the Berserker has a "moment of weakness", because else it would always be either on par or superior to a True Fighter.
A raging Berserker will never be patently "better" than a True Fighter due to loss of control. You could make Frenzy/Rage give +2 attacks per round and +10 damage and the True Fighter would still be appealing in many scenarios because you can select his target and use items.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't claiming one class to be superior as a whole. Within KR nothing is so easy to compare as it was in vanilla because each class now has vastly different tools at their disposal instead of few small differences, but what I meant was:

- while not enraged a Berserker is on par in melee against a True Fighter in terms of "pure combat stats"

- a True Fighter simply cannot stand a chance against an enraged Berserker in melee (even without counting Frenzy) unless the former plays smart with his tools (e.g. Disarm to buy some time or Pinning Shot to keep distance, Defensive Stance if all else fails)

- the fatigue effects makes sure the Berserker has a "moment of weakness" other warriors must exploit if they dare to fight him "face to face"

 

I should say that I am not against either Frenzy trigger solution but do not like the idea of Frenzy triggering at the conclusion of Rage.
Yeah, to respond to kreso and Jarno, the concept is that Rage is a state of mind which favors going all out crazy, aka entering a frenzy. Entering a frenzy only after the Rage ends makes no sense imo. You can achieve the same concept by making Frenzy include everything Rage does yes, but that would give you free Rages when Frenzy triggers outside of Rages themselves (e.g. while using OS or if we add the "enter a frenzy when helpless").

 

Also, everyone is definitely not disabled immediately at the beginning of combat. However, if adding the immunities to Rage instead of Frenzy improves the kit and is not nonsensical, then I say do it. I really like your suggestion about the Frenzy-upon-helplessness HLA! If you want, you could remove the immunities from Rage and just let them start with this ability or gain it early in the leveling process.
I'm thinking to add it within the next beta (maybe at level 5 temporarily disabling Terrifying Rage). That way we can track down how it effectively works, and get a complete list of which effects set the state to "helpless" (I do hope it's not just sleep, hold, and web as IEDSP seems to imply :( ).
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I think we can agree at least on several things here:

 

1) In certain situations, Berserker's preformance is supreme - mostly in easy/mild BG1 encounters

2) Since mages don't really care wether your damage bonus is 4, 10, or 1000, he has severe problems fighting them

3) we want to keep Frenzy if possible

4) kit suffers from inability to quickly change to a different target, which, in turn, causes ad.2

5) loss of control turns into a big drawback in harder fights

 

Can we all agree on these points? Discussions are better if we all have a same starting point. :)

 

Some toughts about this:

 

ad.1)

He may be powerful in BG1, but any fighter kit is.

BG1 is simply ruled by warrior classes, same as ToB is ruled by multiclasses.

My berserker just entered BG2, in BG1 he had an AC of -3 for most of the game. Enough to keep him safe from 90% of oponnents.

He ammounted for 50% kills, and every reload (5 total) happened because he was berserking. If I chose not to use Rage or OS, no problem whatsoever - but would he be used as a plain warrior?

Imo, he shouldn't get OS (he should be in "OS" permanently.) He should get DS for those "special" cases where berserk causes your game to spawn Arkanis Gath.

 

ad.2), ad.4)

This can be helped by cutting down Frenzy to short-lasting pieces so it gets re-applied only when the berserker is attacking.

Basically- stacking. I don't know if there's another way.

I have no problem with stacking penalties (afaik, he should fail a breath save always, not roll a dice in PnP) and AC is both too good in BG1 and too pathetic in BG2 to cause any real problems. He relies on resistance, regeneration and ability to kill things fast, not some shield.

If he stacks damage, all the better, since all he actually does is do damage around.

