Some Thoughts on Deities

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Some Thoughts on Deities

Postby Darvin on Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:06 pm

Well, with the deity puzzles finalized I realize that very little - if anything - will be done at this point. That said, I'd like to make a few comments on a couple deities in the hopes to at least bring attention to a couple issues that I consider outstanding. I suspect starting piety (since it does not come into play in puzzles) is probably one of the few places where we could see some tweaking, so where possible I'll focus my attention there with regards to deities that just need a little push one way or another.


Binlor Ironshield
This guy could use some starting piety. He's always had a problem where his lifetime piety generation is related to the number of unexplored tiles available, so giving him some starting piety based on the number of tiles already explored might be an idea (similar to alpha pactmaker). This would mean late joinees (which have precious little remaining exploration space) could just grab boons immediately.

Glowing Guardian
I find GG's starting piety is much too generous for low-level joinees, and not nearly generous enough for mid or high-level joinees. Making the curve a little more steep to represent just how much benefit an early-worship is to GG would be appreciated. Alternately, It'd be nice if people who join directly get retroactive credit for their level-up multiplier. For instance, a 3rd level character who joins GG directly (no conversion) should get 9 piety on his next level-up rather than 3, just as if he'd joined as a 1st level character. GG already wildly favours getting in the door at the 1st level, so more flexibility to higher-level joinees would be welcome flexibility.

Also, anyone else thinking that cleansing should get a piety cost decrease? I'm thinking 5 might be entirely reasonable given that prayer beads limits its repeatability.

Mystera Annur
Weakening costs way too much piety. That is all.

EDIT: Some good discussion on Mystic Balance and Refreshment on page 2-3. General consensus that Refreshment is a bit too good, and Mystic Balance is a bit too expensive.

Pactmaker
Spirit Pact and Alchemist Pact could use a little love. I haven't touched the Spirit Pact since the Orc got changed; it's just way too expensive for what it does. I mean, just consider that for a 10th level dwarf this represents 40 piety for 10 HP. The warrior's pact works out to 30 piety for 10 HP, and that's not level-dependent or race dependent (with most races you usually prefer benefits to complement your racial bonus, not compound it). I'd say that this boon's power should be doubled to +20 for -5.

Alchemist Pact just packs little punch for what it is, and the tricky part is that since it works out to less than a full level-up it could end up being outright useless. Most comically, the true alchemist-style items encourage early potion use which makes this pact useless. What if it gave XP and gold for a potion quaff? That would make it a little more interesting without increasing its power directly. We could really use more divine sources of gold income, anyways, and it works thematically.


Jehora Jeheyu
Something needs to be done about the brick wall that Petition represents. JJ needs 65 piety before you even get your first real boon, and you need lifetime piety generation around 200 to even consider joining him. This means that only characters who are extremely confident they can quickly build very large sums of piety will ever consider JJ as a potential god, very few people will even consider joining or converting once the map is mostly explored, and more often than not the altar gets completely ignored. Furthermore, Last Chance is a bit too chancy so few people are willing to convert in for it. In fact, I more often convert out after chaos avatar than spin the roulette wheel on a last chance.

I've long argued that health drain and mana burn should be removed from JJ's list of punishments. This would make it possible for high-level characters to live with his punishments and actually make playing without petition a viable approach. As it stands, these two effects are game-enders in a post-exploration context and it makes playing sans-petition impossible. This would give JJ two flexible approaches; the petition approach that works well for early-worshippers, and the non-petition approach that works best for those going in late.

For Last Chance, I'd really like the boon to do something on failure. Paying piety and having nothing happen is anticlimatic and disappointing. So here's an alternative: he always grants you the full heal and full mana restore, but has a random chance (less piety, worse your chance) of invoking one of the eight desecration penalties. The lower your piety, the more his odds are weighted towards the more catastrophic penalties.

I know this section on JJ is more than the minor tweaks and piety adjustments that I'm talking about for the other gods, but I really feel that Jehora needs adjustment prior to the final release.
Last edited by Darvin on Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Deities

Postby The Avatar on Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:10 pm

I totally agree with all of this. JJ is nice for hp stacking rogues, but that's really it...
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Re: Some Thoughts on Deities

Postby booooooze on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:32 am

Disagree on JJ.

Step 1: Piety farm without leveling up (Binlor or Mysteria)
Step 2: Convert + Petition
Step 3: Go about your business. He gives piety for everything. About the time you're ready to take on the boss, you get a free level, a bunch of CP, and you nuke resistances for everyone.
Step 4: Profits. :)
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Re: Some Thoughts on Deities

Postby q 3 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:52 am

booooooze wrote:Disagree on JJ.

