Two more abyss/banishment proposals


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Swamp Slogger

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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 03:45

Two more abyss/banishment proposals

I'm trying to like the new abyss. I am. I really really am. On the one hand I enjoy how it gens the terrain as you run. Watching terrain close off as you race for it is thrilling and really gives to the environment.

That said I still hate banish/abyss system because with certain characters and classes it basically feels like "The the RNG decide if you die"

Running through the abyss is fine, it's getting in/out there that i have issues with.

Suggestion 1-
Banish is an effect. If it casts successfully on you gain a banish buff. You've got X turns to KILL the caster who cast banish on you. If you don't, Yay abyss trip. If you do the buff goes away and you don't have to run around RNG land. This will help with lower level characters getting totally screwed because they walked around the corner and failed at Dice rolling. Late game when the abyss shouldn't be a certain death sentence you can still have a stronger banish spell that just sends you.

Suggestion 2-
Right now there's 2 ways out of the abyss.
1. Get lucky.- This...seems poor. It's a gamble, but your other option is a gamble as well. Running around the abyss PRAYING you make it is good, but there's a point where you've been alive down there for so long you just feel like your wasting time. Everyone has those horror stories of being down there waaay too long and i've still had games like that with the new one(trunk and now with the new one as well)

2. Convert. I really really really dislike this because if you happen to have a god and need to get out of the abyss so badly chances are you can't survive their punishment either. I'd like one more way out.

Suggestion
Your god pulls you out. God only ability, costs all your piety, takes a LONG time(say 50+ turns. Large range on how long to. So 50-150?), and you'll have mini lugno wrath for X turns after escaping. This way now you have a reason to gamble. Will you sacrifice ALL you piety to get out, and since it's far from quick when will you decide you're too close to death and low on resources and risk it. This is a huge cost, but the clock at least gives you the knowledge that you won't be down there for something silly like 500+ turns unless you want to be.

This way the only really screwed race is demigod, but it's better than it is now.

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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 08:35

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

First, let me state that my characters have about 90% mortality in Abyss...

1) There are not many that many creatures, that can cast banishment - especially in early game - Ogre mage & Elrocha MAY have this in their spellset. Next one are on Elf:5 (AFAIK) So all you really need is just be carefull.
Distortion brand weapon however... yeah, I hate them to :)

2) Well, either you die in Abyss now, or you MAY die due to godly wrath later on. Your choice. But I aggree that sometimes the choices are limited. Early naga character in Abyss pretty much forces you to worship Lugonu if you want to get out early. I would suggest that no god (except Lugonu) should be able to perform wrath in Abyss. Once you back in dungeon, they can have you all they want. But there would be an imbalance, as you can use your god powers in Abyss... so probably no, either.
and BTW, I recently found, that Lugonu is very strong god to follow... Give him/her a shot.
Anyway, devels won't change this, I am pretty sure. Hard decisions are what makes this game what it is. Life in a dungeon is a bitch :)
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Swamp Slogger

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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 13:17

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

forest wrote:First, let me state that my characters have about 90% mortality in Abyss...

1) There are not many that many creatures, that can cast banishment - especially in early game - Ogre mage & Elrocha MAY have this in their spellset. Next one are on Elf:5 (AFAIK) So all you really need is just be carefull.
Distortion brand weapon however... yeah, I hate them to :)

2) Well, either you die in Abyss now, or you MAY die due to godly wrath later on. Your choice. But I aggree that sometimes the choices are limited. Early naga character in Abyss pretty much forces you to worship Lugonu if you want to get out early. I would suggest that no god (except Lugonu) should be able to perform wrath in Abyss. Once you back in dungeon, they can have you all they want. But there would be an imbalance, as you can use your god powers in Abyss... so probably no, either.
and BTW, I recently found, that Lugonu is very strong god to follow... Give him/her a shot.
Anyway, devels won't change this, I am pretty sure. Hard decisions are what makes this game what it is. Life in a dungeon is a bitch :)

First off i'm more worried about mid game banish. My last character got sent on D15 and was almost sent on lair 8(Wizard in the vault).
I understand that hard decisions are good, but it doesn't actually feel like a decision. I honestly feel like most abyss deaths are MASSIVE amounts of time wasted.

Either A- I run around the abyss like a moron until i've finally run out of consumables, luck, and HP some several hundred turns later.
or B- I switch to lugonu and die from from god wrath several hundred turns later.
Both choices usually feel like a super longshot gamble that has lead to me just abandoning characters in the abyss(i have at least 4 or 5 on one version of the game. That started on the character who found the rune and went another 500+ turns and still hadn't seen a door) because i'd rather just start over.

