Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me

TOPIC: Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds?

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 1 day ago #25

Arcanist Kolixela wrote: Normal should be tuned to be hard but beatable with a sealed 10 pack.
Hardcore should be tuned to be hard but beatable with a Rares/3*/4* build and possibly an UR to unlock utility for the class.
Nightmare should be hard but beatable with a build that is 75% UR or higher tokens and the remaining 25% at best in slot rares.
Epic should expect BIS UR tokens plus some relics or eldritch tokens.
There should be an additional difficulty ranking Epic+ that's expecting nearly Best in Slot builds with full synergy boosts.


Currently in VTD I do not believe Hardcore or Nightmare are balanced for this.
I don't think Epic is either but testing is generally lacking.


I've always thought Hardcore should be aimed at builds with multiple URs. Otherwise, the gap between Hardcore and Nightmare is too big. Per your description, going from maybe one UR in HC to 75% URs+ in NM is a VERY large jump.

It seems like Epic should include a lot of Legendary and Relic tokens, much better than mostly BIS URs. Pretty close to the BIS class builds. To me it should be for those that have the top builds possible.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by Mike Steele.

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 1 day ago #26

Endgame wrote:

Arcanist Kolixela wrote: Normal should be tuned to be hard but beatable with a sealed 10 pack.
Hardcore should be tuned to be hard but beatable with a Rares/3*/4* build and possibly an UR to unlock utility for the class.
Nightmare should be hard but beatable with a build that is 75% UR or higher tokens and the remaining 25% at best in slot rares.
Epic should expect BIS UR tokens plus some relics or eldritch tokens.
There should be an additional difficulty ranking Epic+ that's expecting nearly Best in Slot builds with full synergy boosts.


Currently in VTD I do not believe Hardcore or Nightmare are balanced for this.
I don't think Epic is either but testing is generally lacking.


I basically agree with this assessment for what it should take at each difficulty, but I wouldn't worry about Epic+. Let Epic be tuned for BiS Legendary / Eldrich level. If this were the case, Nightmare could be tuned slightly up to be mostly UR (90%+) excepting specific cases (fiendish charm to eek out more hit, charm of enlightenment for more will save, rare beads for + saves, etc)


The gap between Nightmare and Epic is far too extreme as it stands today due to balancing ideas like that.

You get players who do not feel safe running Epic destroying Nightmare due to being over nightmare gearing but not yet epic viable.

Adding a rank above Epic and letting Epic itself be a bit lower down the ranks means these players can safely move to epic and be in a better slot

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 1 day ago #27

Arcanist Kolixela wrote:
The gap between Nightmare and Epic is far too extreme as it stands today due to balancing ideas like that.

You get players who do not feel safe running Epic destroying Nightmare due to being over nightmare gearing but not yet epic viable.

Adding a rank above Epic and letting Epic itself be a bit lower down the ranks means these players can safely move to epic and be in a better slot


This gap also exists between current HC and NM...our group was at a place for quite a while where HC was too easy, but NM was too difficult.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 1 month 1 day ago #28

Arcanist Kolixela wrote: Normal should be tuned to be hard but beatable with a sealed 10 pack.
Hardcore should be tuned to be hard but beatable with a Rares/3*/4* build and possibly an UR to unlock utility for the class.
Nightmare should be hard but beatable with a build that is 75% UR or higher tokens and the remaining 25% at best in slot rares.
Epic should expect BIS UR tokens plus some relics or eldritch tokens.
There should be an additional difficulty ranking Epic+ that's expecting nearly Best in Slot builds with full synergy boosts.

I can speak from experience that Epic requires higher level than BIS URs and some relics/eldritch.

