Remove Beogh


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

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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 01:32

Re: Remove Beogh

well, actually, it's about et

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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 01:44

Re: Remove Beogh

From what I can see, Beogh has two major problems.

1. The HO-only conduct is downright awful, has no place in Crawl, and only survives because of design inertia. Other species limitations have at least a pretense of reason, like the "no getting extended benefits like holy wrath/hell effect reduction in conjunction with torment immunity" thing with the good gods, but Beogh has no gameplay and little flavor justification for the single biggest restriction of any god in this game. That should be removed, and I'm honestly surprised it wasn't yet.

2. Permanent allies, while fun, are also atrocious from an optimal play standpoint. You have to herd your orcs, ensure that your wizards and priests are killed because they're fairly useless in the long run, raise and protect warriors that already have good items so that your gifts can be spent to round them out in other directions, and all around play some micromanagement minigame that is the exact thing Crawl has been trying to move away from. Beogh should probably just have a power that passively gives you demonic guardian with orcs, and scales with piety/XL so that your orcs stay relevant all game, and that's it.

Also, statue destruction no longer resulting in Beogh wrath was an excellent improvement, because it's a mechanic that was never relevant until it randomly killed you for the crime of not being spoiled (you used to get no warning for destroying orcish idols).

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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 08:46

Re: Remove Beogh

You have to herd your orcs, ensure that your wizards and priests are killed because they're fairly useless in the long run, raise and protect warriors that already have good items so that your gifts can be spent to round them out in other directions, and all around play some micromanagement minigame that is the exact thing Crawl has been trying to move away from.


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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 09:36

Re: Remove Beogh

Croases wrote:From what I can see, Beogh has two major problems.

1. The HO-only conduct is downright awful, has no place in Crawl, and only survives because of design inertia.

How can you say it has no place in Crawl? It *is* in Crawl. Obviously, the conduct is powered by flavour -- which is the same thing as design inertia, I guess?

Instead of defending old design choices all the time, or getting "you're stupid" shoved in my face, I'd much rather talk about ways to change things. If, for some reason, an orc-exclusive god was suddenly considered un-Crawl, I'd suggest that any character taking on Beogh would become an honorary orc as piety goes up. (And yes, I'll defend water walking to the death, because I like humour in the game.)

2. Permanent allies, while fun, are also atrocious from an optimal play standpoint.
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What all this Beogh dissing really misses, in my opinion: that god has excellent story-telling potential. This is a big deal to me.
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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 09:39

Re: Remove Beogh

dpeg wrote:What all this Beogh dissing really misses, in my opinion: that god has excellent story-telling potential. This is a big deal to me.

You could open Beogh to all species while keeping other aspects the same and lose none of the story-telling potential.
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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 14:34

Re: Remove Beogh

"And they said the chosen one would be an orc not of Orc:2."

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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 14:51

Re: Remove Beogh

FWIW I am a devout practicing Christian of the evangelical variety. I don’t have a problem with Beogh. Of the various references to Christianity in Beogh, the only one that I particularly notice is the water-walking. I sort of roll my eyes at it more than anything. I’m pretty disaffected with evangelicalism (though I recognize that it’s my religious heritage and I’ll never really be able to undo that) and so I really do get how people find it annoying/dangerous, indeed I often think that way myself about it. This is why it doesn’t bother me when it gets lampooned, because I know it usually deserves it. I do know people who would be offended by Orc-Jesus, but these are the sort of people who would have plenty other reasons not to play Crawl anyway (you worship your choice of gods? the PC can be a human/demon hybrid? You can summon demons? You have to eat corpses to survive? etc.).

