Design post on the blog!

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Re: Design post on the blog!

Postby Bloggorus on Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:38 am

Also, the message I got from the design post was that the devs were essentially over tweaking classes and into polishing the first half of the game:

I raise this concept because there’s a big change coming in how we as a design team approach issues in Desktop Dungeons. It’s been brewing for a while now, but we’re finally at a point where we feel that tweaking numbers and effects is essentially navel-gazing in an already well-balanced game experience. The new definitions we’d like to see making their way into the vocabulary of the discussion revolve around strange-sounding terms like information-load and richness of feedback. Essentially, we’re focusing on making the game easier for people to pick up over time because it conveys better and more useful information to them as they play it. We know the game CAN be played, we just want to make that play experience smoother. There’s no end of situations in DD that can benefit from more information: Everything from players learning about bonus experience or wasting regeneration space to the effectiveness of poison on enemies and their current debuff state can (and should!) be displayed graphically.


I think many players might have missed this. It also doesn't help that the devs keep skirting around the issue by addressing tiny asides in great detail and refusing to discuss general gameplay theory. They haven't disagreed that an and-game infinite locker wouldnt be great for a seperate end-game, only in the regular game. They just don't have the time to implement something like a new end-game.

This might have been easier if the devs had just said 'no more balance tweaks, guys' instead of letting things get this far.

Regardless, if i was forced to prioritise I would start focusing on content at the beginning of the game, which every player will see, and not on endgame, which a very small amount of players will see. Pretty sure that's what the devs meant by the long-winded discussion about 'design languages'. Players need to accept this and move on.

The locker won't change any time soon.

BUT the first thing I will do when this game goes gold is develop a tiny mod that gives the player an infinite locker.

I don't care about ruining my game progression because I've seen a large percentage of the game by now. I'd say other players have too, and there's nothing wrong with making the changes after the game is released to achieve your vision.

I think many players are worried that their expectations for the game wont be fulfilled. It's worse because QCF are unusually open with their development plan, warts and all. If it doesn't turn out how you like, change it yourself!
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Re: Design post on the blog!

Postby The Avatar on Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:01 am

If it is even moddable. I hope there will be some way for us normal people (as in mediocre with computers) to mod it.
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Re: Design post on the blog!

Postby Bloggorus on Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:17 am

It depends on the structure of the code, but I would say so. The fact that is built in Unity, and the fact that the devs added the ability to dynamically increase the number of locker slots using n in-game event give me hope.

A mod would probably do something non-game breaking like make increasing your locker slots only cost 100 or 500 gold. Modify (hopefully) a few lines of code that cap this process at three extra slots and BAM, instant infinite locker.

Unless they just hardcoded nine slots and hid three behind events, in which case we are boned.

How many items are there? I probably only need twenty or so :)
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Re: Design post on the blog!

Postby Sidestepper on Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:52 am

Moddable or not, it is inevitable that someone will make a simple hex editor with a nice front end to fiddle with the savegame files. Unfortunately, it will probably be kind of "cheaty" (eg no gold cost or quest prereqs, and probably will let you swap in items that you haven't even unlocked), but that's how it is. This might even be the ideal solution, since it doesn't cost the devs any resources.

If anyone ever played Titan Quest, there was a similar issue where players had theoretically unlimited storage but the process of accessing it and organizing it was extremely tedious. Someone made a utility called TQVault which which removed the hassle and is basically considered to be part of the core experience by the fans.

I'm done with the issue because it's clear that the devs are set on this, but I still feel like they don't understand what we are saying. I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how paying a gold fee to swap in a Health Pendant for my Dwarven Gauntlets breaks the game, but performing the same operation by grinding doesn't. I don't think we're ever going to get a direct answer to that so I'm done asking.
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Re: Design post on the blog!

Postby TigerKnee on Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:22 am

Incidentally, I think the example given in the post about "changing gun sound effect = players are happy, gun was fine all along! Players were just whiny and there was no reason to change the gun's stats!" to be a really bad example.

Normally when this happens, the gun itself may have not changed that patch, but the situation around it (or the "Meta", so to speak) has changed which now makes the gun viable to use.

As an example, consider a "soft" weapon weakness chain of

Pistol > Rocket Launcher (our "Sound effect was changed gun" for this example) > Shotgun > Pistol

And let's say this chain isn't obvious. Players might have gravitated towards Pistol for whatever reasons that might not be known to them. Therefore, tweaking the RL's numbers tend not to help, because unless the numbers are tweaked so high that it becomes overpowered, it will always be at a disadvantage through the properties of being a Rocket Launcher weapon.

