Temple of The Roguelike Forums

Players => Early Dev => Topic started by: Joonas on March 23, 2019, 02:03:07 PM

Title: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on March 23, 2019, 02:03:07 PM
(http://www.zorbus.net/graphics/s05.png)

Zorbus is a fantasy-themed, graphical, turn-based, role-playing roguelike game. Your goal is to delve deep into a dungeon, find a portal to a mythical place called the Zorbus where a mere mortal can ascend to demigodhood.

The goal is to create a tight, streamlined dungeon crawling experience where the dungeon feels alive. Thematically Zorbus draws influence from the late 70s and early 80s tabletop AD&D campaigns and adventures.

The rule system for the game is slightly influenced by the d20-system used in the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Zorbus has experience levels but no character classes (race and gender is selected). On each level-up, you point-buy skills and talents. Talents are mostly combat abilities and spells.

By design, Zorbus does not have a hunger mechanic, item identification, crafting, autoexplore, an overworld map or quests.

More info, online manual and download here:
http://www.zorbus.net
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Krice on March 27, 2019, 11:28:03 AM
It looks promising. What does "dungeon feels alive" mean?
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on March 27, 2019, 02:04:39 PM
It looks promising. What does "dungeon feels alive" mean?
My plan was:
Dungeons are themed (both in map layouts and themed content in areas). There are special areas like throne rooms, banquet halls and prisons. There are several factions in the dungeon and also some wild life usually in caverns. Creatures also comment things and act somewhat intelligently.

I have mostly done all that. Whether these things are good or done well is a different story. Some players might prefer plain rooms, corridors and random monsters who never flee or use potions etc.

Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on March 29, 2019, 06:59:49 PM
Release 4
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on March 31, 2019, 07:18:03 PM
At least one player has gotten to the endgame and of course there was a bug in there.

Release 5
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on April 07, 2019, 12:50:16 AM
Release 6
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Troubler on April 08, 2019, 02:30:32 AM
At first I was put off by the apparent simplicity of the game, but it's actually really good.
Your dungeons are some of the best I've seen in a roguelike, and they do feel "alive" like you described.
The chatter the characters make is also pretty fun. The gameplay is immersive and has decent depth.
It is hard to put my finger on it, but something about it is unusually enjoyable.

Great job, I haven't seen something like this before. I hope you keep working on it.
I'll be playing it the next few days before getting you some more detailed feedback.

---

EDIT:

I've been playing maybe once or twice a day for this last week. I put in some more effort today and managed to beat it!
Got the ultimate ending (Though no sign of "that guy" yet, but I could have probably easily defeated him with this last character anyway).
This has quickly become one of my favorite roguelikes. The gameplay is engaging, the lore is charming, and the dungeon makes exploration fun and death not too frustrating.
My biggest complaint right now is that the later levels got a bit too easy. Though it was pretty cathartic melting demons left and right and punting liches around.
My winning strategy this time was producing some kind of lone-wolf "super wizard" which also took advantage of the talent bonus mind gives to boost all my abilities sky high.
This worked out a little bit too well, and I destroyed the second half of the game. First half went well too. The EXP bonus from a mind-based character also helped with that part.
There is not a lot of reward for diversifying your spell repertoire at the moment, so this didn't have many drawbacks at all. I focused on energy bolt/blink/acid cloud for ~90% of the game.
By the end I was a jack of all trades who could even hold up in melee against many tougher opponents, though spells were still king.
The avaliablity of summons largely made the penalty for lone-wolf irrelevant, and probably should not have been an option.
Though there were other reasons not to use summons (which I talk about below) that drove me away from their use for the most part.

Anyway, here are my notes for the game.
I wont post my victory log since there are no spoilers, unless you think it's okay.


---

(notes)
1.Some way to instruct allies from a distance would be nice. You can use "Y" to yell, so you should be able to shout commands.
2.It's easy to accidently kill a fungus in a fungaloid garden. I noticed the game warns you if you try to steal from them.
   Maybe this should give a warning too?
3.Haven't tested this yet, but if you start out with a mind of 13 or something, and then take the "great mind" perk to raise it,
   will you get the talent points for the levels that you earned before you got the perk?
4.The EXP penalty for killing enemies using allies can be pretty steep for spirit-based characters
   Depending on allies is not very viable, (or even wise considering no respawning enemies) as a result right now.
   This factor made me only consider using summons as a desperation move most of the time (mainly fighting one or two of the final bosses).
5.The game switches to the 100-turn wait when you have full-HP but doesn't take stamina into account
   This resulted in a lot of tedious tapping when waiting out stamina regeneration.
   Though I did get the rhythm down to the point it was almost seamless!
7.Could the Autopilot browse for known locked containers? Often when I find a key, I want to head back to one, but I forget their location.
8.I was constantly wasting health potions confusing 1 with F1. This was a big pain, I had just turned off auto-quickslots as a result.
9.Theoretical question: Does a dagger in the off-hand still lower melee defense?
   I'm not really sure what this mechanic is supposed to simulate beyond two-handed weapons being unwieldly.
10.Coins have weight and auto-loot grabs coins automatically. This adds some annoyance when managing my stash of coins.
11.Auto-loot in general is a pain when stashing arrows, shots, scrolls, potions, and similar things.
   Maybe there can be an option when opening a container to exclude it from auto-loot, or maybe even an option not to auto-loot containers at all?
   Otherwise the containers in the dimensional market would be good to have something like an exclusion for auto-loot at least, as they have nothing.
   (Actually this issue turned out to be the worst of them all, "Auto-pickup" from my stashes constantly went on my nerves)
12.Could you make it so I could pull up more character info during a level-up? Like what 'c' does normally in play.
   Often I want to make some decisions with regards to how my stats are, but I forget the details off hand.
13.Does lone-wolf bar the simulcruim spell from being useful? I have never cast it, but I don't know if it would act like a summon or "real" character.
14.There should be a confirmation for selecting the non-saving "quit" options from the menu.

