Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple


Although the central place for design discussion is ##crawl-dev on freenode, some may find it helpful to discuss requests and suggestions here first.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 02:25

Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

That's basically the whole proposal.

Reasons:

1) I personally find the ever-increasing number of d:1 to d:9 vaults to be more flavorful, and have interesting combinations of gods. Oh look, it's an ash/xom/veh vault...What are they doing together? Even if they're randomly picked, I like thinking about the reason those gods would be together. Some vaults are of course specifically picked, like the good god vaults, and there's plenty of solo vaults (trog has a lot of great ones). This reason could be subjective, but I think most people would agree.

2) While rare, it can be used for scumming by mummies waiting out wrath, or other characters with sustenance and permafood. It's the only level in the game that can't generate monsters.

3) Makes finding more gods a more gradual process, rather than finding one giant lump of them at a random depth. If desired, the guarantee of finding all gods by D:9 could be moved up to D:7 to match the old temple max depth, or kept at D:9.

About the only thing that I think would be lost would be the chance of Lugonu's corrupted temple flavor; this could be ported to some of the newer 5-6 god mini vaults, having 3-4 of them being corrupted and 1-2 other gods remaining.

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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 02:37

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Let me be the first to disagree!

Temple has enormous flavor, feels like a significant milestone in the early game, and anyone that uses it to scum deserves the tedium they experience. I don't think removing it would actually "add balance" or even provide a very good foundation for adding balance beyond "makes finding gods a more gradual process," which seems like a dubious goal to me that won't actually impact the game beyond slowing down speedrunners.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 02:46

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

I think reducing the quantity of altars would be good.
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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 02:56

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

I don't really have a strong opinion on this generally but 2) is sort of a non-argument here since that is an independent problem which needs to be fixed anyway (and still exists if Temple is removed). Certainly the other stuff might be relevant though.
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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 09:11

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

tasonir wrote:I personally find the ever-increasing number of d:1 to d:9 vaults to be more flavorful, and have interesting combinations of gods.

Because something is nice and flavourful doesn't mean that we should spam it. If you remove temple, you'll have much more overflow altar vaults and we'll get sick of them quicker. I think being somewhat rare makes them better.

It's the only level in the game that can't generate monsters.

There's Vestibule too.

archaeo wrote:a significant milestone in the early game

This is probably the strongest argument to keep it. dpeg often mentions it when this discussion comes up.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 09:14

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Actually IIRC Vestibule sometimes generate monsters, just really rarely. Am I wrong?

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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 11:33

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

I am not a very good player, but I don't feel that the temple is a significant milestone (at least not for me). Getting a religion IS a significant milestone, but it would happen without the temple. Showing the player only a few deities at a time would cause more varied god selection (if the player wants to follow one god, he can wait for it, but perhaps more players will select the second best god if its altar isn't usually generated together with the best).

Alternatively the temple could be either guarded by some slightly OOD monsters or it could require an entry fee (like troves), for example one of the following (either always the same, or randomized per game):

  • 2-4 of a selected common potion/scroll (identify, remove curse, teleportation, curing, heal wounds). Probably this should identify the required item type.
  • a weapon of a given type: a giant club (= kill an ogre), a bow (= kill a centaur), maybe a halberd (common on gnolls, somewhat dangerous), a scythe (if Sigmund is generated) or other (not club/dagger quality but not rare) weapons like long swords, maces, tridents etc.
  • entry fee approximately equal to the average gold generated until the (current) depth of the temple (so the player has about 50% chance to be able to pay immediately, but has high chance to enter after 1-2 more levels).
  • an artifact (any; maybe only showing it is required)

This would mean that either you choose a god from an overflow altar, or you pay a small price to be able to select from more gods. (Maybe the player will first go down a few levels to see if the desired god has an altar there and only pays the temple when if it is neccessary.)

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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 13:11

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Back when major gods (i.e. not Lugonu, Beogh, Jiyva) were added for the first time, we had to discuss how to make them available. One radical idea --naturally of Lemuel-- was to dispense with the Temple and not guarantee gods at all. We rejected this because god choice is crucial in Crawl. I like the current system with the overflow altars very much and, in my experience, it creates a decision often enough.

If you are a fan of more overflow altars, just make some Temple maps with few gods (three as a minimum, I'd say).

