About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

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About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

Postby Lujo on Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:51 pm

Ok, without any expectations and just to put a bit of reading for anyone who's interested / up for discussion, here's an informed textwall on gold. Escpecially related to the arguments about the locker/veto slots and the current (unintended) implementation of the "infinite locker" based on time investment as opposed to a gold based one. This always got shut down without discussion by a "then people would be scumming for gold" fallacy and I feel deserves a bit of discussion with a cool head. Not saying I'm capable of that, but I don't mind trying... :D

1) My own experience with scumming for gold

Start with what you know... I've scummed for gold in this game in various ways an at various points. The reason I felt like I needed to was because failed runs with too many preps were taking a toll, and I was paying for kingdom upgrades. The existance of the PQI and the flaming dungeon arrangement, coupled with me getting better at playing with low preps (an picking my runs) resulted in the gold starting to pile up. The "tweak the randomness" elements like god preps and veto slots reduced the need to restart runs for more favorable setups in the hardest dungeons - and that was a huge drain. I was never a fan of "scumming" but at times it looked like the only way to get the job done and it resuted in a need to stockpile a bunch of gold before a serious VGT campaign.

My "scumming for gold" usually consisted of prepping TT or milking a found TT altar for all it's worth after having delt with the dungeon in another way. That's pretty much the most gold scumming I've ever done, and the further the game development progressed the points where I felt "darnit, need some quick cash" dissapeared entirely. However...

2) How the current "extra locker slots / bank level" system influenced my overall gameplay

Well, having completed the kingdom development and having unlocked the PQI and the Flaming dungeon, I faced the daunting task of grinding ridiculous ammounts of gold. This was not a problem, because it just ment I had to play PQI and Flaming runs, which was just a way of mixing up my random run distribution and giving me incentives to play a different run every time. (Barring kinks with the PQI which resulted with streaks because of other things).

I was motivated to do this because of the "locker = vicious reward repository" situation which affects anyone who doesn't feel like doing a particular run when he wants to have an item handy, and is pretty much what happens with most people I know off (except they prioritize different stuff). I wanted all the vicious rewards handy so I could play with them on a whim (who else is experimenting with the Naga Cauldron? :) ). This ment that if I wanted a rotating locker slot for other stuff that are easier to fish for I had to have as many locker slots as possible.

This then resulted in me playing pretty much nothing but Flaming and PQI runs in order to get as much gold as possible. I didn't optimize the procedure because playing Falming and PQI runs is actually playing a different mix of DD runs and that is pretty much = the point of playing the game. The gold, enough for a bunch of ludicrously priced post-game upgrades, was incidental.

I didn't feel to pressured by Flaming, PQI and simple Bet on Boss runs because - well, what else is there to do? It's enough - it's desktop dungeons. Maybe there needs to be a gold sink, maybe not - but as long as the fuel for the gold sink is earned by opening the map an pretty much hitting "random run" with a few trickshots or not, it's all fine. If I didn't like either the flaming or the PQI run, I'd restart the game which would change the PQI - this was mostly due to streaks.

3) Waldo's method

Waldo pretty much went and perfected this method on his own - he took the "what's the most efficent way to grind up max locker/veto slots" and turned it into a science. How he felt about it - I don't know, and it's none of my business. What I think about it? I don't. Man was having fun. Would I feel pressured into turning it into a race? Not really, because it would detract me from playing whichever run I fancy, and that was my main motivation for getting the gold in the first place. If I wanted a rotating "free" locker slot which wasn't saddled with a hard to relocker vicious reward, I simply didn't do a vicious dungeon before I had an extra slot to locker the reward.

4) Gold investment vs. Realtime investment vs. the intended method

Simple fact - the easiest way of getting gold in this game is getting better at the game. While I was not as good - I had gold problems. Once I got better I had gold coming out of my ears. Flaming runs and PQI are pretty much a part of the "deal with what the game throws at you" part of DD which I enjoy (and it's something Dislekcia is embarrassingly wrong about concerning his perception of me and my playstyle). Barring missclicks and sinking gold into trying to get the right shop/god spawns without preps - the better you get the more gold you have. You don't even have to focus or think about it - you're just hitting the "random quest" runs, bringing the VT into your runs and habitually prepping Bet on Boss, and as long as you keep improving you notice you have a bunch of gold. There's no need to ever scumm for it, and no way to scumm for it more efective than simply playing the game.

