Demigod Reform


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

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Post Wednesday, 30th April 2014, 21:05

Re: Demigod Reform

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:That is exactly what gods do. A HuFi goes "otabotabotab crap an orc wizard time to use tactics." A HuBe goes "otabotabotab crap an orc wizard time to press aa then otab some more."

Even a god with absolutely no restrictions removes choices through the simple act of giving you useful powers. When you are worshipping Nemelex, all other choices become dramatically less meaningful because decks can literally win the entire game on their own. Why bother thinking about long-term strategy when you can just worship Kiku and be guaranteed a powerful weapon that matches your best weapon aptitude and easily destroys the majority of the game's monsters and also be guaranteed a full suite of powerful magic spells and an unlimited supply of corpses to power those spells?

Without godly aid to handhold you, demigods have to make a larger number of meaningful decisions in most cases. This is true of any atheist, but as duvessa explained, demigods allow a player to be atheist without deliberately hamstringing themselves.
Your examples do not prove your point in any way. All it's saying is that Trog and Nemelex are overpowered to the point where you can play badly and still win (also I guess Trog is heavily restrictive, but that doesn't apply to virtually every other god in the game). Is your contention that all, or at least most gods are the same in that regard? If so that seems completely at odds with the idea that Dg are actually a powerful race, if they don't have access to all these incredibly overpowered gods that render every other decision in the game meaningless by being too good.

It's also odd that you're essentially entirely discounting the choice of which god to go with and when/how to use their powers.

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:Also the stats are significant and interesting in their own way, but that is secondary to the atheism.
How?

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Post Wednesday, 30th April 2014, 21:13

Re: Demigod Reform

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:Even a god with absolutely no restrictions removes choices through the simple act of giving you useful powers. When you are worshiping Nemelex, all other choices become dramatically less meaningful because decks can literally win the entire game on their own. Why bother thinking about long-term strategy when you can just worship Kiku and be guaranteed a powerful weapon that matches your best weapon aptitude and easily destroys the majority of the game's monsters and also be guaranteed a full suite of powerful magic spells and an unlimited supply of corpses to power those spells?

What about a god like Ash, who gives no combat powers at all and is based around making your choices more meaningful? You have to think longer term with Ash, because whereas a Dg can pick up several weapons and use whichever one the situation demands, a worshiper of Ash has to decide if he wants to be able to use decks/rods or get skill boosts and piety, and if he goes with the latter option he has to decide which weapon he wants to glue to his hand. (This also applies to rings.)
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Post Wednesday, 30th April 2014, 21:25

Re: Demigod Reform

Leafsnail wrote:
TheDefiniteArticle wrote:That is exactly what gods do. A HuFi goes "otabotabotab crap an orc wizard time to use tactics." A HuBe goes "otabotabotab crap an orc wizard time to press aa then otab some more."

Even a god with absolutely no restrictions removes choices through the simple act of giving you useful powers. When you are worshipping Nemelex, all other choices become dramatically less meaningful because decks can literally win the entire game on their own. Why bother thinking about long-term strategy when you can just worship Kiku and be guaranteed a powerful weapon that matches your best weapon aptitude and easily destroys the majority of the game's monsters and also be guaranteed a full suite of powerful magic spells and an unlimited supply of corpses to power those spells?

Without godly aid to handhold you, demigods have to make a larger number of meaningful decisions in most cases. This is true of any atheist, but as duvessa explained, demigods allow a player to be atheist without deliberately hamstringing themselves.
Your examples do not prove your point in any way. All it's saying is that Trog and Nemelex are overpowered to the point where you can play badly and still win (also I guess Trog is heavily restrictive, but that doesn't apply to virtually every other god in the game). Is your contention that all, or at least most gods are the same in that regard? If so that seems completely at odds with the idea that Dg are actually a powerful race, if they don't have access to all these incredibly overpowered gods that render every other decision in the game meaningless by being too good.

It's also odd that you're essentially entirely discounting the choice of which god to go with and when/how to use their powers.

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:Also the stats are significant and interesting in their own way, but that is secondary to the atheism.
How?


You could probably interpret this as saying one of two things I think:

1. Demigods are more poweful on the few floors before you get help from a god, and the game is basically won if you live to like D:8, thus demigods are a powerful race.
2. Most gods are so extraordinarily overpowered that it's not a fair metric to use to judge powerlevel - demigods are still powerful in spite of being unable to worship a god. I guess this then raises the question of where "fairly powered" is placed.

I would agree with 1.) but not really with 2.)
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Post Wednesday, 30th April 2014, 23:04

Re: Demigod Reform

I do not find god choice to be an interesting or difficult choice, to the point that I basically always go with "whichever god I expect to make the game most fun" rather than "the god that is strongest for this character". Furthermore a lot of people (I believe some of them are developers) seem to have the opinion that gods should, like species and backgrounds, be deliberately unbalanced, in which case the choice is specifically designed not to be strategically interesting!

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Post Wednesday, 30th April 2014, 23:11

Re: Demigod Reform

Re: power level, Demigods are ridiculously powerful during the only part of the game where difficulty matters, and while they become less powerful later, they never become weak (because HP and stats are good 100% of the time, and high HP is like 50% of being powerful in this game, no joke).

