Selling Stuff


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Temple Termagant

Posts: 8

Joined: Monday, 3rd January 2011, 14:32

Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 08:31

Re: Selling Stuff

I have a few ideas on some of the things being discussed.

Hive: dpeg, your idea is great. As in real life, why not have larvae eating royal jellies turn into queen bees? It might be odd to have multiple queens, but right now a single queen bee in the Hive is so underwhelming that it's a joke, and in the flavor/believability department, some insect colonies (e.g. Rasberry ants) DO have multiple queens.

Troves: Here's my idea: give them a timeout, and once you find one, you're asked for a valuable item or stack of items you're *carrying,* or is in your stash (preventing people from dropping items to avoid being asked for them). The value of the items inside depends on the value of the item you give, but it would generally ask for one of the most valuable things you have.
Or: make them ask for several (~3) items that you may or may not have in your stash:
- (a) a wand of paralysis
- (b) 4 potions of cure mutaion
- (c) a +4,+2 scimitar of holy wrath
Wherein you can gain entrance by submitting any of the requested items, but you'll get better troves for the more valuable ones. Again, it's timed, so it turns the trove into a challenge to find a required item, and an interesting decision on whether to attempt to do so or just go the cheap route. Also, the loot is nerfed, which is good, since with this proposal, you have a better chance of getting in quickly.

Mummy decay: a 'Curse' status ailment is probably the best idea. One possible implementation: a potion quaffed has a 50% chance of being decay, and, if it is, has a 66% chance of dispelling the status. It eventually goes away on its own anyway. You could quaff a potion of water (or other potion useless to you) or two to quickly dispel the effect, then quaff healing / heal wounds, which might be interesting, though it also might make Tomb easier. It's still rougher than standing on potions and picking one up to drink while fighting, since you can be rotted. It might be a good idea to give mummies a way to destroy your potions, too.

Summon spam: trampling over rats and the like should alleviate this.
On chain-summoning: Why not make summoned creatures, even if they normally could summon, unable to? Demons should be an exception.
Alternatively, summoners can't summon other creatures that summon. I prefer the previous idea.
A 'soft cap' on summons might also be better than a hard cap: after a certain point, summoning new monsters makes already-summoned monsters, if there are enough, have a chance to disappear.

Labyrinths: I like them. I also strongly dislike maprot, and it has no place in the game. So how can you make mappable labyrinths non-trivial with autoexplore, requiring though to navigate?
The race to the portal is fun. So make the Labyrinth also a race. You can't autoexplore or dawdle. You want to get to the Minotaur as soon as possible. Some ideas:
1. After a certain amount of time, you're get teleported OUT, with warnings along the way. No awesome loot for you.
2. The Labyrinth causes you to hunger much more quickly, making it a resource drain.
3. if you stay too long, you can get bad mutations such as fast metabolism. (I don't like this one)
4. your other stats (HP, STR/DEX/INT, maybe EXP) also drain while you're in the Labyrinth. Maybe, which one drains depends on the specific labyrinth generated. This also leads to a resource drain. Meh.
5. When you enter, you immediately become hungry (or very hungry) and can't increase your hunger level above that. You're always at the brink of starvation. (or: you can't eat in the Labyrinth. I don't like this as much.)
6. At the exit, there are 3 piles of loot. If you get there very quickly, all three are still there. If you were less quick, one or two will be there. If you were really slow, there won't be anything left.
My vision of the labyrinth is something built around hunger, around rushing, around the food clock, or imitating that design pattern. Doing so would make the Labyrinth's unique challenge work without diluting its special flavor. Minivaults and monsters are also good: I can imagine a player evading, not fighting, monsters in the Labyrinth to get to quickly disappearing loot, or facing the interesting choice of whether the items in a potential vault (which should also disappear) are worth possibly losing loot at the end for. The 'outrunning monsters' part, a lack of maprot, an emphasis on getting out quickly, and the challenges from resource drain and the inability to become 'not hungry' all might appeal to people who don't like labyrinths.

Grinding infinite areas:
-Branch-wide experience caps. "You feel like you have experienced enough of this place already." Those places would keep their infinitude, but would get rid of experience grinding.
-Progressive difficulty has been suggested before.
-one aspect of the game I like is the inclusion of spells that cost permanent HP or MP. It'd be interesting to have monsters with attacks that drain permanent HP (just, say, 1-3 points), 'damaging/attacking your soul.' Like a playstyle frequently making use of Revivification, the extended engame would be unsustainable. There could also be demons in 'shops' in Pan who you could make deals with, trading a piece of your permanent HP ('selling your soul,' which is more acceptable than selling items) for items, good mutations, or other perks. Continuing on with the potentially infinite extended endgame would be limited not by space, or the patience of the player, but by skill. Maybe it's good to have some avenue for infinite play, but it inevitably leads to scumming. That goes away if some unrenewable resource is required. I think this would somewhat alleviate most avenues for prolonged scumming (items, demonic runes, zigs) because they'd never be trivializable. It would also make the extended endgame have an additional challenging facet. I'd personally like to see more spells that drain permanent HP.

