ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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 Post subject: delete the east
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:03 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:19 am
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Location: Yeehaw, pardner
...until it can be made fun. Until then, Vor:A becomes a different sort of zone and is directly after Reknor (I.E. if keeps the layout but has a different name/lore or w/e). Once Vor:A is finished, you step into a farportal, teleport to High Peak and are boosted to level 42. This will cut out like... 4 hours of prides which overall is a blessing.

this post is only half serious, but really something needs to be done about the east. I've suggested before just cutting all the prides down to one floor with a guaranteed vault on each one. I don't enjoy slogging through those boring popcorn orc fests.

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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:13 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 3:45 pm
Posts: 817
I'd probably say make the prides 2 floors each. Floor 1 would be something heavily themed and unique per pride - like how grushnak has the 'guardrooms', expand on that sorta thing. Floor 2 can be a smaller 'boss arena' sorta thing, and make the bosses a bit more exciting.

The other idea someone had is to make the Sunwall a bit more active, and have them destroy a pride after you do something, like clearing 3 prides. So you can pick 1 pride that you don't want to bother with.

Bring back some sort of way to remove/restrict orc patrols too.


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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:02 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:19 am
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Location: Yeehaw, pardner
Quote:
Bring back some sort of way to remove/restrict orc patrols too.

B R E E D I N G P I T S

anyways, I'm fine with 2 floors as well, provided: it's more than just a circular arena and also that there's no orc adds, it's just the boss.

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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:53 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:55 pm
Posts: 9
Bring back Breeding Pits. It's shame that such a clever and unique idea was removed because the vocal minority of players don't like it.


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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:11 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 3:45 pm
Posts: 817
Simplest thing is just having orc patrols drop in frequency after you destroy prides. Maybe remove them entirely after you destroy 2-3.


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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:05 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:41 pm
Posts: 296
You could make it so that when you destroy a pride, the corresponding classes aren't available anymore in the patrols (and reduce the number of orcs present to match) and once all 4 are destroyed, no more patrols at all anymore.


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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:27 pm 
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Yeek

Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:38 pm
Posts: 10
There are two obvious problems with the east.

1. The prides are too long.

2. The prides are too easy.

Most people are focusing on the first problem, which is a trap. The prides will be lame no matter how many levels they are or how big the levels are as long as they have the same second-rate Orcs as the main enemies. Meanwhile, no one complains about Dreadfall being 9 levels because the entire place is terrifying.

So instead of shortening the prides, why not replace the Orcs in the prides with the Orcs you fight in Orcish patrols?


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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:34 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:07 am
Posts: 118
Bodhi wrote:
There are two obvious problems with the east.

1. The prides are too long.

2. The prides are too easy.

Most people are focusing on the first problem, which is a trap. The prides will be lame no matter how many levels they are or how big the levels are as long as they have the same second-rate Orcs as the main enemies. Meanwhile, no one complains about Dreadfall being 9 levels because the entire place is terrifying.

So instead of shortening the prides, why not replace the Orcs in the prides with the Orcs you fight in Orcish patrols?


I don't think the prides being too easy is the main reason why the East is boring, there are a lot of trash mobs in the West but the West does not seem so much a drag because:

1. There are more zone variety in the West, while the zone design is highly repetitive in the East
2. Your char is progressing in the West, every time a char level up it brings you something new. But once you get to the East, the development of your char is largely finished apart from the Prodigies. A level 40 char is not much different from a level 35 char, and this strips away most of the fun in ToME. It is just the same routine gameplay going on and on. To me this is actually the primary reason behind the boredom of the East. Dreadfell could easily become boring if there is no char progression.

Unless these two problems are addressed, I am all for shortening the East.


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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 5:45 pm 
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Cornac

Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:05 pm
Posts: 39
KLajos wrote:
Bring back Breeding Pits. It's shame that such a clever and unique idea was removed because the vocal minority of players don't like it.


I too associate clever and unique with a bad, boring zone with bad, boring enemies and a bad, boring boss that people only did because it was a bandaid to the orc patrol problem (and because it was free loot/exp for even bad players). Nothing of actual value was lost as a result of their passing, and bringing them back won't actually make the East more interesting.

