Kingdom management design

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Kingdom management design

Postby Idealect on Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:55 pm

When you unlock more dangerous enemies and weak items you make things more difficult for yourself. Unless you plan your upgrade path with wiki you can get unlucky and complete half the game unlocking weak items with a low level bank, bazar, no witch and 1-2 altars as your gold income steadily decreases until you clear purist GT. (which you easily not find out about if you focus on a few dungeons)

A "progression" system where you have to manage your resources is not necessarrilly a bad thing but the kingdom presents itself as a puzzle hub/"progression" dealer, not as a campaign at all and doesn't do things that you'd need for a management campaign like telling you what things do before you buy them. The more you play the less gold you get from trophies and the harder quests get so if you're not making your upgrades count you can get bogged down. The set up at the moment makes things even even harder for bad players and its also possible to make things even easier if you already know what you're doing with the right unlock order or even just ignoring some unlocks altogether.

The end result is that half way through, the game drops this responsibility on low win rate players to play better, farm or play another game, because in the future there's less gold, not more, after lulling them into a false sense of security with stuff like the bank vault size upgrades making it look like your rate of gold income will greatly increase as you play. This was annoying but not a huge deal initially: I had to farm and play less carelessly than I'd like, and start worrying about my economy, in what I thought was a puzzle game. That's not so bad. The problem is that 10 dungeons later there is no indication whatsoever that you get flaming, pqi, 150 gold trophy price fix exist at all: it looks like your gold income is just going to decrease forever. I went on the wiki, found out about those things, reoriented my perspective on the campaign as managing my gold to avoid having to farm, but if I didn't find something on the wiki I was ready to write the game off as ruined by an annoying campaign. And if I couldn't/wouldn't enjoy playing better, I would end up in a downward gold spiral and stopped playing.

It would be better if there was a big neon sign saying DONT FUCK THIS UP OR YOU'LL GO BROKE at the start of the game (or equivalent) but before that I just don't see why there's a way to lose the campaign in a funny puzzle game or why you'd ever make the game harder for bad players and generally why there's a gold/locker management side of things at all. The campaign is basically a roguelike, it's really restrictive, it doesn't tell you what things do, and you can do permanent damage to yourself, but despite a lot of cool/funny writing, stories, set pieces and stuff management doesn't fit in to a story that's 70% humour, 30% awesome ideas/set pieces 0% plot. When your prices start lowering you can't engage with it as part of a story 1 because you aren't told and 2 it's totally at odds with the tone of the game, so it can only seem like an inconvenience. Does anyone actually enjoy worrying about gold? What is the design reason for it to be there?

And no, (inb4) farming gold isn't the same as just playing the game. If I'm doing something to get gold to do something else, I'm not doing what I want. Yes I could be serene about this and enjoy it, and enjoy my enjoying of it, and that is what I plan to do, but it's still bad design.



I'm mostly good at complaining about things but here are my ideas to make kingdom management less annoying.

Enemy unlocking should be transparent/ should be restricted to only a few zones with random monsters with other zones drawing from their own pools that ignore monster unlocks/should increase your gold income somehow if its a tough monster (all of them except the goat)/just have all enemies unlocked from the start and tweak however needed to fit that in.

Quest reward items should let you know what the items does, its cost, and its size when you hover over the items on the quest or adventure screen.
It should be possible to see what the 3rd level of upgrades does before taking the 2nd level upgrade to a building. Bazar level 2 upgrade should be made easier.

I don't really remember the bank quests but I vaguely recall the level 2 or 3 quest being either too hard, or too hard to get assigned.
Witch should have a (maybe smaller) chance to spawn anywhere or in a variety of places covering each path.
God subdungeons should have a (smaller?) chance to spawn in any dungeon you've already found the god of/you should know where you have to go to get them
You should be told that unlocking more gods gets you more altars.

You should be able to prepare and veto any item you've carried out of a dungeon ever.
You should be able to save default vetos/preparations for each class with exceptions for race if you want.
Consumables should be "recharged" if you prep them and win the dungeon (not sure if this already happens I don't remember how that works.)
Viper wards and soul orbs should only appear in shops if your character has the appropriate immunity and if there are enemies with the ability.
As you unlock more items you should unlock more shops per dungeon/you should unlock shop rerolls per dungeon that you could use on unwanted items.

Trophy decay should just be deleted or the narrative should be revamped so it feels like part of a campaign rather than a questionable design decision of an inconvenience.




