My thoughts about the game

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Re: My thoughts about the game

Postby eskimoparade on Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:56 am

im new at the game and struggling, and it seems like there was a recent spike in difficulty mid play, but i say keep it hard. this is supposed to be hard, rougelike hard, and i enjoy it.

the dungeons would be very easy if there were not missions, because trisword halflings + half the classes is generally enough to get my wins everywhere, but the mission restrictions can be murder, and really force me to think outside the box
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Re: My thoughts about the game

Postby Lujo on Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:50 pm

I've argued before that most of the "difficulty" or "learning curve issues" come from keeping facts obscure (like god information nad such). Well, from keeping a lot of informations obscure and hard to get good at (you can't "practice" gods easily) and getting most of the feedback from guys who've somehow learned and shared all the informations.

And the info will be available in the final version, and it will reduce the difficulty of the game by several 100%. Just knowing what is out there turns the game from difficult to rather easy very quickly, apart from vicious challenges.

I think this "codex" needs testing itself - to see how much it helps.
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Re: My thoughts about the game

Postby The Avatar on Thu Feb 02, 2012 1:21 pm

Yeah, I liked the game when I was a new player. It was fun, hard, espicially back then, and a good fun challenge. Funny thing is that I didn't have any trouble with gods. I played the alpha, so I knew the very basic premise of what they liked and didn't, but I only got my inventory removed once, and only killed by desecrations twice.

Also, a lot of the challenge of the game is knowing the right class for the right mission. (like how you need to bring a balanced character to beat rock garden).
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Re: My thoughts about the game

Postby Darvin on Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:30 pm

The piety sparkles give you one each, so with three altars you have 24... but you're likely to lose a good portion of that to walls.

You also need to locate all three alters to collect all the sparkle. Overall, you'll be lucky to have 10 piety when you begin worship, a far cry from the 25 the piety boon would give you (most useful for Jehora Jeheyu, for obvious reasons).

(like how you need to bring a balanced character to beat rock garden).

Untrue; Rock Garden can easily be beaten by melee specialists. Bring a RBS and watch the walls crumble; even with three bosses it's still one of the easiest "hard" missions because the "brothers" are so individually weak. Because goo blobs and wraiths are two of the more difficult enemies you will encounter in this level, the RBS carries its own weight for once rather than being a dead weight you haul for the boss.
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Re: My thoughts about the game

Postby The Avatar on Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:13 pm

It was a bad example. But you get my point. I mean you need a class with staying power for the indomitable...
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Re: My thoughts about the game

Postby Darvin on Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:21 pm

Now that he's only got 10 levels of DP on the hard-mode level, I'm not so sure about that, either. With hard HoS, Magma Mines, and Slime Pit all toned down, there's really nothing in that sub-vicious category anymore.

The solution to deities may be to raise the maximum number of alters per level to 4 (thus giving the Crusader a 5th alter). This would make four alters chosen from 9 deities very competitive with two alters chosen from 4 deities. This also might actually make "Heretic" worthwhile...
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Re: My thoughts about the game

Postby The Avatar on Thu Feb 02, 2012 8:56 pm

I'm always for more altars! But that would be an impressive +40 piety for Crusaders...

And your right about HoS, but my point still stands.
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Re: My thoughts about the game

Postby valcamo on Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:19 am

In my (short) experience of the beta, the first levels are very good and well balanced.
You really feel like all levels could be beaten with any class, with a little or no preparation: it was fun.

Now, the later levels seems almost impossible. Maybe it's only me, maybe I don't have enough patience.
While the normal levels can be completed in 10/20 minutes, I found that hard levels requires me to think more and more about my possible moves: this means that a level requires me more that 30/40 minutes to reach the final boss with adequate preparation, but most of the times it's useless and I cannot complete it.

This has drained the fun from the game.
The game that started to be a 10-minute break, has become an exercise in frustration.

How can you, as developers, solve this problem of balancing the game for novice and veteran players?
Some suggestions:

a) A difficulty setting Easy/Normal/Hard/Vicious that you must select when creating the profile (so the player can start again and lower the difficulty if the game is too hard or raise it if he/she think the game is too easy).
b) A easy/normal difficulty for most maps. Then you unlock a new preparation "Dark portal" or something similar, that when taken will raise the difficulty of the dungeon entered.
c) Just keep the game as it is but introduce more powerful items: veterans will try to beat the game purist, while all other mortals will not bother about that badge.
d) Hard levels may give initial boons/preparations to the player: for example the "Shifting corridor" has the player start with a 20% knockback or a small-space endiswal. You can forfait this bonus in exchange for a 100% boss reward or similar.
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Re: My thoughts about the game

Postby Darvin on Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:48 pm

Now, the later levels seems almost impossible. Maybe it's only me, maybe I don't have enough patience.

