Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?


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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 06:13

Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

This was recently done with abyss, which is the other potentially infinite area of the game. I, personally, find Pan the most tedious part of the game and I think many other players do as well.

My problem isn't necessarily how long it takes to beat Pan, just that the length doesn't seem to serve any real purpose. Most of the enemies in Pan are not particularly challenging or life threatening to an end game PC. Unlike Hells, torment/hellfire spam aren't an issue - the generous item drops and edible enemies ensure that resource drain isn't an issue either. The one truly challenging part of Pan are the bosses... but, that being the case, why does Pan put so much grind between you and aforementioned bosses?

The necessarily monotonous and unthematic floors with a dearth of interesting vaults certainly doesn't help matters (the heavenly floor being the one bright spot, no pun intended). How can we spare players from having to grind through 40 floors of non life threatening, demon and demonspawn infested same-ishness while still preserving the difficulty and... spirit... if it even has, or ever had one... of Pandemonium?

The simplest ways to fix would be:

1) Make each Pan floor smaller, or increase exit generation. Would reduce the time cost of scouring each floor for exits.

2) Make runed Pan floors more likely to generate. Would reduce the total number of floors players need to go through to collect the runes.

Now, onward to the convoluted ideas!

3) (My personal idea) Whenever you kill a random Pan lord it opens a portal to a random undiscovered rune floor.

4 (Idea requiring smart person) Make Pan BETTER as well as shorter. Increase the difficulty without increasing the monotony or imposing too much weirdness/drasticness in difference from currently existing game which would result in devs ignoring suggestion.

Please chime in with your own ideas. We cannot allow the sprawling, meandering soreness on the eyes and fingers that is Pan to continue as-is.

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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 06:21

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

It is already fixed in DCSS CA fork where unique runes are guaranteed to be in first N Pan floors, not sure why devs don't copy the solution.

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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 07:30

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

The second suggestion alone would go a long way, IMO. The rune areas are nice and intense - I don't enjoy extended quite as much as the rest of the game generally, but have always found those to be quite fun when I get to them. There are just so many entirely purposeless floors between them. There's no real point to exploring generic levels of Pan, but you're forced to wander them, through portal after portal, for however long the RNG dictates before you finally land somewhere with a rune. However much one enjoys the place in general, if at all, it can just drag on and on and ever on for an indeterminate period of time and I don't see anything wrong with limiting that to at least some degree. Some people have reported going through more than forty floors of it if I recall correctly. I don't bother to keep count, but it certainly feels like FoCKing forever compared to Tomb or the Hells or even the average Abyss these days.
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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 12:01

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Blomdor wrote:Some people have reported going through more than forty floors of it if I recall correctly.
Yes, during one of my 6 15 rune games last tournament I had a game where I had to go through 45 pan floors, which was just miserable.(I believe I have seen multiple people go through more than that, as well.) And in all those 6 games, it took over 20 floors at a minimum. Which is just... way, way too much. Let's be real here, despite the technically high level of variation in enemies, pan does not feel very varied. Regardless of shuffling demons in and out of the spawns, it is one(not super exciting) area... and I think if anyone suggested that any one area of the game be extended to 10 floors, much less 20+, most people would consider that a crazy suggestion.

As far as I'm concerned, make the demonic rune show up every pan floor(so it's "do I want to get this or go down to try and get an easier rune vault", not "well, it didn't spawn, guess I have to explore an entire other pan floor to see if it randomly spawns there") until you have it, and then also limit the number of floors you can go without seeing a 'unique' pan rune floor, once you have demonic rune. I would be happy with that limit being '0', but I guess there are some people who like random pan floors for reasons I can't explain so perhaps it could be something like a 3 floor limit before the next is guaranteed to be a special rune floor.

Idea 3 is also definitely cool, though, because it gives more weight to killing Cerebov n' friends instead of just avoiding them.

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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 12:26

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

You should only be able to enter pan one time and all the floors you need for the runes should generate within five levels. People think, erroneously, that the thing about pan is that it's this big infinite funland to explore, but actually its thing is that if you don't get the named panlord runes the first time the levels generate, you can never get them. Just take that idea to its logical conclusion and you get a nice, short high intensity branch.
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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 13:01

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

There is a suggestion that seemed to get a lot of support: roulette between Hell and Pan. For this, Pan should become finite (like Hell is). Minor obstacle: what to do with the fifth rune? (Each extended branch should have the same number of runes.)

