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ReaperAA

Hexen Balance suggestions

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Posted (edited)

Hello folks. I am looking for suggestions for regarding Hexen's weapon/monster balance that would make the game (at least the combat) less tedious and more engaging. I made this thread after being inspired by Wayfarer's tome Heretic balance mod. I am not promising anything about making a mod (as I know nearly nothing about modding but I plan to learn one day). I am only asking about what would u guys want from a balance mod.

 

For example, some of the changes I am thinking about are:

 

WEAPONS:

- Improve mace's (Cleric' 1st weapon) damage so that it can kill an ettin in 4 hits rather than 6-7 hits (basically 40-50% damage buff).

- Slightly buff the damage of Firestorm (Cleric's 3rd weapon) so that it can kill an ettin in 1 hit.

- Slightly nerf the damage of Wraithwerge (Cleric' 4th weapon) and make it consume 20/20 mana instead of 18/18

- Give Hammer of Retribution (Fighter's 3rd weapon) a slight homing ability to make it good against far away enemies and Death Wyverns.

- Make Quietus (Fighter's 4th weapon) be usable without mana, though only as a melee weapon

- Buff Frostshards (Mage's 2nd weapon) so that it has a much tighter spread and consumes 2 mana instead of 3.

- Faster travelling and slightly faster damaging arc for Arc of Death (Mage's 3rd weapon).

- Rethink Sapphire Wand (Mage's 1st weapon) to be more interesting(i.e less boring). I am currently thinking about how to do it without making it OP. Suggestions are welcome.

 

MONSTERS:

- Reduce the shielding duration of centaurs/slaughters.

- Reduce HP of Ettins to 150 (original is 175).

- Increase the projectile speeds (15% to 20% increase) of afrits, chaos serpents, dark bishops, slaughters and stalker boss

- Give a slight delay (preparing to fire state) to slaughter's attack so that the player isn't suddenly caught offguard that it's a slaughter and not a centaur.

- Redesign Heresiarch in following ways:

    - Reduce the pain chance to either completely zero or near zero.

    - Increase projectile speed of purple stream attacks and also increase their height/arc of the stream so that it hits the player instead of the floor infront of him.

    - Increase traveling speed of Heresiarch's homing/bouncing fireballs but reduce their lifespawn.

    - Reduce the shielding duration to either half or 1/3 of original.

    - Increase movement speed.

    - Increase the spam rate of bishops.

- Redesign Korax in following ways:

    - Reduce the pain chance to either completely zero or near zero.

    - Make it also spam Heresiarch's homing/bouncing fireballs and/or maybe make it spam Arc of Death style multiple arcs

    - Increase projectile speeds of projectile barrages.

    - Increase HP to around 8000 (up from 5000)

    - Increase movement speed.

    - Make it spam enemies even at first state.

 

 

Also if anyone disagrees with any of the changes, then do tell me.

 

And can anyone also provide links for some good Hexen's widescreen HUD and sprite fixes.

Edited by ReaperAA

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Since I have not played Hexen a lot there isn't much I've seen as needing rebalancing. That being said, I did have a problem with the Cleric and the Centaurs. Centaurs block a lot, and can be tedious to fight in larger groups, especially noticeable in the hub with the 3 graves, although Porkolators make these instances much more fun. Giving them more attacks or making them block less would make them much more fun to fight, especially since they do become overused later on.

 

And Cleric's mace, compared to the first weapon of the rest of the characters, is completely useless. Until you get your second or third weapon the combat can be pretty annoying, especially when fighting Centaurs...

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Pretty much agree with all of the changes. Although I do love Hexen as it is, I'm totally a fan of amping up the combat a little. Also, not being able to use quietus without mana was incredibly disappointing to me.

I messed around with hexen weapons a bit and I gave all the standard weapons an alt-fire. For the sapphire wand I gave it a weak shotgun-style attack, with similar but non-piercing projectiles. I suppose you're going for a more subtle approach but just an idea. Perhaps you could make it fire extra projectiles when you have mana?