(cosmetic remarks)
1.A lizardman on level 2 refered to me when I was not in his line of sight, and also in an adjacent room.
2.When something is trapped, the game refers to it by the name probably in the code.
   Like "There is a trap in the fu_altar" rather than just the altar. I guess fu is short for "furniture".
3.I ran into the merchant plane to escape a monster who had poisoned me. It followed me in, and the poison killed me.
   The greeter there then called me a thief when I died, even though I had just waked in a few seconds before.
4.Animal bones produced a humanoid undead minion? (This may not have actually happened, I was not paying much attention at the time).
5.Confusion description grammar is wrong "End of fighting each other"
6.Githyanki warrior spelling mistake, he says "otside" rather than "outside" when he meets the player
7.Generally speaking, enemies may refer to the player when talking to another hostile.
   For example, the Mycon said "Why did you do this human?" when fighting a zombie.
   He continued to say this to me, even though he killed the zombie and we were never fighting.
8.Nightvision sounds nice, but it is so hard to see in the darkness that it was not worth the eye-strain for me.
   This is a pretty big problem if you want to attempt a stealth-heavy run. As a result I have not as of yet.
9.Missing punctuation for an engraving: "Just take a look around you (.) What do you see (?) Pain, suffering, and misery.
   (Or something like that)


(bugs)
1.The great-flail doesn't seem to count as a "great" weapon in the case of the "great reach" talent
2.Clicking "Return to main menu" sometimes just restarts the game with the same character
   This button is generally buggy. The character I get sometimes starts with a halberd and platemail as well. (Debug?)
3.My summons wont attack a hostile enemy who became hostile after they were summoned.
   See: Animals that lose their patience and attack. Try summoning before they get angry.
4.You can not ctrl-move into other characters diagonally as far as I know.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on April 20, 2019, 03:22:42 PM
(http://www.zorbus.net/graphics/s10.png)

Troubler,
thanks a lot for your post! I read it first before you edited it and didn't notice until now that you had updated it (date of the post didn't change).

I just updated the game to release 8. I'll try to fix the things you mentioned.

Major stuff in release 8:
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on April 22, 2019, 11:30:05 AM
Release 9 is out and fixes some issues that Troubler mentioned:

13.Does lone-wolf bar the simulcruim spell from being useful? I have never cast it, but I don't know if it would act like a summon or "real" character.
Lone wolf -talent does not affect Simulacrum or other cloning methods. Added a note to the talent's description.

9.Theoretical question: Does a dagger in the off-hand still lower melee defense? I'm not really sure what this mechanic is supposed to simulate beyond two-handed weapons being unwieldly.
Each hand / item has their own attack/defense rate. For defense, the item with best defense value is used or dodge-skill if its skill value is higher. I'll have to create some extra character sheet page where these values are listed.

1.The great-flail doesn't seem to count as a "great" weapon in the case of the "great reach" talent
This is odd. I tested this and it worked. Note that the reach attack indicator is not shown if a creature is not aggroed enough to attack you. You can still attack it with [f]ire.

2.Clicking "Return to main menu" sometimes just restarts the game with the same character This button is generally buggy. The character I get sometimes starts with a halberd and platemail as well. (Debug?)
Hopefully this was already fixed in some earlier release. Yes, those items were for the debug character.

1.Some way to instruct allies from a distance would be nice. You can use "Y" to yell, so you should be able to shout commands.
This might be added at some point. Any ideas for what commands to have? Or what kind of UI to have for it?

3.Haven't tested this yet, but if you start out with a mind of 13 or something, and then take the "great mind" perk to raise it, will you get the talent points for the levels that you earned before you got the perk?
No, it doesn't affect previously earned talent points.

8.I was constantly wasting health potions confusing 1 with F1. This was a big pain, I had just turned off auto-quickslots as a result.
You can also change quickslot key bindings to letter keys (H for healing potion) or shift + function key etc.

8.Nightvision sounds nice, but it is so hard to see in the darkness that it was not worth the eye-strain for me. This is a pretty big problem if you want to attempt a stealth-heavy run. As a result I have not as of yet.
Yes, this is annoying. Not sure how to handle this.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Troubler on April 24, 2019, 02:59:45 AM
I probably should have just double-posted, it's not like there is much competition anyway.
But good to see you are still at it. I'm particularly excited about the autoloot change.
Also I forgot to mention that I was playing release 6 when I took those notes.

Quote
This is odd. I tested this and it worked. Note that the reach attack indicator is not shown if a creature is not aggroed enough to attack you. You can still attack it with [f]ire.
I think I had pressed 'f' and it gave me the red text that says I need a reach weapon.
Maybe I was wrong here though, and may have not have picked up the talent for that particular character.
But I could have sworn I double checked by picking up a great-sword with the same guy and it worked.

Quote
This might be added at some point. Any ideas for what commands to have? Or what kind of UI to have for it?
I'm not so sure anymore. I wrote that when I was using allies more, but now mostly do lone wolf characters.
I remember wanting this when one of my allies ran off to fight a powerful enemy I was escaping from, and they got themselves killed.
I wanted a way to get them to follow me away from the danger. It could also be used to prioritize targeting when against multiple enemies.
You could maybe also use it to talk to or recruit characters from a distance, which would make sense to me since they already talk to you over distances.
For UI I was just thinking about expanding the 'y' command to have some sub-options. Similar to how autopilot works now.
You point at a target and press the button for what you want to do.

Quote
Yes, this is annoying. Not sure how to handle this.
Maybe what is covered by night-vision could be tinted a certain color (something easy on the eyes), but only when not covered by actual light.
That's all I can think of.

---

In the meantime I beat the game again in release 8.
I had a feeling about that key in the end... It was a bit anticlimactic, but worth going back just for fun anyway. The secret boss was kind of a pushover.
He should be able to blink away when stuck, or have resistances, or something. Since I just filled up his room with acid and he would helplessly melt.
I had to block the door, but his damage output wasn't enough to compete with the devastating and ongoing background effect of the acid.
Then again, I saved him for last, expecting more of a fight, so my character was also tremendously over-leveled for the occasion.
Otherwise the final bosses were considerably more difficult this time due to me lacking a cloak of immunity or something like that.
This is despite the fact that I was a much higher level when fighting them.