You are overrating the effect of gods. Centaur and Troll would still shit all over Demigod at almost every point in the game if you removed gods, and a Deep Elf of Vehumet still has laughably bad HP. I guess maybe DD might drop below Dg without Makhleb, but it still has rDamage++ and two of the most powerful items in the game in starting inventory (seriously how can anyone think that is a good idea), so it still beats almost every single other race.

Leafsnail wrote:Your examples do not prove your point in any way. All it's saying is that Trog/Nemelex/Kiku are overpowered to the point where you can play badly and still win

That's not at all what I was saying, and only Trog/Elyvilon are overpowered to the point that you can play badly and still win (and both of them should be removed because they don't do anything interesting even in concept, except for Berserk/Divine Vigour, but those two abilities barely matter). Nemelex decks are ridiculously powerful, but they aren't as powerful as Summon Hydra, because decks aren't 100% reliable and infinitely reusable. Sanctuary makes it impossible for anyone who is paying attention to die, but Controlled Blink doesn't disappear from your spell list if you cast it 5 times in a row.

The point here is that you say "i want decks" one time on D4, and then on D7, you solve problems with decks, on D12 you solve problems with decks, on L6 you solve problems with decks, on A3 you solve problems with decks, on V5 you solve problems with decks, on U4 you solve problems with decks, on Z5 you solve problems with decks. An atheist on the other hand has to figure out how to handle each problem as it arises, and prepare for potential problems ahead of time. An atheist has to build the toolset that they use to win the game, a worshipper has most of the toolset given to them. Gods basically take 30-50% of all the decisions you make throughout the whole game and replace them all with one decision on D5. Trog is so much worse, because he takes away closer to 90%, and does it on turn 0.

The mere act of receiving useful things from your god means that the god is taking care of important character building decisions for you. Even an actively harmful god, like Cheibriados, has this same effect (the difference is just that other gods make choice X redundant or unnecessary, and Chei makes choice X suicidally dangerous). I'll readily grant that every single god except Xom/Chei is overpowered and could be nerfed easily, but they would still take away choices the same way they do now.

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:Also the stats are significant and interesting in their own way, but that is secondary to the atheism.
How?

Well for starters notice how every race that has high dex also has high dodging apt. Except demigod. The proposal in the OP is to directly remove this unique trait.

But apart from uniqueness, stats are really good. You have more Int than Deep Elf while at the same time having 20+ Dex, and having enough Str to wear heavy armour. For example, a HuCj and a DgCj both spend exactly the same amount of XP in exactly the same way. The Dg casts at higher spellpower, with lower spellhunger, has higher EV, and if both characters wear the same piece of armour, the Dg has better success rates. This is despite the fact that the Hu has higher levels in every single skill thanks to apts.

What about a god like Ash, who gives no combat powers at all and is based around making your choices more meaningful? You have to think longer term with Ash,

"You have to think longer term with the god who LITERALLY LETS YOU TAKE BACK SKILL POINTS AND MOVE THEM SOMEWHERE ELSE." Give me a break man.

Ash makes choices LESS meaningful across the board. When skills don't cost XP, which one you raise doesn't matter.

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Post Wednesday, 30th April 2014, 23:38

Re: Demigod Reform

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:"You have to think longer term with the god who LITERALLY LETS YOU TAKE BACK SKILL POINTS AND MOVE THEM SOMEWHERE ELSE." Give me a break man.

Ash makes choices LESS meaningful across the board. When skills don't cost XP, which one you raise doesn't matter.

Did actually read my post? I was talking about how Ash adds meaning to the usually no brainier of switching around equipment.
Hell, here's an example.

Bob the Demigod has skill in Maces & Flails and Necromancy. He has both a demon whip of pain and a sacred scourge. He will choose whichever one works on most of the enemies in his current branch, and if a enemy immune to his current weapon pops up, he asks himself the question "Can I afford waste one turn to swap weapons?"

Meanwhile, Dave the Ash worshiper has equal skill to bob, and the same items. He will choose whichever one works on most of the enemies in his current branch and then ask himself "Do I want the skill bonus and piety badly enough to curse this weapon?" If the answer is yes, then if an enemy immune to his current weapon pops up, he asks himself the question "Can I afford to waste the remove curse scroll and the two turns to swap weapons, do I want bonuses with the new weapon badly enough to waste an extra curse weapon and remove curse, and if so can I afford to waste the extra turn required to curse the new weapon?"

Likewise, if Bob comes across a monster that can <foo> him, all he has to ask is "Can I afford to waste the turn needed to switch to a ring of r<foo>" whereas Dave asks himself "Can I afford to waste the two turns needed to switch rings, can I afford to waste the scroll needed to switch rings, can I afford to waste another curse jewelry and remove curse in order to get skill bonuses, and can I afford the extra turn required to do so?"
So it makes skills less meaningful, but it also makes items and tactical decisions moreso, especially late game if you were wasteful with remove curse scrolls early on.
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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 00:43

Re: Demigod Reform

Klown wrote:And weird to see people who say 'apts don't matter' 'exp is barely noticeable' wakawaka'ing over a 'just-better-than-human' species who still has to challenge itself with no god.
The proposal keeps the best part, godlessness, and adds flavor(more demigodly species) and fun(according to a few agree'ers here agreeing it's subhuman apts are sluggishly boring.)