 

ad.5)

How can one use frenzy vs dragons and similar oponnents I don't really know. At least he remains focused for the the time he's alive. :p

 

 

Yeah, to respond to kreso and Jarno, the concept is that Rage is a state of mind which favors going all out crazy, aka entering a frenzy. Entering a frenzy only after the Rage ends makes no sense imo. You can achieve the same concept by making Frenzy include everything Rage does yes, but that would give you free Rages when Frenzy triggers outside of Rages themselves (e.g. while using OS or if we add the "enter a frenzy when helpless").

One can make 2 different spells (a and b) where a has one set of bonuses and b has a different set - I didn't give Berserker any THAC0, save vs death or HP bonus for a "free" frenzy for example. He still suffers fatigue and has double the penalties of Rage while he'd frenzied.

The problems I see with "trigger while helpless" are:

1) conceptual nature - he needs to fail a save vs a hostile spell to go into frenzy. So one can actually want him to fail a save so he can get bonuses? I don't see the point.

2) positioning will be messed up- this is all one can do for him. If he can't get into the midst of things, there's very little good he can do.

3) lack of control, even if "usable at will" is a huge drawback itself.

There's no need to make things harder for him.

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Berserker should not be able to use Plate Mails. His AC just becomes too good, and he wrecks stuff no matter what. That's why I've proposed merging Berserker and Barbarian (in Barbarian Handbook there is Frenzied Barbarian, who is Barbarian with the Enrage ability... do you know that in PnP Barbarian didn't got Rage at all?).

 

Well, when reading the book I refined the idea a bit.

 

 

BERSERKER/BARBARIAN

 

- d12 Hit Points per Level.

- At level 3 gains Feral Senses. This ability's power increases at level 11.

- Once per day per 4 levels can use Enrage. This ability's power increases significiantly at levels 7 and 15.

 

Disadvantages:

- Cannot use heavy armors and tower shields.

- Cannot use ranged weapons.

 

Enrage: grants him +1 bonus to Attack Rolls and Movement Speed, +2 bonus to Damage Rolls and Saves vs. Spells and -2 penalty to Armor Class. Lasts 1 Turn.

After being Enraged, Berserker becomes fatigued (-2 penalty to Attack Rolls, Damage Rolls and Armor Class, slowed movement, cannot Enrage) for 5 rounds.

Everytime Berserker becomes struck during Enrage, there is 20% chance to go berserk for 2 rounds.

 

At level 7, bonuses granted by Enrage increase to +2/+4 and Armor Class Penalty increases to -4 as well. Chance to go into Berserk decreases to 10%.

 

At level 14, bonuses granted by Enrage increase to +3/+6 and Armor Class penalty increases to -6 as well. Chance to go into Berserk decreases to 5%.

 

Feral Senses: starting from level 3, Berserker gains a capability of operating on his fullest even in the most surprising situations.

At level 3, becomes immune to Blindness effects. (would be cool to implement being immune to Combat Penalties while maintaining limited vision)

At lecel 11, gains immunity to Backstab.

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Berserker

I think we can agree at least on several things here:

 

1) In certain situations, Berserker's preformance is supreme - mostly in easy/mild BG1 encounters

2) Since mages don't really care wether your damage bonus is 4, 10, or 1000, he has severe problems fighting them

3) we want to keep Frenzy if possible

4) kit suffers from inability to quickly change to a different target, which, in turn, causes ad.2

5) loss of control turns into a big drawback in harder fights

 

Can we all agree on these points? Discussions are better if we all have a same starting point. :)

I agree. In theory 5) should be partially countered by things like Frenzy's "mind shield", Diehard and Deathless Fenzy which are supposed to keep the Berserker alive despite his reckless attitude, but against mages the lack of control for prolonged time is obviously a real problem.

 

ad.2), ad.4)

This can be helped by cutting down Frenzy to short-lasting pieces so it gets re-applied only when the berserker is attacking.

Basically- stacking. I don't know if there's another way.

