Suggestion - Warning

All things Desktop Dungeons

Re: Suggestion - Warning

Postby dislekcia on Thu May 09, 2013 8:58 pm

Fighter gold is doable when it appears. You just have to play well and maybe get a bit lucky with positioning a couple of times. The Witch and Alchemist really do make it easier by giving you more flexibility.

Any dungeon that you can't beat because you're not aware of some technique or you're playing inefficiently for its particular setup feels like it's FAR TOO HARD. That's how a skill-gate works most of the time, that's why we're trying to add hints and systemic pointers to make the leaps of insight easier to have. That said, Gold Challenges are designed as incredibly hard. They're there to make you play in strange ways that you normally would never consider.

Something that seems worth noting is that things get harder the more you play in a particular direction - the map graphics will eventually indicate this a little better. I hope.

keithburgun wrote:THE PROBLEM: Right now, if it says "DEATH", you don't click. The only time you do is if you mis-clicked. So it does not function for this to be the end-game condition.


We're pretty secure in this not being as large a problem as not having death in the game. Mis-clicks are solveable in many different ways. Players being encouraged to learn to play badly seems to have a very elegant solution: Allow death. You all think that we haven't tested this, we have. It's just that you don't agree with our test results because you're not new players. New players that learn to play in versions of DD where they can't die don't care about the game - they don't keep playing, if they do play for long enough to hit the first sections of the game that require logical leaps, they simply give up.

Maybe you could argue that those people aren't the people who would care about DD in the first place, but we've seen that many more players stick around when death is part of the game. Frankly, new players are the most important to the continued survival of DD... Find a way to have new players die while learning and veterans not die to misclicks and I'll be really grateful. And surprised, but mostly grateful.

keithburgun wrote:1. Create some OTHER game-end condition. Maybe the mission ends when you reveal a certain % of the map. Maybe there is some other resource. Maybe there's a straight up timer. I don't really have this answer, I just know that death is not the answer.


Doubt that timers will work. We used to include score in the alpha based on time played, that was pretty interesting, seeing people rush through the game or leave it running for ages to try and maximise scores through overflows. There are playstyles in the game that require full reveals, heck, it's actually rather fun to play fully revealed (spam Lemmisi) and see if you can win from there on a normal dungeon. The game end condition is boss health vs your health, that's not too tricky.

It feels like the problem has less to do with death in the game, you still die in the alpha, after all. And more to do with experienced players feeling like the beginning of the game isn't challenging enough, despite there being a lot to learn that's changed in the beta in subtle ways... I dunno, this is something that I noticed happening with Guitar Hero eventually: I'd get a new GH or Rockband game and it would be "over" much faster than I remembered the others taking. Of course, that was because I was playing all the new songs on expert the first time around, so I was a fan that was desperate for more content, but I was also shortening the amount of times I could play that content by being good at the game. That's a problem we'll have with DD alpha players coming over to the full game, but I'm pretty sure that the same reason GH and RB balanced for new players is what we've decided to do: Veterans are fans already, you don't have to convert them. You just have to hint at them that there's a lot more waiting for them - perhaps we're doing that too slowly, I can accept that.

keithburgun wrote:2. Add randomness to the attacks. If all attacks have some amount of randomness to them, then death can be used, because players can make a risky move. I am actually NOT a fan of this kind of randomness in games, but I prefer it to straight up illogical design properties.


Hah. No. Can you imagine how unfair that would feel in a game with as few attack exchanges as DD? Not only would that mean players would be dying in completely unfair feeling ways, but you'd also totally end up killing the "edge of the knife" styles of play that the grid-based regen allows, players would very rarely risk combat when they were close to something's max damage, meaning that a significant percentage of a map's total regenerateable health (mostly ding regen) would be "wasted" on just-in-case anti-random buffer health. Everyone would be arguing to remove random damage, and rightly so.

Perhaps there's a game in that direction that's awesome, but it's not DD. And it wouldn't be something we could reach from the maps, classes, monsters and spells we have now.

keithburgun wrote:3. (Least favorite, but still a solution) Just let players resign, or have the system detect when there are no moves left - checkmate.


