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.
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.