High level game balance

My mage is currently level 1371 in realm 443 and wanted to share some insights about several issues at this depth:

  1. There is just too much loot. I spent a lot of time deleting minor sigils and spell scrolls to keep save game size in check (sigils have gotten better after the patch but still grow to over a hundred pretty quickly). Furthermore there are enough ticket and quill drops that I could go deeper just by using stop time/windwalk to loot chests and using tickets to complete duties. Currently I have 408 bronze, 75 silver and 60 golden tickets, though I only use them for diffuse duties or to skip sorcery realms. My suggestion would be to put a hard cap on consumables, cores, sigils and scrolls and instead fill the void with currency drops (either exalted emblems or something new) and have a vendor sell useful items like pills, dust, high-level orbs at a really high price.

  2. Percentage based abilities without a connection to a creature’s stats make stats obsolete. The worst offender is the Mouth of Hell with Final Oblation (the core creature in my current team). Since it scales based off enemy damage its own stats are not important. My current fights all follow the same pattern: One enemy attacks, all enemies die because they take 10 million damage each.

My suggestion would be to have percentage based abilities scale of stats. In case of the Mouth of Hell I would suggest that base damage before being multiplied by 2.5 can not exceed the maximum health of the Mouth of Hell. It would still be immensely powerful but it would no longer one-shot a team of realm level 443 enemies.
Other creatures which are problematic are
Witch Doctor Sacrificer -> can only reduce damage up to its own maximum health
Troll Arsonist -> damage can not exceed x% of its attack stat
Ominpotent Deity -> damage can not exceed x% of its attack stat
Mutated Crypt Bat -> damage can not exceed x% of its attack stat
Cursed Reaper -> damage can not exceed x% of its attack stat
Mummy Lord -> can only reduce damage up to its own health
Storm Lord
Ancient Ent
Sunclaw Gargoyle
probably a few more

  1. Some abilities like Topaz Attunement do no longer work at these depth (which is fine, but should be clarified in the ability description, for example “increases speed by 10000% when determining queue order”

I agree completely on all three points. I’m still trying to figure out a healthy way to handle loot and my intention is to get this issue ironed out in the next patch. I like the idea with abilities too - many of the ones you mentioned are intended to work the way they do already, but I agree that the Mouth of Hell’s ability, for example, is not healthy for gameplay at all. The final point you made is actually just a bug, so I’ll add that to my list of bugs :slight_smile:

Not anywhere near that depth, but I agree that the Mouth of Hell completely stops a battle every time it shows up; I usually end up poisoning it and then defending several rounds in a row.

Does that mean you have found any demon dust, Kejal?

There goes getting to high realms for anyone like myself who hasn’t gotten there yet. Bummer. Glad others got to enjoy such high realms. Let’s say am enemy throws a grenade that would kill 5, but one jumps on it and only 1 dies instead of 5. That’s 1 with starts far lower than the grenade attack stopping it from hitting the others. As morbid as I may be, it works in real life, I’d be bummed if abilities can’t work according to their purpose in game.

All that’s going through my mind is, “well I’m glad the Uber-far players are tired of the game mechanics they use to delve. Wouldn’t want the ones who aren’t there yet to be able to share in the experience…” :frowning:

I’ve only gotten to Realm 23 so far, so I’m certainly not an “uber-far player”, but Kejal’s proposed changes sound like a good idea to me. The game wouldn’t be fun anymore if some broken monster combo let you go forever because it ignores the scaling that the rest of the game is designed around.

Siralim is very much a game about the journey and not the destination, since there is no real end point. I’d much rather that the mechanics not invalidate the vast majority of monsters that don’t have percentage-based abilities. The end game will be more fun if you can still make lots of different combinations of monsters and have them be pretty viable.

I will very likely start a new character once Mouth of Hell and friends are fixed (just like I started a new character in 2.x without unbalanced artifacts). If you want to spoil your fun with the game then the Mouth of Hell is still there in its current incarnation until the next patch. You will realize that high level realms are actually not that rewarding. You will end up with pages of useless items that take over 20 minutes! to discard (pile of over 1300 sigils).

@crumplecup: I have found two demon dusts thus far. They are still very rare. One dust resulted in a Fallen Carnage nether demon. I am still not sure about using nethers for any important role because of Djinn Arcanomancers.

