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Author Topic: Changing rewards on special levels  (Read 1676 times)

action52

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Changing rewards on special levels
« on: May 26, 2010, 16:10 »

Special levels. They're there to give a little extra reward, a little extra fun, and (sometimes) a little extra voluntary challenge. Some of them are way harder than the regular levels, and some of them are pretty much just freebies. I think they're well-designed for the most part, but I have a few ideas that would help balance them out, and make sure all of them are worth visiting, on almost any challenge mode. Please note that most of these changes are very minor--I think the levels are good the way they are, but some tweaking here and there could improve things.

And just to see if anyone else shares my view of things, I attached a little poll. Please respond to the poll on whether or not you agree with me, and the changes I suggested.


Hell's Arena:

The reward on the standard game is absoutely perfect. Enough to be worth the challenge, but not so much as to be gamebreaking or anything. I like that it gives special rewards on certain challenge modes, but maybe some of the challenge mode rewards could use a little tweaking.

AoB: The difficulty just seems way out of proportion to the rewards, especially now that demons have been buffed. It seems impossible in most games unless you're really lucky, or at least Blade-level skilled. And what do you get for toughing it out? A few med-packs that barely make up for the ones you'll probably use, and a homing device. Give me a break. Either the reward should be better--how about increasing the medpacks, and adding in plasteel boots with an agility mod? And a bulk mod for your chainsaw? That would make Hell's Arena worth the trouble. Either that, or keep the rewards weak, giving us a berserk pack after each round.

AoMk: Again, this one is considerably harder than the standard game, but the rewards are a lot weaker. Power mods aren't all that great with pistols. A blaster would be a nice reward, but maybe too overpowered. Agility mod + boots, like in AoB, might be better. Oh, and how about a phase device, for people attempting Brick Silver?

AoS: Double shotgun as final reward is good. It's not that powerful, but definitely very handy,and anyway Hell's Arena is pretty easy on AoS so the reward doesn't need to be that great. But how about, after the first round, you get a combat shotgun instead of a useless chaingun? AoS games where you don't find a combat shotgun for 5+ levels are REALLY annoying.

AoP: Why do we even get a supercharge when we can't use it? Just give us another large medkit instead.

AoRA: HOMING PHASE PLEEZ KTHXBYE.

The rest of the challenge modes are probably fine as-is.



Chained Court:

Getting a chainsaw is perfect--makes AoB much more doable. But I think the double agility mods really need to change, because they make Ammochain games way too easy. More about it in this topic: http://forum.chaosforge.org/index.php/topic,3011.0.html
How about two random mods instead? With chance of getting one unique/exotic mod pack if you're lucky.

Second idea: one agility (or random) mod, plus one pair of boots. This wouldn't overlap my Hell's Arena ideas, since you would only get the boots on challenges where the secret rooms are almost impossible to enter.



The Wall:

More or less perfect, but how about a homing device in the backpack room? That way people attempting Brick Silver would only need a single phase device.



Hell's Armory:

I think it should have more weapons. This is supposed to be an armory, right? So why is it that almost every time I go there I wind up finding something like two pistols, a shotgun, and a chaingun? I say it should have one of every regular (non-exotic) ranged weapon. Nothing but blue and green armor is kinda weak, too.

How about a secret area with a motherload of guns and armor? I think you could fit some stuff over on the right side of the map. You would need to cross the lava and step on a certain spot, opening the door to two rooms guarded by Mancubi (Arachnotrons on easier difficulties). The rooms would contain lots of random weapons and armor (with high chance of exotic/unique).


Halls of Carnage:

No changes necessary.


Hellgate:

No changes necessary.


Uholy Cathedral:

No changes necessary, other than fixing the zerk armor bug. ;)


City of Skulls:

How about throwing shotgun/pistol users a bone and giving some ammo? Doesn't have to be that much, just enough that careful players will just about break even. A mod pack or two might be nice, too, to make it more worthwhile for players who don't need the BFG.