Unrelated ideas but while i'm here:

maybe if the boss is bleaty, you should get a warning without having to scout him. Maybe also meat man, tower of goo and is there a magic resist boss? Ones that can require a different approach which it can be too late for if you find them late.

Retaliate fireball on wraiths/goos is brutal. I don't think fireball retaliations should apply on hit effects. Or those enemies should just be made an exception and ruled out for gaan talet. Bloodless bleaty on VGT if you're a vampire should definitely be made impossible.

Also why do specific god preps even have penalties? Some of them are fairly light, some of them are really harsh, all of them are a hassle. why is there a sacrifice to guarantee a shot at a certain approach? If you really need a certain god to clear the dungeon there's no guarantee that the approach is gonna be good enough with the penalty accounted for and you can just scum for the spawn if you're using it as a problem solver. If you're not using it as a problem solver: you just want to play a dungeon a certain way, the penalty is just annoying and serves no purpose. I'd much rather they were more expensive than had the penalties. If they did lose their penalties they should lose their close spawn or again be made more expensive. You could also have different tiers of devotion with different effects.

Gods should list their likes, dislikes, punishments and inital piety should be listed where their boon descriptions are, if you haven't got a boon selected. I have the wiki page open anyway, save me some trouble. Taurog's ability to punish you for converting an item even after you leave should be mentioned on the boon description.
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Re: Kingdom management design

Postby TheSchachter on Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:59 am

A few points/questions!

-Overall, it sounds like you'd like the game to be less "roguelike-y". You want more control over the randomness, more of the info that you're meant to discover on your own (ie God knowledge)... is that correct? 'Cause you wouldn't be the only one, but remember that many actually enjoy that aspect of the game (including myself!), and that unless I'm very much mistaken, it's deliberately designed that way (and advertised as such). For instance, I would never want the game to warn you in advance of this or that boss! 99% of the time you can adapt to a curveball the game throws at you and win (ie finding the Tower of Goo as a Berzerker on the last unexplored tile), and those victories are the most satisfying ones.

-On the gold income issues: my own experiences on that matter are rather meaningless for this discussion since 1. I played the alpha a lot before starting the full version and 2. I played through the campaign while it was still in beta and therefore things were most likely fairly different. However, a few questions, since I'd like to understand: Do the quests not give you enough gold? Alternatively, when you saw that trophy prices were in decline, did that not motivate you to seek out new bosses? (That being said, I can definitely see the last banker quest being a bit on the hard side. However it isn't strictly necessary to "beat" the game ie Hard Gaan-Telet).

-Which items are you referring to when you talk about "the weak items"? While I wouldn't say that item balance is perfect (even when accounting for all variables), it's still pretty damn good and I can't really think of an item that I'd never use (though some are definitely more situational). Unlocking certain items does give you power, but I don't think it's about power so much as it is about possibilities. And discovering possibilities and creating strategies out of them is part of the path of becoming better at the game. That's how I see it at least :)

Finally, a quick word on the God preparations (am paraphrasing Lujo here): They need a penalty because, even with those penalties, they are the strongest and most impactful preparations in the game. Without hyperbole, being given a specific altar can easily make more of a difference than every other preparation slot combined. Making them more expensive wouldn't really address that since for anyone with a stable economy (after the campaign) money is no longer an issue, which would make them even more ridiculous. These particular preparations, I am told, replaced an older design during the beta because so many strategies involved simply scumming for altars. Since the game's balance is largely centered around random altars rather than preset ones, these preparation have to trade away a bit of the power of the altars in exchange for having them guaranteed *right at the start of the dungeon* (which is a really big deal, especially for certain deities). Sure some of the penalties are steep, but *all* of the altars can be used as preparations. I've tried them all :) (Alternatively, the 4-altar prep is actually very powerful and also greatly increases the chance of finding your prefered deity or an acceptable substitute. It is quite expensive though)

And finally, do note that the above comments on the game's balance are largely based on other posters' conjectures along with my own, which I wanted to throw in for the sake of discussion. I do not claim to speak for the devs :)
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Re: Kingdom management design

Postby flap on Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:33 am

Idealect wrote:doesn't fit in to a story that's 70% humour, 30% awesome ideas/set pieces 0% plot.

Trophy decay should just be deleted or the narrative should be revamped so it feels like part of a campaign rather than a questionable design decision of an inconvenience.


Well, there is a real and strong plot. But it is scattered all around the game : signs in subdungeons, map layout, bosses speach, objects description... Your kingdom is developping in some kind of nomansland, where antic empires have waged terrific wars and thus collapsed. Though, the source of this turmoill is still lying around and intefering which your trophies business.
So the plot is there, but you have to gather the pieces of the puzzle to get it.

