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View Full Version : Expansion is missing something...


Dewfreak83
01-19-2011, 05:37 AM
First off, I would just like to say that I have become a huge fan of Din's Curse, Soldak Entertainment, and the developers/designers at the company (all 2??).

I have enjoyed Din's Curse so much I have purchased a couple of copies for friends, and continued to pass on the word. Once it is on Steam... I'll purchase it again for myself!

But...

I cannot say I would right out recommend the expansion to anyone at this time. I realize it is a beta, but personally I don't find the expansion currently adds enough elements that set it from the core game.

New monsters cool, new quests cool, new class cool... but primarily I would like to see some more of the mechanics leveraged or expanded. At the moment, I don't really care all that much about NPC happiness... but it does have potential.

Posts like: http://www.soldak.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3275 should be looked at closely, as they add some great mechanics that would make some of the new seemingly minor NPC changes more interesting.

A few other ideas to churn over:

Epic Quests: Introduce the concept of a class specific quest-line. Each quest builds on the previous to reach a final quest that gives a powerful item for that class. These quests are rare and difficult. Each quest in a quest-line is tied closely together to buildup a story. The quests could be spread out over towns.
Boss Lair: Once a monster becomes a boss he obtains a lair. A lair would either be an entrance or portal (depending on what is technically feasible with the engine), which would lead to the boss's lair. The lair layout is meant to be more "cookie cutter" than a random level, as it is meant to denote something that was built. The lair has guards and other champions to guard the lair. The longer a lair is around the stronger, the richer, and more mischievous the boss gets.
Outposts: Add a quest to create a small outpost in a remote dungeon level. This outpost provides increased intel (for town defense), more items to be bought and traded from the depths, greater mining capabilities. This would also allow a few more unique quests such as defending the outpost, or getting supplies to/from the outpost. To make things difficult, the gate for that level is replaced by the outpost - making quests more challenging that require a currier or defender.
Embue: For saving a town, Din offers to embue one item with a user-chosen enchantment. This would allow a user to create his/her own "set". Each Embue is linked and the affects are chosen from a list by the player, this "linking" is what creates a set-like crafting experience and helps to create a stronger reward for saving the town.
Battlefield: A quest designed to further make saving towns rewarding. For each town saved a set of recruits, supplies, or defenses are added to Din's/Your battalion. Onces on the battlefield you cannot leave until the quest is passed/failed. Forces response until all recruits/reinforcements are dead. The battlefield takes place outside of town, to really create a battle-field. Some towns will donate warriors to fight, some totems for defenses, and some vendors for resupply. The more towns you save the stronger your forces are. If the battlefield is lost, the town is then heavily invaded. Items depleted on the battlefield are not recovered - and therefore saving more towns is important. Winning battles raises moral and makes the current town give much more support than normal once saved, as well as persuades previously rescued towns to send a resupply.

pnakotus
01-19-2011, 05:44 AM
If Din's starts getting anything even vaguely looking like a story I'll probably stop playing. The core of the game is emergent questlines, not fixed narratives of boredom.

Giving the players even more rewards when the game is currently so easy also seems very inadvisable. While I think increasing player workload by having to manage an outpost worth of defence and quests would improve difficulty, some people already struggle with the pace of the game.

I'm not hugely sure what you think 'lairs' add to the game. Is it just a branched level? Because bosses already surround themselves with guys, etc. Allowing them to add more traps or increase the power of guys around them has merit - maybe allowing them to 'promote' guys on their level to named badguys would result in value for raiding lower levels.

abomination5
01-19-2011, 09:32 AM
I agree that the expansion doesn't add too much to the existing game. Personally, I can't complain since I've gotten so much enjoyment out of the original game that I would be willing to pay more for that alone. However, Demon War gives you significantly less bang for your buck then Din's Curse at this point. The town was supposed to become significantly more interesting but that aspect is still pretty weak right now.

Some will be resistant to changes but I would guess that many would welcome some more 'meaty' additions to the game. Yes, adding new rewards would make the game easier but the game could be made more difficult in other ways. I still believe that more elements could be added without giving the player too much to do. Some people are overwhelmed already but for them there is slow pace and the no stress option. Besides adding new content, the game could definitely benefit some UI improvements and a balance overhaul.

Sinister Stairs
01-19-2011, 10:24 AM
I don't regret purchasing the expansion, but on the other hand I don't feel I would have missed out on anything if I hadn't.

A couple of posts have echoed my thoughts on the townspeople: I just really don't give a crap about them. If anything, I find them irritating and despise their laziness.

Do you recall Sir Galahad's quest to exterminate Camelot's rat infestation? Or Gandalf's epic race to mine gold for Thorin because he was too lazy? And who can forget Drizzt's harrowing journey to deliver flowers to his grandmother.

I like the new town quests because they're different, but they're hardly heroic. So many quests involve doing somebody's job for them (Help the armoursmith build special armour, help the miner mine, etc.) the expansion should really be called Din's Butler: Menial Labor.

