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Thread: Dragons are the worst creature in game

  
  1. #1

    Thumbs down Dragons are the worst creature in game

    There, I said it. Dragons are by far the worst creatures in the game right now.
    In the original game they were really expensive for what they offered, but at least they could serve as a tank, taking damage for the damage dealers. To some heroes it would eventually die in a 1-to-1 fight, but by that time the battle would long be over and he would have backup.

    In the current version of KeeperFX however, Level 10 Dragons will die very quickly, and against almost every other level 10 creature, including demon spawn, skeletons, dwarfs and spiders. In fact they only manage to beat flies, beetles, ghosts, thieves and archers(when they can't run). And this for a creature that is slow and takes a huge payday.

    I've made an issue on the issue tracker, to fix this, as the dragon is far weaker than I feel it should be. I think the dragon should be much more resistant to damage.

    Does anybody have a different opinion, and perhaps a love for dragons, or would feel that a buff would make some levels too difficult/easy?
    Last edited by YourMaster; August 17th, 2014 at 20:51.

  2. #2
    Awakening Game Master Metal Gear Rex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dragons are the worst creature in game

    The Beetle's been buffed!? :O

    I've known about the Dragon's weakness for quite some time so I'm not actually surprised by any of this. I found out about it way back when I was still working on the DK1 Balance Patch. I analyzed the issue back then and I still remember my conclusion so I completely understand why he's so weak right now. It's specifically an FX issue and a result of drastic and mostly negative effects from certain bug fixing, causing indirect and probably accidental nerfing to the Dragon.

    The main issue comes from the removal of the strength cap and buffs to all spell castors relating to a growth in spell damage as units level, something that wasn't featured in the original campaign. So, as a result, Creatures generally deal loads more damage, especially at higher damage.

    The Dragon serves as a Heal tank. He doesn't have that much health to tank on his own compared to the Bile Demon. What he does, instead, is reduce damage via his higher armor stat and then cast Heal to recover from the damage he takes. He was pretty well balanced with the damage values of the original game, but with the FX changes, his healing just doesn't keep up and he was never changed in any way to help him remain relevant. He's pretty much been nerfed into the ground, even if it was an accident.

    Based on my past experimenting, an easy and quick solution to buff the Dragon is to give him Protect at Level 5. It grants him bonus damage reduction to help him keep up with the healing while also granting him immunity (or near immunity, I forgot which) from Keeper Lightning. That should be sufficient, at least for now.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Dragons are the worst creature in game

    I know the dragon has been weak in KeeperFX since the beginning. I even followed some of the topics back then.

    However, it seems like it has become even worse. I believe spell growth has been tuned down a bit, perhaps I'm imagining things, but still, worthless creature all around now.

    I've looked at your suggestion, and giving him the protect spell, does work. However, raising the armour to 140 also has the desired effect without giving him another spell. Even low level dragons don't seem overpowered.
    Also, I think the flame-breath spell should have its damage increased from 3 to 4 or 5. All other creatures have had a boost in damage, but the dragons seems to be left behind.

    With armour of 140 and flame breath damage at 4/5, the dragon still gets defeated by the spellcasters and the heavy hitters, but not by as large a margin and it takes a while longer. He is also able to kill some of the weak creatures.

  4. #4
    Awakening Game Master Metal Gear Rex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dragons are the worst creature in game

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    However, it seems like it has become even worse. I believe spell growth has been tuned down a bit, perhaps I'm imagining things, but still, worthless creature all around now.
    Oh it has? By how much? I notice it's been set to a very low 8%. For its previous value, the number 20% comes to mind, but it would also make sense if it was 35% as that's the Strength increase. (I assume it's the Damage growth value, considering that there's a separate Strength growth)

    Spell damage growth did benefit the Dragon in ways. It made his Flame spell stronger while also buffing his Meteor and Word of Power. I actually recall having problems in my patch with Dragons because Meteor and WoP spam is a possibility. If spell damage is reduced so much though, then spamming of both spells isn't much of an issue. Spell growth definitely needed to get nerfed I feel considering its very powerful on spell castors who end up gaining a large variety of burst spells. Unfortunately this nerf still does nothing for the Dragon but at the very least, his WoP / Meteor won't be as spammable if he does get buffs in other areas to make him useful again.

