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Kaizoku
03-17-2010, 05:38 PM
One of the most unsatisfying aspects of Din's Curse is that the completion of a world feels unimportant and unaccomplished. While Din himself is a rather boring character (especially for a god) I'd like to think he can be a little more interesting than this:

"I feel like you've done enough fetch or kill quests, hero. Here's your reward chest, see ya in the next dimension!"

Maybe it's just me, but I would hope that we can do away with the whole reward chest concept (which tends to give garbage anyway) and/or add a "final battle" or "completion quest" to each world that makes a hero feel heroic. After all, there's nothing more awkward than stumbling about in the dark collecting lizard scales only to discover that having done so you've proven heroic enough for freedom.

I have my own ideas about how the world should end, but I'd like to open this thread up to everyone as a think tank for how we could improve the completion of worlds. Please post your ideas/opinions!

Eisenfaust86
03-17-2010, 09:51 PM
Here's one idea: why not use some of the villains from Depths of Peril lore that DID NOT appear in the other games as some of the climax bosses for these high-level challenges and completions. I think that would do a lot to add SOMETHING to the appeal to dynamics in the game world. ;)

Fosse
03-17-2010, 10:56 PM
I don't really mind the way it is, but I see the point.

Perhaps there could be a Town boss in the bottom level of every dungeon. Beating a town requires all of the quests as it currently does, plus the death of the Town Boss.

In code terms, it just adds a mandatory Kill X quest to each town. But if the monster in question were a tough one, it'd feel appropriately epic.

Eisenfaust86
03-18-2010, 07:30 PM
I don't really mind the way it is, but I see the point.

Perhaps there could be a Town boss in the bottom level of every dungeon. Beating a town requires all of the quests as it currently does, plus the death of the Town Boss.

In code terms, it just adds a mandatory Kill X quest to each town. But if the monster in question were a tough one, it'd feel appropriately epic.

For this, maybe we could use a monster type that DOESN'T spawn as a normal creature- kinda like how games such as Final Fantasy and other such RPGs had made THEIR epic boss encounters.

Godot
03-20-2010, 08:48 PM
If the world were expanded, just a la DoP, and by that I mean having a Open World along with the Town Dungeons, I guess possibilities would burst up, instead of the whole Town Jumping concept...

If any of you are used to RogueLikes, and having in mind Dins Curse is considered a Roguelike-like, some examples come to mind, ToME... or Adom for example. With a World surrounding Towns & Dungeons I feel it would make a perfect climax... Clean this dungeon, and explore the world searching other Towns that need aid to erase the Evil beneath them! Then Again, is quite far on development to implement this as a whole now. BUT It would be interesting as a Expansion, or a Add-on to the current game for the future.

"Epic Boss Fights" are out of place in my opinion, and after the 11th Dungeon-Run you'll give a crap about it anyways, Having a Lore or a Quest (Not the "Defeat the Evil-Big Guy and save the world kind of Quest) to pursue you into Dungeon Crawling is a whole different thing.

Roguelike have it easy, since you'll probally die and be reborn from start countless time before reaching the bottom of the Dungeon AND come out alive, Dins Curse is a whole different concept build-up ON that concept (Roguelikes), so new solutions are needed. :)

Just my 2 cents...

torikamal
03-21-2010, 02:43 AM
I do like the ideas put forth here about town-finishing sequences.

One idea I had (building on some other folk's ideas) is that the player must find different materials/components at the bottom of the dungeon. I'm not sure how many towns you would have to beat, but you get one material/piece, whatever at the end.

These will all be different parts of a statue of yourself that Din has scattered in these dungeons beneath the towns. Once you have saved enough towns (and gathered all the pieces of the statue), Din puts these together and forges them into a statue of your former self which you must then defeat to finally redeem yourself.

You would then be given to the option to continue saving the towns (basically keep it open-ended so that you can keep playing). However, this could be a pretty cool end-story.

interesting
03-21-2010, 04:57 AM
Its like we are asking for a justification to keep playing after the 11th dungeon.
Something that the game is not currently delivering, the more we play, the more proeminent this problem becomes.

Its dinamic, random, full of surprises, but doesnt deliver the living breathing world. The towns are not alive enough, the lack of world diminishes the persistancy feel and whatever you achieve in the last games is just a disconnected memory.