You're placing way too much importance on flavor. Now, I for one absolutely love flavor in Crawl, but gameplay is much, much more important. If Formicids can wield two-handers with shields because they have four arms, why can't Octopodes do the same when they have 8? Why can't Fo wear 4 rings and 2 gloves? When you focus on designing a species around its flavor instead of its gameplay you get stuff like Vp, which is a goddamn mess.

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 16:59

Re: Demigod Reform

i would find dg far more enjoyable if it has good aptitudes instead of more hp/mp
at their current state i just think of them as worse humans that cant worship a god.

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Post Thursday, 1st May 2014, 17:07

Re: Demigod Reform

KittenInMyCerealz wrote:i would find dg far more enjoyable if it has good aptitudes instead of more hp/mp
at their current state i just think of them as worse humans that cant worship a god.


But they're not, for reasons already explained in this thread.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 00:23

Re: Demigod Reform

Lasty wrote:
KittenInMyCerealz wrote:i would find dg far more enjoyable if it has good aptitudes instead of more hp/mp
at their current state i just think of them as worse humans that cant worship a god.


But they're not, for reasons already explained in this thread.

What I've seen explained is that all gods are op and that youve won the game if you make it to d8.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 01:02

Re: Demigod Reform

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:That's not at all what I was saying, and only Trog/Elyvilon are overpowered to the point that you can play badly and still win (and both of them should be removed because they don't do anything interesting even in concept, except for Berserk/Divine Vigour, but those two abilities barely matter). Nemelex decks are ridiculously powerful, but they aren't as powerful as Summon Hydra, because decks aren't 100% reliable and infinitely reusable. Sanctuary makes it impossible for anyone who is paying attention to die, but Controlled Blink doesn't disappear from your spell list if you cast it 5 times in a row.

The point here is that you say "i want decks" one time on D4, and then on D7, you solve problems with decks, on D12 you solve problems with decks, on L6 you solve problems with decks, on A3 you solve problems with decks, on V5 you solve problems with decks, on U4 you solve problems with decks, on Z5 you solve problems with decks. An atheist on the other hand has to figure out how to handle each problem as it arises, and prepare for potential problems ahead of time. An atheist has to build the toolset that they use to win the game, a worshipper has most of the toolset given to them. Gods basically take 30-50% of all the decisions you make throughout the whole game and replace them all with one decision on D5. Trog is so much worse, because he takes away closer to 90%, and does it on turn 0.

The mere act of receiving useful things from your god means that the god is taking care of important character building decisions for you. Even an actively harmful god, like Cheibriados, has this same effect (the difference is just that other gods make choice X redundant or unnecessary, and Chei makes choice X suicidally dangerous). I'll readily grant that every single god except Xom/Chei is overpowered and could be nerfed easily, but they would still take away choices the same way they do now.
I think I understand your main argument better now, although I'm still getting mixed messages from some of your examples. As far as I can tell it's less that you think gods eliminate choice in and of themselves by being so amazing that you don't have to think (well you also seem to think this but I'm trying to focus on the main part), and more that you think they eliminate the need to adapt to the items you find during the course of the game, thus making the choices you make in the game more monotonous and similar between games. This thus means you can sortof set up a "standard god strategy" for your game(s), meaning you make less varied choices over the course of the games you play. Is this a fair characterisation of your point?

On a couple of more tangentially related points that are confusing me:
Does Berserk really "barely matter", considering that it plays a key role during the "only part of the game where difficulty matters" (indeed, you cited it as an example of gods removing choice by being too good in your previous post)? I feel like you keep jumping back and forth between "only the early levels matter" and "actually the later levels matter too", and it's seriously confusing me.

I'm also completely baffled by the suggestion that every non-Chei/Xom god is overpowered (and this was the argument I read from your previous post, considering that that's what your Trog example amounted to), and I think it is essentially a logical impossibility. If we ignore Demigods for a second then that means the claim you're really making is that the game is too easy for every non-Dg race. Except Dg are stronger than a lot of races with gods, so I guess Dg must be overpowered too? The whole game is too easy, is what you're essentially saying?

TheDefiniteArticle wrote:Well for starters notice how every race that has high dex also has high dodging apt. Except demigod. The proposal in the OP is to directly remove this unique trait.

But apart from uniqueness, stats are really good. You have more Int than Deep Elf while at the same time having 20+ Dex, and having enough Str to wear heavy armour. For example, a HuCj and a DgCj both spend exactly the same amount of XP in exactly the same way. The Dg casts at higher spellpower, with lower spellhunger, has higher EV, and if both characters wear the same piece of armour, the Dg has better success rates. This is despite the fact that the Hu has higher levels in every single skill thanks to apts.
Well yeah, having high stats does make you better at everything. I am not in any way disputing that Dg are a pretty strong race. What I was wondering was why this is interesting.

I suppose you would value the dodging skill differently to other species, at least? And you'd like Blade Hands more?

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 01:46

Re: Demigod Reform

I think we can all agree that Dg's godlessness is the most distinctive/key feature. However the way that their other aspects interact with that in an interesting way (put aside the question of strength) might not be so readily apparent.

