Rambling

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Re: Rambling

Postby The Avatar on Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:38 am

Of course. All self contained, no gold goes in, no gold comes out. It lets you play around with things you've always wanted to try, lets you do strange fringe case strategies, and just play around in general. It's difficult enough to 100% dungeons. Why not let us have a little extra fun if we pull it off.

Here's another idea. The sandbox token (like the vicious token) could be a reward for beating every vicious once (or maybe VGT), as a final gift to people who have "mastered" the game.
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Re: Rambling

Postby Bloggorus on Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:21 am

The Avatar wrote:Of course. All self contained, no gold goes in, no gold comes out. It lets you play around with things you've always wanted to try, lets you do strange fringe case strategies, and just play around in general. It's difficult enough to 100% dungeons. Why not let us have a little extra fun if we pull it off.

Here's another idea. The sandbox token (like the vicious token) could be a reward for beating every vicious once (or maybe VGT), as a final gift to people who have "mastered" the game.


Finish every dungeon at least once: sandbox token. Brilliant.
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Re: Rambling

Postby ChasGB on Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:05 am

xspeedballx wrote:5) I think to a degree we need to stop thinking of the game as too hard. What we all are saying and the devs are agreeing is that aspects of the game are still impenetrable to the average person. If they were not, the game has plenty of resources available to win if you knew about them.


Honestly, if the core game wasn't as hard as it is, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun. The first time I played the Alpha I got my face kicked in, said "OMFG, what just happened? This is awesome!" and I was hooked. Beta-wise, really when you get guys like me talking about difficulty its mostly related to the class challenges and gating items. Those feel like those should be attainable (especially Silver), so when we encounter ones that seem otherwise impossible (BM Silver always seems brutally hard) it's discouraging. Gold challenges, got it, it's reasonable to expect that to be a brick wall, but some of the Silvers are ridonkulous.

Maybe it makes more sense to shift the monster classes and certain items (Dragon Shield gets mentioned in annotated playthroughs so much it feels like a "Must Have") as rewards for hard dungeon completions/quests? Those rewards create a lot of pressure for n00bs to attempt Vicious before they're really ready, and that creates frustration. In retrospect I shouldn't be playing Vicious just yet, because I don't have the gods figured out, but I feel compelled to so I can get those monster classes and items. It doesn't feel like "post-post game" in that sense. If the reward for Vicious was "Sandbox/God Mode," then a lot of the pressure to attempt vicious prematurely goes away. Maybe then the conversation is less about difficulty and more about rewards? But what do I know.

The first time I attempted a vicious, given how the Gods are "introduced" it felt like this (courtesy of Penny Arcade):
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Re: Rambling

Postby The Avatar on Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:58 am

Wow, I lol'd at that. How true.

The dragon shield really isn't a must have. There are enough strategies that anyone can beat vicious with that you really don't need it. It's a nice item and a useful item, but not a required item.
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Re: Rambling

Postby Sidestepper on Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:17 am

Yeah, somewhere along the line this idea got started that you must have the Dragon Shield or you cannot play vicious content, and it's just not true. I mostly kept mine as a trophy because I didn't want to pay the prep cost, and there are many dungeons where Elven Boots are actually better. VGT is the only place where I think it might actually be required. When you have multiple successive enemies with 200+ damage, percentage based damage mitigation becomes really important. The standard non-resistance alternatives to high damage monsters (death protection, fireballs) don't work there because you don't have enough dings or black space to make those work anymore, starting around floor 5.
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Re: Rambling

Postby Bloggorus on Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:27 am

I think many people mentioned it because it is a bit of a 'no brainer' prep for most class combos. There aren't many situations where free 20% resistance isn't going to be useful.

Also most of it is from before the days of curse when monsters still sapped res.

Ah, memories.
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Re: Rambling

Postby booooooze on Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:56 am

Neither here nor there: I hate the gold challenges. Haven't tried any in a long time; too frustrating, no reward.

BM silver isn't that bad.

Vicious did used to be much harder. I agree.

And I can't think of a game without multiplayer that I've spent more time playing.
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Re: Rambling

Postby Lujo on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:53 am

Galefury wrote:If people want to stop playing after a few hundred hours and move on, that's fine. People can, will, and should determine for themselves when the game stops being fun for them, and this point will be different for everyone. There is no one "correct" difficulty, there isn't even one correct difficulty ramp.


