Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

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Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

Postby The Avatar on Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:57 pm

Greetings, my fellow administrators, and welcome to the very first spotlight update! In order to build up some awareness/anticipation of the upcoming eastern region of Desktop Dungeons Extreme Edition, we'll be putting these up every weekend until release. Each post will highlight an interesting new thing coming in the update that is not a heavy spoiler (so no dungeons, quests, items, secrets, or anything like that). If you want to go in 100% blind, just ignore this and know that you'll have your update before the end of the year!

Without further ado, here's your last SPOILER WARNING, and let's get on with it!















The Heretic

Image
Who's the real demon here?

Kingdom, meet Heretic. Heretic, Kingdom. Now that you're all well-acquainted, let's get down to brass tacks. The Heretic is the controversial fourth member of the Kingdom's Church building. Available for unlock as soon as you have a level 3 Church (à la Magician), this atypical adventurer plays with gods quite a bit differently from the regular folks. His abilities are as follows:

INDULGENT: Indulgences are never spent, gain health, base damage, and mana based on indulgences
BLASPHEMOUS: Gain 3 CP/piety lost when angering a god, immune to punishments
OBSCENE MISSION: Scout all altars, cannot convert or desecrate, auto-desecrate worshipped altar on level up and reduce piety to 0

Since there's quite a bit behind these short descriptions, let's examine them in detail:

INDULGENT is the most straightforward ability heretics have. They literally cannot lose indulgences (and thus piety loss is not prevented), and gain 1 base damage and 3 health for each one. Furthermore, for each odd indulgence (1, 3, 5, etc.), they gain 1 mana. So in a typical run, this nets you 18 health, 6 base damage, and 3 mana.

BLASPHEMOUS, while also mechanically straightforward, is a bit more interesting in-run. Any time you lose piety by angering a god, you are instantly granted 3 CP per piety lost. Caveats are the following: 1. Pacts are not angering anyone (on the piety panel they are white, not red). 2. Piety must be actually lost to gain CP (so no easy TT CP farming). Another thing worth noting is that heretics' immunity is to ALL punishments, whether from desecration or piety loss.

Last, but definitely not least, is OBSCENE MISSION, the defining ability. Altar scouting is exactly what it sounds like (and also identical to the altar scouting prep from way back in beta days). Inability to convert or desecrate is also simple: When worshipping a god, the buttons that say "Convert" and "Desecrate" on other altars will always be gray. Thus, all that remains is the interesting part: "auto-desecrate worshipped altar on level up and reduce piety to 0." This means that every time you hit an EXP threshold (prestige levels included), you smash your current altar (even if it is unreachable). This grants you 3/2/1 indulgence(s), ends your worship, does not punish you, and sets your piety to 0 (without giving you CP, although Binlor's -10 piety for leveling triggers first for up to 30 CP). Pactmaker cannot be desecrated, and is thus exempted from the whole mess. Furthermore, your piety is only set to 0 if you actually smash an altar, so piety to fuel pacts will stick around between levels where you aren't worshipping (although you'll need sparkles/stone sigil/consensus to get any). One last benefit of this is that you get the starting bonus (piety, glyph, etc.) from every god you worship. Basically, it's a bunch of plusses with the drawback of not really being able to hold on to any god. Not to mention that if you want to get good value out of INDULGENT you'll have to sacrifice an altar or two early.

So that's the short and long of it. We promise it's more intuitive to play than the exposition suggests. Is it crazy? Yes. Is it boatloads of fun? It's my new personal favorite class (take that how you will). Does the way it play vary pretty drastically by god spawn? No question. Is it overpowered? Probably a bit, but it's not the only class in that category.

That's all for now, folks! We hope you're drooling with anticipation and all that. Feel free to comment, speculate, ask further questions, etc. down below! Also, don't expect future spotlight updates to be quite as substantive, since Heretic is the only big thing available upfront (and thus isn't really a spoiler). Future spotlights will likely be on more minor additions/improvements, although there might be another big announcement in the works for one of these. We'll leave it to your imagination. And, as always, download the current build (or read this update on our website) over at [url]ddmod.weebly.com[/url].

Thanks for reading,
The Extreme (Edition) Team
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Re: Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

Postby General_Milky on Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:47 pm

Now THIS is what I'm talking about. I was telling Zayyeh that Magician was one of my favorite additions in the Northern update because of the way it changes the way you think about the game, the heavy fireball on slow, and glyph conversion shenanigans made for a unique and interesting class as opposed to the Bard, who ultimately is just a slightly different take on a "basic" character. Not bad, but nothing really groundbreaking. Heretic is looking to be like Magician, and I'm excited to try it. I speculate it will be a good time indeed.

