Rambling

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Re: Rambling

Postby Bloggorus on Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:54 am

There are probably many ways to swap around content, rewards and avenues really easily to make the end game more satisfying, and to make it much more obvious where the 'game' ends and the 'endgame' begins.

All the elements are there, it's just that they are in awkward places due to the fact that the game is still in development.

It's not that I wish to lose any vicious content, or even change the difficulty of those dungeons; just have them removed from the economy and system which drives the rest of the game.

Make it really obvious that Vicious is all about seeing how far you can push and twink a character, rather than being the next natural step. Kind of making them the optional, crazy bosses rather than the proper 'final boss', like the materia monsters in FF7 (if anyone remembers those :)
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Re: Rambling

Postby FDru on Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:59 am

Ruby Weapon was a real bitch and totally RNG dependent. Emerald wasn't a whole lot better. I usually just used Cait Sith's limit break to insta-kill them because there was no reliable strategy and some of the most useful strategies required waiting around watching ridiculously long summon animations (like Knights of the Round).

Though I would be a liar if I didn't say it was enjoyable to kill them eventually :mrgreen:
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Re: Rambling

Postby Bloggorus on Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:07 am

FDru wrote:Though I don't have a problem with Vicious difficulty, I wish it weren't a gate to unlocking monster classes. Those fancy specialty items are nice rewards and I think they should stay, because at the very least anyone should be able to request a specific strategy to beat each Vicious once and pick them up and they do, in fact, feel rewarding.


If anything, making Vicious a 'proper' endgame means you can start offering even crazier rewards for finishing Vicious, as it should be. Awesome items, kingdom upgrades, heaps of gold etc.

By decoupling it from the kingdom economy and metagame you can actually do all the crazy stuff that players want and not have to balance it because it is actually 'post game' content and players will understand that.
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Re: Rambling

Postby Bloggorus on Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:08 am

FDru wrote:Ruby Weapon was a real bitch and totally RNG dependent. Emerald wasn't a whole lot better. I usually just used Cait Sith's limit break to insta-kill them because there was no reliable strategy and some of the most useful strategies required waiting around watching ridiculously long summon animations (like Knights of the Round).

Though I would be a liar if I didn't say it was enjoyable to kill them eventually :mrgreen:


Lol, not much different from infinite-mana casters and trisword shenanigans, amirite? :)

Edit: also mad props for being an old man. I feel geriatric when I bring FF7 up.
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Re: Rambling

Postby Gavster on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:23 am

My main peev being more casual than the vets is I find a strategy that works and its nerfed the next time I play. :p
Poison is now for when I can't find any other decent spell or assassin only.
Getindare is more on par with fireball now. I do miss dodge prep.
Tightening up all the dungeons with choke points frustrates me. it ruins most of the freedom of how id approach a map - because someone was prepping up and stomping a boss from round 1 in normal dungeons? It would require a lot of preparation and probably lots of restarts.
Vicious gain telet is impossible with most classes/strategies it seems.

When a successful strategy is found, its nerfed. Some are nerfed at a decent level, which the devs are good at balancing yet some are aggravating.
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Re: Rambling

Postby Bloggorus on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:40 am

Quick question; do the nerfs mean you find it hard to finish Vicious or Hard maps?
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Re: Rambling

Postby The Avatar on Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:50 am

On the topic of class challenges: Bronze are about Hobbler's Hold difficulty, Silver's are hard difficulty, and golds range between hard and vicious (maybe vicious vicious for a few). If vicious should be less accessible, then these DEFINATELY need to be addressed.

Slightly off topic (although the title is rambling, so maybe not so off-topic): We have such a wide range of skills, and I'm not quite sure what makes me any better or worse than other high skill players. We both understand gods, items, how to play effectively, conserve resources, etc. So why does vicious cause others so much trouble? Experience? Preplanned strategy? Resourcefulness? I'm not sure, andI'm curious what others think.
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Re: Rambling

Postby ChasGB on Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:33 am

FDru wrote:Ruby Weapon was a real bitch and totally RNG dependent. Emerald wasn't a whole lot better. I usually just used Cait Sith's limit break to insta-kill them because there was no reliable strategy and some of the most useful strategies required waiting around watching ridiculously long summon animations (like Knights of the Round).