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Some ideas, mostly from my own fun times with balancing:

 

The mace does need a slight increase in damage. Nothing too major though. 4 hits to kill an ettin on average should be a good thing to aim for. That means afrits and stalkers die in around 2 hits, and centaurs would be easier to deal with, which seems reasonable.

 

The firestorm doesn't really need a damage buff, but those rotating flames do need to have their radius increased so smaller targets can be hit. Many times, you could shoot a tree or poison mushroom or even a dead body, and those flames will just rotate around it and do almost no damage. Increasing the size of those flames will fix all of that.

 

I don't think the wraithverge should cost more mana, but if you're going to nerf it, it shouldn't be by very much. Maybe the ghosts could just not last quite as long, and that alone will cut down on the number of enemies it kills, while keeping it useful for crowds.

 

I don't think the hammer really needs any changes. The homing effect will either not work at long distances (since you would need to actually aim at an enemy for it to lock on) or if it was auto homing like the bloodscourge, it might go after something you didn't intend.

 

The arc of death needs to not throw enemies around when it hits them. It can be an issue if it sends a centaur into a wall and then dissipates. Plus, multiple lightnings hitting the heresiarch can be rather humorous, but maybe not for the best.

 

Centaurs actually don't need any changes, except maybe one. The slaughtaurs need to be a different color to distinguish them from centaurs. I did this and gave them a slightly bluish tint, which makes sense considering the kind of attack they use. Also, the arc of death needs to be able to kill them a little faster. They already take triple damage from it, but if it was a little quicker and maybe a greater pain chance for centaurs, it would damage them faster than they can react.

 

I wouldn't change the health of any of the monsters, but a few of them do need to not shoot when there's no one around (i.e. bishops and stalkers). The death wyvern also does this, but I didn't bother with that. It actually makes it more of a threat and a challenge.

 

The heresiarch could use some minor changes. The biggest threat is actually from the shield itself (like if you shot a wraithverge at the wrong time). The other attacks really don't do much. The purple spell wave shouldn't aim and explode at your feet, but straight at you and move a little faster. The bouncing fireballs are more annoying than threatening. For one thing, those bounces are loud, so imagine about a half dozen of those things. Yeah, so tone down that sound and make them do slightly more damage. Either that or maybe have some kind of explosive after effects, like the wendigo's ice (but don't actually use ice).

 

Now, the human enemies are alright, but I noticed that Zedek only shoots out the quietus straight out, with no movement up or down. In the room where he's in, it's not a big deal, but in custom maps where he's up on a pedestal or whatever, you can easily see it. Also in custom maps, you might see all three at once. In that case, Traductus or Menelkir ends up killing the others because those shots tend to go after each other as well as you. If you don't plan on using all three of these guys at once, then you really don't need to change anything here. Otherwise, you'll notice the problem real quick.

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The sapphire wand is perfect

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skeptical that you can get mileage out of Hexen as a straight action game

it's balanced to be relaxing, most of the enemies don't threaten you, and you can jump and repel and quaff potions, it's more suited for adaptation into puzzle gaming than arcadiness

 

I did always think the Frost Shards were disappointing though, it'd be nice if it had exaggerated knockback

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1 hour ago, ReaperAA said:

*tome

 

A tomb is a grave; a tome is a book. Since the Wayfarer is your Heretic protagonist, if it were the Wayfarer's tomb then you'd be dead there wouldn't be much gameplay.

 

 

Anyway and on topic: this is the balance the centaurs desperately need.

 

 

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The protagonist of Blood is dead and yet there's plenty of game play 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Gez said:

Anyway and on topic: this is the balance the centaurs desperately need.

 

This is great idea (even though I don't know how to implement it yet).

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34 minutes ago, Jon said:

The protagonist of Blood is dead and yet there's plenty of game play 

Correction: he lives... again, as he makes sure to point out when you start a game.

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Every class has their way of dealing with centaurs.

 

Fighters can just hit them twice with an axe, maybe three times for slaughtaurs. Also that hammer makes short work of them.

Clerics have a harder time until they get the wraithverge, but they can do the flechette/repulsion trick to kill them instantly, and there's plenty of both starting in the second hub. The firestorm is decent because of its quick speed, though it might not look like it's doing much damage sometimes.

