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Old 04-29-2016, 08:58 AM
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Ceno Ceno is online now
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Default Project Cornucopia: The Unofficial Rebalancing Mod

Devblog 1 - Strategic Balancing

GitHub Repository

Get v0.4.0.1 here!

Get v0.3.3 here!

Get v0.3.2 here!

Get v0.3 here!

Get v0.2 here!

Get v0.1 here!

Cornucopia on Kirmizi Perfect (with another mirror hosting)

This is a thread for the mod's announcement; as we start making progress in its development, we'll have a thread dedicated to changelogs/discussions about specifics.

In the future, this thread will also be where we will discuss the mod's behind-the-scenes development process (as relevant).

What This Mod Is About

The aim of the rebalancing mod will be, as its name suggests, to rebalance the game in a way that makes it more fun, less frustrating, and stay in line with Crate's overarching vision. We acknowledge that we may have our own biases and a limited perception of exactly what their vision for GD is, but based on their posts on the forums and balance choices so far we are confident in our understanding.

That is to say that we want to avoid completely overhauling any aspect of the game when simple adjustments or slight additions will do just fine. We will, however, overhaul skills that we feel are redundant or have too fine a razor edge to balance properly within the meta we create.

But this Mod is about much more than just skills. Attribute points, constellation stats and procs, Items (including prefixes and suffixes), Mastery Bars, drop rates, quest rewards, monster stats and abilities, crafting costs/rates/blacksmith bonuses, area level scaling, loot tables and more: We will be looking through and touching upon all the above where we feel improvement is possible.

Design Philosophy

Staying True to Crate's Vision
As mentioned above we want our mod to still feel like GD. Unlike old TQ mods like Underlord and Soulvizier, (which were wonderful) we want this mod to feel almost seamless for GD players. We want to create more viable build possibilities for Ultimate, and make items/skills/constellations more competitive with each other.

To elaborate with a specific example of how this applies: we have talked at length about certain items where one or both of us were puzzled at how it could ever be considered good. Eventually one of us would figure out what we believe the intended build the item was designed to support is, but realize that either a) Another item fills the slot better for the same build, b) The item is not strong enough to support the build, or c) There are not enough other items for other slots to support the build. We can do some great work here.

Don't fix what isn't broken
Everything and anything can be "improved" from at least one player's perspective. But many things function just fine as they are, and those are things we will touch upon LAST if at all. We know many of you may have specific changes you'd like to see, and we will read and consider all of them. We totally want and appreciate feedback regardless of whether or not we utilize it. However, we want to focus on bringing up the quality of lower-tier aspects of the game to viable performance levels before we dare bring already viable things up to great.

Fun > Balance
Let's discuss this on two levels. The first being that, very simply, we both agree that an ARPG where you have lots of diverse enjoyable playstyles that can get a little OP is more fun than having a few restrictive ways to build that feel very closely competitive. We WILL tune down the most extreme outliers on the spectrum of balance, but it is not our focus. Players should be rewarded for finding smart ways to "break" the game's meta, not punished.

Secondly, perfect balance is impossible without making the game bland. Some builds/skills/items/etc. will be better, some will be worse. That is the nature of a fun ARPG, but we hope to make more instances where a lower tier skill can be situationally better than a higher tier one.

Stats/Skills>Devotion>Items>All Else...generally
This is our priority of balance order. There is a logic here: Stats and Skills are innate to all players. You start with them, you get points to put in them as you level up, and they stay with you forever. If a class's kit feels poor, no amount of itemization or constellations will change that. Devotion is innate as well, in a way, but the fact of the matter is you build Devotion around the skills you pick, not the other way around. So they come second.

Items are tertiary for two clear reasons: you can't depend on getting the item you want when you want. RNG is RNG, and GD's seems to be anecdotally quirky RNG at that . Changing any item or affix's stats will only very rarely have as big an impact on players as changing a single constellation or skill. The second reason is that items build upon your skills, enhancing what you already have. That plus RNG makes it a clear third choice to look at. Perhaps a third reason is that items also allow themselves to be more narrow and niche in scope, allowing us to make some really specific choices that have very narrow targeted impact, and it's healthiest to attempt this when the first 2 parts (skills/constellations) are in a better place. Items can be the thing that makes a build that looks like it shouldn't work, work. If we start tweaking too many items immediately, and then start buffing the worst tier of skills and constellations, chances are we'll end up having to just revert a lot of our choices, as wasted time, because the items we buffed/changed will become even more powerful/become imbalanced when the skills and constellations that benefit from them are also improved.

