A high risk/reward god


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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 03:06

A high risk/reward god

So, for quite a while now, I’ve been pondering ways to have a high-risk/high-reward type of play style that would be viable in Crawl. But for the longest time, all of my ideas basically boiled down to praying to the RNG gods that you nuke the hell out of your enemy instead of yourself. And… Xom already does that, among other things. I wanted the player to feel like they were either taking the risks or being forced into them, not that they were rolling dice.

Finally, I came up on a god idea. Originally an idea for a god of justice with more standard play, it evolved into one with a conduct and abilities that encourage a play style that’s a wild departure from optimal play and, in fact, rewards you very well for it. Of course, those big carrots come with a big risk since you’ll be doing things that aren’t normally optimal and, thus, this god probably won’t be the best pick for streaking and what not. Hence, I am certain not everyone will like it.

Anyway, enough of that. I feel that this proposal might have some controversial components to it, so I explained my lines of thought and reasoning quite a bit in depth below the descriptions of abilities and mechanics. Yes, it’s a bit of a wall of text, but please look at it since it may answer some questions, concerns, or suggestions you might have.



=====Denethe, god of risks =====

Current flavor is a god who wants to be entertained, so the god has mortals do risky things for his entertainment. He rewards those who are entertaining with power so they can do even more riskier, more entertaining things.

…I’m not really happy with the flavor here since it sounds a wee bit much like Xom. But, hey, the gameplay is entirely different from Xom and that’s the important part. Also, I’m not overly fond of the name either.

===== Basic Information =====

Temple god.

The general idea is a high risk-high reward play style. The player is supposed to step out of their comfort zone quite often and engage in behavior that would normally be sub-optimal or counter-intuitive. This might make the god “less powerful” in that the player would be more likely to die, and thus not an optimal choice for winning, but this is fine. This one can be a “challenge” god.


=====Piety=====

====Appreciates====

* When you kill stuff quickly
* When you kill uniques quickly (worth more piety than the previous)
* When you kill lots of stuff quickly (stacks with unique kills if the kill in question is applicable)

Killing stuff grants a small amount of piety, but the majority of it comes from killing monsters simultaneously or within a few turns of the last kill. This might encourage a player to whittle down several monsters and then take em all out in a single cleave of their axe, but I am okay with this.

To prevent players from kiting whole floors into huge balls of monsters, an unseen timer starts for each monster, say 20-30 turns (or less), perhaps a bit higher for uniques. If the timer runs out, the player doesn’t get piety for the kill. This timer is also used for some other abilities.


====Deprecates====

* Piety falls over time
* Killing monsters too slowly

Note that killing stuff too slowly simply results in no gain for the kill rather than piety loss.


=====Given Abilities=====

====Piety: No stars====

* (Passive) Increases your AC, EV, and, if applicable, SH for each monster beyond the first in melee range. The amount granted increases as piety rises.

* (Passive) Protects you from your own splash damage. This is full protection, so you can drop Fireballs in your face or bounce Lightning Bolts back at yourself and be okay.

====Piety: One Star====

* (Passive) Reduces the penalty to SH when blocking multiple attacks. The amount increases as piety rises.

* (Passive) Whenever you kill an enemy that’s eligible for piety gain, your HP and MP is restored by 25%. However, both also regenerate 25% more slowly and external sources of recovery, such as Potions of Magic and Wands of Healing, are 25% less effective, though they still cure rotting and status effects at full effectiveness.

====Piety: Two Stars====

* HP/MP recovery on eligible kill is now 50% and other sources of recovery are 50% weaker. Again, full effectiveness on healing rot and statuses.

====Piety: Three Stars====

* (Passive) Protects you from Paralysis, Sleep, Petrification, and any other status effects that render the player helpless. The flavor here is the god is using you for entertainment and gets just as frustrated as we do when you die while helpless. The god would rather you go out with a bang rather than a “You lose the ability to move! You die…”

* HP/MP recovery on eligible kill is now 75% and other sources of recovery are 75% weaker.

====Piety: Four Stars====

* HP/MP recovery on eligible kill is now 100% and other sources of recovery are 100% weaker.

====Piety: Five Stars====


====Piety: Six Stars====

* (Passive): Whenever you suffer fatal damage from an enemy, you don’t die. Yet. Instead, the player is given 5 turns (or whatever is a good combination of fun and balance) to make a kill and are granted infinite MP and boosted stats to do so. If the player makes a kill, they regain all of their HP and MP. If they don’t… well, they die. This ensures that, for the god’s entertainment, you either go out with a bang or survive to continue giving him a good show.

