Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or


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Post Monday, 9th January 2017, 17:10

Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

Pan has 4 bosses (6 if you count the random pan lord from demonic rune and seraphim from holy pan) and hell has 4 (5 if you count serpent of hell).

Making extended either or would result in approximately 50% less encounters of epic proportions and that's what the RPG heart is beating for; the final mano-a-mano showdown with the bad guy. It makes for a good story since millenia!

Also what's the point in making strictly optional branches either/or in the first place. You could just do one and then end the game if you don't feel like playing anymore, it's not like you need all 15 runes to win the game.

---

If it goes through anyway, which it will, I'd like there to be a boss in Zot 5 or on D:1 during orb run as the lack of epicness in Zot 5 is disappointing. Orbs of fire have the personality and epicness value of a half slice of toast. Yawn.

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Post Monday, 9th January 2017, 22:27

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

Why is this in CYC? Let me know if you want it moved, removeely, because a) it seems worthy of GDD, and b) while I may not agree entirely with your reasoning here, I completely agree that this change is ill-considered and will do nothing to improve extended.

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Post Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 00:36

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

archaeo wrote:Why is this in CYC?
because it's a joke, not a serious complaint...(I hope)
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Post Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 00:51

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

Why do you hope it's not a serious complaint? I personally think that the only reason to make a Pan/Hell roulette is because doing both branches feels like an enormous slog, but making them a roulette doesn't do anything about the fact that they're both an enormous slog on their own. IMO, both problems will be better addressed by cutting most of Hell's levels/floor space and capping the number of Pan floors.

Either way, your pointed assumption seems, uh, unnecessarily pointed?

e: I guess proponents of the roulette scheme also think it'll somehow add interest the same way the S-branches do. dpeg used to like to say the rune lock was a "simple" fix, and I tend to have the same problem with rune lock as I have with this roulette: it's intended to do a simple thing to accomplish a big change to the way players approach the game, when in reality it creates as many problems as it solves and it doesn't really solve many problems anyway.

e2: also, while removeely's using a joking tone in the OP, I don't disagree with the fact that Crawl's "set piece" levels and fights are often highlights for me as a player, and reducing the number of those moments seems unnecessary unless it provides a significant benefit in exchange for the loss. I don't really see that, here.

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Post Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 04:39

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

Well if they aint gonna remove one they should shorten both. Right now extended is a slog.
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Post Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 06:16

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

That's my point, lethediver. I'm just repeating myself, but I still think Pan needs to be ~10 levels, with the last one and only exit found in Holy Pan and each Hell should lose 4 floors (or the equivalent in removed floor space to make much smaller levels).

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Post Tuesday, 10th January 2017, 15:38

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

lethediver wrote:Well if they aint gonna remove one they should shorten both. Right now extended is a slog.

Currently it appears the plan is to shorten both, make them less one note, *and* have them be exclusive.

I can get behind shortening them (although i don't really find them to be too much of a slog, personality) and behind making them less one note, but i would also rather they both stay in every game.
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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 15:42

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

I think hell is fine I can generally do it fairly fast. I doubt reducing floor count even matters, since you just dive anyway. Pand is the issue and the real issue is the random levels, I just did a 15 rune last night went through 45 Pand floor. I got demonic on second floor. That is 10 random floors per pand boss and I never saw holy pand.

I am Ok with the random levels for the most part but maybe give me some item I can evoke to make the boss levels much more likely to spawn. Either that or have demonic rune do what abyss rune does and speed up boss level generation. However it would be nice to have the pand lord level extra generation as a toggleable evokable. Once I get demonic I just keep diving the next Pand portal and even that can be really annoying and long.

Under no circumstances should any solution remove the ability to fight the current existing bosses. Want to remove runes or something? Sure fine, but some people will want to kill cerebov or antaeus regardless of whether they have a run for that parrticular game. The devs seem to be remove happy and remove perfectly fine features that hurt nothing for almost no gain and often a net detriment. Doing it with pand/hell bosses would be a straight detriment. But forcing people through 10 random pand levels for one boss level is not that fun. I did have a couple or three harry spawns in rand pands where I was spawned right on top of pand lord, and there is some interesting gameplay there. So they do serve to spice things up and I don' t think removing them entirely is good.

