Author Topic: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells  (Read 3743 times)

Offline @B0FH

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Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« on: June 29, 2012, 05:41:31 AM »
As always, never enough time to go into great depth, but after a morning's play I reckon this will be a love/hate relationship :/

LOVE:
Love the fact spells can vary in ability now, really cannot emphasise how much of a positive I think this is!  I can't wait to see what else Keith has up his sleeves here.

HATE:
Getting spells as loot - the occasional "epic" spell as a reward sounds great (although the rarity orbs are better there, as they allow you to customise your line-up how you like (even if in a RNG-controlled way ;) ), but I feel that removing the emphasis on crafting your tools (spells) as you need them isn't as fun as it was previously.

Just wondering what anyone else's brainfarts are?

Offline Misery

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 05:50:36 AM »
As always, never enough time to go into great depth, but after a morning's play I reckon this will be a love/hate relationship :/

LOVE:
Love the fact spells can vary in ability now, really cannot emphasise how much of a positive I think this is!  I can't wait to see what else Keith has up his sleeves here.

HATE:
Getting spells as loot - the occasional "epic" spell as a reward sounds great (although the rarity orbs are better there, as they allow you to customise your line-up how you like (even if in a RNG-controlled way ;) ), but I feel that removing the emphasis on crafting your tools (spells) as you need them isn't as fun as it was previously.

Just wondering what anyone else's brainfarts are?

Hm, on the note of the crafting, if you think about it, the previous version didn't have THAT much of an emphasis on it.   You could often get everything you needed for a spell by doing just one or two missions of the right type..... which isnt much different from a mission just outright giving you a spell in this version.   The only difference is lack of using the crafting table.

Going even further, you could often get enough stuff from ONE mission, that you might not need to worry about a certain spell's crafting cost for the rest of the continent.  I often found that for some arcane ingredients, I'd do like, 2 or three missions to get them, and I'd end up with enough stuff to do FIVE full tiers of the spell in question.

Not to mention that in this current version, missions ONLY give you the most common (aka, weakest) versions of the spells for a given tier.   If you want better ones..... you have to craft them, there's no other way to do it.

And, even further than THAT..... just because you already have, say, common Fireball..... doesnt mean that crafting another common fireball (if you find you have the ingredients to do so) is a bad idea.  As each one will end up with a different procedural effect.   And as you said, I too am finding these actually very important.  I'm finding myself making more interesting choices in terms of what spell to use for boss fights.   Example, I had a rather nasty encounter with a giant blue amoeba; the room it was in, and the particular enemies that were there, and the thing's high rate of fire due to the difficulty level, meant it actually got really nasty, really fast.   To deal with it, instead of using a spell it was weak against, I used one that had the negative-haste effect;  it weakened the attack pattern by slowing it down quite a good bit, and was probably the only thing that kept me from getting wrecked.      This alone means that getting multiples of some spells might not be a bad idea at all, as their use can suddenly change entirely based on these effects.   This of course needs experimentation, but I think it added even more to the game than it looks like it did.


And finally, getting the arcane stuffs from stashes/exploring and all that..... SO much better than the previous way.   I also like that secret missions really matter now.


All in all, I havent really found anything to dislike about this update, aside from starting on continent 2 without Storm Dash (argh).

Offline zebramatt

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 06:54:14 AM »
It might just be me but the Valley crafting never seemed that much like crafting.

I'm not even sure what I specifically mean by that but it just felt, hm, more like an unlockables menu?

I can't put my finger on why...

Offline Misery

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 07:10:47 AM »
It might just be me but the Valley crafting never seemed that much like crafting.

I'm not even sure what I specifically mean by that but it just felt, hm, more like an unlockables menu?

I can't put my finger on why...

Aye, I agree.

I think a big part of the reason was the simple fact that you'd get arcane ingredients in those big heaps.  You never needed to really keep track of the exact numbers of ingredients you had, with the possible exception of granite.  you just did some missions, unlocked some spells, did some more missions, unlocked some more spells.

To me, the current version has a more "crafting" sort of feeling to it, because I need to INDIVIDUALLY hunt down these items, and I may need to make difficult choices about individual pieces;  like, ok, I have one Magma, and some other things.... do I try for an uncommon Fireball, or do I make Circle of Fire to strike at larger targets with?   That type of decision making based on low-ish resources simply wasnt happening in the previous version, and I think the game is muuuuuuch better WITH it happening. 

