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.