I had also put more effort into searching and leveled the skill this time around. It payed off well in items, experience, and entertainment.
Though even with a very high search (26 with true-sight), it was pretty hard finding every nook and cranny of each level, I tended to get ~%97 coverage.
I also put more points into disarm, but it was not so useful. Traps themselves are never a big threat, and setting them is not worth the investment.
But maybe a more limited character would find use in it. This guy had better (magical) ways of doing all the things disarm does.
The potential for additional EXP for disarming things was alluring though, but ultimately I didn't invest enough to see how far that goes.

Just a few more things I noticed this time around. These are all for release 8 unless otherwise noted.

(notes)
1.The game should give a warning before stepping into dangerous terrain, like an acid cloud.
   It wasn't a big issue, and I only slipped once or twice into one. But I could see it being a particularly frustrating death.
2.The "true-sight" spell was pretty tedious to tap over and over when searching old levels for hidden doors.
   Not sure what to recommend, since it's the only spell with this problem.
3.Maybe there could also be an option in the autopilot to help with backtracking to unsprung traps.
   Once I had the disarm skill leveled, I wanted to go back and disarm some, but finding them again was difficult.
4.I noticed the game has this strange habit of greying out the option to save occasionally. It has only happened a few times and I don't know what it is for.
   All 3 times this happened to me were pretty inconvenient though, particularly since I use wine and the screensaver popping up crashes the game.
   Usually it "clears up" after a while as well, and I can save again, but I don't know what causes that either.
5.The victory/obituary file should have a note somewhere for which release this happened in.
6.The secret boss doesn't drop that essence stuff like all the others do in the end (Though that might be intentional).

(cosmetic remarks)
7.Mimics in the victory/obituary file are listed 3 times, but not as which one (chest, coffin, or door I presume)
   Same for "Wolf" and several other enemy types, it might just be from these kind of cosmetic differences.

(bugs)
8.This is actually something I remembered from the last version I played (release 6), but forgot to mention.
   Once picking out one of the final bosses to kill, if you cast confusion the rest of them will gang up on the one.
   They might be allied, but are not hostile to you yet, so the effect was kind of strange. It wasted the one guy pretty quick iirc.
   I think I had just cast confusion to deal with his summons. My memory is kind of hazy so you may want to see what happens yourself.
9.If you switch spots back and forth with an enemy type that loses it's patience (like a snake or centipede), it will not become angry.
   So long as you spend your turn switching spots with it, their HP bar will remain the same color. You can do this indefinitely.
10.Interestingly I had 100% map exploration of level 3, yet only found 12 out of the 15 hidden areas there. I am not sure how that is.
   If it's determined by opening containers, I have a possible explanation: Often I do not open containers with a guardian in the room.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on April 28, 2019, 04:55:25 PM
7.Generally speaking, enemies may refer to the player when talking to another hostile.
   For example, the Mycon said "Why did you do this human?" when fighting a zombie.
   He continued to say this to me, even though he killed the zombie and we were never fighting.
This should be fixed now.

6.The secret boss doesn't drop that essence stuff like all the others do in the end (Though that might be intentional).
Yes, it's intentional.

10.Interestingly I had 100% map exploration of level 3, yet only found 12 out of the 15 hidden areas there. I am not sure how that is.
   If it's determined by opening containers, I have a possible explanation: Often I do not open containers with a guardian in the room.
This was hopefully just a rounding error which should have been fixed now. Hidden areas are counted as found if you just find a way in and explore at least 1 floor tile there. Containers have no effect.

4.I noticed the game has this strange habit of greying out the option to save occasionally. It has only happened a few times and I don't know what it is for.
   All 3 times this happened to me were pretty inconvenient though, particularly since I use wine and the screensaver popping up crashes the game.
   Usually it "clears up" after a while as well, and I can save again, but I don't know what causes that either.
By design, you can only save once per dungeon level and you can't save at the endgame level. It this was not the case then it's a bug.

7.Mimics in the victory/obituary file are listed 3 times, but not as which one (chest, coffin, or door I presume)
   Same for "Wolf" and several other enemy types, it might just be from these kind of cosmetic differences.
Yes, they are separate monster definitions with the same name.

---

Release 10 is out:
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Troubler on April 29, 2019, 02:28:50 AM
Cool. I've been trying to get a melee character going, and have been fairly successful, but I ran into a really nasty crash twice which ended my game.
Also I recently realized I have been using dodging wrong this whole time, and that it only works when unarmed. Should have read the fine print.
Realizing this has changed a lot. Particularly my opinion on how weak melee is, since I was investing in dodge and melee in equal amounts.
Fully investing into melee, even with less intelligent characters, has made them much more viable than before.
Though this also makes unarmed magicians sound incredibly powerful, as I also armed them before while investing in dodge.
I have also tried messing around more with disarm and it's not so bad. The EXP is decent later on.

Here is what I noticed playing release 9:

(notes)
1.When holding two melee weapons that can be thrown (like a hammer and a dagger), there is no way to choose which one to throw.
 At least as far as I know. The character seems to choose randomly at the moment. I first noticed when he kept throwing his dagger, instead of his weapon that returns.
2.Is there a way to set a map point to a different location if you have no free ones left? I misclick 'm' occasionally.
3.Opening a chest with a key seems like it should be optional, since you could instead try to disarm it for the EXP.
 What I mean is that using the key costs you that opportunity, but bumping the chest to inspect it automatically uses the key.
4.If you are using autopilot and discover a secret door on the way to your destination, it doesn't stop.
 Sometimes I forget where I found it when traveling that way, since it went by too fast.
5.I was thinking it would be nice if autopilot could take you to unsprung traps as well, for similar reasons to containers.
6.Guardians of some containers shouldn't get angry if you just look at their contents, at least in theory.
 For example, if there is an altar, I would be physically able to see what is on top of it without angering the myconid guarding it.
 Maybe through targeting mode even? Since you could see it from a distance. With some containers like a chest though that wouldn't be possible.
 Again, just theoretically. That's not taking into account any issues with how containers currently work, balance, implementation, etc.

(cosmetic)
1.Missed "you" in "The myconid might get angry if (you) hurt the fungus."

