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View Full Version : Hating on your quest system


TheRani
02-22-2010, 09:45 PM
Dear Soldak Entertainment:

I paid my 20 bucks and downloaded the Din's Curse beta yesterday, and so far, the quest system is making it extremely unfun.

My character failed at several quests for reasons I don't even comprehend (how do you fail a request to find an artifact? It's not as if Din specified, "Find me this artifact within 15 minutes!", right? Or did some artifactivorous pixie come along and eat it?

Then on the second floor of the dungeon, the ceiling fell on her head while she was in a quiet corner trying to raise her stats. And then the help system helpfully popped up a little ? thing to inform me that I should keep an eye on my HP and not let it get too low. I'll keep that in mind next time the ceiling falls on my head for no apparent reason when I'm at 100% perfect health.

I really, really want to like Din's Curse. The premise is fun. The graphics are tolerable. I like the character classes and the selection of nifty skills, and I like randomly generated towns and quests and dungeons. But I really, really hate the quest system. If you were looking to make a game that would cause the actual Player to feel like they've been cursed by a god, you've completely succeeded. I will not demand my 20 bucks back, but I hope that you will someday make a nice action roguelike that is Not designed only for extremely masochistic people. Alternately, I hope that you'll include an option to shut off quest time-limits. The sadistic quest system should be something along the same lines as Hardcore and Cursed. Not something that's on by default. Frankly, I'd rather Hardcore be on by default, than this quest system.

Thanks,
The Rani

Aganazer
02-22-2010, 10:30 PM
All I have to say is that some of the most interesting things that happen in DC are the result of failing a quest. Its no different than accidentally equipping a cursed item in a traditional roguelike. You deal with it and hope that it doesn't prove ruinous to your character or town.

FloodSpectre
02-23-2010, 12:30 AM
That's just it, I think this game might have a lot more appeal to fans of roguelike games, people used to failing, dying, getting themselves cursed and having their stats permanently swapped around by Nexus Hounds. Polymorphing their entire stash of gear into one Hawaiian shirt... :D It's impossible to play a roguelike and not be a little masochistic. For the record, Diablo and its clones are not roguelikes, but Din's is quite a bit closer to the genre.

Besides, failing quests in Din's doesn't lose you the game. Nor does dying. It's all a part of the game and how the experience evolves with each town you play through. People are so used to having their hand held with quests you can't ever fail in absolutely static settings. There's going to be an ambush at this location, and I have to stop it? Sure, I'll be back in a month, I'm certain the ambush will just wait for me.

TheRani
02-23-2010, 02:42 AM
If Din's Curse was turn-based, it'd absolutely qualify as a roguelike game. I think I've figured out how to not completely suck at this. I think it largely involves not accepting any quest until you reach the actual dungeon level where it starts, or at least until you have a very quick path cleared to the staircase down to it. That way when the quests I haven't yet agreed to take randomly go away or get completed by some rival adventurer, it's no skin off my back.

I think I somehow messed up a quest to the point where I made it impossible without actually Failing it per se. The quest NPC isn't dead. I picked her up on level 2, and while I was there, I ran into some dude who was like, "ZOMG RESCUE MEEEE!" So I rescued him, took him to town, and collected the reward. And then Escort girl wasn't following me anymore. She went to town, too. But she wanted to go from level 2 to level 6. But she's in town. When I meet her in town and agree to escort her and go back to level 2, she stays in town. When I go to level 6, she stays in town. She just stays in town forever. And escorting her is the last non-optional quest available. I can't kill her. I can't escort her. I can't win. I want my chest! Grr!

Cadfan
02-23-2010, 03:02 AM
Have you patched the game?

Ephemera
02-23-2010, 09:26 AM
If Din's Curse was turn-based, it'd absolutely qualify as a roguelike game.

I actually play Din's Curse as if it were a turn-based game, by constantly hitting the pause key. Upped my survivability considerably.

Shadow
02-23-2010, 09:37 AM
Just remember we are still in beta and the game up to this point has been harder than I intended. Pretty much each patch has made the game easier. Make sure you update to the latest patch (at this exact second is 0.905).

Normal townspeople can solve collection quests sometimes. Finding an artifact should probably be over there heads though.

Cave-ins just got there damage cut in the latest patch.

I'll look at the escort weirdness.

timeh
02-23-2010, 10:01 AM
shadow: i wish you would put the nerf bat away, i really liked the original difficulty

even though patch .904 made me lose 13000 (yes, thirteen thousand) dps on my main melee toon, all these caster mob nerfs are making the game lose its appeal for me

OP: you seem to hate the quest system because it isn't what you're used to, which is being able to do things at your own pace

sometimes you feel compelled to rush down 9 floors blindly to kill an earthquake machine or stop mobs from making peace, and a lot of the time you fail quests you don't have a chance of completing because they are too far down and the mobs too thick to get there quickly (one of my toons went from level 55 to 70ish at the floor one "back to town" gate, failing quest after quest because i couldn't beat the respawn rate)

i've had a town start under attack by a group of chaos lords who killed the town in literally 10 seconds

all the stuff you've got no control over that makes each map feel unique and special is what makes this game awesome

Shadow
02-23-2010, 10:09 AM
I or someone else can always make a mod that makes things harder again. :)

keith.lamothe
02-23-2010, 10:24 AM
Yea, I actually really like the threatening difficulty. Not always massively hard, sometimes quite easy, but the game is quite good at keeping me on my toes.

