[MXLS] Charms Overhaul

The awaited Median XL sequel is coming - discuss it here.
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Marco
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Hi all, this is a new informative thread on changes coming to 2016 version.

Let's do a quick test. Imagine an item that covers half your inventory and adds:

5% Chance to Cast Level 23 Time Strike on Striking
5% Chance to Cast Level 5 Uldyssian Time Freeze when Struck
1% Chance to cast level 20 Death Spiral when Struck
+17 to All Skills
+8 to [Class] Skill Levels (+13 if Paladin)
Maximum Skill Level Increased by 10
Increase Maximum Life and Mana 50%
+1300 to Life and Mana
+9% Life/Mana Stolen per Hit
+175% to All Resistances
10% to Maximum Resistances
10% Fire / Cold / Lightning Absorb
Damage Reduced by 5%
Poison Length Reduced by 33%
+418 to All Attributes
+50% Bonus to All Attributes
65% Increased Overall Speed
65% to Spell Damage
+80 Energy Factor to Spell Damage
Adds 345 Fire Damage
Adds 345 Lightning Damage
Adds 345 Cold Damage
-30% to All Enemy Resistances (-20% Poison)
+X to Teleport / Jitans gate / Edyrem / Dark Summoning / Purify
50% Open Wounds
5% Deadly Strike
25% Chance of Crushing Blow
Enhanced Weapon Damage +120%
Total Character Defense Plus 45%
80% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
525% Extra Gold from Monsters
5% Reanimate as: Groupie
3% Reanimate as: Normal-Elite of your choice
2% Reanimate as: Normal-Elite some choice
1% Reanimate as: Normal of your choice
Unlocks your Black Road Skill
Unlocks your Ennead Skill
300% Bonus to Attack Rating
+50 Damage
+50 to Maximum Damage
Slows Target by 10%
10% Uninterruptable Attack

Thunderfury
Adds Strength Damage Bonus: (25/256 per Strength)%
100% Chance to Cast Level 420 Blast Wave when you Die
50% Chance to cast level 49 Trinity Nova when you Die
75% Damage to Demons
+800 Crafting Points
60% to Experience Gained
+230 Defense
Reduces all Vendor Prices 60%
10% Bonus to Summoned Minion Health
35% Bonus to Summoned Minion Damage
15% Bonus to Summoned Minion Resistances
Replenish Life +400
Cannot be Frozen
Half Freeze Duration (Kappa)
+16 to Light Radius (Kappa)
+600 Maximum Stamina (Kappa)
+1 Extra Totems


+ Ennead, LC2, Bremmtown, Sleep bonuses
+ Optionally Cycles


Impressive, isn't it? Well, of course no one is going to have all charms perfect or maybe even trophied at all. Regardless, that list is not too far from being accurate, as usually certain stats are capitalized (for example +Class Skills) so the difference is not that big.

no, this doesn't mean this item will exist. I'm just trying to illustrate the total amount of stats granted by charms



Why is this a problem?



Dependency - Necessity
Well as we know, the game IS in fact balanced towards having some of these stats above mentioned. By no means are you able to clear duncraig with no charms, it's almost a requirement to have some basic ones before you can succeed at this uberquest. Why is charms necessity bad? Many reasons, first it makes obtaining charms less enjoyable. If charms are required, they become regular quests and lose all their "uber" mystic. It is also bad because it prevents people from moving on. Some stats simply have such a big impact in the game (for example: 5% Max Resistances from Azmodan) that without them your character is so much weaker. This usually promotes the famous median stuck loop: need gear for charms, and need charms for gear. This leads to:

Median XL isn't all about: What build can beat all ubers?
Many builds have become non viable simply because they lack uberpower. Any build who uses some sort of complex mechanisms / skillswitch will usually get punished over the spam-one-skill build. So having charms being such a necessity, promotes mindless FotM builds. I know, I know, there will be always "the easiest op build to play" and people will pick it regardless of how balance paradigms change. The goal here is to simply make builds that are not that straight forward not get so punished when they first hit the end phase of the game.

Item Stats
Take another look at the stats displayed above. Some stats simply became un-appealing because you get them from your charms. For example, 30% pierce means you need 30% less pierce from your equipment. Basic stats like resistances, flat stats, speeds, which are crucial to a build now stick to you independently from you your gear. Those are just examples, but most stats become uninteresting due to charms. Who will pick an item because it adds +250 strength? Noone. People will pick procs over anything and just pump the hell out of all numbers instead. This kills gear variety big time.

Unwanted Skill Scaling
So... +25 to all skills definetly doesn't do much good to skill balance. This removes creative thinking when creating skill setups as skills which lack increasing returns or hard point bonuses are very likely to be ignored and become one point wonders instead, that become viable with such a huge boost to skill levels. This said, it's virtually impossible to have skills be balanced damage-wise once you take charms into account. Also, since these +all skills are divided into two types (+All and +Class Only) this has another unwanted effect which is increase the usability gap between class skills and oskills (mostly noticeable in skills like spells).

Unwanted Stat Values
Needless to say, such a high amount to stat points completely kills the point of strength and dexterity costs. If these values were lowered, not all wdm builds would be using Demonic Touch, would they? Some items have higher requirements to make access to that item difficult, and demand an investment in a specific stat to obtain it, or it expects the build using that item to be devoted to this certain stat.