As people have already pointed out - there's a resign button in the menu. You can also leave via the entry stairs if you can reach them. I don't see how this solves any of the problems around death and non-death.
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Re: Suggestion - Warning

Postby Lujo on Thu May 09, 2013 9:13 pm

I'm with you on all counts Dislekcia, but as long as you're talkative - why keep the fact that you can resign so obscure? These guys complaining about it / missing it entirely just confirm something I've thought about every time the first tutorial made me die to that goat after the first. Wait a sec, this isn't true! There's almost never any point to dying, I can always just resign. Been meaning to bring it up for ages...

There really are only a few ways to die once you figure that out, and the only reason it's tricky to figure out is because the button isn't right below the inventory where it's obvious that it exists all the time...
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Re: Suggestion - Warning

Postby keithburgun on Thu May 09, 2013 9:28 pm

Been thinking about this a bit more, and reading your responses. Just to clarify the most important point, here's what I think.

My Problem: Death makes no sense in Desktop Dungeons because the only time someone would ever experience it is if they misclick or if they've run out of moves (in which case it could just as well be resign). Under no circumstances* does death occur in a way that really thematically justifies death. It's always either "oh shit, misclicked!", or "Ah, ran out of moves, gotta kill myself now." Neither of these is a good mechanical pairing for the thematic concept of "death".

The reason you feel like we're arguing past each other is because you think that I'm advocating just ripping it out and putting nothing in its place. I might have come across that way, but the more I think of it, I realize that you really need something to *replace* death.

I *agree* with you that all else being equal, the game is better off with death

When I said "timer", I didn't mean real-time timer, I meant turns, but nevermind that and my other suggestions. There's a million things that could be tried, really. Here's one example:

- Objective is to beat a high score.
- Game End condition is triggered when the last "middle area tile" is uncovered (tiles that are within 4 tiles of the center of the map, maybe they're colored differently and you can see a highlight of where they are in the black before they're revealed)
- When the game ends, you win if you beat your high score, and you lose if you do not. Or you can use terms like "Pass" / "Fail" or something.


* Possibly the only circumstance would be a character that has some random dodge chance like the thief or whatever had in the alpha (Not sure if that's still in the beta)
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Re: Suggestion - Warning

Postby Lujo on Thu May 09, 2013 9:55 pm

The reason you are arguing past each other is that you misunderstand the purpose of "death" in the game, which is a direct concequence of them having labeled something else entirely as "death". Dying is not ment to mean the failure of a run, it's ment to be an electric shock which:

1) Keeps you from even trying to do things which you shouldn't (things labeled "death")
3) Force you to reconsider your tactics / expend resources to avoid it, but keep on the track (drink a potion to keep fighting a monster, and so on and so forth).
2) Makes you try just about anything else because anything that doesn't result in it death is prefferable to it. And the game expects you to try some really weird sh?t.
4) Put you in a heightened emotional state and give you a personal grudge against stuff that could end your run in a blink of an eye

But the failure of a run has nothing to do with death - it's already running out of resources, and depending on your strat this can mean various resources. The point of the game is to out resource the bosses. Never getting yourself into a position where the boss hit prediction goes red. "Not dieing" in advance. Now, whether you actualy go on and click or resign is irrelevant at that point. There is a multitude of ways to screw yourself over in this game and you needn't die once.

The reason missclick deaths are so frustrating and moronic is that the fear of death (or resigning) is what drives you to do whatever it is you do - and as the game up's the stake it starts asking you to do crazy stuff in order "to not die - in advance". You do your best to avoid dieing - and then all your efforts get taken away from you in a way which is or seems to be totaly out of your hands. It's maddning!

But death as such has to be there. And you need not even ever die, but you have to have a chance to die and expirience loss. In the end, you needn't lose anything in game - just losing time and energy is enough to drive you to make your time and energy well spent instead of fruitless. Enough to cause much frustration, potentially even more than any in game loss would. So there really should and could be a compromise solution. Because the crazy vets who never die and always resign are actually the most careful guys who get pedantic enough to go through VGT because they fear losing any more time and energy to the game.

I'm really curious how my suggestion for a 2 saving graces token would pan out and if it was ever properly tested. It would retain all the virtues of "deadly game", yet give a decent enough protection from missclicks. Having, say, 2 "backsies" if you equip a token would let anyone walk deep enough into a run to get emotionaly invested into a victory and 10 times as paranoid once he runs out.
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Re: Suggestion - Warning

Postby keithburgun on Thu May 09, 2013 11:17 pm

Just to clarify, by no means am I one of those "anti-permadeath" people. In fact, I think ALL strategy games need to have permanent consequences. So I'm not saying "wahhh death, it's too mean" or anything remotely like that. I'm saying specifically death, as implemented, specifically in this system, does not make sense.
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Re: Suggestion - Warning

Postby Sidestepper on Thu May 09, 2013 11:41 pm

Still hoping for an ultra-hardcore option where QCF sends someone to punch you in the face every time you die in game
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Re: Suggestion - Warning

Postby The Avatar on Fri May 10, 2013 4:14 am

Wow. I look away for my workday and a huge discussion pops up.

