xspeedballx wrote:The big question is, when you increase items, preps and dungeon resources at the same rate as you go up in difficulty, are you actually learning anything?
You might feel like you are, but it is easy to confuse success with acquiring skill.
Modern RPG's are very good at this, giving you the impression that you are improving when really you are just receiving as big a sword as the enemies you are facing.
This is at the heart of all my "stupid this" and "braindead that" ranting. If my "vet status", and the post post post perspective, gave me anything it's a somewhat decent perspective of the relative power level of different features (can't claim to understand nearly everything, I learn stuff from discussions and playthroughs every time). While I was "not a vet", I was looking for ways to save time and effort - being a DD vet was not something I aspired to. I wanted to be who I am, and this is what I think most people want. So I got good at spotting features which let me "cheat" - avoid other features which would take too much of my time, skip the learning curve, skip challenges and all that.
Now, a curious thing happened that every so often one of the things I was using for all the "wrong" reasons, litteraly to avoid having to invest too much time and effort in the game, turned out to be good enough to take me through places which were supposed to be very challenging. The old monk was a good example of that. I knew from moba expirience what % based damage resistances did for a player - in a moba they let you simultaneously endanger/kill 5 other guys, and many teams throw in the towel if an opposing carry tank gets his resistance levels high enough. Other strat is to focus fire him efficently, but mobas are a competitive multiplayer genre where you can do that, and is isn't one, so the monsters had to fight you one at a time. That set of circumstances let me go very far without learning anything.
So the thing was I ended up learning things by accident. When I was told the monk was supposed to be a regen fighting learning tool and that I just got very good with him - I knew I didn't. I just knew that it was a broken mechanic, because I was using it to ignore stuff. So I set out to "optimize" it by literally not unlocking abot 90% of the stuff - guys though that I was doing a speedrun, when in fact I was just making the game not force me to learn a big bunch of obscure and confusing stuff which I didn't even need to beat the VGT - which was the only thing which could challenge my no-brainer strat.
If I unlock the warlord, goo blobs will appear? I don't feel comfortable with 50% res guys around, I think I'll just skip it. If I unlock TT I can worship him after I've killed the boss to safely pick up gold from his boons so I don't run out when I do VGT? Sign me up! If I don't do quests then I don't have expensive items in shops, so I can just convert the cheap ones for CP and not waste time and gold trying to figure out what the expensive ones do? Awesome! If I unlock the paladin and no other guys with glyphs, I can have HALPMEH on every run and not waste time and gold scumming when I reach VGT? Great! Potions clog up my shops? Wont unlock them! (They created the apothecary after all this, the potions complaint was actually pretty legit).
And the game rewarded me for all this! From my "non-vet" or "crafty horse thief" perspective, this was the only sensible way to play - the game was a frustrating and difficult expirience otherwise. Up until that point I was avoiding GG like the plague - trying him out with a priest (seems logical to a newbie, except it isnt) got me into so much trouble that I didn't want to touch him with a 10 foot pole. Then I unlocked him by accident, and started experimenting with him because I was playing literal god mode and felt safe enough. Turned out he was impossibly too good, because he magnified a "strat" which was good enough to beat everything (even the old terribly unfair stuff). I didn't need any more power - and I stumbled onto GG, and I mean litteraly forgot about what I was doing and did his subdungeon unintentionaly and got stuck with him on every run. I stumbled onto something that was on par in power with factual deliberate cheating.
If I didn't go out of my way to cheat for very individual reasons, and then ended up discovering a mechanic by accident, my alternative was even more sensible - give up on the game. It's sensible from a RL actual person perspective. Gods didn't even have puzzles back then, and they were difficult enough for me to get into that I felt i needed hax to even try. And the game expected me to get to know them, and once I did it stopped being difficult very soon. It's why I go out of my way to point out stuff that's working too well as a training wheel / cheat code - it's impossible to know how easy it gets once you get rid of them, and it's impossible to get anywhere without them if you don't really figure the gods out. This situation led me to become a vet by accident - and I never ever wanted to be a vet!
And the vids would only serve one purpose - get people to try gods. You only really need a reason and an assurance that it will work out fine, to break either the "this will cost me" or "this is more effort then I'm ready to invest in a videogame" barriers. All you need is to see them work, and find a reason to try it, and then try it on something else, and then try it on something else, and then after a while you realize that the game is in fact really, really easy and if the gods weren't obscure there would be very little challenge left at all. And you'd be a horrible, horrible game vet.
So something IS up with the learning curve. It causes unintended reactions from humans, and determining what exactly it is, the way I see it, probably requires curbing the power of stuff that helps people get very far without getting good with gods (and many items, too) - and see what the game looks like then. And a few other things, obviously.
IDEA - The game would be well served with achevements - win 5 games after taking the enlightment boon. Win 5 games after worshiping TT at lvl1. Use a million clearances in a single game. Pick up every Mysterea boon and win. I'm curious to whether the codex will actualy utilize this in-game.