About gold and kingdom management, I don't know. I have never really had any issues with gold. But I often go purist. But, yes, I reckon that lack of gold could make the game much harder to players who like to experiment a lot.

Idealect wrote: I just don't see why there's a way to lose the campaign

Well, I don't really see how you can loose the campaign... Maybe be temporally short of gold. But then you can focus on challenges or normal dungeons with low preparations. I don't know, I have never seen the kingdom management as a crucial strategy point.
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Re: Kingdom management design

Postby Lujo on Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:20 pm

Idealect wrote:The set up at the moment makes things even even harder for bad players and its also possible to make things even easier if you already know what you're doing with the right unlock order or even just ignoring some unlocks altogether.


You might not believe this, but the game at one point was absolutely ridiculous in this regard. It got over 9000 times better during the beta testing, tweaking and overhauling, and I'm not even hyperbolizing.

Idealect wrote: but if I didn't find something on the wiki I was ready to write the game off as ruined by an annoying campaign. And if I couldn't/wouldn't enjoy playing better, I would end up in a doiwnward gold spiral and stopped playing.


This was also brought up several times. There have been many compromises.

Idealect wrote:I but before that I just don't see why there's a way to lose the campaign in a funny puzzle game or why you'd ever make the game harder for bad players and generally why there's a gold/locker management side of things at all.


Some of us vets still don't. Other people like that sort of thing. Or so I'm told.

Idealect wrote:And no, (inb4) farming gold isn't the same as just playing the game. If I'm doing something to get gold to do something else, I'm not doing what I want. Yes I could be serene about this and enjoy it, and enjoy my enjoying of it, and that is what I plan to do, but it's still bad design.


I don't think farming gold was what you were ment to be doing at any point. Again, it was quite a bit worse before, a lot of compromises were made. But I personally get you, I got that "you weren't ment to be grinding gold" from the devs, the game was steering me otherwise.





Idealect wrote:Enemy unlocking should be restricted to only a few zones with random monsters with other zones drawing from their own pools that ignore monster unlocks


It allready is. The directional dungeons (north, south, east, west) have their own fixed core pool that have nothing to do with unlocks, and only 1 (or maybe 2) random slots where anything can show up.

Idealect wrote:I don't really remember the bank quests but I vaguely recall the level 2 or 3 quest being either too hard, or too hard to get assigned.


I'm not sure which one that is, but the "clear Shifitng passages" for either bank or bazzar lvl X is really way out there for when you get it in several ways. Like, really, really, really wrong. I wish more people like you didn't give up but bothered to post this.

Idealect wrote:Witch should have a (maybe smaller) chance to spawn anywhere or in a variety of places covering each path.


I personally was never happy with the implementation of that quest too.


Idealect wrote:You should be able to prepare and veto any item you've carried out of a dungeon ever.


Idd. Again, I whish more people who had that idea posted about it before giving up on the game, but what can you do...


Idealect wrote:Consumables should be "recharged" if you prep them and win the dungeon (not sure if this already happens I don't remember how that works.)


That is the only gold sink after you complete the campaign and you don't ever notice it afterwards. That's actually good.

Idealect wrote:Viper wards and soul orbs should only appear in shops if your character has the appropriate immunity and if there are enemies with the ability.


Not really, those things have awesome price to CP ratios and are some of the very few things that you always want to see in the shops. If their effect is what you need, they're outhright gamebreaking cheatcodes, if not, they're incredible conversion fodder. Get some more experience under you're belt and you'll be crying for nerfs on those things just like everybody with a sense of decency ;)

Idealect wrote:As you unlock more items you should unlock more shops per dungeon/you should unlock shop rerolls per dungeon that you could use on unwanted items.


Trust me on this one, once you learn to tell your elbow from your arse in terms of gameplay, you'll see that you're allready given way too much in terms of items. Definitely more than anyone needs. If this sounds patronizing, you still have ways to go. Harsh, I know, but true (was there myself).

Idealect wrote:Trophy decay should just be deleted or the narrative should be revamped so it feels like part of a campaign rather than a questionable design decision of an inconvenience.


You might've clicked through the story and never read it, because it's quite a good one, but you DO sort of lack direction or sense of where it's going a bit, and it's more about you panicking or being annoyed about it than it being a bad idea. It might've been executed better I agree with that.