Razakai wrote:
Simplest thing is just having orc patrols drop in frequency after you destroy prides. Maybe remove them entirely after you destroy 2-3.


Mordy wrote:
You could make it so that when you destroy a pride, the corresponding classes aren't available anymore in the patrols (and reduce the number of orcs present to match) and once all 4 are destroyed, no more patrols at all anymore.


Something like either of these should've been done in the first place, really.

anonymous000 wrote:
I don't think the prides being too easy is the main reason why the East is boring, there are a lot of trash mobs in the West but the West does not seem so much a drag because:

1. There are more zone variety in the West, while the zone design is highly repetitive in the East
2. Your char is progressing in the West, every time a char level up it brings you something new. But once you get to the East, the development of your char is largely finished apart from the Prodigies. A level 40 char is not much different from a level 35 char, and this strips away most of the fun in ToME. It is just the same routine gameplay going on and on. To me this is actually the primary reason behind the boredom of the East. Dreadfell could easily become boring if there is no char progression.

Unless these two problems are addressed, I am all for shortening the East.


I pretty much agree with this reasoning, in fact I think AoA could stand to be shortened in general. Yeah, the prides are pretty samey, pretty overly big for their sameiness (and could really use an overhaul regardless), but so is Dreadfell in my opinion (and honestly Dreadfell isn't really that scary these days) and I think the t2 zones in the West could probably stand to go from four levels to three as well, though I don't feel particularly strongly about that point.


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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 7:42 pm 
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Wyrmic

Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:41 pm
Posts: 296
anonymous000 wrote:
Bodhi wrote:
There are two obvious problems with the east.

1. The prides are too long.

2. The prides are too easy.

Most people are focusing on the first problem, which is a trap. The prides will be lame no matter how many levels they are or how big the levels are as long as they have the same second-rate Orcs as the main enemies. Meanwhile, no one complains about Dreadfall being 9 levels because the entire place is terrifying.

So instead of shortening the prides, why not replace the Orcs in the prides with the Orcs you fight in Orcish patrols?


I don't think the prides being too easy is the main reason why the East is boring, there are a lot of trash mobs in the West but the West does not seem so much a drag because:

1. There are more zone variety in the West, while the zone design is highly repetitive in the East
2. Your char is progressing in the West, every time a char level up it brings you something new. But once you get to the East, the development of your char is largely finished apart from the Prodigies. A level 40 char is not much different from a level 35 char, and this strips away most of the fun in ToME. It is just the same routine gameplay going on and on. To me this is actually the primary reason behind the boredom of the East. Dreadfell could easily become boring if there is no char progression.

Unless these two problems are addressed, I am all for shortening the East.

I must say I agree completely with your reasoning. Warning, wall of text incoming.

As it stands right now, what I think makes early tome interesting (T2-T3, T1 is a little stale but it's expected when you got so few options) is that you have a good mix of varied options available, a good rate of new options and new kind of enemies/dungeons constantly. Why does it break after Dreadfell? Because you got too much already! Because tome does heavy diminishing returns on talents.

- Too much. By the time you finish Dreadfell, you more or less got 2 cat points and one prodigy. The unlock talents are more or less more interesting/strong than the base talents so you got that power rush for investing in them. Same for that prodigy. By the time you finish Reknor and Vor Armory, usually you got the rest if your kit. But by then already, the "power rush" is getting dull. The second prodigy for many classes (non weapon ones) feels like you are searching for something that will be at least a little beneficial because somehow, there's very few good prodigies at all. Most of the time you go for some defensive one, like Cauterize or Spine of the World. Despite the fact those two are strong, they don't make you feel strong for taking them really by their nature. And cat points are the same. The last two points you get, you usually go for more inscription slots that also don't exactly fell like much. Heroism is super good but it's just some tankiness in a bottle you practically mash in reflex before any fight. And if you go for a cat unlock with your last point, hell, at that point of the game, getting a cat unlock usually means you didn't have much worth taking left. After all, if some strong talent line was left to be picked, you'd probably have picked it earlier. There's no doubt in my mind the last cat points and prodigies you earn give you far less of a power trip than the previous.