Granted, it is frustrating that I can start a new town and have a group of monsters on floor 5 plotting a town raid, and have it be pretty much physically impossible to get past floor 3 before the raid starts (and that's with ignoring and thus failing tons of other quests) and kills two of the main questgivers before I get back and kill the monsters... and that was with my character level around 9 and having picked a monster level 2 below the default "medium" difficulty ;)

But that sort of frustration is what I'm looking for from this game: when I walk into town I have no idea if the scenario is reasonable, or even winnable. But if I lose, there's always another town.

But for the official release you'll probably want to tone down the "this game hates you" at least slightly (from .903, at least) and meet the needs of the more masochistic via mods to undo some of the nerfs.

Ephemera
02-23-2010, 10:41 AM
Couldn't a lot of the issue be resolved by providing an option to choose a starting difficulty of "Easy" (as opposed to "Normal") instead of nerfing the difficulty overall?

Wantonius
02-23-2010, 10:52 AM
Couldn't a lot of the issue be resolved by providing an option to choose a starting difficulty of "Easy" (as opposed to "Normal") instead of nerfing the difficulty overall?

I like this a lot. Easy access for new players and building your shared stash and then trying the harder levels when you are more skilled and prepared. Also I like the idea of trying hardcore with easier levels first to get me rid of all the stupidity I do ("I can take those three dark elven mages with no healing").

Shadow
02-23-2010, 12:31 PM
That's what the selecting monster levels is meant to be for.

Warlock
02-23-2010, 12:55 PM
This is one of the reasons I suggested a choice for the player, when they choose a timed quest. You either go for it and deal with the possibility of failing, or you decide to choose a non-timed version and when you solve it, you are given good loot but not as good as if you took the timed version.

I think this puts more power in the player's hands. I love the game and the only element I don't like is timed quests.

Shadow
02-23-2010, 03:21 PM
And then Escort girl wasn't following me anymore. She went to town, too. But she wanted to go from level 2 to level 6. But she's in town. When I meet her in town and agree to escort her and go back to level 2, she stays in town. When I go to level 6, she stays in town. She just stays in town forever. And escorting her is the last non-optional quest available. I can't kill her. I can't escort her. I can't win. I want my chest! Grr!

I think what is happening is that escorts won't go through gates. If you go into the normal entrance she will probably follow.

TheRani
02-24-2010, 12:05 AM
I think what is happening is that escorts won't go through gates. If you go into the normal entrance she will probably follow.

Okay, I tried that, and it worked fine. Thanks!

Shadow
02-24-2010, 08:53 AM
In the next version, there will be some text in the escort quest that will actually tell you that they can't go through gates.

viper34j
02-24-2010, 12:00 PM
I'm quoting myself from another topic where I discussed the difficulty of Din's Curse. I think it is relevant to this topic as well.

Basically you just need to accept the fact that you cannot complete all quests. It just isn't possible.

This might be a design problem that Shadow needs to address. The fact that quests deep down "fail" doesn't really appear to be correct. These quest are actually just naturally progressing to their next tier of threat to the town. Just because a harsh notification tells you that you "FAILED!" to kill "Tor" because "Tor" built a Darkness Machine doesn't meant that you actually failed and you should feel ashamed. Instead you should note the fact that "Tor" is a powerful adversary and will need to be dealt with quickly.

There are very few instances when I think it is appropriate for the game to give you the harsh "FAILURE!". Those include quests like rescues or a thief running off with stolen goods and such that actually have a hard ending. All others should be a more benign notification of the quests natural escalation.

dnuggs40
02-24-2010, 12:15 PM
Yeah, agree there. At first when I failed a few quests it felt almost unnatural...but then after a while you come to that realization. I think the game is better for it. The only thing I would say is maybe "failing" should have a more tangible effect on the world.

getter77
02-24-2010, 02:14 PM
The other alternative would have failure moreso lead to pronounced escalation as opposed to just a dead end outright. That is, if every time you "fail" something, the result is you now have something trickier to manage---yet with appropriately increased/changed/shifted rewards.

Rescue Sue < Sue killed by Amorph < Amorph that killed her upgrades to Champion and is trying to consolidate power < Sue's ghost wants revenge on Newfound Champion Amorph quickly < Champ Amorph doesn't get killed quickly and forms a Champ posse...and so on until you've either cultivated your doom/fantastic rewards with each step intentional or otherwise.