Note that this has a very hefty piety cost. Since it’s 100% chance at life saving, if successful, and also includes full healing, the piety cost is significant enough to drop the player back to ****. Or possibly more or less depending on balance and fun factor.


===Other Possible Abilities===

Here’s some other things I considered but am not sure they’re a good idea or mesh well with the other abilities or flavor.

* Swap HP/MP (Hunger): This swaps the player’s HP/MP caps and current levels. So a player with 300/300 HP and 26/40 MP would have 26/40 HP and 300/300 MP. This lasts until they swap them back. It sounds interesting on paper, but I don’t know how useful it’d be in practice.

*Slaying Bonus for adjacent foes: It could work similar to the existing defensive passive or be a buff whose strength depends on the number of adjacent foes at the time of usage. I’m leaning against this because this pushes more heavily towards melee.

*Apport Foe (Hunger, MP): When I was still using the “god of justice” flavor, this had the niftier name of “Inescapable Judgement.” Anyway, basic idea is it checks user’s Invo against victim’s weight and, if it passes, it yanks the victim adjacent to the user and stuns the victim a turn or two. I don’t think it meshes too well with the current design, but I’m putting this here because it is the ability that ultimately led me to come up with this whole proposal.





=====Reasoning behind the design=====

Be warned, this section is very long as I tried to include my thoughts and reasonings behind all the decisions here.


Crawl is very much a game where a low-risk low-reward approach is frequently the most desired one to pursue. So much to the point that it’s usually a good idea to do things such as lure every pack to the nearest corridor or engage in other very safe but, ultimately, not very exciting behavior. I wanted a way in the game to encourage doing other things throughout the entire run without relying on specific encounters, requiring the player to adopt a conduct, or forcing it upon players who do not want to do it.

Hence, a god.

In order to make a high risk/high reward god seem appealing, I figured that not only did it need to look rewarding to play, but also contain some crazy abilities to encourage people taking it. Hence, it’s mostly a carrot approach. However, I also want to push players out of their comfort zone. I didn’t want a god that, aside from a few abilities, was business as usual. Rather, the idea is to change circumstances enough to force tactical and strategic considerations that either wouldn’t apply elsewhere or wouldn’t even exist.

The result is a god with mostly passive abilities that drastically changes the way the player will play. I wanted combat to feel a bit faster and more frantic than normal (well, as much as it can in a turn-based game), hence the player is given abilities that allow them to wade into combat safely and a timer that discourages trying to set-up the usual optimal situations (and prevents a lot of degenerate behavior, but more on that in a bit). There’s also a tension that the player can only heal by killing (at **** and above, at least) which can’t quite be replicated anywhere else (Deep Dwarves can at least recover mana by resting). Combine needing to make rapid kills to maximize piety gain and the player is actually made to make a lot of considerations rather than just blindly tabbing into combat. For example, do you kill this guy to heal yourself or do you only weaken him so you can AoE him and his friends down for more piety gain?

More in-depth, I went mostly with passive abilities because to be honest, I couldn’t come up with good active ones. But these change the gameplay so much, unlike old Vehumet, who was basically a passive upgrade, that I feel this is okay. You might not be using Invocations at all, but you’ll definitely feel the difference following this god than if you went with anyone else or nobody at all.

For inspiration, I glanced at plenty of other games where to get abilities from. While not everything made it in, some games I looked at include City of Heroes, Borderlands, Super Smash Brothers, and a few others.

The first two passives are there to encourage the player to get out of corridors and into crowds, aka stepping out of their comfort zone, while giving something upon joining with enough impact that the player will notice it immediately. The idea behind increasing defensive abilities is to make it safe enough to be surrounded. But, at the same time, it shouldn’t be as safe as painstakingly luring everything to a corridor one-by-one.

The self-AoE protection is largely there to ensure that this god isn’t entirely melee-centric. That was the original intent, at least, since you’ll still probably not want to be a squishy caster in the midst of a pack. But it also allows for some different strategies, such as making a somewhat tanky mage whose goal is to dive into crowds and then shoot fireballs into his own face to kill everything. You can’t do that anywhere else in-game (at least, not safely or reliably) and I’m sure there’s other crazy things that the player could do to leverage the self-AoE protection.

The next passive, cutting the SH penalty when blocking attacks, admittedly feels kind of weak on its own. But again, the intent is to make sitting in a crowd survivable. It was originally part of the “increase defenses based on number of adjacent hostiles” ability, but I decoupled it to give * something to do. Of course, that was a bit ago and now * also does another thing, so that’s not such a big deal.