Not to mention, it's so much more SATISFYING this way.  Stashes went from "Ah, a stash room, guess I'll grab some extra shards and maybe a set of moon lamps if I'm lucky", to "OOH, a stash room, gotta check it out..... YAY I found a piece of Charred Amber and an Orb AND some bear traps!".   Much more enjoyable now and rewarding.

Offline BenMiff

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 08:44:20 AM »
My current problem is with the new crafting and spells is that I don't feel any incentive to do any missions (and I like missions), since the rewards aren't of any use any more. The "improvements" higher rarity spells have don't seem massively significant, making it so that I might as well just use the easier-to-get commons, which I can buy outright without doing any missions. I suspect a big part of this is that by making ingredient stashes transfer across continents means I can pretty much just buy everything outright (since I've never finished a continent without a lot of spare ingredients picked up from getting to missions, going after unlockables, and general exploration). Another part is that spells are now really cheap, so it's not going to put much of a dent in the stockpile to buy a lot of spells.

(While I like that you can get by without missions if you like, the balance in importance between missions and exploration has swung too far in favour of exploration - really, both should be viable options rather than forcing one or the other.)

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 08:53:59 AM »
My current problem is with the new crafting and spells is that I don't feel any incentive to do any missions (and I like missions), since the rewards aren't of any use any more. The "improvements" higher rarity spells have don't seem massively significant, making it so that I might as well just use the easier-to-get commons, which I can buy outright without doing any missions. I suspect a big part of this is that by making ingredient stashes transfer across continents means I can pretty much just buy everything outright (since I've never finished a continent without a lot of spare ingredients picked up from getting to missions, going after unlockables, and general exploration). Another part is that spells are now really cheap, so it's not going to put much of a dent in the stockpile to buy a lot of spells.

(While I like that you can get by without missions if you like, the balance in importance between missions and exploration has swung too far in favour of exploration - really, both should be viable options rather than forcing one or the other.)

I do agree that inventory shouldn't transfer between continents. It obviates absolutely everything in the new system. It would also help if there were more uses for ingredients, perhaps in the new city-building stuff that's coming up.

Other than that, I have to say I like the new system. Map missions are like 'semi-freebies' that allow you to possibly get a spell you wanted without crafting. This makes it such that if I'm bored of missions (which I mostly am), I can ignore them until I actually feel like doing one. However, I think it makes the most sense to limit the number of missions at 7 or so max. This means that not every spell is on offer as a 'freebie'.

I would really like to see more activities that ask you to clear out entire areas like unlocks. It's really fun to clear out an area of monsters once in a while.

Offline x4000

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 09:01:33 AM »
@B0FH: I'm wondering if having fewer missions on the world map might help with that feel some?

BenMiff: Are you playing on a prior world?  In that case you probably have huge amounts of inventory built up and that would be skewing things.  Not saying you should start over, but if you have an enormous reserve of resources from a time when resources were more plentiful in the first place then of course it's not going to give you any accurate gauge of the new system's balance at all.

Bluddy: I really don't want to go to limiting inventory by continent again.  Actively taking something away from the player like that really just doesn't give a good vibe, you know?  We had so many people stopping after one continent or two out of frustration with that.  There has to be a better way.  It sounds like we're thinking along the same lines with number of missions.

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Offline Bluddy

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 09:15:39 AM »
@B0FH: I'm wondering if having fewer missions on the world map might help with that feel some?

BenMiff: Are you playing on a prior world?  In that case you probably have huge amounts of inventory built up and that would be skewing things.  Not saying you should start over, but if you have an enormous reserve of resources from a time when resources were more plentiful in the first place then of course it's not going to give you any accurate gauge of the new system's balance at all.

Bluddy: I really don't want to go to limiting inventory by continent again.  Actively taking something away from the player like that really just doesn't give a good vibe, you know?  We had so many people stopping after one continent or two out of frustration with that.  There has to be a better way.  It sounds like we're thinking along the same lines with number of missions.

I understand not wanting to limit inventory by continent -- it does make sense.

