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user:regret-index [2017-10-03 11:09] (current)
Claws haunt
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 +I still think Crawl keeps a toxic community and is boiling itself away in a consensus-less desire to cut down a game some people have played far too much of. I'm not coming back for more work.
 +I still had old plans and thoughts, though, and since my last absence basically no changes have bothered at all towards the opposition content of the blasted game. I'm exactly anxious and wound up enough to write up a thought dump of this place I scarred myself on, so.
 +==== Branches ====
 +=== Lair ===
 +Lair has been incessantly cut in length with minimal addressing of how it lacks for variety and depth scaling in a branch meant to provide desperately necessary experience. It should follow the same path Depths took, leaning on a large roster of vaults by reliably placing on every floor- guaranteed minivaults on floors 1/3/5 and large vaults (given more depth scaling?) on 2 and 4. Spawn-wise, the filler spawns porcupines and bullfrogs should also diminish slowly over time (through a negative-starting-value SEMI), weight should be lightly redistributed between common melee-only filler and the rarer spawns, and the MONS_NO_MONSTER jump should hit the second-last rather than last level.
 +Also, there's a fundamental redundancy between death yaks and elephants, not that it's easy to remove either. Hippogriffs should use the hellwing swoop feature, as they're some of the plainest spawns and it lets an early monster with no other features introduce blink close (compare to how imps and phantoms establish blink for later casters without being as large a threat as early orc wizards).
 +=== Orc ===
 +Orc lost the floors gimmick with its cut floors and it'd be a hard sell to re-add them. Honestly, I'd rather just cut it down to one floor entirely (letting it be unique in being the only branch besides Temple to do such) and use the branch-specific vaults for a guaranteed serial vault on the floor the entrance spawns in (because post-Lair D lacks for much reliable highlights, and it also lets normal D spawns suppliment the not-enough-for-a-whole-branch orc classes).
 +=== Lair Branches ===
 +These are mostly fine, though the spawn scaling could be a little harsher and the absence of vault review with my departure has let dust accumulate on many vaults. It'd be cleaner to have another enemy each for Spider / Snake, and the uniquely un/distinguished layouts could do with guaranteed decor vaults much like Swamp had, but this isn't as pressing as issues in other branches.
 +=== Vaults ===
 +Again, this is mostly fine, though it'd be purer to trim down some of the earlier weaker spawns (harpies, plain wraiths, wolf spiders, hornets) inherited from the old D spawns range.
 +=== Elven Halls ===
 +I still think the deep elves classes could be a little purer than before their compression, and some of this was work I was already prepared to do before I left.
 +  * Mages should focus on a trio of mixed conjuration sets to simplify their sprawling inconsistent current sets (icicle / venom bolt, bolt of magma / lightning bolt, stone arrow / draining bolt; battlesphere, blink), reduce the prominence of summoners being the by-far-most-common floor spawns, and provide a spare magic role for another of the base deep elves.
 +  * Knights should subsume the old deep elf priest and summoner roles and pick the branch-unique summoning spell back up as deep elf inquisitors, rather than being conjurers + melee versus deep elf mage conjurer + summoners. Haste, Smite, Malign Offering, Summon Vermin and their current not-not-existent melee.
 +  * Deep elf elementalists have some rather awkward quantities, as outside of anti-luring tactics they can't spawn earth elementals and by approaching in melee as monsters do by default they lose their undodgeable tricks. An elemental ward support spell to allies or a resistances-stripping hex (mostly for other mages) would help provide a secondary role beyond hoping their spell combo ever rolls out correctly (and help balance out how the deep elf high mages are half support versus half offense).
 +  * Elementals as trash spawns lack much interest due to how weak and melee-focused most of them are, but whatever.
 +People also used to be unhappy with how much luring the end vault necessitates, but considering how dense and threatening the vaults are this is an inevitable byproduct of their design- it'd take significant nerfs to make more prohibited back-and-forth efforts (like a portal split-off, or more one-way stairs like Tomb) any reasonable, and considering how awkwardly Tomb was handled I'd say this isn't worth the risk.
 +=== Crypt ===
 +Originally, I wanted to merge this with Elf as two truncated branches both based on optional rewards. While this didn't follow through (elf + non-elf classes providing a confusing presence, standard crypt spawns being far too harsh to permit early Elf trips), there's still a dire problem of it providing less rewards than Elf while being even later in availability. Barring significant locational changes or a subduction into portal territory, it'd be best to at least guarantee vaults on upper floors in a fashion similar to Elf / Depths. The spawns are all great, their position much less so.
 +=== Slime ===
 +More monster nitpicking, mostly. Branch-wise a second layout would especially help, I think.
 +  * Golden eyes are weird due to how either they horribly swarm people lacking in MR or just do nothing at all. I think the starcursed mass and dream sheep mechanic could work here too, with HD-based confusion roll + irresistible smite-range damage based on groups, and still hold a unique property compared to those two choirs by being much more spatially flighty.
 +  * Eyes of devastation are severely bland for their focus on an irresistable bolt that does nothing else anymore- there are monsters with much higher defenses or specific circumstances and effects (top-tier dragons, water nymphs, ragged hierophants) that work with this better, and even in the branch itself acid blobs are more worrisome range.