The next passive is probably the one that’ll be the most controversial one and I can already guess at who will say it’s dumb or whatever, though I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong. Originally, this was just the **** only and no increasing stages. The idea of increasing it slowly was inspired by Chei gradually slowing you down. Rather than just suddenly making such a huge change, I figured it was better to do it gradually over time so the player can adapt to the mechanic.

I will admit that the reduced regeneration rates will make resting more annoying. However, since resting eventually becomes impossible, doing so is missing the intent of the ability. It’ll be more efficient to track down and kill something to heal, popcorn if necessary, and hopefully the player will catch onto that before they hit ****. Ultimately, it’s supposed to come down to “find enemy, take damage, kill enemy for HP and MP, repeat” rather than “find enemy, take damage, kill enemy, rest, repeat.”

Combine this with the timer and this can force the player into some tense situations that wouldn’t arise otherwise. Low on HP and MP and you run into a pack of enemies. Conventional tactics would be to flee and rest, but that’s either no long possible or is at least highly inefficient. Additionally, because they can’t simply come back later to kill them for healing, the player has to make a choice: engage for piety and HP/MP or flee and search for new victims. If they choose to engage, then they have to make choices based on group composition and terrain on how to score the quickest kill possible since they may not have enough time to lure them to a better position.

By eliminating the option of resting and adding large amounts of recovery to killing, we get interesting situations you won’t see anywhere else in the game. Or that’s the hope, at any rate.

Moving on, rParalysis and etc. are partly just flavor, partly just a gimmick to help draw players to the god, and largely a way to help avoid sudden deaths among a crowd. Dive into a group and an eyeball rolls around the corner? That’d be pretty darn fatal and not very fun. Under normal play, we’d blame the player for being dumb and diving into the crowd. Here, since that tactic is supposed to be encouraged, I don’t want the player to feel “cheated” or “punished” in those kinds of situations. This is hardly a necessary ability, but it’s definitely one I’d recommend keeping.

Finally, we have the life-saving passive. This one is also probably going to be controversial (hey, look at Felids), but it’s also very distinct and something no other god does. If, say, Zin saves you, you just ignore a fatal hit. And that’s it. Handy, but not exciting. But with this god, you’re given a chance to save yourself. And, not to mention, in a very fun and flavorful way.

The timer is short because I want it to be a brief but tense moment. It’s do or die, act now and save yourself or drop dead! It’s a very active and exciting way to keep yourself from getting killed. You get to be much stronger than usual for such a brief moment with a last surge of adrenaline to keep yourself going. Even Felid life-saving has nothing on this.

The piety cost is high to ensure that people who made really dumb moves still die and also to prevent abuse. While constantly dipping in and out of the “almost dead” state is pretty cool in theory, it’s not something that I’d think would work well in this game. At least, not with these mechanics. Plus it avoids the potential complaints of “became literally immortal once I learned Firestorm”. Or some of them, anyway.

On the bright side, if the player does fail to kill anything and ends up dead, they can at least console themselves with the knowledge that, with less piety or a different god, that situation would have probably killed them anyway. Or that they made the mistake and weren’t merely cheated.

And it took me a while to get to it, but piety mechanics. Killing monsters rapidly means engaging more at once. Engaging more at once means higher risk. Higher risk = higher reward, in this case more piety than killing them individually.

The timer is there to encourage rapid engagement of monsters upon first encounter, aka more risk, with the reward being piety. The timer also serves as a nifty anti-abuse function. Tying it to the “heal on kill” mechanic means that you can’t drag some rats around to heal yourself with on demand. Well, you can for a little bit, but not for any effective length of time. It also means that you can’t drag the rat around to resurrect yourself after taking fatal damage. And if people drag rats around to boost their defensive stats, then we can tie that passive to the timer as well.

It also means you can’t herd the whole floor into a big ball of HP-restoring piety. While this would definitely be cool on some level, I don’t think it’d be healthy behavior to encourage in the long run. And I’m pretty darn sure that it’d be one of the first things pointed out as a problem (that and dragging rats for healing if I had missed that too).

I did what I could to try to make this god not overly favor or disfavor any particular type of build. A squishy caster might not want to benefit from jumping into a ball of foes, but they can still utilize pretty much everything else. Meanwhile, shields might get an extra side-benefit, but you by no means need one. Besides, piety gain would be easier with an Executioner’s Axe anyway.

If anyone benefits in a disproportionate amount, I’d have to say it’d be both Deep Dwarves and Felids. The former already have zero natural healing, so the drawbacks here wouldn’t be nearly as pronounced while they would absolutely love the benefits. Also, damage shaving + defensive bonuses? Yeah, that sounds a bit crazy.

