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Fire-Dragon-DoL

Aren't level 4 items too weak compared to level 3?

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I had this feeling since the beginning of the game on the new DLC, the one-use-only (per level) thing feels quite terrible, why this thing was adopted for any level 4 item? I honestly dislike any per-charge items, I'm fine with cooldown, but that feels completely weird, why all of them have only one charge, even disrupters? Weirdest thing is they have cooldown but they still have one charge, and the charge pack would reset the cooldown and recharge them, so why bother with the cooldown at all?

 

I'm surprised no one is commenting this change.

I'm fine with shock trap 3 nerf (5 pwr, sigh!), but every new level 4 item has this huge nerf, even on paralyzers, making them basically useless.

 

Is it a mistake or what?

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Nxf7    47

Had to double check that this wasn't a thread for Don't Starve.

 

Well I'm glad they aren't straight upgrades but the game acts like they are in late game endless when it's a struggle to find tier 3 items again. Your preference with ammo/charge items doesn't really factor into what makes good game balance. I prefer less inventory management too, but if they're a viable and competitive strat I'm not one to argue.

 

Some of them clearly have good niche uses that separate them from their tier 3 equivalent: Stim and Buster chip come to mind and I wish the others had a better trade-off to match.

 

Also admittedly I haven't played in a while but are you sure it both refills your charge and finishes the cooldown? I recall still needing to wait for the cooldown, can't remember what item it was.

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I totally agree with you. I am on Day 11 in Endless and I have Torque Injectors installed on all my agents. So cooldown items are MUCH more beneficial than single-use items.

The frustrating thing is that every nanofab I visit seems to think that I want only the top-tier items. No, nanofab! I want tier 3 items! I only seem to find one tier 3 item per nanofab vestibule mission, which is super annoying.

 

The next segment is called Comparison Corner! This week: Buster Chips

 

The Buster Chip 3 breaks 4 firewalls and has a 3-turn cooldown. This cooldown is reduced to 2 turns if you have the Torque Injectors augment installed. This means that in a 20-turn mission, you can use the Buster Chip 3 a maximum of 10 times, hacking 40 firewalls. If you don't have Torque Injectors, then you can use it 6 times for 24 firewalls.

 

The Buster Chip 4 breaks 8 firewalls and requires a Charge Pack to reload in the same mission. So if you purchase a Charge Pack at the nanofab, then you will be able to use the chip twice per mission, hacking 16 firewalls. You might be able to use it more than twice if you steal a Charge Pack from a safe or guard. if you have a bunch of extra inventory space (and you probably don't), then you can bring extra Charge Packs from previous missions.

 

As you can see from the above comparison, the Buster Chip 3 is objectively more useful. You can use it multiple times per mission without having to manage charge packs in your inventory. The Buster Chip 4 is only superior if you NEED to hack a device with more than 4 firewalls RIGHT NOW! For example, if you need to take down a camera with 7 firewalls right away. So you send a cloaked agent with the Buster Chip 4 to run up to the camera and take it down. In every other situation, the Buster Chip 3 outperforms the Buster Chip 4.

 

tldr; Tier 3 items are better than tier 4 items

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Yeah but what concerns me is that they will downgrade tier 3 items to have "charges" too. It's not like tier 4 items are bad, is having a charge on all of them that is plain horrible.

I don't want charges, they really kill most of the interesting combos you can have with your items, and item slots are not enough to go around with a lot of charge packs.

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Nxf7    47

Yeah but what concerns me is that they will downgrade tier 3 items to have "charges" too.

Huh? What makes you think this? This is a standalone game, not some mmo or moba with constant patching and balancing of items. They don't have any incentive to waste time overhauling tier 3 items especially when nobody is complaining about them.

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Huh? What makes you think this? This is a standalone game, not some mmo or moba with constant patching and balancing of items. They don't have any incentive to waste time overhauling tier 3 items especially when nobody is complaining about them.

Not being an MMO or MOBA doesn't mean they won't patch it.

That being said, I've read around next update will be a rebalance, so the chance is not remote.

