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Subject: Would Oozes be more balanced if they were melee only? rss

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Cecil Armitais
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I often see people complaining about Ooze RNG and I was thinking: Oozes would be a lot less problematic in high numbers if they weren’t ranged, and it is already confusing to me that they are. What kind of ooze spits at you or something? Oozes typically slam or engulf, not stay back at range.

I think it’d be more balanced if oozes had a slight stat buff (more movement, more damage, maybe more shield) in return for being a melee enemy instead, as that would make ooze splitting RNG less catastrophic and more irritating.
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michael ray
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Krazyguy75 wrote:
I often see people complaining about Ooze RNG and I was thinking: Oozes would be a lot less problematic in high numbers if they weren’t ranged, and it is already confusing to me that they are. What kind of ooze spits at you or something? Oozes typically slam or engulf, not stay back at range.

I think it’d be more balanced if oozes had a slight stat buff (more movement, more damage, maybe more shield) in return for being a melee enemy instead, as that would make ooze splitting RNG less catastrophic and more irritating.
if oozes were melee only they'd be a joke because they'd never reach you. As it is, they get in each others way and are rarely a concern once you can put some distance between you and them. I think almost every time we've fought them there is been either terrain you can trap some of them in, making the shortest path an impossible infinite loop OR enough coins or overlay tiles down that you can control their splitting pretty easily OR a large enough level where you can just ignore them until it's time to swing back around and kill the few that are left.

If you're now talking about changing other stats as well, are you really talking about oozes still?

But I would think you'd need to:
Boost their move stats by 2
 
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Patrick White
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either kill the oozes quick so they cant spread or deal with everything else on the map while they kill them selves. it helpful if you take out any ooze elites first. they are slow moving blobs that can never catch you on there own AI pattern. You have to go to them.
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Patrick White
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squegeeboo wrote:
Krazyguy75 wrote:
I often see people complaining about Ooze RNG and I was thinking: Oozes would be a lot less problematic in high numbers if they weren’t ranged, and it is already confusing to me that they are. What kind of ooze spits at you or something? Oozes typically slam or engulf, not stay back at range.

I think it’d be more balanced if oozes had a slight stat buff (more movement, more damage, maybe more shield) in return for being a melee enemy instead, as that would make ooze splitting RNG less catastrophic and more irritating.
if oozes were melee only they'd be a joke because they'd never reach you. As it is, they get in each others way and are rarely a concern once you can put some distance between you and them. I think almost every time we've fought them there is been either terrain you can trap some of them in, making the shortest path an impossible infinite loop OR enough coins or overlay tiles down that you can control their splitting pretty easily OR a large enough level where you can just ignore them until it's time to swing back around and kill the few that are left.

If you're now talking about changing other stats as well, are you really talking about oozes still?

But I would think you'd need to:
Boost their move stats by 2
What do you mean by enough coins down?
 
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michael ray
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wolfthatwonders wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
Krazyguy75 wrote:
I often see people complaining about Ooze RNG and I was thinking: Oozes would be a lot less problematic in high numbers if they weren’t ranged, and it is already confusing to me that they are. What kind of ooze spits at you or something? Oozes typically slam or engulf, not stay back at range.

I think it’d be more balanced if oozes had a slight stat buff (more movement, more damage, maybe more shield) in return for being a melee enemy instead, as that would make ooze splitting RNG less catastrophic and more irritating.
if oozes were melee only they'd be a joke because they'd never reach you. As it is, they get in each others way and are rarely a concern once you can put some distance between you and them. I think almost every time we've fought them there is been either terrain you can trap some of them in, making the shortest path an impossible infinite loop OR enough coins or overlay tiles down that you can control their splitting pretty easily OR a large enough level where you can just ignore them until it's time to swing back around and kill the few that are left.

If you're now talking about changing other stats as well, are you really talking about oozes still?

But I would think you'd need to:
Boost their move stats by 2
What do you mean by enough coins down?
Summons have to go onto an empty adjacent hex. Any piece of cardboard at all, besides open doors, switches, and I believe grey overlay tiles that join rooms together means it's not empty. Although I'm not 100% on the grey ones.

EDIT: Realized I didn't finish answering the question.
So, 'enough coins' means using the coins from dead bodies to make hexes not empty around an ooze. Ie, if there are 6 starting oozes all moving at you in a clump, killing a few of them might take away valid summon locations from the other oozes.
 
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Jay Johnson
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Krazyguy75 wrote:
What kind of ooze spits at you or something? Oozes typically slam or engulf, not stay back at range.
I'd say the kind of ooze that are a literary creation, and thus can have any aspect the author wants to imbue them with.