There's just no way Dg is going to be "powergame" material while still being forced godless, because other good HP aptitude species like HO, Mi, and Dr can choose religious backgrounds, which are some of the strongest, or just a different reasonably strong background, and worship a strong god (Fedhas, Makhleb, etc.) Short of something completely insane, no amount of aptitude tweaking is really going to push Dg to that level of power. So I think trying to make Dg better along those lines is just trading what's distinctive about them for something that actually won't even satisfying those calling for reform, in the first place.

What Dg do have going for them, design wise, is that they are robust enough that the early game is not annoying—you won't usually get killed for a single mis-click when in orc priest is in LOS or anything the way DE, Te, and Gr can. They also get good stat growth which helps them adapt. And this is important because you will need to adapt, because you have no god. Aside from "power" religions in Crawl add something predictable that you are guaranteed access to, in a game otherwise ruled by randomness. Slower leveling and lower aptitudes put greater weight on your skilling decisions; you aren't going to be prevented from doing anything based on your stats, but you do have to be smart about how you train.

This means that Dg games tend to be very different from any other species, and also that it is very rare that two Dg games will be the same. This is a good thing and I don't think you can change very much about Dg without detracting from what makes them interesting. Slight aptitude tweaks or whatever wouldn't be the end of the world, but they also don't seem necessary. +2 to all apts would be very bad.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 04:09

Re: Demigod Reform

Leafsnail wrote:I'm also completely baffled by the suggestion that every non-Chei/Xom god is overpowered (and this was the argument I read from your previous post, considering that that's what your Trog example amounted to), and I think it is essentially a logical impossibility.


Well, certainly lots of gods are powerful (I don't know what "overpowered" means in this game exactly) in a way that provides a nearly complete kit for winning the game. Trog, Ely, Kiku, Nemelex. There are also gods that boost the hell out of a particular playstyle - Oka, Vehumet. Any of these can really dominate your character development, which I actually think is fine, because this can be fun and it will take many games to try all the possibilities, but it's also cool to have a character that is unswayed by that sort of thing, even playing "optimally."

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 06:56

Re: Demigod Reform

Gods being overpowered only makes the game easier if you are playing well (taking advantage of your advantages), and the overwhelming majority of the time you only die if you are playing badly. If you watch some high level splats, you will see a depressingly massive number of people with ludicrously buff characters dying simply because they don't use their awesome stuff. The only thing worse than watching a guy with 10 summoning decks die because he somehow forgot to use any of them, is remembering a time when you did the exact same thing.

they eliminate the need to adapt to the items you find during the course of the game, thus making the choices you make in the game more monotonous and similar between games. This thus means you can sortof set up a "standard god strategy" for your game(s), meaning you make less varied choices over the course of the games you play. Is this a fair characterisation of your point?
Yes, that is the gist, with the replacement of "should" rather than "can". Playing well while worshipping a god means making the most of whatever tools that god grants/supports, and that means some of the decisions about which tools to use/train are already made by your god.

I suppose you would value the dodging skill differently to other species, at least?
Like that, but applied to all skills to varying degrees. High stats and low growths allows smaller investments, while also making all investments more significant. Another of my favorite races, Tengu, is the reverse; they need bigger investments to make up for -2 HP, but have positive apts in damn near everything, so don't need to be picky about what they invest in. Deep Elves/Minotaurs bore me because they both barely have to invest anything to survive and have insane aptitudes so they invest in whatever the hell they want. Skilling them involves a much lower number of meaningful decisions.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 07:17

Re: Demigod Reform

I don't know that high attributes are inherently more interesting than low attributes, but they are certainly very different. Probably one of the most unique species features in Crawl. Int/Dex have huge effects on spellpower and EV, strength has big effects on spell success and EV in heavy armour, and of course there are many other, smaller effects.

Maybe an easy way to look at it would be to compare human, demigod, and mummy. If you give a human and a mummy the same experience, for the same skills, the mummy's spell power/EV will be somewhere between "somewhat worse" and "awful" compared to the human's. Try it on a demigod and it will have equal or higher spell power, success, and EV. This includes the very start of the game. Now consider that for most skills, the aptitude difference between demigod and mummy is the same as that between human and demigod.
So they more than compensate for -1 aptitudes, and really, for having the worst experience aptitude as well.
You are free to decide whether they compensate for not having a god, just remember that the winnability of the game increases exponentially every turn, and most backgrounds don't have a god until after quite a few turns.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 08:13

Re: Demigod Reform

KittenInMyCerealz wrote:
Lasty wrote:
KittenInMyCerealz wrote:i would find dg far more enjoyable if it has good aptitudes instead of more hp/mp
at their current state i just think of them as worse humans that cant worship a god.


But they're not, for reasons already explained in this thread.

What I've seen explained is that all gods are op and that youve won the game if you make it to d8.

That's not very far from the truth.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 11:17

Re: Demigod Reform

^for good players, which is like 1% of Crawl's playerbase. :p Everyone else dies going for runes like normal people.