What would make the expansion more interesting to me is if townspeople seemed to have lives of their own instead of always whining for me to solve their problems (e.g. townspeople donating to other starving townspeople; or the mining quests were changed to escort the miner to the vein and protect him as he mines, etc.)

I guess I should say, I like the concept of the menial town quests, but I want a reason to care and want to help them.

Other ideas: Instead of a simple pithy, "I am sorry you died" how about they escort me and help retrieve my Soulstone? If the townspeople also joined in stamping out the infestation instead of just standing there as the bugs crawl over their feet.

fiesher
01-19-2011, 10:38 AM
If Din's starts getting anything even vaguely looking like a story I'll probably stop playing. The core of the game is emergent questlines, not fixed narratives of boredom.

I do agree with the above quote. But the OP had other points which does add to the depth of the game (But with added prerequisites IMO), e.g. Specialized Imbue(Random Stat or property on an item?) upon Freedom or if the town was saved without an NPC death.

As long as the newer additions add to the depth of customization, while maintaining the super-replayable (read: random) theme, I'm on the bandwagon too.

Dewfreak83
01-19-2011, 02:03 PM
If Din's starts getting anything even vaguely looking like a story I'll probably stop playing. The core of the game is emergent questlines, not fixed narratives of boredom.
Amen to that sir. Emergent is an excellent way to describe Din's. I'm a huge fan of the intertwined events/quests that depend on your actions. The purpose of the suggested "Epic Quest" is to add more goals and replay value for for the player. The player would want to go through Din's quests with other characters in hopes of unlocking the Epic item for his class. For those that can relate think of Everquest's Epic: it was a very special, hard to get, weapon that not only had amazing stats but also provided a unique skill. It was impressive and rewarding to have your epic. Furthermore, with the quests being a quest-line, it can still be based on the emergent feeling... depending on how you solve the previous quest (choice between killing the boss or finding the artifact that traps the boss's soul) the following quest changes and is dependent on your actions. If anything, the main goal would be to create a stronger relationship between quests/events that emerge as they are specially designed to do that. By "story" I don't necessarily mean narrative - as I rarely ever read the narrative in Din's or any other RPG... one of the best things I like about Din's is how it tells its stories or events through actions... someone is actually shrunk from a curse, the town is raided, if my curiosity is peaked as to why or whom I can look at the details as to who is being a pain in my butt.

Giving the players even more rewards when the game is currently so easy also seems very inadvisable. While I think increasing player workload by having to manage an outpost worth of defence and quests would improve difficulty, some people already struggle with the pace of the game.
The goal here is diversity in the quest types. Perhaps the other unique thing about Outposts is that they are player-managed. You may give orders for you Outpost working to build defenses, or mine more gold, or scavenge more items - but you must hire folks from the town to work at your outpost for a particular role (builder, miner, guard, trader, etc). As far as the pace goes, the outpost should be mostly self-sustaining with the occasional quest to help it - but gives the player something else to look forward to personalizing or becoming involved with. This also opens the door for other more diverse or unique quests - if anything just in a unique environment (the outpost). As far as the pace and difficulty level, these are both fairly customizable by each player in the game settings.

I'm not hugely sure what you think 'lairs' add to the game. Is it just a branched level? Because bosses already surround themselves with guys, etc. Allowing them to add more traps or increase the power of guys around them has merit - maybe allowing them to 'promote' guys on their level to named badguys would result in value for raiding lower levels.
One of the key words you used relating to Lairs is the word raid. The goal is to give the player the feel that he is raiding some's place that is both important and powerful with lots of potentially good loot to be found... if he can get to the Lair's vault (key dropped by the boss?). The lair also breaks-up the monotonous feeling of all the levels. The lair follows a different theme (instead of a cave/rock, its walls and floor are cement and tile). The boss should be extremely difficult, where most players could not just walk in and destroy him - instead quests are often given to hinder or assault the Lair until the player is strong enough to attack the Boss directly. For example the Lair may have a research room where nasty things are made that are of course affecting the town and so the player is sent to "close it down".

Dewfreak83
01-19-2011, 02:11 PM
...the game could definitely benefit some UI improvements...

I second this notion. The UI really takes the quality of the game down a notch. In most cases it is border-line ugly and lacks some usability. One example is that when I talk to a town person - there are a ton of options/buttons... but I probably don't care about most or can't even do most (not all have quests for example so why add the clutter). It seems the strategy forward for the UI is to just add more gross-looking blue buttons (keying back to clutter).

But... its because the game play is so great and the fact the UI is bearable is why we all still love and play Din's!

Bluddy
01-19-2011, 02:28 PM
I actually think the UI is very user-friendly. Sure it's not perfect but aside from some minor quibbles, it's much more streamlined than many other ARPGs I've played and very easy to figure out and use.

pnakotus
01-19-2011, 03:15 PM
The NPC UI is pretty bad, since there are now about 12 buttons and in most cases the player only wants to use two. 'Talk' could be made more useful if NPCs could give you hints about other NPCs (traitors etc).