AFAIK, it isn't like there are actually sentient oozes in real life, so there isn't any sort of "truth" or "factual accuracy" that must be maintained.
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michael ray
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wolfthatwonders wrote:
either kill the oozes quick so they cant spread or deal with everything else on the map while they kill them selves. it helpful if you take out any ooze elites first. they are slow moving blobs that can never catch you on there own AI pattern. You have to go to them.
Conversely to this. If you have all 10 oozes out, and kill the elites first, you're giving the regular oozes new oozes to summon, if you nearly kill the highest number regulars, they won't be able to summon any new ones this turn while killing themselves.
 
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Ashley L.
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Probably just that they can only spawn in empty hexes, so if you keep Things around them, they don't spawn. (Which I suspect is also a big part of why Oozes have that one Loot card, to clear that out.)

But it did make me wonder if he forgot that the summoned ones won't drop coins, because I rarely do find that to be a good limit on them. Maybe if characters were allowed to throw coins out...


The problem with Oozes isn't really about them having range or not, it's just... enemies that spawn more enemies can be really hard, I think. I know if you're standing in the wrong place a mass of Oozes can get a lot of attacks in, but that's like... 5% of what people complain about.

Edit: Ahh, too late! I swear, Squeegeebo hadn't clarified that perfectly well three posts ago when I started typing!
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Alex Florin
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squegeeboo wrote:
wolfthatwonders wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
Krazyguy75 wrote:
I often see people complaining about Ooze RNG and I was thinking: Oozes would be a lot less problematic in high numbers if they weren’t ranged, and it is already confusing to me that they are. What kind of ooze spits at you or something? Oozes typically slam or engulf, not stay back at range.

I think it’d be more balanced if oozes had a slight stat buff (more movement, more damage, maybe more shield) in return for being a melee enemy instead, as that would make ooze splitting RNG less catastrophic and more irritating.
if oozes were melee only they'd be a joke because they'd never reach you. As it is, they get in each others way and are rarely a concern once you can put some distance between you and them. I think almost every time we've fought them there is been either terrain you can trap some of them in, making the shortest path an impossible infinite loop OR enough coins or overlay tiles down that you can control their splitting pretty easily OR a large enough level where you can just ignore them until it's time to swing back around and kill the few that are left.

If you're now talking about changing other stats as well, are you really talking about oozes still?

But I would think you'd need to:
Boost their move stats by 2
What do you mean by enough coins down?
Summons have to go onto an empty adjacent hex. Any piece of cardboard at all, besides open doors, switches, and I believe grey overlay tiles that join rooms together means it's not empty. Although I'm not 100% on the grey ones.

EDIT: Realized I didn't finish answering the question.
So, 'enough coins' means using the coins from dead bodies to make hexes not empty around an ooze. Ie, if there are 6 starting oozes all moving at you in a clump, killing a few of them might take away valid summon locations from the other oozes.
Remember, however, that summons do not drop coins. Tip: When playing with oozes (or similar monsters), place coins in the stat card envelope spaces for the original oozes to note which should drop coins when they die.
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Jay Johnson
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squegeeboo wrote:
Summons have to go onto an empty adjacent hex. Any piece of cardboard at all, besides open doors, switches, and I believe grey overlay tiles that join rooms together means it's not empty. Although I'm not 100% on the grey ones.
Those grey tiles you refer to are "corridor" tiles, and are still considered "empty hexes" as long as nothing else is on them, same with open doors and pressure plates.
Also, many would consider a hex with a scenario aid token (those red tiles with a letter or number, used to denote certain points on the map tile) to be "empty" as well, though I don't think there is an official ruling one way or the other on that.

Quote:
EDIT: Realized I didn't finish answering the question.
So, 'enough coins' means using the coins from dead bodies to make hexes not empty around an ooze. Ie, if there are 6 starting oozes all moving at you in a clump, killing a few of them might take away valid summon locations from the other oozes.
Leaving money tokens in place can serve to sometimes block some of the summonings, though it isn't like you can choose to place them in certain hexes. Also, they don't impede monster movement at all.

And it is important to remember that summoned (and spawned) monsters do not drop money tokens when they die. Only the monsters that are shown initially on the scenario map. (it is important to have a system to mark which monsters were on the map and which ones were spawned/summoned, so you can remember when to put down the money tokens and when not to.
 
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michael ray
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JayJ79 wrote:
squegeeboo wrote:
wolfthatwonders wrote:
either kill the oozes quick so they cant spread or deal with everything else on the map while they kill them selves. it helpful if you take out any ooze elites first. they are slow moving blobs that can never catch you on there own AI pattern. You have to go to them.
Conversely to this. If you have all 10 oozes out, and kill the elites first, you're giving the regular oozes new oozes to summon, if you nearly kill the highest number regulars, they won't be able to summon any new ones this turn while killing themselves.
I don't follow the logic here. Killing the normal oozes provides new oozes to summon just as much as killing elite oozes. And both normal and elite oozes can summon more oozes.

