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Thread: Fortified Mastery Mod [WIP]

  1. #1

    Fortified Mastery Mod [WIP]

    Hi folks! After a bit of a hiatus, I got the urge to bolster some of the less popular skills in Titan Quest. This is my attempt to better support a few more play styles. In the process, I'm also bringing some skills closer in line with their descriptions, as well as trying to make each mastery a bit more self reliant.

    Here's an overview of the current set of changes. So far I've got the earth mastery adapted. If you'd like to try out the mod before all the masteries have been hit, just let me know. I welcome any advice or suggestions on this.

    Earth Mastery
    The biggest general change is better burn support. Part of this was giving some skills with burn damage variable damage. As I understand it, burns with different damage rates don't overwrite each other, so this should allow for better burn stacking.

    Earth Enchantment
    • Added physical damage for ‘power of rock’ so earth users deal both fire and physical regardless of weapon.
    • Added a burn damage modifier to match the fire damage modifier.
    • Smoothed the modifier progression past max level.


    Brimstone
    • Physical modifier increased. (Increase at Ultimate level is equal to the amount taken from Ultimate level of Earth Enchantment’s fire damage modifier.)
    • Burn damage now starts as a chance for fire damage, reaching 100% at max level.
    • Burn damage is variable, with the variation increasing at higher levels. As this allows for damage stacking and can be augmented by Earth Enchantment, average burn damage per hit was lowered.


    Stone Skin
    • Added armor protection so benefits scale better with heavy armor.


    Volatility
    • Added a copy of the fire damage boost to enhance burn damage.


    Heat Shield
    • Scaled physical damage resistance to skill level.
    • Added scaling fire resistance to increase the shield’s durability.
    • Reduced Cooldown to 40 seconds.


    Stone Form
    • Duration scales slightly with level.
    • Healing now scales more strongly with skill level, hitting 100 hp/s at max level.


    Molten Rock
    • Duration scales slightly with level.
    • Fire retaliation has been roughly doubled.
    • Added a chance of burn retaliation.
    • Add a cooldown reduction that scales with skill level.


    Inner Fire
    • Added minor fire retaliation damage.


    Wildfire
    • Converted a portion of the damage to burn damage, raising the overall damage by around 50%.
    • Scaled the duration up by skill level.


    Ring of Flame
    • Increased radius scaling.
    • Converted a portion of the damage to burn damage to support hit and run tactics.
    • Added reduced fire resistance to help with the aura damage keep up in later difficulties.


    Soften Metal
    • Switched physical damage to retaliation damage for stronger thematic match.
    • Added increased fire damage multiplier to compensate lost aura damage.
    • Added damage and defense bonuses vs constructs as they’re mostly metal.


    Flame Surge
    • Converted a portion of the fire damage to burn damage.
    • Increased overall damage per use.
    • Added reduced offensive ability to make it more useful against melee enemies.


    Barrage
    • Moved pierce chance to Flame Arch.
    • Added reduced energy cost.
    • Changed burn damage to burn damage modifier and increased burn duration. With the variable burn damage in the revised Flame Surge, this should allow for heavy burn stacking.


    Flame Arch
    • Added reduced version of pierce chance from original Barrage.
    • Added scaling explosion radius to compensate for increasing projectile spread.


    Conflagration
    • Radius increase now scales with skill level.
    • Added chance of impaired aim to give earth adepts an anti-archer skill.


    Edit:
    Version 0.5 of the mod is now up here while the patch file for version 0.911 is up here.

    A basic skill calculator for this mod can be downloaded here.
    Last edited by Shimeran; 08-03-2015 at 12:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Olympian God Violos's Avatar
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    Definitely sounds like an improvement.

    I only would be careful about switching fire damage bonuses for physical damage bonuses. Because physical, unless on a weapon, has less potential for multiplication (strength does not apply). So in the late game, the same base number is "worth" less than fire, which is usually doubled to tripled by the int bonus alone.

  3. #3
    Hi Shimeran. I think this is the first time I've ever posted on these forums. In fact, one of the first times I've posted on any forum. Lately I've been checking these forums a lot though following Soulvizier updates and just came across your post. Anyway...

