Shorten Hell Branches


Although the central place for this kind of discussion is on the CDO wiki, some may find it helpful to discuss potential requests and suggestions here first.

Snake Sneak

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Post Saturday, 14th April 2018, 02:28

Shorten Hell Branches

Each time I decide to do extended, it's fun at first, and then turns into a drag by the time it's over.

Hell has four branches that are, for the most part, the same thing in four different flavors. That's O.K., but it overstays it's welcome. The six transitory floors per branch aren't -so- bad since you just beeline for stairs and descend, but there's also really not much to them. Most of the encountered enemies simply aren't a threat at this point of the game, there is no loot, and there is TWENTY FOUR OF THEM. 24 floors. Isn't that... a bit excessive for what effectively accounts to padding between the vestibule and the Hell Lords?

By shortening hell branches from, say, 7 floors to 5 floors, there's now only 16 floors of drudgery instead of 24. 4 transitory floors per branch is still sufficient to preserve the original feeling. Hell will still be pretty much exactly as difficult as it was before, but it'll take a hunk less time to clear out.

An announcement when the Demonic Rune spawns on a floor of Pan would be nice too, because currently the only thing "gained" is making the player have to mostly-explore many more Pan floors that don't contain much of interest. Yes, it would turn mundane Pan floors into "just beeline for a portal", but is that actually a problem? Is something of value gained by making a player explore through floors of no interest, praying to spot a rune? We already have to do this for a potentially long time in the Abyss, and one must already clear a minimum of 5 pan floors inbetween searching for portals, which sounds sufficient as-is.

Cutting down on uninteresting portions of extended and focusing on the fun parts would make for a more concise, engaging experience. I like the current form of it, over all, it just contains a bit too much... drudgery.

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Post Saturday, 14th April 2018, 03:15

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

My suggestion is to reduce Hell to one 9-floor branch, with runes on 3,5,7,9.

And remove the quick-exit function of Hell stairs.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 14th April 2018, 16:50

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Tumalu wrote:An announcement when the Demonic Rune spawns on a floor of Pan would be nice too, because currently the only thing "gained" is making the player have to mostly-explore many more Pan floors that don't contain much of interest. Yes, it would turn mundane Pan floors into "just beeline for a portal", but is that actually a problem?

It is not a problem, and personally I already just beeline for a portal if I don't know that the level has a rune. If I happen to run into a Pan lord I check if there is a rune around.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Saturday, 14th April 2018, 16:56

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

That works great until you already have the four other pan runes but no demonic rune. Statistically, you will have to mostly explore nine more Pan floors after that to find it. (Unless it's spawn rate is no longer 11.1%)
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 14th April 2018, 17:07

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Tumalu wrote:That works great until you already have the four other pan runes but no demonic rune. Statistically, you will have to mostly explore nine more Pan floors after that to find it. (Unless it's spawn rate is no longer 11.1%)

My experience is that usually I will run into the rune vault (or get holy pan or hellion island etc.) by accident without especially searching for it before I have the four other pan runes.

Now that I said that, the next demonic rune will probably take 50 levels... :)
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 14th April 2018, 17:27

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Tumalu wrote:That works great until you already have the four other pan runes but no demonic rune. Statistically, you will have to mostly explore nine more Pan floors after that to find it. (Unless it's spawn rate is no longer 11.1%)

That's not how odds work...
At any given point, given a 1:9 chance of finding it per floor:
You have a 1:9 chance of encountering it on the current floor,
You have an approximately 30% chance of encountering it within the next 3 floors.
You have an approximately 50% chance of encountering it within the next 6 floors.
You have an approximately 65% chance of encountering it within the next 9 floors.
You have an approximately 75% chance of encountering it within the next 12 floors.

The average number of floors needed is 6, if what you mean is "roughly half of any number of trials will find a rune in this many floors or less"

Also generally when searching for a demonic rune, I search for the panlord, and look for his generation vault, which is generally where the rune is found , so I'm exploring an average of around half of each level, personally.

I don't know if perhaps the demonic rune can just be lying around in a random part of a pan level (I had assumed anecdotally that it wasn't, but I've never checked the code, so I could be wrong), if that is true, I may be skipping parts of levels sub-optimally, but I'm also going through each level more quickly, so even if that was true, it's probably a wash in net time taken
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Snake Sneak

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Post Saturday, 14th April 2018, 17:58

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

50% is rather poor odds, IMO. I guess in the end it's fairly likely you'll find it before having all four other runes at the least (if you don't beeline to portals), but I seem to have had a string of bad luck where I'm still exploring Pan for quite awhile after that point. >_>

I wouldn't mind, if it wasn't that it comes right after potentially spending a rather long time drudging through Abyss:3, and it would be nice to only do that once. As well as either right before or after going through 24 transitory hell floors. The drudgery vs. engaging play ratio isn't very good.