@keithburgen: Desktop Dungeons is not a game about score. There are enough easier options (or at least there should be) that there is really no need to socre. Also, you can usually tell how well you did. If you were one shot from killing the boss that's better than getting him halfway down. Also randomness is not a good idea. Desktop Dungeons is, IMO, better viewed as a puzzle than a rogue-like, and dying be randomness would be like losing the last piece pf a 1000 piece puzzle. Infuriating. Also. This applies for alternate ending conditions. The key to a puzzle is completing it. Do an easier puzzle (dungeon for the metaphor) if it is too hard, and use that as learning material and practice so you can complete the harder ones. These are just my thoughts feel free to take them with a grain of salt.
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Re: Suggestion - Warning

Postby Waterd103 on Fri May 10, 2013 1:21 pm

\Here is the problem with a challenge or dungeon being easier if you unlock more stuff, now the game is not only a dungeon itself but how you approach and the order you do approach each dungeon. That is terrible imo. I guess my major problem is that to me DD alpha was going to be something like a rougelike or a puzzle game like minesweeper, i open the game, i start new game, I die or lose, close the game, and next game, whatever happend previous day has NOTHING to do with it. That is because desktop games as i call them 20 minute games to cover some free time one has, are optimal so. Like spectromancer or minesweeper or Crimson lands (games i use as desktop games).
Now it seems that DD is not like that, it doesn't even try to be this. Ive spend a few hours for interest in this game spending most of time bored in easy challenges, the other time in a challenge that is way harder that "what actually can be if i do the right order in how i approach quests" And dying a lot of times not because a decision but misclick.

The experience has been overall very bad and im done with the game
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Re: Suggestion - Warning

Postby Waterd103 on Fri May 10, 2013 3:06 pm

Btw there is no ¨recommendation¨ for doing the gold fighter, or tooltip that hint witch and alchemist is needed
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Re: Suggestion - Warning

Postby dislekcia on Fri May 10, 2013 3:17 pm

Waterd103 wrote:\Here is the problem with a challenge or dungeon being easier if you unlock more stuff, now the game is not only a dungeon itself but how you approach and the order you do approach each dungeon. That is terrible imo. I guess my major problem is that to me DD alpha was going to be something like a rougelike or a puzzle game like minesweeper, i open the game, i start new game, I die or lose, close the game, and next game, whatever happend previous day has NOTHING to do with it. That is because desktop games as i call them 20 minute games to cover some free time one has, are optimal so. Like spectromancer or minesweeper or Crimson lands (games i use as desktop games).
Now it seems that DD is not like that, it doesn't even try to be this. Ive spend a few hours for interest in this game spending most of time bored in easy challenges, the other time in a challenge that is way harder that "what actually can be if i do the right order in how i approach quests" And dying a lot of times not because a decision but misclick.

The experience has been overall very bad and im done with the game


I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the game. So your major problem was that you hit a challenge (Fighter Gold) that you felt you couldn't beat without unlocking other things in the game? What made you keep playing that as opposed to playing other dungeons, challenges or puzzles? You beat your head against Fighter Gold 21 times. At the very least that points to a potential mis-timing of that challenge from our side, maybe... I dunno.

You do realise that you've played over 12 hours of the game so far, right? I'll refund you, sure, it just felt a little weird until I realised that this was about testing the beta, not deciding that 12+ hours of play wasn't worth $10 ;) Thanks for helping, hopefully we can still use your feedback to make the game better.

Actually, it's a little strange that you dislike DD's progression so much when that's a key part of what makes it like minesweeper for us: There's simply too much content in the game for it to be played in one session/sitting, so players keep coming back to it and each time they do, the game gives them quests to push them to learn new stuff. Fighter Gold is doable as you're seeing it now, it's just that you hadn't played enough of the rest of the game to have the skills to beat it. That's quite an interesting perspective on the game, I appreciate you speaking up about it, because now I'll ponder it the rest of the weekend.
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