The idea of having 'reverse towns' around monster bosses is pretty neat, but I'm not sure it needs an extra level of its own. If the bosses are allowed to change the level they're deployed on, move deeper if they feel threatened, store loot they need for plots, add traps, guards etc I think you'd get a similar effect without needing to branch it off. I don't mind that the bosses are currently just kind of chilling out in corridors, but I can see the scope for adding interactions with the map - especially the 'raid' idea of messing up the boss's guards/loots/preparations/etc.

Dewfreak83
01-19-2011, 04:19 PM
The idea of having 'reverse towns' around monster bosses is pretty neat, but I'm not sure it needs an extra level of its own.

Part of the push for the Lair to have a level of its own is to create a more horizontal level versus the normal vertical levels (down deeper and deeper you go). These "horizontal" levels are key to breaking up the "I'm just going down deeper and deeper with the same looking theme" - but throws in an occasionally "expanded" level that introduces a different look and feel.

I know if I was an all-might powerful boss that commanded a legion of followers I would use those followers to create myself a place to call my own - to better organize, defend myself, and finally create total destruction on the town... without having to worry about all the ruckus going on outside in the dungeon. Kill the boss, not just because he'll send invasions or make nasty machines... he'll create a lair that will make killing him even that much more difficult. It is just further progression for the "leveling" of the monsters and a way to introduce new quests, a change in scenery, and perhaps other mechanics down the road.

Manumitted
01-19-2011, 04:22 PM
I do agree with the above quote. But the OP had other points which does add to the depth of the game (But with added prerequisites IMO), e.g. Specialized Imbue(Random Stat or property on an item?) upon Freedom or if the town was saved without an NPC death.

I save most of my towns without an NPC death. It's pretty easy to do if you aren't pushing yourself very hard on mob level or town characteristics. Rewarding people for not challenging themselves shouldn't be encouraged any more than it already is. If this idea makes it, the enchant should track the mobs' level, not the player's. Otherwise, you'd have people "saving" a bunch of mob Level 0 towns to levelup their gear. Getting a bunch of "+2 Light" or "+3 Stamina" "bonuses" should head that off.

pnakotus
01-19-2011, 04:31 PM
Fine-tuning the juggle between priorities is probably a big part of the beta; it's no good introducing a massive reward (selectable bonuses are always a big deal) when there's no way to track or control how actually hard it is to get. Even linking it to killing named guys is 'farmable' for little risk.

Frankly, you're already carrying over a bunch of selectable stuff between towns, and I don't see the game benefit in giving the player even more control and power.

pnakotus
01-19-2011, 04:36 PM
These "horizontal" levels are key to breaking up the "I'm just going down deeper and deeper with the same looking theme" - but throws in an occasionally "expanded" level that introduces a different look and feel.

The game doesn't really create this sense at all; the near-constant use of teleporters makes each level just separate levels, with only the ability to fall 'down' creating any sense of a vertical relationship. Why would adding on boss instances change anything? Why is 'different look and feel' valuable? Making the monsters able to carry out more NPC actions is a good idea, but otherwise...

Dewfreak83
01-19-2011, 04:48 PM
Frankly, you're already carrying over a bunch of selectable stuff between towns, and I don't see the game benefit in giving the player even more control and power.

It is not necessarily about control and power, it is about creating more goals for the player to accomplish in the grand-scheme of things (from town-to-town, or in the pursuit of freedom). Things can be tweaked to be harder/easier. The ideas I proposed are just examples. What I would really like to see and feel is a better sense of completing something or a better sense of progression from Din.

For the Embue idea:
It adds crafting (new mechanic, some people are nuts about crafting)
The fact you saved 10 towns (or gained your freedom thrice) carries more weight than merely leveling up and getting loot

Perhaps Din gives you 1 crafting component per town saved that may be used in recipes, but requires you to gain your freedom to even use a recipe?

pnakotus
01-19-2011, 05:00 PM
Oh man, crafting is just one more step on the road to Dinville. :lol:

Do you mean a sense of progression from the game, or the god? The god already steps things, is moving you around international hotspots to save the world, etc. There are rewards and motivations that aren't as intrusive on gameplay that should be considered first.

Dewfreak83
01-19-2011, 05:04 PM
The game doesn't really create this sense at all...
The game should create that sense since that is literally how it is spelled out and designed. You are going down deeper and deeper into the dungeon.

Why would adding on boss instances change anything?
Yes, a boss instance is close to what I was aiming at. Just as the dungeons go deeper and deeper... get harder and harder... that sets up the environment and feel of the adventurer. For these instances they may be bigger or smaller, weaker or stronger, richer or poorer to denote the power of the Boss... to once again create that environment and feel for the adventurer.

Why is 'different look and feel' valuable?
In part this is setting up that "environment and feel" mentioned earlier. It gives you a sense of "Wow, I just walked into a Lair - a monster created hideout... this will be hard/fun/rewarding". Also it is nice to break up the scenery every now and then. I look forward to the next town just so I have a semi-different looking dungeon. It gives you the sense that you are somewhere else.