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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 13:14

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

dpeg wrote:If you are a fan of more overflow altars, just make some Temple maps with few gods (three as a minimum, I'd say).


The existing temple.des says to try to stick to a minimum of six, but if even less gods are considered acceptable these days I can take a whack at it. Incidentally, I'm biased towards keeping Temple, since I've just made a half-dozen Temple maps.

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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 13:39

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

nicolae wrote:
dpeg wrote:If you are a fan of more overflow altars, just make some Temple maps with few gods (three as a minimum, I'd say).


The existing temple.des says to try to stick to a minimum of six, but if even less gods are considered acceptable these days I can take a whack at it.

Note that this policy has been set by dpeg about 4 years ago :)
If the limit is changed, the temple.des comment should be amended, and mini-temples should be rare. I don't think the limit should be changed though, 6 is already quite low. We have 19 gods now, so a 6 god temple put 13 in overflow altars.
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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 14:08

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

galehar wrote:
nicolae wrote:
dpeg wrote:If you are a fan of more overflow altars, just make some Temple maps with few gods (three as a minimum, I'd say).


The existing temple.des says to try to stick to a minimum of six, but if even less gods are considered acceptable these days I can take a whack at it.

Note that this policy has been set by dpeg about 4 years ago :)
If the limit is changed, the temple.des comment should be amended, and mini-temples should be rare. I don't think the limit should be changed though, 6 is already quite low. We have 19 gods now, so a 6 god temple put 13 in overflow altars.


Three of those gods are non-temple gods, so there'd be "only" 10 overflow altars. At the moment, though, I think the only temple with six gods is the corrupted temple of Lugonu.
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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 14:31

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

There is also temple_of_Zot_ovaries and circular_temple_6

Anyway, increasing the overflow altars could be done by simply adding more 6 god temples or tweaking weights instead of just removing temple. And I find the current distribution to be fine personally.
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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 16:02

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

I think we can sum it up like this: Temple is bound to stay. New temple maps are always welcome!
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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 18:04

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

This is the time to plea for a detailed walkthrough on making vaults/maps. If someone can put together a cohesive set of guidelines I'll narrate it and put it on youtube. I have experience running a successful youtube channel.
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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 18:18

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Here's a thought- make the temple a guaranteed one-time portal vault, and ensure that all the altars can show up elsewhere in mini vaults with 3-4 each.
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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 21:09

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

twelwe wrote:This is the time to plea for a detailed walkthrough on making vaults/maps. If someone can put together a cohesive set of guidelines I'll narrate it and put it on youtube. I have experience running a successful youtube channel.


step one: all the pros make as many vault-defined monsters as possible
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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 22:04

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

twelwe wrote:This is the time to plea for a detailed walkthrough on making vaults/maps.

Vault Design Reference Guide
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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 22:11

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

In fact, making temple layouts is a very good start to get into vault making: the existing maps are very clear and use advanced stuff rarely or not at all. The general absence of monsters and items helps.

Vaults are created with a text editor and the file syntax.txt open on screen. If that's too much for you, I am sorry :) If you can cope with these, the world of vault making is open to you. Just peek into source/dat/des/branches/temple.des to get a quick impression.

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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 22:34

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

come... join me in the wonderful world of vault making...

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Post Tuesday, 21st January 2014, 22:41

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

dpeg wrote:Vaults are created with a text editor

If you use vim (as you should!), don't forget to install levdes.vim (found in dat/vim/syntax) for some nice syntax highlighting.
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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 06:37

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Since my thread's got locked, I'll bump this one, by stating my opinion.
I think ecumenical temple is bad taste. Why would gods want altars together?
You are afraid that if we remove the temple, we will get sick of vaults, but we still see vaults every game and the temple doesn't even have any flavour and it doesn't produce any positive feelings.

I particularly dislike that vault, where altars are put in raws like some gravestones. They all more or less look this way, though. Is that fine, that the temple looks like a grave? :)
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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 06:43

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Amnesiac wrote:Since my thread's got locked, I'll bump this one, by stating my opinion.
I think ecumenical temple is bad taste. Why would gods want altars together?


