The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Lujo on Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:48 pm

You're right, but keep in mind that I simplify to avoid textwalls, and do textwalls for fear of being misunderstood. All the footwork in the world will not help you with vicious (or even hard) if you aren't aware of your options. People get really good with the footwork and still get frustrated or stuck in the "I need this available on every run" mentality because of this. And this affected vets quite a bit - about half the time I spent with the game didn't teach me anything, yet every time someone gave up a locker slot and lockered something off the wall - it ended up opening my eyes to things I didn't even suspect was there. The game actively discourages letting go of triswords and dragonshields in a manner that very probably wasn't intended and this leads to us vets sounding like unreasonable fools about as often as we say something reasonable - we're not aware of what's in the game! After all this time!

EDIT: And untill you're aware of say, gods, you can't even develop proper footwork! You can only stick to what you're sure works, get better and better with the stuff you can't let out of your locker, and hit brick walls.

The point is not whether people will go looking for guides, the point is if they do - they will help them, and if they don't they'll get frustrated for the wrong reasons. This is why you have so few active vets - if it took less time to get to where I was a year ago, you'd probably have quite a few more. And it'd still take a big time investment. And you'd be getting bigger benefits from the ones you do have now. More sensible, concise and timely feedback, for one thing.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Galefury on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:23 pm

dislekcia wrote:That point doesn't seem to exist with lockers. Aequitas called it ages ago when he asked how much is enough? This isn't a balance concern, it's not something that people can theorycraft out or we can figure out on our end, it's a slope that simply needs a resolute backstop at some point.

Maybe I'm a bit late to the party and just missed the explanation, but why exactly are infinite locker slots a bad thing in the post-endgame? There are valid reasons for making people grind, but none of them apply to this situation.

As I said before, the advantages of lockers being limited eventually disappear, while the considerable disadvantages stay as annoying as ever, or get even worse. I realize that your time is limited, and you might not want to spend it fixing something that is only a problem for a minority of players. But, like Lujo, I believe this minority is going to be pretty large, and that the problem is worth fixing.

Consider the following: There could be two lockers, one that works like it currently does, and one that is unlocked very late. The late locker grows infinite as you complete dungeons with more classes and get badges (number of slots = number of lockerable items * total dungeon completion). Items from the infinite locker can be prepared just like normal locker items, but at a higher cost. Could be 5 times the normal cost, could be 2 times the normal cost plus a fixed 50 gold, whatever seems reasonable.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby OneMoreNameless on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:44 pm

(Hi! I'm not a player of the beta, but have been following its development and lurking enough to more or less know the current state of the game. Take this into account as you will.)

Devs, an important point that you seem to be overlooking is that the complaints raised in this thread can and should be solved without descending the 'slippery slope' of resource costs or emotional attachment to locker items. This is because the primary issue is not items costing too much or being obtained too easily, but the real time cost of obtaining an item that the player is already able to afford and has unlocked. Repeatedly restarting a dungeon until desired item X shows up in a store requires no in-game resources and, if anything, will cause players to feel less attached to item X when they eventually prep it because instead of thinking of it as 'this cool item that I unlocked by completing quest Y' they'll be thinking of it as 'this cool item that I had to tediously waste ten minutes to use again'. Desktop Dungeons is a game designed around short, intellectual play sessions - requiring any time period of mindless repetition in order to try out a different prep strategy is the very antithesis of that.

There is, I would imagine, an argument that being able to easily prep any item takes away from some of the randomised fun that DD focuses on. This is true, but even with unlimited prep access there would remain enough incentives not to always use them (badges and such), plus the current situation is actually worse in that it encourages preping the same handful of items all the time. In any case, the general consensus is already that a locker solution would only be rewarded to player after they'd advanced significantly into the game and had already experienced many unique playthroughs, interesting locker choices etc. Nothing is being lost from the game by adding an alternative to the locker at its end; rather, you'd be adding more interesting setups and choices for skilled players to extend their enjoyment afterwards.

Let's look at one hypothetical solution: After the player has completed every non-random quest (or some better landmark), a pimpish merchant appears in their kingdom who will dubiously acquire any unlocked item and loan it to the player. This costs (I’ll guess) three times the usual locker price and the merchant takes the item back if the hero returns alive. Does this reduce the resource cost for the player? No. The player might actually fork out more gold over time than if they were scumming for items. Does this reduce the triumphant feeling of acquiring and lockering a good item? No. The player will still want to keep their expensive or hard-earned preps in their locker to regularly use or uniquely showcase. Does this allow advanced players to try out weird combinations without suffering any real time tedium? Yes. Yes it does.

Will some players begin complaining that these unlockered prep costs are too high? Probably! But there's a very explicit distinction between 'waa waa I don't wanna scum for item X' and 'waa waa I don't wanna pay so much for item X'. Right now, if the player wants to use item X, they are encouraged to repeat a single mindless action until they find it. Using this kind of a solution, the player would instead be encouraged to run a PQI or attempt a purist badge or literally any other fun and stimulating action that DD is actually about. You want players to be playing your game, not scumming it, because that's what's really going to keep them coming back.

So. Please reconsider this.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Nandrew on Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:46 pm

Lujo wrote:*post end-game stuff*


You keep talking about problems affecting veterans, using examples only achievable by veterans, to counter a point I'm making about the non-veteran population.

Whether you believe it or not, by the time you get good enough at DD to be beating Vicious -- or even *attempting* Vicious, or some Hards for that matter -- you already have what could be considered a "hardcore" devotion to the game.