This has been a really entertaining discussion. I don't see any real need to explore it more if the developers don't have any hint of interest though. This is all theoretical and conceptual talk :cool:
My main goal was simply to say, the expansion should really have more to really be called complete. I bought it just because I loved the core game so much, so regardless of how good/bad it was... I wanted to give something back. I think Din's curse has great potential - but if the development path follows in the same direction as this expansion... I worry about how successful the company/game will be in the future. I worry because I want Din's Curse 2! :)

pnakotus
01-19-2011, 05:07 PM
Why would it be somewhere else if its right next to the dungeon?

It really sounds like you're bored because of your preconceptions and want it to become 'less boring' in preconcieved ways. I play the game almost exclusively multi, so I don't get a lot of time to consider the 'feel' of the levels, so I think I'm on a totally different page to you. :) I think there's value in NPC-like monsters and in 'hidden' dungeon levels (ie levels that aren't on the list until you find them) that can be used for xyz boss stuff.

EDIT - actually, can you still do false-flag operations in Dins? In DoP you could kill all but one of the guys in a meeting and the OTHER guys would assume it was the monsters that did it and start a war. If there was some concept of being 'based' on a certain level, the wars between the different monster factions could cross levels and be much more interesting.

Regarding the expansion (finally back to the OP :)) I bought it because of the description on the website, and I think it fulfills that. I'm happy to pay my $9 to support the development of the game, and the features it adds are good. I think there's actually a lot of content in the expansion, it just doesn't have any 'wow' feature at the moment. But for more Dins, I'm happy.

Dewfreak83
01-19-2011, 05:21 PM
Regarding the expansion (finally back to the OP :)) I bought it because of the description on the website, and I think it fulfills that.

I have to agree. The current state of the expansion pretty much meets the description. I worry about reviews and acceptance from those looking for a "better deal".

I'm happy to pay my $9 to support the development of the game
I agree. If they came out with another expansion with no real "meat" I'd probably buy that too... just in hopes of a better future :)

I think there's actually a lot of content in the expansion, it just doesn't have any 'wow' feature at the moment..
I guess I just don't feel that there was much added. There may be tons of things going on behind the scenes with the NPCs, but I'm really just not feeling any of it. You might as well just have sold the Demon Hunter class to be honest - but I hope expansions are not set by this precedent.

pnakotus
01-20-2011, 01:52 AM
I dunno about that; there are heaps of monsters, heaps of new quest angles, a lot more stuff to do, the badguys do more stuff, etc. It's exactly what it said when Shadow said 'more of what makes DC unique'. It doesn't really have a big standout 'wow' feature, but it's only beta. I bought it because I wanted more aggressive towns where more, different things happened, and that's what I got.

Magitek
01-20-2011, 02:49 AM
I guess I just don't feel that there was much added. There may be tons of things going on behind the scenes with the NPCs, but I'm really just not feeling any of it. You might as well just have sold the Demon Hunter class to be honest - but I hope expansions are not set by this precedent.

Felt like this for me also, was kind of a let down initially.
In Din's Curse I must have saved a few hundred towns by now and when booting up the expansion, it just felt exactly the same, I really had to force myself onward.

Ofcourse ten minutes later you begin to notice there's a heck of a lot more going on.

Class complaints:
Demon hunter is interesting enough, but I didn't feel particularly excited by it. The skills and playstyle don't feel particularly unique to me.
Warden struck me as slightly interesting initially because I thought it would be more of a territory control character.
For Reaver naturally, I was imagining a lightning fast charge/chain melee behemoth that nearly jumped from target to target.
Demonologist.. well I didn't have any preconceptions about this; needs more demon-power abuse. Like eating monsters to gain abilities.

Starting a new character, a new town, doing the quests, it felt a bit too samely. I have the feeling reviewers will nag about this to some extent. What can be done about it? I'm not sure.

Some of the original cave levels(not all) look really abysmal compared to the newer dungeon content, which are really well crafted. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to retire or update these.

Comments on some of the OPs ideas:

Epic quest - maybe a chain of quests that go between towns (randomly chosen stories or none at all, so long as it doesn't hurt the dynamic aspect of Din's Curse)
It could build up to a battlefield map or a major encounter, possibly even going against one of Din's rival gods/demons (... if such a thing can exist.)
Class specific quests wouldn't be a terrible addition either, though I don't really have a clue what they'd entail.

Boss lair - A static camp located in a dungeon that sends waves of monsters similar to invasion mode, but on a lesser scale. The camp might also send out a group of elites to certain levels to patrol for awhile, before moving on to a different level.

Outposts/Caravans - Capturable midpoint in the dungeon, or via quest could be interesting, wouldn't really have to contain much. Couple vendors, a guard, maybe a lifestone or protection totem and an optional quest.

Embue - I don't see the problem in getting choice of blessings on non-magical items from time to time; rep rewards are pretty much this, but on an uncontrollable level. There is no end to the rewards that don't go with my existing character (not that you can't trade them).

Battlefield - An epic build up to one of these would be pretty cool. Maybe every 8 or so towns, you could get a battlefield map, or the option to partake in it to further honor Din.
You could go up against some sort of supposed invasion overlord or maybe it could just be a special invasion-mode town.
I wouldn't get too RTS-like with it, but it's still a decent idea.