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JeysieC    2

I agree that I don't find many of the Tier IV items useful, and it's annoying that they eventually crowd out the actually useful Tier III items.

 

The only one I ever buy/use with any regularity is Paralyzer IV, because when added to a high-end melee weapon/augments you're basically knocking a guard out for the rest of the mission, and you will probably not need to put down more than 2-4 guards (one Paralyzer per agent) per mission for that long anyway.

 

The rest are both probably overpowered for what you need and then hampered by only being used once per mission or spending on charge packs. They're only good for some extremely niche applications. (Stim IV if you need to use a Flurry Gun more than once or Olivia's trick, the extreme melee weapons for late game missions with a couple high-armor enemies.) Which would be more valid as options if they didn't become the only things you can buy after a time.

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I had the same feeling about lvl 4 items.

Paralizer IV is almost overpowered since a four agents team will end up having 4 guards on KO for 10+ turns, plus some pinning... But the rest of them are really weak compared to their lvl 3 counterpart, and nanofabs are definitely biased towards lvl 4 which is a real downer. I have had runs with all agents skills maxed when I really wanted cloak III or stim III and couldn't find any in the last five or six nanofabs.
 

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cphoenix    11

Just to be clear, you do know that those charges get refilled at the end of each mission, right?

 

Anyway, I'm about to go on a tangent (skip all this if you have no interest in tweaking the game files yourself or just aren't interested in modding):

 

Sounds like a good thing to tweak with a mod. All of the items are exposed in the scripts.zip so easily changeable. On some items charges sure make sense, like Paralyser 4 and Stim 4. But EMP 4...that's a bit silly. One charge for just one extra tile of radius? A little silly. The number of charges doesn't appear to be hardcoded at 1 either, since these items have a charge field. For example, here's the traits for the EMP 4 (internally it's called item_emp_pack_4):
 

traits = { cooldown = 0, cooldownMax = 4, range = 8, emp_duration = 3, usesCharges=true, charges=1, chargesMax=1 },

 
Maybe an extra charge or two? It gets one turn extra duration over EMP 3, and one extra range. Maybe a cooldownMax of 6-8, and 2 or 3 charges would make a bit more sense.
 
I think the charge mechanic is nifty and worth keeping, but with a few tweaks to make things that are really, really dumb to carry the 4 version of into something more useful.
 
As for changing the rate at which certain things show up in the shop...that's doable too. Here's the relevant bit of code (scripts.zip/sim/units/store.lua , which is the script that handles creating the Nano-Fab and Server stores):
 

for i=1, #itemsList do
	if itemsList[i].floorWeight then
		local floorWeight = itemsList[i].floorWeight
		local floor = sim:getParams().difficulty
		local index = ( 4 - math.abs( math.min(floor, 4) - floorWeight ) ) ^ 5
		maxWeight = maxWeight + index 
		weightedItems[maxWeight] = itemsList[i]
	end
end

So you can see that it iterates over the complete list of items. The code for creating this list is earlier in the same file, where it takes all possible items and culls them depending on whether or not they have soldAfter or notSoldAfter defined (these are both integers representing campaign hours, defined in the item's data which is in sim/unitdefs/itemdefs.lua ) and comparing those values to the current campaign time. This is how it makes sure things like Stim 1 and 2 don't stay on the list and end-up in shops when you are later in the game (24hrs for the case of stims, if memory servers).

 

"floorWeight" is also defined in itemdefs.lua, and it's pretty simple. From what I've seen, level 1 items have a weight of 1, level 2 have a weight of 2, and so on.