Meanwhile, Felids already mind death far less than any other species. They’d not only be able to prevent death with the final ability, but also prevent death by using a life. I do feel that this is probably less problematic than DDs since Felids are squishier than a pillow. In fact, actually does seem pretty cool on a conceptual level.

If either of these are problematic, we can always forbid these species from taking this religion. Their innate “safety” mechanisms can found to be too boring for the god or some other similar flavor reason.

Finally, the main goal of this god is to be fun. I don’t know about you, but the crazy high risk-high reward style just sounds really fun to play. It may or may not be the most optimal decision for winning games and it won’t be the god everyone picks, but if a number of people think it’d be fun, then it’s a win in my book.


As always, suggestions and criticisms are welcome. Even if this god somehow isn't controversial, I doubt it's perfect.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 03:37

Re: A high risk/reward god

Kill, schmill.

More monsters which can directly access / immediately attack you on the screen at once = piety.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 04:36

Re: A high risk/reward god

This suggestion has me thinking of an axe wielding adventurer following a cross of Trog and Makleb. Also when you get an adventurer with around 40-50AC, you don't really need much extra damage shaving. (except against those high level, unresistable smite casters)

I do think some of the healing bonuses should be toned down a bit because it looks a bit too powerful and unbalancing. I would recommend reducing the heal amount in half but still keeping the penalties.

A possible active ability could be to make all weapons attack an arc radius like axes. It can either be a buff or a exhaustion causing move with increased accuracy/damage.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 05:35

Re: A high risk/reward god

TwilightPhoenix wrote:* Swap HP/MP (Hunger): This swaps the player’s HP/MP caps and current levels. So a player with 300/300 HP and 26/40 MP would have 26/40 HP and 300/300 MP. This lasts until they swap them back. It sounds interesting on paper, but I don’t know how useful it’d be in practice.


What immediately popped into my head was DDoor.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 09:01

Re: A high risk/reward god

This is my favorite god proposal in GDD so far. The 100% healing on kill for no healing otherwise is a very interesting tradeoff. I can't tell if this is good or bad (taking into account the 5 turn immunity, otherwise it would be bad), which makes me want to try playing it.

Issue:
Staying at 4* piety to get 75% heal on kill and be able to regen. Regenerating at 25% efficiency would be extremely annoying, although it also wouldn't happen often because the player would heal to full after most fights.
If a player has 6* and gets hurt and runs away, he can sit in the Temple or Lair for 5000 turns and heal.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 09:30

Re: A high risk/reward god

TwilightPhoenix wrote:* HP/MP recovery on eligible kill is now 100% and other sources of recovery are 100% weaker.

Does that you mean get full healing and MP for killing any monster in less than 30 turns after seeing it? That sounds completely broken.

* (Passive): Whenever you suffer fatal damage from an enemy, you don’t die. Yet. Instead, the player is given 5 turns (or whatever is a good combination of fun and balance) to make a kill and are granted infinite MP and boosted stats to do so.

So, you died without killing a single monster (otherwise you'd have healed). So we can assume that monsters around you are already heavily damaged unless you were napping when they were murdering you (but wait, you can't, rSleep). And now, you have 5 turns *and* infinite MP to kill 1 monster?

I think your high-risk high-reward design is lacking something: risk. There isn't any, this is the god of invincibility.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 12:26

Re: A high risk/reward god

I quite like the idea of a god that encourages you to kill any monster you see right now, but most of these abilities don't really seem appropriate. In particular the sixth star one is really weird, because it massively reduces risk.

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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 13:41

Re: A high risk/reward god

It does seem like your approach to the god of high risk/reward is to completely remove the risk factor. If you want to create a god of high risk/reward (and I don't know that it's a good fit for Crawl, since high-risk is bad in a game where you must survive a long time), I think you need to focus on ways for players to elect to take more risks, and have the god not ameliorate those risks, but instead give a big payoff if they succeed. For example, abilities like this one:

**: Challenge (no cost). Targets a monster that is non-trivial to the player; that monster immediately gets a massive boost (double HD and HP, HP is raised to max, all negative statuses are removed, maybe beneficial statuses are added, monster gains perfect knowledge of player's location, maybe more) and has its speed raised to be at least the speed of the player. If the player defeats the monster, they get a randomized bonus from their god: one random good_item, a permanent +1 to an attribute, a positive mutation, a permanent maxhp boost, or something along those lines.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 13:57

Re: A high risk/reward god

this is the god of sleep pressing tab, wake up to see if you won yet. this is the most overpowered idea I ever saw.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 15:33

Re: A high risk/reward god

galehar wrote:Does that you mean get full healing and MP for killing any monster in less than 30 turns after seeing it? That sounds completely broken.


