A few thoughts on preparations

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A few thoughts on preparations

Postby Abraxas on Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:07 pm

As with everything else, since we seem to be approaching an end to content/balance updates, I thought it'd be nice if we could take a look at kingdom preparations as they are right now.
My thoughts on the subject are few, since for the most part I'm pretty happy with the preparations we have at the moment.

For one, I think we can all agree that for the most part, very few people use the Tower's booster preps. For the most part, their effects seem to pale in comparison to more/less glyphs, and most importantly, due to how boosters are spread through the dungeon and how picking them up works, the effects of the booster preps are pretty unreliable in terms of timing.
I'd say I'd still prefer something more like the old booster preps. Had anyone ever suggested changing them into 1 booster of each type to another type (e.g. the attack booster prep would convert 1 mana booster and 1 health booster into 1 attack booster each)? Would that still not solve the issues with the old preps?

And then the part that bothers me the most, the Thief Den. The Smuggler's Den, Patches and Black Market are all aright preps, but to me at least it still feels underwhelming that the building only has 3 "real" preps, and while each of them has cases where they're pretty useful, there are still many, many cases where I only pick a Thief Den prep because why not. As things are right now, if I had to pick one building to do away with (in terms of usefulness), I wouldn't hesitate to pick the Den at almost all times.
And then there's Bet on Boss. The concept of the prep itself does not bother me, what bothers me is that it's the only meta-prep in the game, and it also just so happens to be in the one building that feels like the overall least useful one.
For the most part, when I'm grinding for gold I just take BoB, and it barely feels like I'm sacrificing anything by not picking one of the other preps, and in particularly challenging dungeons, I go with one of the other ones and it doesn't feel like I'm missing out on BoB, since in a particularly challenging run the gold I earn doesn't matter much. In the end, the decision on whether or not to take BoB is for the most part a no-brainer, and the whole thing just feels incredibly inelegant to me.

In everything else, I still have some small issues (the Slayer Wand might have been nerfed a bit too much), but for the most part everything is solid and well-balanced.
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Re: A few thoughts on preparations

Postby The Avatar on Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:17 pm

I love Black Market. Still, thematically it makes no sense. It should spawn a black market subdungeon with a few more shops and gold piles. The problem isn't that any are bad, it's that none are great.
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Re: A few thoughts on preparations

Postby Darvin on Fri Aug 17, 2012 4:27 pm

I'd say I'd still prefer something more like the old booster preps. Had anyone ever suggested changing them into 1 booster of each type to another type (e.g. the attack booster prep would convert 1 mana booster and 1 health booster into 1 attack booster each)? Would that still not solve the issues with the old preps?

The big issue is that attack boosters are more valuable than the other kinds, so virtually any character will pick that option over the other ones.

My suggestion would be to have the mana and HP boosters provide two extra boosters but remove only one, while the attack booster provides two at the cost of two.


For blacksmith preps, I still think the sword and shield have too much gold/CP attached while their effect remains a little on the lackluster side. I've always held RBS could use a small attack power boost so it's not quite as niche.
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Re: A few thoughts on preparations

Postby q 3 on Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:59 pm

Well with the change to Platemail the RBS should be getting quite a bit more use. If you're tanking one, you may as well tank both. (I'm hilarious.)

I kind of think that Bet on Boss should just not be a prep at all - make it an option that you (randomly?) get whenever you enter a dungeon, preps or no. "Just as you've finished packing your gear and are set to head out for another fruitful endeavor, a shady looking figure approaches you and says, 'I have an offer for you. Pay me 50 gold now and, if you bring back a trophy, I'll give you 500 gold. However, if you don't beat the dungeon on your first try, you win nothing. So, [ADVENTURER], deal... or no deal?'" If you say yes, he replies, "Did you just make a good deal? We'll find out... when you come back."
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Re: A few thoughts on preparations

Postby The Avatar on Fri Aug 17, 2012 7:10 pm

It would seem a bit out of place unless there were a few random events.
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Re: A few thoughts on preparations

Postby Darvin on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:28 pm

I've been looking at the preparation pricing lately, and it's all over the map. Some of the top-tier preps, like Dragonshield, are relatively well priced. Others, like the Avatar's Symbol, have rather unrealistic prices of 50 gold to prep, and a select few like Amulet of Yendor or Namtar's Ward cost a whopping 90-100 gold to prepare. This is especially egregious for the Amulet of Yendor since you face a 100 GP "recovery" fee on top of that, for a total of 190 gold cost to prepare the thing.

