General thoughts on deities

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General thoughts on deities

Postby Abraxas on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:44 am

I''m aware that we've probably had several topics like this already, but with the game balance constantly changing I'd think it's alright to renew certain topics of discussion every now and then. My mind has been on deities lately, so here we are.

I'd like to open with the question: how powerful do you think deities should be? I trust we can all agree that all deities should be roughly as powerful as each other, but where should the standard be set?
Myself, I find the current incarnations of Binlor, Dracul and Mystera to be pretty good guidelines of how powerful deities should be, also maybe TT, based on what I read on the forums, but I don't use him enough to be sure. Not that these deities couldn't use adjustments, but I still like where they're at right now.

As for the other deities, I'd say the Earthmother, Taurog and GG fall on the weaker side.
The Earthmother can actually be fairly useful, but she's still lacking something that has significant late-game usefulness.
Taurog is still a nice piety farm and a very nice deity for beginners, but he still suffers from his sword and shield only being useful early on dungeon runs, and the condition for getting his death protections is too limiting.
I can't really say I've played with GG a lot after his nerf, but the impression I'm left with is that he's a god that makes you jump through many hoops to get pretty measly rewards.

The Pactmaker is the pactmaker, I don't really have much to say about him, except that I find it hard to find situations where I can put the Alchemist's pact to good use.

And finally there's JJ. I think the Petition nerf made it even more apparent that JJ is too straightforward of a deity (get petition as soon as possible, reap the rewards with no more consequences), which really feels like it goes against his theme.
I have a suggestion in mind which I believe is at least interesting: Have JJ behave more like the other deities (reward certain actions with piety, punish others, preferably giving random punishments when the piety goes into negatives), but rather than having his likes and dislikes set into stone, make it so that in every dungeon run he has a different "mood."
So for instance, in a certain dungeon run he punishes the use of glyphs and rewards killing higher level enemies, while in a different dungeon run he actually rewards glyph usage, and punishes the killing of the undead. And of course, the only way to find out his current likes and dislikes is by experimenting. By randomizing his mood in every dungeon run, you'd really stick with his theme and make him much less straightforward to play with.
Petition could then mayhaps be changed into a boon that "shuffles" his mood into something else, making it less likely for him to ruin dungeon runs from the get go (like punishing glyph usage when you're playing a spellcaster).

And these are my current thoughts on deities. I really like how the deities have been evolving over time and overall getting clearly more balanced, but there's always room for improvement. Discuss away.
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Re: General thoughts on deities

Postby Darvin on Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:59 am

Myself, I find the current incarnations of Binlor, Dracul and Mystera to be pretty good guidelines of how powerful deities should be, also maybe TT, based on what I read on the forums, but I don't use him enough to be sure.

Binlor and Mystera are, in my opinion, half done. They both have a range of useful and effective boon options, but still have lackluster stinkers. Stone Soup and Weakening are the two worst offenders.

Dracul needs some more adjustment to his piety costs, but he's shaping up well currently. I like putting sanguine on a boon, but I feel it's going to necessitate a complete Bloodmage rework since the entire class feels redundant with this deity now.


The Earthmother can actually be fairly useful, but she's still lacking something that has significant late-game usefulness.

The Earthmother's very best offerings fall into the range of the mediocre, and are all front-loaded so they're not very significant for high-level characters. She needs serious work.


Taurog is still a nice piety farm and a very nice deity for beginners, but he still suffers from his sword and shield only being useful early on dungeon runs, and the condition for getting his death protections is too limiting.

Taurog still uses up way too many inventory slots, and his items aren't good enough to justify the space they take when compared to high-end items. This is way too much of an opportunity cost for too little effect. Now that Dracul grants the sanguine feature, piety farming for Blood Shield is no longer prohibitive, so Taurog's helm and armor being separate items is completely asinine. I'm still holding out for a total Taurog rework; his entire armory should be granted with a single high-priced boon, IMO.


I can't really say I've played with GG a lot after his nerf, but the impression I'm left with is that he's a god that makes you jump through many hoops to get pretty measly rewards.

Absolution and Humility remain two of the most powerful boons in the game, and with a ridiculously low price tag of 5 piety each the GG is very much a deity you convert out of as soon as you possibly can. Enlightenment is basically unattainable with his current piety gain scheme, and was barely worth it even when he was an excellent piety farm for low-level characters. Cleansing does too little to be of real interest, and protection is mostly useful for people converting in at the last hour after using their potions.


The Pactmaker is the pactmaker, I don't really have much to say about him, except that I find it hard to find situations where I can put the Alchemist's pact to good use.

Not all Pacts are created equal. Currently, Consensus, Body Pact, and Warrior's Pact are my three favourites. I very rarely pick up the others.


but rather than having his likes and dislikes set into stone, make it so that in every dungeon run he has a different "mood."