    What you're doing is awesome! I've been a longtime Titan Quest player, pretty much just solo, but I'm an altaholic that doesn't reach endgame much. I've always wanted the balance patch that never happened. And what I really wanted was skills balanced, in such a way that there could be a reason to develop any of them. Also, I've always been obsessed with single mastery characters and it's frustrating because they don't tend to work well. It seems like what you're doing with this mod is EXACTLY what I've been wishing for. In fact, even though I know NOTHING about modding I've been considering learning just so I could try to make some of the pointless skills interesting, even if all I could do was change the numbers.

    Oh and also earth is my favorite mastery! Always been so disappointed that flame surge isn't viable (though I've kept it in builds) and skills like conflagration are so pointlessly weak. Here's what I love about your changes so far:

    Burn damage modifier: It's just necessary.
    Heat shield and stone form changes: Makes them potentially worth developing.
    Wildfire: Always liked the skill and wished it allowed Cory to do some decent damage.
    Ring of flame: Glad you upped radius and REALLY like that it reduces resistances. Earth needs to be able to reduce resistances somehow and I'll take it any way I can get it.
    Flame surge: Sounds like it might be viable now and that's awesome.
    Conflagration: Glad to see any change to this skill but hope you're increasing its burn damage too as that's what the skill was put there for but the damage is just pathetic. Even with the increased radius and burn damage modifier I would at least double it. By the way does the radius increase affect the base skill damage? I've been under the impression that unmodded it only adds a bigger radius of burn damage. In my opinion it needs to increase the base skill radius as that part of the skill really doesn't begin to compare with fragmentation's usefulness. If its radius is increased with conflagration that would be perfect!

    Probably writing too much but really excited about what you're doing and would love to try out the earth changes. I would absolutely start an earth character right away to test the changes and give you feedback. I love that you're leaving the good skills alone, therefore theoretically not adjusting overall power, just adding diversity.

    It seems like with your mod Titan Quest will be just the game I want it to be. If there is one other thing that I feel would make it perfect it would be some way to in addition to skill tweaking to make single speccing more competitive. I have no idea what's even possible let alone if you would have any interest in such a thing in your mod but there it is. At the very least I wish you could refill or continue filling the bar so that you wouldn't have to lag so far behind dual specs in stats. Refilling the bar after choosing to focus on only one mastery, I like that!

    In conclusion: Thanks and waiting to start my new Pyromancer!

  4. #4
    Olympian God ASYLUM101's Avatar
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    Great idea for a mod. I've been considering doing one like this for years but I just could never be bothered with it.

    That said, I think flame surge needs something else completely, firstly because it's a terrible looking spell, it looks like crap compared to every other spell in the game and secondly because it's basically an ugly fire clone of ternion. :/
    Last edited by defboy99; 12-24-2014 at 04:03 PM.
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  5. #5
    Good to hear there's interest in this. I'm moving on to storm next, though I do think earth could still use another resistance reducer. Revised ring of flame's reduction strongly scales with level, so it's pretty energy intensive to use just for reductions. Flame Surge is probably the skill most in need of that as other earth attack either carry weapon effects or deal physical damage as well.

    On a side note, I'm visiting family over the holidays, so while I'll still be hashing things out I probably won't have an upload up until I get back home. For some reason my dev machine doesn't want to connect to the internet here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Violos View Post
    I only would be careful about switching fire damage bonuses for physical damage bonuses. Because physical, unless on a weapon, has less potential for multiplication (strength does not apply).
    I limited that to increased multiplier past max level, which works out to a 12% difference at ultimate levels. In general, when I rework progressions I avoid adding explosive growth to the ultimate levels as skill boosting items are already really good.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Hi Shimeran. I think this is the first time I've ever posted on these forums. In fact, one of the first times I've posted on any forum. Lately I've been checking these forums a lot though following Soulvizier updates and just came across your post.
    Welcome aboard.