Though I would be a liar if I didn't say it was enjoyable to kill them eventually :mrgreen:


If you were willing to sink countless hours into grinding for maxed out master materia, gold chocobos, ultimate weapons, knights of round and mime (not to mention linking Final Attack to Phoenix) Ruby and Emerald became reliable to beat, if not downright trivial and, admittedly, boring (you can only watch knights of the round so many times...) Not as bad as getting maxed parties in FF3, but pretty bad. Now Omega Weapon in FF8, that fight got my heart rate up!

The Avatar wrote:On the topic of class challenges: Bronze are about Hobbler's Hold difficulty, Silver's are hard difficulty, and golds range between hard and vicious (maybe vicious vicious for a few). If vicious should be less accessible, then these DEFINATELY need to be addressed.

Slightly off topic (although the title is rambling, so maybe not so off-topic): We have such a wide range of skills, and I'm not quite sure what makes me any better or worse than other high skill players. We both understand gods, items, how to play effectively, conserve resources, etc. So why does vicious cause others so much trouble? Experience? Preplanned strategy? Resourcefulness? I'm not sure, andI'm curious what others think.


I think experience, but also many of the "vets" have been able to watch the game and its mechanics evolve. It doesn't sound like much, but it really does make a difference because it deepens your overall understanding of the game. At lot of the things that newer players have to deliberately stop, think about, and decide are almost like second nature to the players with more hours. When you first learned to drive you really had to slow down and think certain actions over, but after a while you were not only driving better, but you were doing it as second nature. It's a combo of knowing "what right looks like" and practice.

A good example of bad difficulty design is Diablo 3's inferno mode when it first came out. DD is exceptionally well designed in comparison. I do wish that the class challenge difficulty levels were "normalized" somewhat and that the "lessons" were a little more apparent in them, especially since they gate so many important items.
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Re: Rambling

Postby FDru on Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:26 am

ChasGB wrote:If you were willing to sink countless hours into grinding for maxed out master materia, gold chocobos, ultimate weapons, knights of round and mime (not to mention linking Final Attack to Phoenix) Ruby and Emerald became reliable to beat, if not downright trivial and, admittedly, boring (you can only watch knights of the round so many times...) Not as bad as getting maxed parties in FF3, but pretty bad. Now Omega Weapon in FF8, that fight got my heart rate up!


I seem to recall Ruby blasting my party off the screen randomly (which they could not be recovered from) but now that I think of it, he might have only done it until there was one character left.

Still, I considered it a huge waste killing him without a full party alive. So much wasted AP...

Gavster wrote:My main peev being more casual than the vets is I find a strategy that works and its nerfed the next time I play. :p
Poison is now for when I can't find any other decent spell or assassin only.
Getindare is more on par with fireball now. I do miss dodge prep.
Tightening up all the dungeons with choke points frustrates me. it ruins most of the freedom of how id approach a map - because someone was prepping up and stomping a boss from round 1 in normal dungeons? It would require a lot of preparation and probably lots of restarts.
Vicious gain telet is impossible with most classes/strategies it seems.

When a successful strategy is found, its nerfed. Some are nerfed at a decent level, which the devs are good at balancing yet some are aggravating.


GETINDARE is still good if only because of the first strike effect. It's also so cheap that any class can make use of it. This is actually something that was buffed (originally only provided first strike and no dodge) but then had to be toned down.

Poison is in a really good place right now. Since APHEELSIK was reduced to 5 mana I use it all of the time; it even has synergy with caster strategies thanks to "Burning". Also, the Venom Dagger is back to being a good item.
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Re: Rambling

Postby Lujo on Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:35 am

Bloggorus wrote:A lot of the problem is that many features, items and game play elements that people consider indispensable were implemented with Vicious in place, and lots of players were very glad to have them in other to tackle those Vicious dungeons. I think many player's opinions on preps have been warped by their experience with Vicious, to the point where they just aren't objective any more.

I'd say that's just a pretty hefty 'challenge', but one that is much more attainable for patient noobs, less elitist and uses the content that already exists in the game but nobody plays because they are all dying to Namtar.