Unless you're just saying that it might be better to kill 2 normal oozes instead of 1 elite or something if given that choice (which in some situations it would be, while in others, the elite oozes pose more of a threat because of their higher stats)
You need to nearly kill them, not outright kill them. If you just kill them, you're better off killing the elite, one less elite is always nice.

But if you have the choice of killing 1 elite or hurting 2-3 normals it might make sense to hurt the normals instead for oozes. If you can get high numbered normal oozes almost dead, they'll kill themselves on split AND won't summon new oozes this turn. Removing 2-3 normal oozes, vs removing 1 elite and replacing it with a normal.
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Jack Spirio
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But if one of the first 9 oozes die, the 10th can still summon one
 
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Jay Johnson
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squegeeboo wrote:
You need to nearly kill them, not outright kill them.
oops, I missed the "nearly" when reading blush . Now it makes sense.
 
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Cecil Armitais
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squegeeboo wrote:
if oozes were melee only they'd be a joke because they'd never reach you. As it is, they get in each others way and are rarely a concern once you can put some distance between you and them.
Might I ask what difficulty you are playing at? At difficulty 3+ they rarely have trouble reaching us; 2 movement plus 3-4 range easily gets them into range of anyone who stays in that room.

squegeeboo wrote:
If you're now talking about changing other stats as well, are you really talking about oozes still?
Sorta yes, sorta no. It'd definitely change the dynamic of many many scenarios.

wolfthatwonders wrote:
either kill the oozes quick so they cant spread or deal with everything else on the map while they kill them selves. it helpful if you take out any ooze elites first. they are slow moving blobs that can never catch you on there own AI pattern. You have to go to them.
That really doesn't work unless you are three spears in a 2 party campaign. Anyone else runs out of stamina far too quickly. Also as I said above, 2 move + 3-4 range isn't exactly a short reach. Not to mention oozes will never kill themselves on average. Their two shuffle cards are "suffer 2 split" and "heal 2 armor loot". That means that on average, half the time they suffer 2, half the time they heal 2, leaving them at average 0 damage taken and 1 split per 2 times through the deck.

Not to mention that even if they only hit the split card, on average it'd show up 4.5th in the deck. Meaning to split until death, a level 4 (the difficulty my party is playing on) normal ooze would have to go through an average of 22.5 turns just to kill itself from splitting. For comparison, a 9 card class has 20 turns of action; if they take 8 long rests they can last 28 rounds.

JayJ79 wrote:
I'd say the kind of ooze that are a literary creation, and thus can have any aspect the author wants to imbue them with.

AFAIK, it isn't like there are actually sentient oozes in real life, so there isn't any sort of "truth" or "factual accuracy" that must be maintained.
True, though there are standards for fantasy monsters these days, and it breaks the standard without really adding anything.

The reason I'm suggesting they be melee isn't just for flavor, it's that these are known to be some of the worst monsters in the game for completely ruining scenarios via RNG, and making it so all 10 don't get into combat every round would go a long way towards making them more consistent.

To put it this way: 2 difficulty 4 elite oozes could have done ~38 damage over 4 rounds, with a health pool of 26 hp. Or, they could have split twice before attacking, and suddenly you are facing ~64 damage and a health pool of up to 54. Almost double the damage and more than double the HP. We had this happen, which is what gave me the idea.

If you factor in armor, suddenly it's even more scary. If you average attack 4s, you need 3 attacks to kill instead of 4, but you have to make an extra 18 attacks, so the health pools are basically 34 vs up to 78.

That's the problem with oozes, and it's why scenarios like 18 and 72 are considered some of the worst scenarios in the game; if you are unlucky, it is almost impossible to win, just because of how much variance there is.

While making oozes melee wouldn't remove the insane health problem, it would make them easier to ignore and output less damage overall after splitting, even with a damage upgrade, which would give you more tactics than "hope and pray RNG doesn't f*** you", which is where oozes are currently.
 
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Krazyguy75 wrote:
Not to mention oozes will never kill themselves on average. Their two shuffle cards are "suffer 2 split" and "heal 2 armor loot". That means that on average, half the time they suffer 2, half the time they heal 2, leaving them at average 0 damage taken and 1 split per 2 times through the deck.
This isn't correct.

Their two shuffle cards are both the "suffer 2 split".

Their heal card isn't a shuffle.

So they should kill themselves, but with a really bad shuffling they might not.

EDIT:
At lvl3, normal oozes still only have 1 move. At 4+ they go to 2, and it looks like only about 1/2 their cards have a move on them.

So once your outside of their range, at lvl4+, if you're moving on average 1 hex a turn, you should continue to stay out of their range. And if all 10 are around, they're going to get into each others way and create their own natural choke points/etc.
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Jay Johnson
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You can also drop a summoned ally near the oozes to redirect their focus for a turn or two, which can buy you some time to distance yourself from them, if you are utilizing that strategy
 
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Ed Berro
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In my view the only problem with Oozes is that they appear in too many scenarios compared to many other enemies. I enjoy the differences among enemy types but when encountering Oozes so often it becomes less fun.
 
