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Poison Weapon

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  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,583
    edited March 2016
    Though it is a very nice change as far as Blackguard is concerned (Yes, they were OP and even beyond that because of poison weapon and multiple APR synergy) I find it a pity that assassin should suffer the same fate. While blackguard has many other tools that makes it still good despite this nerf, the assassin's main weapon was, until late levels, poison weapon. I'd certainly mod assassin poison weapon to get a more powerful poison weapon (slightly so at early levels, but much more powerful at later levels, to prevent abuse with dual class and still provide the assassin with a decent lategame ). I like the "once per round only" though, it adds some gameplay if you want, say, to cancel a mage spell through stoneskin.

    @Dee Actually I don't believe much playtesting is needed for the assassin to say it will be underpowered:
    Right now a pure assassin is quite strong early on, and quite weak later on. This nerf nerfs early game and duals to warrior, that's fine with me, but it also nerfs lategame for a pure assassin and it hardly needs it IMHO.

  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 860
    This is probably just my worthless opinion but I really wish blackguard could just get this new variant of PW and have it renamed to Infect Weapon, while the old PW is left intact for the thief dude made of paper and clumsy skill points.

    As for dual-classing, well, wasn't dual-classing balanced around true classes in the first place? Nearly every kit combo is game breaking. Doesn't seem to be assassin-specific.

    bleusteelArunsunAbel
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    There's a way to make it worth for both classes; I'm confident we'll find the right balance.

    GoturalAbelJuliusBorisov
  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    It's all my fault!!! I started a thread on trying to make a useful dart-flinger, and the clear early winner was the dart-flinging assassin. @Dee was clearly watching that thread (he posted to say so) and this is clearly the result!!!

    Actually, I suspect it is largely unrelated, but it is a huge power-down for the dart-flinging builds, pushing us back in the direction of the archer kit over the long term. The main problem that I see is the limit of one poison-effect per round. The whole point of a dart-flinging build is to take advantage of the many attacks. The place this hurts most badly is relying on poison to cripple mages, as now they get a save vs. poison as well. That might not be so bad if we still got 3-5 APR, for repeated poison saves, but with only one save, our key threat for mages is lost. If I could suggest a rebalance, either restore a limited no-save effect, or, better, allow multiple attacks to force a poison save, but if the target is already poisoned, merely reset the duration from the latest failure (i.e. do not stack damage). That allows the benefit to continue even into late game, where saves are far more likely.

    Either way, we lose our ability to claim the few treasure items held by NPCs that are currently vulnerable only to poison, but that is probably for the best - the original BG did not have kits with poison in the first place!

    GoturalAbelJuliusBorisov
  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,154
    Pecca said:

    I don't see why assassins and blackguards must use the same ability. In fact they shouldn't. One should have an ability properly balanced for a thief kit, and the other for a high THAC0 and APR paladin kit.

    This. It was OP on Blackguards since you could apply it actually 10 times in a round when you got HLAs, which meant that any single enemy (until you got the BMU's OP "crossbow") without Poison Resistance would go down in 1 or 3 rounds (this was my Dragon-slaying technic in BG2:EE, give Dorn a good THAC0 ranged weapon, and have him hit the Dragon two rounds or so) and literally anything in the game without Poison Resistance went down in 1 or 3 rounds when combing Poison Weapon + AoE ranged weapon. And then Assassins don't have the early game Blackguards have (more HP, THAC0, Immunity to Fear (fk u Tarnesh) and a lifesteal ability that scales nicely) unless they start with Darts. Also Assassins don't innately have the 10 ApR the Blackguards can get when they unlock their HLAs (they can, of course, equip the BMU's "crossbow" and use Improved Haste, but you don't get the BMU every game and then you'll need a ton of IH scrolls (or a Friendly Mage Companion™ (sold separately) to cast it on you).

    /sleepy rant
    Anyway I like this change. If you use Darts it was OP as well at level 1 tbh.

    Abel
  • GrammarsaladGrammarsalad Member Posts: 2,577
    @Dee

    Now that I know that poison weapon penetrates stoneskin and mirror image, it really bothers me. Any chance that will be fixed?

  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 8,180
    @Grammarsalad That issue is a bit more involved than it may seem at first glance. See my post here.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Ancalagon44Ancalagon44 Member Posts: 252
    I agree that for a Blackguard, Poison Weapon is horrendously unbalanced. It takes the Blackguard from a solid Paladin kit to an overpowered win button.