The idea that you can spend ALL your piety to have a slightly better chance at getting out seems like it's still a huge cost and you're still going to have a wrath effect for it. You still might switch to lugonu if you've got one of the easier god wraths to survive or are godless, and even if you were forced to survive for 300 turns before your god pulled you out i'd still find it better than the current system where it's Die later or die later.........oh or maybe get super lucky and find a door. At least you're working towards a goal.

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Abyss Ambulator

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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 16:20

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

The problem with having Lugonu wrath as part of the cost for a more guaranteed way out is that Lugonu could just banish you right back in, which would put you in an even worse situation since now you have no piety and Lugonu's wrath. That won't always happen, but it's possible.
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Post Tuesday, 28th February 2012, 16:45

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

I really don't like banishment. You can have an early-midgame character that can handle the game just fine, but if he gets banished BAM you're wrecked. Especially if you aren't a caster or have access to repeated levitation/flight

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 03:11

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

The new Abyss generates exits MUCH more frequently than the old Abyss. It's easier.

When in the presence of banishing monsters, max out MR, or run.
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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 09:01

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Grimm wrote:The new Abyss generates exits MUCH more frequently than the old Abyss. It's easier.

Are you sure? Maybe it's easier to find because the new layout let you see more cells on average, but exits aren't supposed to be more frequent than they used to be.
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Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 09:34

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

I haven't looked at the code so that's my impression based on my experience. Abyss used to be a death sentence for me and I saw maybe two exits total out of twenty or thirty trips; now I almost always escape. Something's changed for the better.

Dungeon Master

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 09:58

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Grimm wrote:I haven't looked at the code so that's my impression based on my experience. Abyss used to be a death sentence for me and I saw maybe two exits total out of twenty or thirty trips; now I almost always escape. Something's changed for the better.

You're probably just better at crawl now.

Ziggurat Zagger

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 10:03

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

I am, but I do seem to see more exits sooner. If there's no code reason for it, it must be a freak of the RNG.
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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 11:02

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Grimm wrote:I am, but I do seem to see more exits sooner. If there's no code reason for it, it must be a freak of the RNG.

Maybe a bit of both (you're getting better and the new Abyss is easier). I think it's really a consequence of the new layout. If you see more cells on average, then the chance to find an exit is higher, even if they don't spawn more often. See it this way: in the old abyss, exits were as frequent as they are now, but you often missed them and didn't know that one was very close just because the terrain was blocking your LOS to it.
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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 17:18

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

galehar wrote:
Grimm wrote:I am, but I do seem to see more exits sooner. If there's no code reason for it, it must be a freak of the RNG.

Maybe a bit of both (you're getting better and the new Abyss is easier). I think it's really a consequence of the new layout. If you see more cells on average, then the chance to find an exit is higher, even if they don't spawn more often. See it this way: in the old abyss, exits were as frequent as they are now, but you often missed them and didn't know that one was very close just because the terrain was blocking your LOS to it.

Probably also may have been blocked much more often too. I can't tell how many times I had "oh no moments" because I was running from a foo through 1 tile wide diagonal corridors only to get trapped. Now that they shift, this is less likely. Pretty balanced though because you also can't find a quiet corner to hide in to up the chance of rune generation.

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 17:23

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

I think the Abyss is one of the best branches Crawl has to offer, especially until the midgame (after that, it becomes a little lackluster in threat). First of all, you have to change at once from slow, methodic exploration to something else; second, it is a good reason to use (and carry!) consumables; third, there is the Lugonu choice. The only potentially unfair bit are early monsters with distortion weapons (and the fact that MR is not really explained anywhere in the game) -- however, a distortion weapon can be just the tool you need to get you to the next stage of the game.

I have no idea why the OP dismisses Lugonu single-handedly; having this choice is surely better than not having it!? I died in the Abyss after skipping on Lugonu, and I have won games after making the switch. Works as intended, I think.

Slime Squisher

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Post Wednesday, 29th February 2012, 17:30

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

I love the Abyss, but the deck is definitely stacked against those players without any forms of boosted mobility. It's pretty frustrating to have your path blocked over and over, or even get stuck in walls for many turns, or see a gate surrounded by lava and get pulled to another part of the abyss before a path opens up.