After reviewing all of the abilities in the game, the Mouth of Hell’s ability is the only one that I consider to be problematic for now.

Unfortunately, there is also no good way to adjust this ability. It’ll always either be either way overpowered or completely useless, so it will be redesigned instead.

if sigils are still dropping to common I would like to see it reduced again. I don’t know how I feel capping items… id rather the drop be lowered so it doesn’t feel its becoming stocked up way to easily. Chests could always drop resources to fill the gaps in loot payouts. on 2.0.7 currently only thing is satchels but I noticed watching a person play on youtube chests seemed to drop direct resources which looked pretty cool.

I never got to see it, so I am wondering: what is the mouth of hell’s ability, and why is it so difficult to balance?

When the creature with the ability dies, it deals damage to all enemies equal to 250% of the damage it received from the killing blow. So basically, if it’s getting one-shot in high realm levels, it’ll also one-shot all the enemies at once and it makes it really easy to wipe out even the most difficult enemies in the game.

Minor sigils are not actually unique, they just have random names. If they stacked then their drop rate wouldn’t be a problem.

Likewise, spells clog up the save file. I realize the individual scrolls with charges is a classic mechanic, but some modernization to reduce file bloat might help. For instance, if a player has unlocked 30 spell slots, they can collect 30 unique spell scrolls, and add new charges as they find them, but would need to discard new scrolls with unique spells if an empty spell slot is not available.

As for the Mouth of Hell, I have seen the developers take two directions: nerfing abilities, and adding counter-balancing abilities. I am in favor of the latter, because the more abilities have counters, the less likely a perfect build will emerge. Even Final Oblation usually depends upon a series of support abilities to silence spells, taunt or provoke, and resurrect perhaps (e.g. me encountering a Skeleton Mortarman). Disrupting any one of these supports with new abilities could increase play dynamism and disrupt the Final Oblation build. For instance, an ability that causes taunt or provoke to redirect attacks away from the intended target.

Additional variety in creature formation and AI strategy could mitigate the problem as well. For instance, a build of creatures that inflict poison, burn and freeze passively between them, and they all defend. If the uber-powerful enemy tries to kill the player only through debuffs, %dmg, or reflect damage, then the Mouth of Hell would be ineffective.

I would also like sigils to stack. What I would like even more would be if they are only accessible with creature cores. You never need more than 19 cores of a creature anyway (group of 6 and one core for nether) making diffusing unappealing once you got your desired number of cores.

I imagine something like this:
A minor sigil from cores features a nether from that creature type with random normal creatures.
Winning the sigil has a chance to award the current major sigil version of that creature with prebuild fights.

This way diffusing would stay relevant and you can go for specific abilities.

That’s a really good idea. I’m going to implement that for sure.

Alright, so here’s what we’re looking at it in terms of loot now:

  1. The quantity of certain items has been reduced. For example, consumable battle buff items were dropping at insane rates and it was very common to receive a stack of 4 or 5 of the same item. Similarly, way too many cores were dropping.

  2. Minor Sigils have been moved up one “rarity tier” so they’ll drop less commonly.

  3. The overall number of “loot slots” has been reduced at higher realm levels and are now subject to diminishing returns. Before, you could open a chest that contained a dozen pages of items if you reached a certain realm level and that is not intended. It’s still possible, but not as likely, for that to happen now. Overall, you will still receive much better loot in higher realm levels - it’s just not ridiculous and game-breaking anymore.

  4. Increased the amount of resources gained from satchels. There is also a new type of item called a “Handful”. There are four such items: Handful of Brimstone, Handful of Crystal, Handful of Essence, and Handful of Granite. These can be found anywhere including chests, as Duty rewards, etc and contain a small amount of resources. These items “open” themselves immediately when you find them. This item is extremely common. Their icon is the same icon found in the game’s menu which will help players learn which icon belongs to each type of resource, so this serves as a nice learning tool as well for an otherwise ambiguous concept. From a gameplay perspective, this change also should make it much easier for players to access the enchantments and construction upgrades that they need early on.

  5. Certain items, such as quills and tickets, are now more rare.

Sounds good.