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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 16:00

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

I think that removing pandemonium until these issues have been addressed would be a good thing to do. Hell is fun because of Hell effects, I can get fatigued, but I can't get bored.
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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 16:09

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

I propose a NetHack-inspired solution: if you (i)nscribe an ambrosia potion with a name of the unique Pan lord, quaff it and enter a portal under its effect, you'll get level-ported to its level.
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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 16:10

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

Do the people who don't like the idea of the Pan/Hell roulette also have an issue with the Lair branch roulette? I mean, I remember when that went in, and it certainly did feel at the time like I would be missing out if I didn't get to go to Shoals in some games. There was certainly some suggestion at the time that the Rune lock on Zot should just be raised to 4 or 5 Runes, so you could get the easy Lair branch Runes and still have to get another one from elsewhere. I don't still feel that way, though, because even if I miss out on Spider gameplay for this game and I don't get to fight Arachne, I'll still get that chance in 50% of my games so it isn't like that content is removed.

Do you all still have those feelings about missing out on Lair branches? Do you wish you could do all four of them in every single game, but the game won't let you? What makes the hypothetical Pan/Hell roulette different than the existing roulette that we already have?

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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 16:16

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

Lair branches are different. After clearing one or two of them the rest are too easy. It is not the case with Pan/Hell where it is still easily possible to die with 13-14 runes.
Also changing Zot to require 4-5 runes would effectively make those Lair branches mandatory because those have the easiest runes, unlike Hell/Pan which are completely optional because they have the hardest runes. Nobody would like to make hell/Pan runes mandatory I think.
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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 16:51

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

I also don't feel like pan and hell provide directly comparable challenges, hell and pan are very different in the situations that will kill you, going through one doesn't modify or obviate the challenge of the other.

If the desired goal here is to shorten the game, removing hard, optional content does not accomplish that goal.

Part of my problem might be that i don't quite see what this is supposed to accomplish. There doesn't seem to be a problem here that this fixes.
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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 17:23

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

I think the desired goal is to reduce tedium of optional game. Only a few people like fighting the same monsters again and again. There are at least 3 ways to fix that:
1) differentiate floors. Nobody complaints about holy floor and wants it to be removed because it is similar to other levels, right?
2) reduce number of floors.
3) increase danger for subsequent levels. For example, increase frequency of hell effects depending on number of already obtained hell runes.
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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 19:27

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

That's not my experience at all. When I run through the post-endgame, I usually have a rough time with either one because I'm just a little bit short of the xp investment to kill everything fast and recover before I need to kill everything fast again. After I clear all of either Hell or Pan, I am no longer short of that xp investment and I need to have something unusual happen to be at any particular risk. Whichever one I do first, I have fun with it (although Pan does randomly decide to run far too long and that's a problem that should be fixed regardless of what else happens or does not happen), but the second one will be much easier than the first.

Part of this is just me. I like doing content. I usually do Elf and Crypt even when I don't need to, and I'll usually do Slime and often Tomb just because they are there even though I don't need them for absolutely anything at all and I'm tired enough of the character that I won't be doing Hell or Pan. If I have a character that I'm taking through Hell and/or Pan, at that point I'm going to want to do all the content available and I'll stubbornly keep on it even if I've gotten bored and am not having fun. I expect my play experience will improve if I'm not presented the option to do something that is consistently boring, and the second large postgame area is pretty consistently boring no matter which I do second. Worse than Tomb boring, even.

But that's just me, and maybe for other people managing LOS for neqoxecs and tormentors is scintillating entertainment that never gets dull no matter how long it continues. Maybe my attention span is just too short to fully appreciate the postgame content as its length stretches on and on and starts to become an optional superboss in its own right, if in a bit of an abstract sense. Even so, splitting the postgame content between games has some future benefits for future development. The devteam can then mess with the two roulette options without having to worry about how their changes will affect the other, since they won't interact any more. They can do cool things to a Pan level or a Hell branch without having to worry about overlap with what the other has, and they don't have to worry about toning things down so you aren't pressured to do the other first. They could even create a whole new postgame play area with 5 new Runes to slot into the roulette! That's just not going to happen if it means tacking on another 5 Runes to the existing 15, but it is a much less outrageous hope if it can be designed around the same Zot-ready characters that the other two are meant for.