The Abyss:
-if you're carrying the Abyssal rune, you can resist banishment (although there are arguments to remove the rune).
-the Abyssal rune could be evoked to create a portal out of the Abyss, or, having found the rune causes exit portals to be generated much faster.
-In Hell/Pan, you can't be banished (except maybe with Lugonu). Flavorwise, this could be justified by saying that those places are already 'below' the Abyss, and that you can't be banished to somewhere *better*. Either that, or that they're in a dimension 'too far away' from the abyss. for banishment to work. This would remove banishment as an escape method in Pan/Hell, which has its pros and cons, one con being that it removes the unique challenge of getting Lom Lobon's rune.
These ideas, though, are not substitutes for interesting branch and monster design. They don't fix the Abyss, just make it tolerable.

Dungeon Master

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Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 11:50

Re: Selling Stuff

vladimirdx wrote:Mummy decay: a 'Curse' status ailment is probably the best idea. One possible implementation: a potion quaffed has a 50% chance of being decay, and, if it is, has 66% chance of dispelling the status. It eventually goes away on its own anyway. You could quaff a potion of water (or other potion useless to you) or two to quickly dispel the effect, then quaff healing / heal wounds, which might be interesting, though it also might make Tomb easier. It's still rougher than standing on potions and picking one up to drink while fighting, since you can be rotted. It might be a good idea to give mummies a way to destroy your potions, too.

This would be better than status quo, although the Curse status would still lead to degenerate behaviour: it'd be tempting to lure the mummy to some safe place (say up a level), kill it and wait out the Curse. In other words, it would rarely be of tactical value.
This is why my proposal is to make mummy killing have a longterm rather than a shortterm effect: a mummy's curse may turn a potion into decay (when found, not when picked up or drunk). You cannot control what potions you'll lose.

vladimirdx wrote:Labyrinths: I like them. I also strongly dislike maprot, and it has no place in the game. So how can you make mappable labyrinths non-trivial with autoexplore, requiring though to navigate?
The race to the portal is fun. So make the Labyrinth also a race. You can't autoexplore or dawdle. You want to get to the Minotaur as soon as possible. Some ideas:
1. After a certain amount of time, you're get teleported OUT, with warnings along the way. No awesome loot for you.
2. The Labyrinth causes you to hunger much more quickly, making it a resource drain.
3. if you stay too long, you can get bad mutations such as fast metabolism. (I don't like this one)
4. your other stats (HP, STR/DEX/INT, maybe EXP) also drain while you're in the Labyrinth. Maybe, which one drains depends on the specific labyrinth generated. This also leads to a resource drain. Meh.
5. When you enter, you immediately become hungry (or very hungry) and can't increase your hunger level above that. You're always at the brink of starvation. (or: you can't eat in the Labyrinth. I don't like this as much.)
6. At the exit, there are 3 piles of loot. If you get there very quickly, all three are still there. If you were less quick, one or two will be there. If you were really slow, there won't be anything left.
My vision of the labyrinth is something built around hunger, around rushing, around the food clock, or imitating that design pattern. Doing so would make the Labyrinth's unique challenge work without diluting its special flavor. Minivaults and monsters are also good: I can imagine a player evading, not fighting, monsters in the Labyrinth to get to quickly disappearing loot, or facing the interesting choice of whether the items in a potential vault (which should also disappear) are worth possibly losing loot at the end for. The 'outrunning monsters' part, a lack of maprot, an emphasis on getting out quickly, and the challenges from resource drain and the inability to become 'not hungry' all might appeal to people who don't like labyrinths.

I copied this to https://crawl.develz.org/wiki/doku.php?id=dcss:brainstorm:vault:labyrinths
While I don't support all of this, it is certainly a new twist on the mazes. The race idea is interesting, but I think that there's a fundamental clash between "use hunger as the driving matter in labyrinths" and "starvation deaths are just not cool". Here is my proposal to solve it: if you're starving in a labyrinth for long enough (say ten or twenty turns, to give players a chance to note this and eat), you're just expelled. Don't worry about rationalisation, that's generally easy to do. This rule would allow is to ramp up the hunger rules in labyrinths: fewer nutrition from food or, what amounts to roughly the same, higher metabolism in labyrinths. (The latter is a bit better if we add giant eyes to the monster list.)
Personally, I like the actual act of maze solving, and I'd rather like to keep the mechanics of choosing fights and using advanced tactics to other (portal) vaults. It should be possible to make the labyrinth mutation more interesting. Perhaps by mutating more, and having each mutation add new holes (with some chance). That way, the labyrinth becomes easier with time.