Idealect wrote:maybe if the boss is bleaty, you should get a warning without having to scout him. Maybe also meat man, tower of goo and is there a magic resist boss? Ones that can require a different approach which it can be too late for if you find them late.


Bleaty, the meat man and the tower of goo are really easy to deal with if you're flexible and learn your way around various stuff. I get where you're coming from, when you sit down to play a run, you want to play the run you want to play - I'm the same as you there and have got into flame wars about it (which makes me potentially worse than you). BUT as much as I'm not a huge fan of rougelikes in general I think this aspect of unpredictibility is necessary and it's actually countered hard by the variety of options available to the player in any given run. Now as for the presentation of those and the learning curve, and the "guide dang it" nature - that's another story.

Also, boss scouting was a prep, and it was brutally overused. It's gamebreaking, scientific fact. You can still do it if you know how under certain harsh restrictions, but you may not like them. It's still gamebreaking.

Idealect wrote:Retaliate fireball on wraiths/goos is brutal. I don't think fireball retaliations should apply on hit effects. Or those enemies should just be made an exception and ruled out for gaan talet.


If you're outside of VGT - don't hit them with bloody fireballs. Or slow them beforehand. If you're in VGT... Don't hit them with bloody fireballs, or otherwise consider not playing VGT.

Idealect wrote: Bloodless bleaty on VGT if you're a vampire should definitely be made impossible.


This one is deffinitely true XD Allthough I think that can't happen anymore, or am I wrong?

Idealect wrote:Also why do specific god preps even have penalties? Some of them are fairly light, some of them are really harsh, all of them are a hassle.


Because being able to prep a god was never ment to be an option. People wouldn't stop scumming for them and prepping altar scouting preps so (I guess) the devs gave up and made a compromise. Some altar preps "penalties" are gamebreaking boons (cough, binlor) and people prep gods just for the penalty. Some are there because being guaranteed a particular altar is hilarious cheating in terms of power you get from it. And no penalty is nearly severe enough (even though the TT one kinda looks like it at first).

Idealect wrote:If you really need a certain god to clear the dungeon


You don't. Really. You might want to have a certain god to clear a dungeon in a certain way, but that's different than need. That's want.

EDIT: and if a god is an obvious solution to a dungeon (there are cases) then it's ussually an obvious gamebreaking solution. Trust me on this, I got through hundreds of hours of PQI just by prepping the right god for the dungeon regardless of how gimpy the class/race/badge restrictions were. That is if I wanted to just get through the current mission for the money and completion but didn't really want to play or have to engage my brain further than "which god breaks this place apart".

You've been to Naga City? The above ground has tough-ass monsters but no altars (used to be no way to prep them). You can get to lvl 7-8 and go through all that without any gods. This means you don't really need gods for leveling at all. Then you go down. For most of the beta it used to be just the bossess and all the altars - no shops, no popcorn, no gold cost to interact with altars. And the bossess were much, much tougher. You could do it with everything. That's 10 bossess with any sort of ability you can think of (and it used to be bleaty in there). Most dungeons set you up against 2 bossess and give you more time to gather piety, can you immagine the ammount of overkill you get just from having altars in a dungeon, let alone prepping the exact one you want?

Idealect wrote: If you're not using it as a problem solver: you just want to play a dungeon a certain way, the penalty is just annoying and serves no purpose.


That IS want, and as for that - well, that actually kills the games longevity and challenge. No gods are hurt by their prep penalties (and as I've said, a few are prepped BECAUSE of it). The penalties aren't there so that they add additional challenge (whatever the intention was) but to keep any semblance of challenge at all. Before you could prep them I did the whole "unlock only 2 gods and a few classess and a few items" thing for convinience just so I can play what I want to play and not have to interact with stuff I wasn't interested in (and grind gold by having TT in every dungeon). Game was ridiculously easy and repetitive, but it also would've been that way if I could perfectly arrange my setup before any run.

If anything the punishments are not nearly severe enough. Except if they were, people would still scum for altars -.-

Idealect wrote:Gods should list their likes, dislikes, punishments and inital piety should be listed where their boon descriptions are, if you haven't got a boon selected. I have the wiki page open anyway, save me some trouble. Taurog's ability to punish you for converting an item even after you leave should be mentioned on the boon description.


There's an ingame encyclopedia (well, i don't realyl like the design of it as I find it a bit difficult to navigate/browse), and a lot of work went into it. You don't really need a wiki (or shouldn't) if you're using it.
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Re: Kingdom management design

Postby Idealect on Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:59 pm

Thanks for the responses.

