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Crisses
02-26-2011, 04:31 PM
I happened back upon a DoP thread that I think pinpoints the problem with the spells/skills across the various classes and trees:

http://www.soldak.com/forums/showthread.php?t=761

What to look for: how often Paladin Sponge has to mention whether something scales with level.

Whether or not the formulas are CORRECT, or linear or non-linear -- face the fact that monsters scale with level. Resistance, hit points, etc. The question is "does any given character scale close enough to monster level to make the game a challenge -- even a huge challenge towards Level 100 -- without becoming frustrating to the point that you'll abandon the character".

Many warrior skills sorta scale with level due to the acquisition of higher & higher DPS by pouring sufficient STR/DEX points to be able to equip the bigger better weapons. Even a lousy attack skill SORTA scales with a warrior's level because it USUALLY modifies their base damage. The base damage changes, so hence the damage changes.

However a Level 100 Fire Mage can put 1 skill point into a spell that still does about 25 points of damage. No aspect of the spell's effect scales depending on the character's level. A higher-level mage doesn't cast faster, doesn't do more damage, doesn't effectively do ANYTHING differently than a mage 10 levels below them UNLESS they spend skill points.

So it seems that to keep up with monsters & warriors, one possible change is simply to go over the skill trees for all the classes and have them scale to level -- not so much that you don't want to spend points on them! They should degrade and fall behind. BUT, so that there's still a bonus for adding a new skill/spell to one's repertoire in the late game rather than simply hiking up something that's already level 20. It allows diversity in play. It allows a Level 100 mage to be a force to be feared, and to keep up with the jonses.

Note that Conjurer's pets DO scale (somewhat, again they start to lag behind as they should) with level, making that class more viable. But a Level 1 fireball *COULD* do less damage for a level 1 mage and more for a level 100 mage.

I'll come up with some examples, to show what I mean. Paladin Sponge has a great point about how useless skills are that don't scale with level -- for every class, if a skill didn't scale with level he dropped it. Some classes had more of an issue with that -- most notably the mages -- than others. That's why mages have a skill point deficit and need to pour all their points into an extremely narrow stream of skills. There could be an aspect for nearly every skill that scales with level: shorter cooldown, more damage, better % modifier, longer duration, etc. One exception is Teleport -- it does what it does just fine - although teleporting a target would be a fun Level-6 variation of Teleport ;)

Crisses
02-28-2011, 05:23 PM
Note this train of thought comes up a few times in "Helping the Mage class..." at http://www.soldak.com/forums/showthread.php?p=23002

It probably needs to come back here because it's NOT a mage issue....it's across nearly every tree for every class, some more than others.

Bluddy
02-28-2011, 06:13 PM
I agree. Even if we end up fixing the mage classes skills as they are, we'll still have the crappy skills that don't scale and aren't worth it in every other tree. Why should anyone invest 30 points in a non-scaling skill when another skill can do similar things for far fewer points?

EDIT: I think there may be a way to make the non-scaling skills attractive. If they get very powerful very fast, as in they mature in 16 levels, they do become attractive as an investment of skill points. Every time you buy them, they'll last you 6 levels. Maybe they should be even more powerful than that.