Simple damage in high level play

Has anyone actually gotten a “plain” damage setup to work in very high levels? I haven’t gotten close to that point, but almost every setup I’ve seen going into realm 50-500 or so is using ailments, percentage damage, or abusing abilities like the Mouth of Hell’s. I think someone was using a splash + super-buffed Brim Smith build to oneshot encounters, but even that apparently fell off. Naturally, as you go more and more over your level, the Attack stat falls off as enemies quickly get maximum damage reduction, and I imagine attack-based setups do fine if both parties were level 20,000; but when your party is level 1000 and the enemy is level 30000 you pretty much have to use percentage damage.

Though, if you are farming experience or resources, I imagine attack builds are the best since they’re the fastest (rather than waiting on percentage damage, poison, burn, etc, you attack and kill, even oneshotting parties with splash), I know one person made a graph explaining that Attack was best at first, then debuffs/ailments/% damage accelerates. I guess one problem is the only way to buff attack-power based setups in order to go that far out of your depth would require doing something rather silly that would be incredibly broken at lower levels. I imagine % based buffs don’t fall off as hard, though, as they increase your power exponentially; a green Carver (whose name I forgot) has 57 times more attack after ten party deaths, along with ten free attacks; if you have a consistent method of revival, you could eventually scale up no matter how far you go. Similarly, spamming Mass Bloodlust is helpful if you have some sort of prevention from being one-shotted like the Life Mage talent, as you’ll quickly reduce the enemy’s defense to manageable levels while increasing your own offense; and if you’re that far past your level, you’re going to die on hit anyway - it’s how I already fight Nethers in sigils at a low level; they do capped damage almost exclusively, so bloodlust helps buff my damage dealer and let them do more than minimum damage.

Edit: By “minimum damage/maximum damage reduction”, I mean when an enemy’s Defense reduces your damage as far as it will go; which generally happens quite fast once the enemy’s defense outstrips you - without buffs even my brim smith hits sigil Nethers like a wet noodle, but after one defense reduction/attack buff they start hitting 5-10 times harder.

Abilities trump stats in this game.

I ran an experiment with some pre-1.3.0 artifacts that had more than 70 slots and conferred about 40k attack bonus each. I put them on dark brim smiths and surrounded a brim smith holding another one, so the artifacts alone added 160k attack, and the brim smith had a base attack stat of about 10k. At the beginning of battle I cast haste and giant’s strength in series on my brim smith to raise his attack power. The result of my brutally awesome attack at realm 350?? Minimum damage. However, I think some of the effectiveness of %dmg and reflect abilities at very high levels may have been unintended consequences from the developers’ perspective.

Stats are probably more important than abilities in the very early game, and in the mid game abilities start to catch up to the point where they’re about even. But for the super late-game, abilities, spells, and a well-developed team strategy are most important. I’m personally comfortable with it working that way, since the game feels a lot more dynamic as you progress through the levels instead of just worrying about increasing a bunch of numbers here and there. It’s been really interesting to read about everyone’s strategies lately now that the forums are becoming a bit more active - a lot of the ideas for team compositions are things that I never would have thought of myself.

I think it’s more that the attack command is underutilized, rather than worrying about your stats on artifacts and such; good synergy and buff setups that work to increase attack power tend to fall flat later on - though it is still true they work better at earlier realm levels due to taking less time. You can definitely use artifact abilities, team setups, and spells to use basic attacks, but you’ll likely still have problems cracking enemy defense without tons of buffing, while a percentage-based build works essentially indefinitely without any fuss.

I guess that’s the thing - reflect/ailment/% damage is better at taking you past your level, while actual numeric damage is better at working nearer to your level and tends to go faster. I definitely don’t just mean that mindlessly hitting enemies with stat-stacked artifacts should be more viable, more that the attack command itself sounds weak aside from if it applies ailments or percentage damage. This isn’t from personal experience, though, more that all of the players I’ve seen get to high realm levels do it purely with %/reflect, as you essentially can go on infinitely with that, as once all enemies one-shot you and take minimal damage, they can be level 20,000 or 2 billion and it wouldn’t matter, which honestly seems strange to me.

Edit: I do wonder if I’m simply over-valuing realm level - is there a use in playing a team that can’t progress past 50, but can wipe every fight before then in one or two turns, versus one that can theoretically go to realm level 999999, but takes twenty turns on every encounter?

Some of the suggestions from Kejal to cap the potential of %dmg and reflect dmg to some factor of creature level would address your concern to some extent.

I would not describe this style of play as averaging 20 turns for each battle. With a Raven Acolyte, Omnipotent Deity, and Pegasus equipped with Cradle to Grave, it would take an average of 3 turns to wipe out a super-powered enemy team. Kejal and I happen to have stumbled on a particularly wicked artifact/ability combo that concludes 95% of super-encounters in 1 turn. He’s currently ahead of me on the realm-delving race!