Of course there are exception to all that. For example, some weapon classes get so much damage potential synergy out of two prodigy points (PES + AM for example) that the second one still feels relevant. Compare that to a pure mage class that scraps by with two passive that just make him slightly harder to kill.



- Too little. One cannot expect the player to get more and more new funny tools all straight through the game. Two reasons here. First, the game is pretty long, it's hard to even give relevant upgrades to the player for the whole stretch (unless you are secretly making a new piano training app). And of course there's the fact that players rarely can wait level 50 for a build to be complete anyway. Second is that, after so much time spent making your build, you kind of want to enjoy using it too. Players won't like getting at level 50 some new super amazing tool/talent, looking at the corpses of the final boss that gave them the last XP needed to reach it :p Tome more or less gives the player the orc prides + high peak to enjoy their build (heck most builds get fully online much earlier than that but let's not even worry here)

One way games can cope with that is that, despite the fact the player kit is complete, there's still room for pure mechanical power increases. But due to heavy diminishing returns in talent point spending, you aren't really getting that much out of your level 35-50 points. When I try a few normal games it's very common to find myself not spending any talent point at all from mid prides onwards. Because if I needed more power to go past, I'd be probably in trouble already. Because there's not much worth spending them in.



- Too much, again? So, what is left for the player to enjoy starting from the prides. Mostly, gear upgrades. Let's be honest, I'm pretty sure the last and biggest power rush the player feels in the game is when they finish Vor Armory, return to the west and buy artifacts from the merchant. And past that, it's all to do with the stuff dropped by orcs in the prides. And of that stuff, myself I feel like it's back to the huge Angband problem : too much junk. There's too much stuff to comb through! Some people might enjoy reading dozens of screen tall tooltips to compare with their current gear to upgrade it but I'm not sure many do :P Somehow, the game manages to make the last part of the game both a drag in killing stuff and a drag in looting. Looting! What is usually the most fun part of those games somehow even loses interest. I dread the orc prides vault more because of all the junk inside I'll have to sort than of the enemies inside :D

Why are players skipping the prides and high peak? Avoiding fights in the later, rushing the stairs. Yeah because the stair bosses are dangerous. But that's not only. Danger giving reward is fine, yet the players skip it. Because the reward is not worth it? No, because it's mostly not needed. Just give me the last boss already!



And I skipped the lack of variety in the prides. And in high peak which is basically an anything-goes dungeon with the only thematic element is the stair bosses, that players tend to skip :p



Parts of the post Dreadfell game I find ok :
- Vor Armory. Simple, effective and a delicious player killer. It feels like it's my real endgame boss fight in fact :D
- The slime tunnels. Some refreshing and short preparation for high peak. 4 unique bosses in a row, original dungeon type
- Temple of Creation. Rather strong boss fight, return of the many traps. Kinda packed of enemies but tight layout and an enemy type and style that is also very original really. Lack of randomness though
- That warrior pride thing. Why? Mostly because of the looks of the place. Sure the mushroom tileset isn't the most enjoyable but the way the place is drawn, the transition and anticipation for the slime tunnels sets the mood. This gets points for the presentation effort, not for the enemies :D
- Pride entrance rooms. For the first level only, the one with a random boss guarding the door. This room is like a player skill check in a sense (at least in Normal) and works to "show the payer the prides are serious business". Shame that it's a front.The level repetitions and the same rooms without a boss in later levels, just why.
- High peak stair guardians (when you don't skip them all). Curveballs wake up the player and it's meant to be a challenging place anyway.
- Final boss, obviously