Speaking of speculation, something I've wondered; The East has an extra dungeon in Vicious Steel compared to other dungeons, if you consider Tower of Gaantelet central. The East update getting 6 new places?

Any news on an ETA? Last thread you mentioned these spotlights would be coming out each day on the week til release, which is now every weekend until release. How many weekends may that be, in ballpark? From how it sounds, the update's basically been gold for a bit now, discounting minor tweaks and some bugfixing.
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Re: Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

Postby silverkitty23 on Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:56 pm

"know that you'll have your update before the end of the year!" is probably about as precise as the release date is gonna get.
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Re: Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

Postby The Tapir on Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:30 pm

Speaking of upcoming releases, in the trello logs there were mentions of Swashbuckler and Bishop classes pretty early on in the text surrounding the North's dungeons. Are those in any way accessible in the current mod, or are they going to be released in future versions?
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Re: Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

Postby The Avatar on Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:46 pm

The Avatar wrote:Now THIS is what I'm talking about. I was telling Zayyeh that Magician was one of my favorite additions in the Northern update because of the way it changes the way you think about the game, the heavy fireball on slow, and glyph conversion shenanigans made for a unique and interesting class as opposed to the Bard, who ultimately is just a slightly different take on a "basic" character. Not bad, but nothing really groundbreaking. Heretic is looking to be like Magician, and I'm excited to try it. I speculate it will be a good time indeed.

Speaking of speculation, something I've wondered; The East has an extra dungeon in Vicious Steel compared to other dungeons, if you consider Tower of Gaantelet central. The East update getting 6 new places?


Glad to hear it's piqued your interest. And fortunately for you, the Bard is by far the most vanilla of all of our upcoming classes (although Heretic is among the strangest in terms of departure from standard play). Most of them fall more in the Magician range of spicing up standard play with a strange and unique set of abilities.

Yes, Gaan-Telet(s) is central. Yes, you all get a bonus dungeon in this update (and it's crazy; really, it's weird and wonderful and totally crazy even by our standards).

silverkitty23 wrote:"know that you'll have your update before the end of the year!" is probably about as precise as the release date is gonna get.


Yes and no. The release will be on a Friday/Saturday (like these posts), and we'll let you know in the post before that it's coming. So you'll have the date a week in advance. I hope it will be the first or second week of December, but bug fixing is far less predictable than new content in terms of how long it takes to finish.

The Tapir wrote:Speaking of upcoming releases, in the trello logs there were mentions of Swashbuckler and Bishop classes pretty early on in the text surrounding the North's dungeons. Are those in any way accessible in the current mod, or are they going to be released in future versions?


In the current released version, there's just the Bard and Magician. The Swashbuckler will likely make the cut for an upcoming region, and the Bishop is where the Heretic class originated. His thing was that he could convert at the cost of an indulgence, without losing piety, but ultimately the Heretic version proved more interesting to play and the bishop was scrapped.
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Re: Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

Postby dislekcia on Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:20 am

That's an interesting set of class constraints! Kudos for thinking about god worship really differently :)
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Re: Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

Postby choongmyoung on Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:54 pm

Seeing those whole mess about gods, I think the indulgence-things are not specifically interesting. Out of this bonus and immune to punishments, long story short: you can only worship a god for only a single level, and you can get (multiple) starting bonuses.

Binlor/Dracul/GG will give you massive piety bonus and spiking boons thus are perfect endgame gods. MA/Binlor are easy to farm piety at low levels, so you can easily pick some good boons from them and get early indulgences bonuses. EM/TT are another good gods to start with; they will give you very good opening glyphs and boons. Taurog should be worshipped at midlevel I guess, to maximize piety bonus to get good gears as early as possible. Unstoppable Fury would be almost impossible to get multiple. JJ is the most uninteresting god I suppose; must-spend 45 piety is a big loss in general (JJ won't rocketshoot your piety from first worship bonus), 80 piety is hard to achieve. Pactmaker.. idk, +50 piety?

I don't understand about how to efficiently use the CP part, just like how I don't see the power of Transmuter. Binlor+IMAWAL combo is the only reliable and efficient thing for me I see.

Hmm... I think I should really think deeply to understand the true power of the heretic class.
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Re: Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

Postby General_Milky on Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:26 pm

The Avatar wrote:
Glad to hear it's piqued your interest. And fortunately for you, the Bard is by far the most vanilla of all of our upcoming classes (although Heretic is among the strangest in terms of departure from standard play). Most of them fall more in the Magician range of spicing up standard play with a strange and unique set of abilities.

Yes, Gaan-Telet(s) is central. Yes, you all get a bonus dungeon in this update (and it's crazy; really, it's weird and wonderful and totally crazy even by our standards).


