Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

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Re: Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

Postby Sidestepper on Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:49 pm

I'm happy to see the devs acknowledging the minimalist playstyle without condemning it. I was a little afraid that their reaction would be to simply shut it down and force us to play the 'real' way.

I think that a good solution would be to give the players tools to control and limit the amount of randomness in their games. Making all the glyphs/gods/items 'different but equal' sounds good on paper but is probably impossible in practice. What makes things good are specific combinations, and maps consisting of wildly disparate but 'equal' items will still be a weak draw. Add in the complication of having 12+ classes that utilize things differently, and there's no way to get a consistent, always winnable game for every class in the hardest dungeons.

My preferred solution would be some kind of an 'anti-locker,' where you can pay a flat fee to remove specific items from the shop pool. This would lets us explore content without feeling punished for doing things like Complicated Tasks II (seriously, this quest consistently knocks out 1-2 shop slots each game and is a major pest), while giving us the option of easily re-including the banned items if we wanted to experiment.

A smaller anti-locker for glyphs might also be a good idea, as well as yet another one for gods. I don't necessarily want to eliminate randomness so much as control and limit it. Maybe 2-3 slots for the glyph and god lockers?

As long as we're at it, I'd like to bring up the possibility of a larger locker again. The locker is another way for the player to slightly limit randomness and eliminate tedious grinding. The limited space is choking out alternative strategies, because no one wants to go through the drag of reclaiming their Avatar's Symbol/Dragonshield/whatever to see if the fierey sword can be made to rock with a gnome bloodmage. I know that you said you wanted locker space to be a meaningful choice, but as it stands, the limit is actually reducing playing choice by forcing players into narrow niches and punishing them with hours of grind-y scumming if they branch out and experiment with new ideas.

EDIT: Also, wanted to cover this
Only a few months ago people were moaning that the Monk was crap, Quicksilver potions were a waste and the Troll Heart was a horrible item


Well, the monk was pretty weak back when he had the harshest slot restrictions in the game, the Dragonshield offered most of his benefits without any of his drawbacks, and he had very limited synergy with the Dragonshield.

Quicksilver potions are viable now because they cost roughly half the resources that they used to. That's a big change.

Yeah, the troll heart was kind of a sleeper hit. I think that Avatar was the first one to notice that it was actually a mini-conversion stone hiding behind an almost purely decorative effect.
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Re: Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

Postby Darvin on Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:34 pm

I know someone here has beaten him Purist.

I saw that when it was posted; it was a CYDSTEPP'ing Orc Rogue of Dracul. Not an option for Lujo in the current version.

1) Bridge Trolls, 2) Vampires, 3) Goats and Horatio

I think that these three are the best ones to get. The conversion stone from the Troll level is a gamechanger and well worth the difficulty of beating him (the other trolls are straightforward), the Goats are weak and easy to deal with if you can survive them once they go mini-Bleaty on you, and the Vampires are the weakest of the bunch.


It's pretty much impossible for me to see how the game could be data-centric when there are so many special cases for interaction between objects.

It's always possible to build in the flexibility. Instead of treating them as special cases, build them into the general case. Given what you've just said, it's probably much too late for that, though.


Only a few months ago people were moaning that the Monk was crap, Quicksilver potions were a waste and the Troll Heart was a horrible item

Monk was buffed significantly and so were his synergy options, Quicksilver potion was buffed and the boon that creates it is now a 2 for 1 deal tied to health rather than mana potions, and the Troll Heart is still terrible, we just convert it on sight because its cost:conversion ratio is good.


With so many hard hittin bosses, and so much ways to get your resists up, getting 5-7 HP off of somehting that you can convert later all for the monetary price just slightly above what you get for TAKING one of TT's boons... what exactly is wrong with it?

Doesn't affect HALPMEH or regen from tiles. Even as an orc monk, it's doubtful whether this would allow you to gain even a single extra strike. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I also believe the benefit is lost if you convert it (that's how it works with Trisword, new and old).


Yeah, the troll heart was kind of a sleeper hit. I think that Avatar was the first one to notice that it was actually a mini-conversion stone hiding behind an almost purely decorative effect.

I've been converting it since I first encountered it. There are lots of items worth buying just for conversion. Off the top of my head: bloody sigil, troll heart, gloves of midas, venom ward, soul orb.
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Re: Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

Postby The Avatar on Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:42 pm

My favorite thing is when you find the gloves, save them and then find 2-4 of those other ones. No boss stands long after that. None of them.
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Re: Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

Postby gjaustin on Mon Jan 16, 2012 11:29 pm

Darvin wrote:
I know someone here has beaten him Purist.

I saw that when it was posted; it was a CYDSTEPP'ing Orc Rogue of Dracul. Not an option for Lujo in the current version.


I'm reasonably certain I saw a Tinkerer run as well, though I may be misremembering.
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Re: Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

Postby gjaustin on Tue Jan 17, 2012 12:23 am

People may already know this, but I didn't...

You can unlock the Witch and upgrade her building to level 1 without causing potions to spawn in shops. This lets you prep one of the poison/mana burn potions.
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Re: Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

Postby q 3 on Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:25 am

gjaustin wrote:
Darvin wrote:
I know someone here has beaten him Purist.