    But Assassins receive far fewer advantages than a blackguard, and have more more drawbacks (less thieving abilities compared to other thieves, for instance). This change affects Assassins are more than it does Blackguards, and for that reason, I don't think you will be able to find a balance that suits both.

    I think what you need to do is either:
    A) Separate Poison Weapon into two versions, one for the Assassin and one for the Blackguard.
    B) Remove the ability from the Blackguard altogether (does it really need it?)
    C) Remove the ability from the Blackguard and replace it with something different, in keeping with the flavour of the class.
    D) Remove the ability from the Assassin.

    I would vote for option B. I know people have got used to the Blackguard having poison weapon, but the class is still very effective without it. I think Poison Weapon should be the signature move of the assassin - it should not be shared. Just like the Bounty Hunter has his special traps that are not shared, it should be the same with the assassin. The assassin, per the kit description, spends a lot of time working on his poisons. The Blackguard does not - his power comes from his patron. Why then should he have a poison weapon ability?

    The problem is actually not with the assassin, but with the Blackguard. The Blackguard is the more recent of the two kits in any case.

    On top of that, I would rebalance Poison Weapon so that it scales in terms of damage output. It should do slightly less damage at first level and slightly more damage at 16th level. And it should affect a target more than once - if I inject 1ml of Cyanide into you, it is quite a different story to me injecting 100ml of Cyanide into you.

  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    Blackguards should have a poison related ability, they come from a 3E prestige class like Shadowdancers, Dwarven Defender and the other.

    And this prestige class has poison, it even has backstab!

    JuliusBorisov
  • GoturalGotural Member Posts: 1,229
    @AstroBryGuy I knew about the Anti-Paladin kit, but as far as I know Blackguards, Shadowdancers, Dwarven Defender and Dragon Disciples were inspired from the 3E prestige classes like in NWN.

    Still, the class has poison and backstab in PnP and doesn't have backstab in Baldur's Gate. If you remove Poison Weapon as well this kit will have nothing left.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    To be more accurate they can apply poison vials to their weapons without poisoning themselves in the process.

    From a roleplaying point of view it would be more interesting to have a 'poison brewing' ability akin to the Alchemy HLA. Depending on the character Level, the potency of the venoms rise. (From Drow Poison all the way up to Black Lotus Extract, for example.)

    This way we could give both Blackguards and Assassins some more variety in their craft as well. And having the need of either buying the poisons or creating them before able to use them in combat would also help to rebalance them in my eyes.

    Just a thought.

    Ithual
  • MessiMessi Member Posts: 738
    Good thing then that Beamdog isn't planning on removing it.

  • ArunsunArunsun Member Posts: 1,583

    To be more accurate they can apply poison vials to their weapons without poisoning themselves in the process.

    From a roleplaying point of view it would be more interesting to have a 'poison brewing' ability akin to the Alchemy HLA. Depending on the character Level, the potency of the venoms rise. (From Drow Poison all the way up to Black Lotus Extract, for example.)

    This way we could give both Blackguards and Assassins some more variety in their craft as well. And having the need of either buying the poisons or creating them before able to use them in combat would also help to rebalance them in my eyes.

    Just a thought.

    My thought on it is that it is a good idea, I'd give both blackguard and assassin the currently planned Poison Weapon, but give the assassin various poison HLA (instead of traps for example, like Shadowdancer).
    The type of possible poisons might be:
    One with a CC, either stun or hold. Let's say, no save stun/hold for 1 or 2 round but can only be applied once per person.
    One with extra damage (Improved Poison weapon giving back the current Poison Weapon could be an idea)
    One with a debilitating effects, stats lowering (whether Thac0, AC or ability scores).


    This would make assassins more unique and that's what I would like.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    My other (minor) concern with this rebalancing is that it messes up any existing dual-classed character who played enough assassin to just get their second use of poison/day. Not only is their poison much weaker, but they get it half as often, and cannot revisit their assassin class to boost it back up. If the ability is taking such a heavy hit in the rebalancing, I suggest letting assassins acquire usage at the old rate, especially if balancing Blackguards is the real problem. Also, capping out at 3/day at level 16 is a bit rough for the signature ability of a 40th level assassin.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447

    My other (minor) concern with this rebalancing is that it messes up any existing dual-classed character who played enough assassin to just get their second use of poison/day. Not only is their poison much weaker, but they get it half as often, and cannot revisit their assassin class to boost it back up. If the ability is taking such a heavy hit in the rebalancing, I suggest letting assassins acquire usage at the old rate, especially if balancing Blackguards is the real problem. Also, capping out at 3/day at level 16 is a bit rough for the signature ability of a 40th level assassin.