(bugs)
1.Sometimes I can't put tankards into the quick-select, and sometimes I can. Not sure what causes it.
2.Lost my first character to a crash. When I was traveling back upwards to level 5 from 6. I got a message saying "Out of memory" and the game froze.
 That was a shame too, since that was my first viable melee-based character. And it happened again going from level 6 to 7 (or 7 to 8?), with another good melee character.
 I never ran into this crash before release 9(I've been playing since 6), if that helps any. I also updated from 8 to 9 through the game this time as well. Also playing on Wine.
3.The automatic re-equipping after throwing an item seems to be odd. At least when duel-wielding.
 For example, once I threw a dagger and he put an Urgosh (two-handed) into his main hand and another dagger in the other.
 This only happened once and I couldn't reproduce it.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on May 04, 2019, 01:38:16 PM
Release 11 is out.
Big thanks again for Troubler for feedback. 

1.Sometimes I can't put tankards into the quick-select, and sometimes I can. Not sure what causes it.

3.The automatic re-equipping after throwing an item seems to be odd. At least when duel-wielding.
 For example, once I threw a dagger and he put an Urgosh (two-handed) into his main hand and another dagger in the other.
 This only happened once and I couldn't reproduce it.

I tried to reproduce these but couldn't. I will keep them on my to-check list as well as all the other stuff you mentioned earlier.

2.Lost my first character to a crash. When I was traveling back upwards to level 5 from 6. I got a message saying "Out of memory" and the game froze. That was a shame too, since that was my first viable melee-based character. And it happened again going from level 6 to 7 (or 7 to 8?), with another good melee character.
I never ran into this crash before release 9(I've been playing since 6), if that helps any. I also updated from 8 to 9 through the game this time as well. Also playing on Wine.
This is bad. There's a problem with memory fragmentation in the game. I use a lot of memory streams and dynamic arrays. There unfortunately is no quick fix for this. If you play for long sessions it's best to save & quit and restart the game once in a while. I removed the "only save once per dungeon level" thing.

Before each release I stress test the game with an autoplay that explores all levels and then starts again with a new game. Eventually it crashes after doing about 15-20 complete runs of the game. The crash happens when changing a dungeon level when lots of data is written and loaded.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on May 11, 2019, 10:52:55 PM
Release 12
I stress tested the game for several 12-15 hour sessions with autoplay without a crash. Autoplay uses the game AI for the player character to clear all levels and then it starts over again. It's quite fast: it only takes about 4 minutes to go through the game.

http://www.zorbus.net (http://www.zorbus.net)
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Troubler on May 12, 2019, 10:01:52 PM
That's great news. The possibility of another crash was pretty demoralizing. Though I have played version 11 some.
As soon as I saw release 12 out, I managed to get a melee character to victory. And it was my most successful character yet, reaching level 40 by the end of the game.
Also thanks for all these features you have gone out of your way to add, they certainly are appreciated. Though I've always enjoyed the game.

Anyway, I finally got my win with a no-magic (except for true-sight), melee character. Getting a viable one was tricky but worked out.
I had started trying some races other than humans out. All of my fighters so far had been humans with a 14,14,16,14 start.
You begin with the guy at 12,12,13,12 and use great-mind and lone-wolf to blow him up to 14,14,16,14. And you are at 1-talent-per-level by level 3.
But starting with a "warrior" ability at 16, and only starting out with 14 mind is more viable. I thought this was only possible with elves and dwarves, but in hindsight not really.
It looks like humans are capable of this as well(and with an extra talent). So far it seems racial ability changes don't make too much of a difference. Maybe for extreme characters?
For my victory I played as an elf thinking it would. The night-vision was pretty good, though like I said before, hard on the eyes, so I did not use it too often.
Then gradually I would get back to 1-talent-per-level status by around level 7 through focusing on the great mind talents.
I can get a good 16,12,14,14 or 12,16,14,14 start with a lone-wolf. With 12 body you can wield anything and high-motion makes heavy weapons very powerful.
The 16 motion build is just superior as far as I can tell. Trying the 16 body one might give me a bit more in damage, but when I keep missing it doesn't feel worth it.
I might try a 12 mind one in the future, as the talents just go to spells in the end, which I don't use, but the penalty for skills may not be worth it.

With a melee character the game is still notably harder than a mind-centered run, though with 16 motion it's more manageable and success is more easily replicated than what I was doing before.
A lot of close calls, though I suppose melee combat would be by nature more risky than ranged combat. Regardless, by the end of the game my guy was a tank who slaughtered everyone.
The secret boss was notably harder this time around, though not incredibly so. Either he is tougher in melee or you buffed him when I wasn't looking.
His necrotic damage took several chunks out of my HP, but it was nothing one potion of holiness couldn't easily mitigate. His dodge was impressive though and kept me busy.
The final boss came to my aid, and helped finished him off. My theory is the secret boss actually exists to give less combat oriented players an edge in the end-game through this fighting.
And speaking of potions, by the end you will have so many stored up that it makes much of the endgame very safe. Health potions don't help so much, but heroism wrecks the final bosses.
Also I beat the game with Nightbringer. I was pretty sentimental with all the great-flails that used to spawn, even though I had better weapons. The comments were pretty funny too, especially when I reached the endgame.
I had that cloak of protection for the endgame again (and the ring of resistance to boot) so most magical attacks just bounced off. That may have made this melee run easier than it otherwise would have been.

By the way, I've noticed so far all of my successful runs take about 5-6 hours.
I might try a ranged-combat character next time, though I have found ranged combat pathetically weak.

Alright, here are my notes for releases 11 and 12.

(notes)
1.When an enemy opens a door, it makes a *creak* noise, and produces a small bit of fading text on its tile to indicate where the door is.
   The text fades pretty quickly, but maybe should only fade once you make your next turn, or gradually fade with turns, since this can track enemies.
   There is some other text like *sounds of battle* which also seem to work like this. Right now it's slightly reflex/memory based.
2.A lot of enemies like to run away after you have knocked them down to low health. One thing that might happen is they run out of sight.
 I haven't really tested this, but in the process they may run into someone your guy would be friendly with, and get killed, thus forfeiting all the EXP if you didn't see it happen.
 Again, I don't know 100% what happens. But it's a big reason I chase after most enemies who flee. Though it seems like I would get some of that EXP from chasing them off.
 But that's just from my immediate point of view. Like with seeing what's on a container, this is not taking into account any bigger picture.
3.I think the explore function once ran me into a (known) door mimic, activating it and causing it to attack.
4.Inactive golems still seem to walk around, though that might be intentional.