This is what made me go berserk the first time! And this is what flashed before my eyes when I saw the vicious mode implemented as just another badge! I did my best to play this playthrough as if VICIOUS doesn't exist - and it works for the most part if you know your way around gods.

I remember metagame/metagames where the dragonshield was considered something you beeline for. A must have! The game and the community were terrible in this regard! (The community were all nicer than me as persons, but very misguiged in this regard).

--------------------------

But here's the thing I was most mad about ever, and it's the answer to all the questions - VICIOUS dungeons, even the old terribly unfair ones, aren't in fact hard or very difficult, but they seem so because the game up to the point you reach them teaches you certain things, and vicious expects things which the game doesn't teach. You develop some habits, ectually learn how to play, and then you reach a point where it's all worth nothing. I was there! I was FURIOUS! Everything had more HP and more damage than made sense and I knew that all I've learned up until then (which was little, really, but it beat most other stuff) - all I had didn't amount to anything.

I remember how it became easy for me because I remember incessantly complaining about it, writing huge textwalls and trying to come up with ways to explain this to the devs and the other guys. So I actually remeber! It was gods.

The old Gaan'Telet and the old Naga City gave you all the altars - I knew what I was getting "extra" to compensate for the insane and obviously unreasonable increase in difficulty. The current Naga City is in fact harder than the old one used to be, because back then you could access all the altars with no problems (and if I remember correctly you had gods on the top floor as well). Once I took the monk (and the paladin and everybody else) through Gaan'Telet a few times - I learned which gods let me get through which challenge with ease (AA floor was "mysterea piety farm floor", -15% res enemies floor was "TT potions floor", meatmen were "abuse poison floor").

Think about it - the old Naga City set you up against 10 bosses. TEN BOSSES! The only thing you got to compensate is having all altars in one place - after a while it felt like overkill. The way the game is designed, you're not supposed to be able to kill more than one boss - yet this place let me see clearly that with gods - you can beat 10. And then I got "better" at it by "optimizing" the number of gods I needed, until it became obvious that gods are in fact so strong that you can beat 10 bosses with the help of one or two gods.

All the other VICIOUS dungeons were being beaten by individual overbuffed features - one or two way to powerful glyphs, few markedly over-the-top classes, a vicious reward item, an unmatched and excessive source of base damage item - complete anomalies. But in Naga City and Gaan'Telet I actually saw what the intended solution to all the VICIOUS was - gods. I (EDIT) ended up testing this by accident - I didn't unlock anything but a few gods and the old sensation stone and BREEZED through the game. Items were conversion fodder, and classes were relevant only in that they took less boons to get max resists if they started with any.

From a pure "how do I beat stuff?" perspective the game isn't about classes or items - it's hugely misleading in this regard. The game is about gods. If you do what the devs did with vicious and simply increase the numbers of health and damage on the mosters - the gods still let you beat it, when all the other features except a small few obvious anomalies don't have a mathematical chance. And all these anomalies ultimately do is serve you up with an illusion that the game is supposed to be doable in ways in which it isn't, really.

And the core of the elitist mentality that is called the "vet mentality" stems for this. Since the game doesn't point you towards gods until you are firmly entrenched in "classes and items with gods here and there" metality, the community has, a long time ago, got to consider these anomalies "viable" or "optimal" or "strats". Vicious has become the game a long time ago when the dragonshield became an integral part of play - and it wasn't ment to be. The only thing that ever helped was nerfing the anomalies which then left people without any choice when faced with vicious but to turn to gods - and then vicious wasn't scary anymore.

EDIT: :lol: I just figured one more thing out! What boooze was sarcastic about - "if you nerf all the "fun" abilities you'll let Lujo win!" or what Dreamdancer said about "you can think of all classes as cheatcodes" - they're both right! Except it's not me trying to win anything - it's what the game, and the vicious difficulty EXPECTS you to do.

From the power perspective, classes are guards who start the dungeon out with 3 boons already purchased! That's the one and only thing vicious mode requires you to understand - and then you can take a fighter through Naga City (or you could back when it was easier). It's not me trying to force it, it's the game - there are only a few things in it which let you play any other way. The big problem is that the game doesn't really make this obvious enough, and that it takes sinking an unhealthy amount of time into it before you figure it out.

I really ought to do those vids.
Last edited by Lujo on Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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