This post is already huge so I'm cutting the quotes. Not too sure about it. I'll add them back if someone tells me its bad. -OP
TheSchachter wrote:


I have definitely underestimated the god preps. I think I took one look at some of the harsher penalties, and more importantly didn't realise the Altar spawned near the entrance (I found out while checking stuff for my OP but didn't rethink the implications) and wrote them off as not worth the gold (was low on it too.) I went through the list again and thought about it and there are plenty of ways to ameliorate or negate their weaknesses (except GG?) and yeah getting to start on piety immediately is a big deal.

But still wouldn't just not putting them at the entrance have the same effect? You can still scum for them after all, only limited by your gold reserves and patience, to get the same thing but more powerful, which is boredom balacing.

If you find the tower of goo on the last tile and still win as a berserker you've overshot the dungeon's average difficulty by a huge amount, and if you hadn't already done that you'd just be dead with no recourse. I like having to adapt but the only way to win in that case is to play to be ready to splat any other boss like a fly on your windscreen. It also means you have to hold onto mana potions and burndayrayz/bysepps/pisorf just as a precaution. I hate having to hold onto things for that one game in ten where you'll need them. It means either restricting your playstyle or accepting the occasional random loss. Anyway most people are going to be scraping through or overshooting by a little, not steamrolling through ready to take on Horatio if he dares show his horned head in your dungeon and it's much more annoying to lose like that if you're worried about gold (maybe even this is supposed to be the run to get your economy on track.)

Plus why do you need random difficulty spikes when you have vicious vicious dungeons that you can do with conducts if they're too easy. There's so many places you can go to barely scrape through, and less extreme spikes on harder dungeons will have the same effect of forcing you to pull out all of the stops so the purpose of of such extreme variance is already covered. If you got a message like you hear a mighty baa, or you step in a giant puddle of goo either at start or at some level of exploration threshold, or on a certain level-up, the only negative would be that you can't get random extreme challenges (that you can easily have already lost by the time you find them) in moderate dungeons which, when you can get the same difficulty elsewhere, should only be a good thing.

It's that horned bastard bleaty that's the real problem anyway. no amount of efficiency is going to save you unless it's enough stockpiled mana and level ups to kill him with only fireballs or you don't need to be particularly efficient at all if you find and hold onto cydstepp. (while also holding onto other stuff in case of tower of goo.)

About it being less roguelikey, yeah 99% of the time you can adapt means a 1% random chance to lose >_<!, I'm sure the numbers are much lower if you take precautions but I don't see why you'd ever leave any random chance of just losing with no recourse in a game if there's a simple way to mitigate it. Especially if it's a really low chance so that it always blindsides you. I don't want control over the randomness I just want some types of randomness (you-roll-a-natural-1-you-trip-and-die) completely gone, ruled out as special cases one by one if necessary. The only thing about randomness I was talking about was this one problem with certain bosses scouted late. My problem with the weapons is just the general principle that unlocking things should never make you weaker (doesn't mean you can't e.g. lose a leg in a story and have to hobble, but if it says "congratulations, one-legedness unlocked!" I better be a faster hopper than I ever was a runner), especially if you're not told what the unlocks do beforehand because I like to do things optimally and if that means leaving half the content locked my brain will be sad. About stuff like Gods. Well, I always read a roguelike's wiki before I play it and their likes and dislikes are listed in the in-game encyclopedia anyway so it's not really a change I'm suggesting there just an improvement.

I played the alpha as well and did 100% single player completion, I'm just pretty clumsy unless I'm making an effort not to be so I'd lose a lot of runs by fireballing people with retaliate fireball while low on hp, clicking on guys while checking their stats, that kind of thing, happy to just be tickling my brain with interesting puzzles and slowly letting the skillz sink in but at some point I realised I was running out of gold, and if I didn't want to be restricted I actually had to have a high win rate, and worry about gold management. That was annoying but not too bad. Then I realised the trophy prices were spiralling down, and there just isn't anything to tell you things will get better. The actual path from the start to clearing purist GT is pretty short, especially as unlocks are fairly irrelevant because you have to do it purist, but there's 0 indication that this wasn't just a genuine moronic decision to actually reduce gold income over time as an exercise in demonstrating the futility of working in an unfair system or god knows what someone would be thinking to restrict things more and more as you progress through a game.

I didn't feel like getting more trophies more than I felt like doing quests and unlocking things. There's no indication till the last 4 or 5 that anything will happen if you complete the set.
I didn't have any problem with the gold farming in the alpha because there weren't all these smiling cartoon faces and standard "progression" looking things around giving me the opposite impression.