I echo Zack in my enjoyment of how dynamic these progressive strengths work. My brim smith and spider Occultist are awesome powerhouses that I use to help train up all of my creatures. However, they can’t really dive into the crazy realms like the omnipotent deity can. And I like that.

also, a “pseudo” straight attack method would involve effects like sap, leak, scorn and other such things that boost your stats, reduce their stats, and remove the power of their abilities. I’m sure there’s a great build for this out there, but I don’t have all the creatures yet. But when I do! I’m looking to try all the angles.

Correction, 4 turns. My bad.

The thing is this runs counter to the intuition that the game progresses towards nether creatures. Nethers are a liability for an ability based setup because of the Djinn Arcanomancer (personally I could have lived with suffocate and sap, but getting scorn simply is simply not an option). Teams with demons while superior in normal fights will still die to Djinn Arcanomancers when the demon has any battle abilities (I know that some abilities like Topaz Attunement and Jailbreak (health part) and probably death abilities work).

@crumplecup: I am currently in realm 444 and have stopped delving for now until the loot gets reduced in the next patch. And speaking of totally overpowered combos: have you used a Final Breath yet in your setup? :wink:

Starting to see some of this myself. I’m on my fourth Nether creature, replacing each normal one in my chosen build as I hatch it, and while the power they bring to the table is substantial, around realm 20 I start automatically losing anytime I meet an Arcanomancer. I’m not that upset about it, as I’m not trying to visit Moria just yet, but if you were trying to visit the center of the earth it would become an issue.

I think that blanket abilities like Arcanomancer’s without drawbacks are not very interesting. Before I actually used a Bone Reaper I thought that it would need the killing blow to prevent a creature from activating death abilities. I was quite surprised that it acts as a “switch” with no downside. I wish those type of abilities would require more activity, for example

  • a mutant swampdweller attack applies blight to all enemies for one round
  • the Arcanomancer takes only one damage from nethers and afflict the target with scorn and suffocate when attacking
  • Bone Reaper’s attack apply a debuff to the creature until the end of the fight which prevents death abilities (also allows spreading this ability around a bit)

The only switch that is somewhat balanced is Curse of Silence since it prevents both teams from casting though I would prefer it as a game option :wink:

I’m still working on the Arcanomancer’s ability. Automatic Scorn just isn’t fun.

That “blanket ability” thing reminds me. In one of my games I found an artifact with Misanthropy (“all enemies have rage, e.g. can’t defend or provoke”) while I was still in the early game, and it made the game reaaaaaally boring.

Would the Arcanomancer giving all Nethers Weak and Wane be feasible? That way it doesn’t explicitly prevent the creature from doing its job, it just makes it bad in straight-up combat and weakens it over time. It also matches the vaguely ethereal feel you’re giving the Arcanomancer’s effects, like it’s able to partially banish or bind Nethers.

Funny you mentioned that, because here is a line of the patch notes for the upcoming patch: :slight_smile:

  • Netherbane (Djinn Arcanomancer) has been reworked: Enemy Nether Creatures always have Wane and Weak.

What does everyone else think about this change? At first I thought it would be interesting to have some kind of anti-Nether ability, but I can definitely see the opposing point of views as well. Should we give this new version of Netherbane a try, or should I scrap the anti-Nether aspect of it altogether and come up with something entirely different for this creautre?

I think anti-Nether is a cool concept, but a little hard on players because enemy Nethers are so rare to come across - something like nine out of ten battles you’ll have no use for Arcanomancers whatsoever, while you as a player are incentivized to use Nethers, and thus the Arcanomancer is much more effective for the CPU than you in the long run. The new combination debuff is a lot less vicious than the previous ones, though, and drops your Nethers to merely mortal levels instead of making them useless; I’ll have to playtest and see if it’s any better to work with.

I think this new setup would be cool. And while scorn is a pain in the butt at the moment, your anti-nether creature isn’t a bad idea. I feel like it adds a bit of excitement when you’re mowing through with a full nether team.

I like the idea of the Wane-Weak combo. It’s painful but doesn’t make you instantly lose if most of your party is Nether creatures. It might be useful to put an Arcanomancer in your party if you’re going to fight a lot of Sigil battles in a row when you know you’ll see Nethers in every battle.

Maybe there should be some high-level type of Arena battle that usually/always has Nethers too? That would be interesting and would make for an interesting decision of whether it’s worth using an Arcanomancer in the Arena instead of something with a directly useful ability.

The arena overhaul will cause enemies to eventually become Nether Creatures after you reach a high enough streak. Right now, the arena scales a bit too slowly and a lot of people are able to hit a streak of over 100 which becomes kind of boring.

Wane and weak would be fine for the Arcanomancer. I still think there is room for a deadlier defend/attack/provoke) single target nether counter which would be very useful for sigil battles without having us players run scared every time it appears as an enemy.

I was just looking through abilities, and noticed that the Harpy Torturer has an ability that has a 50% chance to kill any target with Weak. If you do decide to change the Arcanomancer to do Weak and Wane to Nethers, you might want to also update this ability to not work on Nethers, or work at a lower percentage rate. Otherwise, an Arcanomancer and a Harpy Torturer or two could easily take down enemy Nethers.