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Overall balance discussion

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Joined: 23 Jul 2015
Posts: 134
Location: Russia, Saint-Petersburg

PostPosted: 17 Feb, 2017 11:55    Post subject: Overall balance discussion

So I walked around several threads out there, looking mostly at balance feedback posts and decided to share my thoughts. I know it's quite a wall of text but I hope this piece of feedback will somehow help BrightLord creating better game.

First of all, I should tell about my own experience. I started playing Beelzebub few weeks ago and have lvl 33 Warrior sitting in 13th level of dungeon in 2nd difficulty. I think it is safe to write into this sub-forum since Beelzebub is not going to be worked on as one can see, and Tchernobog is based mostly on Beelzebub.

I must admit that leveling in Normal difficulty went rather smooth. I was able to progress throughout entire game almost without problems. Of course I had difficulties in certain situations which could be called perfect storm (like rare mob spawning with a bunch of posessed monsters nearby or being surrounded and overwhelmed by just a lot of tough guys). At the Terror's Domain I've met first notable problem in not being able to kill first of the bosses which was spawning too many ads for me to be able to handle them, but after quite a bit of farming in the hell (was doing Izual runs particularly), I've finally met gear requirements needed to kill the boss. Killing Diablo himself went pretty smoothly as well with me fucking up on first try and succeeding on the second one. Overall, in some places Normal difficulty was piece of cake, and in the others quite challenging for a melee character.

In the Nightmare difficulty I started facing some real troubles. Rare monsters started getting deadly combinations of affixes, white ones were quite tanky and I found myself in a spot when I couldn't fight common enemies anymore with just basic attack. That was the first big problem I want to be addressed: mana issues on attack characters. As far as I know, mana cost has been removed in earlier versions of Tchernobog, but for some reason retrieved in the most recent. Since attack characters do not tend to invest as much into Magic, Mana and Mana regen, the only way of sustaining mana for them is Mana Leech. The problem here is that Mana Leech is pretty difficult to get on your gear and it also isn't as notable on the early stages of the game where you do, let's say, 80 avg damage per hit, use 8 mana per hit and regain only 2% of that damage. Here also comes an issue with Possessed monsters which leech all my mana out in couple of hits. I swear, if you remove Diablo from final encounter in Terror's Domain and put a nice group of Possessed Knights, the game will be a lot harder for melee classes. Being unable to use special attacks against guys who aren't only tough as fuck but also freeze you is my least favourite experience in Beelzebub.

My second issue is being stunlocked. It feels like most of numbers were revisited but the thing that stayed about same is player stun threshold. Meaning that, I imply that being stunned is now easier and thus fucks over those who risk themselves in a melee combat. The only way to avoid being stunned to death is to stack as much armour as possible so enemies don't hit you at all, which might be problematic without perfect gear.

The third thing I'd love to highlight is rare monster affixes. While I am fine with the idea of rare monsters becoming more of a threat over the course of the all difficulties, I am having serious troubles at killing quest monsters in Nightmare difficulty which appears to be overtuned. I simply canot dish out as much damage on gear-dependant character to be able to handle Warlord of Blood with a clusterfuck of affixes on him. At this point the game becomes unbeatable rather than just hard which it already was for a melee character, and I should question the guy who handled the balance side: is the mod designed to be playable only with casters?

Another object to mention is Warrior's Charge being total shit for what it takes to obtain it. It runs straight line, it runs slowly (a LOT slower than Horned Deamons or Knights charge!) it does zero damage and doesn't even has area of effect. I see no use for this skill and would like to see it revamped or even replaced with anything useful.

Not having anough AoE kinda harms as well: I've seen myself numerous times thinking "wow what a huge group of %monstername%, if they happen to surround me, I am stunned and most likely donezo". Poor guy Warrior has a mere Cleave attack to hit only maximum of 3 targets at cost of noticeable amount of mana, while Sorcerer would what? Clear an entire screen with a single Nova? The only reason I managed to progress as far as where I am now is avoiding fighting groups of monsters at all cost. I run away until I find tight passageway and fight monsters when they can't outnumber me as much. I'm not even thinking of using 2-hand weapons becaue without shield I won't have any chance to survive any boss fight or fight against several monsters at once. And I don't even know how Assassin class is supposed to fight without ANY aoe abilities.

Last but not least issue is gear progression: with new, higher level item bases DPS isn't necessarily higher, as well as weapons which doesn't have "fast" or "very fast" attack speed can't be considered good because of lower DPS. With much lower attack speed ther raw damage isn't much higher to make them as viable as fast ones. Not to mention that high attack speed bases allow to proc on hit damage mor often as well as stunlock target. I wish those slow attack bases be revisited as well, and the upgrades of base items have higher values so they can be actual upgrades and not just lowest and highest hit values randomly reallocated (higher level base Secptre has less dps than lower level Flail lol).

most balance issues I can see are:
1) Having to sustain mana on attack builds in lower difficulties where mana leech is hardly noticable due to lack of DPS (I hope this change will be reverted in Tchernobog)
2) Player Stun threshold being too low/Armour requires A LOT of investment to be relevant in given difficulty = build HP and Armour, use shields, still get stunlocked to death if surrounded by white mobs. Also makes 2handers less relevant without perfectly stacked armour on all pieces of gear; no shield = rip melee
3) Warrior's Charge skill is plain shit
4) Spells having too much power and excel attacks in AoE and Damage (not being as gear-dependant), while melee characters have very little aoe or don't have any at all (talking about Assassin)
5) Base weapon types and weapon and overall weapon balance seriously need to be looked at.

~with respect,
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Joined: 28 Feb 2014
Posts: 153

PostPosted: 18 Feb, 2017 6:45    Post subject:

4) Spells having too much power and excel attacks in AoE and Damage (not being as gear-dependant), while melee characters have very little aoe or don't have any at all (talking about Assassin)

I know Brightlord is concerned about spell AOE damage. Because of this balance issue, the game compromises by adding insane amount of magic immunities in later difficulties. The game seems too easy at the moment for Sorcerers, but frustrating on later difficulties when encountering specials.

Not sure what the best way to fix this is. Hopefully we'll find an answer. Not sure about your other points because I haven't played these classes.
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Joined: 09 May 2014
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PostPosted: 28 Feb, 2017 12:49    Post subject:

I simply canot dish out as much damage on gear-dependant character to be able to handle Warlord of Blood with a clusterfuck of affixes on him.

Had a similar experience upon reaching the nightmare level warlord of blood on a lvl 37 assassin. Even with pretty good gear.

Haste + extra strong + cold enchant + poison enchant + several other enchants/immunities = extremely hard to avoid being hit, and once you are you are slowed enough to make hitting them back in melee laughably unlikely. Probably need a freeze immunity item to do so. At least, double half freeze duration items were not enough, though I did get him to ~1% HP on one occasion before running out of pots.

Eventually I gave up and used teleport + ranged magic attack cheese to kill him, thanks to the assy's decent casting speed.

Seems a bit silly that a melee class with 75% block, 250+ AC and 1000+ DPS is resorting to using a staff and casting fireballs though.
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