(cosmetic)
1.The ability to change your characters sprite at the start of the game with left and right is undocumented as far as I know.
   This whole time I had been playing with the default sprite not knowing you could change it. Neat easter-egg otherwise.
2.If you pick a locked door while holding it's key, a message will say you unlocked it with the key even though you used disable.

(bugs)
1.The tankards bug seems to extend to all usable items, like healing potions. Only the first few in your menu appear in the quick-select options.
 For example if you drop something, then other things will be available. Eventually you will come around to what you need by dropping things.
2.Ran into a strange bug. I autopiloted into (or near?) a locked door. The auto-use-key option was off when I bumped into the door.
 The prompt for what to do would not take any options except for using the key to open it. That was pretty scary, I thought I would be stuck there!
3.Once a druid in a prison got upset at me for trying to open a chest in the prison-room, from inside his cell.
 I'm guessing they claim whatever containers are in the room they spawn in, but this was kind of funny.
4.The bouncer didn't attack me when I opened the secret door, because I think he didn't see me do it.
 I don't really know what happened. But the point is I got away with it and he did not become hostile after I came out.
 This one has only happened in release 12 as far as I could tell.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on May 17, 2019, 11:33:50 PM
Thanks again, Troubler.

No new release yet but some answers:

2.A lot of enemies like to run away after you have knocked them down to low health. One thing that might happen is they run out of sight.
I haven't really tested this, but in the process they may run into someone your guy would be friendly with, and get killed, thus forfeiting all the EXP if you didn't see it happen.
Again, I don't know 100% what happens. But it's a big reason I chase after most enemies who flee. Though it seems like I would get some of that EXP from chasing them off.
If a creature has 10 health points and you damage it for 7 and it then runs away and some other creature kills it, you'll get 70% (7/10) of the XP, whether the killer is friendly or not and whether you see the death or not.

1.The ability to change your characters sprite at the start of the game with left and right is undocumented as far as I know.
This whole time I had been playing with the default sprite not knowing you could change it. Neat easter-egg otherwise.
This is actually mentioned in the Race-screen when the selector is on the name field and in the Character-screen when the selector is on "Create a new character". I think the text has been there from release 1 but I'm not sure. It's easy to miss as the help text is not seen when the selector actually is on the selected race/character.

I'll try to fix those other things in the next release.

Kyzrati (Gogmind developer) streamed the game:
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/425931154

There's a feedback friday on the game in Reddit:
https://www.reddit.com/r/roguelikedev/comments/bpmwgs/feedback_friday_45_zorbus/

Elephantman played through the game (spoilers):
https://rpgcodex.net/forums/index.php?threads/the-codex-of-roguelikes.71097/page-74#post-6131680

Nigetai played through the game (spoilers, japanese translated with google translator):
https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ja&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fnigetai.blogspot.com%2F2019%2F04%2Fzorbus1-threnders-journal.html

More from Nigetai (spoilers):
https://translate.googleusercontent.com/translate_c?depth=1&rurl=translate.google.com&sl=ja&sp=nmt4&tl=en&u=https://twitter.com/search%3Ff%3Dtweets%26vertical%3Ddefault%26q%3Dfrom%253Att5074%2520zorbus%26src%3Dtypd&xid=17259,1500004,15700022,15700186,15700190,15700256,15700259&usg=ALkJrhhGRA1LaQHpsTJsSQBnvFaggTdwvQ
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on May 25, 2019, 12:43:06 AM
Release 13
1.The tankards bug seems to extend to all usable items, like healing potions. Only the first few in your menu appear in the quick-select options.
 For example if you drop something, then other things will be available. Eventually you will come around to what you need by dropping things.
I think I got this fixed now.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Troubler on May 25, 2019, 01:34:50 AM
I just saw your update when I booted up the game.

Quote
If a creature has 10 health points and you damage it for 7 and it then runs away and some other creature kills it, you'll get 70% (7/10) of the XP, whether the killer is friendly or not and whether you see the death or not.
I must have not noticed because the text does not appear when they are away, or it doesn't happen that often. Either way that's a relief.
Theoretical question though. What if the creature heals in the meantime?

Anyway, it's good to see that the game is getting attention. It was interesting comparing my experience with the other victories.
I share some of their opinions, like that acid cloud and wail of the banshee are OP, even in the later game, for similar reasons.
I'm surprised to see people beat the game without lone-wolf. Though I didn't know the NPCs level with you.
Didn't know the final bosses had special diologue if you don't kill them all before the final-final boss either. That's interesting.

Ranged-characters are having trouble holding my interest. The fire-power is so weak for ranged weapons I just end up using melee even with lower skill.
Feels like that route is not too fleshed out yet. Like ranged combat is primarily intended to be used as a supplement to melee combat rather than on it's own.
I will probably keep playing with melee or magic characters for a while, though I think I prefer melee even if weaker because magic is always the same process.
(i.e. I will always start with energy bolt, then blink, then acid cloud, then holy burst, then wail, etc) A few of the spells really outshine the crowd.
No wins this time around. Though I did take a few notes for release 12:

(Notes)
1.You don't start out with enough ammo to get very far with a ranged character for some builds.
 Quickly you will run out of shots and be brought to throwing daggers or whatever you can find.
 Sometimes at this point I just go to melee, which feels like less of a hassle even if my character is less proficient.
 Interesting as emergent gameplay though. My ranged characters often become the rogue from nethack, flinging daggers around.
2.Speaking of that, it would be nice if throwing talents like duelshot could be used with thrown weapons as well.
 I know daggers don't stack, so I don't know how awkward it would be to implement, or any balancing issues with it.
3.The starting ability priorities (i.e +2 body,-2 motion) of any race seem to make no difference. Any build can be made with any race.
 Race only seems to be functionally seperated by posession of dark-vision vs the extra talent of humans as far as I can tell.
4.I've noticed there is really not much variety in ranged weapons. There is the short-bow, sling, and long-bow.
 Compare that to the many spells and copious melee weapons in the game. There are also no ranged artifacts as of yet (that I have found).

