DD's Kingdom is all about persistence. This is the "menu" that you choose where you want to go adventuring from and how. As you unlock new races, classes, items, preparations and dungeons, the Kingdom changes and that determines the starting situations for dungeon runs that you go on. In some cases, players can alter their intial starting situation by equipping specific preparations at a cost of Kingdom gold, things like starting with a fireball glyph for a fee or paying the Blacksmith for a starter sword or shield, etc. This stuff is primarily designed in order to prevent (or at least minimise) the impact of scumming on the game. Personally, I'm inclined to think that if players are scumming for favorable starts, they didn't find the game too easy
There are only two Kingdom elements that could be seen as persistent for the player: Gold brought into a dungeon, which is capped at 35 gold maximum and only available if you have a Bank in your Kingdom - if you run out of Kingdom gold, the Bank can't extend you a loan, so shit gets harder; And your locker items - when you exit a run, you have the choice to store the items you would have sold in the Adventurers Guild Locker instead, making that item available for future runs, at a cost to your Kingdom (not in-Dungeon) gold. If you die while using a Locker item, you have to pay a replacement fee to make that item available again.
keithburgun wrote:I agree strongly with waterd; persistent elements that increase the player's power over the course of his career are a very bad idea. This means that the game is effectively becoming EASIER, despite the fact that the player's skill has increased. Why would you *want* this to be the case? This is one of those things that really hurts the longevity of videogames in general, IMO.
This is a problem we noticed with that iOS clone of DD: The dude copied our concept of preparations (which we'd only written about at that point) by giving players weapons as rewards for finishing dungeons with each class. That totally broke the game's difficulty progression by making later runs easier in exactly the way you're talking about.
We've avoided this problem in DD a number of ways, most notably through starting the game at a player-positive handicap, so everything is easier when you start out. Then, as you unlock things that add power-gradients to your potential, the game tones down on that handicap so that everything gets harder: Shops unlocked? Game gets tougher. Gods unlocked? Game gets tougher. More races and classes unlocked? Game gets tougher AND adds more complex, trickier monster types and abilities to the pool.
Then there's the new dungeons. There are WAY more dungeons now, things that we simply couldn't do in the alpha are in there now, roughly split into 4 different types of way to fuck with the player's expectation of how they're supposed to be playing the game. Dungeons are the game's difficulty progression, modulated by quests that ask players to do really strange/hard/tricky things. So yes, once you've got all your preps unlocked you can go back to the Den of Danger, spend 200 Kingdom gold to enter fully kitted out and utterly ROFLstomp the dungeon. That's cool if that's what you want to do, some players love playing that way. You'll probably just about break-even on that expenditure though.
But the harder dungeons, the ones that ask you to kill more bosses, deal with respawning bastard monsters, choke you out with plants or chase you down like a rat in a maze, those are where the quests will be directing you as a player at that point in the game. We don't do power creep in the normal sense, a late-game class is going to be harder to play than an early game one, not more powerful. Everything is predicated by forcing you to become a better player, then giving you more hard choices to make. It seems to be working, given the kinds of debates players have here
Then, of course, once you're really good, you can pay to equip the Vicious Token that makes every single dungeon you take it into (including the "easy" starting dungeons) ludicrously difficult.
So no, I'm not crazy worried about persistence breaking difficulty.