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 10:18 pm

Gavster wrote: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.


Also said in concise notes. It deffinitely does.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Bloggorus on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:29 pm

Feel like this is related to my original point:

The effects of high level preps, dungeon difficulty and player skill are multiplicative , not additive.

So it's not (trisword + potions + class + race + other preps), its (trisword * potions * class * race * other preps).

This is why it's important not to miss the forest for the trees and start blaming individual preps for a systemic problem.

At the moment some of the major balance issues are:

      Strength, reflex and quicksilver potion early level catapulting
      Trisword loading
      Apothecary abuse

So the strength potion was nerfed, the trisword was nerfed to impose costs and limits were imposed on how many potions you can buy from shops. No doubt more nerfs are incoming, but I argue that everyone is missing the point.

ALL of these issues had one thing in common; they stemmed from having the freedom to carry so many potions into battle.

Options, especially options with virtually no downside like potion preps, represent a huge wildcard on a game that's already chock full of options for improving your chances.

Every one of those extra potion slots multiplies the effectiveness of all the other preps and class/race abilities, quickly leading to runaway synergies.

My solution: turf the gold cost and force players to choose two potions only.

No more silly antics with catapulting, players can still use potions they find useful, and it means EVERY character with trisword can't easily turn into a chopping machine with a little kingdom gold investment. Also, that apothecary prep might find some love too.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Bloggorus on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:53 pm

Gavster wrote: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.


I think the VGT is starting to do what it was supposed to: weed out runaway strats. If nobody can beat it, it means the game is approaching some semblance of balance.

No doubt the nerfing will come before final release.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Sidestepper on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:03 pm

VGT is beatable, but it isn't easy. Vampires have the best chance. What you really want to see is several high level meat men and/or HALPMEH. The lack of gods is crippling, but also liberating in that it doesn't matter what order you find the floors in.

Hardcore resistance stacking is almost required for any class. At the higher levels, even the ordinary mooks will one shot someone without percentage based damage mitigation. Then again, you are guaranteed to find both Dracul and Taurog, so maybe this is okay. Vampires are required to take Dragon Shield. I'm serious. I don't think it is mathematically possible to win as a Vamp without it.

My secret weapons for VGT are Patches, Quest Items (increased odds of Venom Ward and Soul Orb, which are good for both monsters and for mitigating Patches), and Really Big Sword. You really want Really Big Sword.

If I were to change one thing in VGT it would be to add some gold drops somewhere.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Bloggorus on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:16 pm

I imagine that the tower after all the crazy strats are nerfed will (hopfully) have some kind of crazy stat boosts or items everywhere, so you can twink out a character to the max. No nerfing, only buffs!
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby paplaukes on Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:54 pm

So - why not twink your char now? Isn't that what preparations do? What's wrong with runaway multiplicative synergies? Is having certain munchkiny stuff in game inherently wrong? What's with this notion of "forcing players to [...]"? To me it sounds suspiciously like "I don't like some of the ways how the items can be used so nobody should use them that way" :) Just leave it as an option. Hell I might even do a textbook abuse of a halfling trisword tt/gg rogue (did I miss anything? oh yeah potions) sometime next year :)
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Sidestepper on Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:48 am

The problem with extremely efficient strategies is that they become so good as to exclude themselves from the game. I wasn't trying to prove a point when I did my SMASH game, I was just fooling around with knockback and extreme damage stacking and Ooops! I killed the boss at level 1. I'm not supposed to be able to do that. I tried to justify it by saying that I had to use up the entire map's worth of resources to do it, but that isn't even true. I didn't even touch the monsters, which are the most important resource in the game, and if I had just created a +44 trisword at level one and then played the game normally I would have steamrollered it. What's more, I would be able to do this every single time I found a trisword as a gnome or halfling. The result is an item that I have to start ignoring because it's too good. I'd like to use it , but it breaks the game and is only fun to do once.

Self-policing kind of works but is against the spirit of the game. This isn't a roleplaying game, it is a puzzle game. We are expected to ruthlessly exploit everything in the dungeon, from items to monsters to religion, and heartlessly discard anything the moment it becomes less than optimal.

I'm sure that the devs are aware of the issue and have considered our suggestions. The trisword WILL be changed, it might just not happen this week. They have a lot of things on their plate, not the least of which is the parallel development My Skin and Tears, which I have been faithfully sending alpha reports to Nandrew about.

As for the general issue of preparations, I feel that DtD is really three separate games. You have Purist games where you just go in and hope you figure out a solution with the random puzzle pieces offered to you. Then you have light prep games where you take one or two items as a check against bad luck (Soul Orb for Warlords, Venom Ward for Monks, Burn Salves and Fortitude for general annoyance mitigation, etc.). Then you have fully prepped runs where you are trying to execute a specific and somewhat reproducible strategy.

In all three games, you are expected to use your resources as ruthlessly and cynically as possible, but it is not expected that you play the fully prepped game 100% of the time.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Blovski on Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:25 am

I'd say cut the Parched with Reflex and Dodge (and Whupaz). That way, you let the hardcore get some sort of reward for holding back on bringing in resources while still letting people crutch with them (and they're really valuable crutches to have).
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Bloggorus on Fri Feb 01, 2013 4:37 am

paplaukes wrote:So - why not twink your char now? Isn't that what preparations do? What's wrong with runaway multiplicative synergies? Is having certain munchkiny stuff in game inherently wrong? What's with this notion of "forcing players to [...]"? To me it sounds suspiciously like "I don't like some of the ways how the items can be used so nobody should use them that way" :) Just leave it as an option. Hell I might even do a textbook abuse of a halfling trisword tt/gg rogue (did I miss anything? oh yeah potions) sometime next year :)


No, having crazy stuff in games is not inherently wrong. Yes it's fun to go back and twink you character.

But what happens if you do this too early?

For a majority of consumers, myself included, video games are an experience as much as a playground. Part of the fun is progression through different levels of challenge, learning new rules and playing with new toys in order to get further that you did last time.

Introducing powerful mechanics too early can short circuit the player's desire to improve. It's a bit like giving a teenager a mustang for his birthday; yeah it's awesome for a while, but they miss out on a sense of achievement and pride when they buy their own shitty car.

The second thing that powerful mechanics lead to is runaway strats, and I think that many of the problems that vets are discovering stem from the fact that there are now too many factors introduced to the vanilla game to properly balance.

Reducing the potion slots to two would help stop trisword abuse, prevent free and easy catapults and force players to rely more on playing the mechanics of the gam rather than 'oh i still have a shaudenfruede and whupaz, i'll be fine'.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Lujo on Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:33 am

Sidestepper wrote:Vampires are required to take Dragon Shield.


I did it with Fabulous Treasure and neither the Dragonshield or Trisword. Or meatmen. The only problem is where you hit the no XP, fully explored and bloodless floors. I did use Pactmaker though, so your Dragonshield comment might still be right, though. And poison/manaburn resists with patches was always very strong on endurance runs.

And it's also doable with a Rogue if you scum for first foloor GG, especially if you run into Drac afterwards. Which is really telling.



As for the on-topic stuff - ty for giving me peace of mind back guys. I actually like the "one/two major playerside" fix/change per week/two weeks" routine, it doesn't need to go any faster, and there really isn't a lot left that's sticking out, IMO.
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