Suggestions :
- Remove player levels 30-40 in a sense. One less cat point to earn makes those you have more desirable. Less talent points means the few you got are more precious. Give the prodigy point like before the Master. Heck, give it by script by defeating some sub-boss in the level before the master even! Second prodigy point comes, say, from killing the Four in the slime tunnels.
- Shorten the prides. How? New layouts. Keep the current open layout ones for the last level only. Earliest levels are something else of lower area. I feel like it's fine having "many" levels in a dungeon, especially late game because it gives that feeling you are deep in trouble. Just make their surface smaller to make them faster to progress though. It's not as if the game was some kind of maze anyway. More surface just means pressing autoexplore more. Maybe give them MORE levels even if the size reduction makes them too quick to clear.
- I don't like the choice of using a cat point between a new category and a new inscription slot. Why? Because the later, while very powerful doesn't feel very fun to get because you already have three slots. The forth just feels like more of the same. And the choice doesn't even really vary per class! You play different classes to use the same talents? Not fun :p Maybe make cat points exclusively talent unlocks and give the player some fixed story/merchant bought inscription slot increase instead.
- Same treatment in high peak : smaller levels. Heck, you could make them individually super small when the stair guardian is a peak point of interest anyway.
- Do something about orc patrols. I love the challenge their fight presents, but since it's high random risk low reward and completely optional, there's no point not playing in a tedious way to avoid them. Although the suggestion of reducing their spawn when clearing the prides is "ok", by the time you do it, it might be too late and their tedious effect on the player was already applied.
- Not sure what to do about excessive "junk" problem. For sure, the increase in the number of vaults in prides/high peak didn't help that though :D


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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:07 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:19 am
Posts: 1059
Location: Yeehaw, pardner
Quote:
Compare that to a pure mage class that scraps by with two passive that just make him slightly harder to kill.
agreed buff some of the mage prodigies but that's for a different thread (cmon bpat you know you want to again).

Quote:
One way games can cope with that is that, despite the fact the player kit is complete,...

Multiple suggestions have been thrown around for fixing the so-called "Post Dreadfell build syndrome" but the one that's stuck most prominently in my mind is the "lottery" solution. Do a special dungeon with some sort of theme (as long as it isn't like ADoM's shifting dungeons but maybe those would be interesting in tome if DG puts more work into it?) and at the end of it you get a talent tree and 3 or so talent points that you can only put into that tree. the trees would be chosen from a class specific pool (or metaclass specific pool). Main issue with this is you could very easily get utter shit that you'll never invest in unless someone were to devise new trees for this idea and then maybe it could be balanced a little bit better? For the most part though, its a very vague idea. the easiest solution to this boringness of build is just to shorten the east, though it isn't the best solution by far.

Quote:
Too much, again? So, what is left for the player to enjoy starting from the prides. Mostly, gear upgrades. Let's be honest, I'm pretty sure the last and biggest power rush the player feels in the game is when they finish Vor Armory, return to the west and buy artifacts from the merchant....

well that coupled with the prides not really offering anything. its just the same setup (except for Grushnak) copy pasted 3 times with a boss somewhere on floor 3. Not to mention the bosses don't have anything special about them (y'know how like Nektosh in EoR has the death ray), they're just orcs with more talents, health and damage. you don't really get anything at the end either, just a shitty orb (which you lose later anyways).

Quote:
And in high peak which is basically an anything-goes dungeon with the only thematic element is the stair bosses, that players tend to skip

thematic element: be like the ID but somehow more tedious and time wasting

Quote:
High peak stair guardians (when you don't skip them all). Curveballs wake up the player and it's meant to be a challenging place anyway.

considering there's no reason to ever fight them, i don't think they're good at all. almost 0 reward for such a massive risk.

Quote:
- Remove player levels 30-40 in a sense. One less cat point to earn makes those you have more desirable. Less talent points means the few you got are more precious. Give the prodigy point like before the Master. Heck, give it by script by defeating some sub-boss in the level before the master even! Second prodigy point comes, say, from killing the Four in the slime tunnels.

im impartial to this due to "the ways of the bpat" but i dislike removing a category point mainly due to muh tinkers.

Quote:
Shorten the prides.

im with Raz on this one, first level, unique layout somehow related to theme of pride (like boneyard/graveyard for the bone guys and boss level is a sepulcher, naturey shit for Gorbat because tree huggers, throw in some more nature related enemies besides orcs like treants and other animals, you get the idea) and second level be boss level with some sort of at least semi-unique tileset and arena. Grushnak can keep his mushrooms.