Good apts: Unique with the superhuman exp, allows versatility and adaption and fun.
Bad apts: Forces the same exact skill boosting we see in the hundred other species with bad apts. Slowly, Chei style, gain skills with your Halfgod that can't even beat a human.
Again, same ones trying to emulate George Bush's right wing 'no change' agenda are the ones who say apts don't matter in advice threads, and bash people who scoff at -1 apts. Flip-flopping to make excuses.
#demigod2014

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 14:44

Re: Demigod Reform

Klown wrote:It levels faster, has some better apts(fighting, necromancy, invocations, etc.) and gives you insane mutations non-stop.
Take that away and nobody would play them :p


I don't understand why Demigods aren't the opposite of Demonspawn - developing random "sets of divine abilities" (not restricted to attributes, and of lesser magnitude than standard divine abilities) as they level up.
There are enough throwaway ideas in the Dev Wiki to make something from it.
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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 16:08

Re: Demigod Reform

Klown wrote:
Again, same ones trying to emulate George Bush's right wing 'no change' agenda are the ones who say apts don't matter in advice threads, and bash people who scoff at -1 apts. Flip-flopping to make excuses.
#demigod2014


I think what people usually say (or at least what they mean, contextually) is specific aptitudes don't matter, e.g. having -2 Dodging is not justification for skipping Dodging. Having uniformly middling to weak aptitudes is indeed pretty important.

EDIT: I also think godlessness is a more meaningful handicap than some. The idea that (especially for strong players) the most difficult part of the game to survive is the beginning is correct. But I do think that there's a certain threshold in skill you need to cross before this difference in survivability becomes really noticeable. I think Dg is a good example of a race (Og being the canonical example) that starts out strong but gets noticeably harder at the time when many characters are picking up steam. By Lair you play more like a 0 HP race because of the -2 xp apt, and you don't have a major source of midgame escape options available to you. That strong players can negotiate these problems with the wealth of other options available to them doesn't mean (imo) that Dg becomes one of the easier races.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 18:05

Re: Demigod Reform

XuaXua wrote:I don't understand why Demigods aren't the opposite of Demonspawn - developing random "sets of divine abilities" (not restricted to attributes, and of lesser magnitude than standard divine abilities) as they level up.
Im not 100% sure but I think it might be because species are supposed to be different from each other

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 18:12

Re: Demigod Reform

duvessa wrote:
XuaXua wrote:I don't understand why Demigods aren't the opposite of Demonspawn - developing random "sets of divine abilities" (not restricted to attributes, and of lesser magnitude than standard divine abilities) as they level up.
Im not 100% sure but I think it might be because species are supposed to be different from each other


Demonspawn = gain certain strategy-changing species-specific mutation sets over time; can worship non-good deities
Demigods = gain certain strategy-changing species-specific divine ability sets over time; gain attribute enhancements; can't worship;
Draconians = gain certain strategy-changing species-specific mutation sets and skill adjustments over time; can worship.

Totally the same.
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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 18:19

Re: Demigod Reform

As far as "no change" goes, demigods in particular are one of the races least in need of change. I don't care at all what you want to do to High Elves.
Though giving Dg. a slightly better XP aptitude I think would be fine.

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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 20:04

Re: Demigod Reform

By divine abilities you mean like...mutations right? With flavor? I'm sure any you think of could be reflavored and considered for demonspawn - there really doesn't need to be a second "gets random mutations as they level up" race.
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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 22:14

Re: Demigod Reform

"Demigod" is just flavor - what they are, mechanically, is the Race with Huge Stats. We could just as easily rename them Humans or Golems or whatever, it has no impact on the actual mechanics of the Demigod race. Don't get distracted by the shiny wrapping.

The question at hand here is, "Is having Huge Stats mechanically interesting enough to make up for not being able to have a god and a slow power curve?"
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Post Friday, 2nd May 2014, 22:19

Re: Demigod Reform

As for a suggestion for "improving" them without buffing them, I think a change as simple as allowing Demigod to control the allocation of all stat increases from XL gain could do wonders for the race's feel and distinctiveness.

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Post Saturday, 3rd May 2014, 02:02

Re: Demigod Reform

johlstei wrote:By divine abilities you mean like...mutations right? With flavor? I'm sure any you think of could be reflavored and considered for demonspawn - there really doesn't need to be a second "gets random mutations as they level up" race.


Third.
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Post Saturday, 3rd May 2014, 10:00

Re: Demigod Reform

XuaXua wrote:
johlstei wrote:By divine abilities you mean like...mutations right? With flavor? I'm sure any you think of could be reflavored and considered for demonspawn - there really doesn't need to be a second "gets random mutations as they level up" race.


Third.

Draconians are not a "gets random mutations as they level up" race.

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Post Thursday, 8th May 2014, 18:55

Re: Demigod Reform

johlstei wrote:By divine abilities you mean like...mutations right? With flavor? I'm sure any you think of could be reflavored and considered for demonspawn - there really doesn't need to be a second "gets random mutations as they level up" race.


Then don't give them "mutations." Give them unique abilities. The key being actives(maybe success rate tied to XL?), conversely to demonspawn which are entirely passive-based. They are descendants from Gods, they should have lesser powers of Gods...most of which are activatable. It would retain a unique identity, fit flavor-wise with being demigods, and be far more interesting to play mechanically. To just have a pool of possible actives that get randomly chosen from as you grow.