Not only that, but think about the probability like this; if you find the 4 named pan lords first, you do have a 50% of finding the demonic rune in the next 6 floors. However, if you do 6 without finding it, it's still only 50% for the next six. Probability only comes into play for floors you have not physically completed, so it's not reassuring mid-game, where bad luck makes you start feeling like the gameplay is becoming a drag.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Saturday, 14th April 2018, 19:12

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Tumalu wrote:50% is rather poor odds, IMO. I guess in the end it's fairly likely you'll find it before having all four other runes at the least (if you don't beeline to portals), but I seem to have had a string of bad luck where I'm still exploring Pan for quite awhile after that point. >_>

I wouldn't mind, if it wasn't that it comes right after potentially spending a rather long time drudging through Abyss:3, and it would be nice to only do that once. As well as either right before or after going through 24 transitory hell floors. The drudgery vs. engaging play ratio isn't very good.

Not only that, but think about the probability like this; if you find the 4 named pan lords first, you do have a 50% of finding the demonic rune in the next 6 floors. However, if you do 6 without finding it, it's still only 50% for the next six. Probability only comes into play for floors you have not physically completed, so it's not reassuring mid-game, where bad luck makes you start feeling like the gameplay is becoming a drag.


Well, I'm not making a judgement as to whether 50% is good or bad, I was just saying that's what's so.

When you say " Statistically, you will have to mostly explore nine more Pan floors after that to find it. (Unless it's spawn rate is no longer 11.1%)" It makes me think that you mean "if you have a 1:9 chance per floor, you should expect to find it after 9 floors" which just isn't the way it works (Which it's clear that you know, but it's a weird mental gymnastics to even state it like that) After all, 65% isn't a whole lot better than 50%. If you had said "On average you'll find it within in the next six floors" that at least at least means "you'd find it within 6 floors more often than not" which is true. But there's nothing I can see that's special about 9 floors. At least in terms of "on average" 65% isn't a particularly interesting threshold to call out, afaict.

My comment was really more about your wording, it might mislead someone who doesn't know, into the easy-but-false thinking that "if your odds are one-in-something, the point when you will probably be successful is around that something in number of attempts" it generates the false sense that "If I've tried less than X times, I just need to try a few more to get up to X, but if I've tried more than X times, I'm really getting particularly unlucky"

As such I wanted to clarify what the actual chances were.
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Mines Malingerer

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Post Sunday, 15th April 2018, 15:57

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Siegurt wrote:
Tumalu wrote:50% is rather poor odds, IMO. I guess in the end it's fairly likely you'll find it before having all four other runes at the least (if you don't beeline to portals), but I seem to have had a string of bad luck where I'm still exploring Pan for quite awhile after that point. >_>

I wouldn't mind, if it wasn't that it comes right after potentially spending a rather long time drudging through Abyss:3, and it would be nice to only do that once. As well as either right before or after going through 24 transitory hell floors. The drudgery vs. engaging play ratio isn't very good.

Not only that, but think about the probability like this; if you find the 4 named pan lords first, you do have a 50% of finding the demonic rune in the next 6 floors. However, if you do 6 without finding it, it's still only 50% for the next six. Probability only comes into play for floors you have not physically completed, so it's not reassuring mid-game, where bad luck makes you start feeling like the gameplay is becoming a drag.


Well, I'm not making a judgement as to whether 50% is good or bad, I was just saying that's what's so.

When you say " Statistically, you will have to mostly explore nine more Pan floors after that to find it. (Unless it's spawn rate is no longer 11.1%)" It makes me think that you mean "if you have a 1:9 chance per floor, you should expect to find it after 9 floors" which just isn't the way it works (Which it's clear that you know, but it's a weird mental gymnastics to even state it like that) After all, 65% isn't a whole lot better than 50%. If you had said "On average you'll find it within in the next six floors" that at least at least means "you'd find it within 6 floors more often than not" which is true. But there's nothing I can see that's special about 9 floors. At least in terms of "on average" 65% isn't a particularly interesting threshold to call out, afaict.

My comment was really more about your wording, it might mislead someone who doesn't know, into the easy-but-false thinking that "if your odds are one-in-something, the point when you will probably be successful is around that something in number of attempts" it generates the false sense that "If I've tried less than X times, I just need to try a few more to get up to X, but if I've tried more than X times, I'm really getting particularly unlucky"

As such I wanted to clarify what the actual chances were.