I saw that when it was posted; it was a CYDSTEPP'ing Orc Rogue of Dracul. Not an option for Lujo in the current version.


I'm reasonably certain I saw a Tinkerer run as well, though I may be misremembering.


I do hate to brag, but... Oh hell, I love to brag. I think that was after exhaustion was added to CYDSTEPP and Blood Power was removed, but definitely before the latest unjustified CYDSTEPP nerf. Between his first form blinking, his second form hitting like a truck and inflicting both corrosion and weakness, and his third form and beyond going berserk and draining your resistances, Namtar is definitely much more hostile towards regen fighting than he is to CYDSTEPP tactics.
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Re: Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

Postby The Avatar on Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:41 am

Yeah. It's kinda hard to regen fight a guy who does 150 damage and corrosion/weakness.
We made an expansion and it is awesome. Really, you should check it out, especially if you're looking for some extra challenge.

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Re: Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

Postby TigerKnee on Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:04 am

Adding in on the whole "randomness" debate going on.

I used to play Magic:The Gathering. One of the basic rules in deck construction for high-level play is "4 of each card you want to use (4 is the maximum of an individual card, you see), unless you have an extremely good reason not to (such as deck searching cards)"

In a game with random factors, good players will attempt to keep Luck to the minimum. One way of doing so is to get rid of junk. That means sub-optimal and super niche items like blue beads get junked.

In Alpha, you HAVE to get through the junk items in order to reach the high end awesome ones like Orb of Zot due to the simple unlocking system.

In Beta, you can control your "deck", or in this case, your item pool, by simply not doing quests that junk up the shops.

Even if, in theory, you managed to make all items equally useful, the optimal play would still be to minimize your luck as much as possible.

Now, having a huge pool of items and seeing what you get as a luck of the draw CAN be FUN. That's the basis behind the alternative mode "Elder Dragon Highlander", where you have a 100 card deck with a card maximum of 1 per individual card, but that's not the base gameplay of Magic, and I would like to think that the "fun" and the "optimal" way of playing a game should intersect, rather than clash with each other.

This is Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup's reasoning for removing grindy behaviour. It's true that players can choose not to do X scummy and boring action, but if it gives you an advantage, players will happily whip themselves if they must.
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Re: Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

Postby Sidestepper on Tue Jan 17, 2012 7:33 am

Thinking about it a bit, the anti-locker mechanic might be a fun ability to attach to Level 4 guilds as an advanced unlock for veteran players. The Thieves' Guild could have a special Boycott menu used to suppress unwanted goods, the Church could have an Iconoclast menu where you can pay the archpriests money to declare certain religions as heretical, and the Mages' Guild could declare a moratorium on certain kinds of magic. As long as I'm wishing on a rainbow, the Adventurers' Guild could have some more locker space :)

As much as I would like to see something like this, I get the feeling that QCF considers the game to be feature complete now and isn't eager to start cramming in more stuff. Maybe this could be modded in, but after reading the recent comments about how the back end of the game works, that sounds unlikely.
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Re: Monk still ridiculous + a guide to playing this game

Postby Lujo on Tue Jan 17, 2012 8:04 am

The Avatar wrote:My favorite thing is when you find the gloves, save them and then find 2-4 of those other ones. No boss stands long after that. None of them.


This is very true, the gloves are incredibly strong with a decent item pool in shops. I've been (ab)using this with TT for ages, only now I sort of "institutionalized" it. Decent item pool = affordable conversion fodder.

Lots of good thoughts on this page, I'd quote everything. Would like to add the following - the way I'm playing it, was just a way to reduce grind that was detractiong for what I ussually do - scum for stuff neccessary to beat vicious dungeons while at the same time firmly avoiding using cydstep ever on principle. Most of the "overpowering" stuff I stumbled upon - I was surprised at first. I didn't think I would need no gods, and TT was there as a way to squeeze money out of dungeons - gloves and TT were the first tihings I unlocked. I wanted to get as much gold as I could before having to waste piles of it on Gaan'Telet and Naga City runs with a fighter. For various reasons it turned into a steamroll, with only Namtar giving me any issues (so far).

Seriously, my plan was to go for the Dragonshield, but I sort of found the Orc and the Conversion Stone along the way (GET IT OUT OF THE GAME! MAKE IT NON-LOCKABLE! I want to have a way to justify to myself not preping it and I don't have one!), and I'm now not even using the Dragonshield on classes thought I needed it for -.-' And I'm not even doing a pure Monk "speedrun", I've completed Dragon isles with Pally and Thief, I've comleted hard Halls of steel with wizard, paladin and thief (I think). I'm basicaly only unlocking content the only way I feel like I can without grind.

And about people "suddenly" deciding Monk was in fact good - the only real problem he had was inventory slots issues. Removing that made gameplay easier for every class, but it also allowed for previously impossible interactions by so much inherently unbalanced stuff. What sidestepper said - having every class different but able to (ab)use everything gives ridiculous results.
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