And this is why we have GDD!

Anyway, on second thought, 30 turns is probably far too many for the timer. Maybe reduce it to 10, or less even, with possibly higher amounts for uniques. The amount of healing can also be reduced if necessary, although it still needs to be a hefty amount to make up for the lack of any other source of healing. We can also reduce the healing and piety specifically from popcorn if necessary too.

So, you died without killing a single monster (otherwise you'd have healed). So we can assume that monsters around you are already heavily damaged unless you were napping when they were murdering you (but wait, you can't, rSleep). And now, you have 5 turns *and* infinite MP to kill 1 monster?

I think your high-risk high-reward design is lacking something: risk. There isn't any, this is the god of invincibility.



The timer on the last ability can be tweaked too. What if you only had two actions with which to save yourself? Or if infinite MP was reduced to, say, restoring it to 50% of your max?

Also, rSleep and the like can be removed too. I like it for flavor reasons and something that'd be clearly useful to players, but it's not essential.

But anyway, I can't remember if it's you or someone else who tends to say it, but numbers can always be tweaked.


I think you need to focus on ways for players to elect to take more risks, and have the god not ameliorate those risks, but instead give a big payoff if they succeed. For example, abilities like this one:


Well, the major risk is that, in order to get piety and healing, you essentially have to engage monsters where they stand upon first encounter rather than retreating somewhere safer. And if you're forced to run, you don't get to heal off the damage and then try again. The rewards are the healing and survivability boosts and perhaps the psychological rewards of taking the correct actions to get your HP back rather than running off and mashing 5.


**: Challenge (no cost). Targets a monster that is non-trivial to the player; that monster immediately gets a massive boost (double HD and HP, HP is raised to max, all negative statuses are removed, maybe beneficial statuses are added, monster gains perfect knowledge of player's location, maybe more) and has its speed raised to be at least the speed of the player. If the player defeats the monster, they get a randomized bonus from their god: one random good_item, a permanent +1 to an attribute, a positive mutation, a permanent maxhp boost, or something along those lines.


An interesting ability, but being able to challenge all non-trivial monsters, of which there is often a lot in Lair, and get permanent rewards for each of them seems a bit much. For example, many characters will not find a pack of Yaks trivial, at least upon Lair entry. Challenge each of them as they approach melee range, lure to a corridor or stair dance them, and reap the rewards.


Issue:
Staying at 4* piety to get 75% heal on kill and be able to regen. Regenerating at 25% efficiency would be extremely annoying, although it also wouldn't happen often because the player would heal to full after most fights.
If a player has 6* and gets hurt and runs away, he can sit in the Temple or Lair for 5000 turns and heal.


I'm aware of this and I'm not sure how to fix it without making healing impossible early on. The alternative would be fairly quick piety decay and higher piety gain to make it harder to sit at 25% regen and to discourage retreating to Temple to rest.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 15:39

Re: A high risk/reward god

I don't really understand the last ability at all. It isn't encouraging you to take a risk - it's just a general safety net. If that state was entered voluntarily instead of on death it would make sense (ie, in return for infinite MP you're promising your god that you can get X kills in the next few turns, or whatever).

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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 15:50

Re: A high risk/reward god

I am torn when reading this. On the one hand, I like rewarding non-standard play (where standard would mean "as cowardly as possible") -- in fact so much that I once made a proposal around that on my own: volatile piety. I am not saying that this old proposal is best (or even good, actually) but there's some overlap with the OP which might be of interest.

On the other hand, I am not sure the proposal can work as suggested. Some form of healing on kills is awesome for chaining (getting many kills in a row), even if there's overlap with Makhleb (and vampiricism), it's reasonable to start on that. I am not convinced about slower regeneration, although I see where you are coming from -- but why make consumables useless in battle?? Taking a cue from shmups, I think there should be some incentive for rushing kills beyond mere piety, something that you really want to unlock or get. As a simple example, amassing kills could be tracked and shown separately, and if you perform well enough, you gear improves (an armour item, or the weapon) -- these would be temporary, but on a much longer scale than your battles and buffs. In other words, if you extend yourself and play aggressively, which probably means investing consumables, then you can get a mid-term boost to your kit.

By the way, a natural power of the god would be cleaving, regardless of weapon. (Need something special for axes.) If you want to make people fight on the open, give them the tools! Another one would be retaliation (a la Minotaur or spines).