    How does the Heal spell scale again? It still goes off of the Keeper Heal values, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    I've looked at your suggestion, and giving him the protect spell, does work. However, raising the armour to 140 also has the desired effect without giving him another spell. Even low level dragons don't seem overpowered.
    Giving him the Protect spell grants the Dragon the advantage of Keeper Lightning immunity. I'm starting to remember that Protect does grant practically near immunity to Keeper Lightning, so there is a point to giving him that spell instead of just raw armor. I remember using that trick to make Ghosts and Horned Reapers immune to Keeper Lightning by giving them the spell at Level 1 and adjusting their natural armor stat with the 25% increase in mind.

    For the Dragon, Protect gives him an extra edge over the Bile Demon as a tank with this extra immunity. Dragons level pretty fast so him hitting Level 5 isn't much of a problem. I think he's also supposed to get loads more experience than normal melee fighter because Flame Breath hits 10x per cast.

    I don't have my patch files on this computer, but I believe I also increased the Dragon's armor to 100 from 90, which also gives him a bonus 12.5 armor overall with Protect (112.5 vs 125, 44% vs 49%).

    I'm not exactly sure on the situation in FX right now with the spell damage nerfs as I only played the latest version briefly a few days ago up to Level 3 in the original campaign. However, considering the spell damage nerfs, I would assume that its pointless to ever refer to the Dragon as any sort of damage dealer considering that spells are his only means to deal damage. Therefore, it isn't a bad idea to also consider buffing his armor a bit more to 120 (for a grand total of 150 armor with Protect and 58% damage absorb) and make him go all the way as a pure Healer / Armor tank. He might also need Protect at Level 6 just to delay that extra armor gain but yeah.

    It is a lot of damage to be able to just absorb, but if he can't do any real damage on his own, it doesn't really matter much does it? I think it makes him a very interesting tank compared to the Bile Demon, who can deal his own form of damage with melee and has a sense of crowd control with the Gas. I kind of wish I could properly emulate that kind of Heal tank for DK2 but sadly the game doesn't allow for it.

    I did consider also buffing the Dragon's Defense, but that only helps him against melee fighters. The Orc already has high defense anyways. I like the idea of Armor bonuses because it gives him super tank capabilities universally.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    Also, I think the flame-breath spell should have its damage increased from 3 to 4 or 5. All other creatures have had a boost in damage, but the dragons seems to be left behind.
    Normally I would be against damage increases like this when it comes to tanks; I did protest a lot against Vampires having Hailstorm for instance. However, in this case, the Dragon does need it considering he's falling behind otherwise. Due to the Strength cap removal, every melee fighter became stronger in damage except for him. In the early game, he's never been that dangerous, so a little bit of a damage boost could help him push through. Later on, that damage bonus won't even be relevant as spell damage growth just does not scale with health growth at all, but that'll be when he gains Protect and crap loads of armor so it won't matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    With armour of 140 and flame breath damage at 4/5, the dragon still gets defeated by the spellcasters and the heavy hitters, but not by as large a margin and it takes a while longer. He is also able to kill some of the weak creatures.
    The Dragon has always been kind of weak vs spell casters. The reason being for the same reason Giants suck against spell casters; he's so damn slow. The Dragon also stops to cast Meteor too, and if its damage isn't that great, then it just won't do much for him especially as most spell casters have Heal. At least the Dragon has higher defense vs the Giant and doesn't just die.

    The Dragon did momentarily have an advantage against spell casters in FX due to previous Meteor damage boosts, but pretty much not anymore.
    Last edited by Metal Gear Rex; August 18th, 2014 at 00:42.
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  5. #5
    KeeperFX Author mefistotelis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dragons are the worst creature in game

    About the percentage increases, they're here:
    https://code.google.com/p/keeperfx/s...a/creature.cfg

    And there's my simulation of original DK values (the two low values were actually 0 for original game):
    https://code.google.com/p/keeperfx/s...s/creature.cfg

  6. #6

    Default Re: Dragons are the worst creature in game

    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    Oh it has? By how much? I notice it's been set to a very low 8%. For its previous value, the number 20% comes to mind, but it would also make sense if it was 35% as that's the Strength increase. (I assume it's the Damage growth value, considering that there's a separate Strength growth)

    Spell damage growth did benefit the Dragon in ways. It made his Flame spell stronger while also buffing his Meteor and Word of Power. I actually recall having problems in my patch with Dragons because Meteor and WoP spam is a possibility. If spell damage is reduced so much though, then spamming of both spells isn't much of an issue. Spell growth definitely needed to get nerfed I feel considering its very powerful on spell castors who end up gaining a large variety of burst spells. Unfortunately this nerf still does nothing for the Dragon but at the very least, his WoP / Meteor won't be as spammable if he does get buffs in other areas to make him useful again.