I would second the recommendation to start over with a new world at this point, especially if you haven't done so in a while. There are too many changes to allow the old continents to work properly balance-wise.

Offline Misery

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 09:20:58 AM »
@B0FH: I'm wondering if having fewer missions on the world map might help with that feel some?

BenMiff: Are you playing on a prior world?  In that case you probably have huge amounts of inventory built up and that would be skewing things.  Not saying you should start over, but if you have an enormous reserve of resources from a time when resources were more plentiful in the first place then of course it's not going to give you any accurate gauge of the new system's balance at all.

Bluddy: I really don't want to go to limiting inventory by continent again.  Actively taking something away from the player like that really just doesn't give a good vibe, you know?  We had so many people stopping after one continent or two out of frustration with that.  There has to be a better way.  It sounds like we're thinking along the same lines with number of missions.


As the resources go,

I think it's got a good balance to it right now.   I started a totally new world for this, and I noticed one thing right away:  Getting the crafting stuff for spells takes some real effort and time now.  I cant see myself ever having major excess resources of any type.   And I tend to explore quite alot of buildings.

.....except maybe for the ores/gems/whatever.   These are still a bit unbalanced.   The arcane ingredients, their frequency of appearance seems completely perfect to me, requiring real exploration to craft spells at all, but the ores..... Either they should be nowhere NEAR as common as they are, or their numbers in crafting recipes need to be quite a bit higher.  Same as previous, doing just a few quick gem rooms in caves gets me a rather silly number of gems that I wont be running out of for some time.   As it is, the main reason for me to explore caves right now is not for the gems (until I HAVE used them up), but is instead because caves are great for finding secret missions (as are the surface areas).



Also, I agree on the bit with the mission numbers..... this could be really drastically reduced (like, 7 as an absolute max), and I think it would help.  Crafting even common spells would become more important, and the missions themselves, when you do find one you want, would be that much more satisfying;  like, going to the world map, and "Hey, what luck, there's a mission up that'll give me the next level of Insect Orb!"  as opposed to "Ok, I'll just check the 40 squillion missions here to see which one (or more) is currently giving Insect Orb".  It would also make the "seek trouble" scrolls become all sorts of useful.  Use one, and bam, 5 free new missions to do!

Not to mention, I dont know about other players, but I tend to use alot of Guardian Scrolls of all sorts;   so I find myself doing EVERY secret mission I run into.   Even if the mission count on the worldmap were dramatically reduced like that, I'd still be getting more than enough mission content to properly break up the gameplay in a good way.

Offline BenMiff

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2012, 09:45:51 AM »
Other than that, I have to say I like the new system. Map missions are like 'semi-freebies' that allow you to possibly get a spell you wanted without crafting. This makes it such that if I'm bored of missions (which I mostly am), I can ignore them until I actually feel like doing one. However, I think it makes the most sense to limit the number of missions at 7 or so max. This means that not every spell is on offer as a 'freebie'.

I'm not saying that missions should be required, since I can understand the appeal in exploration as well; however, at the moment there's very little point in doing missions.

BenMiff: Are you playing on a prior world?  In that case you probably have huge amounts of inventory built up and that would be skewing things.  Not saying you should start over, but if you have an enormous reserve of resources from a time when resources were more plentiful in the first place then of course it's not going to give you any accurate gauge of the new system's balance at all.

It's a prior world, but I lost my stockpiles in the bug and figured with the new balance it was preferable to start from fresh than to get the stockpile back. It might be worth starting again anyway since having a lot of things unlocked could be part of the problem; that and I probably don't need to do some much enchant buildup now since trying for deep caverns isn't as unpleasant any more.

Also, I agree on the bit with the mission numbers..... this could be really drastically reduced (like, 7 as an absolute max), and I think it would help.  Crafting even common spells would become more important, and the missions themselves, when you do find one you want, would be that much more satisfying;  like, going to the world map, and "Hey, what luck, there's a mission up that'll give me the next level of Insect Orb!"  as opposed to "Ok, I'll just check the 40 squillion missions here to see which one (or more) is currently giving Insect Orb".