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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 16:02

Re: A high risk/reward god

TwilightPhoenix wrote:
**: Challenge (no cost). Targets a monster that is non-trivial to the player; that monster immediately gets a massive boost (double HD and HP, HP is raised to max, all negative statuses are removed, maybe beneficial statuses are added, monster gains perfect knowledge of player's location, maybe more) and has its speed raised to be at least the speed of the player. If the player defeats the monster, they get a randomized bonus from their god: one random good_item, a permanent +1 to an attribute, a positive mutation, a permanent maxhp boost, or something along those lines.


An interesting ability, but being able to challenge all non-trivial monsters, of which there is often a lot in Lair, and get permanent rewards for each of them seems a bit much. For example, many characters will not find a pack of Yaks trivial, at least upon Lair entry. Challenge each of them as they approach melee range, lure to a corridor or stair dance them, and reap the rewards.


But the point is that whether you fight them in a corridor or stairdance them, they've become much, much stronger. If the exact amount better that I've specified isn't sufficient, then it can be modified to the point where it does make the monster a legit challenge. The idea is that if you create this extra-challenging monster and also defeat it (probably requiring use of powerful consumables), then you have taken an extra risk and overcome that risk, and thus deserve an extra reward.

If escaping when the challenge goes wrong is still too easy, then this could instead increase the speed of the monster until it is greater than the player's movespeed instead of merely equal, and the god could cause the challenge to expire and greatly lower piety if the player leaves the floor with the monster still alive (with perhaps an exception on the piety hit for being shafted by an unseen shaft).

Edit: fixed mangled quote tag.
Last edited by Lasty on Friday, 10th January 2014, 18:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 16:14

Re: A high risk/reward god

How is this challenge power supposedly used? On orc warriors? On orbs of Zot? On Mennas? What I am saying is that it's extremely hard to operate well: there are no precedents unlike ordinary fights and dying to the challenge power will not always feel fun. For comparison, Yredelemnul's enslavement power is similar, but has two advantages: (a) it is clear from the outset that enslave is a one-off power, and (b) there is no permanent cost associated with it: you may lose piety, but you won't die if it doesn't work.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 16:54

Re: A high risk/reward god

I'm seeing lots of things being brought up I like or didn't think about. A shame I have to leave for work soon, otherwise I'd go and update the OP. Oh well, there's always tonight.


Leafsnail wrote:I don't really understand the last ability at all. It isn't encouraging you to take a risk - it's just a general safety net. If that state was entered voluntarily instead of on death it would make sense (ie, in return for infinite MP you're promising your god that you can get X kills in the next few turns, or whatever).


Oooo, I like that. A dangerous, but powerful panic button rather than auto life saving would be fun and definitely make the player think about how and when to use it.


but why make consumables useless in battle??


Note that only the HP recovery potions of Curing and Heal Wounds are useless. Curing can still heal confusion, poison, and the like and Heal Wounds still cures rot. The Potion of Magic suffers, but I'm not sure what to do about that. All other consumables would still be as useful as always.


As a simple example, amassing kills could be tracked and shown separately, and if you perform well enough, you gear improves (an armour item, or the weapon) -- these would be temporary, but on a much longer scale than your battles and buffs. In other words, if you extend yourself and play aggressively, which probably means investing consumables, then you can get a mid-term boost to your kit.


Something like this could certainly work instead of the passive AC, EV, and SH increases. In fact, it'd probably be more fun.


@Lasty: I'll echo Dpeg's sentiments. Also, while I do like the idea, it seems abusable. The player can challenge monsters that are barely non-trivial, which would still easily be killable, while not challenging anything threatening. Additionally, they can choose when, where, and how they engage the monster before challenging them, which means you could lure each Yak away from that pack, challenge, kill, rest (if available), and repeat.

The issue here, I feel, is choice. I want this god to force players out of their comfort zones and force players to choose between engaging the enemy now or forfeiting their rewards for killing it. Letting them choose who, when, and where for creating rewarding boss battles on demand doesn't quite mesh well with that.
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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 17:08

Re: A high risk/reward god

While I won't comment on the overall god -doubling- the HD of a relatively trivial monster like a yak by the time they can pose a moderate threat would make it hilariously strong, particularly if it then can get beneficial status.

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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 18:18

Re: A high risk/reward god

dpeg wrote:How is this challenge power supposedly used? On orc warriors? On orbs of Zot? On Mennas? What I am saying is that it's extremely hard to operate well: there are no precedents unlike ordinary fights and dying to the challenge power will not always feel fun.

The idea is that it would be used on things that the player feels confident that they can tackle but which the game believes are sufficiently non-trivial, so a yak or orc warrior for someone on the first floor or two of lair is probably about the ideal target. You certainly could use it on things like orbs of fire and Mennas, but only if you like making an extremely powerful enemy more powerful.