So only problem I have with the water walking is that it’s a lame ability.
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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 16:45

Re: Remove Beogh

Croases wrote:1. The HO-only conduct is downright awful, has no place in Crawl, and only survives because of design inertia. Other species limitations have at least a pretense of reason, like the "no getting extended benefits like holy wrath/hell effect reduction in conjunction with torment immunity" thing with the good gods, but Beogh has no gameplay and little flavor justification for the single biggest restriction of any god in this game. That should be removed, and I'm honestly surprised it wasn't yet.


make beogh smite to death non-HO beoghites carrying the orb when they try to ascend d:1 stairs, and print a message about beogh thanking them for their great deed on behalf of the orcish people

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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 17:07

Re: Remove Beogh

yesno wrote:make beogh smite to death non-HO beoghites carrying the orb when they try to ascend d:1 stairs, and print a message about beogh thanking them for their great deed on behalf of the orcish people

You are about to leave the dungeon with the Orb! Leave Beogh first? [Y/N]
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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 17:11

Re: Remove Beogh

dpeg wrote:What all this Beogh dissing really misses, in my opinion: that god has excellent story-telling potential. This is a big deal to me.


What do you mean by story-telling potential in this case? I understand that some players really like the named followers and sort of roleplay with them. Is it this?

(Also, do you mean potential as in "it's already there if players want it", or as in "we can introduce it very easily, because the god already gives us the right structure"?)
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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 17:13

Re: Remove Beogh

mattlistener wrote:
yesno wrote:make beogh smite to death non-HO beoghites carrying the orb when they try to ascend d:1 stairs, and print a message about beogh thanking them for their great deed on behalf of the orcish people

You are about to leave the dungeon with the Orb! Leave Beogh first? [Y/N]


he also smites you to death if you do that!

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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 17:27

Re: Remove Beogh

dpeg wrote:Instead of defending old design choices all the time, or getting "you're stupid" shoved in my face, I'd much rather talk about ways to change things. If, for some reason, an orc-exclusive god was suddenly considered un-Crawl, I'd suggest that any character taking on Beogh would become an honorary orc as piety goes up.


The idea of taking any follower and progressively turning them into orcs would have the advantage of opening the door for hill orc removal.
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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 17:33

Re: Remove Beogh

Truly you possess the soul of an orc! Your axe aptitude goes up.

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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 18:05

Re: Remove Beogh

watertreatmentRL wrote:
dpeg wrote:Instead of defending old design choices all the time, or getting "you're stupid" shoved in my face, I'd much rather talk about ways to change things. If, for some reason, an orc-exclusive god was suddenly considered un-Crawl, I'd suggest that any character taking on Beogh would become an honorary orc as piety goes up.


The idea of taking any follower and progressively turning them into orcs would have the advantage of opening the door for hill orc removal.


that's actually pretty cool flavor and maybe cool mechanics... then crawl orcs as a species are all individuals who followed beogh and became orcs. neat.

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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 19:36

Re: Remove Beogh

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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 19:50

Re: Remove Beogh


The tragic part is that it took me a while to understand that ****** wasn't a filtered word.
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Post Tuesday, 23rd May 2017, 20:17

Re: Remove Beogh



i wanted to go thank your 5-year-old good idea but i can't because it's deleted despite being visible in search. everything about crawl is weird...
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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 04:27

Re: Remove Beogh

So uh, is it okay if some of us like Beogh as is? The ally management stuff is a little fiddly, sure. Overall though, I like it. It makes for some different gameplay when I'm tired of the same old. It may be considered less than ideal efficiency or playing-to-win-wise, but then we've got things like Xom. If it's just too bothersome for some people, kindly allow them to not pick Beogh as their god, and let those whom do enjoy it go ahead and pick him. I'm all for improving Beogh and his ally management system, sure, but it's getting a little tiresome constantly hearing people say "I don't like this thing/I think this thing isn't implemented perfectly, so it should just be removed." Is it too much to allow others to enjoy something 100% optional that you don't personally find ideal?