High Numbers
I'm fairly certain that reducing the ridiculous amount of +all skills, damage cap would likely stop being a problem at all. Reducing numbers is something that needs to be done to soften the excess in the mod, after all, when playing median, it always feels like your screen is about to blow up. While this is in some part the essence of median, specific moments such as hitting sprite limit or getting disconnected from a game, should not be tolerated. In the end, it doesn't matter if median is about "D2 on steroids" if you cannot play it because your game froze.


What will happen?


All charms, rebalanced. Old charms = legacy = they're gone. I know that it will be a bit awkward for those who play Single Player. But if the goal is reached (lower charm dependency/effect in the game) it means it shouldn't be such a big problem for your character. Because to compensate, the game difficulty will be rebalanced accordingly. Not just because the change in charms, but much more things that will happen in 2016 patch. After all this is a balance/content patch - not only will new content be added, but old content will be modified so that more builds and items become viable. Performance will be better and the mod playability will become less grindy, less focused on learning documentation, less time in cube, in other words: more fresh, dynamic and smooth.

Discuss!
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Naabaanit
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There is a problem in the way the mod plays, and I'm glad you see it. Charms are a hindrance to the experience, and tasks that are long just to be artificially difficult are also a large block. Charms have always been a way to get further into the game, and I can't remember being excited to complete any of the ubers you've made, just because I know I always must because I need the reward, and not because of a lack of creativity. Charms as a whole have always seemed cool in ways, but hardly ever unique-- the most unique is probably the Tome of Possession.

There IS in fact a very dynamic and beautifully complex system in your creation, Marco, but there must be a way to make everything viable. You are on that path, and though it may be hard to adapt again after such major changes, the way to that balance is just on the horizon.

Oh, and don't forget to add the death and attacked sounds for the D1 Hell Knight models. 8-)
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ChuckNoRis
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- the idea of a super "class charm" where you can dump all other charms is very nice in order to release the inventory space . it was kinda lame to have very low free space when you want to quick pick up from the ground an armour or any 6 squares item before some wtfpwn instakill gets you or before getting swarmed .

- the regular game can be completed without any charm in inventory ...ok , maby destruction Baal will not be viable for all builds , but at least you can get to there without needing any charm , if wearing proper (mo'ed) gear .... and with proper gear (crafts) a summoner necro can beat Duncraig without any charm . this also goes for other summon -based builds .

- i agree with lowering stats on charms and items along with downscaling the game difficulty , it will bring more diversity , it will prevent having "best builds" . i also remember you saying some while ago that you want to make ubers less gear dependent /cheesy ( quov tsin gear check for example) , i totally want to see that coming .

- thumbs up for reducing high numbers like 1 mil defence and other things that scale 1000 times from act1 hatred to end game . 100 times would be nicer imo .

Overall , i'm looking forward for this 2016 patch , i believe it will also bring more players or "ressurect" old ones .
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RollsRoyce
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excellent ! i like this alot
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Metalistas
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The famous median stuck loop: need gear for charms, and need charms for gear.


Personally for me this loop is a bit different. More like one build is better for some charms, other build is better for other charms. Feels unfair when charm benefits all builds but it's easy to get with just summoner (for example the "too good" Judgement day). I am not asking to make charms for casters, wdm chars, ect. Just my observation.

Second point. I actually do expect to reach a god like mode with end game gears and charms. That's the reason i play games mostly. If you reach max lvl, have all charms and sigs and STILL struggle in the game - no fun. So i actually would like a bit of "too good" stuff at the end.

Third point. How on earth will you find time to rebalance all of this ? But i hope you do and we all get a chance to try it.
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Arc_Razer
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This is going to be awesome :)
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kiki22vu
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Looking forward to this :thumb:

Lets see how it turns out and when u post the progress but i just hope that the difficulty scale doesn't go down.
I have faith in the balance patch :)
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iwansquall
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Median need stat-squish before tackling ubercharms.

I dunno median reaching damage cap again after laz trim all damage down to 10% of median 2008 value.
This is much harder but, then you can properly add more harder boss without resorting to heroic shield (enemy life have cap because they can overflow to 0 with players 8).


Then median need some reason for people to "farm" some forgotten uber because once they get perfect charm = that level is useless.
Im thinking something like character orb with new uber ingredient (not uber charm since people could double stack it) that have a bit RNG.
Then just like character orb, you have increasing level requirement on it. Some stats only +1 level but some imba one need +5 or +10 stat.

And... it is possible to difficulty-charm with bonus MF / GF? Ala d3 difficulty.
Refer to either old hard mode charm or exodia charm.
I really need something to farm faster without resort to zip-file trading :(


tl;dr

1. end game character orb
2. median need stat squish
3. difficulty charm for free MF / GF
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GregMXL
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Legend.
Just simply a perfect idea. :D
I don't mean to dwell...but I can't help myself.
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Marco
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that's not going to be an item, lol. I was just trying to illustrate the total amount of stats combined at the cost of half of inventory. i've said already that the concept of 1 total charm is pretty dumb as it totally kills quest re-running. I just wanted to illustrate how broken the combined amount of stats from all items is.