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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 13:08

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

dpeg wrote:Minor obstacle: what to do with the fifth rune? (Each extended branch should have the same number of runes.)

Cut the demonic rune, extended is now 11 runes. Or if we have some special attachment to "12 runes", make a one-floor branch and put it in there.

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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 13:13

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

dpeg wrote:There is a suggestion that seemed to get a lot of support: roulette between Hell and Pan. For this, Pan should become finite (like Hell is). Minor obstacle: what to do with the fifth rune? (Each extended branch should have the same number of runes.)


Refashion tomb into a hell.
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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 13:15

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

dpeg wrote:what to do with the fifth rune?

Why, a new hell lord, of course! Just browse the hundreds of suggestions for a new unique lord.
dpeg wrote:There is a suggestion that seemed to get a lot of support: roulette between Hell and Pan. For this, Pan should become finite (like Hell is).

What is the logic behind this requirement? Both Pan and Hell currently provide you with an endless stream of XP.
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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 18:26

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

goodcoolguy wrote:You should only be able to enter pan one time and all the floors you need for the runes should generate within five levels. People think, erroneously, that the thing about pan is that it's this big infinite funland to explore, but actually its thing is that if you don't get the named panlord runes the first time the levels generate, you can never get them. Just take that idea to its logical conclusion and you get a nice, short high intensity branch.


I'm sympathetic to this idea, but it would encourage grinding before entering Pan. You could alleviate that by making the entrance to Pan a timed portal that appears somewhere in hel/Zot/tomb

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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 19:03

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

If you want to be particularly evil, you could make a shortened version of Pan that only opens once you get the Orb (like just the rune levels, or maybe the rune levels with one filler floor between). That would definitely give the branch something no other branch has, while at the same time going along with its flavor quite well.

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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 19:36

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

phloomp wrote:
goodcoolguy wrote:You should only be able to enter pan one time and all the floors you need for the runes should generate within five levels. People think, erroneously, that the thing about pan is that it's this big infinite funland to explore, but actually its thing is that if you don't get the named panlord runes the first time the levels generate, you can never get them. Just take that idea to its logical conclusion and you get a nice, short high intensity branch.


I'm sympathetic to this idea, but it would encourage grinding before entering Pan. You could alleviate that by making the entrance to Pan a timed portal that appears somewhere in hel/Zot/tomb


If the difficulty of the floors of Pan were left untouched, then it would encourage grinding precisely as much as current pan does (read: doesn't).
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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 20:02

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Arrhythmia wrote:
phloomp wrote:
goodcoolguy wrote:You should only be able to enter pan one time and all the floors you need for the runes should generate within five levels. People think, erroneously, that the thing about pan is that it's this big infinite funland to explore, but actually its thing is that if you don't get the named panlord runes the first time the levels generate, you can never get them. Just take that idea to its logical conclusion and you get a nice, short high intensity branch.


I'm sympathetic to this idea, but it would encourage grinding before entering Pan. You could alleviate that by making the entrance to Pan a timed portal that appears somewhere in hel/Zot/tomb


If the difficulty of the floors of Pan were left untouched, then it would encourage grinding precisely as much as current pan does (read: doesn't).

That's not actually true, Presently I am willing to go into pan with a less-than-optimal setup given some amount of consumables, as if I find things too difficult, and run myself low (or out) of consumables, I can ditch Pan and come back later. If Pan was a one-shot ever deal, then I'd be forced to make sure I could optimally get all of the runes in that one go, and that I had the stock of consumables to do so, sometimes requiring grinding.

I'm not sure that effect is significant, but it's definitely not non-existent.
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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 20:39

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

infinitevox wrote:What if I like Pan how it is already?


Then you should try to explain why you like it (particularly the parts that other people don't like: low difficulty of non-rune levels, potential for bad luck leading to large number of floors between runes, exploring random floors hoping to find the Demonic rune without knowing when it will appear, etc). Explaining why you think Pan would be harmed, rather than improved, by being shorted is much more likely to convince people to keep it the way it is than "but I like current Pan..."
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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 21:26

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

I could've sworn I just brought this up in another thread a couple weeks ago, but what about the "~15 floors, ends with holy pan" idea I saw floating around a few months ago? That was a fine idea.

I don't see much point to the hell/pan roulette, dpeg; it shortens the overall all-rune game, which I think lots of people are interested in, but doing it by only giving the player one of the branches seems like it wouldn't actually address the core issues with either pan or hell.