    I've been keeping an eye on Soulvizier myself. It's definitely got some interesting changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    I've always wanted the balance patch that never happened. And what I really wanted was skills balanced, in such a way that there could be a reason to develop any of them.
    Yeah, I like building around the occasional oddball skills myself. In fact, wanting to play with some of those underdeveloped skills was what motivated me to start up this mod.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    In fact, even though I know NOTHING about modding I've been considering learning just so I could try to make some of the pointless skills interesting, even if all I could do was change the numbers.
    It's definitely a bit of a slow start to get the first altered skill in. After the first couple, it starts picking up speed considerably. Once I get back, I can provide the full mod files if you want to tweak and test the numbers. That will save you having to adjust the skill linkages.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Heat shield and stone form changes: Makes them potentially worth developing.
    I do like the idea of letting enemies beat themselves to death against the character. It remains to be seem how much retaliation is needed to make that viable.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Wildfire: Always liked the skill and wished it allowed Cory to do some decent damage.
    That skill is actually one I considered for reduced resistance. Unloading when the dweller sets the ground on fire seems like it has a good flow. I'm just not sure if it fits the skills theme.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Ring of flame: Glad you upped radius and REALLY like that it reduces resistances. Earth needs to be able to reduce resistances somehow and I'll take it any way I can get it.
    The resistance reduction currently scales pretty heavily with level, so you're not going to get much unless you go all in. The idea is auramancers generally aren't looking to hit, so they need their reductions from somewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Flame surge: Sounds like it might be viable now and that's awesome.
    That was one of the hardest to pin down. Barrage seems to want a sustained burn down, but the base skill seems to want hit and run tactics. I tried moving a lot of the raw damage out of barrage to support both. I may end up adding resistance reduction in there somewhere as it's currently the only skill line without physical damage to help deal with fire immunes.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Conflagration: Glad to see any change to this skill but hope you're increasing its burn damage too as that's what the skill was put there for but the damage is just pathetic. Even with the increased radius and burn damage modifier I would at least double it. By the way does the radius increase affect the base skill damage?
    I haven't updated the burn damage yet, though I can certainly bring that up a bit. I'd probably use fixed burn as I don't think orbs are usually used in rapid fire. As far as I know, radius increase doesn't do anything for damage per target. It just potentially nets you more targets. I think the increased radius does apply the base skill's damage though. I can run some tests to check that.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Probably writing too much but really excited about what you're doing and would love to try out the earth changes. I would absolutely start an earth character right away to test the changes and give you feedback. I love that you're leaving the good skills alone, therefore theoretically not adjusting overall power, just adding diversity.
    Unless I can figure a way around connection issues, that will probably have to wait until after New Years. Diversity is definitely a big goal here as finding new builds is one of the things I love doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    If there is one other thing that I feel would make it perfect it would be some way to in addition to skill tweaking to make single speccing more competitive.
    That should definitely be doable. One simple approach I've seen done in mods like Soulvizier is letting you keep increasing past the normal cap. For example, if you could put 64 points in a mastery, you'd be able to match a 32 investment in 2 masteries. The tricky part is there's nothing keeping players from going past 32 in 2 masteries. I believe Destinies got around that by making a support mastery (all passives), but that's not going to work here.

    Quote Originally Posted by ASYLUM101 View Post
    I think flame surge needs something else completely, firstly because it's a terrible looking spell, it looks like crap compared to every other spell in the game and secondly because it's basically an ugly fire clone of ternion. :/
    I'm not planning on outright removing or replacing any skills, but maybe we can do something about the visuals. Thematically, it seems like flame surge is meant to be a wave of flame, so maybe we can do something on that front. Maybe Distortion Wave has something I can use.

    If you're talking about it needing a different function to distinguish it from ternion, I could play up the debuff angle a bit. I do want to keep it's role fairly close it it's description, but I can certainly embellish that a bit.
    Last edited by defboy99; 12-24-2014 at 04:03 PM.

  6. #6
    good luck with the mod, sounds like it will be pretty cool.

  7. #7
    Hey Shimeran, hope you're having a good time with your family. Want to reiterate, excited about this mod! I will be keeping a close eye on the process and offering my opinions as long as you want to hear them.

