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Author Topic: AoB improvement discussion  (Read 20145 times)

myuzinn

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AoB improvement discussion
« on: December 27, 2008, 00:01 »

In my recent AoB mortem, Kornel asked for suggestions on improving AoB, making it more interesting or evening out the difficulty curve. I figured opening a discussion here would attract attention better.

The main perceived problem with AoB is the difficulty curve. Much more frustrating/difficult early game than late game. Many players seem to complain about not being able to reach even the chained court with any regularity. On the other hand, once one gets past the initial Bru/Ber traits and starts accumulating defensive traits, and especially when one nabs the Longinus spear, the game gets substantially easier. Still possible to die if being foolish, but perhaps a bit too easy.

So the question is, how to make things easier early game, without making the late-game even easier than it already is? Most of the ideas I have seem to make the game easier at all points of play unfortunately.

Here are some ideas. Not all addressing the difficulty issue, some are just to make things more interesting/fun. Note that I don't mean them all to be implemented simultaneously - that may make things too easy.

Trait Changes

1) Merging brute and berserk. Berserk functionality is included with the first level of brute. By allowing a player the occasional early-game berserk, you're giving them some more temporary armor/speed, as well as making the game more exciting/fast by being able to rush more things instead of endless gift dropping. You would still berserk less initially, due to berserking chance supposedly being affected by damage output.

or

2) Adding melee-only to-hit bonus to Brute. Each level of brute also confers +1 to hit for melee strikes only. Allows the player to not miss so much in the very first levels, which is quite nice if you've ever gotten a huge chunk of life taken away by a consecutive string of unlucky rolls against a lowly imp.

New functionality
These would probably be implemented in traits I guess?

1) Some of the striking maneouvers from Kornel's Berserk! game. 3-square strikes, impalement, etc. Someone in another thread suggested the chainsaw be inherently capable of performing the 3-square strike using special reload. Since melee weapons don't need either reload or special reload, they could both be mapped to different kinds of strikes, depending on the weapon.

Another option would be like the great-cleave feature in d&d and that incursion roguelike, whereby any adjacent enemy you kill in one strike allows you to follow through into any other enemy adjacent to the player. This repeats until either the player misses a hit, or fails to kill an enemy in one strike, or runs out of adjacent enemies.

Edit: I had something here called Blast/Explosion jumping, but realised that it did nothing that hellrunner didn't already effectively do, and hellrunner does it all better as well. Poorly thought out idea.

I had more ideas, but I've forgotten them now. I might post some more later.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 01:03 by myuzinn »
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Captain Trek

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2008, 03:11 »

I'll reiterate what I said in my thread, "Can someone explain to me how angel of berserk is meant to be possible?"...

Quote
Giftdropping would be so much easier if you could drop stuff in any of the nine squares around you, instead of only being able to drop it on the spot where you're standing... Maybe that could be made an option in the coming version... "d" for a regular drop as we have now and "D" for a directional drop (you'd get a "choose direction" message as you do when you press "c" whilst standing next to more than one open door or you press "f" when weilding a melee weapon)...

That way, in for example this situation...

.@# . . .
. . . . . h
. .# . . .

... I wouldn't have to come out of cover to drop something into the tile below me to attract the sargeant...

Note that the above is not an exact quote from my thread... I've edited slightly so it makes sense out of context with the rest of the thread...
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007bistromath

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2008, 03:56 »

I think that's actually an excellent idea. Generally, I don't want AoB to be easier than it is, I think it's supposed to be an awful bitch, but the directional drop just makes sense.
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myuzinn

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2008, 06:10 »

Captain Trek, there is a way to drop an item there without moving currently. If you keep dropping items without moving, they'll start dropping into adjacent squares, eventually into the one you want it to be in. Takes longer and requires carrying more drop items, but should work I think.

I don't want AoB to be easier than it is, I think it's supposed to be an awful bitch
Yeah I think you're right. I've been thinking about this all wrong. There's nothing wrong with having challenges of different difficulty levels. I think people were mainly irritated at berserk's difficulty due to it being a requirement to opening many of the other challenge modes they wanted to play instead. A matter of taste.

I like berserk myself, but I can see how it may not be to others' tastes.

Honestly I've yet to think of many ideas that eases the early game but doesn't ease the late game even more. About the closest I've thought of is stuff like "increase healing power of small medkits, due to their proliferation early on" (but like I said in my post-mort, most of my deaths had lots of medkits in their inventories, so that's not right), or giving players who take the AoB challenge an inherent +2 armor, while toning down longinus' protective aura a little (I don't like this one much).

So yeh my interest in the topic has waned a bit.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 06:22 by myuzinn »
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Vestin

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2008, 07:36 »

Trait Changes
1) Merging brute and berserk
or
2) Adding melee-only to-hit bonus to Brute.
Maybe we should make EVERY character have a chance to go berserk after a successful melee hit, removing the trait altogether ? Normal characters wouldn't risk it often anyway and you would have a bonus from the get-go...
Then you may make Brute like this:
1st level - adds to melee damage only
2nd level - adds to melee accuracy only
3rd level - adds to both

New functionality
1)3-square strikes
2)the great-cleave
I'd say that those are great. Basically - we'd have 3 attacks per melee weapon. My ideas:
weapon - basic attack - reload attack - special attack
fists - single hit - powerful strike (takes twice the time but deals 2-3 times the damage) - 3-square hit (with a knockback chance)
knife - stabs a single enemy - the great cleave - throws the knife (in 4-5 squares radius)
chainsaw - thrust at a single enemy - the great cleave - swing (3-square attack)
Butcher's Cleaver - single strike - the great cleave - whirlwind (hits every adjacent square)
LS - single strike - the great cleave - thrust (attacks an enemy 2 squares away from the character)