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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 21:32

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

archaeo wrote:I don't see much point to the hell/pan roulette, dpeg; it shortens the overall all-rune game, which I think lots of people are interested in, but doing it by only giving the player one of the branches seems like it wouldn't actually address the core issues with either pan or hell.


In my experience, the core problems with Hell/Pan aren't so bad when taken on their own. It's only when you have to deal with both Hell and Pan in one game that it becomes exhausting and tedious. If you can clear one, you can clear the other, it's just a matter of going through the motions.

The roulette also provides the two metabranches an interesting contrast to each other: Hell is a blazing sprint through the floors to reach the final level, while Pandemonium is slower-paced exploration and conservation of resources. You can exit Hell at any time just by going upstairs, but you're stuck in Pandemonium for a while.

Setting up a roulette for extended also opens up development space for adding new content (a la Spider / Shoals) in the future.

As a player, if extended was only 10 runes, I would take the challenge much more often.

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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 21:49

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

I don't understand why Hell/Pan roulette would be better than just generating two Hell branches and two Pan runes (both randomly selected).

(And do something with the demonic rune. The usual proposition is to put in in Elf:3 but how about put it in a Zig?)
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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 22:00

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Brannock wrote:
archaeo wrote:I don't see much point to the hell/pan roulette, dpeg; it shortens the overall all-rune game, which I think lots of people are interested in, but doing it by only giving the player one of the branches seems like it wouldn't actually address the core issues with either pan or hell.


In my experience, the core problems with Hell/Pan aren't so bad when taken on their own. It's only when you have to deal with both Hell and Pan in one game that it becomes exhausting and tedious. If you can clear one, you can clear the other, it's just a matter of going through the motions.


You don't have to do both, though. If you think it would be more fun to just do Hell or Pan and then go win with 10-11 runes instead of doing both, then you can already do that.

There are a lot of cases where I hate the "extended is optional so it's not a big deal if it has problems" argument, but I feel like in this particular case, if someone feels that extended has too many runes, "don't do all of them" is a pretty reasonable solution. That's not to say I don't think it would be good to improve and/or shorted Hell or Pan, I just don't see the purpose of trying to shorten them by removing four or five of the runes in any given game when the player's already free to skip them. It's not like the three rune game where you have to get three runes and get to the end of Zot for it to count as a win. You can skip parts of extended and still have the game tell you that you won anyway.

If more extended runes got added, I might not mind seeing Pan and Hell go on roulette, but I don't see any reason to just remove half of them now without replacing them with anything. It doesn't make sense to just remove half of extended game just so people feel better about stopping with 10 runes, which seems like the only thing that would be gained to me.

I agree that Hell and Pan feeling redundant is an issue, but I'd rather try to find ways to distinguish them more than just remove one of them in any given game.
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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 22:23

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

This is starting to veer off topic, but I find meaningful distinction between "complete part of the game" and "complete the entire game". I already pick-and-choose (I frequently win with five runes), but if I decide I want to see if a given character can Fully Complete The Game then there's a difference between "you have seven to go" and "you have twelve to go".

It also impacts challenges and tournaments. All-runes wins are not exactly the same as fifteen-rune or ten-rune wins.

Fewer extended runes also help newer players not feel as overwhelmed when considering whether or not to take the challenge. Three runes already takes hours; what are they to think about how long gathering twelve more would take?

If we're meant to just pick-and-choose then why not add another twelve runes so we have 27 in any given game? After all, you can just pick whichever you'd like to gather.

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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 22:24

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Our choice how long we want the game to be.

If you want to play an older version, *just do so*.
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Post Thursday, 4th August 2016, 22:43

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

I personally see the first 15 runes run as an overwhelming, but rewarding experience. As a new player, I saw the whole "hostile places" (Hell, Pan, Abyss) thing as something very, very cool, and, to tell the truth, as the true to game to reach behind the dungeon, which is rather mundane, but also has enough weirdness running into it, that I saw as precursor to anything I was to find in Pandemonium/Hell.