    Latest thoughts:

    Flame surge resistance reduction: Could work but being a closer range fire skill I figure it goes hand in hand with ring of flames and therefore if new ring of flames roughly matches range of flame surge it might not be necessary.

    Conflagration: You understandably misunderstood my question about radius affecting base skill damage. Was simply wondering if the base skill radius was increased by conflagration. It has been my understanding that it is not but I think if it did that would be a great thing and make developing the base skill much more desirable. Oh and sustained burn is fine, just needs double the damage in my opinion (48 over 3 seconds at level 8 is just sad).

    Single Speccing vs Multi: Been thinking about this one and have a solution that I think would be cool. It rewards single speccing while not rewarding speccing past 32 in 2 masteries as much. Here's the idea: So the final tier of skills is still 32 but each mastery can be increased to 64. Stats continue developing exactly the same as they did. Every eight levels after 32 (40, 48, 56, 64) is a plus 1 to that mastery's skills and a -1 to all others. Even if max skill level remains +4 the points saved from not having to fully develop a skill can be used to develop other skills within the mastery. Let me know what you think.

    Flame Surge: I'm actually a big fan of making a viable flame surge that stays true to its roots. I personally always liked the idea of the spell but being close range it's situational and needs a LOT of oomph to compensate for all the skill points it takes. I think it's unique in concept as ternion and ice shards have range even if people use ternion up close and I personally never thought it was ugly in any way but that's just my opinion.

    That's all for now!
    Last edited by rakshir; 01-05-2015 at 05:44 PM.

  8. #8
    In between the festivities, I've been mulling over the flame surge situation. Here's my current fix. Let me know if you want details on any of the changes I've been posting.

    Flame Surge:
    • The offense reduction was replaced with a chance of 1 second of fear. That's enough to momentarily repel enemies without having them run out of range.
    • Increased burn duration was folded into the base skill as works well with the unmodified 6 second cooldown.

    The net effect is higher damage per projectile than ice shards, but with the majority of damage delivered over time and significant cooldown between bursts. So far the fear triggers seem to working nicely as it 'yoyos' enemies a bit while keeping them in range for a second volley.

    Barrage
    • Replaced burn modifiers with a flat reduction to all resistances, with slow level scaling. The reduction is fairly small (8 to 16) under the assumption that it will likely stacks from multiple hits.

    This makes a low investment in barrage useful for stripping resistance, with heavier investment for those who want to spam the skill.

    Flame Arch
    • Set projectiles to increase every even level. In the previous version, arc increased faster than projectile count, so the projectiles slowly got more widely spaced. In this revision, 1 projectile is added every 10 degrees of extra arc.
    • Doubled fire multiplier as base fire damage was reduced. The progression is faster on levels with no projectiles added.

    The end result for a maxed Flame Arch is 9 projectiles in an 80 degree arc. In testing so far, human sized targets are averaging around 2 hits, so it's mostly a coverage increase. We'll see how many the bigger bosses can soak up.

    I've also made a few other adjustments. Conflagration damage is doubled. Molten Rock now does damage comparable to a same rank volcanic orb in retaliation, but no longer extends Stone Form duration (instead it reduces recharge).

    Next up, I'll probably be tackling the Spell Breaker line. I'll likely throw some debuffs on there as it matches the 'removing positive enchantments' line. In fact, I'm kind of tempted to attach an immunity breaker to that line so squall isn't hogging all the anti-resistance goodness.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Flame surge resistance reduction: Could work but being a closer range fire skill I figure it goes hand in hand with ring of flames and therefore if new ring of flames roughly matches range of flame surge it might not be necessary.
    Ring of flame's resistance is very strongly level linked (reduction = 3 * level), so to get immunity breaking, you'd need ring of flame high enough that's it's sucking up a lot of energy per second. Given how energy hungry flame surge is (even with the new barrage cost reductions), that's a pretty high energy cost. The ring of flame radius increases are also fairly small. So while the two can be comboed very effectively, I'd rather not have flame surge be dependent on that combo. Besides, being able to lower other resistances give it some good crossover potential.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Conflagration: You understandably misunderstood my question about radius affecting base skill damage. Was simply wondering if the base skill radius was increased by conflagration.
    It doesn't. That's part of why I ran with the burn doubling change.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Single Speccing vs Multi: Been thinking about this one and have a solution that I think would be cool. It rewards single speccing while not rewarding speccing past 32 in 2 masteries as much. Here's the idea: So the final tier of skills is still 32 but each mastery can be increased to 64. Stats continue developing exactly the same as they did. Every eight levels after 32 (40, 48, 56, 64) is a plus 1 to that mastery's skills and a -1 to all others. Even if max skill level remains +4 the points saved from not having to fully develop a skill can be used to develop other skills within the mastery.
    The -1 all skill, +1 mastery skills combo may work well. What I may do is keep the two balanced out, so there's no net increase to the solo mastery. Instead, I'm thinking of raising the cap by 8 points (40 post soft cap, for a total of 72). That gives roughly the same benefit of a full stat progression, plus a new skill unlock (though without the choice of how much to invest in that skill).