Oddly enough, the mage can use the frost shards as a melee attack. At that range, it does about the same as the fighter's axe, and the damage won't be reflected. The arc of death is good too, but not if they are near solid walls.

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1 hour ago, Jon said:

The sapphire wand is perfect

Perfect? It's OP af

Quote

Balancing Hexen...

Many would say that nerf the puzzles and switches as a joke.

 

Serious time. Let's see the classes imo...

Fighter: Starting weapon is good enough in terms of balance. Axe is even better because of the hitting range. Hammer is nice with crowd management thanks to the splash damage. The only gripe that I have is with the Quietus....it feels underwhelming (I barely use it) but can be manageable anyway. It could have a piercing property to work better or that it spread into smaller projectiles on contact...just like the cleric's firestorm. Also, the fighter is the one that consumes less mana of all of the three classes.

 

Cleric: Mace fucking sucks and it needs a boost in power. Serpent staff is fine the way it is thanks to the life leeching ability. Firestorm is a mix of good and bad points that can work with some enemies and sucks balls with others. A solution would be that you make it similar to the powered hellstaff from Heretic that, projectile hits target, fire rain falls and pierce the monster....that would be much better and would work with crowd control. And I have nothing to say about the Wraithverge...leave it alone...perfect as it is.

 

Mage: I recently finished Hexen on the highest difficulty using the sapphire wand. That weapon is so OP that you don't need any of the other weapons imo...infinite ammo, piercing properties, hella fast projectile...but, let's see the other weapons too.

Frost shards? The sucky weapon that is better in close combat. Probably a tiny buff in power would be better. Arc of death? A very situational weapon that it's the same as the firestorm but much better...so I'd leave it as it is. Bloodscourge on the other hand....I'd take out the piercing properties because it has a great splash damage. In fact, I'd make that the weapon consume more mana, from 18 of both to 20, to compensate the power of that weapon.

 

Overall, cleric needs better balance of all three, while fighter is fine the way it is due of the stats while the mage needs a bit of buffs and nerfs for some weapons but, again, the sapphire wand is ALL that you need.

 

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Probably have mentioned this earlier about the mace of contrition. It could have a special that confuses the enemies into infighting. Each time the mace hits, the enemy becomes more likely to start infighting. If no other enemies around, maybe just flee for a moment. Maybe it could have little bit more range too.

 

Was also kind of disappointed that fighter's sword couldn't be used as a melee weapon. Would it use mana if used in melee if player also had mana?

 

I also didn't need any other weapons with the mage than the sapphire wand. Maybe have a limit how many enemies one shot can pierce. Limit how far the projectile can travel. Maybe have the weapon use 1 blue and 1 green mana, but allow to work without either. If player has both mana, then work at the current full strength, otherwise use some limits.

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Posted (edited)

I don't think arc of death or hammer need buffs, both are already overpowered. Fighter is supposed to be "weaker" in ranged combat yet his 3rd and 4th weapon laugh at that statement. Frostshards and mace getting buffed would be nice (Frost shards is so garbage they might as well become slot 1 and have a slightly faster firing wand in slot 2 that uses blue mana). Centaurs having a different trigger to start blocking would be nice as well; D'sparil could already teleport when targeted so there is no reason centaurs couldn't have checked for projectile attacks frequently; No blocking for years because it is just really stupid.

 

Heresiarch needs fixes to all his targeting and damaging if anything. No player resistance to his explosions and fixed aiming with all his attacks. His pain chance almost never comes in play since he can immediately continue rotating his cubes. Korax is just a shit fight that needs scrapping and remaking. Making him use the map is interesting but as it is he dies in no time to overpowered weapons and his gimmick does nothing anyway (jump out of lava, don't step on the spike line). Fix bishops damage and nerf armor pieces durability. Fix all the stupid things like gas clouds + Repulsion disc instakilling anything.

 

Then again this will turn into a giant balancing essay and Raven software are never going to patch the game.

