… and that’s why you should always explore subdungeons.
The freeware version of Desktop Dungeons has always been hampered by a slightly bothersome gold carryover system. People have complained of its grindalicious nature, and it is indeed a rather weak design element — after all, one of our key desires was to avoid letting players bore themselves by mining for resources in a time-consuming way that wasn’t particularly difficult or rewarding.
In the fresh new version of DD that we’re working on, the economy has already undergone significant improvements, keeping much more in line with our original goals while hopefully avoiding some of the pitfalls:
- Gold still accumulates over multiple dungeon runs, but the amount of gold you can ENTER any given dungeon with is always capped at a relatively small number. There’s no incentive to store gold for anything except other kingdom (meta-game) improvements.
- The conditions of DD’s unlock hierarchy will be determined by more than just dungeon completion. Sometimes new classes and buildings will be made available after specific quest conditions are met — other times, it’s just a matter of spending enough gold. We want this to help beginners unlock a few more character classes and abilities after playing for a while instead of leaving them stuck with just one or two options the whole way through. Veterans can also take advantage of this system to quickly unlock the standard array of characters, dungeons and skills, allowing them to focus on tackling the more advanced challenges that we’ll be offering (when gold-hoarding will become far less significant).
- One feature that we’re interested in testing is the Item Locker system. With this, players will be able to take an item out of one dungeon session and carry it into another for a fee. There’s probably going to be exceptions to this ability — for example, dungeons which rely on particular spawns or systems for balance — but we believe that this is a far more constructive use for stored gold in the long term, especially since savvy players should perform consistently well enough to reclaim the locker fee.
- Everything has market value. If you fail a particular dungeon but leave (alive) with a bunch of potions and a cool item or two, you can sell them off for a small amount of gold when you return to the kingdom. This helps cover any monetary investments that you make while going into the dungeon (such as the locker items).
Obviously there’s about a million ways to exploit and abuse this system, and we’ve been carefully working through some of those over the past week so that we don’t get players trapped in that boredom-incentive loop. We want gold to move away from the stored-up nuke that it has become in the freeware.