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Post Thursday, 1st March 2012, 01:39

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Abyss would be much better with fewer liquids. Otherwise I don't think there's too much of a problem with it other than it being pretty hard to actually get abyssed when it's interesting.

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Post Thursday, 1st March 2012, 02:09

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

dpeg wrote:I think the Abyss is one of the best branches Crawl has to offer, especially until the midgame (after that, it becomes a little lackluster in threat). First of all, you have to change at once from slow, methodic exploration to something else; second, it is a good reason to use (and carry!) consumables; third, there is the Lugonu choice. The only potentially unfair bit are early monsters with distortion weapons (and the fact that MR is not really explained anywhere in the game) -- however, a distortion weapon can be just the tool you need to get you to the next stage of the game.

I have no idea why the OP dismisses Lugonu single-handedly; having this choice is surely better than not having it!? I died in the Abyss after skipping on Lugonu, and I have won games after making the switch. Works as intended, I think.

1. You change from slow methodic to- Run. Just run. Don't fight, don't explore, don't do anything. Just wander and run. Consume items as needed. I went through 12 TP scrolls(probably close to 8 or 9 with consumables being burned) before my last abyss death. There's nothing fun about that. It's just tedious.
2. I agree it's good that it makes you carry consumables. I dislike that it feels like an equation. Abyss survival- If Lvl+Helpful consumables+mobility spells < RNG Door then Die. You just run around until you run out and HOPE you get a way out.
3. I don't dismiss lugonu(or at least don't intend to). Lugonu is a viable option, but in my experience if you can't survive abyss there's a very likely possibility that you can't live through god wrath you gain from switching to lugonu. You've purposely made god wrath a major issue to prevent early switching, but winding up with zerked trolls spawning next to you doesn't really appeal.

I'm fully willing to admit that my deaths are slanted due to my lack of skill, but one thing i've liked about crawl is that it's always had a good balance of punishing you for bad play without feeling like a wall. Nothing rubs the RNG in my face more than being banished. I don't even get to kill things because i'm literally stuck running until I finally succumb or find a gate.

Hell disregard all my ideas if you want. I'm not feeling super confident about either, but the idea of a clock on the abyss or some way to achieve that would be nice. I don't understand why being lost for 300+ turns is still ok. Especially when that's long past the point of being a threat and now just a death sentence.

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Post Thursday, 1st March 2012, 03:44

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

I think a better solution here would be to fix god wraths so that they scale better - Trog's is disproportionately absurd if you don't wait it out somewhere safe, for example (and the ability to do that is a related problem). Then converting to Lugonu would be a more attractive option to save weaker characters. There's been discussion on that in the past, it's not yet had much work done on it though and probably isn't exactly a minor task.

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Post Thursday, 1st March 2012, 08:03

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Eji: How can you claim to know what's best play in the Abyss? That is ridiculous. I am confident that pitting you (or me) against one of the best players leads to a significant difference in Abyss survival rates. Before I get accused of language: "Don't fight, don't explore, don't do anything." No comments needed, right?

Wraths should be overhauled, no question about that. It's been on several "agendas" since about 0.7 or so. I actually made a plan but it was too complicated or just not good enough; in any case, it didn't get developer attention. I am very sad about this because no wrath overhaul means no new Lugonu, so no corrupting of altars :(

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Post Thursday, 1st March 2012, 08:40

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Btw, it's not just Lugonu, according to game wiki, Ash helps you to "detect portal, including Abyss" and Chei "Dramatically reduces the monster spawn rate and map morphing rate in the Abyss". Sure, you cannot convert once in Abyss, and they are both very specific gods - just to point out, that Lugonu is not the only diety to help you in getting out of Abyss.
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Post Thursday, 1st March 2012, 14:35

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

You can convert to deities other than Lugonu if you happen across an altar while exploring the Abyss. I found an entire temple once with 12 altars in 3 neat rows.

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Post Thursday, 1st March 2012, 15:50

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

There is a difference between shafted (especially if several times in a row) and banished.
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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 21:26

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

That's from the Crawl philosophy.
1459 In a similar vein, early trips to the Abyss are not deficits: there's
1460 more than one way out, and successfully escaping is exciting for anyone.


It's true that more than two third of my banished characters (before XL 15) die.And it's true that fast and flying characters have better odds.
But only less than 10, of all my games end in the abyss.
Actually an hobgoblin with a dagger of distortion is far less deadly that a centaur with flaming bow or the same hobgoblin with electricity whip.