Would you believe that this is something I agree with you 100%?

I, for example, am not trying to beat everything with everything because I think everyone shold - I'm fully aware that the task is so time consuming that it goes way past "healty". I'm turning every rock over to see how particular runs will look to people attempting them, and to see if the challenges they pose are the challenges which the player is decently equiped to handle. Or if the hint's of what he needs are solid enough to get him experimenting in a worthwhile direction.

If there are unintended difficulty spikes, and it seems everyone agrees that there are implicitly or explicitly, I'm trying to help determine what's causing them. Not balancing the classes/items/preps, and not smoothing out the learning curve adds more mandatory time to an already very time consuming game - and I don't want anyone to spend, or have to spend, hundreds of hours of pure frustration time on top of the hundreds of hours of exciting gameplay and reasonable "hooking in" learning frustration.

Most people will be happy with only managing the vicious dungeons with 1, or 2, or 3, or 9 classes, but I feel, for reasons of goodheartedness, stubborness and apparently OCD, that someone ought to see what attempting any of those runs would be like for various players before the game is shipped. And I also think that for all the confusion and annoynce me (and some other vets to a lesser degree) can cause - we want a good expirience for all sorts of players with all sorts of ambitions, and we are certain, or we believe that can be achieved.

In other words - yes, I've played it for what seems like forever, but I can, by this time, tell which parts of that forever were enjoyable, which were justifiably frustrating, which were pure glee (I'm not letting Fabulous treasure go either!), and which were a complete waste of time for anyone. I'm sure people will get hooked on this thing, and for awesome reasons, but if measures can be taken to allow players to get to where I'm now skill wise in a more reasonable time - the game would not lose anything. Not HELP in a hamfisted way, just allow in a way that doesn't tax months of their life untill they stumble upon important stuff by accident. Because the game is still challenging, and I'm learning something about it's million interactions every day.

And I still don't have faithless on shifting passages, think about that one.
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Re: Rambling

Postby Galefury on Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:35 pm

Having some humps in the difficulty curve is nice IMO. Proper spikes, not so good. You seem to think that especially proper use of religion creates problematic spikes in the learning curve.

Unlike you I actually rather liked my experience with gods and difficulty. You probably remember when religion switching and altar desecration were introduced. The first time I had a game where I worshiped three different gods and desecrated two altars to turn a sure loss into a close win felt incredible, and completely changed my perspective on gods in DD. Suddenly, everything could be a valuable resource (piety), depending on which gods were on the map. Getting the most out of those resources by switching gods at opportune times to maximize both piety and what I was getting for that piety was a whole new and incredibly complex part of the game, deeply interwoven with every other part by the various piety mechanics. A completely new thing to master (which I'm sure I never did). Suddenly new ways to win that I never even knew existed were brightly lit up and open for exploration.

Of course these new ways to win didn't always exist, and that they were newly introduced at the time surely helped me discover them. It still took me a while to figure out. I don't know how much the game currently hints at these possibilities, so you may have a point when you say it is currently too hard to figure out how to properly use the gods. Hell, I'm not even sure if I have figured out gods, there may be even more incredible possibilities behind the next hump in the difficulty curve, and you might be referring to those.

Anyway, my point is that such revelations can be really fun, and a completely smooth curve doesn't have them. The times I got over some hump and opened up completely new ways to improve my play were some of the most fun I had with DD. The problem is when the hump is too high and people get frustrated. And it's always going to be too high for some people. The devs really have to know their audience to get it just right.

It is possible to create something similar to these revelations by artificially locking content, and DD does this to a huge extent (classes, items, gods, dungeons and preps all need to be gradually unlocked). But this doesn't provide the same feeling as figuring out some new technique purely by the power of your own brain. I think it is important to have these moments in a puzzle game, because other genres have a much harder time providing them.
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Re: Rambling

Postby The Avatar on Fri Feb 08, 2013 1:02 pm

Did you play the alpha?

Most of the time people's first experiences with gods are bad. Then they've been scared off.
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