 

Anyway as you can see above on line 121, that's where the "can't find level 3 items anymore" comes from. Once you get to a difficulty of four or above, in the case of a level 4 item (with floorWeight = 4), it evaluates to ( 4 - 0 ) ^ 5. So that's 1,024. But a level three item will get ( 4 - 1) ^ 5 , which is 243. Anyway, this only makes sense with the rest of this little block of code:

local itemsLeft = math.max( store.storeType[storeUnit:getTraits().storeType].itemAmount - #soldItems, 0 )
for i= 1, itemsLeft do 	
	local rand = sim:nextRand(1, maxWeight)
	local item = nil
	local recentKey = maxWeight+1
	for k,v in pairs(weightedItems) do
		if k >= rand then
			if k < recentKey then
				item = v
				recentKey = k
			end
		end
	end
    
	table.insert( soldItems, item )
end

Since the original item list is an ordered list from the lowest tier to the highest (this is defined near the bottom of store.lua), the maxWeight will come out to the outrageously high 1,024 plus the highest index that the first for loop reaches of the itemsList array. It then picks a random number from 1 to the maxWeight. Being so much higher than 243, chances are when it checks if the value is bigger than random number generated...if it's a tier 4 item, it's going to be up there much, much more often. So tier 3 stuff gets dropped much more often.

 

Note that that's kinda like a cliff that falls off. As soon as you hit difficulty 4, bam, tier 4 stuff for you almost all the time.

 

Anyway I think the bottom line here is that normalizing or smoothing-out that curve a bit would be harder than just tweaking tier 4 items to genuinely be more useful their tier 3 counterparts, if a bit limited to sometimes having to use charge packs. (I still don't know how DLC items are getting added to the itemList array, but they obviously are. There's an addItem function inside store.lua but I'm not sure if or where it's being called elsewhere to tack stuff on to the list.)

 

Besides, making those items more useful would be more interesting than making tier 3 items more common.

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Although tweaking is an option, I'm concerned by the basic game. With mods it's "easy", I'm sure someone will release something to fix the issue with charges.

 

Yes they reload each mission, but it's still really bad for balance in my opinion.

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cphoenix    11

Although tweaking is an option, I'm concerned by the basic game. With mods it's "easy", I'm sure someone will release something to fix the issue with charges.

 

Yes they reload each mission, but it's still really bad for balance in my opinion.

 

Well no argument there. At least for the ones like the EMP pack. EMPs are just way too useful to justify only getting one use of the thing. >.<

 

Mostly I'm thinking about Endless though, where the difficulty really ramps up. It's there, I think, that this issue is most pronounced. The weapons are silly even in campaign (who the heck wants a weapon that's a one-shot wonder).

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Lemonymous    4
(I still don't know how DLC items are getting added to the itemList array, but they obviously are. There's an addItem function inside store.lua but I'm not sure if or where it's being called elsewhere to tack stuff on to the list.)

 

mod-api.lua has this function which adds items to itemdefs and nanofabs:

function mod_api:addItemDef( name, itemDef )

    assert( type(name) == "string" )

    assert( type(itemDef) == "table" )

    local itemdefs = include( "sim/unitdefs/itemdefs" )

    itemdefs[ name ] = itemDef

    itemdefs[ name ].id = name

    local simstore = include( "sim/units/store" )

    if itemDef.ITEM_LIST then

        table.insert(simstore.STORE_ITEM.itemList,itemDef)

    end

    if itemDef.WEAPON_LIST then

        table.insert(simstore.STORE_ITEM.weaponList,itemDef)

    end

    if itemDef.AUGMENT_LIST then

        table.insert(simstore.STORE_ITEM.augmentList,itemDef)

    end   

    if self._dlc_footer then

        itemdefs[ name ].traits.dlcFooter = self._dlc_footer

    end

end

 

The dlc has item definitions with ITEM_LIST/WEAPON_LIST/AUGMENT_LIST set to true to add them to the respective arrays used by the store.

 

If you want to make a mod to change level 4 items, and have the old items removed from nanofabs; you can modify the values of the specific items stored in itemdef.lua.

 

Make sure the dlc is loaded. Then for example something like this will change charges to 3: (You should be able to change any value like this as long as you don't point itemdefs.item_emp_pack_4 to another table.)

itemdefs = include( "sim/unitdefs/itemdefs" )

itemdefs.item_emp_pack_4.traits.charges = 3

itemdefs.item_emp_pack_4.traits.chargesMax = 3

 

If you want to replace the item with mod_api:addItemDef() instead, you will have to erase the old item from simstore.STORE_ITEM.itemList (or the appropriate list) afterwards, or you will have both the new and the old item available from nanofabs.