What tokens and approach for BIS is debatable, my groups' Bard and I play with almost all UR builds with a few Relics and Legendaries (Widseth's Legendary, Kilt of Dungeonbane, lucky beads, icecrag's, IS elfstone, CoH), and we need to roll a 20 to hit creatures or to make our saving throws when we've played Epic.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #29

Lord of Mistakes wrote: I suggest that thought be put into the difficulty levels (even if levels need to be added).
There should be a level than can be played with just the free 10-pack (Normal).
There should be a level that can be played with mostly Reds (this had prevoiusly been HC).
There should be advanced levels of difficulty that challenge all the upper player levels from a few URs, to all URs and one Legendary, to players with all Best In Slot. (This is NM and Epic levels.)


+1, especially for these descriptions of Normal and HC. There's a huge $$$ difference between rares vs builds that include even a single UR+, and people who want to spend money on tickets but not extra money on tokens should have these two difficulty levels appropriately tuned for their needs.

Adding URs to your HC build should start making HC feel easy. If you enjoy easy, great! If you're so overgeared for HC that it's too easy, but you feel NM is out of reach, that's 100% valid but your problem is with the tuning of NM, not with the tuning of HC.

What does "can be played" mean? IMO an appropriately-geared party working together well should have a decent chance of completing room 7, and when they do fall short they should feel like they came reasonably close. A TPK where we missed it by that much is a completely different (fun, motivating, exciting) play experience from a TPK that was a foregone conclusion (bad taste, pay to win BS, etc).

I personally played TD for 6 years before I bought a single token. Now I own crazy tokens and play NM/Epic... but that never would have happened if I hadn't enjoyed playing Normal and HC for those years when money was tighter.
dmrzzz's trade thread

Yes, my AC is lower than the Wizard's. No regrets!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #30

My group is facing a similar issue but at the NM/Epic level. NM can feel too easy, but Epic is too hard, particularly with respect to to-hit. On a few runs, we’ve asked the DM if we could use NM to-hit but Epic HP for the monsters, and that is often about right—in terms of being challenging but not impossible. (There have also been a few times that the DM has just added some unspecified amount of HP to the monster, or told us after the fight that we killed it twice. Which is great from a playing enjoyment standpoint, but not an official option we can select every time.)

Our group has a couple of people with true Epic builds, and others are strong NM. We’ve got 10x CoAS, and everyone but the Druid and Wizard have their class legendaries (they have the class relics). Over the last two years, we’ve gotten everyone to a point where their HP and saves are in the strong NM category, but monster to-hit is a real challenge.

Another thing I’ve noticed during VTD is how different a fight can be depending on whether the party wins initiative and/or gets a Monk Stun. Not having an Elf Wizard who can cast Alertness in every round makes a big difference. A Monk who triggers Stun can also be the difference between killing a monster while taking little damage and beating it but with a ton of party damage that needs to be healed.

I’m not sure what the answer is, but wanted to add to the comments about the level tuning feeling a bit off.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #31

BeLinda Mathie wrote: My group is facing a similar issue but at the NM/Epic level. NM can feel too easy, but Epic is too hard, particularly with respect to to-hit. On a few runs, we’ve asked the DM if we could use NM to-hit but Epic HP for the monsters, and that is often about right—in terms of being challenging but not impossible. (There have also been a few times that the DM has just added some unspecified amount of HP to the monster, or told us after the fight that we killed it twice. Which is great from a playing enjoyment standpoint, but not an official option we can select every time.)

Our group has a couple of people with true Epic builds, and others are strong NM. We’ve got 10x CoAS, and everyone but the Druid and Wizard have their class legendaries (they have the class relics). Over the last two years, we’ve gotten everyone to a point where their HP and saves are in the strong NM category, but monster to-hit is a real challenge.

Another thing I’ve noticed during VTD is how different a fight can be depending on whether the party wins initiative and/or gets a Monk Stun. Not having an Elf Wizard who can cast Alertness in every round makes a big difference. A Monk who triggers Stun can also be the difference between killing a monster while taking little damage and beating it but with a ton of party damage that needs to be healed.

I’m not sure what the answer is, but wanted to add to the comments about the level tuning feeling a bit off.