Notes:
1. I want to throw my knife. I picked it up, I've earned it, I want to throw it away ;).
No, seriously, I don't think it would be unbalanced or not true to the challenge. The throw radius is limited, you are left WITHOUT A WEAPON after you throw the knife, every knife takes a single spot in the inventory... It would be a nice way to get rid of barrels, for one. It would also allow some diversity in what we carry around. The knife is destroyed after being thrown (the hellspawn break it or it just melts in the explosion of the barrel). If we'd really want to throw some, we'd have to spare a LOT of inventory space...
2. The LS SHOULD be able to attack a little further than a knife. It's a SPEAR. Like most of what I suggest - it's not overpowered, can be easily balanced, adds diversity and choice, makes a difference some of the time, yet not changing the focus of the entire game.
3. 3-spot or even 8-spot attacks are only effective if you're in a crappy situation anyway. I don't think people would put themselves in such spots on purpose.
4. Using a non-basic attack would, I guess, take a little more game-time. That can easily mean death if you can't just stop and heal while performing such stunts. IMHO - risky things are fun.


Anyway - let's brainstorm some more and then make a poll.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 07:56 by Vestin »
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Errant

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2008, 15:03 »

Well....why not just add a bonus to-hit to the combat knife? it'd make getting to the chainsaw easier, and then not affect anything after that.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 15:16 by Errant »
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metroidRL

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2009, 21:21 »

or at least start with a red armor (min blue with movement)
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Behrooz Wolf

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2009, 22:17 »

Well....why not just add a bonus to-hit to the combat knife? it'd make getting to the chainsaw easier, and then not affect anything after that.

Smartest thing I've read today.
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Skynet 2.0

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2009, 11:08 »

Well....why not just add a bonus to-hit to the combat knife? it'd make getting to the chainsaw easier, and then not affect anything after that.

Smartest thing I've read today.

Maybe start out the player with a combat knife as well, since they don't get the starting pistol? Many of my early AoB characters have died trying to dash to a combat knife on level 2-3 while a Former Sergeant is firing at them.
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Styro

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2009, 15:46 »

Start the character with an Advanced Combat Knife.

Also allow mods to be applied to all melee weapons.

Accuracy mods on the chainsaw or on a combat knife would help them a lot. An advanced Combat Knife may even make it so the character will want to stick with it the whole game after putting some damage, speed, and accuracy mods on it. And put the secret Chained Court mod in an accessible place in AoB and AoMr challenges.

I also like the idea of adding traits to allow dual-wielding Knives. Even if it does not allow chainsaw or the spear it would be useful (and fun) if mods could be applied to Knives. You could also make the Malicious Knives challenge a permanent part of DoomRL.
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raekuul

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2009, 11:57 »

There are probably too many former sargents between the beginning and the chainsaw. Shotgun knockback does play a major role in the difficulty. Can't really think of any suitable replacements, though.

EDIT: I think the reason that we have AoB as a frequent requirement for higher levels is to learn how to deal with Shotgun, and how to choose battles wisely.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 20:51 by raekuul »
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Visalos

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2009, 00:36 »

yeah, but i hate leaving live enemies behind me. i'm addicted to experience points, and i have an infinite supply of melee-specialized space marines who will literally charge into hell to get me my fix. poor stupid bastards. Seriously though, I'm gonna try putting Berserker on hold until i pick up TaNx2 at least. maybe that'll work out better...
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raekuul

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2009, 14:35 »

I've been toying with a masochist build, and I think it might be the way to survive the first few levels of AoB. Unfortunately, that means that the brute/berzerker traits wouldn't be until around Unholy Cathedral at best...
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Visalos

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2009, 01:07 »

I've been berserking again, i WILL make Colonel! Having improved my berserk technique(though not enough to win), i've noticed that luck is too big a factor in at least the early levels of AoB. A good example is the first level. Not only is it possible to do everything wrong on phobos surface(short of not attacking, not collecting the medkits, and not picking up the knife) and walking down the stairs with all four health items and 90% health or so, it's possible to do everything RIGHT and walk down the stairs with only your two starting medkits and 40% health. As a result, i've taken to doing the first level wrong every time.

I have two ideas. One is to alter the spawn rates of sergeants and imps in the early levels. (i've been playing on HNTR, even HMP is beyond my savagery as of yet) It won't affect game balance in the wrong run, just throw more former humans in to even out the experience, and by the time one gets the chainsaw, one is back to the difficulty Kornel intended :P Don't have to remove them entirely, just reduce their numbers to two or three per level in dlvl1-4.

The second idea is a guaranteed berserk state at the beginning of each level(no free heal, though) This, I feel, would fix everything. EVERYTHING.

EDIT: I beat AoB a while back, and have been so disgustingly smug about it i haven't bothered with UV or AoMs yet. Not to mention the THREE HUNDRED FIFTY THOUSAND ENEMIES I STILL NEED TO KILL FOR V RANK.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2009, 15:16 by Visalos »
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Passionario

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Re: AoB improvement discussion
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2009, 02:39 »

The second idea is a guaranteed berserk state at the beginning of each level(no free heal, though) This, I feel, would fix everything. EVERYTHING.

I second this suggestion.

After all, the challenge is named AoB, not AoCGDAaCR (Angel of Careful Gift-Dropping Ambushes and Calculated Risks).
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