Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

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Re: Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

Postby Lujo on Sun May 26, 2013 8:59 am

I don't think I've ever seen the Avatar write so much o.O. I'll do a commentary of reading his commentary, it's tense and awesome!

There is 2 gold under each statue not 1. I think.

I think they walled the altar in so people don't get stuck with pacts. This is actually a good thing.

And the "never forget quest requirements" thing - the devs really, and I mean really really really need to implement the damn in dungeon quest refference feature. Maybe in the character portrait or wherever, but it simply has to be there.

Also, Avatar - don't ride the poor guy so hard on mentality - it's a game not a job :D I know taking it seriously has enormous benefits once the margin of error starts getting lower because of the rising difficulty, but I'm much sloppier at gameplay than you and I've managed things that made you go O.O every so often :) (@Jay - do listen to Avatar, good habits in the game pay off imensly, and bad habits lead to frustration. )

Also, there's meme material in there :D PICK THE MEATMAN! It's like listening to a radio broadcast of an old-school Balkan soccer commentator with an incredible emotional investment in his team :_D The tension!

Gods are scaring the crap out of people - why, why doesn't anyone important listen when I say they need an god friendly class among the intro bunch? "No, no, design decision, having indulgences on a priest would confuse newbies, yadda, yadda". Well guess what, now the priest doesn't confuse anyone but gods do -.- Crap, it took me half a year to consider touching GG with a 10 foot pole after the initial bad experience and they plop his altar down where you're most likely to encounter him with a potion spiker -.-

Also the belief that you need high levels to fight the boss makes way more sense than what we're doing. The high-end gameplay, at least the important bits of it, are completely unintuitive and pretty much the opposite of what makes sense. I'm not sure exactly where and when it really became that way, but the "mid-fight lvlup full heal" mechanic itself looks more like an ascended glitch than a natural feature that you're supposed to weaponize. And if you level up you can't use it, you only level up to the point where you can tank a hit (or do a bit more damage), and ding to victory.

But it makes no sense, it looks more like a gimmick than the cornerstone of strategy that it is. It's also why slowing stuff for XP and popcorn bowling aren't intuitive.
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Re: Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

Postby JayPlaysIndieGames on Sun May 26, 2013 3:44 pm

I love that Avatar writes so much, it is actually one of the big reasons I am doing as well as I do.
Here are my thoughts on some this stuff:
Being high level to kill the boss: If it works I will do it because it makes the most sense, when I get to harder dungeons and it doesn't work I will adapt (hopefully) keep in mind just killing the boss isn't my only goal because I am still unlocking gods/races/other etc so I may bail on a dungeon if I unlock something I want to keep and still consider it victory. . .sometimes (haven't done it yet though).

Fearing the Gods: I did fear them because I didn't understand the piety system, I don't know it in and out now - but I have pretty good idea. I fear dracul in particular though because on the run where I unlocked him he immediately put me at 1 hp MAX. I was at 0 piety when he did it so I assume it is his punishment. . .that is pretty harsh.


Part 11. I am posting this today. It is long and embarrassing. It is a mix between my worst play and the best luck ever. There come a point where I have basically given up on the level and I play EXTREMELY badly when I am disheartened. Sooo apologies in advance for that.
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Re: Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

Postby The Avatar on Sun May 26, 2013 3:53 pm

I don't think I've ever seen the Avatar write so much o.O. I'll do a commentary of reading his commentary, it's tense and awesome!


Yeah, I tend to keep things short and concise, but then again, I don't use quotes like I will in this post, and that doubles length.

And the "never forget quest requirements" thing - the devs really, and I mean really really really need to implement the damn in dungeon quest refference feature. Maybe in the character portrait or wherever, but it simply has to be there.


I believe that the devs said they would, but maybe I'm just remembering us asking for it repeatedly. Either way, something that warns you or just shows it somewhere on your panel. Even a little icon like a red circle with a line through it over a fireball for warmonger. Just something simple like that.