    We didn't change the rate at which the Assassin gets the ability.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    OK, my poor interpretation of the information, mixing up the power of the effect with the rate of acquisition. Thanks for the clarification, even if it should have been clear to me from the start :)

  • PeccaPecca Member Posts: 2,006
    Dee said:

    There's a way to make it worth for both classes; I'm confident we'll find the right balance.

    Dee, can you tell us why do you want to stick with one ability instead of making two? The latter seems to me like a much more logical choice.

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354
    My only real concern is the once/round effect, as my main use is to justify playing with darts. I don't mind the effect not stacking, but would welcome multiple chances/round for a saving throw to fail.

  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447
    Trust me, when you're fighting a bunch of Assassins or Blackguards, you'll be glad it's only once per round. ;)

    ArunsunCrevsDaakIthualsemiticgoddess
  • AstroBryGuyAstroBryGuy Member Posts: 3,415

    My only real concern is the once/round effect, as my main use is to justify playing with darts. I don't mind the effect not stacking, but would welcome multiple chances/round for a saving throw to fail.

    That could be done with opcode 321. Only have the Effect Removal By Resource happen if the target fails the save.

    Then, hitting again with poison weapon would deal the initial poison damage, but it would extend the extended effects rather than stacking them.

    Jarrakulsemiticgoddess
  • DeeDee Member Posts: 10,447

    My only real concern is the once/round effect, as my main use is to justify playing with darts. I don't mind the effect not stacking, but would welcome multiple chances/round for a saving throw to fail.

    Something to consider: you can still use your 3/round darts, and use them to poison multiple enemies per round. Attack mage A > attack mage B > attack warrior C. It requires some deft pausing, but if you're using all your poison against a single enemy you're probably not using that ability to its full potential anyway.

    Ithual
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 8,180
    Dee said:

    (The stoneskin and mirror image thing was apparently intentional on our part, but we're looking at it more closely to see if it's actually what we want to keep.)

    It was. If you can make it so that mirror image did not grant total immunity to the poison opcode (25) but could still prevent you from becoming poisoned if an image is hit by a poisoned weapon then that would make my day. I was told it was not possible, but maybe your programming skills have increased over the years.

    St. Andrew
  • kjeronkjeron Member Posts: 2,287
    Dee said:

    (The stoneskin and mirror image thing was apparently intentional on our part, but we're looking at it more closely to see if it's actually what we want to keep.)

    Unless it can be perfectly fixed to not bypass Mirror Image only when an image is struck, I would ask that there be no more hard-coded changes to this implementation. There is no reason to change Stoneskins back, it is entirely mod-able now, but it does require a default = bypass, unless you're going to make toggling it even easier.

    We currently have the option of always-bypass, and have the ability to mod it back to its previous never-bypass, complete with the bugged behavior of striking the real target among mirror images not inflicting the poison.

    Stoneskin should not allow a bypass in this specific case of poison, but again, the current implementation allows us to mod whether or not stoneskins protects against on-hit effects on a case-by-case basis.

    TressetSam_Grammarsalad
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 8,180
    kjeron said:

    Dee said:

    (The stoneskin and mirror image thing was apparently intentional on our part, but we're looking at it more closely to see if it's actually what we want to keep.)

    Unless it can be perfectly fixed to not bypass Mirror Image only when an image is struck, I would ask that there be no more hard-coded changes to this implementation. There is no reason to change Stoneskins back, it is entirely mod-able now, but it does require a default = bypass, unless you're going to make toggling it even easier.

    We currently have the option of always-bypass, and have the ability to mod it back to its previous never-bypass, complete with the bugged behavior of striking the real target among mirror images not inflicting the poison.

    Stoneskin should not allow a bypass in this specific case of poison, but again, the current implementation allows us to mod whether or not stoneskins protects against on-hit effects on a case-by-case basis.
    @kjeron How do you mod that? The bypass mirror image flag or something?

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