*Facepalm*

You are 100% wrong in almost every mathematical statement you made in this post.

Finding the demonic rune on a given floor is a 1/9 chance. If you denote the random variable X as the number of floors searched completely to get your first success (ie. finding the rune), then the variable X follows a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometric_distribution. The Expected value of a geometrically distributed random variable X with parameter p (the success chance of a single Bernoulli trial in question) is E[X] = 1/p. In this case, p = 1/9 therefore E[X] = 9, (or in layman terms the expected number of floors visited to find the rune is 9)

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Sunday, 15th April 2018, 17:17

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

tself55 wrote:*Facepalm*

You are 100% wrong in almost every mathematical statement you made in this post.

Finding the demonic rune on a given floor is a 1/9 chance. If you denote the random variable X as the number of floors searched completely to get your first success (ie. finding the rune), then the variable X follows a https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geometric_distribution. The Expected value of a geometrically distributed random variable X with parameter p (the success chance of a single Bernoulli trial in question) is E[X] = 1/p. In this case, p = 1/9 therefore E[X] = 9, (or in layman terms the expected number of floors visited to find the rune is 9)

Actually that just means that X is more likely to be 9 than any other number (which it is), I didn't make any claims as to what X was most likely to be. This gives a solution to a different problem than the one I proposed.

While it is also true, I don't think it's terribly helpful to say "It's more likely to take exactly 9 floors than any other number of floors" and it's much more helpful to know what the actual cumulative chances of finding a rune are per number of floors explored. When all the possible number of floors have a low chance of success, calling any number of floors 'expected' seems misleading to me as a way of stating it.

If you do prefer "expected number of floors" as an alias for "The most common result in any number of rune searches" then that's fine, I just don't like that way of phrasing it.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Sunday, 15th April 2018, 17:56

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

math sure is fascinating isn't it

Lair Larrikin

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Post Sunday, 15th April 2018, 18:34

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

I like the idea of shortening hell branches. They are pretty boring. As for pan, I think it's fine. Racing for the stairs is a nice departure from the "clear the floor" approach for much of the game. But I wouldn't be explicitly opposed to announcing the demonic rune either.

As for the math, you're both mostly right. There is just over a 50% chance that you'll find the rune in 6 floors. (This means 6 is the median value.) The expected value (a.k.a. mean) is 9, because expected value is calculated by multiplying the probability of success on the nth floor by n, and adding up all the ns. This makes it skewed further to the right than the median because higher floors add more to the sum. Probably the mean is a better measure for the length of time it takes to find the rune given the skew of the distribution, but the median is a heck of a lot more intuitive.

The most common (mode) value for x is actually 1, as counterintuitive as it may seem, because every floor has the same fixed chance for finding the rune, except to find it on a given floor you have to have not found it for all previous floors, which brings down the probability.

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Post Sunday, 15th April 2018, 22:43

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Terrapin wrote:I like the idea of shortening hell branches. They are pretty boring. As for pan, I think it's fine. Racing for the stairs is a nice departure from the "clear the floor" approach for much of the game. But I wouldn't be explicitly opposed to announcing the demonic rune either.

As for the math, you're both mostly right. There is just over a 50% chance that you'll find the rune in 6 floors. (This means 6 is the median value.) The expected value (a.k.a. mean) is 9, because expected value is calculated by multiplying the probability of success on the nth floor by n, and adding up all the ns. This makes it skewed further to the right than the median because higher floors add more to the sum. Probably the mean is a better measure for the length of time it takes to find the rune given the skew of the distribution, but the median is a heck of a lot more intuitive.

The most common (mode) value for x is actually 1, as counterintuitive as it may seem, because every floor has the same fixed chance for finding the rune, except to find it on a given floor you have to have not found it for all previous floors, which brings down the probability.

My problem is really with labeling the mean "expected value" I feel it's misleading (No more or less so than labeling the median or mode as "expected") If you are "expecting" a rune after a certain number of floors, you're going to be disappointed more often than not (because any given level having a rune is unusual, regardless of how many you've not found it on previously), regardless of how you arrive at that expectation.