At the end of the day, I think one of the biggest issues that needs to be overcome is the Fine Sword. In terms of cost, it's one of the cheapest preps in the game at a meager 15 gold, but in terms of effect its +4 base attack is a huge bonus for low-level characters that substantially benefits your early-game. It can be recovered easily with a Hobbler's Hold run if you lose it and can't afford reclamation. It has no double-edge or gold cost, requires no unlocking, combos well with humans and any melee class but still works well for anyone else, and doesn't require any special tactics to employ effectively. Why would anyone but a veteran ever want to prep anything else!?
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Re: A few thoughts on preparations

Postby Blovski on Mon Aug 20, 2012 5:33 pm

And then the part that bothers me the most, the Thief Den. The Smuggler's Den, Patches and Black Market are all aright preps, but to me at least it still feels underwhelming that the building only has 3 "real" preps, and while each of them has cases where they're pretty useful, there are still many, many cases where I only pick a Thief Den prep because why not. As things are right now, if I had to pick one building to do away with (in terms of usefulness), I wouldn't hesitate to pick the Den at almost all times.
And then there's Bet on Boss. The concept of the prep itself does not bother me, what bothers me is that it's the only meta-prep in the game, and it also just so happens to be in the one building that feels like the overall least useful one.
For the most part, when I'm grinding for gold I just take BoB, and it barely feels like I'm sacrificing anything by not picking one of the other preps, and in particularly challenging dungeons, I go with one of the other ones and it doesn't feel like I'm missing out on BoB, since in a particularly challenging run the gold I earn doesn't matter much. In the end, the decision on whether or not to take BoB is for the most part a no-brainer, and the whole thing just feels incredibly inelegant to me.


Smugglers, Patches and BM are all very strong preps imo (smugglers for the extra blackspace and walls, patches for Crusaders/Vampires and anyone not worried by Mana Burn and BM for anyone heavily into conversion. I agree the boosters aren't getting much real use.
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Re: A few thoughts on preparations

Postby Sidestepper on Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:43 pm

Smuggler's Den comes into its own in vicious, where resources start to become very tight. Am I the only one that hate the fact that it grabs some of the powerups? I want to save the blackspace in there for the end of the game, which makes getting those powerups really awkward.

The sequestration of the 1st level monsters on the other hand is really nice, because it helps declog the hallways a bit.
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Re: A few thoughts on preparations

Postby Darvin on Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:08 pm

Am I the only one that hate the fact that it grabs some of the powerups?

Nope, the community long-ago identified this as the primary drawback of the den. You're forgoing power-ups if you conserve it for later. Tapping the smuggler's den early is something you only want to do if you get trapped, and as a result you have powerups that just go unused which is a pretty big loss.

If the smuggler's den is on the weak side, why not transition it over to sequestering potions instead of powerups? For most characters, that won't be as big a deal.
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Re: A few thoughts on preparations

Postby Sidestepper on Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:16 pm

Darvin wrote:
Am I the only one that hate the fact that it grabs some of the powerups?

Nope, the community long-ago identified this as the primary drawback of the den. You're forgoing power-ups if you conserve it for later. Tapping the smuggler's den early is something you only want to do if you get trapped, and as a result you have powerups that just go unused which is a pretty big loss.

If the smuggler's den is on the weak side, why not transition it over to sequestering potions instead of powerups? For most characters, that won't be as big a deal.


I really like that idea. If you need the missing potions from the den, it's because you have already tapped your resources and probably need the black space anyway. Very nice solution, hope the devs like it as much as I do.
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