Weak items: Mage plate, I thought the ward and orb were weak but apparently they're great for their conversion, the bloody sigil is probably good for the same reason, crystal ball?, hero's helm? blacksmith sword and shield? I don't know, what do people put in their veto slots? What items do people deliberately avoid unlocking? It's not so much that any particular item is weak it's that the optimal way to play might be to deliberately avoid unlocks and that you can't change your veto slots freely so you'lre always gonna have a stronger overall power level if you unlock items that work with a few classes and stick to those classes.

Orcs are stronger than humans right? A weak item could be replaced with an attack power item near the level of dwarven gauntlets and the +2dmg sword blacksmith prep could be made small. Also does anyone use the shield? I only use it on sorcerers. It could be made small too.


More importantly why do you have to locker 6 items and have to go find the item to locker it or veto it. I don't think it's a plot reason. As the king ("administrator") of dungeonville I assume I live in a house, or at least a large box, so I have space for more than six total things (of indeterminate size). This isn't a survival horror game. Limiting my choices isn't making me tense or excited, it's making me mildly irritated. This way I make an interesting preparation decision once per locker change, instead of constant interesting decisions about the best item for the race/class for the dungeon and beyond that, the best race/class/item combination for the dungeon. Instead I have six items and it's almost always obvious what the best one is. What is the point of this restriction? It also causes me not to use classes I don't have slots for and obviously I can't just mix it up when I feel like it with a fabulous treasure or transmutation stone or draining blade or any other item with a particular use, or just any particular item I feel like, unless I go on errands every time I want to do something different (errands I can scum for extremely easily.) It's not even a real restriction, it's a requirement that you undergo hassle in proportion to how wide a pool of items you want to prepare.


flap wrote:


Yeah I know all that stuff but I don't look at it as a plot at all. It's a collection of stories, ideas and jokes, and it really is very good, but I certainly don't take it seriously (in general, there's some great stuff in there) to the point where I'm ok with being inconvenienced for plot reasons. He's a fucking goat! It's a puzzle game! How did I become king? There's no way I'm gonna view myself as a guy running a kingdom rather than as the player when the game is so tongue-in-cheek so when it comes to stuff like farming gold I'm thinking I have to do this because the developers decided it not I have to do this to get gold for the town. If you want me to accept restrictions the game needs a serious tone.

Well did you ever get any fun out of the gold management? Does it add anything to the game? Is it ever anything other than a non-issue or an annoying restriction? I guess it could encourage you to vary up your level of preparation? But its still a restriction one that necessitates a fine balance. If someone is too good they can ignore you restriction, too bad and the restriction will be suffocating. You could encourage people to do that in different ways, like quests.

If you have to farm to do what you want you might get bored and stop playing, or hell you might just get bored. I view that as a loss. A punishment from the game for being bad at it in a bright and shiny puzzle game. Yeah you can just do things to get gold but you might not want to, especially when you'd only be doing them to do something else (highly prepared run) which you might fail at and have to farm to try again.

Lujo wrote:
Idealect wrote:
[/quote]

I totally believe you lol. My imagination fails me when I try to think what the position could be that all these compromises are being made from though. Like, I actually can't think of what it could be, but it did create desktop dungeons so it can't be that bad.


Why is a gold sink good?

So noted on the matter of ward and orb.

I'm no arse-elbow-distinction expert but I'm not making the suggestion because I want things to be easier. It's just bad that unlocking an item can make things harder for you. I thought it went without saying that you'd have to change things elsewhere to maintain the same level of difficulty.

The game is full of awesome story stuff but the trophy collection decay is not integrated or signposted anywhere near enough.

If the scouting came at level 5,6,7 or even 8, or 70/75%/80%/85% exploration it would just put an upper limit on how screwed you can be by boss placement that would ensure you're able to at least atempt to adapt, with no effect on general unpredictability. The only way to deal with unpredictability if you don't know what you're up against is to just diligently destroy the dungeons as efficiently as possible while holding onto all tools you might need. You can only adapt once you see what you're fighting.

