[Balance] Make teleport control harder to acquire
issueid=1206 08-24-2012 03:45 PM
LFk LFk is offline
Senior Member
Number of reported issues by LFk: 1
[Balance] Make teleport control harder to acquire
If you find one blink dog, you've found 'em all.

EDIT: Augh! I meant to make this a "Feature" but the option is greyed out now.

I recently had a discussion which I stepped out of due to improper forum to be talking about it, so I'll continue it here.

Teleportation is an overpowered feature, this much is hard to argue with. However, there are 3 facets that make it so, which is the spell Teleport, the ability to control it, and the huge well of PP (their HP) that casters have.

I'm still against hard class-balance, but it wouldn't be bad to tweak some mechanics to avoid making teleportation into a walk replacement (often, anyway).

So my thesis: Teleport control intrinsic is entirely too common. If you find a single blink dog, which you typically do in one of the VD/DD, PC, and UD, you can just trigger his spawns and give yourself an extremely high chance of getting a corpse.

If teleport CONTROL was harder to get, teleport would be somewhat less useful, and certainly less convenient. Combined with the idea of making HP casting more punishing, so one can't just spam the random teleport until the desired result is acquired, this would make teleport much less of a common walk replacement for caster classes.

- Make blink dog *summons* unable to drop a corpse / or make Blink Dogs only drop a corpse if killed prior to casting summon.
- Make eating the blink dog corpse grant a small chance of granting TCtrl, ~10%.
- Make blink dogs no longer summon.

This would force PCs to use the ring/ammy, which aren't guaranteed, or turn to pool sipping, which can be dangerous on top of non-guaranteed.
Issue Details
Issue Number 1206
Issue Type Feature
Project ADOM (Ancient Domains Of Mystery)
Category Windows 7
Status Implemented
Priority 7
Suggested Version ADOM 1.1.1
Implemented Version ADOM 1.2.0 pre 7
Milestone (none)
Votes for this feature 2
Votes against this feature 17
Assigned Users (none)
Tags (none)

08-24-2012 04:09 PM
Senior Member
I think reducing chance to get TCtrl when eating a blink dog corpse should help with this. Might I suggest 20%/10%/0% chance based on the B/U/C status of the corpse? Then, having corpse generation rate be reduced for summoned beings should make it hard to "scum" for a corpse (since they'll get stronger as you kill more of them).

Might I also suggest making it so that, if you're doomed, teleport control should have a high chance of failing, resulting in the PC being teleported randomly?

08-24-2012 04:10 PM
Ancient Member
Blink dogs with the "summoned" flag not dropping corpses would help a good deal. The only issue might be that unless you have read the patch notes or somesuch, you're going to expect summoned blink dogs to also drop corpses just like summoned rats, jackals and so forth. If they no longer summoned, though, they'd also become boring. My solution would be to snatch teleport control from them altogether and give it to pixie archers instead of teleportitis, and possibly greater daemons too.

08-24-2012 05:04 PM
Ancient Member
@Silfir, I think that would quite a fun way. Give pixie's the chance to either provide teleportitis, or if you have it, take it away, or provide Teleport control, or if you already have it, take it away again. This way, it will be very frustrating to finally get the pair together ;)

08-24-2012 05:42 PM
Ancient Member
I dislike this, as teleport control is very handy to have for all classes. Making it rarer will just make people spend more time scumming and make them more frustrated with the game.

The problem is with the immense power of 100% controlled teleporting. So let's consider how we can change that! Ideas:
- Teleporting is not 100% controlled. There's a 10% chance of it going random on each cast. It could be higher than that dependant on background corruption, but with corruptions you grow restoring control as you are more attuned to that corruption.
- Teleporting doesn't land you on the exact tile you specify, but on a random tile in a radius of 5 around the target. Thus it is never ever as precise as it is now.

08-24-2012 06:00 PM
Senior Member
I don't think having it depend on the amount of background corruption (or the number of corruptions you have) is such a good idea.

