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TOPIC: Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds?

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #37

I think generalizing difficulty level appropriateness by rarity of tokens is becoming more and more difficult. While I think it used to be possible to make such statements, I think more and more It depends a LOT on the specific tokens.

For an easy example: a party that has 1 UR each, but they happen to be weapons is probably not (noticeably) better off than a part with all Rare weapons and Enchanter's Whetstones.

While that's an extreme example, I think we're starting to see more overlap where how much better the UR option is than the Rare option is going to be highly dependent on the specific dungeon.

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #38

Fiddy wrote: I think generalizing difficulty level appropriateness by rarity of tokens is becoming more and more difficult. While I think it used to be possible to make such statements, I think more and more It depends a LOT on the specific tokens.


A 5th-level Bard with the Relic lute and Necklace of the Songbird does more for the party than upgrading everyone from Rare to Relic weapons at less than 10% of the cost.

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #39

Marc D wrote:

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.


I agree completely.

If Hardcore is expecting multiple UR tokens per player that eliminates most of the game groups from ever playing anything higher than normal. The cost to go from new player to Hardcore group should not be $300 plus per person.

Hardcore should be completely doable with a token set that's mostly rare, a few low level 3*/4* transmutes and a well coordinated group. It SHOULD NOT require hundreds of dollars in tokens to complete Hardcore.

It seems like the biggest change that the game may need at this point is adding in another core difficulty level to make the jump from Hardcore to Nightmare and Nightmare to Epic smaller. Making Hardcore more exclusionary isn't healthy for the survival of the game.

Put additional balance levels above the EXP cap and make them purely bragging rights for finishing.

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #40

Marc D wrote:

Fiddy wrote: I think generalizing difficulty level appropriateness by rarity of tokens is becoming more and more difficult. While I think it used to be possible to make such statements, I think more and more It depends a LOT on the specific tokens.


A 5th-level Bard with the Relic lute and Necklace of the Songbird does more for the party than upgrading everyone from Rare to Relic weapons at less than 10% of the cost.


Yep. It's also one of the best upgrades for a Bard player to open them to doing other things. And unfortunately it's WAY easier to convince a few players in the group to grab an UR weapon or other token than it is to convince multiple people to pool tokens to get a $300 relic.

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Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #41

I am not reading this thread so If they have been answered just copy and paste.
So here are my questions
Is the Rare build suppose to cake walk or beat the dungeon on hardcore...or just make it to room 6 or 7.

same for the other Levels. Are people thinking that they should survive...or make it to room 6 or 7.
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Hardcore too hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #42

IMO make it to the boss monster and feel like you made progress against it. Don’t have to beat it, but it shouldn’t be a Smoak-esque situation where the party can’t hit or just gets stomped.

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #43

Marc D wrote:

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.

...

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.


First of all, these are just my opinions, and reasonable people can disagree.

Secondly, I think that trying to determine a dollar threshold of tokens per difficulty level is a very incomplete approach, because there are a number of other factors that are as or more important, such as:

1) How well does the group understand and utilize the specific abilities/spells/powers of each class, including how they work best together?
2) How good is the group at both sliding and puzzle solving?
3) How quickly can the group make it through each combat turn (the faster, the more combat turns available)?
4) What level of Risk/Difficulty does the group enjoy best? Do they want to be very confident that they can complete all seven rooms successfully (maybe even easily), do they want an incredibly difficult challenge where they have to perform almost perfectly to even make it to Room 7, or somewhere in-between?

That said - if we're strictly looking at token builds, I think that you have to look at the gaps between all the classes and not just one.

To start, you have to identify the boundaries, and this is how I envision them.

Normal has to be designed so that a brand new group that has never played before, has never even seen the character sheets before, has just their starting 10 packs of tokens, and is no more than middle-tier as far as combat and puzzle skills are concerned, has a very good chance of reaching and surviving Room 7. Otherwise, there is a risk that a higher than desired percentage of new players won't try it again.

Epic should be designed to give a good challenge to experienced players that have put together BIS builds, including Legendaries, Eldritch, upcoming Arcane, etc., as well as players that know and use their characters abilities/spells/powers, are very quick at combat turns, etc. An experienced group with BIS builds needs to feel that they were challenged and had a significant victory (as opposed to a cake walk) in defeating Epic level.

That means that the two remaining levels (HC and N) need to be able to bridge the gap all the way from starting 10 packs from first time players to BIS builds with experienced and skilled players.

If Hardcore is too close to Normal build (such as all Rares with nothing higher), that requires Nightmare to bridge the entire gap between a Rare build and a BIS Legendary/Eldritch/Arcane build. Designing Hardcore so that it requires a number of URs for an average group to defeat Room 7 on a regular basis seems like the sweet spot to me personally, as that lets Nightmare move to a build of mostly URs with some Relic/Legendary tokens added in. And personally, it seems appropriate for Hardcore Level to require some URs for an average group to survive it.

Now, if additional difficulty levels were added in, that would make it easier to have one with Rare builds be just above Normal. I also see though that there are issues with adding difficulty levels, from both player understanding and implementation. As token power levels keep increasing, to me it seems like eventually another difficulty level will have to be added to keep the separation between levels from becoming too large.

