Abyss is death sentence for lowbies


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Temple Termagant

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 10:34

Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Hi,

I would like to discuss the being cast to the abyss with lower level chars.

I lost countless characters from being cast to the abyss. It sucks!
And not in a fun way. We all know it : You level a char, often this is a very hard process and maybe
you find some great gear. All is going well until...BAM you are being cast into the abyss with a totally
unprepared char...sucks.

It is a death sentence for most chars as long as you are not lucky enough to find an exit soon.
(and even if, a blizzard demon may finish you standing right on it).

What am I getting at?

Well, a competition in a good game is a situation or enemy wich you can overcome by using your brain.
And this situation I just described is never a situation that can be handled - its a death sentence. Period!
(very small chances you can get out of that situation depending on mere luck).
You can try some things, like using your 1 or 2 teleportations, quaffing a heal (wich rarely helps here...)
and thats it. You are done for...again.

I would suggest a change for that.

Like being cast into Abyss can only happen from a certain level or changing the mobs lurking the Abyss
to way smaller demon types like imps. That would be at least doable for a low level char.
Also, there should be more exits on the first floor of the Abyss.
The way it is designed right now is plain unfair and no competition in any way.

Seriously, the devs claim be build a "no-brainer" game. This kind of situation are indeed no-brainers.
Being cast into the Abyss with such unprepared char ends the game in most situations.
You could as well quit the game and start over.

If the char dies because of my own stupidity (wich happens a lot ;-D) I can happily accept that and try
to get better.
If the char dies because of design faults in the game it sucks. Theres nothing you can do about it.

I really like to see this changed.

Thanks and happy discussion and crawling!

Bye,

Chiseanne

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 10:44

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

I'm sure a moderator will move this thread to a more suitable forum. But just a quick tip: the trick is not to get banished as a low level character. This means that don't let anyone hit you with a weapon of distortion (they are always indicated), don't unwield a weapon of distortion if you accidentally wielded one (it's a good brand so just use it) and always escape immediately if a spellcaster with Banish comes around (you can see the spell list with xv) and you have low MR (use whatever means, break LOF with fog/summons etc. and escape).
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CeVMMfWnMiAKTeAMDrIEFoVMVSFiMuVMGhGlVpMoHaWrSpWzOgGlTrMoCeWnMfBeMiSkDrEEGrFiFoGlDgEnFeNe
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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 11:25

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Even if you try you will get banish sooner or later. And thats the point Im talking about. But sure there is always someone who knows better.
And why would you care is a mod is moving the thread? Is that your problem?
Sorry, but just can't stand the know-it-all attitude.

I know the tricks after playing more than 4,5 k games, but thanks.
I was talking about what comes after being banished and how to make it challenging in the end and not totally unfair rendering you completely helpless
and destroying a good going game in a senseless way.

Halls Hopper

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 11:35

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Chiseanne wrote:Sorry, but just can't stand the know-it-all attitude.

Forum index page wrote:Suggestions & Criticism
Here's where you can make suggestions for new forums & categories, voice your opinion about the forum, etc.


Please...

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 11:40

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Once you learn to respect enemies that can banish you early (Erolcha is probably the main one, Sonja's dagger, Louise might be a bit high level, sometimes Psyche), as well as anything with a distortion dagger, you find it happens to you a lot less. This is made even better by the fact that the best god for avoiding being abyssed is the one everyone recommends for new players (Trog).

And even if you do get banished, its not always a given that its a kill. Things that improve your luck: teleportation (specifically rings of teleportation or items with +tele. If you find any keep them), a lugonu altar (if you're low level, this is actually a positive), bat form (Vp only). I'm sure there's plenty more than I'm describing.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 11:59

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Ok, thanks for the hint. I guess I didnt read the description. Sorry for that and mod please move it to the right thread. Thanks.
Still, why would that the problem of him ?

And thanks also for all that advices how to avoid it.
Still, Im talking about that this can happen at all.

A situation that can not be handled (or almost not) is no competition, it just ends the game. Thats what Im talking about.
The game should only put you into situation where you have a chance but making the right decisions.
Sure firing up a teleport (if you own one...) could help. But it kicks in very late. Being confronted with a blizzard demon at
level 12 or so means death, no matter what.

You can not avoid everything (like a spell being casted at you from afar) thus you end up in Abyss with a weak character
and no way out.

Maybe with more frequent exits and smaller demons this could be fun and challenging in the end.
The way it is working at the moment it is just too hard.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 12:53

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Moved to dungeon crawling advice.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 12:59

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Chiseanne wrote:Seriously, the devs claim be build a "no-brainer" game. This kind of situation are indeed no-brainers.
Being cast into the Abyss with such unprepared char ends the game in most situations.
You could as well quit the game and start over.

