Author Topic: My two cents about Permadeath  (Read 102534 times)

Zireael

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2014, 04:21:52 PM »
This is a solid idea, rsaarelm.

miki151

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2014, 06:47:41 PM »
That's kind of like explore mode in Nethack, except you get to turn it on at death time.
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Hi

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2014, 07:28:46 PM »
I've actually seen that approach taken with a hay bale maze before.  To complete the maze you needed to find a path of 3 repeating colors to the exit (red, yellow, green, red, yellow, green ...).  So adults would have fun with a challenging maze.  But their kids ignored the colors and just had fun walking around the hay bales to the exit.

I think that rsaarelm has the proper way to ease someone into permadeath.

Eben

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2014, 09:18:35 PM »
I've actually seen that approach taken with a hay bale maze before.  To complete the maze you needed to find a path of 3 repeating colors to the exit (red, yellow, green, red, yellow, green ...).  So adults would have fun with a challenging maze.  But their kids ignored the colors and just had fun walking around the hay bales to the exit.

I think that rsaarelm has the proper way to ease someone into permadeath.

We need a hay bale 7drl game, because that sounds like a great mechanic to prototype explore! Or is there one already and I don't know?

pangaea

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #64 on: March 31, 2014, 08:41:20 PM »
I sort of agree with the OP in that some of the deaths are bullshit in a roguelike. I think the solution is to make it so that there is no luck in a roguelike and you don't reward grinding.

In spelunky I don't really care if I die since it would be my fault and you can't really grind, through you can wait for the ghost to appear. In that sense if you can scum save a game and  progress, then that game is bad. I currently think roguelike don't do enough to solve grinding issue and just sit behind perma death, well you can't grind as if you die you lose everything.

I really think some roguelikes are popular because of sunk cost and the fact that it harder to relearn another roguelike, hence why in this community you get people who only play nethack or DCSS or brogue. Do they really like the genre or have they invested so much time beating a game that can only be won by brute force memorization and learning little tricks that are sort of stupid.

Vanguard

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #65 on: April 02, 2014, 09:55:40 PM »
A roguelike where luck doesn't factor in is hardly a roguelike at all.

I agree that tons of RLs are excessively luck based.  There are way too many games with enemies who deal something like 1d100 damage (Spelunky's one of them).

I'd like to see more mechanics that limit the effects of luck without making the game outright deterministic.  Like, say that every turn spent attacking the same target increases your % chance to land a hit on them.  That way your dodging and accuracy stats still provide a benefit, but the fact that your chances to hit and be hit eventually rise to 100% puts a hard cap on how lucky or unlucky you can be.  Even changing damage values from 1d100 to 20d4 or (5d100)/5 or whatever can go a long way towards making a more fair game.

pat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #66 on: April 03, 2014, 02:29:24 AM »
I don't know about you guys but every bullshit death just makes my roguelike spirit stronger and teaches me to enjoy the good times, what good is an ascension without the trials and tribulations of wrestling a horrible ascii bug-filled monster into submission, thanks for reading

Krice

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #67 on: April 03, 2014, 10:18:56 AM »
This is a solid idea, rsaarelm.

What is annoying about it is that I had planned a similar idea for Kaduria and thought I was the first. Well, in fact the idea in Kaduria is much better, it's funny as it is clever. You'll see it soon enough!

The problem with permadeath is not in small world rogelikes like Nethack, but when the game world is getting bigger it's annoying to die after investing lot of time in the game. In fact I even went as far as thinking to remove permadeath from Kaduria, because the span of gameplay is longer than in average roguelikes.

Rickton

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #68 on: April 03, 2014, 11:58:16 AM »
The problem with permadeath is not in small world rogelikes like Nethack, but when the game world is getting bigger it's annoying to die after investing lot of time in the game. In fact I even went as far as thinking to remove permadeath from Kaduria, because the span of gameplay is longer than in average roguelikes.
That's a big issue. Another major problem with permadeath is that for these longer-term games, the beginning usually is just not that interesting. Your character doesn't have many (if any) cool equipment or powers, the enemies you face are usually going to be pretty standard and boring, and chances are the level isn't going to have anything that interesting in it, either.
I have this problem with Crawl. I like it a lot, but I'm not very good at it and usually die right when things start to get good.
I don't really know what the solution is, though. You can't really front-load too much stuff or you'll overwhelm new players, or make the player/monsters overpowered.
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mushroom patch

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #69 on: April 03, 2014, 12:07:06 PM »
A roguelike where luck doesn't factor in is hardly a roguelike at all.