It is, as previously stated, an achievement that a rare portion of the gamer landscape will achieve, regardless of their access to wikis and game information. And That Is Not Necessarily A Bad Thing(TM).
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Lujo on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:15 pm

Nandrew wrote:an achievement that a rare portion of the gamer landscape will achieve


Because there is a huge real-time investment in place where a gameplay expirience and experimentation time investment would be enough, and way more appropriat and beneficial. The current setup has MADE that achievement way more difficult than it realisticaly is, and nowhere it needs to be to make success rewarding at any point. The positively mortifying real-time investment is layered ON TOP of all the time you need to actually become good at the game. I was saying this before I spent months of my life stumbling through hours of slog and accidentaly getting better, but then I was "an unrealistic noob". Now I'm still saying it but "i'm an unrealistic vet." Half of the strats people actually post don't ever get tried out because noone else has a required item in their locker, it's been like this forever. More than half of unrealistic "X needs a buff" suggestions are a concequence of the state where not even most vets have a clue about stuff, after geting their footwork to beyond godlike levels. Just about every "oh noes - nerf!" reaction is directly related to it. Testing this thing in an efficent and reasonable way has ben impossible, and the only way to test it has been painfuly time-consuming and needlesly difficult many, many times. The one guy who comes up with interesting strats on a regular basis is the guy who did the reasonable thing and hacked the game to give him more locker slots - it's what many playthroughts before that thaught him. It doesn't matter who's saying it - it's true.

Please, read what the poster above you and me said - he's not a vet. He's not even a player, but he can see this clearly enough.
Last edited by Lujo on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby berpdreyfuss on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:26 pm

One thing I don't get at this point of the discussion (or two discussions, really) is: If only very few people get good enough to be beating vicious or maybe vicious-vicous, why can't they have unlimited space at some point post-end-game? With that logic it won't change anything to most of the players anyway.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Nandrew on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:51 pm

Lujo. There are problems with the learning curve. We are addressing them. But they are unrelated to this discussion.

You seem to be heavily ascribing the lack of veterans to the limited locker slots, when it appears over and over again that this really is only a problem for people who are already that good.

New and intermediate players don't report scumming, or locker limits, or anything related to the Adventurer's Guild, even in gameplay, even in this very thread, where they'd have every incentive to mention it (the closest we've had is "I'm not suffering from this myself, but ...").

If there IS a place for this debate, it is at the top tier of play. It's that simple. And I know that you'd like to potentially strengthen the argument for infini-lockers by persuading us that it's bad for *all* players, but none of the feedback we've received on the forums or anywhere else points to this being a beginner's problem or something that actively halts their learning.

And yes, I did just read the above poster's comment (it's their first post -- who do you think approved it for visibility?). I would like you to read it too. I'll know when you have.

berpdreyfuss wrote:One thing I don't get at this point of the discussion (or two discussions, really) is: If only very few people get good enough to be beating vicious or maybe vicious-vicous, why can't they have unlimited space at some point post-end-game? With that logic it won't change anything to most of the players anyway.


I *think* we're covering this in a blog post.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Lujo on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:15 pm

Eh...

New players can't report what they don't know about, obviously. But the kind of stuff I see from intermediate guys gets blown up after you clog up your locker. Its not about high tier play, it's about the situation separating vets from newbies for unintuitive reasons (you're obviously working on it, there's been hubbubb about it), but then there's even more stuff needlessly separating vets from the newbies in the post-game. The current locker just cements people in a loop of non-improving and non-exploring, so if there are issues related to the early game, early game stuff - we lose sight of it more than we would. It makes our feedback factually useless and based on the wrong assumptions very often, it affects the metagame. When was the last time many of the vets came up with something new? Most of the time what we "discover" is that something we have lockered can be pushed to beat some place we didn't think it could.

Why do you think there are so many "stale" periods where we think there's nothing new to see while it always turns out there's a million things we don't in fact have a clue about? And how we always discover interesting things when someone makes a new profile and decides to ignore lockering things which faulty experience is telling them is mandatory?

All this leads to us missunderstanding you guys, the game, the power levels, and in effect makes the time we spend meaningless to an unnecessary degree. Same would happen with any group of people. Take all the hubbub about dwarves - guys who lockered the fire heart think they're fine, guys who haven't can usually only discover it by hearing from the other guys.

Anyway, horse whipped as far as I'm concerned, whatever happens is up to you guys, as it always is. Noone in this thread has any bad intentions towards you, and just about everybody felt like they need their textwall out there, most of them saying the same thing, as well as taking time to not be misunderstood. There is no point debating with me on this here, and I wont change my mind about this - I had many opportunities to for months and 2-3 playthroughs. And paying 500 gold per re-lockering something isn't an infini-locker.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Nandrew on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:34 pm

Lujo wrote:There is no point debating with me on this here, and I wont change my mind about this


Duly noted.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby xspeedballx on Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:51 pm

I think some of that "stale" feeling comes from the oft repeated echo chamber. Where 7 people hammer at the same thing or things in lieu of everything else. Until new blood pops up to discuss this thing they did(as happens occasionally.. as Lujo himself did) new things aren't discovered. What seems to be requested is almost a debug mode for testing purposes to allow for easier expansive and exploratory testing at high levels. Sort of the reason sidestepper "hacked" so he could get something closer to that. I can't and won't speak for the merits of that but I certainly understand the sentiment.

Seperate note: *I* like that the devs said a lot of what I had been saying but I am a shameless brown noser! ;)

Out of curiousity Nandrew how are you getting communication from non-vet's if not through the forums? I think some of the problem we can run into is that we think this is the only path of info, and we are the only source(egotistical and confirmation bias and all).
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