Who says that Gods are in charge of where their altars are placed? None of the Gods in crawl are shown to have corporeal forms, but we do see dedicated practitioners of their religions. What's to say a few of the more open-minded and accepting acolytes didn't build a temple to their deities?
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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 06:47

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

It's too strange. Followers of evil and good gods, who all have their own conduct wouldn't want altars of their gods together. Wouldn't gods' wrath kill them all, anyway?
Anyway, I think it's hard to make much sense of the temple.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 07:11

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Amnesiac wrote:It's too strange. Followers of evil and good gods, who all have their own conduct wouldn't want altars of their gods together. Wouldn't gods' wrath kill them all, anyway?
Anyway, I think it's hard to make much sense of the temple.


the gods put up with each other because they're part of the same pantheon. it's like a family. sure you might hate your cousin or your uncle or your sister but you all still have to pose for the family photo together, dammit.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 07:31

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Amnesiac wrote:I think ecumenical temple is bad taste. Why would gods want altars together?
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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 07:45

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Pft. Still, most temples look like a graveyard. At least having more vaults like those with a separate room for every altar would be nice. (and less of the other ones or none at all)

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 08:45

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Amnesiac wrote:Pft. Still, most temples look like a graveyard.


those are the nietzschean temples. the gods are dead.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 09:49

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Temples also encourage temple diving which is somewhat bad considering the disign/balance.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 10:35

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

It annoys me when I find the temple, but it is guarded by OOD monsters and/or uniques and I do not even want to come nearby.
Not always I can find easily the temple, which sometimes leads to boring autoexplore just to find the entrance on the last uncovered tile of D4-D7.

With overflow altars I still have some choices, but not in every game I can find useful deity out of temple.

If you really must keep temple, which in my opinion is flavorless, annoying and scum-encouraging, keep it.
Consider though increasing number of altars which spawn outside of temple regardless of how many were inside. In this way player can actually start worshipping something even if the temple is not accessible or not found. Early altars also encourage going off the planned route and trying new approaches.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 11:17

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Bart wrote:It annoys me when I find the temple, but it is guarded by OOD monsters and/or uniques and I do not even want to come nearby.
Not always I can find easily the temple, which sometimes leads to boring autoexplore just to find the entrance on the last uncovered tile of D4-D7.

With overflow altars I still have some choices, but not in every game I can find useful deity out of temple.

If you really must keep temple, which in my opinion is flavorless, annoying and scum-encouraging, keep it.
Consider though increasing number of altars which spawn outside of temple regardless of how many were inside. In this way player can actually start worshipping something even if the temple is not accessible or not found. Early altars also encourage going off the planned route and trying new approaches.


For me finding the temple is an important milestone in the game. Finding a suitable gods altar somewhere else just doesn't give that same feeling.
I've reached the temple several hundred games. And never it has been inaccessible due to some monsters lurking about it, and never i've been unable to find it.

If there is a nasty unique near the entrance it just gives you a choice to fight/use some consumables to win/sneak around it/lure it away and dash for the temple. Or go on without a god until you can get into the temple. Why is something that is not always easy a bad thing?

Anyway, I like the temple and hope it stays in the game.
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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 13:00

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

You guys say nice words like "milestone", but for me it's just some obligatory thing that I don't like but have to do. First levels are really easy and have dangers you can easily go away from, so I usually just temple-dive within like 5 minutes and then just continue from D:1 and collect easy piety, and by the time I actually clear everything down to the temple, I already can use some powerful abilities that make further advance as easy, until I decide to go to Vaults.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 13:03

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Amnesiac wrote:First levels are really easy and have dangers you can easily go away from

Are you playing exclusively Spriggans?

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 13:15

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Of course not. I only play them once in a hundred games or less.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 13:21

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Amnesiac wrote:temple-dive


What? Is this a thing? I can't imagine the danger would even slightly be worth it.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 13:29

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

It's worth at least that piety that you gain and there is not much danger.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 14:55

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Amnesiac wrote:It's worth at least that piety that you gain and there is not much danger.

I have no clue what you play with, but most of my characters on xl:3 cannot handle orc priest or poison from two snakes, which is quite common meeting on D:4-D:7.

What is so important in a 'milestone' if you reached it several hundred times? I'd rather call a milestone a moment you receive first piety star, which is much more meaningful than finding some creepy place of worship.

