The beta of Desktop Dungeons has added a lot of interesting and challenging dungeons, and very much expanded the variety of different challenges offered by the game's levels, and beating some tricky set ups is reminiscent of specific challenges from the alpha.
The alpha version also had a strong casual appeal, though, with the "fifteen minute dungeon crawl" element often mentioned in reviews and descriptions. That sort of gameplay is retained and entirely possible within the new version, but I think the presence of the many tricky quests and complex dungeons (which leverage the depth of strategy both in-dungeon and in preparations that the game offers) overshadows the kind of quick and simple gameplay experience that many players enjoy.
I would suggest adding a "casual mode" option to bring explicit focus back to that form of gameplay. In casual mode, you jump into the action on one of the more traditional dungeons quickly. There would be a simple button on the menu at the side of the screen labelled "quick game" or similar, clicking it would randomly choose a race, a class and a dungeon and play would begin with a single click.
While the point of the option is to skip most pre-game choices, a menu that could customise the quick game experience slightly is a possibility. The menu would be a set of check boxes that were referenced when the game begins, rather than options selected from at the time (Because that setup is already present).
A list of menu options might look like the following:
- Simple dungeons only (Venture Cave, Den of Danger) vs a more varied rotation (Chokebox, Spike Trouble, Grimm's Grotto and Doubledoom).
- Entirely random race and class vs preferencing classes you have yet to beat that dungeon with.
- Starting with no cash vs an option unlocked via the bank.
- Having regular shops vs a shop option unlocked via the bazaar.
Having more options for preparations is probably overcomplex, since the regular interface covers all of that if players want, the cash/shop ones are present because they're nonspecific and would play well in a random game.
This sort of option may be irrelevant to many players, hardcores, veterans, etc (including people like me), but casual gamers are a huge market, especially if you want to move onto platforms like tablets and phones, and the fact that the game already caters so well to this sort of play means it would serve it well to highlight the playstyle and promote ease of use. I can see some players playing in this way as their primary contact with Desktop Dungeons, and others transitioning through it into the many more challenging dungeons. It would also serve as a fallback for players struggling with some of the tougher content, they can just kickback and solve a randomly provided regular puzzle dungeon.
Just a few thoughts, I continue to enjoy playing this game.