A lot of things seem like "no-brainers" if you start with the premise that something avoidable has already happened. For example, I couldn't reasonably claim that I was in a "no-brainer" sudden death situation after I had gotten down to 1 HP and then teleported into the exact center of a rune vault. I mean sure, that character probably won't survive, but that's looking at the very end of a long chain of choices that lead to that situation.

I imagine some people do quit characters that end up the Abyss at a low enough level that survival seems unlikely. I tend to play them out as best I can, because sometimes you can manage to survive against the odds, and that can lead to memorable experiences.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 13:25

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Most of the things that can banish you can also kill you, which is generally even more of a death sentence.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 13:34

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Avoiding banishment from afar:
-Train stealth so you can walk away
-Summon something to get in the way
-Move so that enemies will be in the way
-Use ranged weapons, wands, spells, breath, or invocations to disable or kill the threat
-Magic resistance helps

I've opened a door and been banished on the same turn (by an Ogre Mage) once in 6k games. I think that was the only game where I saw the Abyssal rune, but I might be conflating games.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 13:53

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

  Code:
The possibility of unavoidable deaths is a larger topic in computer games.
Ideally, a game like this would be really challenging and have both random
layout and random course of action, yet still be winnable with perfect play.
This goal seems out of reach. Thus, computer games can be soft in the sense that
optimal play ensures a win. Apart from puzzles, though, this means that the game
is solved from the outset; this is where the lack of a human game-master is
obvious. Alternatively, they can be hard in the sense that unavoidable deaths
can occur. We feel that the latter choice provides much more fun in the long
run.


http://git.develz.org/?p=crawl.git;a=bl ... HEAD#l1250

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 13:56

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Lasty wrote:A lot of things seem like "no-brainers" if you start with the premise that something avoidable has already happened. For example, I couldn't reasonably claim that I was in a "no-brainer" sudden death situation after I had gotten down to 1 HP and then teleported into the exact center of a rune vault. I mean sure, that character probably won't survive, but that's looking at the very end of a long chain of choices that lead to that situation.

I imagine some people do quit characters that end up the Abyss at a low enough level that survival seems unlikely. I tend to play them out as best I can, because sometimes you can manage to survive against the odds, and that can lead to memorable experiences.


Slightly offtopic, but I don't quit characters even at 1 HP. I had two 1HP characters survive where they were attacked by several monsters during 10+ turns. Miracles happen.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 14:00

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

It's funny Sandman, I almost cited the exact same passage to you in the ghost topic!

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 15:02

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

First of all, I suspect you're getting banished avoidably sometimes. This is a fairly small issue for most veterans, as it almost never happens. Low-level banishment is nearly always avoidable. (like 1:1000 games maybe it's not)

Secondly, it's quite possible to survive the abyss at relatively low levels. An early exit, some source of regen, some source of tele, etc. can allow you to make it out.

Still... the fact is the Abyss is a bit too inflexible. There's currently a suggestion in GDD to fix the other end of the spectrum: Abyss is often a lower threat than some banishers in the late game, and it doesn't make a ton of sense for the monsters to do something nice to you. If we ever get banishment more threatening at higher levels, maybe we can use the same mechanic to make it a little bit easier for early-mid game characters.

Regardless, I think we want Abyss to be a near death sentence pre-Lair, and a difficult challenge after Lair and Orc. Banishers are rare early, and banishment serves as the primary threat of certain uniques. Banishment is one of the primary threats of Elf. You need that to remain a big threat for those points to remain challenging. That early, banishment is not supposed to be 100% survivable. You're supposed to avoid it, not survive it.
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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 16:19

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

I think those of us who have been playing for a while, and who follow Tavern/LearnDB/Wiki/etc., have a tendency to forget how spoilery Abyss and Banishment can seem to newer/unspoiled players. It took me a very long time (and basically never could have happened based on in-game experience alone) to learn that MR+++ is more or less a guarantee against Banishment; it is in no way obvious that once you're in Abyss, avoiding fights while running diagonally and teleporting frequently is the fastest way out (because the game does not tell you that chance of an exit depends on number of tiles uncovered); etc.