Ideally, it would be used to turn encounters like "one yak: hit tab until it dies, then mash 5 until you're healthy" into "one megayak: bring all your resources to bear and hope you can bring it down, or your god will be upset with you and/or you will die".

Yes, there are no precedents for this ability, but if dying to a high-risk/high-reward scenario aren't fun, then why did you choose the high-risk/high-reward god? I just can't see how to make a design for something that can accurately be called a god of high-risk/high-reward play without creating abilities/scenarios/incentives that will kill off adherents. Otherwise, there isn't any actual risk.

dck wrote:While I won't comment on the overall god -doubling- the HD of a relatively trivial monster like a yak by the time they can pose a moderate threat would make it hilariously strong, particularly if it then can get beneficial status.

That's the idea.

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Post Friday, 10th January 2014, 20:59

Re: A high risk/reward god

Lasty wrote:
dpeg wrote:How is this challenge power supposedly used? On orc warriors? On orbs of Zot? On Mennas? What I am saying is that it's extremely hard to operate well: there are no precedents unlike ordinary fights and dying to the challenge power will not always feel fun.

The idea is that it would be used on things that the player feels confident that they can tackle but which the game believes are sufficiently non-trivial, so a yak or orc warrior for someone on the first floor or two of lair is probably about the ideal target. You certainly could use it on things like orbs of fire and Mennas, but only if you like making an extremely powerful enemy more powerful.

Ideally, it would be used to turn encounters like "one yak: hit tab until it dies, then mash 5 until you're healthy" into "one megayak: bring all your resources to bear and hope you can bring it down, or your god will be upset with you and/or you will die".

Yes, there are no precedents for this ability, but if dying to a high-risk/high-reward scenario aren't fun, then why did you choose the high-risk/high-reward god? I just can't see how to make a design for something that can accurately be called a god of high-risk/high-reward play without creating abilities/scenarios/incentives that will kill off adherents. Otherwise, there isn't any actual risk.

If you use it one every other monster, something's off. If you never dare to use because your life is at stake everytime you take a gamble, it's even worse. Players are afraid to try out Fedhas because they have to invest *fruit*. I don't see any way to make an active ability like yours functional. Even if the god materialised, that power would be completely unused, perhaps except by some die-hard source-diving players who can precisely predict what will happen.

As it happens, Xom is a high-risk environment: the game is certainly much more hazardous than otherwise. I don't think that Crawl needs another Xom (and I actually have plans to improve Xom). I believe that the meaning of "high reward/risk" is not well-defined in this thread. Personally, I would interpret it like this: Get players out of their comfort zone -- carefully resting up and full exploration could be piety-negative, attacking several monsters at once could be piety-positive, not retreating in danger could be piety-positive... Each of these are "risky" in the sense that a good Crawl players will instinctively avoid these. I don't see how taking risk to its extreme (you die) can make a nice god. If you look at my volatile piety suggestion, then you can see that risk can be put in the player's hand without becoming trivial: if you have to kill enough monsters in short enough time, then the player can prepare, but the execution may be risky. I am not sure whether such a god can work, but I have sympathies and think it's definitely worth trying. Suicidal abilities won't do. (By the way, the very first Zin-remodelling had a sermon effect which was much, much milder than what you propose, and rendered the god useless.)
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Post Saturday, 11th January 2014, 03:29

Re: A high risk/reward god

I really suggest you don't use the term "high risk/high reward" to describe your religion as it's a very undefined phrase. I've seen enough projects use that term to realize it usually ends up as "unbalanced" or "luck-based".

Now, a "high offense, low defense" god is a very legitimate thing, and if that's what you want then that's how you should describe it.
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Post Saturday, 11th January 2014, 12:01

Re: A high risk/reward god

In the idea of having a god that encourages sub-optimal play, why not have one whose powers are proportionately more powerful for the amount (HD-based maybe?) of enemies you have killed recently? Think about a god based off of Song of Slaying. If you haven't killed any enemies recently, all his powers are inactive. The more enemies you kill within a certain timeframe, the more of his abilities become available and the stronger they get. You would gain piety as normal, which would affect the maximum power of his boons, but you'd have some kind of 'blood counter' to track how strong his boons are. This way, it would encourage extremely aggressive (risky!) play, because you have the choice of charging forward while you have the god bonuses active or if you want to wait and heal, at the cost of your momentum. You could have the Makhleb-esque HP/MP back on kill, except in this model, if you have killed no enemies recently, you have no chance of regaining anything. More kills increases the chance of healing and the amount gained, with piety being the cap. With enough kills, prehaps you gain some powerful passives/actives? The god then becomes the interesting choice you want it to be: if you are playing safe, it'll be much weaker than any other god, to the point of uselessness. If you play super-aggressive, you get rewarded by stronger and stronger god abilities at the cost of safe 'optimal play'

If anyone likes the idea I could try to flesh it out more fully.