And a random one of my own:
Secret and themed levels - Where are these? (unless they're hiding!) Mini-themed levels seem like a fun idea to mix things up.
You could have monsters of all one type, or all one resistance, or one race. Maybe even modifiers in the secret level, like a bonus/weakness to fire damage, or a negative mana effect like a drain.
The secret levels would obviously be optional side-quest material, that promote different slightly different strategies.

A long standing issue with Din's Curse is the fact that one tileset is used throughout an entire game, we could use a few more surprises here.

Ultimately I don't really have a problem with the amount of content in the expansion, but I still can't help but think about throwing more into the mix!

Nobear
01-20-2011, 02:51 AM
I agree that it feels more alive than before at low level, but at high level I haven't seen half the new NPC-related action and quests. If the game was anti-climactic before, that's an understatement now. I'm hoping Shadow gets to the bottom of this soon.

pnakotus
01-20-2011, 04:13 PM
Is there a problem with the new stuff showing up for high-level characters?

squeak
01-20-2011, 04:27 PM
I agree that the UI really needs a rework.

When I first played DC I was wondering why there are so many buttons on the NPC-Interaction window.

The only scenario where I could possibly want to use more then one alternative is when a npc has both a quest and a shop.

Then with DW there are even more buttons... why?

Just as an experiment, how about making a "simple npc"-interface option? Where clicking on a npc with a shop automatically takes you to the shop window, quest npc's take you to the quest window, and only if they have both, pop up a selection window.

Then let people try it out for a while and see what they think about it.


Oh, and one more thing, why is there a cap on how many active quests you can have at once?

Nobear
01-20-2011, 04:37 PM
pnakotus, I've been playing almost every day since Demon War came out, almost exclusively on 50+ toons, and have only once seen a single fight break out at these levels, and have still never seen

a) townspeople poisoning the food/water supply
b) townspeople letting in a scout
c) townspeople setting up traps
d) finding evidence quest
e) townspeople getting banished from town

at level 50+, and I'm probably forgetting some stuff. I only played once at lower level (23-27 on a 20 multiplayer town) in this time, and it was the craziest town any of us had seen, with much of the hanky-panky mentioned above.

Shadow says he's aware that high level townspeople have less money problems, but he hasn't figured out why yet. Any ideas people come up with to get to the bottom of it would be great.

pnakotus
01-20-2011, 04:56 PM
Whoa, that's crazy. Maybe they're 'better' at maintaining their happiness so the interesting stuff doesn't show up. Hopefully Shadow can work it out, because I'd expect high-level stuff to be much more difficult with the added workload.

Nobear
01-20-2011, 05:16 PM
Shadow, when you said happiness wasn't directly related to level, what did you mean? How is it indirectly related?

All I can think of, is that if you don't find the culprit, maybe there are some variables which would offset money problems and happiness at each difficulty level. If possible, tweak the right stuff so at each difficulty, townspeople on average are less happy. Then, again, we can help you fine-tune it in the next patch.

FloodSpectre
01-20-2011, 07:07 PM
pnakotus, I've been playing almost every day since Demon War came out, almost exclusively on 50+ toons, and have only once seen a single fight break out at these levels, and have still never seen

a) townspeople poisoning the food/water supply
b) townspeople letting in a scout
c) townspeople setting up traps
d) finding evidence quest
e) townspeople getting banished from town

at level 50+, and I'm probably forgetting some stuff. I only played once at lower level (23-27 on a 20 multiplayer town) in this time, and it was the craziest town any of us had seen, with much of the hanky-panky mentioned above.

Just chiming in here... at level 40-45 I saw a lot of this activity, but since passing that point I'm not seeing much activity anymore either. There's an occasional starving NPC and some basic NPC quests here and there, but not much otherwise.

pnakotus
01-20-2011, 07:53 PM
If the problem is money or the way the npc calculate 'danger' or 'happiness' I think we can cook up solutions for the high end. I don't have any characters above 30 so I haven't seen this myself.

Shadow
01-20-2011, 08:00 PM
Shadow, when you said happiness wasn't directly related to level, what did you mean? How is it indirectly related?

I didn't mean to imply that there were indirect things. I just meant that with so many complex interactions going on there could be some indirect things that I don't realize.

Nobear
01-22-2011, 12:19 AM
Could this be the issue, Shadow?

From Din's Curse/Expansions/DemonWar/Assets/assets001/Database/systems2.gdb:

GameSystemExp1 overrides GameSystem
{
...
ReputationToHappinessMult 0.01
...
ReputationToNpcReputationMult 0.01
...

If a character's reputation increases the happiness of NPCs, this would generally increase with level. If this is how this mechanic works, I say it should be taken out completely. It could be what's preventing any of the other related mechanics from coming out at high level.

Shadow
01-22-2011, 01:23 PM
Could this be the issue, Shadow?

ReputationToHappinessMult 0.01

I don't think that's the problem. The NPCs use the raw reputation number which doesn't change as you get to higher levels.

Nobear
01-22-2011, 04:16 PM
What raw reputation number?