So all of this advice that "you're supposed to avoid it and here's how you should have done that" may be helpful, technically, but it doesn't really address the core complaint -- which is that until you learn all of this stuff, early Abyss trips feel like an unavoidable, brutally capricious, likely game-ending frustration. Regardless of how each of us feels about a mechanic that is designed to be avoided, there's a conversation to be had about how the game can communicate that stuff at an appropriate moment, so that we don't have to do it after the fact.
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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 16:23

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Banishment has its chance displayed in monster description, it does not require any spoilers now. I am not sure about diagonal movement, it does not help much in my experience since you are as likely to find some extremely dangerous monsters instead of exit, I prefer to use corridors/corners as it allows me to hide easier (or even kill something dangerous and then rest instead of running from other monsters)

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 16:29

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

The percentage success chance on monster spell is a good step in the right direction, though that's only in trunk for now.

And diagonal walking wasn't better than orthogonal walking till trunk either; one of the downside of squarelos is that diagonal motion is much more efficient exploration than orthogonal. Previously they were equally effective, but orthogonal exploration was safer. OTOH, I don't feel like I'm cheating as much by using diagonal motion to stab anymore.

Isn't there some sort of a half-tutorial mode, where the game gives a series of popups as you play? Maybe we should have one that triggers when you meet your first banisher?
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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 16:30

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

The FAQ has a section about Abyss. It specifically tells people to avoid fighting and move as much as possible:
  Code:
 If you are in the Abyss for the first time, chances of getting out are slim. Still, here are a few general hints:

    You need to find a gateway leading out of the Abyss. These are rare!
    Don’t stick around to fight; move as much as possible!
    If you have it, use defensive equipment (weapons of protection, etc.).
    Use teleportation to hopefully end up in a completely new part of the Abyss.
    Teleportation might take much longer to kick in than in the Dungeon.
    Consider switching your allegiance to Lugonu to get out of there.
    Descending deeper in the Abyss will increase the chance of finding an exit out, but also increase the danger you face


If I remember correctly, the first time I was banished, I actually managed to get out. It was probably beginner's luck, since the second time I got there (I unwielded a distortion weapon), I died. And also the few times after that. I found the idea pretty cool. Of course I was thoroughly spoiled.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 18:43

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

I wouldn't quit a low level character banished, because of the nature of random exits. You can sometimes find an exit in 10-20 turns, before you even find a monster. It's rare, you're probably dead, but there's a definite single digit chance of getting out even if you're level 7.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 19:05

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

byrel wrote:diagonal walking wasn't better than orthogonal walking till trunk either; one of the downside of squarelos is that diagonal motion is much more efficient exploration than orthogonal. Previously they were equally effective

That's not true. In circleLOS the difference in number of tiles revealed by diagonal/orthogonal was smaller. But the advice to explore Abyss diagonally predates squareLOS by years.

Sandman25 wrote:Banishment has its chance displayed in monster description

bel wrote:The FAQ has a section about Abyss. It specifically tells people to avoid fighting and move as much as possible:

xv description is a good change, but only a partial solution. FAQ is great if a player happens to read and then actually manages to remember any of it however much later it is that they first get banished, but still amounts to an out-of-game spoiler. Actually, a lot of that information is available in-game, but buried in a help menu that many players might never know about, much less access (you can press ? / B to look up branch descriptions).

byrel wrote:Isn't there some sort of a half-tutorial mode, where the game gives a series of popups as you play? Maybe we should have one that triggers when you meet your first banisher?

byrel's on the right track: Abyss is a special-case area of the game in a lot of ways, and that should be indicated clearly on-screen during gameplay.

  • Banishers could trigger a (toggle-able) warning when they enter LOS, just like distortion weapons do -- "[Foo] comes into view. It has the power to cast you into the chaotic realm of the Abyss."
  • The first time a character enters Abyss, it could trigger a longer message with some of that info from the FAQ -- "The topography of this landscape shifts chaotically, and the rare gateway out could appear at random around every corner. Perhaps you can warp this space to your advantage, thought any such effects will be delayed. It's probably safest to stay on the move."
  • Abyss stairs could be augmented to say "You see a gateway leading deeper into the Abyss. Perhaps the fastest way out is to brave the increasing chaos."
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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 19:13

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

tedric wrote:(you can press ? / B to look up branch descriptions).

I learned something new today.
Banishers could trigger a (toggle-able) warning when they enter LOS, just like distortion weapons do -- "[Foo] comes into view. It has the power to cast you into the chaotic realm of the Abyss."

I wouldn't like the long message. When players see some monster for the first time, they are expected to stop and press xv to read description of the monster (AC/EV/MR/speed/resists/abilities/spells). Banishment is not special here, similarly I wouldn't like to get "This monster can double zap you with Lightning Bolts, avoids being close to walls".
"You see a gateway leading deeper into the Abyss. Perhaps the fastest way out is to brave the increasing chaos."