I agree, but unlike you, I do have problems with both stacking penalties and stacking bonuses. That's exactly why I suggested to remove anything that might stack (moving lowered AC and increased dmg to OS). By doing so, we have no problem about making multiple activations overlap with each other as long as the Berserker is effectively attacking someone. Then, we set an extremely high % chance to trigger it (while enraged I'd dare to say 100% on each hit - or making it so that OS's % + Rage's % combined is pretty much a 100%), but reduce the duration to something like 6-9 seconds. This way the Berserker should stay on target and fight to the death as long as he can hit the opponent (an opponent you, as a player, can select because Frenzy activates on hit instead of using "a timer"), but if the target dies, go invisible or something like that, players (or AI scripts) should regain control of the Berserker relatively quickly.

 

What do you think? Worth a try?

 

ad.5)

How can one use frenzy vs dragons and similar oponnents I don't really know. At least he remains focused for the the time he's alive. :p

What would you expect from a Berserker against a ancient dragon? Do not enrage if you want to play a little more "safe", but I do expect an enraged Berserker to blindly charge the mighty beast head on. For a mid-low level Berserker that should mean going into a sure death, but at higher levels he should continue to fight with broken bones and only a small sparkle of life left (aka using Diehard and Deathless Frenzy to survive - though the latter currently requires your Berserker to be of epic level, and even then one has to hope the dragon doesn't utter a PW:Kill :D ).

 

The problems I see with "trigger while helpless" are:

1) conceptual nature - he needs to fail a save vs a hostile spell to go into frenzy. So one can actually want him to fail a save so he can get bonuses? I don't see the point.

2) positioning will be messed up- this is all one can do for him. If he can't get into the midst of things, there's very little good he can do.

3) lack of control, even if "usable at will" is a huge drawback itself.

There's no need to make things harder for him.

I'm not sure if I've explained myself well. I was not saying to make Frenzy trigger only in this case, but rather to make it a special case. Instead of making a 5th lvl Berserker immune to hold, we make it so that when the Berserker is held, he instead enters a frenzy and breaks free.

Btw, if this ends up performing like a complication and not a cool addition we can easily skip it, it's not like we don't have other ideas for this kit, we actually have too many of them, we just lack the right implementation.

 

Edit:

@yarpen, I didn't see your post sorry. Anyway, I do agree with you that the Berserker should have actually been a Barbarian kit, or variant, but it's too late for that imo. Limiting its armor selection, removing weapon mastery, raising its HD to d12, etc. pratically means to erase vanilla's class/concept completely and re-do it from the base. It's too radical and it involves too many changes imo.

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I know you are usually against it, but to be honest - I'd just remove Berserker as a kit and move all the cool stuff onto Barbarian class. I'd even rename it to Berserker, as BARBARIAN IN FRIGGIN CANDLEKEEP is like really, wat.

Even while you did an amazing work on current iteration of Berserker, well... you are short-handed in terms of disadvantages.

Did anyone mentioned Barbarian in last 20 pages? Nope, Berserker hits all the spotlight. So I just suggest to create one, completely awesome class than make a meh class and decent but slightly op kit.

Again, I understand you are usually against it.

 

In terms of new kit, there's plenty of room to explore. IWD2 had Mercenary Kit (it's actually pretty dull in IWD), BGEE has Defender which could be turned into any-race Defender and improved as fuck.

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Did anyone mentioned Barbarian in last 20 pages? Nope, Berserker hits all the spotlight.

It's because one works as intended, or "as planned", while the other is a pain in the butt for several months. :D

Barbarian was nerfed for BG1 (and I'd dare to say slightly improved for BG2, making it to a status of a kit that focuses on mobility just as much as offense or defense), which fits him perfectly.

The tweak to his Cleave also makes a dual-wielding Barbarian a very viable concept, which is a good thing.

 

 

Berserker

we set an extremely high % chance to trigger it (while enraged I'd dare to say 100% on each hit - or making it so that OS's % + Rage's % combined is pretty much a 100%), but reduce the duration to something like 6-9 seconds. This way the Berserker should stay on target and fight to the death as long as he can hit the opponent (an opponent you, as a player, can select because Frenzy activates on hit instead of using "a timer"), but if the target dies, go invisible or something like that, players (or AI scripts) should regain control of the Berserker relatively quickly.