Sounds awesome. As cool as new dungeons are, it's also very nice to have new ways to play old dungeons, too. Magician ended up being one of my favorite additions in the Northern update once the novelty of the dungeons wore off, just because it offered a new way to think about older scenarios.

Also, when you say things like THAT, it makes me even more impatient. Now I gotta see what you did!
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Re: Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

Postby The Avatar on Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:52 pm

A real dev praised our fan design :shock: :D

choongmyoung wrote:Seeing those whole mess about gods, I think the indulgence-things are not specifically interesting. Out of this bonus and immune to punishments, long story short: you can only worship a god for only a single level, and you can get (multiple) starting bonuses.


I think a key part to remember is that the interplay of indulgence vs late-game worship benefits is in the context of a dungeon. You may not be able to reach every altar at level 1. Is it worth expending a bunch tiles to get to a good early-game altar for your indulgence bonus at level 2? Should you sacrifice a nearby late-game altar or forego the bonus altogether until you reach a suitable early-game altar? Also, the Gods have quite a bit more depth than you give them credit for, especially when you can circumvent their weaknesses. EM early can be nice, but GG early can reap equivalent exp rewards without having to spend a single tile IMAWALing over the course of a run. So can you make do with the EM mana endgame spike, or do you absolutely need the GG protection spike? Or do you sacrifice both endgame spikes in favor of getting the indulgence and xp boost effects of both as early as possible, so that you level up incredibly efficiently and have tons of extra blackspace and popcorn for the boss? It's these difficult to asses tradeoffs, which differ pretty heavily by dungeon layout, boss, and altars spawned, that make the Heretic interesting and form the core of its gameplay. On a sidenote, the class is also fun to play (and powerful) for its sheer adaptability. Heretic runs can be incredibly specific to a build type, but they also frequently end up in between, with an unusual hodgepodge of boon effects you'd never see on another class.

choongmyoung wrote:I don't understand about how to efficiently use the CP part, just like how I don't see the power of Transmuter. Binlor+IMAWAL combo is the only reliable and efficient thing for me I see.


The CP ability is something which, while less noticeable, gives a meaningful bonus to clever players. You're right that it isn't meant for farming (although there are ways to generate massive CP). What's more relevant is that piety rarely ever works out evenly. If you aren't playing to avoid it, you will almost certainly lose piety through leveling up, which adds up over the course of a run. If, instead, you line up your undead kills with Drac, your magic kills with your MA level, etc. you'll find yourself with quite a bit of extra CP. If you can waste a mere 34 extra piety that's an attack booster. 27 for mana. Or just take the partial CP and trash an item to hit your threshold. Or wait to trash that item for GG piety which you can then waste by quaffing a potion for the CP you needed to complement that items CP to hit your threshold. You get the idea. It's an ability that is certainly more or less relevant depending on your god spawns, but, in any run, it increases the skill ceiling on the class by allowing clever planning and thoughtful play to net you quite a bit of extra CP.

As for JJ (and really every God), there are quite a few creative and effective ways to use him, but I don't want to spoil any of my strategies before the class is out. Not to mention I'll probably think of new way to leverage him (her?) before we even release. And feel free to take all of this with a grain of salt. I may have designed it, but the players are the ones who ultimately determine what works and what doesn't through their strategy choices.
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Re: Extreme East Spotlight Updates (Minor Spoilers)

Postby Bwrgarbl on Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:51 am

choongmyoung wrote:Seeing those whole mess about gods, I think the indulgence-things are not specifically interesting.


That first altar gets you three... that's an almost double Hero's Helm intrinsically (+3 dam, +9 HP, +2 mana). That's pretty strong at level two if you get a good altar nearby for level one.


choongmyoung wrote:JJ is the most uninteresting god I suppose; must-spend 45 piety is a big loss in general (JJ won't rocketshoot your piety from first worship bonus), 80 piety is hard to achieve.


Well there's your problem. Sometimes 45 is a lot to spend... so don't. I don't always buy petition... just most of the time. Take your "blessings", continue on to your CA (or what you want) and get out. Heretic gets you out for free, you don't even have to make another 50. Petitionless JJ is a fine line, but it's manageable for short term strategy, and that's all we seem to get with this class.


It occurs to me that class like this there's actually a demand for items that reduces XP from kills (eg small item that reduces kills to 1XP but gains CP). Definitely a weird and interesting class. Although not too surprising in concept... I was figuring that the next step in priest class either had to be a heretic/atheist type or a polytheist type (like a sheepperson that follows all the altars... very hard to balance the gains on that). Still its the details that really makes the concept shine, and this is looking very good.
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