Is it a good idea to enter Abyss 2 when you have problems with Abyss 1? I thought the stairs should be used in emergency only, running from Executioner, for example.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 19:17

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

All this is fine, but OP is not complaining about spoilers but the unfairness of getting abyssed at low XL, quite a different issue.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 19:47

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

tedric wrote:
  • Banishers could trigger a (toggle-able) warning when they enter LOS, just like distortion weapons do -- "[Foo] comes into view. It has the power to cast you into the chaotic realm of the Abyss."
  • The first time a character enters Abyss, it could trigger a longer message with some of that info from the FAQ -- "The topography of this landscape shifts chaotically, and the rare gateway out could appear at random around every corner. Perhaps you can warp this space to your advantage, thought any such effects will be delayed. It's probably safest to stay on the move."
  • Abyss stairs could be augmented to say "You see a gateway leading deeper into the Abyss. Perhaps the fastest way out is to brave the increasing chaos."


In my experience, if you aren't going for a rune, you absolutely want to stay on Abyss 1. The increase in gateways out as you go deeper exists, AFAIK, so that people going for the rune and anyone who is not particularly challenged by lower levels of the Abyss can get out faster. Going deeper when you are lower-level and just want to escape is more likely to get you killed than get you out, IMO.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 20:33

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

bel wrote:All this is fine, but OP is not complaining about spoilers but the unfairness of getting abyssed at low XL, quite a different issue.

I'm not sure why getting abyssed at low XL is really any more unfair than, say, getting paralyzed by the first orc sorcerer you run into, or getting 1hko'd by the first ogre mage that decides to LCS you. At least when you get abyssed, there's a non-trivial chance that you can make it out before you die.

It also doesn't really seem that problematic that abyss is a "slow" death, given that new players have a variety of ways to kill themselves hundreds or thousands of turns before they die. The only difference is that abyss is honest about it, and I find it hard to see that as a bad thing.

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Post Friday, 26th June 2015, 20:35

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

I think Abyss would be probably bad if it happened often, but if you take care it really doesn't. It can screw you up, but it does so in a crazy and intense way.

Edit: of course, for a lot of experienced players it's just a trivial exercise in moving diagonally and occasionally quaffing haste/reading tele or fog.

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Post Saturday, 27th June 2015, 01:32

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

My problems with abyss are:
- the shifting terrain, random teleports, in-LOS monster spawns, raiju, etc. make each turn take longer than a turn anywhere else, and additionally take the impact of player skill from a 9.999 to about a 4.
- it has maprot, a strict interface screw. What possible justification is there for disabling basic interface features in a branch or portal, in a game where having a good interface is a design goal?
- banishment is almost always trivially avoidable, but it's tedious to be careful around monsters that are otherwise harmless...
- ...and banishment itself also becomes harmless for most characters shortly after (or sometimes even before) the opportunity to be banished appears, yet banishment continues to exist for the whole game, even in places like hells and pan where it cannot possibly be a threat...
- ...but you still want to avoid it because it wastes a bunch of your real-life time making you play a mini-game that involves little to no skill, lasts an indefinite amount of time, and has a deliberately crippled interface, if you want to get back to playing Crawl, the game you were actually trying to play.

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Post Saturday, 27th June 2015, 01:40

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

  Code:
<halberd> !lm . abyss.exit s=xl o=xl !ak
<Sequell> 241 milestones for halberd (abyss.exit !ak): 89x 27, 15x 26, 22x 25, 17x 24, 20x 23, 18x 22, 13x 21, 7x 20, 12x 19, 7x 18, 7x 17, 4x 16, 15, 3x 14, 2x 12, 10, 6, 5, 3

Yes, I escaped from the abyss at xl3, xl5, xl6, xl10, and twice at xl12. Getting abyssed at a low XL is often a death sentence but not necessarily. It largely depends on how many teleports you have.

For comparison here are the games where I died in the abyss:
  Code:
<halberd> !lg . abyss s=xl !ak o=xl
<Sequell> 7 games for halberd (abyss !ak): 27, 20, 19, 16, 14, 10, 8

You can see that even for xl12 and under, I was able to escape more often than not.
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Post Saturday, 27th June 2015, 01:51

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

I think of the slow, grinding deaths suffered by low level chars in the abyss as the game taking a kind of victory lap. Not many games have that sort of depth of personality.