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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 21:31

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

KoboldLord wrote:Do the people who don't like the idea of the Pan/Hell roulette also have an issue with the Lair branch roulette? I mean, I remember when that went in, and it certainly did feel at the time like I would be missing out if I didn't get to go to Shoals in some games. There was certainly some suggestion at the time that the Rune lock on Zot should just be raised to 4 or 5 Runes, so you could get the easy Lair branch Runes and still have to get another one from elsewhere. I don't still feel that way, though, because even if I miss out on Spider gameplay for this game and I don't get to fight Arachne, I'll still get that chance in 50% of my games so it isn't like that content is removed.

Do you all still have those feelings about missing out on Lair branches? Do you wish you could do all four of them in every single game, but the game won't let you? What makes the hypothetical Pan/Hell roulette different than the existing roulette that we already have?


If you have a very strong character and you want to put it against the most dangerous stuff in the game ti kick the tires then having a game with no access to Antaeus or Cerebov means this is not really a thing. It doesn't matter whether they have a rune or not.

You want the acquring of runes to be shortened or whatever, fine make the roulete work that way. But with devs the way they are and just ripping stuff out for no actually useful reason other than not wanting it around, well people expect to play a game where they can make a strong character and not put it against the hardest things. Finding the obtaining of runes tedious is one thing, removing 4 of the 8 bosses of extended is some else.

The lair branches don't have bosses except maybe ilsiuw and she doesn't actually guard the rune per se.

Additionally the current extended level radically differ in loot. Cerebov has a real vault, mnoleg has jack. etc etc.

It sounds to me like the devs are going to amputate your arm after you complain your hand hurts. Given the current track record this seems likely.

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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 21:35

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

KoboldLord wrote:That's not my experience at all. When I run through the post-endgame, I usually have a rough time with either one because I'm just a little bit short of the xp investment to kill everything fast and recover before I need to kill everything fast again. After I clear all of either Hell or Pan, I am no longer short of that xp investment and I need to have something unusual happen to be at any particular risk. Whichever one I do first, I have fun with it (although Pan does randomly decide to run far too long and that's a problem that should be fixed regardless of what else happens or does not happen), but the second one will be much easier than the first.

Part of this is just me. I like doing content. I usually do Elf and Crypt even when I don't need to, and I'll usually do Slime and often Tomb just because they are there even though I don't need them for absolutely anything at all and I'm tired enough of the character that I won't be doing Hell or Pan. If I have a character that I'm taking through Hell and/or Pan, at that point I'm going to want to do all the content available and I'll stubbornly keep on it even if I've gotten bored and am not having fun. I expect my play experience will improve if I'm not presented the option to do something that is consistently boring, and the second large postgame area is pretty consistently boring no matter which I do second. Worse than Tomb boring, even.

But that's just me, and maybe for other people managing LOS for neqoxecs and tormentors is scintillating entertainment that never gets dull no matter how long it continues. Maybe my attention span is just too short to fully appreciate the postgame content as its length stretches on and on and starts to become an optional superboss in its own right, if in a bit of an abstract sense. Even so, splitting the postgame content between games has some future benefits for future development. The devteam can then mess with the two roulette options without having to worry about how their changes will affect the other, since they won't interact any more. They can do cool things to a Pan level or a Hell branch without having to worry about overlap with what the other has, and they don't have to worry about toning things down so you aren't pressured to do the other first. They could even create a whole new postgame play area with 5 new Runes to slot into the roulette! That's just not going to happen if it means tacking on another 5 Runes to the existing 15, but it is a much less outrageous hope if it can be designed around the same Zot-ready characters that the other two are meant for.


I don' t think this XP argument can really go anywhere. I have gotten glaciate castable by vault4, with that i can get a massive amount of XP in depths from the ziggurat there. Or, as I have done multiple times, if I have necromutation I can do tombs and get a ton of XP there.

On more than one occasion I have gone into BOTH pand and hell in the state you mention you are usually in after finishing the second. Your case would still happen anyway even if it was either pand or hell and never both.

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Post Thursday, 12th January 2017, 22:52

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

I think it would be much more interesting to have 2 random hells and 2 random Pan rune levels than a roulette between Hell/Pan.
...{HEMoDEHuDDAs}{HaBeKoAK}CeVM{MfWnMiAK}TeAMDrIE{FoVMVSFi}{MuVMGhGlVpMo}HaWrSpWz
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Post Friday, 13th January 2017, 00:12

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

Moving to GDD per OP's request.
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Post Friday, 13th January 2017, 00:47

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

Siegurt wrote:I also don't feel like pan and hell provide directly comparable challenges, hell and pan are very different in the situations that will kill you, going through one doesn't modify or obviate the challenge of the other.