Things that could make the abyss funnier:
randomly switch the speed by [base speed + (actual speed - 10)] for (2D3*100) turns, so that slow become fast. (flavour wise, time and space distortion)
if monster in view > XP level, 1/10 chance of everyone transmuted to butterflies.
shafts, that only bring in another region of the abyss, but could be a cool life-saver (or sucker if the exit is in sight and you fall).
Different light per region, dim light: sometime the light flicker and die, bringing the LOS to 7 (like the demonspawn shadow mutation) or intense light, everything has a glow and is easier to see (like the common TSO vault).
Lugonu penance protection, each time your god punish you, Lugonu have 90% chance of blocking the effect, but it cost you two of these three things : 25 to 50% HP, 25 to 50% MP, 5 to 10 piety.
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Post Friday, 2nd March 2012, 22:09

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

minmay wrote:This would actually be accomplished just as well if banishment sent you to D:27 instead, and you wouldn't have the attached tedium when you get banished as a character that can trivially deal with it (which is the case with most characters that get banished).


I've had characters survive the Abyss who wouldn't have had a shadow of a prayer trying to flee from D:27 back up to, say, D:13. The risk of being cornered by any of a large variety of monsters is just too high, and having enough Magic Mapping to find stairs and avoid dead ends is... unlikely.
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Post Saturday, 3rd March 2012, 06:35

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

dpeg wrote:Eji: How can you claim to know what's best play in the Abyss? That is ridiculous. I am confident that pitting you (or me) against one of the best players leads to a significant difference in Abyss survival rates. Before I get accused of language: "Don't fight, don't explore, don't do anything." No comments needed, right?

Wraths should be overhauled, no question about that. It's been on several "agendas" since about 0.7 or so. I actually made a plan but it was too complicated or just not good enough; in any case, it didn't get developer attention. I am very sad about this because no wrath overhaul means no new Lugonu, so no corrupting of altars :(

For best play claims, is it really that ridiculous? I mean what are your options? Stand and fight or run? It's not like you can go up or down stairs or find another branch. I guess you can rune hunt, but that's just walking around until you find it. There's no direction in the abyss which is both it's strength and its weakness. I prefer shafting because there's a GOAL. "FIND THE STAIRS" and kill anything stopping you. Theres choices. Do i take the stairs leading down to avoid a hostile monster or hope it doesn't get enough hits to kill me before i find some up staris? The abyss doesn't have any goal other than wander till X. Hell if there was an arrow above your characters head that pointed you in the direction of the nearest gate i'd still enjoy it more because it wouldn't feel like RNG gambling. I have no doubt better players can handle the abyss better, but last i checked crawl wasn't just designed for them and that's why i played it. I don't hate that the abyss is hard. I hate that it's hard and BORING. My biggest complaint is the absurd amount of turns i've spent down there. No doubt i've had awesome and miraculous escapes, but most of my time in the abyss is spent walking in random directions, and then quaffing potions and reading scrolls when things get ugly. I always carry a lantern of shadows just in case i get banished, and that's even less fun. It's super useful at surviving the abyss because of shade blocking and LoS reduction, but you spend even more pointless time there wandering around accomplishing nothing. If you kept the abyss EXACTLY as it is now, and then had a guaranteed return at 500 or even 1000 turns spent there it'd already improve it tremendously in my mind. Even if you spent a week coming up with random ways to prevent a player from just camping in one spot.

I agree with the rest about wrath overhaul maybe being the better goal here, but honestly i find the abyss to be my least favorite part of crawl.

As for the post about fire bow centaur and lightning whip hobgoblin-
It depends. My last character with abyss death was a troll, and in that case the distort dagger is certainly the worst offender. A lightning whip won't one shot me past a certain level(6+ish?) and zerk after that probably one shots the guy before he goes again. Likewise with the centaur and good usage of halls. In short if I don't get one shot I probably have options.

I roll poorly on the RNG and my first hit on a distortion weapon is abyss, and that's likely death. It's that it can one shot that bugs me. Regardless of health(and saying it's no worse because other weapons can surprise one shot isn't really a great argument either.)

Actually why can't that be eliminated? In all 3 cases? Lightning whips ID on sight(since they ID when you pick them up anyways) rather than when you take them to the face? How much would that really change? If distort daggers did the same(or ID'd when you first got hit but COULDN'T first hit banish) it'd reduce a lot of the RNG moments.