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I was playing Brutal Hexen awhile back and I noticed that the Fighter class really needs an effective way of fighting against Bishops or other flying enemies. Also would be cool if each class had a way of actually blocking attacks, of course it wouldn't make you immune to damage since you would have to let it down to attack and couldn't block from sides or behind. Idk, maybe just damage reduction, just ideas. In vanilla Hexen the Hammer might be more than good enough to fight against flying enemies, I've only beaten the game with Cleric and a good portion with mage.

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Posted (edited)

I don't mind the general direction of your suggested changes but there's one that I particularly disagree with:

 

6 hours ago, ReaperAA said:

- Buff Frostshards (Mage's 2nd weapon) so that it has a much tighter spread and consumes 2 mana instead of 3.

 

I really don't think Frostshards should be touched by any means. It should be used at point-blank for maximum effectiveness and that's also its drawback. Giving it a tighter spread will just encourage players not to bother with going close range and "touching" the monster. Also I think 3 mana is fair for this weapon's usefulness.

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6 minutes ago, Uni said:

I really don't think Frostshards should be touched by any means. It should be used at point-blank for maximum effectiveness and that's also its drawback. Giving it a tighter spread will just encourage players not to bother with going close range and "touching" the monster. Also I think 3 mana is fair for this weapon's usefulness.

 

But why should any player even bother to go at close range if they already have The Great Sapphire Wand at their disposal which consumes no mana, is safer and can actually kill lined up of enemies slightly faster than frost shards.

 

Also I suggested 2 mana because it is much less ammo efficient than any other non-4th weapon in the game. It takes 3 shots (non point blank range) to kill an ettin (9 ammo required). In comparison, fighter's axe can kill an ettin in 2 hits (only 4 ammo) and cleric's serpent staff can kill an ettin in 5 shots (5 ammo).

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The only thing I would really change about the frost shards is to make it as effective at near-melee range (where the shots do spawn) as it is at medium range. Right now, it does the most damage at melee range,  but it does the least damage at short range, since the shots don't have a chance to all spawn at that range. At medium range, which is around 200 or so units away, it becomes the most effective, since the shots all spawn, but they all hit their target. Farther than that, some of the outer shots will miss, but that vertical V shaped part of the attack that's in the middle can still do a decent amount of damage.

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1 hour ago, Beezle said:

the Fighter class really needs an effective way of fighting against Bishops or other flying enemies.

 

Depends of which enemies.

 

Having played Hexen as a Fighter, the only flying enemies that could become problematic, from my experience, were the Death Wyverns. Bishops and the rest of the flying enemies were fine.

 

Spoiler

You could also cheese the hell out of Death Wyverns with freelook.

 

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Posted (edited)

Adding more combos along the line of the fighter's satisfying boom-boom-POW could improve the gameplay. Like the mace could have a 4-hit combo that kills Ettins every time, and the wand could get progressively faster as it hits enemies (with a cap to keep it from becoming OP). Also alt-fires would be great for adding usefulness to each weapon and more variety overall. I was thinking the frost shards could have a vertical spread mode, the quietus could do a slow but really powerful melee slash, and the hammer could do a ground-pound that damages & launches enemies in a radius.

 

If you haven't, you should try the "Cronos Unleashed" mod, it has a lot of subtle but effective visual & gameplay improvements.

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18 minutes ago, whirledtsar said:

If you haven't, you should try the "Cronos Unleashed" mod, it has a lot of subtle but effective visual & gameplay improvements.

 

Wow. I didn't know about this mod. Will give this a try.

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I am still toying with the idea of making a HeXen plus mod that would rebalance and improve overall HeXen gameplay.

 

Ideas I am working with right now that could be relevant:

- Each class would get a quick attack with special property. Fighter get's kick that pushes enemies and can cancel Centaur shields, Cleric a holy sign which puts one monster in fear state stopping his attacks for a while and mage gets finger snap hitscan attack with no damge that can stun enemy for a momment and shatter frozen enemies.

- Mace gets multiple attack combo and shield as secondary attack with shield bash that can push enemies.

- Fighter's gauntlets gets uppercut as his third stronger attack, just to make it more interesting.

- Centaurs can be hurt from behind when using shield, which makes them also vulnerable to any explosive attacks.

