Author Topic: Does binding of isaac just become a slot machine?  (Read 5770 times)

Omnomnom

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Does binding of isaac just become a slot machine?
« on: June 09, 2012, 01:50:04 PM »
I can hear boos and hisses coming my way because it's a popular game, but I was thinking about it and it seems once you've played it enough to learn all the strategies for dealing with creatures, success in binding of isaac largely comes down to which items you find in a run and whether you happen to hit hard rooms. Both of which are entirely random.

I find myself on somewhere perhaps near my 100th run and it feels I am just pulling a lever on a slot machine. The only strategic decision I make is at the start in choosing a character but that is completely dwarfed by the random abilities I pick up through the game.

From this I am thinking that in a roguelike it is better to let the player pick their own upgrades rather than randomly pick abilities for them. That way there is some non-random human-decision made at stages through the game, so next time the player can decide "hey I'll use a different strategy this time, I'll focus on health rather than damage". Random items should never give too much advantage compared to the decisions the player makes or the player will be at the mercy of the dice.

thoughts?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 01:53:06 PM by Omnomnom »

getter77

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Re: Does binding of isaac just become a slot machine?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2012, 03:53:08 PM »
Well, the patching is ongoing from much wackiness the new DLC added and problems with drops and such, but in general while luck is a large factor it is not the only one at play.  Improvisation, map clearing styles, challenge modes, how to combat Luck itself to your benefit----the game is engaging on many fronts and just learning all of the strategies for optimal play in an optimal set of circumstances(there is an undercurrent of turning "trash into treasure" woven into the game pretty overtly to encourage getting interesting experiences going even with "bad" builds) would take many a hour, at which point it can be said that it has been great value for the cost just getting to this "trouble spot".
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kraflab

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Re: Does binding of isaac just become a slot machine?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2012, 07:56:33 PM »
It seems once you've played it enough to learn all the strategies for dealing with creatures, success in binding of isaac largely comes down to which items you find in a run and whether you happen to hit hard rooms.

Completely disagree.  You can always avoid all attacks and beat the game with no equipment other than what you started with.  It just comes down to skill (because this is real-time and not a turn-based game).  If you actually learned all the strategies and executed them perfectly, how could there be any luck involved?  I mean just think about your statement, it is a logical contradiction in itself.

The strategy is in every second every action you make.  I mean, if you die at all, that means you did the wrong action right?  So your strategy was the wrong one in that life.

guest509

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Re: Does binding of isaac just become a slot machine?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 03:06:56 AM »
  Appropriate strategy may be random each time, but I'd say the game is beatable each time as well. Sometimes easier, sometimes harder. That may be frustrating, because you have little choice in the matter, but that is what keeps the game fresh after many many play throughs.

  Occasionally producing an easier to beat structure just gives shitty players like myself hope.

Omnomnom

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Re: Does binding of isaac just become a slot machine?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2012, 07:23:45 PM »
Completely disagree.  You can always avoid all attacks and beat the game with no equipment other than what you started with.  It just comes down to skill (because this is real-time and not a turn-based game).

You are right, I guess I overlooked that skill aspect of the game because it doesn't interest me. I am about as good as I'll get (average) at dodging/shooting reflexes with the isaac controls. I am more interested in skill of making decisions/choices rather than skill of aiming/dodging/reflexes.

There are strategic decisions/choices in isaac: my favorite is deciding whether to sacrifice hearts to enter a pact, and my second favorite is how many hearts to sacrifice at the blood machine in the hope of getting a blood bag.

Well, the patching is ongoing from much wackiness the new DLC added and problems with drops and such, but in general while luck is a large factor it is not the only one at play.

I agree it's not all down to luck, but a significant part of it is for me. At some point I realized that all my wins were when I had a great set of items which was largely due to the RNG. So conversely most of my losses are because of the RNG rather than a mistake I made, which is the problem.

Don't get me wrong it's one of the best games I've played but the replay lifetime of the game for me is significantly  shorter because i don't find enough strategy choices. I think things would be significantly improved if in each item room or boss room there were 3 randomly dropped items and you had to chose 1, like how the pact room works. And make the shop contain more powerful items (I think that was one of the updates in the DLC? I might have to get the DLC).




getter77

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Re: Does binding of isaac just become a slot machine?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 08:58:55 PM »
Yeah, I'd highly recommend getting the DLC at some point when they are settled out on the patching at the least----really adds tons to the game and will certainly add some deeper shades of coloring to your approaches even on just the standard mode beyond all the new challenge modes.

In terms of "average" reflex play, the trick there is to focus less so on the reflex but the knowledge.  Unlike most Roguelikes, enemy behavior is a bit more of an actual thing and picking up on tells/tendencies and the like can go a long way towards making up for having less than amazing twitch reflexes, though it isn't like the backend of the game can really support them anywhere near a Starcraft and the like.
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