Also, Avatar - don't ride the poor guy so hard on mentality - it's a game not a job :D I know taking it seriously has enormous benefits once the margin of error starts getting lower because of the rising difficulty, but I'm much sloppier at gameplay than you and I've managed things that made you go O.O every so often :) (@Jay - do listen to Avatar, good habits in the game pay off imensly, and bad habits lead to frustration. )


Sorry if my commentary was too intense/harsh, I just want to help. And yes, I do tend to take games seriously, but I think that makes me better at them. Also, I was a bit harsh on mentality, but mentality is huge. If you inwardly give up, you effectively destroy your chances of doing so.

Also, there's meme material in there PICK THE MEATMAN! It's like listening to a radio broadcast of an old-school Balkan soccer commentator with an incredible emotional investment in his team :_D The tension!


Yeah, started going crazy at 1 AM when he kept picking the zombie. Looking back I actually started laughing at my commentary. I must have been really really tired, but it is pretty funny. Great analogy, I seriously lol'd when I saw it.

Gods are scaring the crap out of people - why, why doesn't anyone important listen when I say they need an god friendly class among the intro bunch? "No, no, design decision, having indulgences on a priest would confuse newbies, yadda, yadda". Well guess what, now the priest doesn't confuse anyone but gods do -.- Crap, it took me half a year to consider touching GG with a 10 foot pole after the initial bad experience and they plop his altar down where you're most likely to encounter him with a potion spiker -.-


Yeah, but it makes sense that gods are scaring the crap out of people. You take a couple of bonuses thinking this is going to be good then make a little mistake and your game explodes in your face. Painfully. You don't know that is was because of your zeroed piety, you just think doing that action screws you. Usually it is a generic action too, like drinking a potion or casting a glyph, so you think that makes you way to afraid of choosing that god. The puzzles help a little, and the codex/library (they are still making that right?) will too, but my suggestion is the first time you do each piety changing action it immediately jumps you over to the piety tab, so you can see what happened. Jay was losing piety occasionally and not even realizing it.

Also the belief that you need high levels to fight the boss makes way more sense than what we're doing. The high-end gameplay, at least the important bits of it, are completely unintuitive and pretty much the opposite of what makes sense. I'm not sure exactly where and when it really became that way, but the "mid-fight lvlup full heal" mechanic itself looks more like an ascended glitch than a natural feature that you're supposed to weaponize. And if you level up you can't use it, you only level up to the point where you can tank a hit (or do a bit more damage), and ding to victory.


This is quite true. Fortunately, most of DD is intuitive (it was great watching Jay figure out how to use spells a lot and how great they are), but this is definitely the hardest thing to get along with popcorn bowling. If you realize it, it makes sense that it is best once you figure it out (you start at level 7, and still get your level 8 hits rather than just the level 8 hits), but realizing it is rather... difficult. I'm not even sure when it occurred to me. It was an accident. I was 3 exp from leveling and started the fight, knowing my potions would win it for me. Before I used a potion I saw I could level up, and I figured the extra damage could only help. Then, once it refilled my stats I realized how great this could be if I used it enough. The problem is you can't rely on accidents to teach people stuff. It might be worth adding one or two puzzles into the academy about it, but it doesn't seem like people check out puzzles (look at Jay), so I'm not sure if that would work. They really need to make it obvious how useful puzzles are. I think it would help immensely.
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Re: Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

Postby JayPlaysIndieGames on Sun May 26, 2013 4:06 pm

but it doesn't seem like people check out puzzles (look at Jay), so I'm not sure if that would work.


I may be a bad example. If I wasn't recording I would definitely have done at least some of the puzzles already. Anyway I am starting to do them. Just posted the starter pack today (and am happy that it gave me the money I needed for a new class.
On the other hand, starter pack may have been way more useful earlier, I think I will hold off on the straight up tutorial puzzles until MUCH later.
Still as I looked through I saw some of the puzzles offer items instead of gold. That is certainly something that intrigues me.
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Re: Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

Postby Lujo on Sun May 26, 2013 4:25 pm

Sorry if I was a little hard on you there, the commentary's awesome and it's obviously helping jay, so please keep it up ^^