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My group finds that Oozes typically kill themselves, but can hit pretty hard when all 10 of them are clumped together. That being said, we've only had one scenario where they really gave us any trouble.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
That one scenario being the one where you have to kill the ooze-spawning trees. Having a fresh ooze every turn really disrupts the whole outlast plan.


Usually we either stay away from them and when it's time to kill them, we focus fire them so that we know the survivors will be super weak.
 
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I don't think making them melee would make them more balanced.

The fundamental problem isn't that they're too strong, it's that they're too swingy. If the oozes are in the back of a room and draw "split, split, heal" while you're in the front of the room fighting other enemies, and then "move/attack" as you get close, they're really super strong. On the other hand, if they draw "move/attack" when you're far away (and they still can't get to you), and then "split, split, heal" when you're right next to them beating them up, they're trivial.

There just isn't any setup with oozes where the difficulty is remotely consistent, because any setup could be easy if they split at the wrong time or hard if they attack at the wrong time.

Making them melee doesn't help with that, not really. It makes them *weaker*, since they're now slow and melee, but that affects both cases equally - there's still no way to set up oozes so that they present a balanced challenge, they still might be anywhere from too weak to be interesting to too strong to be fair. The balance certainly shifts to the "weaker" end... but then that makes them trivial more often than not, which isn't really much better, then you might as well just not include them.
 
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Richard Sands
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Krazyguy75 wrote:
That really doesn't work unless you are three spears in a 2 party campaign. Anyone else runs out of stamina far too quickly. Also as I said above, 2 move + 3-4 range isn't exactly a short reach. Not to mention oozes will never kill themselves on average. Their two shuffle cards are "suffer 2 split" and "heal 2 armor loot". That means that on average, half the time they suffer 2, half the time they heal 2, leaving them at average 0 damage taken and 1 split per 2 times through the deck.

Not to mention that even if they only hit the split card, on average it'd show up 4.5th in the deck. Meaning to split until death, a level 4 (the difficulty my party is playing on) normal ooze would have to go through an average of 22.5 turns just to kill itself from splitting. For comparison, a 9 card class has 20 turns of action; if they take 8 long rests they can last 28 rounds.
That's incorrect. Oozes have two split cards, for both reshuffles, and only one heal card, so they hurt themselves considerably more often than they heal (they split every cycle of the AI deck, and heal 1 in 3). They also spend a lot of time not moving and not attacking. They are also slow, so you can almost always move out of the way if they do pick an attack card...

I think the problem with oozes is that nobody wants to have to take the boring option of letting them split into oblivion, and instead jumps in to hasten the process. With some unlucky RNG, oozes that suddenly decide to be aggressive can be devastating to anyone foolish enough to be within range of a few of them.
 
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Adrian Brooks
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ciriquen wrote:
Krazyguy75 wrote:

Not to mention that even if they only hit the split card, on average it'd show up 4.5th in the deck. Meaning to split until death, a level 4 (the difficulty my party is playing on) normal ooze would have to go through an average of 22.5 turns just to kill itself from splitting. For comparison, a 9 card class has 20 turns of action; if they take 8 long rests they can last 28 rounds.
That's incorrect. Oozes have two split cards, for both reshuffles, and only one heal card, so they hurt themselves considerably more often than they heal
Martin's Ooze split-to-death chart is here: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/29078551#29078551
21 turns for a level 4 normal ooze
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Kevin De Schutter
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I love Oozes.
 
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I think the devastating card is the Attack +0 Poison, 2 targets. Given the numbers of Oozes you sometimes are facing thanks to splitting, the extra target can seem like overkill. Same thing happens with Black Imps, the encounter design always seems pretty heavy on those (but at least they're slow).
 
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Slow Dog wrote:
ciriquen wrote:
Krazyguy75 wrote:

Not to mention that even if they only hit the split card, on average it'd show up 4.5th in the deck. Meaning to split until death, a level 4 (the difficulty my party is playing on) normal ooze would have to go through an average of 22.5 turns just to kill itself from splitting. For comparison, a 9 card class has 20 turns of action; if they take 8 long rests they can last 28 rounds.
That's incorrect. Oozes have two split cards, for both reshuffles, and only one heal card, so they hurt themselves considerably more often than they heal
Martin's Ooze split-to-death chart is here: https://boardgamegeek.com/article/29078551#29078551
21 turns for a level 4 normal ooze
Add in an Elite ooze among the normal ones, and it will take on average a very long time.

And that's on average. It can take longer if you get unlucky.

It's part of how they get even more annoying at high level.
 
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