(Bugs)
1.I once accidentally wandered into a myconids poison cloud while non-hostile, and it became hostile and attacked.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on May 25, 2019, 09:05:07 PM
Theoretical question though. What if the creature heals in the meantime?
Doesn't affect the XP.

Ranged-characters are having trouble holding my interest. The fire-power is so weak for ranged weapons I just end up using melee even with lower skill.
Feels like that route is not too fleshed out yet. Like ranged combat is primarily intended to be used as a supplement to melee combat rather than on it's own.
This is true. I added the Strengthened Shots -talent to boost the ranged damage and upped the "elemental ranged damage" -talent a bit but even that might not be enough. Not sure if pure ranged characters will ever be viable.

I will probably keep playing with melee or magic characters for a while, though I think I prefer melee even if weaker because magic is always the same process.
(i.e. I will always start with energy bolt, then blink, then acid cloud, then holy burst, then wail, etc) A few of the spells really outshine the crowd.
More meaningful spells are needed but I'm badly out of ideas.

1.You don't start out with enough ammo to get very far with a ranged character for some builds.
 Quickly you will run out of shots and be brought to throwing daggers or whatever you can find.
I added two new ammunition types in release 13: everlasting arrows and bullets. If you have one in the quiver it will last forever. 

3.The starting ability priorities (i.e +2 body,-2 motion) of any race seem to make no difference. Any build can be made with any race.
 Race only seems to be functionally seperated by posession of dark-vision vs the extra talent of humans as far as I can tell.
True. It's now mostly cosmetic if you don't count darkvision. At some point I'll need to add some new races.

4.I've noticed there is really not much variety in ranged weapons. There is the short-bow, sling, and long-bow.
 Compare that to the many spells and copious melee weapons in the game. There are also no ranged artifacts as of yet (that I have found).
There's at least one named bow but sure, more is needed. Crossbows, blowguns or something more exotic? Having many ammunition types created randomly might lead to running out of ammo if you're using just one type of ranged weapon.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on May 26, 2019, 11:17:18 AM
(Bugs)
1.I once accidentally wandered into a myconids poison cloud while non-hostile, and it became hostile and attacked.
I can't reproduce this but I remember this happening to me as well. Stepping on a friendly creature's harmful effect does not raise its aggro-level itself so there's something more involved. Do you remember if you had allies or summons at that point?
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Troubler on May 27, 2019, 08:42:27 PM
Quote
There's at least one named bow but sure, more is needed. Crossbows, blowguns or something more exotic? Having many ammunition types created randomly might lead to running out of ammo if you're using just one type of ranged weapon.
I had not considered the ammo issue. And there are not really that many historical weapons to work with after all. All I can think of is the recurve bow and the staff-sling.
There is also the more fantastic great-bow, which could also use arrows. You could invent some of your own launchers like you did with melee weapons (reacher, viper whip, trinity, great-flail, etc.)
Those are just some ideas. And if ranged weapons remain secondary, it wouldn't really matter so much either way.

I've been playing with everlasting ammo some and it has been an interesting addition. I'll try a ranged guy using strengthened-shots soon.

Quote
More meaningful spells are needed but I'm badly out of ideas.
Personally I think the variety in spells is fine, and you could think up more as you go along, but it needs balance so there is not one best route to go with them.
Some are underpowered or overpowered. For those people who like to mess around with making specific builds, it would need more balance and depth.
But for me, I think I just enjoy melee more because it's less predictable what you will get in the end.

Quote
True. It's now mostly cosmetic if you don't count darkvision. At some point I'll need to add some new races.
Actually, one quick way to fix this is to do a flat addition or reduction of those points after the player has gone through the ability screen instead.
So you might have someone start with 10,14,10,12. After they continue past the abilities screen a dwarf becomes 12,12,8,14, and an elf becomes 8,16,10,12.
That would make it so that the player can't just weasel around it and the points matter.

I also forgot the other races start with different skills, and these still matter, so there is that.

Quote
I can't reproduce this but I remember this happening to me as well. Stepping on a friendly creature's harmful effect does not raise its aggro-level itself so there's something more involved. Do you remember if you had allies or summons at that point?
I was almost certainly playing a lone-wolf character, so no companions. And I have not used summons for a while, so none of those either.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on June 01, 2019, 06:59:52 PM
(http://www.zorbus.net/graphics/a02.jpg)

http://www.zorbus.net (http://www.zorbus.net)

Release 14
Zyalin's ingame art:
http://www.zorbus.net/art.html (http://www.zorbus.net/art.html)

Zyalin's Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/zyalin_art/ (https://www.instagram.com/zyalin_art/)
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: getter77 on June 02, 2019, 11:26:53 AM
Hoopak!  Ah, some Gold Box nostalgia right there of a most particular sort~   8)
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on June 02, 2019, 07:21:30 PM
Hoopak!  Ah, some Gold Box nostalgia right there of a most particular sort~   8)
First time I heard of a hoopak was when I played Champions of Krynn, so yes, it's from the Gold Box games / Dragonlance. The death animation in Zorbus is also a tribute to that game serie.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Troubler on June 06, 2019, 11:22:55 PM
I've gotten a few archers down to the end. Didn't win because I was being careless experimenting in the endgame. Strengthened shots helps and is a good addition.
It works well as a barrier to being a "real" archer. If you don't start off with it, you just have to use melee weapons until you can afford it or find enchanted bows.
Though it may be confusing to people why their skilled archer is doing 0-2 damage when shooting at kobolds, so it is slightly cryptic.
True archers are now about as viable as melee characters with this. The change in elemental damage is probably overkill.

I played around some with the silver spoon talent when I was looking for good early melee weapons. Though eventually I realized the melee bonus from motion is enough alone.
Some aspects of the talent can encourage start-scumming though, since sometimes you get a good launcher or better sword out of it.

The reduction in EXP from searching and disabling has made the game more difficult, I am maybe 3-5 levels lower by reaching the endgame.
Disable has lost a lot of utility now, but just using it for the EXP never really felt right anyway.
The hoopak weapon is a pretty interesting additon, but by chance I have not used it much.
I already found some of the artifact ranged weapons, which are good additions.

