Newbie playthrough with feedback

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Newbie playthrough with feedback

Postby Hombre on Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:22 am

After playing DD alpha (I think) two years ago and now again, I quickly decided to pre-order and play the beta. I'm doing my first playthrough right now so I figured I'd give feedback as I progress in-game. I've had some experience with alpha but I wouldn't call myself an expert.

I'm sure a lot if not all of the points I mention have been covered in different posts already - if anyone thinks there is a specific post I should be reading to compare my feedback against, please tell me!

To start off, I ordered and paid. Nothing happened, no email or anything. Then three hours later I got some ten-odd mails confirming my purchase etc. Seems like the mails didn't get delivered for some reason and the system decided to send more as a result.

Anyway, next day I jump in. No problems with Unity thankfully. The graphics are very nice, I think, with easy access to a lot of important information in the dungeons. I love the partitioning of the health bar, showing not only how much health will be taken off by a hit, but also how many hits are needed to kill a monster and how many hits the monster needs to kill me. Very useful and quite intuitive.

I'm having a bit of trouble understanding the spells. That may be me, of course. It took me a while to figure out that PISORF's damage is based on my base damage - maybe display the damage on mouse-over? In fact, I'm not sure the calculations are always correct - one time my base damage was 32, I PISORF'ed a Meat Man against a Warlock and the resulting damage was 15 instead of 16. Anyway, similar thing with BYSSEPS: could the mouse-over display my resulting attack value? With GETINDARE, at first I didn't understand that I'd get an accumulating dodge chance, 5% for every cast, that is consumed once I dodge.

Dungeon gameplay: in the alpha, I could pretty quickly see whether a dungeon was winnable or not. Can I find the right spells and some useful (i.e. higher level but killable) monsters before exploring half of the map? If not, restart. In the beta, more spells strategies are viable which is great. But for me that also means it can take longer before I know the dungeon's not doable. So time to failure is longer, which leads to quicker frustration. This could definitely improve once I get to know the game better. What's the experience of veteran players?
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Re: Newbie playthrough with feedback

Postby Darvin on Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:51 pm

Hi Hombre; welcome the DD forum community.

In fact, I'm not sure the calculations are always correct - one time my base damage was 32, I PISORF'ed a Meat Man against a Warlock and the resulting damage was 15 instead of 16

Sounds like a bug. The game always rounds down, so this may be a case of erroneously rounding down.

I'm surprised that you didn't mention the "burning" effort of BURNDAYRAZ when talking about counter-intuitive glyphs. Good to know that one isn't too confusing despite it's many finer details (burning was one of the most problematic effects in the beta and is probably received more patch tweaks than anything else by a wide margin). GETINDARE is a little weird now, but it's very powerful and even if understanding the glyph is hard it's pretty obvious what's going on when the dodge effect does pop up.

But for me that also means it can take longer before I know the dungeon's not doable. So time to failure is longer, which leads to quicker frustration. This could definitely improve once I get to know the game better. What's the experience of veteran players?

For hard-difficulty scenarios, pretty much everything in the winnable unless you have a mismatched race/class selection for the dungeon (try an Elf Monk on Cursed Oasis; if you can do that, you can do anything!). Grimm's Grotto, due to "nostalgic" monster placement will occasionally screw you over, but you'll find out about that fairly quickly. The vicious scenarios are entirely different beasts, but they're supposed to be the monumental challenges of the game and you don't have to beat any of them to actually win.
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Re: Newbie playthrough with feedback

Postby Nurator on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:20 pm

Elf Monk on Cursed Oasis? Challenge accepted!
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Re: Newbie playthrough with feedback

Postby Darvin on Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:39 pm

Nurator wrote:Elf Monk on Cursed Oasis? Challenge accepted!

Knew someone would take the challenge :D

Shouldn't be too hard for a veteran with decked out preparations, but still about as nasty as hard-difficulty gets.
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Re: Newbie playthrough with feedback

Postby Hombre on Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:48 pm

Darvin wrote:I'm surprised that you didn't mention the "burning" effort of BURNDAYRAZ when talking about counter-intuitive glyphs. Good to know that one isn't too confusing despite it's many finer details (burning was one of the most problematic effects in the beta and is probably received more patch tweaks than anything else by a wide margin). GETINDARE is a little weird now, but it's very powerful and even if understanding the glyph is hard it's pretty obvious what's going on when the dodge effect does pop up.


Actually, the reason I didn't mention "burning" is because I don't fully understand it yet. I'd rather be able to specify what I didn't understand than just that it isn't clear to me. GETINDARE is indeed rather powerful - it also seems more RNG-dependent than other DD-elements. Is that done intentionally or do you find the randomness evens out enough?

For hard-difficulty scenarios, pretty much everything in the winnable.

That is good to know; they don't always seem that way but it looks like that's part of the learning process then :) . More seriously, that's some pretty good balancing you guys got going on if you can generate random mazes with random glyphs and make them challenging but always winnable.

Anyway, more feedback: I really like the story from the first scenario to the town map. It lends a sense of urgency to the crawling. Once we are at the town screen, the story sort of stops and there's no character for me to be interested in. Don't get me wrong, this doesn't detract from the gameplay of the scenarios. But the strategic choices I make (buy a blacksmith, go north or south, etc.) do not really make any story move forward.

The town screen is really pretty. I read somewhere that the text boxes that appear for different buildings will disappear with some later update which sounds like a good idea.

I like the puzzles - I am having serious trouble solving them but so far I've been able to not look up the solutions, and the challenges since they present me with different kinds of problems. It seems like the puzzles, challenges and scenarios together are presented to increase the player's skillset. The tactical game can be very hard but it feels like my skillset is increasing because the puzzles, challenges and scenarios have a very well-pitched level of difficulty. Really good!