 

What do you think? Worth a try?

 

I had something similar in mind but when I wrote it down on a piece of paper it seemed overly complicated - basically:

He has 10% on hit to trigger Frenzy 1 for 9 sec

Frenzy 1 has "protection from itself" but has a 20% chance to trigger Frenzy 2 for 9 seconds

Frenzy 2 has "prot from itself" but has 30% to trigger Frenzy 3

Frenzy 3 has no "prot itself" and is stackable

Each stage has penalties/bonuses, only Frenzy 3 is berserk.

While Raged, chances increase by 20%.

Horrible, I know. :D

 

Your idea seems valid, but is it implementable? I.e. how can frenzy be "renewed" without stacking with itself? This would be grand, and then you could do 2 more things:

- re-implement the 5% on hit to Frenzy (why not? He's like a True Class too much without some "permanent crazyness" feature.)

- perhaps try "took damage" trigger since "hit by" doesn't work?

Anyhow, T-up for the idea, this would be really grand if you could avoid stacks.

 

Btw, if this ends up performing like a complication and not a cool addition we can easily skip it, it's not like we don't have other ideas for this kit, we actually have too many of them, we just lack the right implementation.

If this can free him from Web, I'd go for it since it's his "Achilles heel" spell (along with Fireshields).

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Berserker

I know you are usually against it, but to be honest - I'd just remove Berserker as a kit and move all the cool stuff onto Barbarian class. I'd even rename it to Berserker, as BARBARIAN IN FRIGGIN CANDLEKEEP is like really, wat.
Removing and/or merging any of the two classes isn't really an option imo.

 

What I was tempted to do was moving the Berserker "under the Barbarian" in the class selection screen and consider it a Barbarian kit, but that implied all those drastic changes to armor/weapon proficiencies, HDs, etc. and for some reason I don't feel like I have enough reasons to change this class concept so heavily.

 

Did anyone mentioned Barbarian in last 20 pages? Nope, Berserker hits all the spotlight. So I just suggest to create one, completely awesome class than make a meh class and decent but slightly op kit.
As kreso says, the reason we're discussing only the Berserker in the last 20 pages is that it's the only fighter class which still needs a lot of work. The True Fighter has room for improvements (especially to its Tactician trait) but the current version is very good, the Barbarian may still need small refinements but it turned out quite great within few betas, the Kensai is utterly cool now imo (I love what we did with the Ki Pool for both this kit and the Monk) and even the Wizard Slayer despite its massive changes seem to have quickly reached a good state.

 

In terms of new kit, there's plenty of room to explore. IWD2 had Mercenary Kit (it's actually pretty dull in IWD), BGEE has Defender which could be turned into any-race Defender and improved as fuck.
I'm really not much interested in adding new kits. It's already hard enough to handle/balance all vanilla's ones while making each of them feel and play as a unique character.

 

I'm not happy about BGEE kits either, and the Dwarven Defender is probably the worst of them. :(

 

Your idea seems valid, but is it implementable? I.e. how can frenzy be "renewed" without stacking with itself?
It will actually stack with itself, but moving AC/dmg tweaks to OS nothing within Frenzy spell really stack anymore. Frenzy will "only" include the berserking opcode (with its hardcoded +2 thac0/dmg, which afaik should not stack), the mind-affecting immunities, and later on the deathless frenzy feature.

 

I'll try to work on it tonight so that I can give you a new beta asap, I'm really too eager to see if this time around we can finally make this class work.

 

This would be grand, and then you could do 2 more things:

- re-implement the 5% on hit to Frenzy (why not? He's like a True Class too much without some "permanent crazyness" feature.)

- perhaps try "took damage" trigger since "hit by" doesn't work?

Anyhow, T-up for the idea, this would be really grand if you could avoid stacks.

I'd focus on trying to make Frenzy a "playable" feature first. Too many changes at once can cause a mess imo.