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Post Sunday, 4th March 2012, 05:13

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

The option to convert to Lugonu is really fun. I'd support a high (50%+ ?) chance of there being a Lugonu altar within LOS when banished. This would make abyss easier, in a sense, more interesting, and make Lugonu more accessible for low-level (low-MR?) players.

While on the topic of the abyss, I think rune vaults should have portals in them. It would make an interesting and painful escape without the rune (so close!). It would also prevent players anti-climatically wandering the abyss when they already have the rune that they came for.

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Post Sunday, 4th March 2012, 18:59

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Just want to say one of my last trips to the Abyss was a poor RNG roll on Elf:5.
http://crawl.develz.org/morgues/0.10/Fe ... 090913.txt

I was doing well, speed bonus due to Felid, three lives and a few consumables to burn... few thousand turns later and never found an exit. I even had a little following going in spectator on that trip... lots of close calls only a cat or spriggan would have survived. As of that trip, as far as I'm concerned, if I hit Abyss I CTRL-Q. Why waste time running around like a rabid honeybadger when I never find an exit? I've been to the Abyss half a dozen times, and the only things I've found are empty arches. I've never found an arch that's escapable through, no portals, no exits, nor the legendary 'Abyssal Stair'.

Would I take god wrath to get out? Sure, if I happen into an alter, I'll take it. I'm already facing certain death.
Would I burn ALL of my piety? Again, its better than certain death. The RNG -will- kill me at some point.

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Post Sunday, 4th March 2012, 23:27

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Going into Elf 5 with a XL15 felid is suicide. Full stop. Your 52hp isn't going to absorb a single direct hit by any of the top-end elves, and EV29 isn't going to keep you safe forever. Your extra lives might keep you playing, but only if you took the hint at that point and left before you blew through them all.

If you believe the Abyss is a problem, you should probably find a case more persuasive than 'dead character WAY deeper than that character has any business being', because a dead XL15 character on Elf 5 is clearly functioning as intended.

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Post Monday, 5th March 2012, 05:49

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Going into Elf:5 without enough MR to not get banished is similarly dumb. "Very resistant" is not nearly enough in Elf.

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Post Monday, 5th March 2012, 06:16

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

KoboldLord wrote:If you believe the Abyss is a problem, you should probably find a case more persuasive than 'dead character WAY deeper than that character has any business being', because a dead XL15 character on Elf 5 is clearly functioning as intended.

Even the part where it wasted a 2 thousand turns to get there? Doesn't matter if him being dead on sight of the first elf is the issue, he should've found that out a hell of a lot faster than 2000 abyss "maybe i'll make it" turns.

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Post Monday, 5th March 2012, 12:44

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Eji1700 wrote:Even the part where it wasted a 2 thousand turns to get there? Doesn't matter if him being dead on sight of the first elf is the issue, he should've found that out a hell of a lot faster than 2000 abyss "maybe i'll make it" turns.


If we're going to do the math like that, let's not forget he died on turn 64431 of the game. So actually he wasted 62431 turns prior to getting abyssed; maybe the game should've just killed him outright on turn 1, so he wouldn't waste any time finding out he was going to die? ... Basically, I don't understand your argument. Player gets to enjoy 2000 more turns of the game after they rightfully should have been dead, and you're saying that's unfair?
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Post Monday, 5th March 2012, 13:20

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

mumra wrote:
Eji1700 wrote:Even the part where it wasted a 2 thousand turns to get there? Doesn't matter if him being dead on sight of the first elf is the issue, he should've found that out a hell of a lot faster than 2000 abyss "maybe i'll make it" turns.


If we're going to do the math like that, let's not forget he died on turn 64431 of the game. So actually he wasted 62431 turns prior to getting abyssed; maybe the game should've just killed him outright on turn 1, so he wouldn't waste any time finding out he was going to die? ... Basically, I don't understand your argument. Player gets to enjoy 2000 more turns of the game after they rightfully should have been dead, and you're saying that's unfair?

I think the problem with the abyss is that the ~2000 extra turns you get to play the game aren't very enjoyable. In my experience the abyss tends to be fairly tedious if I'm high level and going for the rune, or almost certain death if I'm low level. The problem is that at low level I know I have a ~98% chance that I will die eventually so I just have to press ctrl-Q or run on through in the off chance I will find the exit. It's boring knowing that you will die but the game doesn't admit it.
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Post Monday, 5th March 2012, 13:23

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

On the other hand the enormous thrill you get when your low-level character sees an early exit is a fun part of the Abyss.