It does make the game a bit overwhelming - not the tactical difficulty, but all the strategic choices. Right now I can choose to do puzzles, challenges, the beginner's brigade, directionals and a random dungeon. That's a bit much to choose from after a couple of hours of playing, especially since it isn't very clear in-game what the consequences of choosing one dungeon over another are. I am guessing that the directionals are the 'story-mode', but it's hard to choose what to do nevertheless.

Now if you guys will excuse me, I'm off to slay some goats.
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Re: Newbie playthrough with feedback

Postby Sidestepper on Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:12 pm

Once you're proficient, Normal ranked dungeons can be finished with any class-race combination, no preps required. Veterans regularly imposed all sorts of restrictions on themselves when playing Normal dungeons just to keep it interesting. This isn't like the alpha, where you could get sandwiched between 2 level 9s right at the beginning.

Hard dungeons can reliably be won with any reasonable race-combo (eg no gnome berserkers) without preps. Partial exceptions are the Labyrinth (sometimes is mathematically unwinnable without a Bear Mace or Binlor prep), the Slime Pits (a hard dungeon) and the Cursed Oasis (a really hard dungeon).

Vicious is an over the top challenge designed to push the very limits of the game. They can only be reliably won with good race-class choices and strong preparations.

If you are finding the top-level gameplay to be overwhelming, might I suggest this thread?

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2134

It's a little bit dated, but it was written with this exact problem in mind.

EDIT: A few key changes to keep in mind. Tikki Tooki is now gated by Earthmother, so some of the strategies discussed in that thread don't work any more. Bronze challenges didn't give gold back then, so money was much tighter. You can now actually turn a profit on building unlocks if you can reliably win the bronze medals. Also, Bet on Boss now only costs 5 gold, whereas back then it cost a whopping 50. BoB is actually a super prep to use at the beginning of the game, when trophy prices are at an all time high and gold income is important. If I make a new management thread (and I might) it would definitely feature some hardcore BoB abuse.

Also, I didn't go after any important item unlocks in that thread. At the time, I felt that it was best to avoid the Puzzle Packs and Silver challenges due to their challenging nature. In retrospect, this was a mistake. That thread was already about advanced game play, so it didn't make any sense to deliberately avoid content like that. I recommend going after the Gnome Puzzle Pack (Soul Orb), the Halfling Puzzle Pack (Venom Ward), and the Rogue Silver (Midas Gloves), and in roughly that order. There are other items that are also good, and several that are stronger, but none are as solidly and reliably useful as those three.
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Re: Newbie playthrough with feedback

Postby Darvin on Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:40 pm

GETINDARE is indeed rather powerful - it also seems more RNG-dependent than other DD-elements

One interesting quirk about GETINDARE is that for rogues it actually decreases the randomness of the class. Since they already have a chance to dodge, the ability to predict when you're about to dodge gives an immense measure of reliability that you wouldn't otherwise have.

While GETINDARE does have a stronger random component than most other glyphs, it does so in such a way that players can take some degree of control and choose when things happen. For instance, a common tactic with GETINDARE is to leave lots of low-level monsters with first strike alive and attack them until the dodge prediction appears, then attack your real foe. Though the effect is still technically random, the player's ability to direct it is not.

That is good to know; they don't always seem that way but it looks like that's part of the learning process then

Oh definitely, there's a whole new world to explore. Some of the beta veterans have been playing for well over a year now, and have seen the changes introduced slowly. I still remember when burning was introduced as an item, rather than an inherent part of the glyph.

I like the puzzles - I am having serious trouble solving them but so far I've been able to not look up the solutions, and the challenges since they present me with different kinds of problems.

Yeah, I can totally understand the temptation to look up the solutions (particularly since some of those puzzles are total killers). If there are two puzzle packs you really want to win, though, it's the halfling and gnome puzzle packs. They unlock the Venom Ward and Soul Orb items respectively. They're much stronger than in the alpha, since they double as some of the game's highest conversion point items.

Right now I can choose to do puzzles, challenges, the beginner's brigade, directionals and a random dungeon. That's a bit much to choose from after a couple of hours of playing, especially since it isn't very clear in-game what the consequences of choosing one dungeon over another are.

It basically just affects the order in which you unlock stuff. Challenges and puzzles are, strictly speaking, optional but many of them unlock great items. Speaking of which: Warlord Silver, Rogue Silver, Monk Silver, and Barbarian Silver unlock some of the best items in the game. If you're going to prioritize any challenges, go for those.

I am guessing that the directionals are the 'story-mode', but it's hard to choose what to do nevertheless.

This is correct; the puzzles are stand-alone, the challenges are self-contained three-part stories, and the directionals are the main plot of the kingdom.

Now if you guys will excuse me, I'm off to slay some goats.

Have fun, just watch out for Bleaty :twisted:
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Re: Newbie playthrough with feedback

Postby Nurator on Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:38 am

Image

That was really fun :) And pretty hard^^
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Re: Newbie playthrough with feedback

Postby The Avatar on Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:38 pm

Wow. Nice. That's basically a vicious-level challenge.
JakshdfFiha$#jaigb532i97fbnPKASN*@)sdjbau9a0)f+,Ahghs*hr)sk_sabdh^ujsbUA3{mvio/~dgffdsT^klndf,#ikon%(d

I speak chaos.
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Re: Newbie playthrough with feedback

Postby Darvin on Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:53 pm

After some thought on the matter, I believe it is quite possibly the hardest non-vicious race/class/dungeon combo. Anyone can think of anything harder?
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