I don't really agree with this one, since it doesn't become a case off feeling good for finally getting a mission you want; instead, it becomes a case of getting annoyed because you have to cast sunrise / nightfall 40 squillion times. The problem's espescially bad if you don't like certain missions since those 7 missions can easily become only 4 or 5 once you discard the missions you're unwilling to do.

That said, some reduction to take into account that there are less possible "rewards" missions can offer now makes sense. Forcing players to do things they dislike (like, say, using spells they dislike because none of the ones they want are available) is something to be avoided, after all. I want missions-only play to remain as a viable option, though, and a lot of the proposed changes seem to be more a case from those who don't like missions.

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2012, 10:15:12 AM »
Other than that, I have to say I like the new system. Map missions are like 'semi-freebies' that allow you to possibly get a spell you wanted without crafting. This makes it such that if I'm bored of missions (which I mostly am), I can ignore them until I actually feel like doing one. However, I think it makes the most sense to limit the number of missions at 7 or so max. This means that not every spell is on offer as a 'freebie'.

I'm not saying that missions should be required, since I can understand the appeal in exploration as well; however, at the moment there's very little point in doing missions.

It's very hard for me to understand your POV, because to me, missions become stale after doing them 4-5 times. I think the previous system over-emphasized missions: my map was full of missions, all of which granted me near unlimited resources. Since they were immediately obvious and so bountiful in their rewards, there was no reason to go out into the world. Now, they serve as a shortcut, which I think is really smart. I'd prefer for them to be more integrated into the world and actually BE part of the the exploration (and be fed by the world's randomness), but this is a good compromise IMO. If you like missions, the fact that you like them should drive you to want to use them as shortcuts.

The problem with too many missions in the current system is that you'd have too many shortcuts available. However, maybe we could have binary missions: you could either do a freefall or a boss tower for the same reward. That would increase the possible number of activities (to possibly match one that people want) while still limiting the rewards/shortcuts.

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2012, 10:18:25 AM »
Maybe we could limit what appears where on terrain, like not expecting a fireball spell in the ice age?

Offline Misery

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2012, 10:28:01 AM »
Other than that, I have to say I like the new system. Map missions are like 'semi-freebies' that allow you to possibly get a spell you wanted without crafting. This makes it such that if I'm bored of missions (which I mostly am), I can ignore them until I actually feel like doing one. However, I think it makes the most sense to limit the number of missions at 7 or so max. This means that not every spell is on offer as a 'freebie'.

I'm not saying that missions should be required, since I can understand the appeal in exploration as well; however, at the moment there's very little point in doing missions.

It's very hard for me to understand your POV, because to me, missions become stale after doing them 4-5 times. I think the previous system over-emphasized missions: my map was full of missions, all of which granted me near unlimited resources. Since they were immediately obvious and so bountiful in their rewards, there was no reason to go out into the world. Now, they serve as a shortcut, which I think is really smart. I'd prefer for them to be more integrated into the world and actually BE part of the the exploration (and be fed by the world's randomness), but this is a good compromise IMO. If you like missions, the fact that you like them should drive you to want to use them as shortcuts.

The problem with too many missions in the current system is that you'd have too many shortcuts available. However, maybe we could have binary missions: you could either do a freefall or a boss tower for the same reward. That would increase the possible number of activities (to possibly match one that people want) while still limiting the rewards/shortcuts.

Not to mention..... the game is pretty much designed as a "Metroid-vania" sort of experience right from the start.   Missions are fine and all, but I think too many of them can ruin things a bit.   Not to mention, in some cases, making things way too easy (Stealth or Boss Delve, for example, those can be exploited big time if the game produces alot of them).   It's not that there shouldnt BE mission gameplay..... it's just that, the actual exploring-to-find-more-power should be brought to the forefront again.

And if the RNG is being a snot, the player always has the option to just go get some arcane bits for the spell they really want.  This might also encourage players to save up a bit of extra, so if they hit a new area or something, and the RNG isnt giving them good ol' Ball Lighting, they have a few extra Charred Amber or whatever that they can use to get through a couple of levels with that spell.



Maybe we could limit what appears where on terrain, like not expecting a fireball spell in the ice age?


This too.  It also kinda makes choosing a location for the "seek trouble" scroll pointless right now, if the spells are TOTALLY random as opposed to region-based.