As an alternative, how about having the probability of success be dependent on how far you're trying to teleport? If you're teleporting to the other side of the room, you're pretty much guaranteed to land right where you say. If you try to teleport to the other side of the level, there's a good chance that you'll miss your target by a fair amount (with the usual "if it's blocked, teleport randomly" effect). This keeps teleportation with TCtrl as a useful battle mechanic when you want to use it, while simultaneously making it a less-than-effective method of transport through a level.

That, in conjunction with making blink dog corpses somewhat less common (I stick with "reduced chance of corpse drop for summoned blink dogs" for that) and less likely to grant control, should ensure that it's made less powerful and less common, without making it useless or frustrating to get.

08-24-2012 06:15 PM
Ancient Member
Quote Originally Posted by Grey
I dislike this (...) it (...) will just make people (...) more frustrated with the game.
I think that of all "balance" suggestions. But oh well, if they make it into the next release I'll keep on playing.

08-24-2012 06:36 PM
Ancient Member
People are already scumming blink dogs, and lowering the return on that isn't going to cut it - people are just going to scum even longer and get more frustrated. You have to kill the numbers entirely - by stopping corpse drops or taking away the corpse effect - or not bother at all.

Grey does raise a good point. The damage might have already been done - people have come to expect that they should get teleport control at around the midgame, and beware any who would deny it to them! Unleash the gremlin bombs!

... I'm not sure that ship has entirely sailed, honestly. I have played games in which teleport control came at the Casino or later and done just fine. It might well be that closing down the blink dog factories is enough to make more people just do without. There's no reason that teleport control should be easily obtainable by the midgame. Take away some resources, and people will get by using others.

As for nerfing the "control" in teleport control: I don't really like it. I'm not sure I can explain why. ADOM players end up handling all kinds of random chances, but they also end up relying on certain absolutes to do it. Paralyzation resistance means you don't get paralyzed, acid immunity means you get no damage from acid, ball spells cannot be shrugged off. Teleport control is like that for me.

08-24-2012 08:16 PM
Ancient Member
I totally agree with Grey that lowering the chance for blink dogs to give teleport control would only benefit scummers and be an invitation for more scumming. I'm totally against that.

I think if the HP casting nerf from another thread is implemented, it wouldn't be necessary to nerf teleport control. With more difficult HP casting spellcasters wouldn't be teleporting all the time, and it would also be harder to teleport if you have spent your PP in e.g. bolt spells.

But if you really want to nerf teleport control... as I said, I don't like the idea of adding a percent chance to the blink dog corpse effect. Grey's idea of teleporting to a general area is better but I don't really like it either, because there are several places and things in the game that are designed around true teleport control (e.g. getting to the dwarven mystic) and they would have to be changed. The best nerf I can think of (although I prefer no nerf here) is making the blink dog corpse effect temporary. They can grant you teleport control, but only for a while. Of course in theory people with Cooking could still scum for a lot of blink dog corpses to cook them and carry them around for the rest of the game, but I think most people wouldn't go to that extent... and preserving corpses indefinitely (outside of shops) isn't trivial anyway, so at least it would take some effort instead of pure scumming.

08-24-2012 08:26 PM
LFk LFk is offline
Senior Member
Maybe shut down the blink dog factory entirely, then? Make the only sources of the intrinsic through items? Pools? I don't know.

I wouldn't be against adjusting the "control" of it. Coding in an X percent failure way would be the "keep it simple" way of doing it. The suggestion of making it more or less accurate based on distance would be a bit more complex.

I don't buy the argument that "changing something to make it rarer would just cause frustration" as an argument against. Anything in this game is already available if you scum for enough time. There are a lot of items that are useful for all classes, if they care to scum for it. 7LBs. Wands of wishing. Would anyone support making the RoDS more common just so people will stop gremlin bombing D:8 for hours? Yet that is the exact logic this argument follows, the only difference is that people feel entitled to teleport control, wheras they feel less entitled to a wish, because that's just how things were for the last 10 years. This is not a good basis for determining adjustments.

Anyway, I'm not too fussed leaving as is, which is actually kind of my attitude to a lot of these things. It'd be nice, but I could live without anything changing.