Shadow
01-22-2011, 05:46 PM
What raw reputation number?

From a data standpoint there is a raw reputation and XP value for quests, but then it changes them based on the quest level compared to the player's level. For the NPC though, it uses the raw value so there shouldn't be anything level based.

udm
01-23-2011, 02:14 AM
I don't regret purchasing the expansion, but on the other hand I don't feel I would have missed out on anything if I hadn't.


I agree with most of the sentiments mentioned by Stairs. The changes are welcome, and I like them, but as I expressed in my other thread, the overall initial experience falls a bit short of what Din's delivered at first. Core gameplay still feels more of the same, which isn't a bad thing, but it's lacking in substantial content like more quest lines. I've yet to try out all the class combos, which I think will continue to keep the game refreshing for a while more, but mid-endgame and endgame content is quite hollow, especially once you've broken past the initial stages of surprises. New monsters and tilesets are cool, but IMO Din's Curse's strength isn't in the acquisition of better loot or killing that next boss, but rather the process of doing so; likewise, townspeople starving and having emotions are nice distractions, but they're just that.

I haven't had the chance to test the last few patches after v1.014 though. The game is definitely more frantic with the expansion than without, but I'm a bit reluctant to carry on with my level 90 Trickster hybrid.

Bluddy
01-23-2011, 03:26 AM
I agree that the uniqueness of DC is not in the bosses, though due to its randomness you sometimes get some truly awesome bosses. I had one level with a boss from another god who regenerated at such a rate that even all of my raised pets couldn't whittle his health down with my help. That's when you're grateful for the ability to reconfigure your character's skills. It was epic...

Anyway, that's not my point here. What I want to say is that Shadow did the right thing by making the NPCs more interesting and complex. But whether he wants to do it in this expansion or in another, much of the depth of DC is in its frantic quests and variety. I'd love to see:

- Full escort missions for groups of NPCs who need to do something in the dungeon for several minutes (who can start fights amongst themselves).
- A last ditch effort mission to take out a really problematic level by taking a (magic) bomb to a specific location in a PACKED level. Rogues will be spotted repeatedly because of the bomb. You lose all the quests on the level but hopefully save the town.
- A warlock transforms you into a random monster, and then goes to live in the town, secretly plotting its imminent destruction. Suddenly the relationships between the dungeon creatures apply to you ie. rival factions will attack you but your faction won't. You need to take out the warlock in the town, but you can't communicate with anyone since you're a monster.
- Along similar twisted lines, a rival god traps/charms you and makes you work *against* the town. You get experience points helping the dungeon encroach on the town. Even better, Din sends you to do undercover work against the other god. You *pretend* to work for that god, which means you attack the town (making enemies of the townies) but secretly protect them.
- Other creative quests, many reserved for the highest levels.

Bluddy
01-28-2011, 02:29 AM
Having played a couple of towns with the expansion, I would really like to see the NPC interactions matter more. I was thinking of having certain NPCs have connections to factions in the dungeon. That reminds me, I'd like to see monster factions matter more. Bosses are fairly predictable in that they'll build their machines and they'll fight the town. There's some missions about stopping peace meetings between factions , but most of the time there's no awareness of there being large factions warring with each other (other than monsters fighting, which is cool).

I'd like to see the bosses being more unpredictable in that they might ally with the town if they're losing against the other factions. Those monsters will then fight on our side and won't attack the hero. At the same time, NPCs may have built up relations with certain monster factions. If a specific NPC dies, the alliance with the monsters will suffer or be over.

Alliances with monsters would be more unpredictable and volatile than DoP's alliances, since it's easy to accidentally kill an allied monster (you might just forget they're on your side). Also, monsters are random, stupid creatures and some might attack you even if they're on your side.

udm
01-28-2011, 10:06 AM
^Yup agree with those points, there's much untapped potential.

Maledictus
02-01-2011, 12:52 PM
It seems most things mentioned here are about mechanics, so I'd like to offer my 2 cents, about design.

One of the reasons that I keep coming back to DoP is the overarching sense of purpose. Now, I know comparing DoP and DC isn't exactly fair (the design goals for DC were different after all) but I still feel this deserves a mention because both games share so much in their game mechanics. In DoP there were many factors that perpetuated the feel of 'going somewhere', in terms of achieving results. There is the graph section that displays progress, there's the covenants with their changing attitudes, there's the world design that keeps you going further out, there's the fact that one game usually lasts much longer than one town-saving in DC. I miss that in DC. I save a town and go on to the next one. The freedom thing is a goal but that isn't that big a deal. It would be cool if there was some sort of mechanic or addition that would allow me to feel as if I'm part of something bigger, working towards a goal that is beyond saving the next town. I have some ideas on this but as it's unlikely that it will make its way into the game I'll save you the (boring) read.

As I said, DC is a different game than DoP and I certainly don't expect DC to turn into DoP 1.5. It's just something that was buzzing in the brain.