If the desired goal here is to shorten the game, removing hard, optional content does not accomplish that goal.
It might technically be optional, but no one wants to get "almost but not all of the runes", everyone wants to either get the bare minimum 3 runes required to win, or all 15 of them. No one wants to go the extra effort and time to go into extended and then only get a few more runes, you wanna commit because otherwise what was the point of spending more time doing this at all? (This is especially true because getting more runes=more score, so you want to 15 rune at least a few times if at all possible during tournaments. Or just if going for a personal highscore.) So in actual practice doing both hell and pan still feels mandatory, and also tedious.

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Post Friday, 13th January 2017, 01:10

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

My only problem with extended being tedious is that there's no upper bound on how many Pan levels you have to grind through before you clear out all of its runes. If I have good luck, there's no problem, but if I have bad luck, it can feel like trying to farm some stupidly rare drop in a Final Fantasy game. It produces the worst feeling of having invested a lot of time, but having made absolutely no progress towards the goal.

Making Pan/Hell mutually exclusive would do nothing to fix this problem, and worse, it gives a 50% chance of having only the frustration of grinding Pan without the satisfaction of clearing Hell. If a character manages to hold my interest long enough to want to do both Pan and Hell, then I want the option to do both. If a character only manages to hold my interest long enough to do one of the two, I want to at least be able to choose which one I'll do.

Something as simple as making the chance of generating a Pan floor with a rune (if one is available) be [10 x the number of Pan floors cleared since the last Pan rune was generated]% would solve the problem for me.

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Post Friday, 13th January 2017, 01:17

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

Shard1697 wrote:It might technically be optional, but no one wants to get "almost but not all of the runes", everyone wants to either get the bare minimum 3 runes required to win, or all 15 of them.

Speak for yourself. I play the game for fun and sometimes it's fun to get 4, 5 or 6 runes (3 + Abyss, Slime, Tomb). Sometimes it's fun to go to Pan/hells with a challenge build and see how many runes you can grab before running out of resources and deciding that it's time to go and win.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 08:51

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

I'm for shortening Pan and/or Hell but keeping them both available. I just recently got all four hell runes in one game, and I kinda want to try doing a 15-rune run at some point. Even if that takes me another six years or so to pull off, I'd want to have the option available.

I'm not sure how much Hell needs to be shortened -- my (admittedly limited) experience with it went fine, as there was what felt like a nice balance between trying to avoid attention and fighting off things that suddenly showed up (with a couple of hair-raising "oh crap where's an up staircase I need to flee and recover NOW" moments), though I can see how 28 floors of that might be a little long. I can definitely get behind Pandemonium being reworked, whether with a limited number of floors or at least a more predictable layout so we're not endlessly searching for the one floor with Cerebov's castle on it.
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Post Saturday, 14th January 2017, 09:41

Re: Please don't make Pan/Hell either/or

I'll add my vote to the "shortening Pan and Hell but keeping both is much better than putting both on a roulette" camp.

Honestly, if Pan were just a four-floor gauntlet, and the Hells each consisted only of the rune/boss floor, you'd keep 90% of the interesting moments that happen in Pan and hell, but cut 90% of the tedium and at least 50% of the time. If that happened, I don't think there'd be any real need to put them on rotation because both would be so short, and it would be way more interesting than just having one of the two missing from any given run.

I mean, if the problem is that extended is too long and tedious, it seems pretty obvious to me that the solution should be to cut the least interesting parts, not to cut half of the boring parts and half of the interesting ones. Fighting all 8 lords is pretty much strictly more interesting than fighting four of them and diving through a bunch of floors with nothing of note.

In a way, I think the core problem of extended is simply how strong characters are by that point. In most of the game, the player is incentivized to explore most floors for items and experience. By the time a character is doing Pan and Hell, they probably have all the items and experience they need, so there's no motivation to explore any more, which results in lots of just diving for the nearest staircase, which is much less interesting (the demonic rune seems to be an attempt to fix this in Pan, but arguably just creates even more tedium instead).

So basically, by the time you're in extended, completely random levels filled with popcorn are obsolete, so maybe the solution is to scrap them. Make extended all about vaults and bosses. It would be fast, but the challenge to tedium ratio would be much higher, making it much more interesting.

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