Which "later levels" are you referring to? If you're talking about the vicious scenarios then yeah, they're supposed to be almost impossible. Beating them all is supposed to be a demonstration of total mastery (hence why you can "win" the game without ever having to play a single vicious level). If you're talking about the hard levels, then I'd advise the patience route. Try new approaches, experiment with new strategies, and you may be surprised. If you're stuck on a specific level, just ask for advice.

a) A difficulty setting Easy/Normal/Hard/Vicious that you must select when creating the profile (so the player can start again and lower the difficulty if the game is too hard or raise it if he/she think the game is too easy).

I don't think this is remotely feasible workload for the devs. Balancing difficulty for about two dozen different dungeons is hard enough, but with four different difficulty modes each?

b) A easy/normal difficulty for most maps. Then you unlock a new preparation "Dark portal" or something similar, that when taken will raise the difficulty of the dungeon entered.

We used to have a couple levels which had multiple difficulty levels (basically two versions of the same level would appear side-by-side on the map). The problem is they never were really popular and people always preferred to have two distinct and unique dungeons rather than two clones with varying difficulty.

c) Just keep the game as it is but introduce more powerful items: veterans will try to beat the game purist, while all other mortals will not bother about that badge.

I actually don't find purist fun; it's much more luck-based than any other game mode, and on vicious levels it's downright masochistic (didn't find the necessary glyph within 10 steps; reset...)

Beyond that fact, we already have some insanely powerful items already. Part of the problem is that many of them are unlocked relatively late in the game's progression. The Crystal Ball and Trisword are the only two unlocked in early levels. The Avatar's Symbol and Dragon Shield (the best items to combo with the CYDSTEPP and HALPMEH glyphs respectively) are both dangerously close to being infinity +1 swords, while Fire Heart (the best item to combo with the BURNDAYRAZ glyph) is very difficult to attain.

Perhaps the best approach would be to give alternate ways to get these powerful items.


d) Hard levels may give initial boons/preparations to the player: for example the "Shifting corridor" has the player start with a 20% knockback or a small-space endiswal. You can forfait this bonus in exchange for a 100% boss reward or similar.

You can prepare 10% knockback from the blacksmith, and there's a deity who not only gives you ENDISWAL for free when you worship him but also will bust up some walls every time you purchase a boon from him. These combos already exist, you just need to seek them out.
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Re: My thoughts about the game

Postby valcamo on Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:23 pm

Darvin wrote:Which "later levels" are you referring to?

The hard levels, not all of them, of course.

Darvin wrote:Beyond that fact, we already have some insanely powerful items already. Part of the problem is that many of them are unlocked relatively late in the game's progression. The Crystal Ball and Trisword are the only two unlocked in early levels. The Avatar's Symbol and Dragon Shield (the best items to combo with the CYDSTEPP and HALPMEH glyphs respectively) are both dangerously close to being infinity +1 swords, while Fire Heart (the best item to combo with the BURNDAYRAZ glyph) is very difficult to attain.

I have already unlocked the Fire Heart, but my idea is a little different: let the novice players choose an easier route if they wish, while keeping the hard route for the veterans.
Another example would be: you can enter a level with 2, 1 or zero "fighter" preparations (instead of 1 or zero as it is now). If you finish a level you get a silver, gold or platinum medal/star for that level if you used respectively 2, 1 or zero "fighter" preparations.
So I can enter a dungeon with a Fire Heart and a Crystal Ball, but I will only get a silver medal.
If I want a gold medal, I will have to choose only one preparation.
In this way, you don't have to rebalance the game for the easier difficulty: it's the player that chooses at which difficulty to play the game, knowing that the easier route will be a lot easier, but it won't give them the better achievement.
I know that I will play the easier route first, then I will try the harder one and if I cannot complete the level in hard mode I will be fine, because I can progress the game anyway.


Darvin wrote:You can prepare 10% knockback from the blacksmith, and there's a deity who not only gives you ENDISWAL for free when you worship him but also will bust up some walls every time you purchase a boon from him. These combos already exist, you just need to seek them out.

I know that, this is why I specified a 20% knockback, that can be stacked with the blacksmith preparation.
Again, the idea is to give the "casual" gamer an easier route, but leave the harder route available as well.
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