Offline BenMiff

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2012, 11:30:49 AM »
Huh. For me, missions remain entertaining since they change up the gameplay; I like the variety they provide. Conversely, I can't really see how they hurt your enjoyment of the game, since they're pretty easy to ignore to go do other things when you want to go do other things. Another part of my issue is that I dislike losing control over what I can choose to do and what I can choose to get; I find it boring to run around looking for the things I want, since at that point in time I want to do missions instead of exploration. (In essence, I want to be able to make an informed decision about what I do, and have multiple options of roughly equal value so that the decision is meaningful.)

A thought has come to me, actually; I'd argue that part of the reason I prefer large numbers of missions is that the missions hang around for so very, very long, meaning that if there isn't plenty I'll run out too early and have to wait around for more. Tying into making meaningful decisions as well, what if missions had much shorter timers (say, about 15 minutes), but also all missions disappeared once a mission was complete and new ones were placed? (The exception to this would be power-granted missions, since it's unfair to not let you get a chance to do the missions you've effectively "paid" for.) I'd combine this with the game trying not to have a mission appear in the same region twice in a row so expanding still gives you a decent chance of seeing different region missions when the RNG is feeling unfriendly. The end result would be that fewer missions wouldn't make those who want to do missions feel they're stuck with 7 or so they don't want to do, and would mean that when the RNG drops a glut of a particular mission you can't go round doing them all. It'd also mean you'd need to pick and choose your mission rewards, rather than being able to go round hoovering up everything, since the next mission batch wouldn't necessarily give you the same things (espescially with procedural spells.)

I do, however, like the idea of giving each spell a specific set of regions it appears on. (It's a limit of the power of a mission to grant rewards that keeps player control, since I'll know that if I want a particular spell I want to look for missions in particular regions (and remove the storms from that region.)

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Thoughts on New Crafting/Spells
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2012, 12:42:14 PM »
Huh. For me, missions remain entertaining since they change up the gameplay; I like the variety they provide. Conversely, I can't really see how they hurt your enjoyment of the game, since they're pretty easy to ignore to go do other things when you want to go do other things.

In the old model you couldn't avoid missions if you wanted ingredients. Common ingredients were easy to get and they were also available from missions. So after you explored a little to build up your commons, you spent the rest of the time on the continent just doing missions. There was no need to explore at all.

I do like the fact that they're little distractions when you're tired of the main gameplay -- kinda like the police missions in GTA3+. My problem with them is that they're in their own bubble. They don't affect/are barely affected by the rest of the world. As such, they're repetitive -- most of the factors that would make them more interesting are removed. They're also too directed. Once I'm in the bubble, I have to do the specific goal they give me -- there's no room to be flexible or to try new ideas. Because they're discrete, they become boring very quickly for me. Also, choosing to do a specific activity at the map level is nowhere near as interesting as exploring, and finding some chunk that's affected by something, at which point I can choose to fix that thing (or just play around with it). There's a subtle difference there.

Quote
A thought has come to me, actually; I'd argue that part of the reason I prefer large numbers of missions is that the missions hang around for so very, very long, meaning that if there isn't plenty I'll run out too early and have to wait around for more. Tying into making meaningful decisions as well, what if missions had much shorter timers (say, about 15 minutes), but also all missions disappeared once a mission was complete and new ones were placed? (The exception to this would be power-granted missions, since it's unfair to not let you get a chance to do the missions you've effectively "paid" for.) I'd combine this with the game trying not to have a mission appear in the same region twice in a row so expanding still gives you a decent chance of seeing different region missions when the RNG is feeling unfriendly. The end result would be that fewer missions wouldn't make those who want to do missions feel they're stuck with 7 or so they don't want to do, and would mean that when the RNG drops a glut of a particular mission you can't go round doing them all. It'd also mean you'd need to pick and choose your mission rewards, rather than being able to go round hoovering up everything, since the next mission batch wouldn't necessarily give you the same things (espescially with procedural spells.)

I think it makes sense to have a constant number of missions -- finish one, and you immediately get another.

Quote
I do, however, like the idea of giving each spell a specific set of regions it appears on. (It's a limit of the power of a mission to grant rewards that keeps player control, since I'll know that if I want a particular spell I want to look for missions in particular regions (and remove the storms from that region.)

I like it too.