As far as difficulty in establishing differing incentives for additional difficulty levels, I still would prefer that the incentive levels (except for maybe different survivor buttons) be identical for all the difficulty levels, and the only factor someone has in choosing the difficulty level be that they are choosing their desired level of challenge/risk. It seems like offering additional XP, Incentive Tokens, etc. might result in people playing at higher difficulty levels to get those rewards than they would otherwise choose, which might be a lower overall satisfaction level. I know that's a different conversation though. :)

As I said, those are my thoughts, and I totally respect different thoughts from others. Diversity of thought is good. :)

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Last edit: by Mike Steele.

Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 4 weeks 1 day ago #44

Mike Steele wrote:

Marc D wrote:

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.

...

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.


First of all, these are just my opinions, and reasonable people can disagree.

Secondly, I think that trying to determine a dollar threshold of tokens per difficulty level is a very incomplete approach, because there are a number of other factors that are as or more important, such as:

...[some very good factors]..

That said - if we're strictly looking at token builds, I think that you have to look at the gaps between all the classes and not just one.

To start, you have to identify the boundaries, and this is how I envision them.

... [good summation of where Normal and Epic fall on the difficulty scale]..

That means that the two remaining levels (HC and N) need to be able to bridge the gap all the way from starting 10 packs from first time players to BIS builds with experienced and skilled players.

If Hardcore is too close to Normal build (such as all Rares with nothing higher), that requires Nightmare to bridge the entire gap between a Rare build and a BIS Legendary/Eldritch/Arcane build. Designing Hardcore so that it requires a number of URs for an average group to defeat Room 7 on a regular basis seems like the sweet spot to me personally, as that lets Nightmare move to a build of mostly URs with some Relic/Legendary tokens added in. And personally, it seems appropriate for Hardcore Level to require some URs for an average group to survive it.

Now, if additional difficulty levels were added in, that would make it easier to have one with Rare builds be just above Normal. I also see though that there are issues with adding difficulty levels, from both player understanding and implementation. As token power levels keep increasing, to me it seems like eventually another difficulty level will have to be added to keep the separation between levels from becoming too large.

As far as difficulty in establishing differing incentives for additional difficulty levels, I still would prefer that the incentive levels (except for maybe different survivor buttons) be identical for all the difficulty levels, and the only factor someone has in choosing the difficulty level be that they are choosing their desired level of challenge/risk. It seems like offering additional XP, Incentive Tokens, etc. might result in people playing at higher difficulty levels to get those rewards than they would otherwise choose, which might be a lower overall satisfaction level. I know that's a different conversation though. :)

As I said, those are my thoughts, and I totally respect different thoughts from others. Diversity of thought is good. :)


First off, thanks for the detailed and thoughtful response. I asked for the thought process, and you make a lot of good points. Plus, you're absolutely correct that reasonable people can disagree.

I snipped a little bit to avoid quoteception :)

I think the one thing I would want to add in is just how big the gap is between an optimized all rare build and a 10-pack parties, even without getting into 3* and 4*. Just using standard pack tokens, you can get the melee types up to about +10 To Hit and some reasonable damage numbers. And that's before Bardsong, Bless, and Prayer, which can eek out another +4.

Looking back at some of the earlier VTD AC's (:whistle: ), that was enough to hit most monsters on a 10 or better at HC. Some on 5 or better. Add in a smattering of UR's like the Stu's, Valhalla, or Sweetwoods plus some 4* and you can reliably hit the more recent, higher AC's as well. Saves on the builds are all at least +10 or better.

All that is a considerable difference between fresh 10-pack characters who may max out around +4 or +5. And probably have some mediocre saves :)

I'm not sure if that means that the higher AC's on HC for V4 and beyond was the right move or if it means that there needs to be another level between Normal and NM to account for the difference. You're right that added incentives have proven problematic in the past, but that is a different conversation ;)

I will also say that I don't think the optimized Rare build should necessarily survive Hardcore. I think it'd be perfectly acceptable for a Room 7 TPK against a boss monster. The key bit, to me, is making sure the players felt it was a close battle and that a bit of luck and some better coordination could have swayed the battle the other way. And that adding more tokens - like some choice UR's - would provide the push needed to land those final blows :lol:

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 3 weeks 6 days ago #45

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I dont think vtd really provides a good benchmark for this as I feel like it has been tilted towards overly invested groups who are running it on repeat. Which is fine since that does seem to be the majority of the people running it now.

Back in feal life, I feel like the goal should be expressed more in terms of build cost. If your group spent a hundred bucks each on their builds (basically the price of a ticket, and I mean correctly spent it on solid rares in most spots not just 1 ur nugget) you should be able to cake walk normal or successfully complete HC or make it to the last room in nightmare on fumes.

If you spent closer to a thousand (the price of run) you should be able clear room 7 nightmare. Epic should always be crazy hard.

Personally I would stat normal and nightmare, then just take the average/middle for hard core, and double nightmare for epic.

I would also like to see less damage reduction/loose your turn/you cant interact this round effects as those are devastating on groups that and just bearly clearing a difficulty based on solid team work. Plus taking people out of the action just isnt a great player experience.
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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 3 weeks 6 days ago #46

Lose a turn effects are pretty bad.

Maybe it should be "may take no offensive action" type turns instead?
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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 3 weeks 6 days ago #47

I agree with the overall message, that HC and NM need to be defined and balanced and feel out of whack.

Perhaps some of the groups that have struggled could post a google doc of their builds so we can see concrete build issues and give feedback (to HC players and Jeff)?

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Hardcore to hardcore for rare builds? 3 weeks 6 days ago #48

if you cant solve a puzzle...no amount of money spent can get you to pass a room 7 puzzle.
delpchad.blogspot.com/

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