Spider's Lair:

I think it would be cool if this were kind of like an arena level. After defeating the spiders, you get a message like "You hear the sound of something terrifying crawling out from the webs!" and the Spider Mastermind appears right in the center, along with ammo and weapon(s)--maybe a nuclear plasma rifle?--scattered all over the map. Final reward would be same as before.


The Vaults:

This is another one where the reward isn't worth what a pain it is to get the treasure. It seems like most of the time there isn't even a single exotic or unique in either of the side vaults. The one time I got to the middle I didn't see any either (although there might have been some--I was fried almost instantly and so I didn't get a chance to see).

Is it possible to make it so that the left and right vaults have a guaranteed exotic (one total, not per vault) without specifying which one? And one exotic plus one unique in the middle? That would be nice. Also, it's been said before, but how about a couple phase devices? One per side.


The Mortuary:

This one is perfect as it is--super hard, with super items as your reward for finishing.


The Lava Pits:

I think everyone complains of the same thing: it's a pain in the ass to get through, and the rewards are piddly at that point. At that stage in the game, you're probably set to win already, so how about something fun? How about you get two random pieces of gothic / phase equipment? Maybe one time you'd get two gothic boots, and the next time you'd get 1 of each armor type, but the next time you get a phase armor set. All right! A chance to try out a gothic/phase set would make mucking through all that lava worthwhile.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2010, 22:29 by action52 »
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Re: Changing rewards on special levels
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2010, 18:50 »

First off, pardon me for this move -- there's hardly any action on the forum for the last few days and I'm positively itching to type stuff.  So here goes (nothing personal, action52):

Special levels. They're there to give a little extra reward, a little extra fun, and (sometimes) a little extra voluntary challenge. Some of them are way harder than the regular levels, and some of them are pretty much just freebies. I think they're well-designed for the most part, but I have a few ideas that would help balance them out, and make sure all of them are worth visiting, on almost any challenge mode. Please note that most of these changes are very minor--I think the levels are good the way they are, but some tweaking here and there could improve things.
I agree with you on this observation.

And just to see if anyone else shares my view of things, I attached a little poll. Please respond to the poll on whether or not you agree with me, and the changes I suggested.
Too lazy, I'll just write instead.  =P

Hell's Arena:

The reward on the standard game is absoutely perfect. Enough to be worth the challenge, but not so much as to be gamebreaking or anything. I like that it gives special rewards on certain challenge modes, but maybe some of the challenge mode rewards could use a little tweaking.

AoB: The difficulty just seems way out of proportion to the rewards, especially now that demons have been buffed. It seems impossible in most games unless you're really lucky, or at least Blade-level skilled. And what do you get for toughing it out? A few med-packs that barely make up for the ones you'll probably use, and a homing device. Give me a break. Either the reward should be better--how about increasing the medpacks, and adding in plasteel boots with an agility mod? And a bulk mod for your chainsaw? That would make Hell's Arena worth the trouble. Either that, or keep the rewards weak, giving us a berserk pack after each round.
Problem here is that DoomRL has been fashioned as mostly a shooting game.  To compensate, you'll find that there are a few very powerful melee weapons around.  In AoB, Hell's Arena is the first special level to be met (like most other challenges), and thus it is a little game-breaking to give the more "advanced" stuff like homing devices and mods.  I would suggest that for all the troubles the player goes through, we give them four berserk packs surrounding the stairs, a la Chained Court style, and for the in between, maybe some combination of small and large medpacks.

AoMk: Again, this one is considerably harder than the standard game, but the rewards are a lot weaker. Power mods aren't all that great with pistols. A blaster would be a nice reward, but maybe too overpowered. Agility mod + boots, like in AoB, might be better. Oh, and how about a phase device, for people attempting Brick Silver?
We're talking early game here, so Power mods can still be fairly useful for a while.  In late game I would agree that Power mods are not as useful for Pistols, what with 3xSoG and MGK which means the pistols autowin as long as you keep dodging.  Actually, I have not completed Hell's Arena on a AoMr run, so maybe I'm less informed here.  Generally I doubt that phase devices are a good idea as rewards -- guaranteed phase devices of any sort are almost as bad as guaranteed mods of any sorts that don't require a lot of effort to get (think the two Agility mods in the Chained Court).