Bluddy
02-01-2011, 02:20 PM
One of the reasons that I keep coming back to DoP is the overarching sense of purpose. Now, I know comparing DoP and DC isn't exactly fair (the design goals for DC were different after all) but I still feel this deserves a mention because both games share so much in their game mechanics. In DoP there were many factors that perpetuated the feel of 'going somewhere', in terms of achieving results. There is the graph section that displays progress, there's the covenants with their changing attitudes, there's the world design that keeps you going further out, there's the fact that one game usually lasts much longer than one town-saving in DC. I miss that in DC. I save a town and go on to the next one. The freedom thing is a goal but that isn't that big a deal. It would be cool if there was some sort of mechanic or addition that would allow me to feel as if I'm part of something bigger, working towards a goal that is beyond saving the next town. I have some ideas on this but as it's unlikely that it will make its way into the game I'll save you the (boring) read.

I agree. You won't find the same epic feel in DC as you do in DoP for the reasons you mentioned. Also, DoP has the background information about the world and the creatures as well as the linear quests to keep you going on a certain path. As you stated though, all of that is by design -- you're supposed to just roll another random town.

I'd like to hear your ideas. One I just thought of as I was reading your post is that corresponding to the increasing dungeon levels, as you progress up the levels you'd save a larger and larger city with more problems and deeper dungeons. This isn't so different from what we have now. Towns could easily remain completely random, but as you'd get to the big cities, they could have more set things such as certain famous characters, certain unique quests and specific bosses. Eventually you'd save the human capital city of InsertNameHere and carry out an endgame quest. You'd then get to look back on your career of town wins/losses (this is a good idea to have anyway), but you'd still be able to roll as many new towns/cities as you wish (as you can do now).

Maledictus
02-01-2011, 04:37 PM
First:
- A reason for me not to mention these ideas was because it could be seen as presumptuous of me; though I am also a developer (working from home) I don't work on games, so my experience comes only from playing.
- This isn't criticism in any way, I have the greatest respect for the dev and for the games.

Indeed, the idea of stringing towns together is something I thought of too.

- Instead of prepping the game by selecting settings for 1 town, it could be for x (chosen by player?) towns with a 'final town' at the end, with a suitable beefy quest at the end. Could make things harder on the player, because you essentially commit to the settings for x towns to come. Which is good; cause and effect. Afterwards results, and results per town (to be displayed whenever the player wishes) as a sort of achievement log (which is cool either way, as stated). This could be expanded by adding rewards based on the amount of towns played; choose 2 towns (and finish them) for a low level reward, choose 10 towns for a high(er) level reward.
- The 'stringing towns together' idea can be shaped in many ways. One way I thought of is putting a map of sorts on the screen, like a continent, and have that littered with towns. Work your way through that screen (it would be displayed when between towns), connecting towns by 'saving' them. Click on a town to get to the current pre-town settings, then play the town, and when the town is saved display that on the map in some sort of way. Click on a saved town to see the result/achievements screen for that town. Create goals by pre-determining how many towns must be saved before the game 'ends'. Or do things like 'create small map (shorter game)' or 'create big map (longer game)'. This idea would also nicely fit the 'abandon town' mechanic; lose or abandon a town creates consequences (to be determined) and you could re-try the town later, if you like. Being able to go back to a failed town is also a good continuity thing.
In my view the map would create a nice sense of progression.
I recognise that this idea consists of a lot of work.
- Expand the 'become free' system. Use ranks and have the player work much harder (read: longer) to become free. When free, end the game (a la DoP) and let the player begin again; make becoming free the game's main quest. Give rewards at the end based on time taken, deaths suffered, NPCs getting killed etc. to enforce/reward thoughtful play. If you lose a town, have consequences like dropping in rank and therefore having to work longer to become free. This could also be expanded by only letting the player select town settings once; before getting to work on becoming free. So the chosen difficulty stays with the player until he/she becomes free.
Now that I think of it, this would be very much like DoP; choose game settings, get to work (finish the quest), take reward, end the game, go again.

Just a few of the possibilities, I thought. I tried to keep in mind that resources are limited (I mean with regard to the dev) so no major overhaul things (I hope). Also, these things should not clash with the design goals for the add-on, as they are town-based (like DC itself).

I might add stuff if more comes to mind.

Nobear
02-01-2011, 07:33 PM
The ranks of becoming free already exist. At each difficulty level you get a different unique quest. Normal gives you "Granted Freedom", Champion gives you "Din's Champion", Elite gives you "Din's Elite" and Legendary gives you "Din's Legend". I see how your vision of them is different though.

Caal
02-05-2011, 04:08 PM
In comparing DW with unexpanded DC, (v 1.019) it seems like in DW the pacing is faster, even when the same setting is used in both. I typically use slow pace, and that pace feels comfortable in DC, but on slow pace in DW, it seems like there is a higher monster density, respawns are faster and larger, and more quests appear. I switched to very slow pace and used slow NPC pace, and just finished a town with an 8 level dungeon. It took 1:50 to complete, had 81 quests (several were NPC starving), and the log had 456 lines of event text (many NPC fights even without the Rowdy modifier). That doesn't seem like very slow pace to me. I think the slowest two modes (and maybe normal too) may need to be toned down.