 +  * Death oozes are rather lacking compared to the other two top jellies, as rot is ineffectual compared to corrosive shots and high cold damage. Ideally, rot (/ possible statrot) would work like overhauls draining or corrosion in regards to being converted to an experience-based more dramatic effect. Alternatively, a dramatic temporary drop of dexterity or strength akin to flaying would also be a chance to provide a unique effect while those relic mechanics still endure.
 +I've still got a few ideas for more monsters (morphogenic oozes as weaker spawns with short badform transformation melee, nuclei as lost soul style eye support / zyme-style player mr reduction for lesser eyes + organelle presence justification), but the current above might be enough paired with the uniquely effective form of TRJ. Branch once more direly lacks scaling but this hardly matters for the dive anyway.
 +=== Abyss ===
 +Mostly fine, though the entry vaults for Depths are awkwardly split between plain decorations and a brief taste of contents- they ought to be weirder and supportive of depth-scaled chances for spawns like the Pan entry vaults, possibly through more vault-mashing like what was done with old Abyssal rune vaults. mon-pick curation might be cleaner and support more scaling, but this is the one branch that can excuse being filled to the brim with junk.
 +=== Depths ===
 +Comprehensive vault review would help salvage how endlessly exhausting this branch can be, not that many people can be trusted with such.
 +=== Zot ===
 +For a climax emphasizing "weird" contents, the layout is awfully plain- guaranteed decorative vaults and marginal more readied decor would be nice for the odd position this branch keeps. While some higher vault guarantees would most likely be safe at the current roster threshold after some review, most of them being stair vaults would make this most likely a little more obnoxious than necessary. Scorchers and knights are a bit bland, but the rest of the roster has solidified just fine.
 +=== Hells ===
 +As I once asserted before, [[dcss:brainstorm:dungeon:Hell-Pan Roulette]] is direly needed to constrain the excesses and overlaps of extended. A shame that fell through. Most of what's in the old [[https://github.com/crawl/crawl/compare/bosch|Bosch]] branch is almost ready for committing, though I'd probably prefer cutting to five floors (and rescaling spawns to that) rather than four after some arguments.
 +One additional matter that comes to mind is that while the Pan unrand lords have become iconic in their gimmicked excesses, the context of frustratingly unpredictable hell effects and the more generic natures of the Hell lords make them far less satisfying to fight. Dispater and Asmodeus in particular have nothing unique beyond their sheer bulk ontop of bogstandard conjurations + summoning spells for extended, and could do with a nerf in exchange for some distinct effect (in particular there's still some free dramatic debilitation: Dimensional Anchor, Cause Fear, AF_CONFUSE, trample, AF_CORRODE). They are of course in the most lethal hells, but a buff to the other two hells (vault revisions integrating mazes and open space and optional buildings together really would bring Tar together) would be good anyway.
 +I never did finish up [[dcss:brainstorm:dungeon:branch:propose:Purgatory]] map designs, unfortunately, and it was always a dicey position in the roulette. Non-roulette branch improvement matters (especially for Pan) could be decoupled for testing purposes before committing to the full effort. I also never figured out any names better than that or [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gevurah|Gevurah]], either.
 +=== Pan ===
 +Changes are again outlined in the Roulette proposal, most of which was implemented (yet not made public) by the absent Brannock. The only lasting issue here was how to implement the guaranteed demonic rune vault floors, the solution to which (make the guaranteed vaults into subvaults of the pan_divisions layout to cleanly always place them both, forgoing the serial vault attempt) came to mind long after he left and I left.
 +== Tomb ===
 +I don't have any particular solutions for this beyond reducing the tedium of extended entirely in an external fashion, but gods, mummy priests and greater mummies just don't work as the main content for a branch due to how overwhelming their suite of effects serves as. Playing them down slightly, reducing the enemy spam a bit, and leaning more on the current slipped-in guests will help a fair bit with the tedium and excess danger of the most difficult branch. A unique set of effects for death curses which removes the worst of their contents (summon spam, rot) would also... marginally help, for how death curse bombs necessitate more resting with gambles for extra torment more than anything else?
 +==== Portals ====
 +  * Ossuaries really don't have enough to support a whole portal on them, between early D trash zombies and mummies and trap spam all being weak. I think there's a need to lean on necromantic demons shadow imps and hellwings- as they spawn from necromancy miscasts and later mummies summon them, it's hardly out of place. Making scorpions, simulacra, spectrals, wraiths, and flying skulls all less "one layout only" would also help.
 +  * Obviously, completing [[https://github.com/crawl/crawl/compare/gauntlet|Gauntlet]] (needs an update for teleporters, I suppose) and [[https://github.com/crawl/crawl/compare/oubliette|Oubliette]] (needs more vaults) would be great in providing portals that don't pressure
 +  * Desolation is never going to be branch-ified, which makes the spawns designated for it rather awkward in their highly controlled presence. I think super-rare uses of the unique monsters on their lonesome to provide more justified presence for the portal and its contents beyond abandoned future plans would be pernient? Warlocks fit Crypt, Myrmidons and Peacekeepers fit Vaults, and saltlings themselves would hardly look out of place in Abyss? Not, like, a full on dispersal project or anything, as the branch is a discrete concept in and of itself, but a little less split while the branch continues to not exist. (Compare: deep elves in V / Depths OODs, cryptspawn in Hells / Tomb)
 +  * Labyrinths need a generator change to be smaller and support building around arbitrary vault placements, but that war is not one I'm interested in bring back up again.
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user/regret-index.txt · Last modified: 2017-10-03 11:09 by Claws
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