Do you have a Fighter or Paladin using a sundering cestus? That -2 AC per hit can make a pretty big difference. I imagine you’re already buffing to the max with bard and Cleric.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #32

Endgame wrote: Do you have a Fighter or Paladin using a sundering cestus? That -2 AC per hit can make a pretty big difference. I imagine you’re already buffing to the max with bard and Cleric.


We started playing in 2013-2016, so no, no one has a 2009 UR token. :laugh: I’m glad it is working well for your party, though. (Our Paladin currently uses Ava’s, and the DF uses a +3 Slayer Sword. We don’t have a human fighter in our regular party.)

We’ve also noticed that not all DMs are consistent with applying conditional effects, and try to avoid them when we can in favor of permanent stats. (Our Paladin previously use a +2 Scepter of Might, and the “monster’s to-hit rolls go down by 1 for every hit” part never seemed to matter.)

Our bard is +4/+4 and the cleric consistently uses prayer on the higher AC monsters. We could have the bard use scroll bless more, which would help some.

For our group, some of these issues will be mitigated when the 2022 tokens arrive and two of our ranged players get serious to-hit boosts from the Deadshot items. That will help as well.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 9 hours ago #33

At this point I feel like if you are playing nightmare and don't have an elf wizard casting alertness every combat you will never win initiative.
Fall down......Go boom!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 7 hours ago #34

Adam Guay wrote: At this point I feel like if you are playing nightmare and don't have an elf wizard casting alertness every combat you will never win initiative.


Agreed. We don’t have an Elf Wizard in our regular party of ~8 players. So I’m always happy when an Elf wants to join us.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Last edit: by BeLinda Mathie.

Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 7 hours ago #35

BeLinda Mathie wrote:

Adam Guay wrote: At this point I feel like if you are playing nightmare and don't have an elf wizard casting alertness every combat you will never win initiative.


Agreed. We don’t have an Elf Wizard in our regular party of ~8 players. So I’m always happy when an Elf wants to join us.


If there is a spot at gamehole I might be able to fill that spot.
Fall down......Go boom!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 7 hours ago #36

Mike Steele wrote: I've always thought Hardcore should be aimed at builds with multiple URs. Otherwise, the gap between Hardcore and Nightmare is too big. Per [Arcanist's] description, going from maybe one UR in HC to 75% URs+ in NM is a VERY large jump.


Bringing this back around to the discussion of Hardcore instead of NM/Epic, which is a very different conversation...

I'm curious as to the thought process behind this. Why should Hardcore require multiple UR's? From my perspective, that sort of design would create a very large gap between Normal and Hardcore.

For reference, I try to think of groups from multiple perspectives, not just token level. The perspectives I'm looking at are:
- PUG vs. coordinated group
- Token investment with fairly fine gradation
- Run the dungeon once vs. multiple times (to meta)
- Never played TD before vs. long play history (memorize skill checks, slide skill, understand "Jeff logic" puzzles)

Within token gradation, I tend to think about:
-- just 10-packs, completions, and treasure pulls
-- some outside purchases to bolster a build
-- optimized with all rares
-- optimized rares with a smattering of light blues, especially "power 4*" like Enchanter's Whetstone, Shirt of Blessed Strength, Blessed Tempest Gloves, etc.
-- Optimized rare/4*, but some investment in keystone higher-level tokens (5th-level Bard with Relic Lute, 5th-level casters)
-- Multiple UR's across the whole group and higher

In my opinion, Hardcore should be comfortable, but not a cakewalk, with:
- Coordinated group
- Optimized all rares with smattering of light blues
- First run dungeon
- medium length play history

Then you can start to change up the parameters. PUG but some investment in keystone higher level tokens? Hardcore still comfortable. Coordinated group but optimized rares only? Hardcore is tough, likely die in Room 7. Run the dungeon before to avoid puzzle damage and meta some things? Gets more comfortable again.

I'm curious as I said to your thoughts on why Hardcore should be a multiple UR, rather than that being the spot where HC starts to feel easy and the gateway to NM. Or perhaps there's room for an difficulty level between the two? Although any new difficulties are extra work for TDA, and there's not a lot of room to create new incentives.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.207 seconds