If it's decided that the terminology parallels to real-world religion are worth a little reflavoring, then so be it, but I always liked the general flavor behind Beogh. It's cool to see the god of the orcs looking out for his people that everyone else seems to hate. It's cool taking up the mantle to be Beogh's, and therefore all the orcs', champion. It's cool having a bunch of orc buddies running around with you in the dungeon. I don't know. Beogh seems to have a lot of flavor compared to most other gods. I know flavor doesn't count for much around here, but do keep in mind that it's an important and enjoyable thing for some of us.
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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 05:58

Re: Remove Beogh

Whelk wrote:So uh, is it okay if some of us like Beogh as is?

So would you oppose opening Beogh to other species?
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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 10:02

Re: Remove Beogh

I like Beogh but it would be good and cool from both a flavor and gameplay perspective to be able to join as any species and turn into an orc, and also I want some things sorted out with the ally management. I've posted about it repeatedly but I feel like almost no one else plays beogh aside from newer players who aren't going to be giving super in depth in talking about it, so let's assume there's a lot of things I like about beogh(mulching enemies with a meatgrinder swat team of orc warlords, smiting scary things, flavor etc) and I will just briefly talk about the things I dislike. Besides species restriction, which I think has been covered already.

  • Weapon choice for orcs is not a real choice, as there is only one good answer. Put plainly, the way that allies works means that they are much more capable of doing damage and keeping themselves safe if they have reaching-the former because reaching means that it is much, much easier for multiple allies to attack enemies(which matters much more for damage than slightly more base damage from other weapon types), and the latter because getting to attack from 2 tiles away means they don't walk into danger nearly as much or walk as far away from you if they aggro on an enemy at a bad time. Furthermore, riposte is completely worthless for long blades, making them even more of a trap compared to M&F/Axes, not that it matters much when the gulf between polearms and everything else is so large.

    So you always gives you orcs polearms if you know what you are doing. But that's not all-monster attack speed is affected by weapon, and monster damage(for tough monsters(like warlords, who have 32 base damage)) comes primarily from monster base damage, not base weapon type, because the former is bigger. So strong, slow weapons like bardiches are disincentivized and fast weak weapons like spears and tridents are incentivized already. Then, on top of that, those same fast weak weapons are one-handed, so your orcs can also use a shield with them... and having a shield is a huge increase to a monster's survivability. (This is part of why Mennas is a mean fucker.)

    So, once you know all of this, you always pick up spears and tridents to gift to your orcs, and hope beogh gifts them a shield instead of "upgrading" their weapon into something which is actually worse. For the lucky orcs who start off with a 1H polearm or shield, you can gift them the one they are missing... hopefully before beogh decides to upgrade that trident into a halberd, because once he does that, if you gift that orc a shield it will make him drop the halberd and attack with his bare hands, forever.
  • Beogh's Recall is the most frustrating ability that exists in this game and I don't know why more people don't complain about it. Maybe other people aren't nearly as minmaxy as I am with this god?
    What happens every run, multiple times per run, is I have a set of orcs I want to train. Always warrior orcs(I find priest/wizard type orcs unreliable and kinda annoying, as they don't always cast when I want while warriors can always attack each turn they are in range, and summons get in the way of warlords from getting in range and doing usually more damage. at least they don't cast animate dead anymore.), always a set of 4-6 of them to prevent XP from getting spread too thin.

    So I'll be rolling through the dungeon, murdering things and slowly upgrading my orcs, when suddenly some loser peasant orcs I don't want and will never use come around a corner, fall to their knees and join my merry band like a buncha freeloaders. I don't want to have them because they are pitiful and weak, clog up narrow corridors preventing my good orcs from getting into range, and split XP horribly, preventing my good orcs from leveling at the pace I want them to. So I need to separate them out from my group, somehow, while also keeping the former set of good orcs I had following me with me. This is more complicated than it may seem.

