The high end potions and the difficulty curve

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The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Lujo on Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:59 pm

Ok, here's a bit of reasoning that I don't recall seeing discussed, ever...

Why exactly are the Dodge and Reflex potions available as preps?

Ok, I can see the point of making them available so people can get familiar with them and all that, but... They're really strong. As in, really, really, really gamebreakingly strong. Either one of them can be used as a better slayer wand, they're the most common Tri-Sword fuel, they spell a couple of effortless levelups in most circumstances, or 2 free hits on any boss, one of which can also be a Whoopaz hit.

Heck, on big damage guys like the Rogue, Warlord or Berserker they can kill the boss or half a boss on their own. I can't even imagine what the late midgame or the endgame even looks like without them, but they just stick around in the inventory of just about any character you make and reduce the factual number of hits you need to make on the boss to kill him. This can go as low as allowing you to kill a boss you would otherwise not be able to land any hits on, which can be obvious to anyone who scumms up Aequitas for a faithles lvl1 Rogue kill with just a few preps.

I don't know what to think about it, honestly. I scares me a little to think how many of our opinions about the difficulty or viability of this or that is influenced by those two being available as preps, not to mention whoopaz.

Thoughts?
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby xspeedballx on Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:24 pm

Well I am of the opinion that if you are skilled enough to unlock quicksilver and reflex, then you are skilled enough to beat most combinations of hards without them. And if you can get Whupaz you tend forget you have it and to use it(do it all the time). As for there general strength.. I am going to say I think we circle around a confirmation bias on this one again. They are strong. They are strong enough to help me make up for tons of mistakes and still win. I eke'd out the skill to get acquire them so they are helping me eke out wins on hard modes here and there. Once you are good and great at the game(as many of the frequent commenters/discussers are) they seem ridiculously overpowered because they easy mode already efficient strategies(honed from purist runs and other such challenges). A lot of things in the game I feel fall in this design area.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Lujo on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:36 pm

Yeah, you put it right.

Well, as a personal opinion, I'd love to see them available in the alchemy shops for a custom price (X gold + health/mana potion), and not as preps, since they equate to being able to prep 2 death protections on small items in addition to whatever else you're prepping, which also fuel the (current) trisword. Would make picking them up a meaningfull decision, remove a few guaranteed early trisword knocks, and the newbies/casuals would still have Whoopaz as an autoprep...

But that may be just me.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby xspeedballx on Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:50 pm

Your idea has merit. However we circle to the problem, newbie casuals are not likely to have whupaz. I slammed through the alchemist quests on my current profile but I had done them before. #5 and #6 are still pretty rough for someone without a good grasp of intermediate mechanics.

I would also fear if it was gold+potion, you are harming the potion shop. Because in general a quick silver is always more valuable than a health potion. Hard modes I usually have gold to spare. So you are unlikely to use a potion shop for anything but the "big 2." Except in corner cases. Same problem different place essentially.

I think the real answer(and oddly enough makes it harder to get them in the first place) is to make it so they count against "Parched" AND up the prep cost some. Late game when you have infinite money it doesn't matter, but little does other than personal skill and I think that is ok. Midgame it makes them a harder choice for if you really NEED them for what you are about to attempt.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby paplaukes on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:36 pm

I'm with xspeedballx on this, if you can unlock them, you can probably play without them.

Lujo wrote:I can't even imagine what the late midgame or the endgame even looks like without them.

Here we go again... Trisword, Rogues, GG, now the potions. Even if they are strong when used in silly ways you don't HAVE to do that, and you certainly don't have to petition for game changes each time it happens. I like the pots being available for Vicious. I earned them - just like the other preps. All preps make the game easier. Look at the Amulet of Yendor for chrissakes... I don't even use the potions all that often, rarely on hard dungeons these days. But - I like the option.

I'm fuming, yeah, sorry. It's just I'm really, really fed up with trisword being mentioned in every damn thread. Just because some ingenious trick makes things easy doesn't mean everybodys suddenly doing it. Hell, make it +3dam on each potion use. Leave it as an option. Whoever wants to play that way, will. Why not?

On topic - I do think the potions should count against Parched, it's only logical.
Unsure if price change would do much. 40g would be very scary I guess. Still, midgame/before PQI - boss trophies would probably cover the cost, later on - infinite money anyway.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Bloggorus on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:50 pm

I'd limit the amount of potions you can carry into battle. Leave it at 2 and make players make the choice between those two and regular health and mana.

Upping the amount to five after you've finished some quests is a flat out buff, basically turns the game to easy mode as soon as you unlock it.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby paplaukes on Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:59 pm

But isn't it up to the player whether to go after the easy mode? One can always blow 150g on preparations if they want an easier run. Also, even if you prep all of the potions, does it make Vicious dungeons easy? Or even some Hard ones?

I try and avoid grabbing more than 3 potions per run, that way I can fit all the usual preparations to 1 item slot - 2 default potions, 1 extra, 10% attack from BS and a Compression Seal of whatever I chose as a starter item.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Bloggorus on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:49 pm

paplaukes wrote:But isn't it up to the player whether to go after the easy mode? One can always blow 150g on preparations if they want an easier run. Also, even if you prep all of the potions, does it make Vicious dungeons easy? Or even some Hard ones?


You could say that, but in my experience players or users of any system will never go out of their way to hamstring themselves if a better alternative is on offer. It also doent help that every video game ever has trained us to min-max wherever possible.

We are conditioned to reduce risk, and you cant fight human nature. Some might for the thrill (probably long-time players like the people on this forum), but for most it's a no-brainer to max out your preps every time.

The introduction of extra potions slots is a complete shift in the difficulty of the game that can only be reversed by player choice, which can never be counted on.

There's a weird dichotomy throughout the game between rising prep potential and dungeon difficulty, which I have discussed before and won't go into here. The skill ceiling is very high, but in the end the prep ceiling is very high too. Not to say this is a bad thing, just very hard to balance.

But suffice to say that with so many strats revolving around abusing potions it might be time to look at the underlying problem.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby Bloggorus on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:51 pm

paplaukes wrote:I try and avoid grabbing more than 3 potions per run, that way I can fit all the usual preparations to 1 item slot - 2 default potions, 1 extra, 10% attack from BS and a Compression Seal of whatever I chose as a starter item.


This is a good idea, but it's alleviated by immediately using strength and reflex for a cheap first kill. Then you can fit in whatever you'd like and still haver a massive boost to your start-game (and every after that).

The only penalty then is kingdom gold, which grows on trees.
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Re: The high end potions and the difficulty curve

Postby FDru on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:25 am

Bloggorus wrote:
paplaukes wrote:I try and avoid grabbing more than 3 potions per run, that way I can fit all the usual preparations to 1 item slot - 2 default potions, 1 extra, 10% attack from BS and a Compression Seal of whatever I chose as a starter item.


This is a good idea, but it's alleviated by immediately using strength and reflex for a cheap first kill. Then you can fit in whatever you'd like and still haver a massive boost to your start-game (and every after that).

The only penalty then is kingdom gold, which grows on trees.


You could even convert a few items. There's no reason to not take as many preparations as possible if not going Purist (other than a deliberate handicap for a challenge).
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