There are three ways ways to kill bleaty, death protection, magic, and high resists with high hp. Getindare can make any of of those easier. But if you don't have death protection or magic or the ability to take a hit you can't kill him because you can't hit him, which means you have to save your mana potions, and not convert cydstepp, every time, until you find the boss, for that 1 time in 10 when it is bleaty and sometimes there just won't be any getindare, cydstepp or huge amounts of magic power. Meat man is not too bad but finding him late can make him much harder as black space is by far the most useful against him. Sometimes you can adapt but sometimes it'll just be a matter of how efficiently you've already played. But yeah meat man isn't really in a league with tower of goo (and is there a magic resist tower of goo equivalent if so him too) who isn't in a league with bleaty for their ability to force you to take certain approaches (which isn't a bad thing, except that sometimes you find out too late to take one of those approaches.)

Did you say something about bleaty not appearing randomly? I could've sworn I got him randomly before.

Those retaliate wraiths were pretty you-rolled-a-natural-1-you-trip-and-break-your neck when my elf wizard got them on purist GT in a small level 9 room after getting a pre explored level 8 room. I probably could have beaten them if I had already played better but I wouldn't have needed to play anywhere as well to win if they weren't there, and the better playing would have had to have happened before I saw them. GT and VGT still shouldn't have auto-losses, but I really don't know if it is an autoloss or not.

I don't know about bloodless bleaty I saw it in a thread.

Both of those problems would be solved if the god was just guaranteed rather than guaranteed close to the entrance.

I know you don't need gods I was just saying: if need then reason-why-bad, if want then reason-why-bad, which covers pretty much all possibilities.

Yeah I know its want. The sentence you're quoting says want. What's wrong with wanting to play a certain way?

But anyway this doesn't bother me anymore I was completely wrong about gods they are interesting and worth using.

What's the advantage to binlor? Better angles for knockback to break walls on the cheap? More blackspace on maps with clusters of wall?

I'll try the encyclopedia out but I'll probably prefer the wiki because the encyclopedia tends not to list numbers and I'm starting to not need the wiki anyway.
Last edited by Idealect on Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Kingdom management design

Postby flap on Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:17 pm

Is it ever anything other than a non-issue or an annoying restriction?

This is indeed a really good question.
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Re: Kingdom management design

Postby dislekcia on Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:29 pm

I'm in an airport with 11 hours of layover left before another 10 hours of flying, having already flown 15 on the way here. So be aware that I'm tired as fuck when I say that this thread seems like it's heading to locksville soon.

Idealect: I'd love to address your points one at a time, but you're seriously looking at the largest public collection of Desktop Dungeons development history right here on this forum. The game evolved to the form it has now over the beta, if you keep digging here, you'll see most of the answers to your questions... But, just to illustrate the kind of thinking that goes into the game, prepped god altars spawn close to the start so that you don't have situations where you pay to prep a god and then only find it halfway through a run or worse. That's the least useful thing you can do with any particular god, especially one you paid extra for.

Lujo: Reading what you write makes me want to quit working on this game.
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Re: Kingdom management design

Postby ArcticMetal on Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:11 pm

Idealect wrote:There are three ways ways to kill bleaty, death protection, magic, and high resists with high hp. Getindare can make any of of those easier. But if you don't have death protection or magic or the ability to take a hit you can't kill him because you can't hit him, which means you have to save your mana potions, and not convert cydstepp, every time, until you find the boss, for that 1 time in 10 when it is bleaty and sometimes there just won't be any getindare, cydstepp or huge amounts of magic power.


Bleaty can seem ridiculous, but there's actually a few ways to defeat him that don't rely holding onto any glyphs or building up resists before you find him. Namely, gods:

Tikki Tooki is the perfect answer to Bleaty. Convert into him right before killing your popcorn and you'll have more than enough piety to get at least 1 hit of reflex/quicksilver, which will knock Bleaty's health down a huge amount. Add desecrations onto that and you're good to go. He also gives a free getindare. I realize reflex/quicksilver requires a health potion, but you should really be attempting to hang onto a least one set of potions for boss fights. Even then, there's the potion shop if you need it, and Tikki Tooki will give you enough gold for one from Tikki's Edge or Dodge if you need gold.

Taurog - If you get enough piety, you can get all of his equipment and then start using his DP's. Desecrations are your friend.

Incidentally, both of these gods are a pain in the ass to desecrate so it would be very likely one of their altars is still up, if they spawned.

Binlor is another great choice. Not only does he have the stoneskin boon which will let you tank a hit if you're ~105 hp+, you get a free Pissof which can be used to slam Bleaty around for magic->physical damage.

If you do have glyphs, even if it's just Burndarayz and not Pissorf:
Earthmother can get you a ton of mana from your bloodpools and add some corrosion on top of your fireballs, not to mention a free first strike at the end if you use Entanglement.

