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Old July 8, 2011, 09:18   #21
Magnate
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CunningGabe View Post
I don't think anyone is arguing that the first 20 levels currently are interesting, but that they should be. Starting from DL1, we should be giving the player interesting choices, tactical decisions, and experiences.
I find them plenty interesting, since they're about the hardest portion of the dungeon to survive (until I find a branded dagger or similar).
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This doesn't make sense to me. The goal here is to make each dungeon level interesting, but not in the same way. I don't see how it would make Angband any less interesting to give the player a reason to linger longer on DLs 60-90.
This is an old Eddie trope - that if you make one thing interesting then it makes something else junk. It's even less true of dungeon levels than it is of items.
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Old July 8, 2011, 12:42   #22
Raggy
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Originally Posted by bulian View Post
If you posted a version with 20 dlvls instead of 10 I would test it. In October when I have more time.

.
quickband?
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Old July 8, 2011, 14:46   #23
CunningGabe
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Originally Posted by Magnate View Post
I find them plenty interesting, since they're about the hardest portion of the dungeon to survive (until I find a branded dagger or similar).
But I imagine this is in part because you quickly dive through those initial levels, as many (most?) experienced players do. (Correct me if I'm wrong.) And I don't blame them -- there is not much reason to hang around early DLs. We should give everyone (even warriors) interesting challenges in the first few dungeon levels. For example, a monster with a very high AC but a handful of hitpoints that easily falls to magic missile.
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Old July 8, 2011, 17:47   #24
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I think fizzix, made some good points at the start of this thread.

If we discuss the question what are the levels 60-90 good for, we could switch the viewpoint and ask why do i stay on a level and play it?

Right now i see no reason why you realy MUST play a level. If you dislike it for whatever reason (no artifacts, no good xp, too dangerously) you can just skip it and go back up or further down. So i come up with the following ideas:

1. Each level gets its own unique monster, which will ONLY show up at a certain dlvl. You can only go deeper (regardless if you use stairs, deep descent scroll or whatelse) after killing it.

2. As variant to 1 - you can still go deeper, but Morgoth will only show up if all uniques are dead. If the player wants to avoid "going up" again after having dived very deep he must challenge the uniques "during" his journey. Right now, as mage i only care to fight uniques if i have Book#9 - such behavior would be made impossible.

3. Remove connected stairs, and all means to create stairs or leave the level. Enforce to search stairs to exit the level.

4. Angelus made a good point, abolish preserve mode and people will most likely play a level with an artifact on it. Furthermore this would eventually lead to a situation where the variety of artifacts becomes more important again. If you can always hope to get the top artifacts then each end-boss fight will basically look the same.
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Old July 8, 2011, 18:49   #25
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We don't want to force the player to explore each level. At least, I don't. I can see it being desirable for the player to want to explore each level, but it shouldn't be because they aren't allowed to proceed if they don't.

Certainly I object in the strongest terms to being required to kill all uniques before facing Morgoth. That's just grinding, and besides it makes the final fight much less interesting.

The problem, to the extent that it exists, is that the dungeon difficulty curve does not match the player power curve. The player power curve is heavily quantized. That is to say, the player does not gain power smoothly over time, but rather in sudden chunks. In contrast, the dungeon difficulty curve is fairly smooth. This means that the player will go from being barely able to handle a given depth, to suddenly being able to easily handle a much deeper depth.

Now, you can say that the easy answer to that is to smooth out the player's power curve. There's one big issue with that: players like a non-smooth power curve. There's a lot of pleasure in finding a new item that greatly increases your power; there's much less in finding one that's only an incremental improvement over what you already have. When you think back about previous characters you've played, your memories are likely going to consist solely of climactic fights and incredible finds. That time you had 0HP left after killing Wormtongue. Getting a Holy Avenger from Farmer Maggot. Taking on an entire army of angels in a fight with Gabriel. Finding the One Ring in the debris left over from a greater vault. And so on.