(Notes)
1.For a while, webs have been extremely frustrating with melee characters, because I thought I could not attack while stuck.
   However, I noticed wizards and archers can, which made me wonder what the mechanics of being stuck were.
   I did a little bit of experimenting and think the reason for this may be technical rather than intentional, as it seems I can still hit things by pressing CTRL.
   If it is intentional, being stuck to the point you can not move your arms seems like it should put a pretty hefty penalty on wizards spells, considering the effects of cumbersome armor.
2.Shops could use a way of bartering with items or holding credit, since the shopkeeper runs out of coins pretty quickly.
   For example, I had this happen: A shopkeeper had this nice Holy Vampiric Rapier +4 I wanted to buy for 4900 bucks.
   I have about 3000 on me in the form of coins, and 2000 worth in the form of misc items I want to dump.
   There is no way to turn those items into something of worth without coins in someone's possession.
3.A quick-autopilot to the store teleporter (like the one for the nearest down-stairs) would be useful.
   I go back and forth to that place a lot more often then I need help finding the nearest down-stairs.
4.The new rooms in the tavern are a neat addition, as are the chests full of loot. However, they can be easily looted at the very start of the game.
   All you have to do is wait in the guys room next to the chest until he falls asleep. At that point you can do whatever you want.
   Open the chest and grab the high-quality goods inside, and you are better off than a character who took the silver-spoon talent.
   I did this once to get a +3 holy rapier at the start of a game. (I was testing the viability of archers so I didn't end up using it)
5.It seems some items should prevent a door from being closed. For example, if an elephant corpse is in the doorway, shutting it would not be such a casual thing.

(Cosmetic)
1.The glaive has the description of the bardiche
2.Strengthened shots says your "body-modifier added to ranged attacks", but added to which aspect?
   I think it means ranged attacks work more like melee attacks in damage, but I don't know. This could use some clarification.
3.If a zombie or skeleton comes out of an opened grave, shouldn't that mean that there would not be a corpse in the grave after?

(Bugs)
1.Found a pretty big exploit. By rerolling the ability scores enough, you can get more points than is normally possible.
   I was once messing around with it and rolled a total of 52. I thought it was odd, since I can normally never get it past 49 at best.
   So I moved the abilities back down to 6,6,6,6 and noticed I had 47 points to spare! Looks like rolling does not take modifier prices into account.
2.Once a shopkeeper just walked out of his shop, I noticed his items were no longer for sale.
   Not sure what made him do this. It happened again with a recent character when I was luring a quaist into the bar to be killed.
   I swung by the shopkeepers shop and he was out again, wandering around the center room. He did not get hostile with the quaist, but it was when I noticed this.
3.Funny trick I found. If you are trapped in a web or slimed, you can displace enemies into the slime to free yourself if you manage it.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on June 09, 2019, 08:26:07 PM
Release 15

Character creation changes:
Changed a bit how restraining map effects (web, slime) work:
Store changes:

4.The new rooms in the tavern are a neat addition, as are the chests full of loot. However, they can be easily looted at the very start of the game. All you have to do is wait in the guys room next to the chest until he falls asleep. At that point you can do whatever you want.
Now they don't fall asleep.

1.The glaive has the description of the bardiche
2.Strengthened shots says your "body-modifier added to ranged attacks", but added to which aspect? I think it means ranged attacks work more like melee attacks in damage, but I don't know. This could use some clarification.
Fixed the descriptions. With Strengthened Shots Body-modifier is added to ranged damage.

3.If a zombie or skeleton comes out of an opened grave, shouldn't that mean that there would not be a corpse in the grave after?
Yes, have to fix this at some point. Currently it's also possible that several bones are created in the same grave.

2.Once a shopkeeper just walked out of his shop, I noticed his items were no longer for sale. Not sure what made him do this. It happened again with a recent character when I was luring a quaist into the bar to be killed. I swung by the shopkeepers shop and he was out again, wandering around the center room. He did not get hostile with the quaist, but it was when
Could not reproduce this no matter how I tried.

Now that Disable-skill use doesn't give that much XP, do you still think that the option "auto use key on lock" is needed?
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: ObsessiveNerd on June 10, 2019, 02:45:29 AM
Hey Joonas,

I love the new race options in update 15.  Just wanted to say I think Zorbus is super fun and very well made from what I've seen thus far.

Couple of small cosmetic bugs:
- The spiked shield has the description for the bladed shield.  I did see this in update 14 so maybe it's fixed now.
- I started a half orc when 15 came out and when npcs refer to me by race, the string is "half_orc" which I figure isn't supposed to have the underscore.

Do you have some kind of bug tracker users could submit to or is this thread the best option?

Looking forward to seeing what comes of Zorbus!
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on June 10, 2019, 05:33:37 PM
Couple of small cosmetic bugs:
- The spiked shield has the description for the bladed shield.  I did see this in update 14 so maybe it's fixed now.
- I started a half orc when 15 came out and when npcs refer to me by race, the string is "half_orc" which I figure isn't supposed to have the underscore.

Do you have some kind of bug tracker users could submit to or is this thread the best option?
Thanks, I will fix those in the next release. No bug tracker so this thread can be used for that.

Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Troubler on June 11, 2019, 01:51:13 AM
Quote
Now that Disable-skill use doesn't give that much XP, do you still think that the option "auto use key on lock" is needed?
I still go back and unlock doors and chests with disable, just to scrape up as much EXP as possible, unless I don't invest in it at all.
As of release 14 it feels like level 20 is a soft limit to how high you can go before the endgame without disarm, and 21 is what I got with disarm.
But I don't know how much of that came from the chests and doors.

Quote
Could not reproduce this no matter how I tried.
Neither can I. If I see it happen again I will report the circumstances.

Got another ultimate ending but for release 14, with a mixed character I wanted to make for a long time.
With fewer chances to level up, the final bosses were considerably more difficult, but I managed it at level 21.
The final fight took all the tricks I had to pull off. First I released the two secret bosses, killing off half of them.
Then I took the remaining bosses on one by one. Using up every potion I saved up, most of my summons, and several clones.
The final-final boss died to the secret boss luckily, though was always pretty weak compared to a few of the rest.
The pure combat guy with the crazy +5 sword, bow, and ammo was the most fearsome, but I managed to outsmart him at range eventually.
I had used everything but stealth to kill them all. It was a lot of fun. I could have won without killing the last few, but that was plan B.