 

Btw, if this ends up performing like a complication and not a cool addition we can easily skip it, it's not like we don't have other ideas for this kit, we actually have too many of them, we just lack the right implementation.

If this can free him from Web, I'd go for it since it's his "Achilles heel" spell (along with Fireshields).

Well, let's try it out and see how it performs. I do hope we stop messing with this class and move on, but I fear that with or without this feature, this kit will still require quite a lot of tests.
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I like where this is going with the planned next version. At first I was hesitant about moving the bonuses to OS, but having a guaranteed Frenzy effect will balance it. Maybe rename it from "Offensive Stance" to "Frenzy"? It is very different from the normal OS seen on other Fighters.

 

I am excited about the prospect of breaking hold effects but losing control. With your suggested implementation of Rage/OS, would an incapacitated Berserker that entered a Frenzy just lose control or would he also gain the +dmg/atk bonuses?

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Personally I love 95% of your work on Kit Revisions, Monk, Kensai solutions are amazing. Barbarian seems okay and Wizard Slayer are fine. Ranger's Quarry is in very weird spot now but kits are awesome. Paladin is OP as this class is hardcodedly dumb. I have some disagreements here and there but I guess I'll either use it or modify it to fit my tastes. I'd love to create a mod on my own, but dunno how to mod BGEE and damn, I don't have much of a spare time. :<

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It will actually stack with itself, but moving AC/dmg tweaks to OS nothing within Frenzy spell really stack anymore. Frenzy will "only" include the berserking opcode (with its hardcoded +2 thac0/dmg, which afaik should not stack), the mind-affecting immunities, and later on the deathless frenzy feature.

I understand now. Cool.

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Small suggestion for Called Shots/Hits. Make them exclude each others by giving opponent under their effect a protection against another. That would actually allow you to implement Sunder without making it broken as well. But that'd actually require to make the 19 level penalty also last 6 rounds.

In your version, Sunder could be really devastating and cool (and tool Fighters always wanted).

 

CALLED SHOT (SUNDER): With this attack, the fighter chooses to impede defenses. When hit, the target will suffer a -4 Armor Class penalty for 6 rounds. If a save vs. death is made the duration is halved.

At 10th level, any target who fails the save also looses his physical damage resistance for 1 round. [reduced to 0%].

At 19th level, any target who fails the save will also have his constitution reduced by 50% for 1 turn.

And not sure why you are not using Save vs. Wands here. Those were historically THE saves for combat maneuvres. :p

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Demi, I played the new (or "most recent" :D) berserker now. I'll report soon about his helpless contingency - he needs a bit more exp for level 5, but for now - seems very good. I am happy.

Few things still:

- Offensive Stance lasts 36 seconds. Now, I assume that stances will eventually be made "permanent", no? I tweaked my OS to have a duration of 500 - so he can have it practically until resting, and without me bothering to click the icon every half a minute. I don't think a berserker w/o berserk needs testing. Hope that's ok. I just like him that way.

- 9 seconds seems ok for berserk. In BG1 sometimes he snaps out due to misses (prevalent issue of BG1 is how AC is the best defence one can have) but that actually helps him to drink up a potion or similar. I doubt this will happen often in BG2, or even in BG1 after a few more levels.

- I use mine with 2-handed weapons (big sword). This is probably a bit sub-optimal for him (he's made for dual-wielding) and he suffers from low initiative greatly - he gets to battle while Enraged, then wastes few precious seconds while attack triggers.

Without IR weapon speed/armor encumberance this probably wouldn't be a big issue, but is with it, even with 2 pips into 2-handed weapon style. Any chance to convince you to grant him a bonus to weapon speed (I've tought about MS, but that's largely irrelevant in the long term) even for a short while (1 round is all he needs), just so he connects the hit before those deadly fast-casting low level disables come flying? If you're ok I'll tweak it myself.

 

EDIT:

Helpless condition works against Hold as well. I'd personally implement attack speed bonus here as well.

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