Badly handled recollections aside, I am for the 15 pan floors plan. Have all 5 runes guaranteed to appear within the first 14, although at unknown intervals and in an unknown order, and guarantee holy pan at 15 or 7 (maybe 7 is better, it adds variety) because it's cool and funny. After you have collected the last rune, you have a choice to go on indefinitely in Pan like it is now or to go back to the dungeon.
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Post Friday, 5th August 2016, 00:21

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

jwoodward48ss wrote:why would roulette even be a thing

if you only want to do one

then just do one
Same reason as why you don't get to do all 4 lair branches in one game-it's too long(and gets easy/boring as you accumulate XP from the other branches), and players will push themselves to do something they don't actually enjoy for the sake of completionism. Plus it makes for more difference between runs when the available branches change.
Brannock wrote:In my experience, the core problems with Hell/Pan aren't so bad when taken on their own. It's only when you have to deal with both Hell and Pan in one game that it becomes exhausting and tedious.
I agree that it makes it worse to do both of them, but even just doing one I'm sick of it before the end.
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Post Friday, 5th August 2016, 00:38

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Brannock wrote:This is starting to veer off topic, but I find meaningful distinction between "complete part of the game" and "complete the entire game". I already pick-and-choose (I frequently win with five runes), but if I decide I want to see if a given character can Fully Complete The Game then there's a difference between "you have seven to go" and "you have twelve to go".

Fewer extended runes also help newer players not feel as overwhelmed when considering whether or not to take the challenge. Three runes already takes hours; what are they to think about how long gathering twelve more would take?

Why this conflation of time spent and the number of runes? Do you feel this way about getting 100 coins in Mario games? We could easily have any arbitrary number of runes that fit into any length of game, though packing the dungeon full of runes like Pac-Man pellets would probably be silly.

This is what gets me about the roulette proposal. The problem isn't that extended as a whole is too long, the problem is that each part of extended is too long on its own. The roulette isn't a solution for the problems with Hell or Pan, but is just another idea altogether, and not one I find very compelling. Brannock talks about the contrasts between the "metabranches," but that's not a great reason for a roulette, especially one that would explicitly exist in the "postgame." We have the s-branch roulette in part because it extends the variability lifespan of the recommended midgame, and I don't know that it would accomplish the same thing in a non-required pair of branches; it's a solution in search of a problem, more or less.

dpeg wrote:Our choice how long we want the game to be.

Which is to say that if the devs want the game to be shorter, they should just make it shorter directly by making Pan finite and cutting down the Hells. That would have far more of an impact on the playability of the branches than the proposed roulette.

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Post Friday, 5th August 2016, 04:30

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

The best thing about extended roulette is that devs are already interested in it. Once you've got this roulette thing going, it raises the question of how to make hell and pan more comparable in length. This gets to the OP's problem, since pan can be 45 floors, while hell is always 28 or 29 if you include the vestibule.

This is why I suggest rolling tomb into hells as some kind of Egyptian afterlife deal. Adding a hell gives you a nice round 36 floors to work with and comes with the further benefit that you only have to do tomb in half your all-rune games. From there, you can just limit pan to 36 floors and you're set. Bounded pan or hell/tomb gives you half as much extended and improves the contrast between pan and hell. If 36 is still too much, you can always bring down the number of floors per hell later.
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Post Friday, 5th August 2016, 05:05

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Hell length is deceptive. There's no reason to not dive it unless you're scumming it, and it's dangerous enough (and there is nothing harder in the game than Hell, aside from deep zigs, so there's no real point in doing so) that you don't want to stick around there. The majority of time in each Hell is spent delving the final floor.

This is partly why I'm skeptical of claims that cutting down on the chaff (while desirable, don't get me wrong) will significantly reduce time investment in extended, more than just outright cutting four (five) runes from the journey. Most of the time you're spending is on carefully dismantling Lom Lobon's or Asmodeus's garrison, excepting the situations where you're trundling through 40 generic floors of Pandemonium which is an issue all its own.
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Post Friday, 5th August 2016, 05:17

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Ideally, that's how pan would go too though. The only reason pan isn't already what you describe is that you get way too many pan floors sometimes. In particular, the usual take-portal-on-sight way of doing pan is essentially diving with the minor wrinkle that the number of floors you have to dive is randomized. All the real action still happens on the named panlord floors and sometimes holypan.
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Post Friday, 5th August 2016, 05:50

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Also you can't just repeatedly dive pan at first, because you don't know when the demonic rune(which is the most RNG to find) has spawned on a level, so you want to look through most of each pan floor until you have it so you don't miss a demonic rune vault when it finally comes.
Brannock wrote:Hell length is deceptive. There's no reason to not dive it unless you're scumming it, and it's dangerous enough (and there is nothing harder in the game than Hell, aside from deep zigs, so there's no real point in doing so) that you don't want to stick around there. The majority of time in each Hell is spent delving the final floor.
Well, yes... but it's still quite long. It takes time to dive down 7*4 floors.
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Post Saturday, 6th August 2016, 00:18

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Just cap Pan at ~18-20 floors, so that the 4 unique panlord floors and holy pan will spawn by that number of floors. Why does brainstorming need to happen? Is there any reasonable argument you can make in opposition that dosen't boil down to "the feels of arbitrarily-long pan trips... are very good... imo"?
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Post Saturday, 6th August 2016, 00:49

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Yeah, if infinite Pan is still desirable, there's no reason it can't stay even if all of the notable floors are guaranteed within a limited time. If infinite Pan isn't desirable, then it's not desirable. Either way, I don't see a problem with capping the number of floors.