The transition from one game to another is not coherent, there isnt a sense of achievement, there is no continuity, the transition from another town with another dungeon full of problems is not fluid enough. Watching those old japanese super heroes series, where whatever the "power rangers" did in the last episode is totally unrelated, as if happened in a dream or paralel universe.

You guys know the concept of "suspension of disbelief"? The transition from one game to another is not believable. We dont connect with the towns or their people, it doesnt feel alive. Its like an ever repeating dream. A mini trauma, every time you finish it something inside of you start asking "ok, whats the point", and this feeling ends up like a snowball effect and as someone mentioned, at the 11th town/dungeon, you simply stop caring.

I think we should do something about it.

Suggestions. (yeah, because I believe Shadow and I think its worth sharing my thoughts with him)

1. maybe doing some kind of magic barrier ritual around the town before leaving, or fortifying its defenses, or planting a magic tree... something that gives a sense of closure to that adventure, to that town. It could be something different everytime. If you lose, you could leave it and the town could be in ruins/flames/ashes...

2. maybe seing our character travelling from the last town to another town. Know that scene from Diablo 2, where the wanderer was travelling through the desert? I would like to see an in game animation of the character packing his stuff and leaving... remember those ducktails adventures where dots on a map were appearing as the character moved from one location to another? something as simple as that would be enough... could use the Din's Curse map textures as background... could be mixed or shown in the loading screens for the next game... or some slide show of screens of the character packing his bags, walking away from the town, maybe some day/night cycles, some campfires, (maybe some random encounter/event that could effect the character in the starting of the next game, maybe some items, or maybe an injury...) then some travelling with new background, then eventually arriving at a new town/settlement.

3. A map, each new game, generates a random town spot in the map, close to the last one, characters would be able to travel back and forth between those towns. If a town was destroyed, or taken by monsters, weeks or months later the player would be able to go back to that specific town with its saved seed characteristics plus its modifiers (based on how that particular adventure ended) and some random changes (maybe everything died from a misterious cause, maybe another race came and took that town).

The map, could be just a simple map. "Press M", look at the map, or some kind of map log, travel log, something that keep tracks of the players adventures visually in a map.
The said map would start as a blank parchment, and as the player would adventuring from town to town, it would be filling up randomly with the information from that old town (its random name, in its random area), the geography of the region could follow the different types of terrains/textures used in Depths of Peril.

The map itself, could be the same all the characters in the same computer at the same modes.

4. As the player goes from to town to town, we could have random/dinamic events relating to those old towns... since the information from those old towns were stored by the game... so we could have an npc from an old town the player saved, comming to the town the player is on actually, the player would remember said npc, said npc would remember events that succeed on the old map, it would spread the player fame, it would create a link and a sense of persistance and achievement. It could increase the depth, adding more quest possibilities: maybe the npc came to ask for help for that old town, maybe the npc has good news, maybe he comes to tell that the boss the player thought he had killed actually was just a trick to make the hero leave the town... understand? This could deepens even more the experience on the game, ultimatelly the player could notice patterns between towns, and its dungeons and attacks, leading to something much bigger than he expected at first... turning everything into something EPIC.

Something that would make the player want to play more games, more towns, to keep unveiling more pieces of said mistery. There are plenty of cool ideas on the books (from Depths of Peril), legends and myths. The player could realize he is just a pawn, maybe a true hero, maybe the good things the player thought he did, actually were bad things... This is the sort of thing that would blow players minds. After playing several towns, knowing that there is big misteries to unveil, that he is part of it, that he can affect it...

Shadow, right now you have the tools (one and each game is a micro-system formed by the town/dungeon) connect many of those micro-systems you made and use it for something much bigger. Use the lore you already have to make macro-plots (based on the lore of the world, i.e. depths of peril books, static in that sense, but dinamic in the sense that there could be different macro-plots going on): that will be worthy of playing many games.


This is how I feel towards Din's Curse.
The towns/dungeons between each games need to be "connected".
Past, present, future. Failures or Successes. Make the player believe a world exist. Make the player care about it. Make each game have its importance in a grand scheme of things.
To do this is simpler than you imagine, its at your reach. You already have the core.

udm
03-21-2010, 07:20 AM
I think the core game mechanics are solid i.e. combat (aside from issue that I have mentioned regarding clicking, in that other thread) and the RPG system. If there ever is a chance for an expansion for Din's, I think that making the worlds feel more "lived in" will be a great place to start. It need not be a Baldur's Gate or even Realms of Arkania, but having the town feel more lively, with inter-connecting outdoor areas similar to DoP's, as well as having NPCs that you care about, will be a very nice thing to have in addition to the emergent gameplay in Din's.