    How does the Heal spell scale again? It still goes off of the Keeper Heal values, right?
    Still only one set of heal values yes, but that doesn't matter a the heal spell shouldn't be buffed across the board anyway. Possibly a redesign to be a percentage of HP instead of set HP value.
    Meteor does very little for dragons I feel, as they are melee so against other melee fighters they only get a single shot off. When facing ranged fighters, most heroes have reflect anyway at high levels. And when dragons are in play, you're mostly facing high level heroes anyway.

    But again, you could be right that the issue of weak dragons hasn't become worse. In any case, I think this is a mayor issue since it really has made the creature completely useless. Right now you should trow out any dragon you receive and accept any other creature instead.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    Giving him the Protect spell grants the Dragon the advantage of Keeper Lightning immunity. I'm starting to remember that Protect does grant practically near immunity to Keeper Lightning, so there is a point to giving him that spell instead of just raw armor. I remember using that trick to make Ghosts and Horned Reapers immune to Keeper Lightning by giving them the spell at Level 1 and adjusting their natural armor stat with the 25% increase in mind.

    For the Dragon, Protect gives him an extra edge over the Bile Demon as a tank with this extra immunity. Dragons level pretty fast so him hitting Level 5 isn't much of a problem. I think he's also supposed to get loads more experience than normal melee fighter because Flame Breath hits 10x per cast.

    I don't have my patch files on this computer, but I believe I also increased the Dragon's armor to 100 from 90, which also gives him a bonus 12.5 armor overall with Protect (112.5 vs 125, 44% vs 49%).

    I'm not exactly sure on the situation in FX right now with the spell damage nerfs as I only played the latest version briefly a few days ago up to Level 3 in the original campaign. However, considering the spell damage nerfs, I would assume that its pointless to ever refer to the Dragon as any sort of damage dealer considering that spells are his only means to deal damage. Therefore, it isn't a bad idea to also consider buffing his armor a bit more to 120 (for a grand total of 150 armor with Protect and 58% damage absorb) and make him go all the way as a pure Healer / Armor tank. He might also need Protect at Level 6 just to delay that extra armor gain but yeah.

    It is a lot of damage to be able to just absorb, but if he can't do any real damage on his own, it doesn't really matter much does it? I think it makes him a very interesting tank compared to the Bile Demon, who can deal his own form of damage with melee and has a sense of crowd control with the Gas. I kind of wish I could properly emulate that kind of Heal tank for DK2 but sadly the game doesn't allow for it.

    I did consider also buffing the Dragon's Defense, but that only helps him against melee fighters. The Orc already has high defense anyways. I like the idea of Armor bonuses because it gives him super tank capabilities universally.
    In any case, the added armor is needed. I wouldn't complain if it would come in the form of protect+armor, but I kinda dislike giving creatures new abilities, so I'd be happy with just (more) armor. Ending up with 140-150 armor sounds about right.

    Actually, having recently played Belial again, where you get Dragons early on and have to defend against an early push,... I had to beat the level by abusing the design flaw and walling the heroes out. The level 3-4 dragons you have were completely outclassed by the low level heroes the game trows at you, a mid-level protect wouldn't help there,....


    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    Normally I would be against damage increases like this when it comes to tanks; I did protest a lot against Vampires having Hailstorm for instance. However, in this case, the Dragon does need it considering he's falling behind otherwise. Due to the Strength cap removal, every melee fighter became stronger in damage except for him. In the early game, he's never been that dangerous, so a little bit of a damage boost could help him push through. Later on, that damage bonus won't even be relevant as spell damage growth just does not scale with health growth at all, but that'll be when he gains Protect and crap loads of armor so it won't matter.
    That's what I'm saying. Even things like doors have gotten a large health boost. Raising his damage to 5 doesn't make him a big damage dealer in any sense of the word, but without it he can't even out-damage most creatures with a heal spell like the demon spawn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    The Dragon has always been kind of weak vs spell casters. The reason being for the same reason Giants suck against spell casters; he's so damn slow. The Dragon also stops to cast Meteor too, and if its damage isn't that great, then it just won't do much for him especially as most spell casters have Heal. At least the Dragon has higher defense vs the Giant and doesn't just die.