So I argue that smoothing out the player curve is a non-starter. That still leaves some room to work at the beginning and end of the curve. Start players weaker, and/or end them stronger. The important thing to keep in mind when extending the curve is that the extension also needs to have those opportunities for short-circuiting that the current game does -- those opportunities to suddenly shoot up in power that create the "anything could happen" feeling that's so important to the game.
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Old July 8, 2011, 19:04   #26
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I'm really starting to feel that stat-gain depth needs to be either pushed deeper into the dungeon or that it should be less suicidal to not have relevant stats maximized (or nearly so) before proceeding past it. Stat-gain is probably the biggest spike in player power over the course of ~10 dlvls in the entire game, yet it comes relatively early on, before you're even halfway into the dungeon. It's no surprise that such a huge gain in power spikes the player over the point where dlvl 60 is interesting compared to dlvl 90.
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Old July 8, 2011, 19:08   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
We don't want to force the player to explore each level. At least, I don't. I can see it being desirable for the player to want to explore each level, but it shouldn't be because they aren't allowed to proceed if they don't.
Precisely!
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
The problem, to the extent that it exists, is that the dungeon difficulty curve does not match the player power curve. The player power curve is heavily quantized. That is to say, the player does not gain power smoothly over time, but rather in sudden chunks. In contrast, the dungeon difficulty curve is fairly smooth. This means that the player will go from being barely able to handle a given depth, to suddenly being able to easily handle a much deeper depth.
Nicely put. There is also the fact that the dungeon power curve almost does a flat line after 3500 or so... So upping the angle on the dungeon curve is a part of the solution.
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Now, you can say that the easy answer to that is to smooth out the player's power curve. There's one big issue with that: players like a non-smooth power curve. There's a lot of pleasure in finding a new item that greatly increases your power; there's much less in finding one that's only an incremental improvement over what you already have.
Agreed, the power curve should not be smooth.
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So I argue that smoothing out the player curve is a non-starter.
Well, that does not strictly follow. I want it to be a bumpy ride, we agree on that. But I can't say that the bumpiness we have today is just perfect. I'm not saying that it's not, I just don't know. But my base assumption would tend towards there being room to smooth it a bit.
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That still leaves some room to work at the beginning and end of the curve. Start players weaker, and/or end them stronger.
Well, here I have been campaining for a while, so I guess you know my views :-)
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Old July 8, 2011, 19:15   #28
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Originally Posted by Jazerus View Post
I'm really starting to feel that stat-gain depth needs to be either pushed deeper into the dungeon or that it should be less suicidal to not have relevant stats maximized (or nearly so) before proceeding past it. Stat-gain is probably the biggest spike in player power over the course of ~10 dlvls in the entire game, yet it comes relatively early on, before you're even halfway into the dungeon. It's no surprise that such a huge gain in power spikes the player over the point where dlvl 60 is interesting compared to dlvl 90.
Yes, I think this would be good. Set stat gain at, say, dlvl 50, instead of 30, and move some dangerous monsters further down. This would give more room for low level egos and artifacts, those that you today might use for only a few levels, then you progress beyond their scope...
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Old July 8, 2011, 19:40   #29
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Originally Posted by jens View Post
Yes, I think this would be good. Set stat gain at, say, dlvl 50, instead of 30, and move some dangerous monsters further down. This would give more room for low level egos and artifacts, those that you today might use for only a few levels, then you progress beyond their scope...
I actually think stat-gain is probably the one thing that's about right now. My stats get maxed as I go down in the dungeon. I don't hang around dlevels 30-40 looking for pots, I just slowly make my way deeper and pick them up as I go along. However, I do some meta-gaming along the way. I won't bother going out of my way to kill weak monsters unless there's a chance that they'll drop a stat potion, since those are primarily what I'm looking for.

@Derakon, the problem isn't that a player gets gear that allows him to skip over the next 20 levels. I agree that we should keep this mechanic. The problem is that the difficulty of the dungeon has negligible increase over the entire second half.
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Old July 10, 2011, 23:38   #30
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Originally Posted by Derakon View Post
Certainly I object in the strongest terms to being required to kill all uniques before facing Morgoth. That's just grinding, and besides it makes the final fight much less interesting.
Killing all uniques is too much. However, making some uniques bosses of certain levels (one boss every 10th level maybe?) is an idea that I have wanted to see implemented a long time.
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