The endgame is really shaping up at this point. It is a lot less trivial now with the EXP changes.
Looks like some of the bosses were also buffed, though that may just be me fighting them at a lower level.
Some of the changes in the new version look very interesting, particularly the new races.

(Notes)
1.With the increase in books and other items that can be sold, it seems like you get more money in the early game recently.
2.The wording is strange when an enemy tries to hit you but misses. It's something like "The Orc bashes you with the hammer but misses"
3.You changed a lot regarding this in release 15, so I don't know if it still matters now, but a magic/melee character with web makes a lot of the combat trivial.

Nigetai's tweets reminded me of pastebin, so I will just use that to post victory files from now on.
These are all full of spoilers obviously.

(Release 6)
https://pastebin.com/raw/XT003bqB

(Release 8)
https://pastebin.com/raw/Na8QRUf1

(Release 12)
https://pastebin.com/raw/idJuBuMW

(Release 14)
https://pastebin.com/raw/pmticKZr
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on June 21, 2019, 11:02:14 PM
Release 16

S
P
O
I
L
E
R
S P O I L E R S ===== S P O I L E R S ===== S P O I L E R S ===== S P O I L E R S ===== S P O I L E R S ===== S P O I L E R S


Don't know if anyone has noticed but if you manage to get your character to the Zorbus level and ascend to a demigod/god then the character data is saved. A new character that enters the endgame level should see the old character there with the name slightly changed. Now if you challenge any of the gods then the old character will help you in the combat. You can try talking to your former character (well, you just get one reply but anyway).

The plan is to set the ultimate ending difficulty so high that you need to ascend a few characters to demigods/gods before having a chance against the ultimate boss. The "ascended characters" save file is deleted if you challenge the ultimate boss so you'll get just one try.


S P O I L E R S ===== S P O I L E R S ===== S P O I L E R S ===== S P O I L E R S ===== S P O I L E R S ===== S P O I L E R S
P
O
I
L
E
R
S

2.The wording is strange when an enemy tries to hit you but misses. It's something like "The Orc bashes you with the hammer but misses"
You mean this should be something like "tries to bash you with the hammer but misses"?

Thanks for those pastebins.
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: getter77 on June 22, 2019, 12:17:13 PM
I like the Ascension mechanic's direction---probably the first project that comes to mind in ages that is trying to leverage such in an interesting way since Triangle Wizard and whatever madness Wouter has cooking on the sequel now.   8)
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on June 29, 2019, 03:24:53 PM
(http://www.zorbus.net/graphics/a04.jpg)

Release 17
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Troubler on July 04, 2019, 05:48:27 AM
Quote
You mean this should be something like "tries to bash you with the hammer but misses"?
Yeah, something like that.

I came back after a break and played a character with a randomized ability start. I managed to get them pretty inflated.
It was considerably easier than the usual game, though the final-final boss and the secret final boss still held up to a degree.
With this character I was able to beat everyone in the end all on my own. I used a few clones on the secret bosses but they didn't matter much.
I had forgotten to try out poison weapons. I guess it just slipped my mind. Webs are a lot less annoying now that you can struggle out of them.

The new victory idea is interesting. I'll try leaving some guys down there next time.
The final-final boss and the secret final boss were harder in this version, though this character was a bit cheesy and managed them both.
I could still tell that they would be more difficult with a weaker character, particularly the secret final boss.
I was also lucky on top of everything else, finding two rings of resistances and a cloak of protection.

I didn't notice much this time around to take notes on, just one thing:
In the victory file the L is capitalized in cloning: "Cloned himself by drinking a Potion of CLoning"

(Release 17)
https://pastebin.com/raw/dBpdeQ8P
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Troubler on July 15, 2019, 03:18:01 AM
Now here is something interesting.

I was playing again recently when I was stricken with a certain thought. Could the game be completed without killing anything at all?
Obviously it was not designed for it, but I could see it being theoretically possible. There are no necessary boss fights throughout the game.
The biggest problem is that enemies are fast and so you will quickly be overwhelmed and killed in no time at all with a low level character.
But there is one race which has an advantage here: Centaurs. These guys are incredibly fast and can keep pace with even endgame foes.
Further, the current stealth mechanics can be synergized with a fast character to make a lot of progress through the dungeon mostly unseen.
Centaurs start with a substantial stealth penalty at the start of the game, but a decent mind can bring the penalty back to zero.
With some phenomenal rolls during character creation and the lone wolf feat, this plan is made even more viable.

The only consistent issue is the gate at the end of the dungeon. You need knock to get in, and there is no viable build with a knock spell.
However, there is the possibility of finding a wand of knock in the store. So if you get lucky there, you can pull through the rest of the dungeon.
The second problem are the guardians to the teleporter after you enter the gates. I couldn't find a good solution to these, and was killed by them once.
A wand of summoning might give you a distraction, and a potion of holiness might save you from a blast, but really all you can do is cross your fingers and run for it.
I drank what few buffing potions I had and managed to slip past them and get into the teleporter, luckily avoiding the traps nearby.
And so after several attempts I pulled it off, the lowest level victory possible in Zorbus.

(Notes)
1.If you drink an elixir at level 1, and then die, it wont make a note of it in the abilities section of the obituary.
   It will make it out like you started with that extra point. Though it will still appear in the device uses.
2.The devices used section in the victory screen does not take into account how many times you used a wand of knock (probably because it's through a menu).

(Release 17)
https://pastebin.com/raw/3uJmMTvV
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on July 15, 2019, 06:14:43 AM
That's just amazing.

Level 1 character, 15 health points and in 32 minutes to demigod ending. Bravo!
Title: Re: Zorbus
Post by: Joonas on July 15, 2019, 07:57:53 PM
Youtuber pieceoftheuniverse playing Zorbus release 13:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHhFKKyvmqo

Sadly he doesn't grasp how to switch weapons or how to use ranged weapons.