I agree that tons of RLs are excessively luck based.  There are way too many games with enemies who deal something like 1d100 damage (Spelunky's one of them).

I'd like to see more mechanics that limit the effects of luck without making the game outright deterministic.  Like, say that every turn spent attacking the same target increases your % chance to land a hit on them.  That way your dodging and accuracy stats still provide a benefit, but the fact that your chances to hit and be hit eventually rise to 100% puts a hard cap on how lucky or unlucky you can be.  Even changing damage values from 1d100 to 20d4 or (5d100)/5 or whatever can go a long way towards making a more fair game.


Agreed, but I would go farther. I think the essential random element of roguelikes is in dungeon, monster, and loot generation. I would like to see more deterministic damage and monster behavior. Damage variation should be much smaller and amount to no more than flavor -- i.e. if you know what a monster can do, you should be able to predict with very high probability what damage he can produce, rather than just upper bounds. Similarly, monsters should "play optimally," using a strategy that gives them their best chance (or at least the best the AI designer can come up with) at killing the player, scaring him away, escaping -- whatever the monster wants to do -- given constraints on resources, e.g. mana, breath weapon quantity or cool downs. There's still plenty of scope within that framework for varied combat situations via monster items and equipment, ego monster types, variation in individual mana and other resources, and of course combinations of monsters present at a given time.

This stands in contrast to what is done in certain roguelikes (e.g. angband variants), where monster spells/special attacks are totally randomized, so you have weird encounters where the great wyrm of balance breathes on three consecutive turns -- I mean, if he could do that, he should've just started the first turn he woke up. Of course, in order to win at angband, you have to play so conservatively that this kind of situation won't kill you, but it's a peculiar mechanic that makes high level play an acquired taste.


also, re:

The problem with permadeath is not in small world rogelikes like Nethack, but when the game world is getting bigger it's annoying to die after investing lot of time in the game. In fact I even went as far as thinking to remove permadeath from Kaduria, because the span of gameplay is longer than in average roguelikes.
That's a big issue. Another major problem with permadeath is that for these longer-term games, the beginning usually is just not that interesting. Your character doesn't have many (if any) cool equipment or powers, the enemies you face are usually going to be pretty standard and boring, and chances are the level isn't going to have anything that interesting in it, either.
I have this problem with Crawl. I like it a lot, but I'm not very good at it and usually die right when things start to get good.
I don't really know what the solution is, though. You can't really front-load too much stuff or you'll overwhelm new players, or make the player/monsters overpowered.

It seems to me that a reasonable solution to this issue of losing big, interesting (? -- never played a roguelike with an actually interesting open world, zangband is the closest I've seen) worlds is to allow a degree of persistence. Let the player use the same world (and maybe even keep a certain core part of the dungeon(s) static) from instance to instance, but regenerate monsters, items, wipe out any loot the player dropped/sold in his previous life, etc.

reaver

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #70 on: April 03, 2014, 12:38:11 PM »
I think many people agree on the following:

Dying from a bad roll is annoying as scoring a lucky hit is rewarding, not everyone's cup of tea but, in general, RPG/roguelike players love this.
Dying on a new encounter is expected.
Dying on a new encounter without learning anything to improve your chances next time is bad (so randomisation on damage should be kinda limited)
Replaying areas without learning anything new is grinding; not fun.

Given the above, permadeath on a large-scope roguelike doesn't work quite well, unless you have unlimited time for playing the game or you can present a refreshing, learning and rewarding experience each time, which is easier said than done. Not everybody has so much time though, and given the large number of good games nowdays, not many will be willing to devote all of their time learning the quirks of the game -- unless it's REALLY that good, which is not often the case.

An additional idea for larger-scope roguelike:
- The start of the game is difficult, no hand-holding for long, make it interesting and challenging. If you die, so what, you didn't play that much yet anyway and clearly have a lot to learn.
- After reaching a certain level/area, unlock character creation and start at that area at an appropriate level. These characters should be inferior to a well played character from the start of the game, and should be expected to die often. As often as characters in the beginning of the game. You can die with these characters a lot trying to find out nuances of the monsters/traps/etc of the new areas and when you feel comfortable, you start a character from the beginning and try to beat the starting and the unlocked area.
- This can be done as many times as needed, so for 50 dungeon levels you could have start points at level 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40.

