Choking up

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Choking up

Postby GoatBot on Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:47 am

Discussion - Choking up
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Re: Choking up

Postby Darvin on Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:54 pm

I'm not actually seeing a huge difference between the partial-choke and full-choke examples you gave for the labyrinth. Each of them has certain favourable and un-favourable aspects (not counting the existence of ENDISWAL/WEYTWUT, which opens up any layout). On closer inspection, I'd probably say the partial-choke is worse here since BURNDAYRAZ and HALPMEH are behind very powerful enemies, which means they won't come into play until very late, crippling any spellcasting-dependent class that doesn't have a built-in glyph or fireball magnet prep.

Of course, this is still a massive improvement on the old labyrinth. For those who weren't around back then, it was really "ENDISWAL or bust".
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Re: Choking up

Postby Checkem on Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:56 pm

@Darvin: I don't think the placement of Bunndayraz and Halpmeh are part of the choke algorithm, it's just a random layout. If you notice, the full choke places the enemies almost right behind each other very early in the dungeon's center. On the semi-choke you see the enemies placed on the corners very early where you can just go around them. You don't see the "full" choke placement until the end of each respective lane where the high level enemies lay.
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Re: Choking up

Postby Darvin on Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:33 pm

Checkem wrote:@Darvin: I don't think the placement of Bunndayraz and Halpmeh are part of the choke algorithm

No, but the accessibility of glyphs is directly correlated with how "chokey" the dungeon is. For instance, the CYDSTEPP glyph in the first example is placed very similarly to the HALPMEH glyph in the second, but is much more accessible since you only need to fight a level 4 to reach it.

it's just a random layout.

I'm aware; I'm pointing out that, at least in this case, it doesn't appear to be a noticable difference.

If you notice, the full choke places the enemies almost right behind each other very early in the dungeon's center.

I don't see a considerable difference between the two in that regard.

The initial monsters available in the choked version are three level 1's, and two level 2's. In the unchoked verison, it's six level 1's. The choked version is actually better here and offers more diversity in enemy strengths.

Long strings of enemies exist in both dungeons. The noticeable areas are:

1) the northwest branch is blocked relatively early by a 4th level monster in both cases
2) the near side of southern branch is blocked by a string of monsters in the choked case. However, these monsters are favourably sequenced, and each monster can be beaten if you were strong enough to beat the preceding ones.
3) the far side of the southern branch is heavily clogged in both versions, restricting access to some of your best XP cows. The second version is particularly bad since the bosses cannot be bypassed without glyphs, whereas in the "clogged" version it should be doable once Rexx is out of the picture.
4) the entrance of the eastern branch has a slight clog in the first version, but its far side is horrifically clogged in the second version. This is actually really bad since it's hiding much of your mid-level fodder monsters!


On the semi-choke you see the enemies placed on the corners very early where you can just go around them. You don't see the "full" choke placement until the end of each respective lane where the high level enemies lay.
I for one welcome our new labyrinth.

In the "chokey" version, I count 20 full chokes and 9 semi-chokes
In the "less chokey" version, I count 19 full chokes and 10 semi-chokes

In terms of raw numbers, the difference appears to be negligible, so you have to look closer into the actual placement and consequence of those chokes. In practice, I'm not seeing a huge difference between these two dungeons. If anything, the supposedly-chokey version appears to be better since you have earlier (but not too early) access to mid-level monsters in that one.
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Re: Choking up

Postby TheSchachter on Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:27 pm

I think I see Darvin's point, but at the same time I can see how the monster placement is less "cloggy" in the second Labyrinth layout. I think this is just a case of other elements of the random generation creating a slightly tougher dungeon. That being said, my knowledge of the mechanics at play is basically nil, so I could be completely wrong...

I'm happy that monster placement in maze-y dungeons is being touched up a bit, since those ones always feel much more stiffling than the more open dungeons (to the point of occasional frustration). I'd like to ask: Are the Class Challenges going to be addressed as a part of this process? Some of them could definitely lose some choking while still being challenging.

Keep up the good work! :)
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Re: Choking up

Postby dislekcia on Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:17 am

Darvin: A big thing we were looking to avoid was the clustering together of enemies, creating large areas of wasted exploration and essentially creating these difficult fights for new players who wouldn't know better than to explore everywhere. It took a while for us to actually understand that problem, seeing as we don't really play that way ourselves anymore (and neither do you), it started as a slight feeling of "boringness" to particular dungeon layout styles.

Again, we hope this feels better, if it turns out that it doesn't, we have a lot more control now and can tweak accordingly ;)
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Re: Choking up

Postby Darvin on Fri Jun 07, 2013 3:49 pm

A big thing we were looking to avoid was the clustering together of enemies

Again, I must ask which clusters in specific you're talking about? The only nasty cluster I see in the first example is the 2-3-3-5-4-5-4 chain in the southern pathway. However, the path isn't actually that bad, since its a chain of low-to-mid-level monsters that's only really blocking access to high-level monsters (ie, if you can't fight through these guys you have no business fighting the guys behind them).

In terms of considerable areas that are totally blocked from exploration, I'm seeing pretty much the same blocks in both cases. They're slightly different, but both dungeons have the south-eastern corner of the map cut off by high-level monsters, and both have a section blocked by a 6th level goblin (example 1 it's the north-west, example 2 it's one of the eastern side-branches; this one's egregious since he's blocking access to the two 5th level goats. Having a tough 6th level monster blocking access to easy 5th level monsters is nasty)


Again, we hope this feels better

As I said, I'm not seeing a huge difference between the two; if you showed me these two layouts out of context, I'd be more inclined to write off any differences as random noise than a different algorithm. Maybe these are just bad examples, but that's just my interpretation on a close inspection of the two.
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Re: Choking up

Postby dislekcia on Fri Jun 07, 2013 5:58 pm

Darvin wrote:In terms of considerable areas that are totally blocked from exploration, I'm seeing pretty much the same blocks in both cases. They're slightly different, but both dungeons have the south-eastern corner of the map cut off by high-level monsters, and both have a section blocked by a 6th level goblin (example 1 it's the north-west, example 2 it's one of the eastern side-branches; this one's egregious since he's blocking access to the two 5th level goats. Having a tough 6th level monster blocking access to easy 5th level monsters is nasty)


Imagine having to explore and regen between those fights. If your enemies are all clustered like that, you get no very little health back before you have to fight again (assuming that you explored all your other options before you decided to fight, like a new player would). With enemies being spaced out a little more, even just one space apart, that's 50% more health you can get before you have to go into combat again.
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Re: Choking up

Postby Darvin on Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:13 pm

With enemies being spaced out a little more, even just one space apart, that's 50% more health you can get before you have to go into combat again.

In that respect, the second dungeon is even worse with the 7-10-7 level chain on the bottom.

The first dungeon has the 2-3-3-5-4-5-4 chain approaching the lower area, but it's paced nicely so you can approach it significantly earlier (and you're likely to level up along the way). As for someone who clears out all exploration before tackling this, I'm going to be completely blunt: if you expend any relevant amount of resources defeating a 3rd level monster after having explored more than two thirds of the map on labyrinth then you're probably already through. You've got a very short window before you must fight the boss himself, and if you can't tackle a few 3rd level monsters in succession by this point you're just not going to be able to pull it off, period.
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