vladimirdx wrote: One aspect of the game I like is the inclusion of spells that cost permanent HP or MP. It'd be interesting to have monsters with attacks that drain permanent HP (just, say, 1-3 points), 'damaging/attacking your soul.' Like a playstyle frequently making use of Revivification, the extended engame would be unsustainable. There could also be demons in 'shops' in Pan who you could make deals with, trading a piece of your permanent HP ('selling your soul,' which is more acceptable than selling items) for items, good mutations, or other perks. Continuing on with the potentially infinite extended endgame would be limited not by space, or the patience of the player, but by skill. Maybe it's good to have some avenue for infinite play, but it inevitably leads to scumming. That goes away if some unrenewable resource is required. I think this would somewhat alleviate most avenues for prolonged scumming (items, demonic runes, zigs) because they'd never be trivializable. It would also make the extended endgame have an additional challenging facet. I'd personally like to see more spells that drain permanent HP.

I like this idea a lot, with the provisions you made. Generally, players have a (very natural) tendency to hate use of finite resources -- and maxHP is the most finite resource of them all. (A typcial instance was players deriding Fedhas as useless (even before knowing the actual powers) because that god relies on using fruits -- something that's much less painful to give away than HP.)
The idea of certain Pan denizens drying up your total health sounds good; the shops would provide nice flavour. That's a novel way to cut down on eternal Pan campaigning. I did not add this idea to the wiki, would you? (In general, the easiest way to navigate on the wiki is by using the Search feature at the top right.)

vladimirdx wrote:The Abyss:
-if you're carrying the Abyssal rune, you can resist banishment (although there are arguments to remove the rune).
-the Abyssal rune could be evoked to create a portal out of the Abyss, or, having found the rune causes exit portals to be generated much faster.
-In Hell/Pan, you can't be banished (except maybe with Lugonu). Flavorwise, this could be justified by saying that those places are already 'below' the Abyss, and that you can't be banished to somewhere *better*. Either that, or that they're in a dimension 'too far away' from the abyss. for banishment to work. This would remove banishment as an escape method in Pan/Hell, which has its pros and cons, one con being that it removes the unique challenge of getting Lom Lobon's rune.
These ideas, though, are not substitutes for interesting branch and monster design. They don't fix the Abyss, just make it tolerable.

Much less banishment if you have a token of abyssical power is very good. Not sure the rune should be it (since all other runes have no effect at all), but why not. Again, please post good ideas to the wiki.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 13:23

Re: Selling Stuff

Pan scumming isn't an actual problem. Pandemonium is a post-endgame branch. Once you can scum it, there's no reason to actually do so. You've already opened up and completed all game content, and you were capable of meeting the game objective 12 runes ago. The presence of Pandemonium has no impact on normal play, so the only reason you're going to be scumming in it is because you made the very intentional sake to scum Pan for the sake of scumming Pan. At most, you can go on a forum or IRC channel and brag to the other poopsockers about the length of your Zig streak. At no point in Crawl history will a player EVER feel pressured into scumming Pan to complete some other task, because there are no other tasks.

For this message the author KoboldLord has received thanks: 2
mageykun, szanth
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Vestibule Violator

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Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 16:44

Re: Selling Stuff

I really like these ideas for labyrinths - do away with the maprot, but put some kind of timer on it in terms of loot. Food should not be the driving issue in labyrinths - if it is, that just means they take a long time to complete, and that just means it's boring. That said, they don't usually take me long enough to even need to eat any permafood except maybe at the end to make sure that I can berserk the minotaur.

While I sort of like the idea of getting expelled after a certain time, I think a lot of players would howl in rage if this happened.

How about this:
- you start at the startpoint of a maze. It maps like a normal level, but magic mapping doesn't work - or maybe it could, because that wouldn't help much:
- The maze is riddled with traps. Blade traps (sometimes two in a row). Zot traps. Teleport traps. Needle traps with branded needles like sleep or frenzy. Alarm traps and alcoves with tough monsters that get woken up.
- Some sections have acidic walls.
- There are portals between different sections, as in a vault I discovered on Vaults:7 recently
- there are bridges that rotate 90 degrees when you step on them, and sections that collapse after you pass through them
- some sections have mutagenic energy.
- blink and teleport don't work.
- fake minotaurs that turn out to be shapeshifters
- periodic exits to a sewer vault, for those who give up on solving the labyrinth.

It could be fiendishly tricky while still being mappable, but also interesting even it it takes a while to solve, and it would be dangerous and have potentially permanent effects.

Obviously this is non-trivial work though, so consider it just another bunch of ideas in the hopper.