A question to 3). Is only the number of “loot slots” increasing or also the quality, for example, does a 20% chance for uncommon loot increase to say 30% in higher realms?

  1. is interesting and will help early game but I think late game, granite, essence and power need a more effective late game sink similar to brimstone and crystal. After castle upgrades granite piles up even with the occasional artifact enchant. Power spells are also not enough to keep down power. Essence while in theory can be used to create level 10 gems doing so by combining them takes very long. Essence and power could be used to upgrade gems directly:
    2 -> 2000 essence and power
    3 -> 2500
    4 -> 3500
    5 -> 5000
    6 -> 7000
    7 -> 9500
    8 -> 12500
    9 -> 16000
    10 -> 20000
    Granite could be used for exalted emblems as a late game smithy/enchanter upgrade (after unlocking all creature tiers)

To answer your question, only quantity increases. In turn, you have a higher chance to obtain rare items because you have more chances to obtain them. I think that this is the only way to realistically handle loot so that it scales infinitely.

I like your idea for an additional essence dump. It’s not forcing anyone to cough up extra essence unless they have plenty to spare, which is great.

I have plans for new power and granite dumps that will come in the future (entirely new systems that give you new things to do - I’m very excited about these) but I think adding an option to upgrade gem levels in exchange for essence is an excellent idea that I should be able to implement pretty quickly. Thanks for the suggestion!

I just want to point out that the significant resources here are demon dust and pills. Noone is delving to level 600 looking for pit wraith eyes or apprentice quills.

When you make common items rarer, you are actually making demon dust relatively more common. When players are mining rare items at high levels, common items are a nuisance, so making them relatively rarer is a good idea. I would be happy to receive less loot at higher levels if I knew I had a better chance of getting the good stuff.

When you make everything rarer, like you did in 1.3.0, you actually just moved the realm I was content to mine on from 200 something way down below 600. If you introduce the idea of diminishing returns, such as modeling density dependent population growth, then something else happens. Rather than being able to climb infinitely along a relatively linear incline, the loot levels actually asymptote, so while the quality is technically increases it does not increase meaningfully in quality for the player: the plateau of diminishing returns is a flat place. This begs the question, do you want loot to increase in quality or not?

Hope this helps muddle the issue.

A thought: if additional dumps are needed, you might consider making Arena invitations a producible product for something on the order of 30-50k resources per invitation. You could probably justify it as using the essence/power to summon the enemy creatures or pay them in gems.

[quote=“crumplecup, post:18, topic:539”]I just want to point out that the significant resources here are demon dust and pills. Noone is delving to level 600 looking for pit wraith eyes or apprentice quills.

When you make common items rarer, you are actually making demon dust relatively more common. When players are mining rare items at high levels, common items are a nuisance, so making them relatively rarer is a good idea. I would be happy to receive less loot at higher levels if I knew I had a better chance of getting the good stuff.

When you make everything rarer, like you did in 1.3.0, you actually just moved the realm I was content to mine on from 200 something way down below 600. If you introduce the idea of diminishing returns, such as modeling density dependent population growth, then something else happens. Rather than being able to climb infinitely along a relatively linear incline, the loot levels actually asymptote, so while the quality is technically increases it does not increase meaningfully in quality for the player: the plateau of diminishing returns is a flat place. This begs the question, do you want loot to increase in quality or not?

Hope this helps muddle the issue.[/quote]

I don’t think I explained myself correctly. When an item is chosen, a quantity is sometimes chosen for it as well depending on what kind of item it is. So let’s say the game wants to give you an Imler Brain. That’s a common drop, but in the current version of the game it might give you anywhere from 1 to 5 of them at once. In the new iteration, you’ll instead just get 1 or sometimes 2-3. Therefore, this doesn’t come at an opportunity cost to any other item.

The game currently decides how many different pieces of loot you’ll receive at random, and it’s way too random at higher levels, resulting in you sometimes having 10+ pages of items to sort through from one treasure chest.

The plan is to do some thorough testing and adjusting of this new system before it’s released to make sure everything feels good at all realm levels, so don’t worry!

Another bug fix that I think will interest you, Kejal, and anyone else at an extremely high realm level: the issue where enemies cap out at level 20000 is finally gone in the next update.