    Most straightforward solution is to walk back to upstairs, tell all my orcs to wait, go back down without them, and then recall. Hopefully, the small group of good tough orcs I want will be recalled, and no other orcs. (I should point out right here that even if this is all I need to do to get the group I want, this much is already really annoying to do every time I randomly meet orcs in the dungeon and they decide to start following me and ruining my day.)
    However, often this does not happen, because Beogh's recall is a). extremely random, and b). recalls 1 orc first and then 2 orcs each turn afterwards until cancelled. I cannot count the number of times I have had a group of orcs I wanted to train, because they were already more trained than the others or had really lucky equipment(like a 1H polearm so I wanted to train them to the point where i could give them a shield, or vice versa), or whatever, but some orc wizard or warrior-type orc with worse equipment got recalled first for some reason... meaning I have to go back up, tell everyone to wait, go down, recall, get the wrong set of orcs again, or get the right set of orcs except also it throws in one wrong extra one because it doesn't recall 1 at a time, go back up, tell everyone to wait, go down, recall, get the wrong set of orcs again, blah blah blah. You can get hugely different results from recall even when your 'whole' group of orcs has not changed, just based on random chance-which means you just gotta keep rolling the dice, over and over and over again, until you get the small group of orcs you actually wanted, and not the small group except one is replaced with a sorcerer or an orc with worse equipment or some shitty wizard for some reason. And once I finally get the group of orcs I want separated out from the rest, inevitably I randomly run into some more orcs in vaults or whatever and they join me and I have to do the whole fucking thing all over again jesus christ

    this is also the reason why I use wands of flame on myself in shallow water to make steam clouds to steam my own orcs to death pretty frequently(because they keep getting recalled when I want someone else instead)
  • Mentioned before, but beogh's orc upgrades suck because he can give orcs worse weapons, give weapons that forbid shield use(and you can never go back, that halberd will not turn back into a trident if you give that dude a shield), and turns weak orcs into different orc types at random, which can mean an orc you were looking forward to leveling because he spawned with a spear or whatever gets shafted.
  • Recruiting new orcs sucks because of what has already been mentioned-as soon as you have a few orcs that you want to level up, you don't want any more orcs. But they add themselves to your band all the same, and make things much much more tedious. Because of the way XP distribution works, something which seems like it was meant to be a fun gift instead feels like an awful punishment.

my ideal reform:
  • Any species can worship beogh. I do not care if this changes aptitudes or stats.
  • Joining Beogh makes orc priests and uniques neutral towards you. (Can be chance based.) You do not recruit orcs, instead Beogh gifts you orc followers. The maximum number of orcs you can have is equal to your piety pips-when you first reach *..... , you can have one orc ally. When you have ****** , you can have 6 orc allies.
  • XP is not split between orcs. If a monster worth 10 XP dies and you have 1 orc, he gains 10 XP. If you have 6 orcs, they all gain 10 XP.
  • When orcs get leveled enough to gain a "class", you choose what class they become. This is, I think, a more meaningful type of choice to give the player than equipment gifts-big difference between a group of orc sorcerers and a group of warlords.
  • You do not gift orcs weapons or armor, instead beogh upgrades them automatically. Weapon upgrades are fixed to rank-imo, normal orcs have clubs, orc warriors get spears, orc knights get tridents and bucklers, orc warlords get demon tridents and shields. (These are all polearms because I am in favor of warrior-type orcs having polearms since I enjoy having a pack of orcs which can hit over each other, but only axes for warrior-type orcs would also be fine and thematic.) Wizards and priests can have some other shittier weapons(short blades for wizards, maces for priests?)
  • Smiting moved to **.... , one pip of piety instead being where you start getting orc gifts. First orc should probably be granted no matter what the first time you reach *.....
  • You get an activated ability for a high piety cost which temporarily summons a fuckload of orcs of varying strength(better orcs on average with higher invo, but mostly fairly weak), turning the fun but currently ultimately really suboptimal game plan of having a whole bunch of orcs following you around at once into a shortterm power. "Call Beogh's Horde" or something.

this was supposed to be brief but fuck it I care about this dumbass god and want it to be better

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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 10:45

Re: Remove Beogh

dpeg wrote:[...]
(And yes, I'll defend water walking to the death resurrection, because I like humour in the game.)
[...]