What You Can Expect

We'd like to state right here, than you can 100% expect that at first this mod will make the game easier. That will be a result of making Ultimate less build restrictive. If we're improving the quality of "bad" things in the game, the net power on the player-side improves. Some quality of life changes we'd like to make should make the game a bit easier as well.

And we know this will disappoint many of you who like a "challenge." But hear us out: A stat wall is not the most interesting form of challenge. Having to have ~80% in the majority of your resists, or 10k+ Health, or 2k+ OA to feel even remotely comfortable in Ultimate is not a good feeling, it just feels forced upon us.

Challenge is more fun in the form of enemy mechanics: Reflect mobs with visual indicators of when not to attack, mobs that heal tanky dangerous mobs, mobs and traps with curses and debuffs, enemy tactics, dodge-able damage, etc. A stat wall is definitely necessary, but we think it's currently too steep.

But rest assured: After we are done improving the player-side of things, we will then start improving the monster side... but still, don't expect Ultimate to feel like it currently does for non-tanky builds. We don't philosophically believe that the main story-line should be that restrictive. We might make some side-quests more difficult and more rewarding, to help maintain a feeling of challenge, and we want SoT and BoC to be hard as well, but they are also the main source of farming gear for most players.

The true solution to this will be in our second mod which will add New Content. Part of our second mod will be new challenge dungeons with TRULY punishing features and truly niche and unique rewards. You will experience dungeons harder than anything currently in the game, dungeons that require you to respec your character's components and items to meet their challenge. Dungeons that truly require thought to conquer. We want the main content of GD to be accessible to a slightly larger player-base than it currently is, but will add in challenges that will sate even the most veteran players later. But don't get too caught up in that just yet, as that's a way's off.

How far off is a way's off? Good question. We don't know. Progress consists of two of us bouncing ideas off each other, implementing them, testing them, and then repeating the process for thousands upon thousands of things in-game. It's an iterative process, and one we're taking on in our free time, rather than one we'll be working on full-time. We don't want to give you a date or even a ballpark estimate, but we figure that if we're going to give you this great wall of text, you should at least know our assumptions. We think the rebalancing mod could take around a year to complete. If we get it done in three months, great! But that seems unlikely. If we don't finish for a year and a half or two years, so be it. But we're going to keep at it and it will finish and wind up in your hands. Our passion for Grim Dawn can only culminate in us making it as great as we possibly can.



Thank you for the read, and looking forward to the road ahead in this development,
adoomgod & Ceno

Questions and Answers
Spoiler!

Last edited by Ceno; 11-05-2017 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 04-29-2016, 09:00 AM
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adoomgod adoomgod is offline
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*edit discussion 3*
Holy fucking balls guys. I am so excited to work on 3.2. I feel 3.1. is a very awesome version, but it can also look a bit underwhelming to things like skill changes etc. I mean yeah we're working on 2handed weapons now which is cool, and yeah we messed with DA which is interesting... but just affixes? Well the reason I'm so excited is because it helps sets up a good foundation for 3.2 where we hope to make ALL monster infrequents, when double-rolled green affixes, equal to or better than comparable legendaries.

I mean guys, do you know what this means. Finally after working and thinking through 3 versions we can edit the +skills on items. We can add completely new abilities to lackluster items. We can buff existing abilities as well! One thing we discussed, that we may hold off on until version 5/6 (new content), was making blueprints of lvl 75 versions of legendaries that are lvl 50 or 58. I'm looking at you >.> Obsidian Juggernaut.

I mean I think there are a lot of lower end legendaries that have so much potential and look and feel so cool but just aren't good enough stat wise, or are weirdly balanced to a point that they don't see use. And now we get to take those super cool things, and make everyone want to find a build to fit them in! I have felt super passionately about this project from the start, but this is the part I was most excited about. Making cool looking shit stay relevant. And yeah... I guess we'll take care of augments and components too and whatever. ha.

I think after we're done with all of version 3 people will understand why we chopped it into parts. Mostly because while version one and two brought weak things up to good, version 3 promises to shift the very meta of GD around. I may be wrong, but I suspect a lot of long time GD players who play Corn will have to unlearn some of the things about GD in order to make the most out of the new possible synergies we hope to create.