    The Dragon did momentarily have an advantage against spell casters in FX due to previous Meteor damage boosts, but pretty much not anymore.
    I know, I mentioned it as an advantage. With the suggested changes of 140 armor and 5 flame-damage the dragon has around the same usefulness as he did in the original game. Still dying to spell casters and heavy hitters as he should, but being able to defeat weak creatures and tanking damage for your own spellcasters.
    Last edited by YourMaster; August 18th, 2014 at 09:10.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Dragons are the worst creature in game

    Quote Originally Posted by mefistotelis View Post
    About the percentage increases, they're here:
    https://code.google.com/p/keeperfx/s...a/creature.cfg

    And there's my simulation of original DK values (the two low values were actually 0 for original game):
    https://code.google.com/p/keeperfx/s...s/creature.cfg
    Could you elaborate a bit on why you went for damage increases per level on top of the strength increase, but kept the armour increase on 0?
    Also, is it deliberate that when you look at the creature stats ingame it always shows the base values instead of the current values, and would you be open to change that?

  8. #8
    Awakening Game Master Metal Gear Rex's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dragons are the worst creature in game

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    Still only one set of heal values yes, but that doesn't matter a the heal spell shouldn't be buffed across the board anyway.
    I wasn't trying to suggest this, I just wanted to confirm the current functionality of Heal. I was wondering if the spell damage drop would also effect Heal.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    Possibly a redesign to be a percentage of HP instead of set HP value.
    That's probably a bad idea because its a spell used by both tanks and support casters, both of which have drastically different Health values. It's very difficult if not outright impossible to find a balance for Heal between the two of them when using a percentage of Max HP. It's one of those things where there is no balanced middle ground, it's either too weak a heal for spell casters and the Demon Spawn or its overpowered for the Dragon / Knight. Additionally, it's also a problem when you add the Avatar into the equation.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    Meteor does very little for dragons I feel, as they are melee so against other melee fighters they only get a single shot off. When facing ranged fighters, most heroes have reflect anyway at high levels. And when dragons are in play, you're mostly facing high level heroes anyway.
    I can see what Bullfrog was trying to do with it though. It's supposed to cause disruption in enemy lines, which also disrupts incoming enemy damage and also benefits the Dragon as a Heal tank who tries his best to minimize incoming damage. It's why the Dragon has Grenade and Word of Power as well. Unfortunately, Meteor only blows up when it hits a solid wall as opposed to hitting a unit. So yes, it isn't the best thing for the Dragon.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    In any case, the added armor is needed. I wouldn't complain if it would come in the form of protect+armor, but I kinda dislike giving creatures new abilities, so I'd be happy with just (more) armor. Ending up with 140-150 armor sounds about right.
    Why are you against giving creatures new abilities?

    Already a number of creatures in FX have various new abilities since DL's patch. Tentacle, Hell Hound, Horned Reaper, Tunneller, Knight, Avatar, Warlock, and Vampire. Some of them don't make much sense nor serve any practical purpose, like the Hell Hound's Fireball. Others are crazy powerful and significant, like the Warlock's Rebound or Vampire's Hail. The latter abilities give those creatures a whole new edge by removing a previous weakness. Arguably its completely unnecessary.

    Giving the Dragon Protect does have a practical purpose as it suits his role and gives him an ever so needed edge.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    Actually, having recently played Belial again, where you get Dragons early on and have to defend against an early push,... I had to beat the level by abusing the design flaw and walling the heroes out. The level 3-4 dragons you have were completely outclassed by the low level heroes the game trows at you, a mid-level protect wouldn't help there,....
    That doesn't mean much to me nor does it convince me in any way, to be honest. Belial is pretty flawed in design.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    Could you elaborate a bit on why you went for damage increases per level on top of the strength increase, but kept the armour increase on 0?
    I assumed it stood for specifically spell damage. It doesn't make sense to me as to why it would also increase physical damage further after the Strength growths.

    For armor, it doesn't make sense for that stat to grow at all. It's not reduction of a fixed value, but by a percentage of all damage. So it doesn't matter how high damage values scale as armor will always be just as useful as it is at base level. The thing that needs to scale properly with any damage values is Health.

    Quote Originally Posted by YourMaster View Post
    Also, is it deliberate that when you look at the creature stats ingame it always shows the base values instead of the current values, and would you be open to change that?
    Pretty sure in vanilla, it's supposed to show current stats.
    Last edited by Metal Gear Rex; August 18th, 2014 at 14:10.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Dragons are the worst creature in game

    Can you change spell stats for each creature or do you change the spell stats for all creatures? if the latter is the case then increasing the damage of flamebreath will also affect the Hound, which in my opinion is fine now.

    Why not give the Dragon Melee attack at level 5 or so. I mean he has claws, so why not use them.. This makes him more useful in combat.