I don't want to give examples, because that opens up a whole other can of worms. But thoughts?
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Post Thursday, 8th May 2014, 19:23

Re: Demigod Reform

NessOnett wrote:
johlstei wrote:By divine abilities you mean like...mutations right? With flavor? I'm sure any you think of could be reflavored and considered for demonspawn - there really doesn't need to be a second "gets random mutations as they level up" race.


Then don't give them "mutations." Give them unique abilities. The key being actives(maybe success rate tied to XL?), conversely to demonspawn which are entirely passive-based. They are descendants from Gods, they should have lesser powers of Gods...most of which are activatable. It would retain a unique identity, fit flavor-wise with being demigods, and be far more interesting to play mechanically. To just have a pool of possible actives that get randomly chosen from as you grow.

I don't want to give examples, because that opens up a whole other can of worms. But thoughts?


Active, Okawaru-style god abilities would work. They could be powered by the demigod's own piety rating. In this sense, piety would represent accumulated worshiper belief. The amount would accumulate for each non-passive action at a rate based on some combined factor of XP level and Invocations skill. It would be spent on any given "miracle" use.
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Post Thursday, 8th May 2014, 21:59

Re: Demigod Reform

I would rather see demigods removed from the game entirely. Giving demigods a god eliminates the entire point of the race.
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Post Thursday, 8th May 2014, 23:10

Re: Demigod Reform

duvessa wrote:I would rather see demigods removed from the game entirely. Giving demigods a god eliminates the entire point of the race.


They are their own god.
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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 00:59

Re: Demigod Reform

It still seems that there is enough interest in the community about changing some aspect of demigods as they are now. Either change their name to something that doesn't mean "almost a god" even though they barely know how to use anything since their apts and exp are horrible, or actually boost them to a point where they can become more "godly" in mid-game. Yes flavour isn't as important as gameplay, but they don't have very interesting gameplay the way it is. Enjoy being underskilled the entire game? Nope.

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 01:14

Re: Demigod Reform

Was it mumra who had plans to give Dg the occasional portal vault, where the Crawl gods would challenge you to face an avatar and, if you won, you would get an item or something? I liked that idea.

But otherwise I have no problem with Dg and do indeed think "atheism and a slow growth curve" is enough of a differentiation to merit their inclusion in Crawl.

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 06:32

Re: Demigod Reform

This has been covered well before and what makes Dg unique has already been explained in excruciating detail in this thread alone, but I would like to bring up that saying demigods are "their own god" sounds a real lot like "they worship the same god every game" which sounds a real lot like making what attracts Dg players disappear.

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 07:23

Re: Demigod Reform

dck wrote:sounds a real lot like making what attracts Dg players disappear.

What Dg players?
Klown wrote:Demigods: Least wins in 0.14 tournament due to unfun-undesirable play.

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 07:28

Re: Demigod Reform

Yes nobody likes current Dg or thinks it is worth keeping as this thread shows.

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 07:32

Re: Demigod Reform

Here is the list of 0.14 tournament wins with Nemelex' Choice wins excluded:
  Code:
100x Gargoyle, 92x Minotaur, 34x Hill Orc, 30x Deep Dwarf, 28x Demonspawn, 25x Merfolk, 25x Deep Elf, 24x Centaur, 23x Draconian, 23x Ogre, 21x Tengu, 20x Vine Stalker, 18x Spriggan, 17x Human, 17x Troll, 15x Naga, 15x High Elf, 14x Kobold, 12x Vampire, 11x Formicid, 11x Demigod, 10x Ghoul, 8x Mummy, 8x Halfling, 6x Octopode, 6x Felid

I guess we should remove chunk eating from ghouls, let mummies drink potions, make halflings ogre-sized, give octopodes 2 ring slots, and start felids with 27 extra lives.

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 07:35

Re: Demigod Reform

imo remove vines from stalkers and give evaporating ability

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 08:40

Re: Demigod Reform

duvessa wrote:Here is the list of 0.14 tournament wins with Nemelex' Choice wins excluded:
  Code:
100x Gargoyle, 92x Minotaur, 34x Hill Orc, 30x Deep Dwarf, 28x Demonspawn, 25x Merfolk, 25x Deep Elf, 24x Centaur, 23x Draconian, 23x Ogre, 21x Tengu, 20x Vine Stalker, 18x Spriggan, 17x Human, 17x Troll, 15x Naga, 15x High Elf, 14x Kobold, 12x Vampire, 11x Formicid, 11x Demigod, 10x Ghoul, 8x Mummy, 8x Halfling, 6x Octopode, 6x Felid

I guess we should remove chunk eating from ghouls, let mummies drink potions, make halflings ogre-sized, give octopodes 2 ring slots, and start felids with 27 extra lives.

Well that would make them all closer to demigod, that is, completely mundane, just with high att.
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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 08:56

Re: Demigod Reform

Finerminer wrote:It still seems that there is enough interest in the community about changing some aspect of demigods as they are now. Either change their name to something that doesn't mean "almost a god" even though they barely know how to use anything since their apts and exp are horrible, or actually boost them to a point where they can become more "godly" in mid-game. Yes flavour isn't as important as gameplay, but they don't have very interesting gameplay the way it is. Enjoy being underskilled the entire game? Nope.

Three guys does not count as "enough interest."

Also it is abundantly clear that you have never actually played a Demigod.