The only 2 ways to not have a bunch of gold if you're indeed improving, once you're bought all the basic kingdom upgrades and are playing "extra gold random runs" because you've ran out of the quests is to not have an interest in the game at all, or avoid the "extra gold runs" on purpose...

Real time investment method, the one which allows for the "effective infinite locker" system right now, on the other hand, requires no "actual gamplay" or experience. It takes a spreadsheet or two and a list of which item belongs to which tier category (quest/elite/basic), and takes fishing with a class well suited for it (transmuter, tinker), until you find whichever item/s you want to locker/veto and a locker slot to put it in. It's pretty egalitarian in this way - the most hardcore of pro's and the most humble of noobs, can have any non-vicious-reward item in their locker or veto slots for the price of not playing DD for 5 to X minutes depending on luck. It also excludes the vicious rewards, but that is usually handled by turning the locker into a "vicious rewards repository", which happens naturally. On the other hand, no matter how good you get - the requirements are still the same, and no matter what you had in mind when you fired up the game, if you don't have the item you wanted to try out lockered you have to spend time going through the motions to collect it.

The intended method (which I can only speculate and gather from what the devs disclosed, but would never occur to me personaly) is that items can be relockered through repeating class challenges, and by taking items out of regular runs with forward thinking. The pro's of this method are... well, none, really. If a challenge can be completed for a particular item faster than you could fish for it then it's just a non-standard way of fishing for a particular item. The cons are that it doesn't work for basic and elite items (you still have to use the transmuter method if you wan't to try somethign out right away), that it doesn't work on quest items with non-repeatable quests (non-puzzle, adventure map quest rewards), that it requires you to have gold at the end of a run, it clashes with "kitchen sink" runs where everything gets converted and that for a lot of consumable/conversion-friendly items you'd have to treat them as if you were on a fishing run instead of a regular one.

5) Oppinions disclaimer:

It doesn't matter what anyone thinks about any of the methods. I'm listing them as they are.

6) TLDR Pro's and cons

Gold investment method (assuming it's implemented alongside the other two, and for non-vicious rewards)

Pros:

- Rewards skill, because the better you get at the game the more gold you have at your disposal
- Takes no time investment, because the most efficcent way of earning gold is playing DD runs, which is what you play the game for anyway.
- Flexible - you can turn any success into something you want, when you want

Cons:

- Diminishes the percieved reward status of items. (As does any method, except the intended one)
- Can turn the locker into a vicious reward repository (But this can/will happen with any method)
- It takes equal effort to relocker any item as opposed to the current method (you can't change your entire locker for the price of doing 3 PQI's)
- It works for any shop item


Real Time investment method (the current one)

Pros:

- Works as an infnite locker or an easy to use veto slot manipulation mech for anyone regardless of skill level.
- It's success independent, so there can't be a situation where you can't do it once you unlock the tinker or the transmuter
- It's incredibly efficcent at completely rigging the RNG, since it's easier to haul 3-4 items out of a dungeon than with any other method
- It works for any shop item
- It requires not mental effort while it's going on

Cons:

- It requires you to spend real life time doing something that isn't a DD run in order to play a DD run you want
- It requires partaking in a practice (scumming) which isn't required anywhere else
- Diminishes the percieved reward status of items. (But since it's currently effective, once you're aware of it and willing to partake in it - there IS no reward.)
- Can turn the locker into a vicious reward repository (Again, this happens naturally)


The intended method: (or so I've been told, I've never seen it in effect, really)

Pros:

- Retains a sense of effort in item acquisition?
- Pads out potential playtime defficciencies?
- Makes it look like...

I don't know. Really. They're all subjective/opinion/taste arguments, which never managed to overcome the:

Cons:

- It doesn't work for basic and elite items (you still have to use the Realtime method)
- It doesn't work on quest items with non-repeatable quests (non-puzzle, adventure map quest rewards)
- It requires you to have gold at the end of a run
- It clashes with "kitchen sink" runs where everything gets converted
- It forces you to treat consumable/conversion-friendly items as if you were on a fishing run instead of a regular one
- It requires you to asses the value of an item you haven't had a chance to experiment with against ones you already have lockered which cements the locker (this is why the realtime method gets discovered in the first place)
- Relockering through class chalenges is pretty much the same as fishing with the transmuter, but with more effort
- Inflexible - you can't try out what you want when you want
- Etc...