Vaults Vanquisher

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Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 17:28

Re: Selling Stuff

Y'know what I think when I look at a labyrinth and I know that stuff like that is in there?

No matter what the treasure is: screw that.
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Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 18:08

Re: Selling Stuff

This is what I believe you must have meant:
szanth wrote:If all of those ideas were implemented, I think labyrinths would be too challenging and many players (me for sure) would probably decide that it was not worth it, no matter how good the loot.


Thanks for the feedback. I'm just brainstorming here, throwing out a whole bunch of ideas in the hopes that just a few of them will be recognized as worthwhile and that a dev might decide to spend some of their personal time implementing an idea I like in a game that I love.

Balancing things in this game is a complex and drawn out process and takes a lot of ideas, brainstorming and discussion. That can't happen if ideas are shot down out of the gate.
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Shoals Surfer

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Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 19:01

Re: Selling Stuff

@danr

Why did you report a post, if you already edited it?
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Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 19:50

Re: Selling Stuff

Because I'm dumb sometimes. Because I was on the verge of hitting the ban hammer but didn't want to do that without creating a record and bringing the issues of concern to the attention of other moderators.
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Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 19:55

Re: Selling Stuff

Also to explain. I edited szanth's post - it originally said "that shit" and "fuck that" instead of "that stuff" and "screw that".

I realize he didn't mean "fuck that idea" but it uses that language and suggests that my idea would be broken if it were implemented. Given the tone and language and terseness and lack of any positive statements I considered it inconsistent with the tone I want to maintain on this board.

I'll try to be less irritable in future.
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Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 21:34

Re: Selling Stuff

Sidestepping this whole talking to each other appropriately thing...

I'd have to say if I entered a portal and encountered all of what danr just proposed at once I would turn around and head right back out the exit portal. And if there wasn't an emergency exit close to the entrance like the baileys, I would stop probably risking entering labyrinths all together. No amount of loot is worth that degree of unpredictable, un-retreatable risk to an established character.

Some of it? Definitely doable. Things most likely to scare me away would be Zot traps , acid walls, and mutagenic things. In narrow maze hallways, you'd be much more likely to step on Zot traps them than usual, I think. Bad mutations and equipment rot seem like a lot of risk midgame when you start finding labyrinths. I like the ideas of the linking portals, phony 'taurs, and the sewer exit. Having the option to explore a weaker portal to explore if you wuss out is an interesting one. The rotating bridges could be tactically interesting too- just so long as it can't be used to crush things to death.

As an aside, I'd like to say I personally enjoy labyrinth's as is. The magic map and run for the vault entrance minigame presents an interesting departure from usual play. The actual act of exploring the maze is also an interesting change in style of play. Heck, last time I even got that end someone was complaining about with the teleport traps, and I enjoyed the surprise / dastardliness of it, despite it taking three times as long to find my way back to the end. And in my experience the loot isn't awesome enough to unbalance things if you don't do the mazes- you usually get a few scrolls and wands, maybe a useful book, and some useless artifacts to carry to your stash.

As I see it, the reason people want to axe / change labyrinths is they don't like that it's a change in play style from the rest of the game. But what I think people miss is that many of the corrections offered up to make them "interesting" are, in fact, a change from the usual play style. When presented with a difficult area of the game, what do you do? You put if off and come back to it later, when you're prepared. You take your sweet time getting to Shoals:5, Elf:7, etc. You prepare. In portal vaults, you do not have this option. A vault filled with nasty interesting content, and with a timer attached, forces a kind of do or die choice. Either you go in, confident you can take it, or you regretfully pass by because no amount of loot is worth dying for. I understand the rational of riskier equals more interesting, but with cautious gameplay, there's a point where riskier equals ignored.

Not that this can't be balanced, and not that it doesn't happen already in game. Wizlabs are sometimes unassailable, due to character build / resources, but I feel it helps keep them interesting, and they're deep enough you don't feel cheated. I sometimes pass on baileys as well, but they are common enough that it's balanced. It's just a delicate act of not putting too much new nastiness in the mazes.
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Post Friday, 14th January 2011, 22:11

Re: Selling Stuff

Yeah, I was just trying to come up with enough other ideas to make them challenging and interesting without map rot. I certainly don't want them to become total certain death.

Forget the extra "danger" features for now. What if it started actually fully mapped, but it was a puzzle to be solved with bridges or tunnels that could be redirected somehow, or gates that would only stay open if you left a weight on a certain spot, or there were portals and you had to figure out which portal went where.

Right now the main challenge is a combination of memory (okay, I already checked all the tunnels to the left of this intersection) and deduction (I've seen some stone walls in this direction, so the exit is probably toward this side somehow) but also luck.

But whatever. I'll play them as they are now. I just like coming up with new ideas.
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