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Well no argument there. At least for the ones like the EMP pack. EMPs are just way too useful to justify only getting one use of the thing. >.<

 

Mostly I'm thinking about Endless though, where the difficulty really ramps up. It's there, I think, that this issue is most pronounced. The weapons are silly even in campaign (who the heck wants a weapon that's a one-shot wonder).

 

Yes the campaign is fine, doesn't matter, too short to cause any issue. But for endless it's a real problem

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cphoenix    11
<things>

 

Thanks for that. Nice, clean way of tweaking values. I've gotta look at the mod API a bit more too but that was informative.

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DaveGold    1

I've got to day 25 of endless and the one shot weapons would be useful if, and only if, they had an extra AP and extra KO. By the time the current tier 4 weapons look useful I expect most people would get rid of weapons altogether and move to holocaust overload (after traps become useless).

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bobthe    3

I agree that the Tier IV items mostly feel like downgrades due to the limited use. They need to be much more powerful to justify the one use per mission/charge pack. I usually avoid Tier IV items.

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4 minutes ago, bobthe said:

I agree that the Tier IV items mostly feel like downgrades due to the limited use. They need to be much more powerful to justify the one use per mission/charge pack. I usually avoid Tier IV items.

I wonder if they will release a patch about it at some point. Either remove the charges, increase them to something reasonable (like 5 charges) or vastly increase their potential.

I even thought the charges on level 4 items were a bug

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Shirsh    129
10 hours ago, Fire-Dragon-DoL said:

increase them to something reasonable (like 5 charges)

Something in between of 1 and 5 (for different items different) could be neat. Extra huge area EMP-pack is fine with 1 or 2 charges but Disruptor with 1 charge is not cool.

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21 minutes ago, Shirsh said:

Something in between of 1 and 5 (for different items different) could be neat. Extra huge area EMP-pack is fine with 1 or 2 charges but Disruptor with 1 charge is not cool.

Yeah I can agree with that. 

But I still would prefer an item with unlimited charges at that point (level 3),maybe swapping level 3 items with level 4 is a good idea too, not sure. 

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bobthe    3

After some more thought, I have to say that I think many of the tier IV items are balanced with a single charge (like the disruptor in particular) but I just don't find them fun. You're giving up a permanent inventory slot for something you will use maybe once or maybe not at all (since you'll be preoccupied saving it for when you absolutely need it). It's not so much that they're underpowered. Most clearly give an advantage over their tier III counterparts.

However, that doesn't change the fact that I don't like to use them because I feel like I'm going from a permanent item at tier III to a consumable at tier IV and end up wasting inventory slots on tier IV items that I save and save and save until they are absolutely needed and then don't end up using them most of the time compared to tier III items that I use regularly and have a lot of fun with.

There may be some balance issues here and there, but overall I think this summarizes my issue better.

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15 minutes ago, bobthe said:

After some more thought, I have to say that I think many of the tier IV items are balanced with a single charge (like the disruptor in particular) but I just don't find them fun. You're giving up a permanent inventory slot for something you will use maybe once or maybe not at all (since you'll be preoccupied saving it for when you absolutely need it). It's not so much that they're underpowered. Most clearly give an advantage over their tier III counterparts.

However, that doesn't change the fact that I don't like to use them because I feel like I'm going from a permanent item at tier III to a consumable at tier IV and end up wasting inventory slots on tier IV items that I save and save and save until they are absolutely needed and then don't end up using them most of the time compared to tier III items that I use regularly and have a lot of fun with.

There may be some balance issues here and there, but overall I think this summarizes my issue better.

Well, the thing you describe is definitely the reason why I don't use any item with charges. I want to be able to use those things as much as I want, otherwise I keep saving them.

I don't agree with 1 charge for disruptor (I want to use disruptor on cooldown) being good, but I guess that's not a big deal

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