The gods thing is a huge problem, I'm not even overestimating or being dramatic - it leads to hitting brick walls later down the road after you've figured so much stuff out that there's no real reason to believe that there is so much to learn yet. You can get very far without them, and since it's so difficult to do so you can become really proud, so when the game starts going more difficult you don't feel intrigued but cheated. This leads to vicious dungeons (or even the harder hard ones) looking like bullshit trolling rather than challenges. And so much unproductive frustration starts with that healing potion you drink after unlocking GG or Drac it's pretty unbelievable. It's not that gods need to be clear as rain, it's that there is no room to experiment safely on regular runs, and no incentive to try dangerous experiments in a game that effectively has nothing threatening you. I bet very few people pick GG up after the first accident and he has like, one rule and pretty much rewards you for breathing... But never even trying him out means never having him take all your stuff away, and you know this, while there's no way to tell about the worth of the benefits - which still can't possibly be worth the risk of having all your stuff taken away...


The in dungeon current quest marker - a mouseover pip on the portrait, all it needs to be. Would be huge.



And the lvl up catapult - yeah, for something so important it's really obscure. I'm amazed regen fighting seems to be more intuitive. But then again, regen fighting is obvious rule breaking, "monsters regen if you explore". I managed to figure lvl catapults up only after months and months of playing. What assumption do you have to break to make it obvious? Levels mean nothing? But if you break that, everything falls apart - it's one of those "who'd allow that kind of loophole?" deals... Or?
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Re: Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

Postby The Avatar on Sun May 26, 2013 5:15 pm

More notes!

Starter Pack: This is incredibly easy compared to other packs. Most of the god ones and the halfling and gnome ones are quite difficult. Still, they are all very good for learning. Good for you. Classic is better than popup as of now. Wow. You sure overthought the intro puzzle. It's quite interesting to see you deliberate through the puzzles, because I don't see that anymore because I know the solutions. No need to be sorry about failing these. You should probably get used to failure actually, because the later puzzles are NASTY. PISORF breaks walls, and it also does more damage when doing so. It does strictly less when hitting two monsters together, but it damages both. Good job! Remember conversion, it is key in puzzles. Often you will have the right strategy and forget to convert a glyph so you'll lose to the boss.

I'll have to do part 11 later, but well done on the puzzles.
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Re: Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

Postby JayPlaysIndieGames on Sun May 26, 2013 5:42 pm

For part 11 I am kinda disappointed in myself. Def some of my worst play I think

and thanks, stater pack would've been harder if I had tried without playing so much first.
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Re: Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