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Post Monday, 5th March 2012, 13:26

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Jabberwocky wrote:I think the problem with the abyss is that the ~2000 extra turns you get to play the game aren't very enjoyable. In my experience the abyss tends to be fairly tedious if I'm high level and going for the rune, or almost certain death if I'm low level. The problem is that at low level I know I have a ~98% chance that I will die eventually so I just have to press ctrl-Q or run on through in the off chance I will find the exit. It's boring knowing that you will die but the game doesn't admit it.


I'm sure there's a proposal somewhere to scale abyss difficulty based on where you got banished from. This seems like a sensible option to solve all these problems and make banishment a relevant (but not insurmountable) challenge at most stages of the game. Of course that character should still have died from an Elf:5 banishment, but perhaps quicker :)

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Post Tuesday, 6th March 2012, 13:04

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Eji1700 wrote:Suggestion 1-
Banish is an effect. If it casts successfully on you gain a banish buff. You've got X turns to KILL the caster who cast banish on you. If you don't, Yay abyss trip. If you do the buff goes away and you don't have to run around RNG land. This will help with lower level characters getting totally screwed because they walked around the corner and failed at Dice rolling. Late game when the abyss shouldn't be a certain death sentence you can still have a stronger banish spell that just sends you.

I really agree with this.

"Elrocha comes into view.
Elrocha casts a spell.
You have been banished."
is something that is way too annoying. No chance to do anything differently, no decision that could have prevented it, no nothing.
I once asked for Banishing monster to not cast it as their first action (so you actually have a chance to start running), but this works too and is motre interesting.

Eji1700 wrote:Suggestion 2-
Your god pulls you out. God only ability, costs all your piety, takes a LONG time(say 50+ turns. Large range on how long to. So 50-150?), and you'll have mini lugno wrath for X turns after escaping.

This, I'm not such a fan of. Spending a couple thousands turn in the Abyss without ever finding a single chance to exit is annoying( and boring, which is really bad). It's not a matter of making a bad decision or being bad at the game, it's just the RNG saying "fuck you, have more pain, if you want to have fun kill yourself and start over". I don't think there is any reason to actually want that sort of thing happening.
I think that something that would help against that sort of thing without significantly changing the overall balance would be to have the chance for a way out (either portal or altar) increases as time passes, a bit like for the rune (except it'd go back to normal as soon as you see one, if you intend to stay in there's no reason to make exits appear all over the place).
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Post Tuesday, 6th March 2012, 13:18

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Looking at her possible spell lists, she only have one chance in 5 to even have the spell. So the chance that she actually wakes up, have this spell, choose to immediately cast it and overcome your MR is quite small. And banishing might not even be the worst she can do. A crystal spear in the face can one shot many chars on D:8.
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Post Tuesday, 6th March 2012, 13:45

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

galehar wrote:Looking at her possible spell lists, she only have one chance in 5 to even have the spell. So the chance that she actually wakes up, have this spell, choose to immediately cast it and overcome your MR is quite small. And banishing might not even be the worst she can do. A crystal spear in the face can one shot many chars on D:8.


The fact that something happen rarely doesn't mean it should happen. If it's bad (and I don't think it is) it should never happen.

Like if we find a bug that crash the game when a monster cast a successful banish on the player the first turn in LOS before D10, well nobody would say "don't hunt this bug, it happen so rarely".
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Post Tuesday, 6th March 2012, 14:43

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

varsovie wrote:
galehar wrote:Looking at her possible spell lists, she only have one chance in 5 to even have the spell. So the chance that she actually wakes up, have this spell, choose to immediately cast it and overcome your MR is quite small. And banishing might not even be the worst she can do. A crystal spear in the face can one shot many chars on D:8.


The fact that something happen rarely doesn't mean it should happen. If it's bad (and I don't think it is) it should never happen.

Like if we find a bug that crash the game when a monster cast a successful banish on the player the first turn in LOS before D10, well nobody would say "don't hunt this bug, it happen so rarely".

From the Game Philosophy section of the manual:
The notions of balance, or being imbalanced, are extremely vague. Here is our definition: Crawl is designed to be a challenging game, and is also renowned for its randomness. However, this does not mean that wins are an arbitrary matter of luck: the skill of players will have the largest impact. So, yes, there may be situations where you are doomed - no action could have saved your life. But then, from the midgame on, most deaths are not of this type: By this stage, almost all casualties can be traced back to actual mistakes; if not tactical ones, then of a strategical type, like wrong skilling (too broad or too narrow), unwise use of resources (too conservative or too liberal), or wrong decisions about branch/god/gear.

