Frustration and the lack of fun

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Frustration and the lack of fun

Postby FunnyMan3595 on Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:26 am

I picked up the old version of Desktop Dungeons a few weeks ago, and enjoyed it so much that I picked up the new version for myself and a couple of my friends. For a while, it was great. I had fun banging my head against the class challenges and the puzzles. I went out and did a bunch of the kingdom-expansion stuff. and was making good progress.

And then I hit Shifting Passages. And the all-mages challenge for it. It wasn't fun. The growing walls made the entire dungeon frustrating, because I couldn't depend on being able to get back to an altar, unexplored terrain, or the enemy I wanted to fight next. I ended up hunting around at semi-random to unlock the remaining gods (annoying, since there's nothing telling you where to look), particularly Binlor, and then scumming a Binlor start (because erosion is icky with that many walls) and demolishing most of the labyrinth. All-in-all, a long, tedious, and frustrating experience, but at least it was satisfying to finally finish.

The problem is that in the process, I kinda burned out. Since then, I pick at a level or two every once in a while, but the ones I need to progress are all just too difficult for my patience right now. It seems like every dungeon I go to now has a boss that at L8 takes 20 attacks to kill, does more than my total HP in each hit, and has a friend who's even worse. I know I'm exaggerating and that there are much harder dungeons that I haven't unlocked, but that's the mental state I'm stuck in. I don't want to spin my gears on the newbie dungeons, but the stuff I'd need to do to progress is just... ridiculous. I'm here to have fun, not to munchkin around and inspect every decision with an electron microscope.

I came back today to see if the update had anything to draw me back in, and most of what it has to offer just makes things harder. Gee, thanks. I'm sure there are people who will love it, but I'm not one of them. Me, I want a way to tone down the difficulty, so that I can get back into playing and not feel like I'm beating my head against a wall. I like difficulty, but right now, I need a break... and the game keeps turning the thumbscrews instead.
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Re: Frustration and the lack of fun

Postby dislekcia on Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:39 am

Thanks for the feedback :)

Hmm. Would Shifting Passages feel like it made more sense if the walls closest to the enemy you killed were the ones that popped up? That's something I've been wondering about for a while, not saying we can make it work that way with any kind of reliable speed, but it might make the dungeon more predictable to play through.

Generally, the hard-level dungeons (which is where it sounds like you are right now) are about establishing efficiency in players, at least, that's what we're trying to teach with them. What options do you have in terms of building upgrades and item quests right now? Do you have any particular item combos you enjoy playing with and have you dipped into the challenge dungeons yet? I'm trying to figure out what sort of Kingdom options you have so that I can see what it might be that's causing you to feel blocked like this - maybe that will give us some insight as to how to deal with that perception in players...

After all, DD is supposed to be hard, but it's not about frustrating people into hating it. Not yet, at least. Wait till the vicious post-endgame for that ;)
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Re: Frustration and the lack of fun

Postby paplaukes on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:02 am

Welcome to the forum :)

I agree on gods! My experience unlocking them was similar on several playthroughs. Next playthrough I'll still do the same - poke about the normal mode subdungeons til I find them all.

Shifting passages are kind of ok when with a bear mace (blacksmith preparation, you probably have that by now). Helps to explore a bit early on, grab a few glyphs, then try and kill higher level things leaving some lower level monsters be so you don't wall yourself off early.

Don't give up just yet :) you'll get there.
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Re: Frustration and the lack of fun

Postby q 3 on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:07 am

God unlock quests might be a good idea. I also think it would be helpful if there were more things that destroyed walls; maybe drop a few Wall Crushers in the (non-vicious) cramped dungeons, or have one or two other deities also smash walls (Taurog, perhaps Earthmother - giving her some wall-crushing ability, or maybe just walls-to-plants, would help make her more viable in the really hard dungeons).
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Re: Frustration and the lack of fun

Postby Naoya on Mon Feb 04, 2013 1:12 am

Actually, we have a subdungeon with wall crunchers - maybe make it a default spawn on maze-y mapes like Labyrinth and Shifting Passages?
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Re: Frustration and the lack of fun

Postby FDru on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:17 am

The thing that makes Shifting Passages (and Labyrinth) difficult are the long winding hallway with not enough branches which usually happens. You get trapped by big enemies while fighting a boss and it ends your run. Usually, this results in death so you're also losing money while you're at it.

Shifting Passages already has a blinking boss which is difficult to deal with without the map screwing you over with its changing layout. Though the map is much easier to deal with when you're experienced (or prepped out the ass) and able to get several high level kills to start on the boss before the map becomes cramped, it's far more difficult with a straightforward approach to leveling.
Last edited by FDru on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Frustration and the lack of fun

Postby Lujo on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:24 am

I've been complaining about that one too. The bank quest should very probably be somewhere else. That place has too often required starting fights on a fully explored map AND getting "unstoppable" (sort of). This is the first playthrough I ever went in there more than once (always just went in for the Evolvia throphy), and it gave just about anything I went in with, apart from the old blodmage and an old-absolution paladin, a hard time. And every "regular" non-prepped up or non-cheeze run only managed to win if I played to the best of my vet abilities and if I hit something like the El Potion Loco subdungeon.

Compared to HHoS and Ick it feels too hard for me, and the Labyrinth isn't so much hard as totaly unfair except that I managed to get used to it. Shifting Passages no so much.

Tbh - I actually gave up on one profile when I ran out of gold and the flaming dungeon was stuck there. It wasn't that I couldn't do it, it was that I couldn't bring my self to do it and risk it happening again. Just saying. I also made me generally avoid the north for a long while, too.
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Re: Frustration and the lack of fun

Postby Sidestepper on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:34 am

I guess different people have different experiences. I've always thought of the Shifting Passages as the easiest of the three maze maps. It starts out totally open, which give you maximal chances to use things like Bearmace and PISORF, not to mention that you never get stuck killing low level monsters to get started.
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Re: Frustration and the lack of fun

Postby Bloggorus on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:42 am

There was a similar discussion a while back on this.

People find maze maps jarring initially because they force the player to think a little diffferently to hopw they have been taught by the game.

You have to play the dungeon itself, not the monsters, and finding that out for the first time can be tough when you have spent some time with the game already and think you're pretty good.

There should probably be an easy but super-confined map in the early sections of the game to introduce players to the idea of removing walls as you play and using those location glyphs more.

Thinking back, I didn't use them at all until the Labyrinth kicked my ass all over the place.
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Re: Frustration and the lack of fun

Postby The Avatar on Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:56 am

Hmm... The real problem is the generation involves a couple short, self-contained branches and one super long hallway that's 75% of the map. It you accidentally take out the small ones first you're in deep trouble.
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