Postby The Avatar on Sun May 26, 2013 10:32 pm

Part 11: Rogues along with monks are the highest potential class in the game. It is much easier to get health than damage. Jay, do you ever look at the boss before the run? Dwarves are great for the rogue. Unless you have a godly health bonus coming up go for the dwarf. 30 gold in preparations is excessively cheap. There are single preps that cost 50 gold. Plants look complicated, but they basically just deal their status effect and that's it. Red sparkles are dracul. You are misusing him. You should worship him right before the boss or when you need them. Dracul is mediocre for the rogue. Lifesteal is nice for tanking hits from higher level guys, but sanguine (which is the best) is pretty lame for the rogue. The pendant of health is GREAT for the rogue. Good choice! Anything that raises your health is great for the rogue. I'll reiterate this: Plants look complicated, but they basically just deal their status effect and that's it. It's unavoidable. A basic plant tip is if you are already poisoned or mana burned you cannot be poisoned/manaburned again. Thus, as soon as you have one of the status effects clear out all of the other poison/mana burn plants. Curse is irrelevant if you have no resistance/DR. Seriously, you're over thinking the plants. Just accept you will be poisoned and mana burned, and avoid everything that doesn't do one of those two (especially corrosion). Then just level up. Gods only ever give piety for exp kills. Corrosion and weakening are AWFUL and should be avoided at all costs. They are permanent at this stage of the game, and absolutely suck. Even taking one or two levels is dangerous. Corrosion is really bad early, and weakening is always bad. One or two corrosion stacks is acceptable, but weakening you will reset getting for the rest of the game. You are spending far to much time on the plants. CURSE STACKS! The earthmother gives piety for IMAWAL use. The health from vineform is rather mediocre, except at low levels. Use entanglement right before you fight the boss for you get lots of extra exp from popcorn. If you use clearance, make sure it is to give you extra mana mid fight. It is fine to use a mana potion to clear mana burn early game. Clearance's cost stacks, so save it till hard fights. WOAH! WHAT? I just saw you throw away all of your popcorn for PLANTATION?! That is definitely not a good choice. Plantation is fine to use mid game (though best late game before the boss for clearance), but DO NOT WASTE POPCORN FOR PLANTATION. Plantation costs 5. Make sure you have 5 piety for Plantation. Plants cost -15 piety. That may sound painful, but the earthmother is a literal piety farm. Physical resistance is not very good in small amounts or with little hp (which your rogue has). You should have saved for a fine sword or damage item. Wow. I was literally saying to myself "WAIT! Don't kill the plant!" as you attacked it. This is kind of an unfair earthmother test run. Normaly she provides you an IMAWAL glyph upon worship, so you can use that to get lots of piety (it's +10 per monster converted). Oh dear, you keep wasting popcorn. You seem to get the rogue at least. You should prioritize using mana or hp to get the most out of first strike. Don't forget the first strike, it is the key power. Make sure you need to use BICEPS before you use it. You keep forgetting first strike. You attacked then used to fireballs instead of using auto first strike. Why are you forgetting first strike. You keep attacking then blowing all of your mana instead of just attacking again. Seriously, remember the first strike. This is painful. You keep wasting mana excessively. You keep killing plants. This is painful. Soooooooo much corrosion. The earthmother without IMAWAL is stupidly awful. It's not fair. Normally you could get rid of all of these plants. Why can't you remember first strike? You could have killed so many high level monsters, but you aren't remembering FIRST STRIKE! YOU DON'T NEED MANA! You used 3 mana potions instead of 1 to cure mana burn and regenerate the rest. Mana potions cure mana burn. You start playing incredibly absent-mindedly once you give up. You forgot first strike, killed far to many plants that you didn't need to, used 2 unnecessary mana potions and forgot you couldn't afford an item. That was a poor run. We both know it. You only one because this is one of the easiest dungeons out there (then again you were only screwed because the earthmother didn't give you an IMAWAL glyph. You wasted tiles on your regen fight. You twice forgot first strike. And it costed 10-30 tiles. And you got the metal spider temple. That sucks late game. Oh no. You actually went in. YOU LUCKY MAN! You chose the only potion in the game that curse corrosion and mana burn, in the only subdungeon in the game that offers that potion. The odds are unbelievably tiny. Good choice on the mid fight level up. You wasted a potion when you had first strike. Nice job. You won, though I wouldn't feel to good about that win (but still be proud you pulled it off).

KEY NOTES: You kind of got cheated by the earthmother, don't be scared of her. Generally go dwarves for rogues. AVOID CORROSION AND WEAKENING. Be less absentminded (AND REMEMBER FIRST STRIKE). I'll only say this once, because you know it: never give up. It hurts your game incredibly.
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Re: Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

Postby Lujo on Sun May 26, 2013 10:52 pm

The Avatar wrote:You twice forgot first strike.


I fell off the couch at this point :_D Avatar, I already had a special place for you among the nicest and greatest folks I've ever met, but these commentaries I won't forget as long as I live. Jay, please keep playing, so we get more of this ^^

The Avatar wrote:I'll only say this once, because you know it: never give up. It hurts your game incredibly.


And listen to this advice. Really, it's true - pulling victories out of your ass is what the game is all about, and you can only do those if you still care about your ass enough. If you sit down it ain't gonna happen. And avatar is still gonna be helpful and hilarious and wise, even if you don't play spectacularly silly as this time. (And EM without IMAWAL really sucks).

Oh, and WHY U NO REMEMBER FIRST STRIKE? :_D
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Re: Video Review of Desktop Dungeons and a Let's Play!

Postby The Avatar on Sun May 26, 2013 11:26 pm

Thanks Lujo, and I'm glad you like the commentary. And yes, I am pedantic and tend to get comedically upset over very small things, so I'm glad you think it's funny instead of annoying.
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