Emceegyver
02-05-2011, 04:45 PM
The idea of stringing towns together and going back to failed ones got me thinking.

A new gamemode where instead of saving the town, you are rebuilding/starting a town. The quests could start off with finding townsfolk to populate the city, then find material to construct buildings with, etc.

A cool feature that could go with this (since I don't think it will offer enough quest diversity) would be an expanding dungeon to match the town. The dungeon could start off with 2 or 3 levels, and as you complete quests, find townsfolk, construct buildings, etc, the dungeon will have levels added, or current levels expanded.

if you expand the town too far, the dungeon could grow too strong. it could add a nice balancing element to the game.

A quest that could be added to both gamemodes could be "rally the town" (only in last ditch efforts) and if completed, all npcs and townsfolk would get a small buff (adrenaline?) and rush into the dungeon.


Aside from that I have one other idea: hiring npcs to do a quest for you (no reputation or xp gain). I think it would be neat if they were persistant with you, kinda like the mercs from D2 but instead of fighting alongside you, they venture off on their own and report back. you would control their gear and they would level up. and if you didn't want to pay them they would just leave and come back when you wanted to start paying again.


Main thing I think needs to be added though, but I can't think of how the system for it could work: crafting/enhancing gear. Heirloom system perhaps? Imbueing? I don't know, but IMO it could fill a big gameplay gap.



Side note: I bought DC a long time ago, just never used forums. I stopped playing for a few months and when I checked to see if there was a new patch, I noticed the expansion. Bought it immediately. Not dissapointed, but not impressed either. Definitely has potential though (liking reaver a lot :))

tacitus
02-06-2011, 11:13 AM
I only recently started replaying and have been 1.018 and 1.019 with Demon War. I have found the pacing all over the place on normal. With at least one town it was all I could do to keep up with the traitors, bosses and invasions and I could have easily lost. One town was very slow (and boring). And the other 3 or so were somewhere in between. All the towns had the default setup.

Maledictus
02-08-2011, 12:10 PM
On a side note: In DW the people make it hard for me to actually care about rescuing them. When I'm fighting down there they go and kill eachother or poison the (my!) food or water supply. That kinda makes it hard to care for those idiots... Now if all that misery was caused by monsters from the dungeons, I'd be okay with that. Am I missing something, perhaps? Does unhappiness make them suicidal and turn them into murderous psychopaths? We need more lithium potions...

Bluddy
02-08-2011, 12:28 PM
On a side note: In DW the people make it hard for me to actually care about rescuing them. When I'm fighting down there they go and kill eachother or poison the (my!) food or water supply. That kinda makes it hard to care for those idiots...

Agreed. This is an inherent problem of the asymmetry between the good and bad interactions. The NPCs can really mess up our days, so to speak, what with their poisoning, trapping and renegading. But they can't do that much good stuff except give us presents, which aren't usually that great and are impersonal.

One thing that could help that is more personal interaction. They could dance when we accomplish big things in the dungeon, come to us and thank us for rescuing them, and collectively build statues for us. They could go to their fallen fellow NPCs and cry (if they liked them), then bury them (at least before they vanish :) ).

I really like talking to the NPCs and having them occasionally say who they're married to, or even how they feel about certain characters. I wish they'd say more personal things rather than reciting lore and info about enemies, which is information the steward/warmaster should have. Backgrounds, how they're feeling, what they think about the traitors, that they're feeling sick -- all of these would give them extra dimension, making me feel for them more.

PixelLord
02-08-2011, 03:24 PM
Am I missing something, perhaps? Does unhappiness make them suicidal and turn them into murderous psychopaths? We need more lithium potions...

Ha ha ha... yes we need lithium potions! I just want the ability to stop fights. One warmaster went renegade so I recruited a new one. When he appeared, he immediately picked a fight with the steward. I stood there feeding both money and food for a while hoping to ease the tensions ...didn't do a thing. The warmaster killed the steward. Now I'm waiting to recruit a new steward ...who, as soon as he arrives, will probably kill off the apothecary.

DeathKnight1728
02-08-2011, 07:19 PM
Most towns i play end up doing fine. Some have gone south when it comes to sanity. They are usually either pacifistic in nature, or complete nutcases who dont know what they want. I had more than a few towns where the questgiver told me to clean up the poisoned water. I did so and they congratulated me, only for me to find out they were the one who poisoned it. What is the reasoning behind that, other than they are madmen. Why would they tell me to do something just so they can be the nemesis all along.

It would make sense if there was a psychotic people modifier that came with some towns. If that was a modifier, I expect to see din flipping pixieburgers with an axe and everyone else to be singing in a language only they can understand.

Emceegyver
02-08-2011, 07:35 PM
the questgiver told me to clean up the poisoned water. I did so and they congratulated me, only for me to find out they were the one who poisoned it. What is the reasoning behind that, other than they are madmen.

The questgiver hired you in the hopes that you would fail, probably hoped you had already drank the water. At any rate, they figured they would be off scott free because they looked innocent for trying to have it fixed. These are some deep npc's :D