My reasoning is just that teleport walking is something that I do find myself mentally agreeing with Jellyslayer on, if anyone saw the brief exchange in the artifacts thread. It completely replaces regular walking everywhere it is permitted. I really do feel like adjusting the teleport spell or the control aspect could make the game a lot less about getting this combination together and then skipping around wherever you like. ToEF, largely considered a huge mid-game hurdle, can even be done with no fire protection if you only spend 8 turns to get to the top, and dispatch the ACW efficiently.

08-25-2012 02:39 PM
Ancient Member
On another note: I enjoy teleporting all the time.

Ok, it does not need to be possible in every game, but it should happen from time to time that a character is strong enough to pull it off. Like I enjoy having the rare wizard that has willpower 40 balls.

The secret is, has always been, in adom, the variability - sometimes you get nothing, sometimes sth is goes great, sometimes everything ... not sure how that can be implemented. Balancing will kill it, but overpowered not-rare or guaranteed things kill it too. A counter measure is, make things rare, but then people will scum, that's also bad... what to do?

09-04-2012 08:58 PM
Ancient Member
...What about just raising the casting cost of the Teleportation spell? If it is such a powerful effect (which I think it is), why not make its cost proportional to its power? Give it a base casting cost of, say, 60 PP and make the book comparably hard to read.

09-04-2012 09:08 PM
Ancient Member
That is a good point. Piercing the border to astral space and reentering at-will sounds like a fairly potent arcane feat. I certainly wouldn't say 60 PP is an outrageous cost, even for the control-less emergency teleport. It would also make the Teleport powers of the mindcrafter (35 PP) feel more special. In exchange for having to wait until level 45 to do what a wizard can do at level four, you get to do it at half the PP!

If the ADOM code supported something like it, you could also make teleporting costs dependant on background corruption.

09-05-2012 05:21 AM
Senior Member
Quote Originally Posted by Silfir
If the ADOM code supported something like it, you could also make teleporting costs dependant on background corruption.
I was thinking the same thing. I'd like to see the cost increase with corruption (reasoning being that it's harder to travel through the astral plane where it has been corrupted more)... I'd also like to see it more expensive with teleport control (with the option to forego the control to save on PP). If the cost were, say, twice the Danger Level as a base number, it would make sense (I know that DL and background corruption aren't always related - call it a simplification). In places like Terinyo, teleportation would cost 2 PP as a base number. On D:50, it would cost an expensive 100 PP. Note that I would keep the mindcrafter's teleportation ability a fixed 35 PP, making it a more valuable skill for depths beyond DL 17.

I'd then make teleport control add an extra 50% to the PP cost, or something - this would be independent of the source of the teleport control (intrinsic, worn item, etc). If you have teleport control, and give the instruction to cast teleport by either bookcasting or memory casting, it should ask you whether you want to control the teleportation. Obviously, when using methods that don't require PP (wands, teleportitis, etc), teleport control wouldn't require PP, either - 50% more of zero is still zero.

09-05-2012 04:05 PM
Senior Member
How you all, balance-carers, piss me off...
As if ADOM was a child's play. It's already quite hard game itself.
If only that suggestions made it more interesting, but they do exactly opposite.

09-05-2012 04:59 PM
Ancient Member
PP cost depending on background corruption or PP cost varying if you have control all sound too complicated to me.

Just making the spell cost something like 60-70 PP would be fine.

09-06-2012 07:58 AM
Ancient Member
I'm against making teleport control harder to get but increasing the cost of the spell makes perfect sense.

09-06-2012 01:04 PM
Ancient Member
60 PP... 180 if bookcast without any talents *shrugs*

12-11-2012 12:18 PM
The Creator
I have increased the casting costs. Everything else IMHO right now would be too much without testing the many other balance adjustments.

12-11-2012 02:39 PM
Junior Member
Thank you for taking a careful approach.

06-15-2013 07:26 AM
I almost had a heart attack at the beginning of the thread when I thought they'd be taking away my blink dog teleport control. I'd find that to be such a ridiculous hit to non-caster characters who rely on very limited means of teleport (a few scrolls or maybe a wand) in emergency circumstances. Hmm, maybe it was a bad idea to bump this.

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