 

I also have some ideas with situational uses of some weapons, like shooting lava with Frost shards results in explosion, Arc of death hurts every enemy in a pool of water when you hit somebody in water with it (including player), Timon's Axe does similar thing but only when you directly hit the water floor with it. These are not that much about ballance and more about general enjoyment of the gameplay, introducing new strategies and fun ways to play the game.

 

My overall aim is to expand Hexen with new weapons to at least 6 weapons per class, add Corvus from Heretic as playable class, and make it also work as weapon replacer for any DooM/Heretic wad. But I am really not working on it that much.

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If the arc of death could "catch on" and kill swimming waterlurkers, it'd be ace.

 

For mage quick attack, how about a spell that pushes monsters away? Like the disc of repulsion, but only one monster at a time, and probably a weaker blast strength than the artifact.

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Or at least force them to surface.

 

I originally wanted the quick attack for mage to have a multifunctional effect depending what you hit with it - when frozen mosnter is hit, it shatters and does damage in area around, if a torch is hit, it bursts into flames, if placed flechette is hit, it detonates it instantly and boosts it's damage etc. But I don't think I would be able to make all the effects.

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9 hours ago, ReaperAA said:

 

But why should any player even bother to go at close range if they already have The Great Sapphire Wand at their disposal which consumes no mana, is safer and can actually kill lined up of enemies slightly faster than frost shards.

 

Also I suggested 2 mana because it is much less ammo efficient than any other non-4th weapon in the game. It takes 3 shots (non point blank range) to kill an ettin (9 ammo required). In comparison, fighter's axe can kill an ettin in 2 hits (only 4 ammo) and cleric's serpent staff can kill an ettin in 5 shots (5 ammo).

 

Because it's tedious to kill every monster with the Wand? Besides, there are plenty of tight spots and encounters where using the Wand simply won't be sufficient enough to fend off close-quarter enemies, and where the Frostshards do come in handy with its somewhat decent rate-of-fire and damage output. I think it's perfect the way it is and giving it a tighter spread just turns it into a more generic weapon rather than an interesting weapon to master correctly.

 

And I'm almost certain you kill an Ettin with 2 point-blank hits from Frostshards.

 

In my opinion, the only suggestion that would make sense to me regarding Frostshards is to give it a secondary attack where you can break frozen foes instead of just switching a weapon to do that, that's rather annoying.

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It's really tempting to use the wand for everything when playing the mage, as it's perfectly possible to use a full run using just that. And it gets boring.

 

So anything that encourages using the other weapons would help. Buffing them so they kill monsters much faster than the wand does is a good start. The ice shards should one-shot ettins and centaurs when in melee range (projectiles aren't spawned) as a reward for playing aggressively with the frailest character.

 

Monsters could also drop mana. That would give an incentive to use it mana weapons more often. And perhaps a backpack/bag of holding-like artifact to double your mana capacity could be a way to make the secret levels of each hub more worth discovering.

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Well it seems that I have delved into Hexen modding. I have started making the balance mod. I have already made the following changes:

 

Weapons:

- Buffed mace's damage from 25/35 to 45/55. It kills ettins in 4 hits now. Its range(reach) is also increased to that of Timon's Axe.

- Increased projectile speeds of Hammer of Retribution and Serpent Staff. (I couldn't decide whether I should give the hammer a homing projectile or a faster projectile)

- Damage amount and radius of Firestorm's circular side projectiles increased.

- Frost Shards cost 2 ammo instead of 3 and its rate of fire is also increased. Enemies also shatter immediately.

 

Monsters:

- Centaurs/Slaughters have their shielding duration almost halved (reduced from 45 tics to 25 tics)

 

Others:

- Included Neoworm's widescreen friendly graphics.

 

I don't know when I will release this mod. But at this rate, I do hope to release a beta pretty soon.

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IIRC, you can actually jump on frozen enemies before they shatter, and some maps might make use of that as a form of clever shortcut, so you may want to double-check shattering them immediately.

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On 5/6/2019 at 2:31 PM, Jon said:

The sapphire wand is perfect

I disagree. I think it would be better with a range limit.

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