    I think his armor and health is fine, he just needs a little more punch.

    Adding protect is kinda silly, it's not something a dragon would use, rather give him a small armor boost instead. (Still I think it's fine as it is..)

  10. #10

    Default Re: Dragons are the worst creature in game

    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    I wasn't trying to suggest this, I just wanted to confirm the current functionality of Heal.
    That's probably a bad idea because its a spell used by both tanks and support casters, both of which have drastically different Health values. It's very difficult if not outright impossible to find a balance for Heal between the two of them when using a percentage of Max HP. It's one of those things where there is no balanced middle ground, it's either too weak a heal for spell casters and the Demon Spawn or its overpowered for the Dragon / Knight. Additionally, it's also a problem when you add the Avatar into the equation.
    I'm not arguing heal should change, but it could work with e.g. always heal 33% of max health, but the creatures would need to be balanced around the spell. This way the effectiveness would scale with level, instead of the current situation where it strongly decreases in usefulness, on for example high level dragons.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    I can see what Bullfrog was trying to do with it though. It's supposed to cause disruption in enemy lines, which also disrupts incoming enemy damage and also benefits the Dragon as a Heal tank who tries his best to minimize incoming damage. It's why the Dragon has Grenade and Word of Power as well. Unfortunately, Meteor only blows up when it hits a solid wall as opposed to hitting a unit. So yes, it isn't the best thing for the Dragon.
    I know. So currently, not really a boost. But I'll raise the issue on the issue tracker,... that is the way to try get these things fixed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    Why are you against giving creatures new abilities?

    Already a number of creatures in FX have various new abilities since DL's patch. Tentacle, Hell Hound, Horned Reaper, Tunneller, Knight, Avatar, Warlock, and Vampire. Some of them don't make much sense nor serve any practical purpose, like the Hell Hound's Fireball. Others are crazy powerful and significant, like the Warlock's Rebound or Vampire's Hail. The latter abilities give those creatures a whole new edge by removing a previous weakness. Arguably its completely unnecessary.

    Giving the Dragon Protect does have a practical purpose as it suits his role and gives him an ever so needed edge.
    I wouldn't have argued for those changes either. I want the skills to not only be practical, but suit the creature as well. If I would have designed creatures, I would start with functionality, and then design the themes of the skills and the creature around it. It seems bullfrog took a similar approach, and just swapping out creature skills would ruin that. For example, even if the fart spell would functionally be perfect on the warlock, it still suits the bile demon best.
    But, like said, I wouldn't really mind defense on the dragon, thematically that is kinda OK, but I'd still like to see the defense more like an innate ability. The result of much higher armor and no protect, or a bit higher armor and the protect spell is more or less the same. In one case the early game dragons don't get a boost, but that is compensated by a situational boost in the form of lightning resistance later on(why is a dragon lightning resistant?).


    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    That doesn't mean much to me nor does it convince me in any way, to be honest. Belial is pretty flawed in design.
    Fair enough. Point is, wouldn't hurt to give the dragons an early game boost as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    I assumed it stood for specifically spell damage. It doesn't make sense to me as to why it would also increase physical damage further after the Strength growths.
    I believe increased strenght + increased damage on top of that is part of the reason why dragons have it though, it is a big damage boost which can't be out healed. I'm not 100% sure though how the stats work.

    Quote Originally Posted by Metal Gear Rex View Post
    Pretty sure in vanilla, it's supposed to show current stats.
    I notice it does for some, but for others it doesn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Krizzie View Post
    Can you change spell stats for each creature or do you change the spell stats for all creatures? if the latter is the case then increasing the damage of flamebreath will also affect the Hound, which in my opinion is fine now.

    Why not give the Dragon Melee attack at level 5 or so. I mean he has claws, so why not use them.. This makes him more useful in combat.

    I think his armor and health is fine, he just needs a little more punch.

    Adding protect is kinda silly, it's not something a dragon would use, rather give him a small armor boost instead. (Still I think it's fine as it is..)
    When you give the dragon the possibility to attack, it is immediately one of the strongest creatures in the game, and it will kill almost everything. The problem isn't just that he does too few damage, it is that he dies really quickly.
    Could you elaborate on why do you think the dragon is currently fine? Do you approve with the fact that a level 10 dragon is defeated by a level 8 hell hound? Or a level 9 dragon is defeated by a level 5 spider?

    Also if you look at how quickly something like a skeleton can defeat a dragon, or how fast it dies against spellcasters, it doesn't make much of a tank.

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