7) I'm tired. I can give a conclusion if anyone's interested but not right now...
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Re: About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

Postby dislekcia on Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:00 pm

Players can't scum for gold, I think you're looking for grinding.

This post makes very little sense because you keep assuming things and then hold up their negation, depending on the argument you wish to support:

1. You say playing the game to get gold is fun, especially playing the game in harder ways, which means that those runs are more effort than easier runs (supporting an infinilocker). Then you say that doing a single run in order to re-locker a challenge reward is too much effort, presumably because it's a challenge (undermining "ideal"). Which is it? Are runs fun or not fun? Which runs are "enough"?

2. You say that the most efficient way of earning gold is to get better at the game, those two things are not related. The easiest way to get gold is to keep doing the same run over and over, which is often what newer players do when they have gold problems and why the decreasing trophy rewards were implemented - this means players are spending time doing runs to earn gold. Then you turn around and say that spending time doing runs to find items is somehow magically more time, while also denigrating any game play involved in those runs (like having to get to shops, having to have enough gold left to buy items - when the best way to get lots of gold in the first place is to kill bosses in multi-boss dungeons) because doing so supports your point. So: Does earning gold take time or no time? Which approach takes less time for the average player?

3. I am apparently embarrassingly wrong about how you do or don't deal with what the game throws at you, when that statement is specifically about in-dungeon randomness and finishing a run that you've started. Given that both the PQI and Flaming dungeons are random selection that happens outside a specific dungeon run which you can then prepare for before a run starts, how is preferring to play the PQI/Burning dungeons not downplaying the impact of randomness within an actual run? Furthermore, how is emphasising the trading of gold for any item not further stepping away from the impact of randomness in actual runs?

Please at least try to cover new ground with this thread. If it continues as it has started, simply repeating old points with different wordings, I'm going to close it.
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Re: About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

Postby Lujo on Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:40 pm

I'll put the answer here tommorrow. Too tired to not ramble. Saved the draft, and payed attention to all you've said.
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Re: About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

Postby Sidestepper on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:00 am

Hey lujo, I like you and probably agree with most of your post (I say 'probably' because for real, there is not way I'm going to read all that) but the horse is dead. I get where you're most likely coming from. The frustration comes from our positions being misunderstood and some of our points never really being directly addressed. I think that this frustration goes both ways. There is a weird disconnect between the vets here and the devs and I don't think that either side has really been understood by the other.

The only real response we've gotten that I felt addressed the issue satisfactorily is "there are not enough development resources to care about the locker, which was sort of a bolt-on feature anyway." That's perfectly fine answer in it's own way, and it's time to let the issue drop. We'll make an awesome Packmaster mod after release and the kind of people that will like that sort of thing will love it and the people that are indifferent to it will ignore it, and all will be well.
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Re: About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

Postby The Avatar on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:25 am

Thank you for beating me to the punch on saying that Sidestepper. It will not happen until modding, and that's final, so no use screaming, hurting feelings, or text-walling. PLEASE!
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Re: About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

Postby Bloggorus on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:54 am

Same here. No more locker textwalls. Any more and I vote for the banhammer
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Re: About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

Postby Sidestepper on Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:59 am

Nah. Lujo has contributed a lot of novel and creative strategies. He's good to have around, he just needs to learn brevity and restraint. Banning is a poor solution.
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Re: About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

Postby The Avatar on Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:01 am

Agreed. Lujo is a very valuable and dedicated forum member except when it comes to lockers. Then he goes crazy.
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Re: About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

Postby Lujo on Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:03 am

I wasn't actually trying to get anywhere with this - I just had to take it out and try to come up with a simple spreadsheet. Where we are - box 1, where we were supposed to be - box 2, where we could be - box 3. Like, not for any good reason or hope anything gets done, but screenshot that thing. I guess the thread can be deleted if you guys want this buried. And, thanks for the support, guys, hope I come up with somethig worthwhile soon (not related to this topic, ofc...)
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Re: About the "scumming for gold" cfoncept

Postby berpdreyfuss on Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:13 am

I really liked your mystera tutorial! I would still like to see more basic god tutorials, if you're looking for something to come up with :)
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