However, I have to make one point about Din's: if I have to make a choice between having many randomized dungeons versus many square-shaped outdoor playfields, I'd choose the former. IMHO the problem with DoP's outdoor environments is that they are so numerous that it's hard to focus, yet ironically there's not much exploration to speak of - they're all just interconnected huge square playfields, so you roughly already know what to expect.

Still, it'd be nice to see some outdoor playfields in Din's, if that's ever possible - and preferably outdoor playfields that are smaller and more randomized in their geometry rather than just being huge squares, so as to provide a tighter and more cohesive experience.

Of course, these are just ideas off the top of my head. Honestly it doesn't really matter to me at this point, since I'm just dying to get the full version lol.

Trelow
03-21-2010, 09:56 AM
I like it how it is.

Mechanically: I just don't care to do anything other than kill stuff and take their loot. Works for me.

Thematically: You're in a purgatory of sorts, it should be repetitive and leave you feeling unaccomplished. If you don't like it, don't be a dick before you die.

I never was able to get into Depths of Peril. Too much going on. Here, I just get my little quests and go downstairs to kill things.

udm
03-21-2010, 10:54 AM
Here, I just get my little quests and of downstairs to kill things.

That's the nice part of Din's. There is only one dungeon, which makes for a far more cohesive and focused experience. That, plus the very solid ARPG mechanics, makes for a satisfying dungeon crawl that IMHO may put Diablo 3 to shame.

But rather than just having one dungeon for every playthrough, it'd be nice to see diversity too, in the form of a few small outdoor playfields. One of the few events I miss from DoP is the outdoor siege from an army of mobs and catapults. Those are nice. Still, as mentioned in my earlier post too, Din's strength is the tight cohesive feel, so as long as the focus isn't lost, it's still all good.

Godot
03-21-2010, 11:58 AM
Its like we are asking for a justification to keep playing after the 11th dungeon.
Something that the game is not currently delivering, the more we play, the more proeminent this problem becomes.

...

I share your view of things on this "issue", I believe as you put it that the main problem here is the "suspension of disbelief" we feel when transitions are made, and I believe one of the issues with this is the World Creation pattern, It's way to "plain, simple, and arcade" for a game aiming to be as depth as DC.

Suggestions. (yeah, because I believe Shadow and I think its worth sharing my thoughts with him)

(I too believe your thoughts are worth sharing and reading :) even if I may be harsh about them sometimes.)
With that said, I like your suggestions, I'd like to add one up to the table I thought about just a while ago, and it would be, removing the World Creation process. How will players build up their "worlds" then? I'm sure alot of you remenber those old "Choose your own adventure" book-games, well the transition between towns could be made up that way, THAT would be the world creation process, a text-based adventure where player have to decide which patch to take and that would shape it's next "adventure & world", Even the first part of the "Transition Phase" could describe how the town your about to leave end up like, Having in mind Relation modifiers, Quest counters, etc, etc.
Something along the lines:
As you rush out of the Dungeon, you can see all the evil you spread onto the World, you see young Men and Woman running away terrorized from their still burning houses, and the smell of blood makes you tremble on your feet, you rapidly Run away from that little piece of hell you created, full with remorse and pain from your actions (-10% Exp on the next Game). Which path will you choose now?
(This is just a example, using my badly English, but I hope you can see the point.)

Having a "World Creation" process like that, would enrich the lore I believe, would, and it even can add more modifiers to the now random "Town Creation" system, Along the way you fall into a trap of bandits and are stripped away of your hard earned gold, or after escaping a band of skeletons you reach your destination, even badly injured (-5% Max Health Modifier for the whole Town you play on).

The reason I suggest this one, is because I believe it wouldn't be resource demanding to add this, since it would only be plain text, and the already build in modifiers & world creation conditions. The "world" surrounding each on Dins Towns can be as big as our imagination want it to :).

About the "purpose" on each town, It can be fixed with the above too, Even if It's just reaching the town to heal & rest from your wounds on the travel, or because you heard rumors about something evil growing beneath its grounds... Or something as simple as a Child begging you to Rescue his father, kidnapped by the evil Voodoo Witches that live on the Town Sewers :P.

udm
03-22-2010, 04:20 AM
TBH it's actually all good if it can be modded in. The game's already very much in a playable state - and dare I say of awesome quality - even without all the aforementioned requests, unlike certain other games that actually have to be modded to be of a tolerable level.