So a feature that can rarely instantly kill you is fine if it is interesting the rest of the time. And bugs are not features.
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Post Tuesday, 6th March 2012, 15:41

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

minmay wrote:That isn't really varsovie's point - (s)he isn't necessarily saying that an instant kill is bad, but that if something is bad then being rare doesn't suddenly make it good.

If something is bad, then it needs to be removed, not made rare. We all agree on that. What I'm saying is a risk of insta-kill (or insta-banish) is acceptable if it is rare. It's not desirable to have such features, but it's necessary to make crawl hard and unpredictable.
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Post Wednesday, 7th March 2012, 01:04

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

galehar wrote:
minmay wrote:That isn't really varsovie's point - (s)he isn't necessarily saying that an instant kill is bad, but that if something is bad then being rare doesn't suddenly make it good.

If something is bad, then it needs to be removed, not made rare. We all agree on that. What I'm saying is a risk of insta-kill (or insta-banish) is acceptable if it is rare. It's not desirable to have such features, but it's necessary to make crawl hard and unpredictable.

Insta kill ends your game and lets you start over. You got RNG screwed, whatever, it sucks.

Insta banish is now replaying the RNG game over and over and over again. Possibly for several hundred or even a thousand turns. It's a waste of time.

And as has been mentioned by the time you're ready for the abyss, it's boring as well and a massive time waster. I like the idea of having to run around in the abyss. I like the idea of being sent there somewhat surprisingly. i don't like the idea of something that not only RNG screws you, but then wastes 5 min to an hour of your time.

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Post Wednesday, 7th March 2012, 01:09

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

galehar wrote:If something is bad, then it needs to be removed, not made rare. We all agree on that. What I'm saying is a risk of insta-kill (or insta-banish) is acceptable if it is rare. It's not desirable to have such features, but it's necessary to make crawl hard and unpredictable.


I'm going to have to take exception at your conclusion here, galehar.

Unavoidable instakills are undesirable. They are not systematically removed because dealing with the problem in a feasible manner would have undesirable effects on the rest of the system, including the degradation of the element of unpredictability and the loss of replayability. If an undesirable feature can be excised without causing problems for the rest of the system, then it should be excised.

The reason Erolcha's 1 in 5 chance to have access to Banishment is acceptable is because it poses a reasonable challenge. Low-level banishment is generally survivable in the current build, at least with good play. While it is upsetting to fail to survive it, and Abyssal difficulty could be improved along the lines of proposals that already exist, there's a logical fallacy in the hasty generalization of 'I have died every time I was banished in the early game' into 'Banishment in the early game is guaranteed death, so I might as well Ctrl+Q immediately rather than play it out.'

Early and mid-game banishment at the hands of enemy spellcasters is a whole lot more fun than late-game banishment by means of Abyss portals.
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Post Wednesday, 7th March 2012, 09:12

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

KoboldLord wrote:I'm going to have to take exception at your conclusion here, galehar.

Well, seems like you said the same thing worded differently. So looks more like a misunderstanding than a disagreement.

Eji1700 wrote:You got RNG screwed, whatever, it sucks.

Insta banish is now replaying the RNG game over and over and over again.

The RNG screws you is the worst argument ever. This is a roguelike, everything is random.
You accuse the abyss of being both boring and deadly, so I guess the problem comes from the oversimplification of the strategy as dpeg has pointed out. Maybe you should try watching other games, or play online and ask people to watch you and give you advices. Many players have made tremendous progress this way.

And we have made the abyss easier. The new layout is considered to be much easier to escape than the old one.

To summarize, I think early game banishment is rare and sometimes survivable. Mid-game is balanced and exciting. Late game is easy and boring. This is of course a gross generalization as it depends a lot on playstyle and player skill. Please don't nitpick on that.
My point is we should focus on the later. I've given the abyss a variable speed, which is for now only used for terrain morphing. I suggested that we also use the speed to influence monster generation (frequency and/or difficulty). I'm not an expert on balance, but if someone can come up with charts or something, maybe I can implement it.
I don't like much having the abyss difficulty initialised with banishment depth. You'de go unwield distorsion on D:1 to go for the rune instead of taking a portal.
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Post Wednesday, 7th March 2012, 09:29

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

galehar wrote:I don't like much having the abyss difficulty initialised with banishment depth. You'de go unwield distorsion on D:1 to go for the rune instead of taking a portal.

