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Old September 23, 2014, 12:59   #1
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Changing Leaping

Looking through various threads since January, it seems pretty clear that the current implementation of Leaping and Chasms is not quite right. Since they are changes to the game that affect many levels and situations throughout the game, I think it is important to fix this sooner rather than later. It may also require more than one change before we settle on the right solution, which also counts in favour of a quick change. So I'm thinking of releasing a new version (1.2.2) where changes to Leaping/Chasms are the main thing. The changes will probably be very small in terms of code, but sizeable in terms of gameplay.

I'd like your help in understanding the current problems and what would or would not count as a fix. Do also mention what you like about the chasms/leaping as this is important too! I won't be able to please all of you with my solution, but am pretty sure you will all find it an improvement over the status quo.

There are several different levels of how difficult Leaping could be to acquire.

1) Everyone can leap.
2) It is merged with another ability (such as Dodging or Sprinting).
3) It has no pre-req and is a pre-req for another ability.
4) It has no pre-req, but isn't a pre-req for another ability.
5) It has a pre-req that people often acquire (maybe multiple pre-reqs)
6) It has a rarely used pre-req.
7) No-one can leap.

We started off with (6), which is a difficult to acquire version of Leaping. We did this out of fear (mainly mine) that it could be overpowered. It is pretty clear now that it is not overpowered in its current form and it would be good to make it easier to acquire. I'm not too big on (1), but am open to (2)-(5). I don't mind too much if the next iteration makes it a bit too easy to acquire, as this could always be re-tuned again.

Note that we like the basic implementation of chasm squares and the way the character can leap over them and would like to keep that, but are quite open to tweaks around acquiring the ability and the placement/frequency of chasms.

Other relevant considerations include:
- should boots of Leaping be more common?
- should chasm generation be more restricted?
--- fewer levels with chasms?
--- fewer chasms on those levels?
--- fewer chasms that cut levels into inaccessible pieces?
--- are the vaults/rooms with pre-generated chasms OK?
- should Leaping go in a different skill-tree such as stealth?
--- (a problem at the moment is that so many evn abilities are so good)
- what proportion of characters should end up with Leaping?
--- I don't want everyone to get it, but maybe it should be more than 1 in 3

(Note that reducing the number/effect of chasms means reducing the power of Leaping, which could make the problem of its price worse.)

Another thing to note is that some things which encourage acquiring Leaping game-wise such as in order to get more treasures or to see all of a level seem to be found 'not fun' by the majority of players (at least of vocal ones) and is perceived as a 'push' instead of a 'pull' (perhaps because they are used to being able to traverse the whole level etc).
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