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 09:45

Re: Demigod Reform

Viashino_wizard wrote:Three guys does not count as "enough interest."

Three that cared to post anything. Now it will be four.
Demigods are unfunny and uninteresting to me to a degree where I would take any other species and play godless rather than choose demigod.

To be clear: This is not sarcasm nor whining. There is also absolutely no need to adjust demigods. If they stay as they are, I will just continue to ignore them. There are more things I ignore in the game and it's probably fine - we cannot make everyone happy and interested in every feature. I think, though, that bringing here some more statistics should make you rethink how Dg is perceived:

Survivability till xlvl 10 (sequell, all tournament games):
277/1158x Deep Dwarf [23.92%], 1152/4933x Minotaur [23.35%], 508/2296x Troll [22.13%], 1194/5761x Gargoyle [20.73%], 188/1123x Centaur [16.74%], 136/906x Halfling [15.01%], 363/2512x Hill Orc [14.45%], 253/1932x Ogre [13.10%], 104/835x Ghoul [12.46%], 208/1778x Kobold [11.70%], 153/1403x Human [10.91%], 197/1823x Merfolk [10.81%], 76/733x Demigod [10.37%], 154/1492x Tengu [10.32%], 287/2988x Spriggan [9.61%], 383/3994x Deep Elf [9.59%], 294/3069x Draconian [9.58%], 362/3799x Formicid [9.53%], 213/2246x High Elf [9.48%], 299/3169x Vine Stalker [9.44%], 131/1568x Vampire [8.35%], 124/1498x Naga [8.28%], 179/2406x Octopode [7.44%], 138/1880x Mummy [7.34%], 422/5941x Demonspawn [7.10%], 89/1349x Felid [6.60%]
So demigods do fairly well in the early game. On the other hand, number of tournament games for each species:
62592 games for * (t): 5941x Demonspawn, 5761x Gargoyle, 4933x Minotaur, 3994x Deep Elf, 3799x Formicid, 3169x Vine Stalker, 3069x Draconian, 2988x Spriggan, 2512x Hill Orc, 2406x Octopode, 2296x Troll, 2246x High Elf, 1932x Ogre, 1880x Mummy, 1823x Merfolk, 1778x Kobold, 1568x Vampire, 1498x Naga, 1492x Tengu, 1403x Human, 1349x Felid, 1158x Deep Dwarf, 1123x Centaur, 906x Halfling, 835x Ghoul, 733x Demigod

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 11:29

Re: Demigod Reform

Over twice as many mummies played. Even though Mu is the weakest species, it brings some desire-ability to the table with no hunger.
The core design is still there. Highest stats, no god. There's already a load of '-1 across the board; species, Demonspawn and Mummies are more fun and desireable as seen above. With the stat nerf, Dg won't undermine Chei's core ability, stat boost.

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 12:27

Re: Demigod Reform

Klown wrote:Over twice as many mummies played. Even though Mu is the weakest species, it brings some desire-ability to the table with no hunger.
The core design is still there. Highest stats, no god. There's already a load of '-1 across the board; species, Demonspawn and Mummies are more fun and desireable as seen above. With the stat nerf, Dg won't undermine Chei's core ability, stat boost.


Are you still talking about your design from page 1? It's absurdly powerful. At least lose the +2 XP apt please. Also "undermine Chei" ?? does your design undermine Ashenzari?

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 12:32

Re: Demigod Reform

Everyone is drawing the wrong message from these tournament stats. These lists show gargoyle at the top, so we should remove non-gargoyle species or make those species be gargoyles.

Alternately, we could just remove the least-played species recursively until we no longer have the problem of having a least-played species.

If for some reason neither plan seems satisfactory, we might as well just leave things as they are, since most people can find at least one species they enjoy playing, and each species has people who enjoy playing it.
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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 12:43

Re: Demigod Reform

dck wrote:This has been covered well before and what makes Dg unique has already been explained in excruciating detail in this thread alone, but I would like to bring up that saying demigods are "their own god" sounds a real lot like "they worship the same god every game" which sounds a real lot like making what attracts Dg players disappear.


Sure it sounds like it, but that's not the mechanical intent. The implication is that they would eventually develop random abilities reflecting a god's power, but not any specific trail. It would not intentionally be the same every game.
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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 13:12

Re: Demigod Reform

zardo wrote:
Klown wrote: It's absurdly powerful.


Humans must be insanely OP then. This design is a slightly 1-up'ed human who loses OP gods.

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 14:48

Re: Demigod Reform

I was merely being polite. It doesn't sound like a god, if abilities are to be added to Dg in that sense, they must by necessity be a god if you don't want to make Dg into morally-neutral-Ds.

First of all, for such a system to work at all the powers you get must be relevant, else they might as well not be there. If they do nothing, they achieve nothing.
Furthermore, adding abilities that are not contundent is harmful for the whole theme surrounding Dg, since hitting XL 15 and getting the abilities of sparkling slightly and spitting poison is pretty god damn underwhelming and indeed carries a less powerful theme than the "simple yet strong" Dg currently has.