Kaizoku
03-23-2010, 02:42 AM
Based on all of the responses, I have composed a suggestion that may be interesting to some of you:

The hero is Din's champion, and follows the god from town to town -- therefore it would make it seem more persistent for Din to acknowledge that the hero has traveled with him to the next town, and perhaps even keep track of the hero's accomplishments. It would be interesting if Din rewarded the hero for the completion of a certain number of towns, or something similar. On condition that they are near the player's level, of course.

Keep the ideas coming, they're great!

interesting
03-23-2010, 09:30 PM
The last idea is very good.

Its like the hero is Din's disciple, and Din's put him in these probations purposefully to teach him. It makes sense.

But then it wouldnt be a curse... Might be against Shadow original idea.

lumin
03-23-2010, 09:47 PM
I personally think that the problem lies more with the "beginning-game", not so much the end-game of each town.

Every time I enter a new city, I really want to care about the people that are being killed there, but I don't because I don't really get enough of a back-story to the characters and the situation.

I would like to see maybe a short, prologue story at the start of each town. Something like this:

"Several months ago, the villagers of Kamden began to notice that their water supply smelled strange and out of place. At first people tried to ignore it, thinking perhaps that it would go away on its own. That's when the problems really began.

Farmer David and his wife, Maine had a little boy named, Jarvis. Jarvis was found lying in the Misty Caverns, having turned into some sort of undead monster. The village master, Broderick decided it would be best to send down his brother, Steven to find the source of the problem, but he has yet to return."

Then we see the usual events such as, "Steven is missing on level 3!", "There is something suspicious with the water supply on level 1!".

Getting the player to actually care about what he is doing is the key, otherwise it's like watching Star Wars Phantom Menace over and over again, "Who the heck is Qui-Gon Jinn and why do I care if he lives or dies?"

Beyond this, I would also like to see a recorded log of all that has transpired in your adventures, along with a map of some sort of the villages saved.

udm
03-23-2010, 10:54 PM
I'd just like to know whether all this can be modded in. Perhaps the community can start a project of this sort, if it can be modded.

Shadow
03-24-2010, 09:31 AM
Beyond this, I would also like to see a recorded log of all that has transpired in your adventures, along with a map of some sort of the villages saved.

Everything that is printed in the text area of the screen is logged and saved in a logs directory near your save games.

Brysos
03-28-2010, 04:32 PM
I don't really mind the way it is, but I see the point.

Perhaps there could be a Town boss in the bottom level of every dungeon. Beating a town requires all of the quests as it currently does, plus the death of the Town Boss.

In code terms, it just adds a mandatory Kill X quest to each town. But if the monster in question were a tough one, it'd feel appropriately epic.

I was thinking that the 'final quest' would be something like a mass town invasion using the types of mobs found in your dungeon. That would make things like the defensive totem quests and finding new townspeople more interesting.

I would also like to see more options to build up the defenses of the town.

Once you had defended the town from the final wave, you could then move on.

Perhaps there are several 'epic' endings: town fight, bottom dungeon boss etc that each town might select from.

Kaizoku
03-31-2010, 12:12 AM
The last idea is very good.

Its like the hero is Din's disciple, and Din's put him in these probations purposefully to teach him. It makes sense.

But then it wouldnt be a curse... Might be against Shadow original idea.

The player character was a rather selfish person who lived a hedonistic and perhaps even villainous life, and as punishment was bound by Din to become a champion and serve him indefinitely to do good deeds in his name. That's the "curse," as I see it. A hero, disciple, and champion, but at the same time very much a slave.

As another user mentioned, I like the idea that while every town has a "final quest," it's random just as most other aspects of each town. And perhaps the specifics of that quest can be notably altered by how you performed on others. This would add to the overall flavor while taking nothing out.

In a world where Shadow has unlimited time and resources, I'm sure we would see greater NPC depth in towns -- character alignment, personal agendas, interpersonal relationships, and more story-like consequences -- but as it is I feel that he is hard at work developing and the core elements and working toward a bug-free build.

My dream would be that every town feels like a new episode of Ultima VIII: Pagan

udm
03-31-2010, 01:34 AM
In a world where Shadow has unlimited time and resources

We should start a "Soldak makes Chuck Norris cry" trust fund :D