TOEE Wands are utterly worthless

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by taltamir, Apr 28, 2010.

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  1. The Royal Canadian

    The Royal Canadian Established Member

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    Hi FTS
    The Royal Canadian
     
  2. FreeTheSlaves

    FreeTheSlaves Member

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    Nice! Been a while since I played ToEE or 3E pnp.

    So that's ToEE wand costs around 21k, compared to pnp wand price of 28.5k. Or ToEE 1050 per charge compared to PnP 570 per charge.

    Erm...put another way, you're paying 1050gp per charge compared to paying 850gp for an identical spell in scroll form...

    Sorry bud, but unless that wand costs less than 17k you're better off spending the feat on scribe scroll.

    Maybe Taltamir would be better off just renaming the "craft wand" feat to "craft wand of identify" because that seems the only good deal.

    ****

    Oh, just to add, thank you very much all those who put hours into 5.8 & earlier mods. I'm not going to bang on about this, I mean frankly when we're at the point of talking about 20-50 charges the mods have brought us a long way from what was originally shipped. ;-)
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2010
  3. TerMany

    TerMany Member

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    For me it is not about the money. I have plenty of money. It's the sheer amount of mouse clicks necessary to get 20 stacks of scrolls that I hate. It seems unnecessarily redundant. I just want to grab my wand and get on with smiting things. Not spend 10 minutes scribing scrolls. So I don't really mind the higher cost of making a wand. I guess it's all a personal preference and in this way ToEE has done a good job. Player can choose what they like.
     
  4. FreeTheSlaves

    FreeTheSlaves Member

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    Well, mouse clicking is a cost eh? In fact, it's actually a pretty damned good reason to pay a premium.
     
  5. Necroticpus

    Necroticpus Cthulhu Ftaghn!

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    Ya. It's the same thing as people who have 150 different coupons at the grocery store. Why take hours to clip coupons to save pennies? I'd rather just pay the few cents extra and get er' done and go on my way instead of creating a whole line of enemies that want to knock me unconscious, put me in a shopping cart, wheel me out to the suburban, throw me in the back, drive home and unload me in the bathtub so they can dismember me and feed me to neighborhood dogs.

    Or maybe it's just me.
     
  6. TerMany

    TerMany Member

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    *slowly hides the coupons*
     
  7. EdCon

    EdCon Member

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    You know, I think Necro makes a good point RE:enemies. I wonder how hard it would be to implement a random event that, for every five minutes straight spent in town, a dice is rolled, and if a 20 is rolled, a balor is summoned to attack the party. It would really add to the cost and excitement of spending time crafty 150 scrolls :)

    -EdCon

    PS. In case this is unclear, the above is not to be taken as a serious request...unless Ted or Gaer has some Balors lying around unemployed from the DH mod? ;)
     
  8. Necroticpus

    Necroticpus Cthulhu Ftaghn!

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    25% chance any time even 1 XP is used to craft anything. :pelvicthr
     
  9. taltamir

    taltamir Established Member

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    1. You shouldn't need to pay in game money and XP to overcome a clunky inventory.
    2. CTRL+B, click scribe scroll. Then, click B and select the scroll you want, it will be remembered. Next, click create. Then rapidly click B followed by clicking the LMB (do not move it).. you can thus create 50 charges with 50 clicks, 50 button presses, and under 50 seconds.
    You can also create the exact amount you want... most items are not worth making 50 of.

    I am going to have to disagree.
    1. If it is an intentional act of balancing, how come in vanilla the feat explicitly states "wands are crafted with 50 charges", but they only have 20? It was co8 who modified the text of craft wand to say 20, to match the actual protos data... they mostly have 20 charges (except for wand of fear that accidently has 2 charges... but at the cost of a 50 charges wand... you literally pay 700gp per cast of fear from a scroll, but 10500gp (or half + XP) from a wand for the same exact spell.)