Mystera has the Weakening boon to reduce Bleaty's resistance, and if you have enough piety you can go whole hog on burndarayz with her Flames boon.

That leaves 4 gods that don't do so well against Bleaty:
Jehora is a terrible late game conversion, but if you were worshipping him early on (a pretty good thing to do if you find his altar before 50% exploration) you should have extra mana/hp, with the possibility of Chaos Avatar. Chaos Avatar, by the way, will reduce Bleaty's magic resistance by 20%. You might be able to pull off chaos avatar late game if you're converting into him from another god or just desecrating other altars like mad.

Glowing Guardian is another not-so-great late game conversion for this scenario. If you find him early you can get some absolutions that might help if you get some resistances, and his enlightenment will give you +5 mana. You'd really want to convert out to a different god for Bleaty though, and I don't see how he can help you much late game.

Pactmaker as a late game conversion can't do too much. You MIGHT be able to leverage scholar's pact, but that's a long shot. The most you can hope for is 50 emergency piety via consensus. If you find him early on with a piety farm god, Warrior's Pact or Body Pact can help a lot though.

Dracul is probably the worst pick against Bleaty. He's a late-game god to begin with, so you wouldn't be getting a piety farm from him if you find him early on. To add to that, none of his boons help with Bleaty. You MIGHT be able to do something with the 15% resistances boon or the extra fireball damage from Blood Curse, but everything else is a wash. You don't want to desecrate his altar either unless you're going the full magic route.

Keep in mind this is without considering any dungeon glyphs, items, or class/race traits. Gods were the last resource I figured out when I was learning DD, and they are by far the most powerful. If you learn how to manipulate what they can give you you can defeat pretty much anything.
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Re: Kingdom management design

Postby Astral on Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:51 pm

I don't have much time now to reply every aspect of your last comment Idealect, I just wanted to give you a few tips on beating Bleaty. ArcticMetal beat me to it and did a very good job, so there's less for me to post.

Even Dracul can save you from Bleaty: at level 10 using lifesteal you can heal up to 150% of your health, even with 130 only that will be 195. Just pick up Blood Shield in addition and the 15% resist in itself makes you able to take a hit, cuz 225*0,88=191,25 only. Then take Blood Curse, kill some popcorn for overheal an to remove the curse and you can do it again. Piety won't be an issue either, since you could desecreate other altars and convert potions. Plus lifesteal earns you piety.

Btw you seem to be too fixated on fireballing Bleaty, when pisorfing is cheaper and more effective. Sure pisorf doesn't always spawn, but when it does, don't forget to use it.

Nothing keeps you from converting CYDSTEPP. You just have to save that 1 DP till finding the boss.
Other glyphs you forgot about:
- ENDISWALL: precastable, can reduce the 1st hit to 79 damage, heal in your preferred way and 2 more casts can reduce the next hit to 135. It looks deadly, but any little health increase can save you. If you boosted your mana you might be able to cast a 3rd ENDISWALL. Also you can use your potions to help.
- B2P: well if you're not going to take a hit, you might as well trade it to mana and cast damaging spells. Suddenly you're health potions are useful too.
- the teleport glyphs: if you have knockback you can gather monsters around Bleaty and knock them into him. This way you can use your health meaningfully even if taking a hit from the goat is deadly. Combine with spellcasting and potion drinking if want to. I know this one is very situational, but with a bear-mace from a subdungeon or prep can make it possible even without Binlor.
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Re: Kingdom management design

Postby flap on Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:40 pm

Idealect wrote: My problem with the weapons is just the general principle that unlocking things should never make you weaker (...)

Weak items: Mage plate, I thought the ward and orb were weak but apparently they're great for their conversion, the bloody sigil is probably good for the same reason, crystal ball?, hero's helm? blacksmith sword and shield? (...)
What items do people deliberately avoid unlocking?


Well, I really have never felt that I unlocking things made me weaker, on the contrary (more shops, more gold, more gods, more monsters to choose from with specific weaknesses).

And well the "crystal ball", a weak object ? You must be joking ! I do actually find that this "reusable mana potion" is actually very powerfull. Any class can benefit from it. Combine it with the Earthmother, and mana is litteraly rushing through your fingers.
Also unlocking blacksmith objects will never make you weaker : they don't spawn in shops. So, if you don't like them, just don't prepare them !

So, I don't know. I suspect that you are putting too much emphasis on optimizing your preparation to play exactly the game you want, rather than making the best of the opportunities and threats that each dungeon is throwing at you.
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