Maybe having it initialise with XL would work.
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Post Wednesday, 7th March 2012, 10:08

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Grimm wrote:
galehar wrote:I don't like much having the abyss difficulty initialised with banishment depth. You'de go unwield distorsion on D:1 to go for the rune instead of taking a portal.

Maybe having it initialise with XL would work.

Why would the abyss adapt to your level? This is even worse. And abusable too because of draining.
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Post Wednesday, 7th March 2012, 10:10

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

I think galehar is spot on: early banishments are rare and acceptable, midgame banishments are usually survivable and generally interesting, late game banishments (including rune hunt) are boring.

The underlying problem is that Abyss difficulty does not scale. I agree that depth (when banished) is not a good measure. XL is better but still crude -- don't want to give any incentive to slow down leveling. Here are some measures that might be more interesting:

* Number of Lugonu altars seen (mostly in the Abyss, of course). Flavour rationale: you had that many chances to go with the Abyss god. Gameplay rationale: It is a rough measure of how long you've been cruising the Abyss. Early game, you'll be more likely to jump to the first Lugonu altar; late game, you'll definitely not do that, leading to a harder Abyss. This will work much better once wrath effects take maximal piety into account (so that early departures from a god are not nearly as bad as now -- another lack of scaling in the game).

* Toughest monsters encountered (not killed!). Best to take some average, so not to penalise someone who met an orc warlord on D:3 (I heard about that, although I cannot believe it). Rationale: these seem to be threats the game is fine with throwing at you, so it's a good yardstick for what the Abyss can do. That does not mean that the Abyss should only generate the toughest of monsters -- it is a gauge of threat.

* Higher difficulty with an abyssical rune, even higher with the orb.
Cannot increase difficulty for other runes as of yet, so as not to punish early rune collecting any further. It would work (for a single rune), when/if the rune lock materialises, though.

* I like the idea that you meet lowly opposition when entering the Abyss, no matter how powerful you are. Also that the Abyss is initially empty. I always imagine that the Abyss denizens are busy (probably planning to corrupt the world); then someone, perhaps an imp, maybe an ynoxinul notes you, others follow... as you keep going, more and more powerful residents are aware of your presence and decide to keep their Abyss clean. Note how it makes sense that more powerful intruders get more attention.
Gameplay-wise, the question is how fast monster generation difficulty should ramp up. (More precisely, how fast the upper bound should go up. Masses of 4 and 5 demons are always welcome.) Here is where I would use the above measures. We clearly want an early banished character to run around with only 5, 4, 3's on his heels for much longer than a XL 27 character.
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Post Wednesday, 7th March 2012, 10:37

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

dpeg wrote:* Number of Lugonu altars seen (mostly in the Abyss, of course). Flavour rationale: you had that many chances to go with the Abyss god. Gameplay rationale: It is a rough measure of how long you've been cruising the Abyss. Early game, you'll be more likely to jump to the first Lugonu altar; late game, you'll definitely not do that, leading to a harder Abyss. This will work much better once wrath effects take maximal piety into account (so that early departures from a god are not nearly as bad as now -- another lack of scaling in the game).

I like that. it's thematic: you've turned in down and can be balanced with better wrath.
There's also time spent down as a scaling factor. For early game banishment, it might help to shorten one's suffering, as it seems to be a concern for some ;)
FYI, the abyss speed growth with time and is divided by 2 at each new banishment. We can use it as a difficulty scale, and seen Lugonu altars increase it if ignored.
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Post Wednesday, 7th March 2012, 11:54

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

IMO the max speed is a bit too fast. It gets incredibly annoying after some time. I love the burst changes, though. Also I don't think speed and difficulty should be tied together. Both slow and fast speed are tactically somewhat interesting and rather different, and if there is one thing the abyss needs it's variety. Making slow speed abyss always spawn weak monsters would diminish variety.
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Post Wednesday, 7th March 2012, 13:04

Re: Two more abyss/banishment proposals

Galefury wrote:IMO the max speed is a bit too fast. It gets incredibly annoying after some time. I love the burst changes, though. Also I don't think speed and difficulty should be tied together. Both slow and fast speed are tactically somewhat interesting and rather different, and if there is one thing the abyss needs it's variety. Making slow speed abyss always spawn weak monsters would diminish variety.

Thanks for the speed feedback, I'll look into it. Note that I'm talking about scaling difficulty with global speed, not bursts. Someone added a "phase" variable to make the bursts (which is nice), but this wouldn't affect difficulty.
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