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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 12:28

Re: Remove Beogh

I agree that the way Beogh gifting/XP works and how Beogh recall works is pretty annoying.

A suggestion: add a "dismiss" ability to Beogh. Using the ability on an orc will make the orc leave the current level by the nearest staircase up, similar to how pacified monsters behave.

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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 12:31

Re: Remove Beogh

I imagine it's possible to make recall open a menu, allowing you to choose all the orcs you want.

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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 15:02

Re: Remove Beogh

I've not played any Beogh, so take this with a grain of salt, but from reading about other people's experiences with him it seems like a way to protect your followers woudl be nice. Maybe a passive that gives a piety-based chance to share your resists with them?
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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 15:21

Re: Remove Beogh

There's already a form of that because I'm pretty positive resurrection was added in sake of preserving player sanity after losing a warlord who stayed 25 turns in a fire cloud for no reasons. Still, it is a clunky ability and any kind of rework of it could be a good thing.

Anyway I guess resurrection fits thematically to a lolwut god I'm a parody of Jesus but it's okay to be in the game while all other political\religious\snow flakes crybaby things are removed at lightspeed (not that as catholic I'm particularly concerned about Beogh being a parody of Christianity, I think it should reworked from the game design point of view)
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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 15:48

Re: Remove Beogh

MainiacJoe wrote:I've not played any Beogh, so take this with a grain of salt, but from reading about other people's experiences with him it seems like a way to protect your followers woudl be nice. Maybe a passive that gives a piety-based chance to share your resists with them?


A smite-targeted blink ally?
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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 16:57

Re: Remove Beogh

You already have recall; the problem is that allies are really dumb and monsters can't have the same kind of resists the player can have (well, they can't have four rings to swap), so it's always stressful to try to keep your warlord from getting lethally poisoned or burned or whatever. Usually when they die it's because they've just wandered off and done something stupid.

Fundamentally, crawl is a game where the player is not supposed to die all the time but all the monsters *are* supposed to die all the time, so making a few monsters who aren't supposed to die all the time is problematic.

Gameplay-wise, it would be better to have some kind of "Summon Orcs" skill that would airdrop some temporary warlords on you at high piety/invocations. Flavor-wise, getting attached to my buds is the whole point of the god for me. And as I've said before, yes I know I am crawling wrong.

There might be some kind of system that would still "feel" like Beogh but would not involve playing mama duck all run...
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Post Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 17:03

Re: Remove Beogh

After seeing how the auto-respawn permanent ally works with Hep, it surprises me that old style permanent allies are still taken seriously as a mechanic. If beogh is going to stay around, I would suggest a low limit on the number of allies at a time, something like four, with automatic resurrection.

The other stuff Shard1697 says sounds good to me.
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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 01:19

Re: Remove Beogh

E: duplicate post
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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 01:20

Re: Remove Beogh

MainiacJoe wrote: (...You have to eat corpses to survive? etc.).

So only problem I have with the water walking is that it’s a lame ability.


Pretty much every non-vegan/vegetarian eats corpses to survive =p

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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 01:54

Re: Remove Beogh

How bout dis?
// Beogh -- "when you open your mouth death from the sky comes out" theme.
{"Apostate", "Namer", "Rabble-Rouser", "Speaker",
"Elocutioner", "Roarer", "Smitecaller", "Beogh's Thunder"},

edit: I finally read through your wall of text and this bit is amazing:

this is also the reason why I use wands of flame on myself in shallow water to make steam clouds to steam my own orcs to death pretty frequently(because they keep getting recalled when I want someone else instead)
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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 17:37

Re: Remove Beogh

Making Beogh followers unkillable seems out of place ... I mean, the Osama bin Ladens of the world are always praising the "martyrs" they have to part with. Seems like it would be way more fun to just bite the bullet and set up a followers' inventory menu, from which you could equip any follower using the same commands you use for yourself, only with a number attached to indicate which one. When they die their equipment automatically goes back in the follower inventory again. Of course, this would make them super powerful with artifacts and stuff, but they would still just be orcs... I dunno, is there a way to make that work?