It is possible to come to the temple later, but early piety really helps some weaker characters to survive. Gods are not just a convenience. Cutting a character off from the temple because he was unlucky is a source of player's angriness rather than a source of deep tactical thoughts. It happens to meet "welcome parties" at branch entrances, but when entering branches, a character has usually already some nice tactical options (use consumables? try other branches?). Inaccessibility of a particular branch does not limit character as much as lack of god.

The change proposed by me should not make early game particularly easier (except of situations when one finds desirable altar on D:2, which already happens sometimes), but would reduce tediousness of temple searching/accessing.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 15:28

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

nagdon wrote:I am not a very good player, but I don't feel that the temple is a significant milestone (at least not for me). Getting a religion IS a significant milestone, but it would happen without the temple. Showing the player only a few deities at a time would cause more varied god selection (if the player wants to follow one god, he can wait for it, but perhaps more players will select the second best god if its altar isn't usually generated together with the best).

Alternatively the temple could be either guarded by some slightly OOD monsters or it could require an entry fee (like troves), for example one of the following (either always the same, or randomized per game):

  • 2-4 of a selected common potion/scroll (identify, remove curse, teleportation, curing, heal wounds). Probably this should identify the required item type.
  • a weapon of a given type: a giant club (= kill an ogre), a bow (= kill a centaur), maybe a halberd (common on gnolls, somewhat dangerous), a scythe (if Sigmund is generated) or other (not club/dagger quality but not rare) weapons like long swords, maces, tridents etc.
  • entry fee approximately equal to the average gold generated until the (current) depth of the temple (so the player has about 50% chance to be able to pay immediately, but has high chance to enter after 1-2 more levels).
  • an artifact (any; maybe only showing it is required)

This would mean that either you choose a god from an overflow altar, or you pay a small price to be able to select from more gods. (Maybe the player will first go down a few levels to see if the desired god has an altar there and only pays the temple when if it is neccessary.)


What you're forgetting is that at one time it was a milestone for you. The game has to appeal to more people than those who have already mastered it. I still splat lots of characters and feel like the temple is the first major milestone on a god one, even if i have a God already. Making it harder is really not a great idea for players at the point where I am. If you have been playing so long and so often that the Temple is tedium for you, that's excellent. Skip it or something. it's one set of stairs that maybe you won't miss in your hurry to the new V:5 or whatever you still consider a challenge.
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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 16:16

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Absolutely bonkers idea.

Why not make the first few levels of Crawl "natural", with stairs representing passages in a cave getting underground. Then, the temple becomes a "must go through" branch, serving as the "entrance" to the actual dungeon. It would be more flavorful, and make the temple more exciting. I'd reduce the number of temple gods/altar and make it occur sooner, but have no altars before it, so that an early altar is less of a RNG factor in a game.
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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 16:36

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Go ahead and put a rune on the floor somewhere before temple depth, and require a rune to enter the temple. The temple has has the only stairs to the next floor down.

The sunny rune, has seen the sunshine more recently than the other runes.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 16:39

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Bart wrote:What is so important in a 'milestone' if you reached it several hundred times? I'd rather call a milestone a moment you receive first piety star, which is much more meaningful than finding some creepy place of worship.


Well we all have different definitions for milestones.
For me they are, for example, finding the temple, getting to lair, getting rune, winning the game.
And I have reached all of those several times. And they still feel like milestones.

There are several posts, including mine, that use arguments like "I feel this is important to me".
Of coure we would all like the game to be as much fun for ourselves as possible. And it is impossible to please everyone.
So I'll just wait and see what happens. And hope that temple stays in the game.
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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 17:02

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

I don't hate Temple. I guess it's less interesting and exciting from the experienced player perspective, but I do remember when getting to felt like an achievement to me. And with really weak characters it still does!
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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 17:16

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Pro-Temple..

I didn't even know it is still possible to wait out wrath in the Temple. If this still is an issue, make everyone except AK characters banish if they stay there TOO long.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 17:20

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Returning to the subject of temple diving, there is nothing you can't get away from on the first few levels and if you can't then your character is doomed anyway. I'm talking about jackals and adders. You'll still meet them on D:2 even if you don't dive. You should be able to at least kill one and with lots of tunnels you don't need to fight more than one. I don't play tanks, though, because I find them a bit boring, but they are even more capable of killing an adder. There are ants if you are not lucky, but there are a lot of doors, tunnels and there are at least 6 staircases and often 2 hatches. All monsters are really easy to deal with on these levels and it's easy to break LoS of orc wizards and priests and you don't even need to, usually, because you see a usual orc and turn back.