For me this isn't a math problem at all (The math is cut and dried, and not very complicated) It's an english-language explanation problem. If I say "you have X% chance of finding a rune within the next Y levels" that's both correct, and not misleading, If I say "You can expect to find a rune by X levels" that's misleading because humans draw a binary distinction between the expected and the unexpected, and most humans have a predisposition for thinking that the probability owes it to them or something (and that random rolls will "play fair" and give them a success "on time"). Using the word 'expected' implies (to me) a tacit agreement with this position that probabilities are fair, and random rolls will even out in the near-term.
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Post Monday, 16th April 2018, 01:12

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

nvm

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Monday, 16th April 2018, 18:02

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

In my experience I have found that it's usually best to dive into pan portals as soon as you find them, you'll likely find the demonic rune before all four unique pan levels. Obviously watch out for any demonic rune vaults that you recognize, but even if you don't, you can always fall back on fully exploring pan levels once you have the other four.

Honestly I'd consider shortening hell branches to even less than 5 floors - I think 3 is plenty. But 5's a good step too. It will help to raise speedrunning scores somewhat, but that isn't that big of a deal.
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Monday, 16th April 2018, 19:27

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Pan and Hell are too long. If they are shortened, it makes me happy. Maybe I'd do a 15 rune again. Right now, I remember it as simply too long, too boring.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Monday, 16th April 2018, 22:18

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

OK- so a decent portion of people think Pan is fine as-is. And, as long as your luck isn't poor, it mostly is! But everyone seems to agree that Hell is absolutely too long.

tasonir wrote:Honestly I'd consider shortening hell branches to even less than 5 floors - I think 3 is plenty.

If the devs were willing I'd be totally onboard for that, but I figured 5 was a more "moderate" suggestion. As well, the general concept of current hell becomes weak if floors are cut that heavily; at that point it'd be better to consider one of the more aggressive rework ideas, like making Hell a single 9-floor branch ala Dante's Inferno, with a transitory and hell lord floor for each current branch.

As long as -something- is done to make Hell more concise.

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Post Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 16:54

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Tumalu wrote:OK- so a decent portion of people think Pan is fine as-is. And, as long as your luck isn't poor, it mostly is! But everyone seems to agree that Hell is absolutely too long.

tasonir wrote:Honestly I'd consider shortening hell branches to even less than 5 floors - I think 3 is plenty.

If the devs were willing I'd be totally onboard for that, but I figured 5 was a more "moderate" suggestion. As well, the general concept of current hell becomes weak if floors are cut that heavily; at that point it'd be better to consider one of the more aggressive rework ideas, like making Hell a single 9-floor branch ala Dante's Inferno, with a transitory and hell lord floor for each current branch.

As long as -something- is done to make Hell more concise.

For me hell only feels long when I have a lot of trouble finding a down staircase (when I'm not willing to blow a magic mapping scroll, and it takes me more than 2/3-3/4 of a hell level to find the first downstairs) that's not common, but it's not uncommon *enough*. I think simply adding a few more guaranteed hatches would do the trick.
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Post Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 18:33

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

I've never really felt that Hell branches were too long, since normally I just take the first down staircase you see. I think it is more of a case that there are 4 branches. I've always felt Pan takes absolutely forever, but then again, there are 5 runes in Pan. Playing extended feels like such a slog when you have already have gone through 40 odd levels already. I suppose it is thematic and 7 levels isn't that bad. By comparison doing the vaults seem to take longer than one Hell branch.

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Post Tuesday, 17th April 2018, 22:49

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

It's not really that a single hell branch is too long, but it's NOT a single hell branch; it's four hell branches. And they're not terribly different other than the final floor and elemental roulettes.

I mean who really considers hell as legitimately being four separate branches? It's not really, and therefore, it takes far too long for a single branch.
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Post Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 14:19

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Tumalu wrote:I mean who really considers hell as legitimately being four separate branches?

I guess I do? As much as, say, shoals and spider are different branches.
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Snake Sneak

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Post Wednesday, 18th April 2018, 15:08

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Eh, the only real difference between Gehenna and Cocytus is I need rc instead of rf, and the final floor layout/boss are different. Ice Fiends are just the ice version of Brimstone Fiends. It's pretty much the exact same branch except blue instead of red.

Dis and Tartarus are slightly different, but still more or less the same experience. They're all 6 transitory floors to reach the big hell lord vault full of [insert element here] demons/undead. And people generally do all four in a row, yes? Sure feels like one branch to me.

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Post Thursday, 19th April 2018, 04:14

Re: Shorten Hell Branches

Rast wrote:My suggestion is to reduce Hell to one 9-floor branch, with runes on 3,5,7,9.

How about this?

Hell 1: Vestibule
Hell 2: random Gehenna level
Hell 3: random Cocytus level
Hell 4: random Dis level
Hell 5: random Tartarus level

Then, each themed random level has a one-way entrance to a rune level, which is a big vault with the only exit near the rune.

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