Now let's say a month later, you do the patch that changed the RL's sound effect but also have a bunch of other changes. The pros developed a shotgun strategy that is really really effective and now everyone wants to use a shotgun. To counter the shotgun, people now turn to the rocket launcher, and now the RL gets used where it didn't before.

You guys would go "Look, there wasn't a need to change the RL stats all along!" but well, that's wrong. If everything else had remained the same, it wouldn't be an acceptable weapon. The enviroment changed and thus it became viable.

Man that's really rambly.
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Re: Design post on the blog!

Postby Lujo on Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:46 am

That's a problem with having too many guns, or a screwy learning curve. Same thing with dwarves or weakening. Not relevant to this disscussion, especially since:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FISHEO3gsM
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Re: Design post on the blog!

Postby Bloggorus on Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:48 am

I don't think the gun analogy was about the locker, it was a dodgy proof of concept of their design language theory. It was basically them telling us to stop suggesting changed numbers and give them more holistic feedback.

I feel like many of the posts in this thread were quite broad in their discussion about the locker as a component of the game as a whole. On the other hand there were heaps that just suggested new features, which isn't really constructive feedback.

Still, i feel that thread presented a fairly united view that the current implementation of the locker needs development at the end game. The likelihood this happening so late in the development cycle is very low, but it was interesting nonetheless and perhaps an indicator of the potential,of mods to make this game into something that meets every players expectations.
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Re: Design post on the blog!

Postby Lujo on Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:43 am

Bloggorus wrote:Still, i feel that thread presented a fairly united view that the current implementation of the locker needs development at the end game. The likelihood this happening so late in the development cycle is very low, but it was interesting nonetheless and perhaps an indicator of the potential,of mods to make this game into something that meets every players expectations.


Well, it certanly isn't too late for them to do something about it - as it came up in the other thread. If they did a poll on "whether you vere using or avoiding the following feature" and "why" they'd get some pretty shocking numbers on all the intentional time sinks, I think.
Last edited by Lujo on Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Design post on the blog!

Postby dislekcia on Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:52 am

Lujo wrote:Well, it certanly isn't too late for them to do something about it - as I came up in the other thread. If they did a poll on "whether you vere using or avoiding the following feature" and "why" they'd get some pretty shocking numbers on all the intentional time sinks, I think.


Why would we need to poll a very limited set of players (who have quite different/skewed goals due to forum interaction weighing on what they consider successful) when we have raw data on player behavior for the past year to draw on?
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Re: Design post on the blog!

Postby dislekcia on Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:01 am

TigerKnee wrote:Incidentally, I think the example given in the post about "changing gun sound effect = players are happy, gun was fine all along! Players were just whiny and there was no reason to change the gun's stats!" to be a really bad example.

Normally when this happens, the gun itself may have not changed that patch, but the situation around it (or the "Meta", so to speak) has changed which now makes the gun viable to use.

As an example, consider a "soft" weapon weakness chain of

Pistol > Rocket Launcher (our "Sound effect was changed gun" for this example) > Shotgun > Pistol

And let's say this chain isn't obvious. Players might have gravitated towards Pistol for whatever reasons that might not be known to them. Therefore, tweaking the RL's numbers tend not to help, because unless the numbers are tweaked so high that it becomes overpowered, it will always be at a disadvantage through the properties of being a Rocket Launcher weapon.

Now let's say a month later, you do the patch that changed the RL's sound effect but also have a bunch of other changes. The pros developed a shotgun strategy that is really really effective and now everyone wants to use a shotgun. To counter the shotgun, people now turn to the rocket launcher, and now the RL gets used where it didn't before.

You guys would go "Look, there wasn't a need to change the RL stats all along!" but well, that's wrong. If everything else had remained the same, it wouldn't be an acceptable weapon. The enviroment changed and thus it became viable.

Man that's really rambly.


The gun anecdote is mostly an illustration that there are many different axes along which changes can be made in a complex game. Your example rather misses that point and assumes that the player base for this hypothetical shooter is completely stagnant. What if the reason players gravitated towards the pistol in your example was because its secondary animations and effects felt the best, so they used it a lot and thus became comfortable with it.

If the secondary effects on other weapons are changed to match, then new players will have different selection criteria for their favorite guns. Suddenly the meta game changes without any number balance changes at all... Yes, sometimes inertia is a problem in a limited community and I think forums often tend to over-emphasize that, but that doesn't mean that the limited perspective is the single correct one ;)
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