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Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 17:55

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

I'm with amnesiac here in a big way. I simply cannot see what value the temple is providing, so far I've skimmed two excuses for keeping the temple

1) People will get tired of vaults, and the temple is totally interesting

Sheesh I find the repetitive temples completely uninteresting. I usually enter the temple, mash down tab until it's fully autoexplored, then ^Foka/veh/sif and navigate to the altarn pray and get outta there.

I find it much much more interesting to have these randomly placed, but guaranteed overflow or altar vaults that truly provide a dynamic experience each game. Having your altar show up anywhere between D:1 and D:9 makes the god process much different each game

2) The temple is an important milestone

yes, but so is joining a religion. You can just replace your "I found the temple" milestone with "I joined a religion." Just as meaningful, but actually quite more meaningful. If someone needs to see a yellow greater-than symbol to feel a sense of accomplishment, they still have the Orc Mines, and Lair to provide that stimulus.


My main motive for removing it is what I stated above, which is that I find the new overflow vaults much more thematic and interesting, and I'd like to see many more of those, and I'd also be completely willing to create more of these god/overflow vaults if we need them.

Dis Charger

Posts: 2064

Joined: Wednesday, 9th January 2013, 19:44

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 18:15

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Thanks for your support. the op is tasonir, though.

It would be great if we could push this through, but devs will decide in the end.

I don't want it to sound exaggerated, but I'm really, almost literaly, sick of temples, even though I love all other parts of the game.
Last edited by Amnesiac on Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 18:15, edited 1 time in total.

Halls Hopper

Posts: 64

Joined: Sunday, 3rd November 2013, 12:19

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 18:15

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Moose wrote:2) The temple is an important milestone

yes, but so is joining a religion. You can just replace your "I found the temple" milestone with "I joined a religion." Just as meaningful, but actually quite more meaningful. If someone needs to see a yellow greater-than symbol to feel a sense of accomplishment, they still have the Orc Mines, and Lair to provide that stimulus.


You really can't define what other people see as milestonse. For me it IS reaching the temple. No difference even if I allready have a god at that point.
And than gods I have modern computer capable of graphics (google what those are if you are unsure) so I don't need to see ANY > sings ever in crawl :)
Winning races: Ce, DD, DS, Dj, Dr, Fo, Gr, HO, LO, Mf, Mi, Na, Og, Tr
Winning backrounds: AK, Ar, As, Be, Cj, DK, Fi, Gl, Hu, Mo, Pr, Su, Wn
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Tartarus Sorceror

Posts: 1891

Joined: Monday, 1st April 2013, 04:41

Location: Toronto, Canada

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 18:37

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Sphara wrote:Pro-Temple..

I didn't even know it is still possible to wait out wrath in the Temple. If this still is an issue, make everyone except AK characters banish if they stay there TOO long.


It's not.

http://s-z.org/neil/git/?p=crawl.git;a=commit;h=57e2a1b88cdfb357ea020a44b7c0f69cdd17ea8a
take it easy

Dungeon Master

Posts: 3618

Joined: Thursday, 23rd December 2010, 12:43

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 18:57

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

1. What is a Pantheon?
2. Time to declare that we won't do it.

Seriously people, this has been discussed, there are different opinions, the verdict is no. Stop bringing this up quarterly!

For this message the author dpeg has received thanks:
Arrhythmia

Dis Charger

Posts: 2064

Joined: Wednesday, 9th January 2013, 19:44

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 19:10

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

Is this all your point? Greek mythology is greek mythology and crawl is crawl. Just saying so doesn't give it flavour.
I actually provided some arguments. And we need to make the game more varied to be fun, don't we?
As we see a large portion of players don't consider the temple flavourful, and other portion don't provide real arguments.

Probably no use to argue with devs, but I just can't keep silent, when you say "it's milestone", "it's pantheon" without providing real points for the gameplay
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Barkeep

Posts: 1788

Joined: Saturday, 29th June 2013, 16:52

Post Wednesday, 12th February 2014, 19:16

Re: Proposal: Remove Ecumenical Temple

I don't think anyone would characterize a half dozen people in a Tavern thread as "a large portion of players," Amnesiac.
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