P.S. if we're being offensive, we could have an artifact "Gloves of the Quran". Unless you bought them in a shop, when you put them on your hands get cut off for stealing. :)

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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 17:47

Re: Remove Beogh

Amazing how witless mockery begets witless mockery.

Repeat to yourself until it gets through: Flavor does not matter. Flavor does not matter. Flavor does not matter. You do not evaluate game mechanics by reference to flavor.
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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 17:54

Re: Remove Beogh

There's all kinds of stuff in this game for flavor. It's a GAME, not an exercise in matrix mathematics.

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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 18:16

Re: Remove Beogh

Chicken: I agree that flavour is really important (that's the nutshell of my point about Beogh's storytelling potential above). So in this sense I absolutely disagree with watertreatmentRL -- flavour has a definite place, and it's okay to make certain sacrifices for it (which, in Crawl, tend to be small ones).

On the other hand, it is important to realise that flavour is very flexible. Players will mourn every single loss of flavour at length (basically the whole Somethingawful thread is proof of this), and they're pretty slow to realise when/where new flavour is injected. I believe this is normal human behaviour.

Regarding Beogh, I think it's certainly conceivable that, given enough piety, your divine power makes slain followers resurrect. In my opinion, gameplay demands then: (1) this is a passive effect, (2) there is no piety or other cost (such as increased timeouts) associated to this. If someone new where to play such a Beogh, they'd take no offense, I'm sure.
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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 18:33

Re: Remove Beogh

Wait, there needs to be some cost associated, both gameplay and flavor-wise. it would not be very good if Beogh just gave endless instant resurrection to your buddies. Even if it's just "it takes some AUTs | piety | XP gain" before your buddies respawn, there's no reason to be careful with your allies if they'll just pop up again once dead.

<muse>
I wonder how much of my attachment to my buds comes from the fact that I'd managed to shepherd them all the way through the dungeon and level them up without them getting killed... maybe eternal life is something that Beogh would bless your followers with once they'd passed some XP threshold...
</muse>
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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 18:42

Re: Remove Beogh

njvack wrote:Wait, there needs to be some cost associated, both gameplay and flavor-wise. it would not be very good if Beogh just gave endless instant resurrection to your buddies. Even if it's just "it takes some AUTs | piety | XP gain" before your buddies respawn, there's no reason to be careful with your allies if they'll just pop up again once dead.

More than that, it wrecks the storytelling potential if your little buddies can't die off. I don't think dpeg was suggesting this, however.

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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 20:30

Re: Remove Beogh

It would also be more similar to Hep.
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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 20:52

Re: Remove Beogh

I think that, since you can get multiple of them, if Beogh gets changes along the lines of what I suggested they should not also have resurrection, automatic or otherwise. Both because it crosses over with hep's design space(except stronger because you have more of them), and also because your orcs having the possibility of dying permanently makes their deaths mean something. Ideally IMO beogh gifted orcs would die sometimes in unlucky situations or with bad play, but you would get new ones before too long and they wouldn't take quite as long to level as they do now(due to not splitting XP).

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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 21:13

Re: Remove Beogh

Am I the only one who kinda likes getting high priests/sorcerers? Maybe another tier of those is justified but they summon demons and smite and stuff, I like them.