AoS: Double shotgun as final reward is good. It's not that powerful, but definitely very handy,and anyway Hell's Arena is pretty easy on AoS so the reward doesn't need to be that great. But how about, after the first round, you get a combat shotgun instead of a useless chaingun? AoS games where you don't find a combat shotgun for 5+ levels are REALLY annoying.

AoRA: HOMING PHASE PLEEZ KTHXBYE.
Now that's just being helpful.  =P


Chained Court:

Getting a chainsaw is perfect--makes AoB much more doable. But I think the double agility mods really need to change, because they make Ammochain games way too easy. More about it in this topic:
How about two random mods instead? With chance of getting one unique/exotic mod pack if you're lucky.

Second idea: one agility (or random) mod, plus one pair of boots. This wouldn't overlap my Hell's Arena ideas, since you would only get the boots on challenges where the secret rooms are almost impossible to enter.
I'd go with one Agility mod + one random mod, and that you don't know which mod is in which nook.  You don't really want to nerf Ammochain that much (what's the point of nerfing it again?) but you want to still make it a challenge.  So, just keep one Agility mod.


The Wall:

More or less perfect, but how about a homing device in the backpack room? That way people attempting Brick Silver would only need a single phase device.
I think there has been talk about reorganising the Brick badges due to some rather complicated mishap involving accounting bugs and other things that I cannot remember.


Hell's Armory:

I think it should have more weapons. This is supposed to be an armory, right? So why is it that almost every time I go there I wind up finding something like two pistols, a shotgun, and a chaingun? I say it should have one of every regular (non-exotic) ranged weapon. Nothing but blue and green armor is kinda weak, too.
The pistols, shotgun and chaingun are because you've just massacred a huge bunch of them.  Come to think of it, having one of every regular ranged weapon might be a little imbalanced -- getting a plasma rifle that early with free cells from the Arachnotrons and rooms nearby?  Yes please!  Blue armour is fine, green armour is not too bad if you need more speed and have a couple of TaN to spare.  At least that saves you from finding some more Agility mod some where should the need arise.

How about a secret area with a motherload of guns and armor? I think you could fit some stuff over on the right side of the map. You would need to cross the lava and step on a certain spot, opening the door to two rooms guarded by Mancubi (Arachnotrons on easier difficulties). The rooms would contain lots of random weapons and armor (with high chance of exotic/unique).
Maybe not motherload.  Make it a guaranteed plasma rifle that is guarded by Mancubi or Arachnotrons.  I doubt that armouries in general stock up on exotic/unique weapons -- they are more likely to contain the arsenal for the rank and file, but that's just a role-playing thought process I'm having.

Uholy Cathedral:

No changes necessary, other than fixing the zerk armor bug. ;)
Zerk armour bug is the only reason why I've not been playing melee games.


City of Skulls:

How about throwing shotgun/pistol users a bone and giving some ammo? Doesn't have to be that much, just enough that careful players will just about break even. A mod pack or two might be nice, too, to make it more worthwhile for players who don't need the BFG.
Not sure if want.  I mean, it's a great idea, but some times some special levels just shouldn't have the need to be actually useful to the challenger.  Like the City of Skulls.  The ammunition available are good for those with a particular strategy of attack -- expecting better rewards just from killing Lost Souls and Pain Elementals is a little harsh.  Maybe we can make it more rewarding for higher difficulty levels, where there is more than one wave of monsters.


Spider's Lair:

I think it would be cool if this were kind of like an arena level. After defeating the spiders, you get a message like "You hear the sound of something terrifying crawling out from the webs!" and the Spider Mastermind appears right in the center, along with ammo and weapon(s)--maybe a nuclear plasma rifle?--scattered all over the map. Final reward would be same as before.
I think Kornel said something about Spider Mastermind appearing in DoomRL 2.  Keep your eyes peeled!


The Vaults:

This is another one where the reward isn't worth what a pain it is to get the treasure. It seems like most of the time there isn't even a single exotic or unique in either of the side vaults. The one time I got to the middle I didn't see any either (although there might have been some--I was fried almost instantly and so I didn't get a chance to see).