    2. I disagree that it is balance in the sense that wands as they stand are not useful, at all. I made a long detailed list of the advantages of scrolls... wands? they have one and only one advantage... they are supposed to be cheaper per cast. And that is a huge advantage that makes all the difference.

    3. I don't see any way shape or form how it works better... I promised not to be as negative anymore so I am trying to think of a positive way to put it... but I honestly can't figure out a positive way to say about wand crafting as it currently stands.
    The only reason FOR it right now is "it is less tedious to use its UI", and that, that is not balance.

    In DnD crafting scrolls or wands is dependent on their total cost. With the rate being 1000gp worth of crafting a day.
    So, game-wise... crafting 20 scrolls is faster than crafting a wand with 20 charges since the wand is more expensive overall.

    Also, the entire premise of your post is hyperbole... you equate crafting scrolls (clearly superior) to "clipping coupons for 150 different things" instead of going out there and playing the game... this isn't the case, this has nothing to do with balance, and frankly, this is even insulting.

    You want a grocery example? I once went to a store where I could buy ramen noodles for 11 cent each. that is 1.32 for 12. There was also a box containing 12 of the exact same identical ramen, only you had to buy it as a 12 pack... it cost a 1.59. Or a can of 6oz tuna from chicken of the sea cost 59 cents while a 12oz can of the exact same tuna cost 1.99$ dollars.... etc. (turns out in grocery stores, the largest is typically more expensive because they know people just buy it without looking assuming its cheaper... the cheapest is usually the second largest package; of course, there are exceptions)

    As in, you don't see yourself doing the work hand modifying the 223 craftable wands, or you do not see yourself including the change if I do it?

    It is a good thing I started this thread. I am going to pause work on it while we debate the issue.

    All I am asking is for a fair chance at this debate. Lets counter each other's arguments until (hopefully) we come to an agreement. I often admit to being wrong and taking on superior points of view that have been presented to me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  10. Mortificator

    Mortificator Member

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    50 charges sounds like a ton, but you get the same effect scribing scrolls at the cost of extra clicks, to it's hard to tell what Troika was thinking if it was a balance issue. Several wands are found over the course of the game... is it possible to individually set the number of charges each has? If it isn't, they may have wanted to only give out 20-charge wands to players and the fact that crafted wands have 20 charges is a side effect. And like I said earlier, there's a huge benefit in wands since their price doesn't go down as charges are used up, so reduced charges could have been a way to minimize the gain.
     
  11. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    Sorry taltamir, but Troika had two (or three) patches in which to correct the 'bug' if it was one, and they never did. It was remarked in numerous reviews at release that "ToEE wands have 20 charges, not 50," so I can't believe that they would have been unaware of it. In fact, back in the patch 1 and 2 days (2004 ~), Co8 did beta testing for Troika, and Co8 was well aware that there were 20 charges per wand, and Co8 was in frequent communication with Troika, and it was still never changed.

    As you know, each wand's charges must be set in protos.tab, so originally some Troika programmer had to make the 20 charges error for each wand the game contains, and then no one ever caught it in any playtesting whatsoever. Furthermore, this condition has existed since the game's release without adverse affects or really very many complaints, just a few observations of "huh, there are only 20 charges."

    As for the manual, I suspect that being as much of it was taken nearly verbatim from the SRD, the 50 charges listing was simply an oversight. I don't know when Troika decided to have 20 charges ... maybe it was after the manual had gone to print. There was certainly a lot of last minute stuff going on with ToEE, given their crazy dev schedule.

    Bottom line is, unless you can show me some compelling evidence that this is a bug and not a design decision, Co8 will not be changing it. By 'bug' I mean an error, not a rationale for how it may not be fully optimized.
     
  12. Shiningted

    Shiningted I want my goat back Global Moderator

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    I'll just jump in here and point out Gaear mentioned the latter: if you make the changes, the offer is on the board to include it as a variant add-on. Its nothing to do with the workload.