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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 21:26

Re: Remove Beogh

Better to be more like Hep than more like Yred. All these comments about the annoyances of micromanaging large numbers of orcs, killing them, not getting them killed, fiddly leveling... There's an obvious answer to all of this. It's Hep-style mechanics. Hep shows very convincingly that there is not a gameplay reason that permanent allies have to be permanently killable. The Hep ancestors are far stronger than orcs so the balance is number vs. quality. It can be made to work.

I reject the notion of "storytelling" as rationale for gameplay decisions. The argument being made here is that grinding is good because it gives you more game to talk about and because when you lose something you grind to get, it has more "meaning." "Meaning" is not a real thing, guys, I'm sorry. "Meaning" and "storytelling" are what the guys whining about mountain dwarf removal all those years ago were talking about. Good roguelike stories come from clean, tactical and strategic gameplay, not playing with army men.
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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 22:56

Re: Remove Beogh

watertreatmentRL wrote:I reject the notion of "storytelling" as rationale for gameplay decisions.

Man, I don't even know where to begin with this. If that's your stance then that's okay for you, but there are clearly huge swaths of players who will play and love games for their compelling storylines. Sometimes it makes sense to weave your gameplay with the story, instead of tacking the story on as an afterthought.

Imagine Portal without GlaDOS.
Imagine Dark Souls without Solaire.
Imagine Undertale without Sans and Papyrus.
Imagine Chrono Trigger without Schala and Janus and Glenn.
Heck, imagine Super Metroid without the last metroid.
Would people still be talking about the Half-Life series if the G-Man character hadn't existed?
More recently, look at Life is Strange. (I haven't played this one and maybe I shouldn't be mentioning it, but it's clear that its audience loved it for its story.)

Would these games still have been great games for their time without their storyline elements? Some of them would, some of them would have been empty shells. But it's clear that weaving an interesting storyline in among the gameplay helps to drive player engagement and make the experience memorable.

Tetris was huge, once. Is it in anyone's mind nowadays, except as a best-selling note in the history of puzzle games? No, because nobody cares about a bunch of blocks.


Admittedly, story-centric games tend to only work for a single playthrough, and thus as a rule this kind of thing is probably better off not being a primary focus in a game whose gameplay is reliant on skinner box mechanics to extend user engagement, but I strongly agree with dpeg that the game is better off with Beogh than without.



watertreatmentRL wrote:"Meaning" and "storytelling" are what the guys whining about mountain dwarf removal all those years ago were talking about.

Maybe they weren't entirely wrong.

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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 23:21

Re: Remove Beogh

Implojin wrote:Would people still be talking about the Half-Life series if the G-Man character hadn't existed?
The answer is definitely, absolutely yes(although also I certainly agree that flavor does have value), but I think that's besides the point. When I talk about "meaning" for orcs dying, I am not actually talking about storytelling or emotional attachment at all, I am talking about gameplay consequences. A punishment for bad play. A situation to avoid, because it weakens your player character semi-permanently. (Malmutate, anyone?)

I would also tentatively accept bringing orcs back to life at the cost of lowering their HD by a chunk (and thus rank) each time they die, but I would rather outright death. I think situations where your orcs are put in danger are easily the most interesting thing about playing Beogh, especially when you have to weigh putting yourself more in harm's way to prevent their death(swapping places when an orc gets low to prevent them getting melee'd in exchange for getting hit yourself, or sometimes deciding to burn resources like teleport scrolls to save orcs). I would be sad to see this go, and truthfully I don't 100% love that resurrection is currently a player ability. (At least it's high piety cost.)

For the record, as someone who likes playing Beogh despite their many flaws, I pretty much never play Hep and don't really like them very much!

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Post Thursday, 25th May 2017, 23:54

Re: Remove Beogh

Implojin wrote:
watertreatmentRL wrote:I reject the notion of "storytelling" as rationale for gameplay decisions.

Man, I don't even know where to begin with this. If that's your stance then that's okay for you, but there are clearly huge swaths of players who will play and love games for their compelling storylines. Sometimes it makes sense to weave your gameplay with the story, instead of tacking the story on as an afterthought.