Step 1: Piety farm without leveling up (Binlor or Mysteria)
Step 2: Convert + Petition
Step 3: Go about your business. He gives piety for everything. About the time you're ready to take on the boss, you get a free level, a bunch of CP, and you nuke resistances for everyone.
Step 4: Profits. :)


Which is great, assuming you find JJ - or Binlor or Mystera - early on. If you find Dracul right away, then explore a third of the dungeon and find Pactmaker, then explore another third of the dungeon and find JJ, JJ is essentially not an option. Just about every other deity has some sort of utility even if you don't find them until late (aside from Binlor, who actually used to have a "petrify low level monsters for piety" option that wasn't very useful but the absence of anything similar really hurts him, and GG). Earthmother has Plantation, Tikki Tooki loves high level followers, Mystera and Taurog grant tons of piety on-worship if you find them late, and Dracul grants a fair amount of piety and also has two easy methods for quick late-game piety.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Deities

Postby The Avatar on Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:54 am

I have to agree with Darvin once again. Unless you find a farm god early and then JJ immediately afterwards it's not worth converting in with 5 piety and very few tiles.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Deities

Postby Darvin on Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:58 am

Step 1: Piety farm without leveling up (Binlor or Mysteria)
Step 2: Convert + Petition

A very good approach, but one that requires considerable luck to pull off. Earthmother also works well for this. Worshipping Jehora directly and desecrating an altar (another superb use of the Earthmother) is another approach with similar results. However, this requires a considerable amount of luck both to find a good piety farm very early and to find Jehora early enough for the conversion to still make sense.

The fact of the matter is that Jehora is only worthwhile if you get in the door very early. If you're late in exploration, you can just ignore that altar entirely; he offers no meaningful options for a prospective convert. This is in stark contrast to every other deity in the game which has at least some late-game angle.

Furthermore, the buffs I propose wouldn't actually benefit the approach you describe. Less severe punishments would be meaningless to someone altar-jumping to avoid said punishments, and would mostly help those without easy ways to survive the initial petition charge or even (in the case of a higher-level character) potentially live without it.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Deities

Postby TigerKnee on Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:30 am

Speaking of Weakening, reducing Magic Resist from yourself is kind of dumb. When is that ever relevant?

There's one class in the game with inherent magic resistance who generally wouldn't worship her anyway. Elven Boots and Dragon Shield are the two items in the game that has it and I guess the latter is about the only one that matters. I guess if you converted out of Dracul you might have magic resist but I don't know why you want to go from Drac to Mystera.

It's just kind of weird.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Deities

Postby q 3 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:44 am

TigerKnee wrote:There's one class in the game with inherent magic resistance who generally wouldn't worship her anyway.


Berserkers get more benefit from Mystic Balance than any other class - it essentially turns them into normal spellcasters (and there's only, like, two glyphs that it actually penalizes for them). If you find yourself up against Tower of Goo or the like, Mystera is a Berserker's best friend (well, that, or Binlor). Still, I agree that it's kind of a silly penalty at this point, and as Darvin says, the boon is overpriced as is.

(IMO the really weird quirk of Mystera is that Wizards get almost no benefit from Mystic Balance; for most of the glyphs they rely upon it's either neutral or a penalty. I suppose 7 MP CYDSTEPP could be pretty handy, but Wizards have less synergy with that glyph than anyone else. Considering that they're underpowered as is, I'm tempted to suggest that their -1 cost be calculated after the effect of the boon...)
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Re: Some Thoughts on Deities

Postby TigerKnee on Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:57 am

q 3 wrote:Berserkers get more benefit from Mystic Balance than any other class - it essentially turns them into normal spellcasters (and there's only, like, two glyphs that it actually penalizes for them). If you find yourself up against Tower of Goo or the like, Mystera is a Berserker's best friend (well, that, or Binlor). Still, I agree that it's kind of a silly penalty at this point, and as Darvin says, the boon is overpriced as is.


Huh, never thought about Mystic Balance on Berserker. And yeah, I've pulled off the Mystera conversion for better fireballs against ToG quite a few times in the days where I actually used the Berserker class.

I was talking in the sort of context where the Berserker will never get Weakening, because if something was strong against magic attacks, the Berserker would just beat it down with his giant axe but Berserker is one of those classes that actually has magic resistance to get reduced despite the fact that he wouldn't use said boon and... yeah, you get the deal.

Incidentally, I don't think old Monks with their magic resist would want Mystera either. But since they don't have it any more, moot point doo doo doo.
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Re: Some Thoughts on Deities

Postby Darvin on Wed Aug 15, 2012 5:01 am

IMO the really weird quirk of Mystera is that Wizards get almost no benefit from Mystic Balance

I tend to think this is intentional. It allowed them to make a kick-ass spellcasting boon that doesn't push wizards over the edge. The existence of Mystic Balance is what makes me regard Assassins as the best spellcasters, rather than wizards.

the Berserker will never get Weakening, because if something was strong against magic attacks, the Berserker would just beat it down with his giant axe

Indeed; most characters that even remotely care about their magic resist won't mind forgoing fireballs. Furthermore, almost every boss with magic resistance has physical-type damage anyways so you don't actually lose out...
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