    As the only other regularly active moderator I have to say I agree with Gaear. I had a look into this: I'll accept Taltamir is right in saying this is something going back to vanilla, and Co8 'regularised' things by changing the mes files. Also, the 'changes' section from the ToEE manual (pp 149-151) does not refer to this.

    So its either a bug or a last-minute balancing decision based on play-testing.

    As much as it may seem to us very little play-testing went into such a buggy release, the opposite is actually the case: Troika did give this game a good work-out and balanced things accordingly, as much as they could with the constraints they had. Inasmuch as Gaear recalls this being an example of it, according to interviews (which also rings a bell with me, though with the demise of the Atari forums its hard to check) I am of the opinion that the latter is the case: this was a deliberate decision by Troika to balance the game, and not something to be changed lightly. For example (balance-wise), it also occurs to me that a couple of 50-charge Fireball or similar wands could clear most of the Temple.

    I'm sorry if this sounds overly authorative, Taltamir, but occasionally we have to be to manage a mod like this, and our reasons (such as fidelity to Troika's vision) are transparent. I can only echo Gaear's suggestion, and do so with all sincerity: please continue with this mod and release it as a seperate add-on. If the community embrace it, it will be worth it.

    EDIT: Oi, ninjaed...
     
  13. Gaear

    Gaear Bastard Maestro Administrator

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    I actually did a little research last night about Troika possibly mentioning it, but I couldn't find anything other than krunch (of all people) saying that this was so here. I suppose we could ask Agetian to ask Steve, but we try not to pester him too much about little things because he has helped us with big things. :)

    e.g.

    Little thing: "Did you forget to give wands 50 charges?"
    Big thing: "Can you help us to optimize pathfinding on large maps?"
     
  14. taltamir

    taltamir Established Member

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    So could 50 scrolls, for cheaper.
    In fact, I walk around with 50 scrolls of magic missile, 30 scrolls of sleep, 10 scrolls of deep slumber, a scroll of teleport, 10 scrolls of summon monster 2, 10 scrolls of summon monster 4, and so on and so forth.

    You are saying that wands are powerful in a vacuum, I agree there... but you are not addressing the issue of wands vs scrolls. The current balance is such that there is no reason at all to ever craft a wand instead of scribing a scroll. Except maybe to reduce the number of clicks you make via the UI. Or if you intend to cheat by exploiting a wand sale bug.

    Besides, you don't need a wand to clear out the temple :). I can clear out the temple with sword, bow and spell... I think you meant to say that wands make things too easy... well... scrolls make it even better.

    Not the manual, the in game description. When you level up and get to select a feat, select craft wand, and the little window specifies that wands have 50 charges.

    If they were so utterly certain about it and decided intentionally to never fix it, why did they not change the feat description in the game (not the printed manuals) to say 20 charges instead of 50?

    The biggest reason against it is that 20 charge wands are pointless.
    PnP, Scrolls have 6 advantages (and 1 disadvantage), wands have 1 advantage (and 6 disadvantages), it is cheaper per cast.
    With 20 charges per wand scrolls have 7 advantages and 0 disadvantages, wands have 0 advantages and 7 disadvantages.

    The one and only redeeming factor of wands (which is, admittedly a big one) is removed.

    As far as the cheat of using most charges then selling it for full price... you can do it with a 50 or a 20 charge wand... heck, you might as well be using the console to give yourself extra free wands.

    EDIT: Actually, there is yet another advantage of scrolls disadvantage of wands I forgot to mention... If you want to go around with 30 charges for example, you need 2 inventory slots for wands since wands do not stack. But you can easily have a stack of 30 scrolls taking up 1 inventory slot. (and yes, I do walk around with 30 and more copies of the same scroll... in fact, in hickory branch I used up over 100 scrolls because I knew I was pressed for time and could not rest)

    Sounds reasonable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2010
  15. TerMany

    TerMany Member

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    You guys actually optimized the pathfinding? Wow I'm definitely impressed. Must have taken a long time.
     
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