    In any case, I'll probably make the solo changes as the last pass on masteries. Right now I'm thinking of hitting skills on the first pass and balancing out the mastery skills on the second pass. Solo masteries will make a good third pass once the mastery progressions have been fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by rakshir View Post
    Flame Surge: I'm actually a big fan of making a viable flame surge that stays true to its roots. I personally always liked the idea of the spell but being close range it's situational and needs a LOT of oomph to compensate for all the skill points it takes.
    On review, I decided against changing the skill type. While I could certainly see replacing it, my intent for this mod is keeping to the spirit of the original skill descriptions. Hopefully the new revisions (fear juggling, resistance reduction, denser and wider arcs..) will make it more distinctive and effective.

  9. #9
    Hope I'm not overloading you folks. I figured I'd get clear what I can before work starts back up again.

    On review, I think I'll leave spell breaker alone. It doesn't work on zero energy mobs, but it's very effective when it does apply and the investment isn't too steep.

    On the other hand, I am debating changing Obscured Visibility from a percent reduction to a flat reduction. It get how not seeing an attack can leave you open. It's just odd for that openning to be most effective on attacks the target would be otherwise immune to. I'm guessing it's that way to break stun and possibly mana drain immunity, but it's still strange being able to make skeletons bleed by sneak attacking them when getting a sneak attack on beastmen really doesn't add much damage. In either case, I will likely switch the reduction to only apply while in the area, as well as changing a portion of squall damage to cold/frostburn damage.

    On another note, I've got a freezing blast fix ready. Basically, I noticed the effects are reapplied in 1 second ticks, so I've added resistance reduction over 3 seconds. The stacking reduction not only makes the damage reduction fall off over time, it also leaves the target vulnerable for small window after the freeze wears off. That might not be obvious at first read, but it does seem to be effective. The reductions and damage are strongly scaled with level, so it's still useful at 1 point for the freeze.

    Next up are thunderball and the wisp. Thunderball will likely have some of the damage switched to electric burn as it's thematically appropriate to keep shocking them while the stun endures. As for wisp, the main upgrade will likely be their plasma burn. I'm debating between either making that an immunity breaker or adding a confuse change as a nod to the stories of will o' wisps leading travelers astray.

  10. #10
    Olympian God Violos's Avatar
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    Have you checked out the "balance patch" forum?

    Because we've collected a bunch of ideas along these lines there over the years. Just nobody has gone and done it yet, because most of us modders have made our own masteries instead.




    P.S.
    As for Flame Surge, maybe check out my Sorceress' Inferno.

    Bascially, after several iterations, I and ended up making it a wave. This form of skill did not exist pre-IT and comes with the advantage of real area coverage, and the interesting property of not being affected by "avoid projectiles" - as it shoud be with a flamethrower. (Though few standard TQ enemies dodge. Only Dactyls, really.)

    It also combines the one-time ignition effect of burn with stackable fire damage for the close range/high damage spam.

    I made it relatively slow moving to tactically distinguish it from the other Fire Spells, but with quicker waves it would also make a nice Flame Surge.
    Last edited by Violos; 12-26-2014 at 06:03 PM.

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