On the other hand, banishment is purely annoying for characters that stand almost no chance of getting killed in the abyss, which is essentially all endgame characters.
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Post Saturday, 27th June 2015, 17:34

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

Mm, the Abyss is often a death sentence, but not always. And really, I prefer banishment to some of the other options out there. While LCS, for example can just leave you sitting there going "I had 100 health, and then it killed me in a single turn," banishment, even for a low-level character, is just a serious challenge. You're likely to die, but you might escape after 3 turns, or you might manage to stay alive and grow in there for a few thousand.

On one of my most recent characters, for example, got banished at level 11:
  Code:
9882  | D:12       | Cast into the Abyss (an ogre mage)
23463 | Abyss:3    | Reached XP level 17. HP: 137/137 MP: 9/29
24430 | Abyss:3    | Got an abyssal rune of Zot
24585 | D:12       | Escaped the Abyss


I'd agree that it needs reworking at high levels - it's just annoying as a level 27 character, not threatening. But at low levels it's meant to be a disastrous threat, and for the most part it is. But since the results are so random, and you may even enter the Abyss within sight of an exit, it's an interesting challenge. Can you survive with a low-level character? In this case I actually got the character's first rune that way.

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Post Saturday, 27th June 2015, 17:47

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

I think Abyss being annoying for high level character is ok. It means I am scared of Abyss all game long even if for different reasons.

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Post Sunday, 28th June 2015, 05:16

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

bel wrote:All this is fine, but OP is not complaining about spoilers but the unfairness of getting abyssed at low XL, quite a different issue.

And my point was that early abyss trips might feel less unfair if the game was a bit more proactive about communicating what can send you there, how you can avoid getting sent there, and how you can most efficiently escape if you do get sent there -- because the entire rest of the game works rather hard to set up player expectations that in many cases do not transfer well, or at all, to the Abyss (as duvessa says, it's basically a nested minigame that's only tangentially related to the rest of Crawl).

and into wrote:
tedric wrote:
  • Abyss stairs could be augmented to say "You see a gateway leading deeper into the Abyss. Perhaps the fastest way out is to brave the increasing chaos."

In my experience, if you aren't going for a rune, you absolutely want to stay on Abyss 1.

Fair enough -- that's certainly how I deal with premature Abyss trips myself, so maybe the mechanic of increased exit chance with depth isn't worth highlighting. I included it primarily because it is yet another way that Abyss functions in a totally different way from the rest of the game, and a player would not be able to discover it through gameplay alone during her first-ever Abyss experience.
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Post Tuesday, 30th June 2015, 16:12

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

if you're too low to handle abyss, then you should be dodging enemies that can banish you

which is easier now that enemy brands auto ID
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dpeg wrote:The only good player is a dead player.
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Shoals Surfer

Posts: 291

Joined: Tuesday, 19th February 2013, 18:55

Post Tuesday, 30th June 2015, 16:42

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

tedric wrote:(because the game does not tell you that chance of an exit depends on number of tiles uncovered)

wut.

I've been playing since 2012 and never knew this...
I love pitsprint and pitsprint culture.
dpeg wrote:The only good player is a dead player.

Slime Squisher

Posts: 411

Joined: Saturday, 9th March 2013, 14:22

Post Tuesday, 30th June 2015, 17:04

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

just give aliches "greater banishment" and have them send you directly to abyss 5 and let's call it a day.

also "the exit chanche depends on number of tiles explored" is simply because every tile has an equal chanche of being an exit so the more tiles you uncover the better your odds, there is no weird magic at work there. really it applies to anything like "you have better odds of finding a crystal plate armour the more tiles you uncover in D" would also be true so what.

Tomb Titivator

Posts: 909

Joined: Thursday, 3rd January 2013, 20:32

Post Tuesday, 30th June 2015, 20:51

Re: Abyss is death sentence for lowbies

adozu wrote:also "the exit chanche depends on number of tiles explored" is simply because every tile has an equal chanche of being an exit so the more tiles you uncover the better your odds, there is no weird magic at work there. really it applies to anything like "you have better odds of finding a crystal plate armour the more tiles you uncover in D" would also be true so what.

so every other floor of every other branch in the game has a fixed chance of placing at least 1 up-stairs at the moment of level-gen, and you are guaranteed to reveal them after having explored a fixed, upper-bounded and not particularly large number of tiles

the news that Abyss does not work this way is surprising to many players (see above) because it has real effects on survival, which would have prompted them to alter their gameplay if they'd know about it
Wins (Does not include my GrEE^Veh 15-runer...stupid experimental branch)

For this message the author tedric has received thanks:
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