Rickton

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #71 on: April 03, 2014, 05:14:23 PM »
It seems to me that a reasonable solution to this issue of losing big, interesting (? -- never played a roguelike with an actually interesting open world, zangband is the closest I've seen) worlds is to allow a degree of persistence. Let the player use the same world (and maybe even keep a certain core part of the dungeon(s) static) from instance to instance, but regenerate monsters, items, wipe out any loot the player dropped/sold in his previous life, etc.
I'm actually not really talking too much about open-world type games. That solution does work well...Cataclysm and Dwarf Fortress both do it, the effect you've had on the world remains even after you die.
I was still talking about "regular" roguelikes. To be specific, I guess I'm talking about Crawl since that's where I have the most experience. The early levels are kind of boring, you don't have any cool weapons or powers aside from some basic spells, there aren't any interesting dungeon branches, the monsters you fight generally don't have interesting powers to deal with.
By the time I start to get interesting powers and equipment or make it to the interesting dungeon branches, I die, and have to go back to the "boring" levels again, which, if I've just sunk an hour or two into a character to get to that point, doesn't seem appealing at all.
In shorter games, it's less of an issue because it doesn't take as long to get to the "fun" part.

Now of course, that's just me. I just don't have the time to sink. Obviously it's not "wrong" since plenty of other people seem to enjoy those games just fine.
(One way this problem was approached was by Dungeons of Dredmor, which offered a "No Time to Grind" mode that made the levels smaller, but increased the XP each creature gave. There were some issues with that mode in that it changed some aspects of the game more than others, but at least they tried to acknowledge the problem and accommodate.)
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Vanguard

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #72 on: April 03, 2014, 08:19:40 PM »
Obviously it's not "wrong" since plenty of other people seem to enjoy those games just fine.

Bad design that plenty of people seem to enjoy is still bad.

LazyCat

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #73 on: April 03, 2014, 10:24:04 PM »
By the time I start to get interesting powers and equipment or make it to the interesting dungeon branches, I die, and have to go back to the "boring" levels again, which, if I've just sunk an hour or two into a character to get to that point, doesn't seem appealing at all.

In shorter games, it's less of an issue because it doesn't take as long to get to the "fun" part.

Long or short, two hours is two hours. If the game was only two hours and five minutes long, it would perhaps be even more annoying to start all over.

mushroom patch

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Re: My two cents about Permadeath
« Reply #74 on: April 03, 2014, 10:48:53 PM »
I was still talking about "regular" roguelikes. To be specific, I guess I'm talking about Crawl since that's where I have the most experience. The early levels are kind of boring, you don't have any cool weapons or powers aside from some basic spells, there aren't any interesting dungeon branches, the monsters you fight generally don't have interesting powers to deal with.
By the time I start to get interesting powers and equipment or make it to the interesting dungeon branches, I die, and have to go back to the "boring" levels again, which, if I've just sunk an hour or two into a character to get to that point, doesn't seem appealing at all.
In shorter games, it's less of an issue because it doesn't take as long to get to the "fun" part.

Right, there's an idiom in the genre of building from a guy who dies in fist fights with drunks into a force of nature who can kill everyone in town with a single spell.  Being the guy who dies in fist fights is kind of lame and it stays lame for a long time in most games. Winning fights with kobolds and bats until you can move up to winning fights with iguanas is basically where a lot of players spend all their time. I agree that this is boring and repetitive. It drives away a lot of players, because when you're starting out, it's hard to get past that because you don't understand the game (and indeed, experienced players die to bad luck in the early levels or out of impatience a lot too). When you do get past it, again as a beginning player, it's mostly luck and then when things are starting to get interesting, you die and start over. Doubly frustrating.

I'm sceptical about the value of these opening levels, say the first five or so (or more depending on the game). The most damning thing about them is that they tend to be so unrepresentative of higher level play that they're barely even a learning experience. The question is: What's the right way to cut that part of the game out without trivializing or unduly truncating the early development of the character?