There's also the obvious option of announcing when you're on a level with a demonic rune, similar to the special rune floors. That lets Pan be a dive like Hell, if that's what we want.
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Post Saturday, 6th August 2016, 23:40

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

~*~mod note: removed an off-topic tangent~*~
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Post Sunday, 7th August 2016, 00:31

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

I don't really see why Pan should be infinite, honestly. It's justified in the Abyss, given the nature of the branch, and an infinite number of Zigs makes sense insofar as it's difficult to make Zigs totally trivial (or it should be), but Pan doesn't really have either of those excuses. It doesn't provide any interesting challenges to the player in the post-post-endgame, it's not a very interesting place to grind, etc. The only thing it can really provide is a danger-free victory lap for players who don't want to quit, but don't want the challenge of megazigging, I guess, and that doesn't seem to be a super compelling thing to include in a game. Given the fact that "Pan goes on too long" is a pretty common criticism, my assumption is that most players aren't clamoring for the ability to endlessly tackle Pan levels, either.

Also, @Quaz, the reason I found the "~15 levels, ends with holypan" idea compelling is because it wouldn't require those announcements; you could try your luck in the ~10 random levels you get, or you could rush to the end and face a more difficult level, as well as a guaranteed exit portal.

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Post Sunday, 7th August 2016, 00:44

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

if Pan has ~5 or more non-rune levels, then it must be re-enterable/infinite, even if special floors are guaranteed within the first 15 levels, because otherwise you provoke the desire to clear those 15 levels completely (which is a desire that is tedious but not all that hard for players to enact) while you have the chance.

Crypt Cleanser

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Post Sunday, 7th August 2016, 00:54

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

archaeo wrote:Also, @Quaz, the reason I found the "~15 levels, ends with holypan" idea compelling is because it wouldn't require those announcements; you could try your luck in the ~10 random levels you get, or you could rush to the end and face a more difficult level, as well as a guaranteed exit portal.


I had forgotten about the guaranteed rune in Holy Pan. Although exploring every random level in order to avoid Holy Pan feels like a pretty clear-cut "tedious but optimal" behavior, so I think this solution is definitely not ideal.
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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 02:36

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Allusions to proposals without actually linking to them and all the words providing at least basic responses towards concerns, tisk tisk.

Reducing the thousand words to "put Hell and Pan in a roulette" as the proposal completely ignores "and make special announced serial vaults using the large group of current demonic rune vault assets, ontop of the normal demonic rune placement" or "make killing Pan Lords increase the odds of finding any rune so there's some actual sense of progress and agency in the infinite depths". I do suppose I should touch it up some time with later thoughts I had on "refurbish hells to be 4 floors instead of 7, guarantee a stairs / ambush vault on their second floors, re-assess hell effects and hell spawns entirely". Kind of lost interest when I ran into implementation walls, though, and the floating question of "is a holy-monster overhaul for a quick and dirty new rune is worth it" has become fuzzier over time.

Also have notes about buffing Pan floors by... replacing Corrupt Body with Corrupting Pulse for corrupters, making warmonger Sap Magic be direct and understandably brutal through the sifcasting scaled -CAST mechanic instead, cutting putrid demonspawn from the base group for having the least effective resistance / mechanic, and replacing cacodemon Slow / Confuse / Bolt of Energy with no-longer-explicitly-manticore Barbs. Still needs more work, of course- like how despite the Hells ostensibly being scarier the fixed Pan Lords have more substantial and differentiated fights than the Hell Lords (just compare their reputations).

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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 03:28

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

claws wrote:and replacing cacodemon Slow / Confuse / Bolt of Energy with no-longer-explicitly-manticore Barbs.
This would be great, not only because it would be more meaningful as an attack but also because it's good to have attacks which function the same as attacks earlier in the game, so the player can make use of the knowledge they've accumulated earlier on(and of course right now nothing else causes barbs status).