That could be a real problem to balance, requiring the devs to normalize piety gain and loss without any larger context. While I agree that JJ needs a new angle, I'm not sure what that should be.
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Re: General thoughts on deities

Postby Gorgon on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:01 am

Abraxas wrote:I have a suggestion in mind which I believe is at least interesting: Have JJ behave more like the other deities (reward certain actions with piety, punish others, preferably giving random punishments when the piety goes into negatives), but rather than having his likes and dislikes set into stone, make it so that in every dungeon run he has a different "mood."


Interesting idea! It would fit his chaotic theme much more than his current incarnation.

My opinion about gods is that they shouldn't be too "easy". I like to use Mystera as a base to balance all other gods. She's rewarding, but she can punish you.
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Re: General thoughts on deities

Postby Gorgon on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:03 am

Darvin wrote:Stone Soup and Weakening are the two worst offenders.


I don't think the devs want to make weakening as useful as Stone Heart. It's certainly much weaker, but I'd still use it to lower enemies' resistances.
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Re: General thoughts on deities

Postby The Avatar on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:28 am

I use it, but only after I've taken everything else I want and can't convert out due to mystic balance. I think making the starting cost 10 or 15 would be better. If it costed 6 with no increase (How much it costs to do two ENDISWALLS) it would still be worse, as it only lowers magic res, reduces your magic res, and doesn't give you magic res.

As for the JJ thought, I say that's too much of a gamble. I like his piety scheme, but I think petition should cost only 25, remove corrosion and weakening from his punishments, and half the chance of him punishing you. I also think his boons should be more random. They're simply full heals and stat boosts. How about some more randomness? Perhaps a chaotic boost boon? It either consumes a shop for 10 gold, a mana potion for 3 mp, a health potion for 20 hp, or an altar for nothing. It's usually good, but not ALWAYS good. The new boon could be whatever. Perhaps a new repeatable polymorph that shuffles the monster types (but only from the monsters already in that dungeon)?
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Re: General thoughts on deities

Postby Fran on Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:47 am

Just to toss in some ideas, this is a crazy concept for taurog:

Additional Penalty:
-1 Piety for every MP regenerated by Tiles

Boons:
- Taurogs Sword, 25 P: Get the Sword, +5 Base Damage
- Taurogs Shield, 25 P: Get the Shield, 5 DR
- Sanctify Sword, 50+25P: Gives Taurogs Sword additional effects: 1) Burning 2) Slow 3) Decreases physical resist by 5%
Requires the Sword in your Inventory, obviously
- Sanctify Shield, 50+25P: Gives Taurogs Shield additional effects: 1) 25% PhysRes 2) 25% MagRes 3) 20 DR
Requires the Shield in your Inventory, obviously
- Unstoppable Fury: The same way it is now, but you only need Sword and Shield

General ideas behind it:
You can concentrate on strengthening your physical attack or your defense for one slot each. You shouldn't have enough piety to maximize both. Magic should be penalized more while worshipping him. The MP penalty is effectively paying the spellcost in piety, *BUT* you can prevent that if you refill your mana by leveling up or similiar means, which makes a difference. I'm not keen on the numbers and guess they are too overpriced or too low anyway, but I'd like you to take it as a concept and try to balance/change it into another version as you see fit.

Regarding JJ:
Combine the MP and HP boost to a single boon and make it 50% which of the stats gets raised but you have to pay both potions.
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Re: General thoughts on deities

Postby The Avatar on Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:52 am

If you got a 3 time boost on shield that's 65 DR and max both resists. Broken, but I like the concept.
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Re: General thoughts on deities

Postby Darvin on Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:53 am

I don't think the devs want to make weakening as useful as Stone Heart. It's certainly much weaker, but I'd still use it to lower enemies' resistances.

The problem I have is that it's just plain inferior to stone heart in every single possible way. Stone Heart grants more resist-down effect for less piety, affects both physical and magic resists, raises your resistances rather than lowering them, and does not have an accumulating cost. Its only downside is busting walls, which can be worked around easily with minor planning.

I'd like to see weakening completely changed.

I like his piety scheme, but I think petition should cost only 25, remove corrosion and weakening from his punishments, and half the chance of him punishing you

Problem is that getting hit by a random mana burn or health-drain as a high-level character after exploration is complete is absolutely game-ending.


Additional Penalty:
-1 Piety for every MP regenerated by Tiles

That'd basically take us back to alpha Taurog.
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Re: General thoughts on deities

Postby The Avatar on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:06 am

Hmm... True. Perhaps a mana burn and poison immunity boon?
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Re: General thoughts on deities

Postby fall_ark on Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:36 am

The Avatar wrote:Hmm... True. Perhaps a mana burn and poison immunity boon?


Maybe a boon that lessens Mana burn (1/3 mana burn, no mana drain effect) as well as fireballing Counterspelling monsters (1/3 damage from Counterspells)
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