It also removes weight from player's decisions, because variation in perceived power levels regarding abilities gained based on rng already lets players shift the blame when it comes to Ds or Dr: "I got awful mutations, nothing I could do", "I got a color that didn't suit me, damn rng". This is all of course trivial stuff, but it hugely undermines the weight of the decisions made as a Dg because with current Dg you know what your cards are from the get go and you know if you fucked up and died it was your fault and no one else's.
It is perhaps a crude way of removing the player's scapegoats when it comes to facing failure, but I've always thought of this as a plus of Dg.

So, by these premises abilities must be relevant and strongly so or both theme and gameplay are hurt significantly. If strong abilities are added to the race then they must by necessity be balanced in some way; you cannot simply pile benefits on a race that has been established as functional and is in fact held in very high regard by a lot of players, then assume said race will remain functional and the gameplay it provided untainted after the additions if those additions were meant to change something.

It would be trivial to bend and twist and twirl a new race that is being designed around these strong abilities, of course, but this is not a theoretical new race that is being designed, it is an already working race which offers gameplay options valued by many. Worse yet, this race's defining features that are not "no god worship" are all extremely basic so it's not really an option to change these if keeping the currently provided gameplay is desired.
Damn, so let's recapitulate: can't really change apts significantly, can't change their stats, they have no muts and already a very severe conduct... How exactly could one maintain a semblance of balance yet shoehorn extra, strong powers into this race?

Well an artificial limitation to those powers of course. As you venture deeper into the dungeon word spreads about the mighty demigod who strikes down ogres and yaks alike and you gain followers, for example, and you may exert control over the faith of those followers to access your divine powers, but not endlessly so!
And that is literally the piety mechanic, and thus the only viable option to add superpowers to Dg without destroying Dg is to give them a god they have to worship every game, functionally destroying Dg anyway since their most defining mechanic is gone.

I realize other approaches could be taken and have been suggested regarding ways to gain piety, fame, faith or what you may call it. One of the most popular ones, I believe, was the one that had gods challenge you to prove your worth by fighting against powerful enemies, but you could completely ignore them if you were not interested in the whole thing about getting worshipers.
I do not really follow that logic. If you're playing crawl I think it's okay to assume you want to have fun. Normally to have fun you want to be alive.
Now, you can be in D: 7 with a surprisingly decent chunk of buffing potions ID'd and being quite able of holding your own against your average threat, just minding your own business when Oka goes "HEY, HERE'S AN ORC KNIGHT YOU CAN ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATE WITH CORRECT USE OF YOUR TOOLS, IF YOU KILL HIM YOU GET A COUPLE OF NICE THINGS AND POWERS!"

That's to me not so much a challenge to your character, but a challenge to your own ideals. The game is offering you free stuff in exchange for a couple of potions at most, it's basically a labyrinth without the labyrinth part, do you want the free stuff?
There is simply no way you would say no if you're playing your character to stay alive, because you're a species that has to build his own tools, there's a rocket launcher giveaway right in front of you and you could definitely use a rocket launcher right about now.

Given the random nature of crawl, these situations will arise. Situations in which a player who is trying to play Dg the way he's played it for years because he likes what it offers is suddenly faced with what basically are random god gifts and god abilities and he realizes they will be non-trivially helpful at some point and he could take them for negligible cost now.
It is basically just not nice to screw with people's heads like that, and to add that sort of mechanic to Dg would flat out destroy what Dg are and make people who want to play pretend as an oldDg have to gimp themselves when doing so.

Now, all of this happens because Dg work. They work so well people would gimp themselves with the new race to keep the feeling of the old one alive. I believe the obvious conclusion to be drawn from all of this is that Dg at their root are simply incompatible with the idea of followers and semi-piety systems and superpowers and whatnot, because that is the polar opposite of what the core of the species is about.

Does this mean the idea of a species or deity that makes you face divine challenges with more free-form god powers than usual is worthless and not an angle worth exploring? Absolutely not. Myself, I do not see a lot of merit to the implementations of the concept of having a followers bar instead of a piety bar I have seen so far and I do not believe I would enjoy this new theoretical species very much, but I would at least have no reason to be against it by default because it has been brought into existence by bastardizing something good.

All things said though, I've thought for a while low exp races in crawl perhaps go too far and for example think Ds would be a lot more fun with re-structured muts and an exp apt of 0 (mostly because Ds gain fun tools as they level up, so delaying level ups is particularly dickish); Dg are really the one that pulls off the slow leveling the best imo, but they go a bit overboard with the -2 apt and I think a -1 one would fit the bill quite well.

e: BEAT THIS WALL AND INTO

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 16:04

Re: Demigod Reform

DG are painfully boring, and that is their biggest problem. You trade god worship and not awful XP gains for slightly higher stats. Adjusting their apts would be nice I guess, but they need an overhaul to make them at all interesting.

As it stands now, they pretend to be a race that grows in power slowly, but ends up being very, very powerful. In practice, they're a race that starts off kind of powerful, and grows very very slowly into mediocrity.

As it stands now, they should be removed, because we can't add an interesting godless race while this extremely boring one is holding that spot. And we can't change it because we'll upset the 4 people that enjoy them.

Now, maybe people will miss the Old DGs. People still miss MDs, that didn't stop them from being removed.

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Post Friday, 9th May 2014, 16:13

Re: Demigod Reform

This thread is going around in circles and is not adding anything new or interesting.
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