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Post Monday, 8th August 2016, 20:06

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

silence and engulf are even more brutal than -CAST (but barely even exist, from the monsters' side)

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Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 16:19

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

What if Pan remained infinite but the percentage chance that you end up on another rune level goes up with every rune you get?

I have no idea what the odds are, but with no Pan runes say you have a 1 in 100 chance of landing on a rune level. Get that first rune, now it's 1 in 80. Get another rune and it's 1 in 70, etc. Thematically you are becoming more attuned to the chaos of the realm by collecting strong pieces of it. It would shorten the duration of getting the runes (statistically) and still keep infinite levels.

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Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 16:26

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Isn't that how it's working already?

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Post Thursday, 11th August 2016, 16:42

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Well, if it takes a long time to get the first rune, you still end up with it taking a long time.

Why does pan have to be non deterministic? I like the idea of getting a few regular pans, with the demonic rune actually announced, then you get the 4 special pans with maybe 1 regular pan between each one, and then leave it open ended after all the runes have been collected for zig reasons or what have you. The in-between levels keep the pan diving aspect intact, with potential for hellion island nonsense and what not, and the determinism means it doesn't seem like it's going to take forever to finish.

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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 00:32

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

dpeg wrote:There is a suggestion that seemed to get a lot of support: roulette between Hell and Pan. For this, Pan should become finite (like Hell is). Minor obstacle: what to do with the fifth rune? (Each extended branch should have the same number of runes.)

FWIW, there is some flavor in having the three branches; Hell/Pandemonium/Abyss reflects the Lawful/Neutral/Chaotic trichotomy.
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Post Friday, 12th August 2016, 00:38

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

I am against hell/pan roulette, for what its worth. Those are for extended, and thus, optional. Leave 'em both in!
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Post Sunday, 21st August 2016, 20:07

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

The unlimited Pandemonium is a good thing. Come on, you've all been screwing around, gotten good characters, wanted to see what they could do at level 27 in this and that and the other thing!

That said, grinding through floors looking for runes is not something every player wants to do. So let's find a better way to navigate what you want.

I propose this:

* Keep white Pandemonium exits and Abyss exits at roughly the same frequency and exactly the same effect.

* With the blue exits, figure out whether they go to a rune plane BEFORE you go through. Make the ones that go to a rune plane purple. If you mouseover (well, x - v crosshairs over) you even get to see WHICH rune is on that plane.

* Going through one of the true-blue exits means going to another plane of Pandemonium without a rune. The initial entrance to get into Pandemonium from the dungeon is a true-blue portal, so you should be guaranteed not to see a rune on the first plane.

* There should be no downside in simply passing up a rune plane because you're still scared half to death on the regular Pandemonium planes. You just move on, and you have the same chance to see a portal to the same rune (or a different one) on the next plane. Indeed, occasionally you should see two purple portals on the same Pandemonium plane and then you can pick which rune to go for first.

* Optionally, I see no special reason why you have to have a "do or don't" choice even when you go in to a rune plane. Why not let the character simply wimp out, and he still has a chance to see a purple portal to the same plane, saved on disk, later on?

The effect of this is that when you've mapped out the Pandemonium plane, you have about four times better chance of going to a rune plane on the next one - if that's what you want. That should shorten 49 planes to about 12, which is clearly less dull. On the other hand, if you're not looking for a rune yet, you can use this to completely avoid them until you're up for the challenge.
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Post Sunday, 21st August 2016, 21:02

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

Chicken wrote:* Optionally, I see no special reason why you have to have a "do or don't" choice even when you go in to a rune plane. Why not let the character simply wimp out, and he still has a chance to see a purple portal to the same plane, saved on disk, later on?
Because it's much cooler to be placed in a "do or don't" situation instead of one where you know you can trivially escape at any time.

It's not like you can't clear the (easy)rest of a rune pan level before going into the rune vault, and just tele out of the fight with the pan lord if it gets too hairy. In fact, that's safer than jumping down to another floor, where you can be placed right next to a pan lord if you're unlucky enough.

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Post Sunday, 21st August 2016, 23:10

Re: Can we brainstorm a way to shorten pandemonium?

I like the idea of purpleportals. How about this for flavour:

"A gate leading to another region of Pandaemonium. It looks like any other at first sight, but closer inspection reveals an aura of terrible majesty - the dread Lord of Pandaemonium Mnoleg resides within the realm accessible by this portal! Beware, for you may only enter such a portal once - if you leave without the rune Mnoleg possesses, you will be unable to return and attempt to retrieve it again."
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