The high end potions and the difficulty curve

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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Lujo on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:42 pm

gjaustin wrote:Lujo using all those terms is probably my fault. I jumped on him for calling things broken :)

Let me try to translate:
newbie-crutch = Signficantly over the average power level
cheat code = Allows you to ignore a mechanic

Where Lujo and I really disagree is whether or not those are good things. There's arguments for and against both. In the past, I've done official playtesting for CCGs.

We generally worried much more about "cheat codes" than "newbie-crutches", but both were problematic. Once we flagged a card as way too strong and got ignored. The card then completely dominated the first official tournament, resulting in it being changed. And then we flagged a card as breaking fundemental mechanics of the game, and got ignored again. The card got emergency errataed in the middle of the World Championship for the game! That was incredibly satisfying :)


Anyway, my tangent aside, you do need abilities that are a bit strong since that fuels satisfaction in achieving mastery. You also need abilities that bend the rules, because that provides the sense of discovery. I like some flaws* in my games! You just have to make sure the flaws don't make the game break down and become repetitive.


* I look back on Everquest much more affectionately than World of Warcraft, despite the latter being the better game. Because the former felt ALIVE, rather than focus-grouped into uniformity.

I think I lost my train of thought somewhere in there and went on a Lujo worthy min-rant :)



Naah, you're spot on, thanks for the translation - yes, that is what newbie crutch and cheat code are unwise shorthand for.

And we don't even disagree on whether those are good or not - there are quite a bit of them in the game I don't mind at all - whoopaz and tinker have been mentioned, and there's others.

But when there's too many, or when they don't have a downside or are applicable everywhere - I get an itch. I used to design MtG draft sets. Not cubes, those weren't invented yet, but hand picked draft sets for small groups, from all existing cards, so I guess I got a bit of an eye for spotting such balancing curvature. I like my "overall" balanced, I guess...
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby paplaukes on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:45 pm

"cool story bro"! :D No, but it is, it was interesting to read. One important difference - DD isn't really a competition.

Lujo:
If you're really, really saying that the potions are fine unless used along with Trisword and probably a high attack class, then sorry but that's a non-issue :) At the very least, should look into the sword/classes before even touching the potions.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Lujo on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:50 pm

Well, sure, but the plain fact is - the sword could simply have a per level progression like the alchemist scroll and be fine. There'd be no end of whining about it, but that would be unjustified - nothing else would match it for damage that way either.

The potions I brought up because they, in fact, overly sinergize with completely front-loading the sword. It's, er, optimal... On anything... And they're a bunch of Whoopasess (I'm beggining to like calling them that, has a ring to it).

That's about it.

EDIT: Oh, but if anythings done with them, say, trisword only affecting health and mana potions - then there'd be no end of gnomes and halflings... Someone really ought to bust some sort of cap in that sword, and then it'd be off the discussion table for good. Or give it competition.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby gjaustin on Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:54 pm

I'd hate to see the per level limit on the Trisword. I love that it lets you stack health potions to the end and use it all at once.

UNLESS that limit would work differently from the Alchemist Scroll, such that you could "catch up" later if you missed a level. Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing the Alchemist Scroll get that change either.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Lujo on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:08 pm

gjaustin wrote:I'd hate to see the per level limit on the Trisword. I love that it lets you stack health potions to the end and use it all at once.


Well, if there was an elegant way of capping it at +12 damage (3 fine swords) that'd also prevent it from being overloaded at low levels i'd settle for that. With the current rate you'd be getting 3 fine swords for 30 gold, six potions and only one inventory slot - I'd say it'd still be really good.

gjaustin wrote:Honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing the Alchemist Scroll get that change either.


This I can't agree with - 56 guaranteed health at lvl7? For 21 gold and no care about when you use the potions? Really?

Did all you guys miss the "Absolution is too damned good" memo?
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby gjaustin on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:37 pm

Said change would undoubtedly involve reducing the amount of health you get per use.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Lujo on Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:43 pm

gjaustin wrote:Said change would undoubtedly involve reducing the amount of health you get per use.


Would you believe you are the first person who said this part out loud?
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby gjaustin on Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:48 pm

Lujo wrote:
gjaustin wrote:Said change would undoubtedly involve reducing the amount of health you get per use.


Would you believe you are the first person who said this part out loud?


Yes, I would.

If there's one thing I've learned from working with customers to create design documents for software, is that people don't rarely remember to explicitly state their assumptions.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby The Avatar on Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:26 pm

I'm with Lujo's idea of capping the Tri-Sword at 12.
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I speak chaos.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Gavster on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:00 pm

All this bringing down the power of things every patch is annoying.
Vicious Gaan Telet is still sitting there and I haven't completed it, and every week a useful strategy becomes moot for a longer dungeon. If anything needs nerfing its VGT.
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