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Post Saturday, 11th January 2014, 19:00

Re: A high risk/reward god

Zyrnak: Indeed, your description is pretty close to what I have in mind. I'm not sure if it would work -- in a sense Cheibriados is a god attempt at something similar and certain players keep stating that it's the weak link in the pantheon. But I think that discussing passive and active powers for such a god would be interesting -- I'd take part! :) No more comments here, as that should go to a new thread, I think.

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Post Saturday, 11th January 2014, 21:40

Re: A high risk/reward god

pubby wrote:I really suggest you don't use the term "high risk/high reward" to describe your religion as it's a very undefined phrase. I've seen enough projects use that term to realize it usually ends up as "unbalanced" or "luck-based".

Now, a "high offense, low defense" god is a very legitimate thing, and if that's what you want then that's how you should describe it.


I agree "high risk, high reward" is too vague. A different way to specify that idea aside from "high offense, low defense" would be "high cost, high reward."

I have two themes that would fit in mind but don't have either fleshed out in terms of game play. One is inspired by Mephistopheles from Faust—you sell your "soul" for great power. In other words instead of paying piety, you would pay with (say) permanent HP, MP, or stat points. Piety would only influence what skills became available. If done right you could even have this god have no penance from leaving—the cost (and damage) is already done based on how much you use him. High cost, but presumably the abilities would be very powerful.

A different, Cronenberg-like take on that basic idea is a parasitic "god." Over time you gain "piety"—but in this case, piety is more of a measure of how your infection is coming along, as the parasite becomes more closely integrated with your flesh. It feeds off of you, weakening you over time, but symbiotically offers increasingly more powerful advantages and benefits. I would envision this as a non-Temple god; I'd like the (either implicit or explicit) flavor to be that the parasite is maintained by a cult of self-infectees and worshiped as if it were a god; however all true gods (even the evil ones and Jiyva) see it as an abomination, so infecting yourself requires abandoning your religion and adopting the parasite as your pseudo-religion.

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Post Friday, 26th August 2016, 19:37

Re: A high risk/reward god

Were two gods from this thread seriously implemented? Mind-blowing. Uskayaw and Ru!
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Post Friday, 26th August 2016, 19:43

Re: A high risk/reward god

and_into's flavour for not-Ru is so much better than what we have.

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Post Friday, 26th August 2016, 20:20

Re: A high risk/reward god

another reason to remove necromancy: shit like this won't happen anymore
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Post Friday, 26th August 2016, 22:37

Re: A high risk/reward god

jwoodward48ss wrote:Were two gods from this thread seriously implemented? Mind-blowing. Uskayaw and Ru!


Agreed. How the hell did a terrible proposal like this get any attention? Meanwhile I can't even get a simple no-brainer FR passed.

The dysfunction in this forum is astounding.
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Post Friday, 26th August 2016, 22:59

Re: A high risk/reward god

Maybe your FR isn't actually a no-brainer, or the devs are busy putting out other fires.

No, it's everyone else who is wrong!
(Also it's not a terrible proposal, it puts forward interesting ideas wrt gods that at the time were not really explored)

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Post Friday, 26th August 2016, 23:21

Re: A high risk/reward god

jwoodward48ss wrote:Were two gods from this thread seriously implemented? Mind-blowing. Uskayaw and Ru!

lasty has specifically said in the past that he was unaware of the various 'god of sacrifice' suggestions when he designed Ru, and zyrnak's suggestion is only like Usk in the vaguest outline.

FWIW.

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Post Saturday, 27th August 2016, 02:41

Re: A high risk/reward god

Sar wrote:and_into's flavour for not-Ru is so much better than what we have.


Thank you! But I like Ru as implemented quite a bit, too, and I think its flavor is pretty cool and works.

FWIW, here is a link to the god that I envisioned based the flavor/theme above, incorporating some of those ideas (high cost/reward) plus some others (anti-"popcorn" god). NB: very different from Ru. —

https://crawl.develz.org/tavern/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=11254&p=157015

Ah, the good old days...

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Post Saturday, 27th August 2016, 12:13

Re: A high risk/reward god

lethediver wrote:Agreed. How the hell did a terrible proposal like this get any attention? Meanwhile I can't even get a simple no-brainer FR passed.

The dysfunction in this forum is astounding.

Or, put another way

Don't take this as a legitimization of the belief that this thread is in any way related to Ru or Uskayaw.

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