Quote:
I don't like the choice of using a cat point between a new category and a new inscription slot. Why? Because the later, while very powerful doesn't feel very fun to get because you already have three slots. The forth just feels like more of the same. And the choice doesn't even really vary per class! You play different classes to use the same talents? Not fun :p Maybe make cat points exclusively talent unlocks and give the player some fixed story/merchant bought inscription slot increase instead.

A R C H M A G E B U F F S
honestly inscriptions feel powerful and should stay as is. double movement is one of the most bestest things for melee's

Quote:
Same treatment in high peak : smaller levels.
1v1 me high peak, archmage only. I don't really care about the size of high peak levels since you should have track by then so you can sniff out the stair guardian though it would help with some of the tedium (though if you make it like a 6x6 room with just you and the stair guardian that sounds dangerous... provided you can't run past them).

Quote:
Do something about orc patrols. I love the challenge their fight presents,...

perhaps after that stupid eraun run event (god charred scar is so annoying sometimes, but at least its different).

Quote:
Not sure what to do about excessive "junk" problem. For sure, the increase in the number of vaults in prides/high peak didn't help that though

the obvious solution is to get Razakai to rework the underpowered artifacts, then they wont be junk anymore and can properly replace the sward (rip sawrd)

anyways, Razakai take the stage and show us the google doc you spent the last 3 days typing up about how to change the prides

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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:17 pm 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:55 pm
Posts: 9
RandomKesaranPasaran wrote:
KLajos wrote:
Bring back Breeding Pits. It's shame that such a clever and unique idea was removed because the vocal minority of players don't like it.


I too associate clever and unique with a bad, boring zone with bad, boring enemies and a bad, boring boss that people only did because it was a bandaid to the orc patrol problem (and because it was free loot/exp for even bad players). Nothing of actual value was lost as a result of their passing, and bringing them back won't actually make the East more interesting.



You should read the lore. It has value and should be in the game.


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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:56 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:19 am
Posts: 1059
Location: Yeehaw, pardner
I'm sorry, but I think you missed the part about the
S E V E N
P U L S A T I N G
V A G I N A S
Unless that's your fetish in which case please stay far away from me.

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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:11 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:07 am
Posts: 118
KLajos wrote:
RandomKesaranPasaran wrote:
KLajos wrote:
Bring back Breeding Pits. It's shame that such a clever and unique idea was removed because the vocal minority of players don't like it.


I too associate clever and unique with a bad, boring zone with bad, boring enemies and a bad, boring boss that people only did because it was a bandaid to the orc patrol problem (and because it was free loot/exp for even bad players). Nothing of actual value was lost as a result of their passing, and bringing them back won't actually make the East more interesting.



You should read the lore. It has value and should be in the game.


I would not comment on the lore here, but I agree with RandomKesaranPasaran. The breeding pit zone was an awfully boring zone.

People argue for breeding pit's return only for two reason so far: 1) It reduces the number of orc patrols 2) It is good lore-wise. If the number of orc patrols is reduced reasonably, which many people are proposing right now, a large part of the appeal of breeding pit would be removed. The question to people who argue in terms of lore would be is it worthwhile to bring back the zone just for lore.

My proposal would be to reduce orc patrol's frequency to something akin to adventurers parties from the beginning. At the same time fighting the orc patrol could trigger the breeding pit quest, which could be introduced as a challenge zone similar to Dark Crypt, in which the strongest warriors of the orcs are defending their race's mother. Killing the boss removes the orc patrols completely.


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 Post subject: Re: delete the east
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:36 am 
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Low Yeek

Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:55 pm
Posts: 9
Micbran wrote:
I'm sorry, but I think you missed the part about the
S E V E N
P U L S A T I N G
V A G I N A S
Unless that's your fetish in which case please stay far away from me.


And I think you missed everything else. This quote (by The Revanchist) sums up why I consider the Breeding Pits valuable: "If I'm not mistaken, the Orcs are in their current situation out of sheer desperation. Their entire society had been attacked on all sides, they hadn't escaped the Spellblaze any more than any other race, and the Cataclysm was the same. The Breeding pits are their last ditch effort to revive their fallen race, and as such, they pulled out every trace of decency and sanity."
It's not about the vaginas, you can change that part.


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