I could totally be wrong but if I'm right this really is going to be exciting stuff. I mean making 2 handed ranged weapons is sort of big in of itself, but what we're pretty excited and nervous about is changing how cunning spirit and physique function a bit. We very well may need a lot of testing help on this one, and our first attempts at this may bork up a lot of characters. (we'll write a little guide on how to use the trainer to reset attribute points safely). But anything we do to these 3 will have huge impacts on both the player, pets, and enemies... so we may have to redo a LOT of enemy bios (the file that determines how their stats scale with their lvl). Not looking forward to that part, but I hope you'll be patient with us as we figure out something that we think will make GD a more complex and diverse game in the long run. And hey, if not we just keep physique as king eh? XD

*edit discussion 2*
I'll put more here after v2 releases.
So I've edited 33 constellations and holy $#!%. What a ride. I mean in many places I did little things like tack on some +hp, but it's really hard to predict the cumulative effect all these might have. It's a lot more comfortable editing an active skill than a passive one, because active skills, for the most part, don't affect each other's balance. Constellations on the other hand are so tied to everything I get nervous.

Especially when it comes to tweaking affinity rewards (haven't tried yet) and affinity requirements. It's hard to say if by opening up the requirements too much I've ended up making other constellations obsolete (because you'll just pick higher ones over them). Hopefully not.

It was a fun challenge to try to stay within the theme of the constellation and make similar tiered constellations distinct from each other. I'm sure I made some too strong, and I'm sure I made some not strong enough, but that's where you'll all help. As for any of you testing version 1 and want to be more directly involved. PM me and we'll figure something out. I need minions!

*original post below*

Note that anything I post here is stuff that has been agreed upon by both of us. I will try to always point out when a change I'm considering is yet to be discussed between us.

I mainly made this post to add thoughts or whatever I feel like here. I want to add, guys, it'd be really helpful if you told us what skills you thought were bad and why.

If you just thematically don't like a skill that's not really what I'm looking for. Maybe Ceno will care... probs not. I'm looking for "this skill is bad because it doesn't scale into ultimate despite requiring so many skill points." or just because it doesn't scale into ultimate lol.

"X skill is bad because it's comparable to this other skill but much worse."

Same goes for items but right now feedback on skills you think are shit in the late game, or just always, would be great. Detailed explanations will be more thought provoking and help us figure out not only if we agree, but what exactly the biggest problem with the skill is and what to do about it. Thanks.
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Last edited by adoomgod; 06-22-2016 at 04:44 AM.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:16 AM
TomoDaK TomoDaK is offline
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i give this the tomodak stamp of approval

if ya ever want someone to test some shit id probably be down
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:17 AM
Garfunkel Garfunkel is offline
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Good luck to you guys in your modding efforts!
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:26 AM
Imnoo Imnoo is offline
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Wow thanks,

I hope Bloody Pox would finally be viable as a main damaging skill.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:31 AM
gpk gpk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomoDaK View Post
i give this the tomodak stamp of approval

if ya ever want someone to test some shit id probably be down
Watch the potty mouth honey.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:35 AM
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sunandsteel71 sunandsteel71 is offline
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i would not be too concerned with staying "true to Crates vision" of the game.
there are a few basic changes that would make the game more fun to play and more challenging.

Go with what feels good to you and the people who test it for you and you will have a good mod.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:41 AM
gregory_portman gregory_portman is offline
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Q: Do you have any experience in moding from other games, etc?
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https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=916207134
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:46 AM
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adoomgod adoomgod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomoDaK View Post
i give this the tomodak stamp of approval

if ya ever want someone to test some shit id probably be down
All testers are welcome. It's not like playtesting, we'll just release versions and get feedback. But if people want to volunteer to test specific things that we're looking at, that'd be cool too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunandsteel71 View Post
i would not be too concerned with staying "true to Crates vision" of the game.
there are a few basic changes that would make the game more fun to play and more challenging.

Go with what feels good to you and the people who test it for you and you will have a good mod.
We're not "too concerned" we just want to. Both of us might separately or together make an entirely different balance overhaul mod at some point as well, but we have been discussing GD for some time now and thought we could do some real good for the game following this mindset. Of course whatever we produce will be "our interpretation" of Crate's over arching vision, and of course we will consider a different vision if we truly disagree with a design choice of theirs.

It's just a design philosophy we are picking for this mod. The second mod, new content, will be less restricted in this sense.

Simply put: We like Crate's vision, that's why we are adhering to it, more than less. At the end of the day we will do what's good for us, but we believe we can have both.
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Cornucopia - - - "http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=37644"

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Old 04-29-2016, 01:32 PM
Valentir Valentir is offline
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Hmm, isn't it very early to start with fanmade balance patches? I thought crate was still doing balancing.

Looking back at TQ the fanmade patch came out since they stopped supporting the game, or am I mistaken?
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