Imagine Portal without GlaDOS.
Imagine Dark Souls without Solaire.
Imagine Undertale without Sans and Papyrus.
Imagine Chrono Trigger without Schala and Janus and Glenn.
Heck, imagine Super Metroid without the last metroid.
Would people still be talking about the Half-Life series if the G-Man character hadn't existed?
More recently, look at Life is Strange. (I haven't played this one and maybe I shouldn't be mentioning it, but it's clear that its audience loved it for its story.)

Would these games still have been great games for their time without their storyline elements? Some of them would, some of them would have been empty shells. But it's clear that weaving an interesting storyline in among the gameplay helps to drive player engagement and make the experience memorable.
watertreamentRL is not saying that storytelling has no place in games, just that you shouldn't justify bad gameplay mechanics with "but they're good storytelling!" Portal has good storytelling, and it does that without sacrificing gameplay mechanics. Sans and Papyrus don't induce level grinding or otherwise hurt gameplay (and Undertale prioritizes gameplay a lot less than DCSS, in any case). You're listing a bunch of characters, when watertreatmentRL was talking about game mechanics.

A much closer comparison to removing permadeath from Beogh and Yred allies would be "imagine The Legend of Zelda without Like Likes eating your shield". It's a niche mechanic that players rarely even see, and has no bearing on the game's overarching plot. It does make the game's world feel a little more complete, but in gameplay most people just think it's a pain in the ass, with a few people who like it. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have made any non-butterfly-effect differences in the Zelda games' popularity, or the quality of their storytelling.

Implojin wrote:Tetris was huge, once. Is it in anyone's mind nowadays, except as a best-selling note in the history of puzzle games?
I'm pretty sure Tetris is and has always been a bigger deal than Chrono Trigger.

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Post Friday, 26th May 2017, 00:01

Re: Remove Beogh

@Implojin: DCSS is not a commercial title. It can never have the kind of brand that carefully planned and marketed games like the AAA titles you mention have. The unity of purpose and discipline in design and execution of those games is unrealistic here and it is absolutely required to create the sorts of characters and plot points you're talking about. That is not the right analogy.

I believe what dpeg is reaching for here is the "storytelling" that Tarn and Zach Adams talk about in connection with Dwarf Fortress. There's something to be said for their vision, though I think the game they've produced is ultimately flawed for reasons that flow directly from their vision, not simple oversights in implementation. It is wild and woolly by design. It is ultimately aimless and deliberately not very clean.

Where DCSS has been a success and a decisive improvement over other stuff in the genre and adjacent parts of the RPG world has been in pursuit of clean gameplay. "Maybe the player shouldn't have to manually explore huge levels." Wow, but what about the storytelling aspect? What about the moment before you turn that corner, full of portent and tension?

Also, I played Chrono Trigger and I don't remember anything you're talking about.
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duvessa

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Post Friday, 26th May 2017, 00:38

Re: Remove Beogh

duvessa wrote:You're listing a bunch of characters, when watertreatmentRL was talking about game mechanics.

Imagine XCOM without rookies.

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Post Friday, 26th May 2017, 01:00

Re: Remove Beogh

I don't really remember the G-Man, but I certainly remember trying to hunt down every last scientist with the crowbar...

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Post Friday, 26th May 2017, 14:56

Re: Remove Beogh

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Friday, 26th May 2017, 16:46

Re: Remove Beogh

Implojin wrote:Imagine XCOM without rookies.


But then how would i blow myself up with friendly fire from a rocket launcher?
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Post Saturday, 27th May 2017, 00:13

Re: Remove Beogh

watertreatmentRL wrote:Also, I played Chrono Trigger and I don't remember anything you're talking about.


they are three really central characters... it's hard to imagine how you could forget them unless you just didn't care for the game in the first place.
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