Is it possible to make it so that the left and right vaults have a guaranteed exotic (one total, not per vault) without specifying which one? And one exotic plus one unique in the middle? That would be nice. Also, it's been said before, but how about a couple phase devices? One per side.
Yes, this is where the uniques/exotics should go.  But I think having a few mods lying around is a good thing too -- aren't mods useful and valuable enough to be in the Vaults?


The Lava Pits:

I think everyone complains of the same thing: it's a pain in the ass to get through, and the rewards are piddly at that point. At that stage in the game, you're probably set to win already, so how about something fun? How about you get two random pieces of gothic / phase equipment? Maybe one time you'd get two gothic boots, and the next time you'd get 1 of each armor type, but the next time you get a phase armor set. All right! A chance to try out a gothic/phase set would make mucking through all that lava worthwhile.
This is an interesting idea -- it makes getting the Phaseshift Set more possible in a normal run, as opposed to only getting it often enough in like, oh, Ao100 or something.
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action52

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Re: Changing rewards on special levels
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2010, 23:10 »

Quote from: action52 on Yesterday at 15:10
Please respond to the poll on whether or not you agree with me, and the changes I suggested.
Too lazy, I'll just write instead.  =P

Too lazy to click on a poll, but you write a detailed, point-by-point response? I... see.

In AoB, Hell's Arena is the first special level to be met (like most other challenges), and thus it is a little game-breaking to give the more "advanced" stuff like homing devices and mods.

You already get a homing device... I don't see how it's all that game-breaking anyway. They're relatively common items anyway. The whole point is, I don't think a homing device in AoB is anywhere near as useful as a rocket launcher in the regular game, and Hell's Arena is MUCH harder in AoB. And the extra med-pack isn't very good either, since you'll probably burn through at least one large med-pack just to beat the level. An agility mod/boots combo would make it a little easier to reach the Chained Court but I hardly see how it would be gamebreaking.

Generally I doubt that phase devices are a good idea as rewards -- guaranteed phase devices of any sort are almost as bad as guaranteed mods of any sorts that don't require a lot of effort to get (think the two Agility mods in the Chained Court).

Sorry, I just don't understand where this is coming from. Phase devices are very common, and are randomly generated very early on. Honestly, I hardly ever use them in the early game anyway--they're mostly useful in the endgame when you can find yourself suddenly surrounded by and ArchVile & co. By the time this comes along you've usually seen multiple phase devices.

Quote from: action52 on Yesterday at 15:10
AoRA: HOMING PHASE PLEEZ KTHXBYE.


Now that's just being helpful.  =P


By this I hope you mean you think it's a good idea?

You don't really want to nerf Ammochain that much (what's the point of nerfing it again?) but you want to still make it a challenge.

Actually, there was a discussion about Ammochain being overpowered in another thread. I meant to include a link to the topic in my first post, but I forgot to put it in. I have edited the topic so that it now contains the link.

The thing with Ammochain is, you have infinite ammo AND your attack is super powerful due to you having finesse and Whizkid. Decreased accuracy was supposed to balance it out, but with the Chained Court reward you are guaranteed a decked out, accurate plasma gun with infinite ammo.

The way I see it, if you had two random mods, between those two, the one in Hell's Armory, and randomly generated ones, you would still find an agility mod in just about every game. And in most games you would still find two. So I don't think it nerfs Ammochain that much, so much as it gives you a little uncertainty. (I should point out that due to the infinite ammo, an inaccurate plasma gun is still far from useless)

Come to think of it, having one of every regular ranged weapon might be a little imbalanced -- getting a plasma rifle that early with free cells from the Arachnotrons and rooms nearby?  Yes please!

But you get plasma guns from former commandoes. In UV and N!, you should have a plasma gun well before Hell's Armory can even spawn in most games. And on other difficulty levels, you'll get one soon after. These are basically just to fill in the gaps, making it so you don't have to wait as long on the occasional time when the RNG is stingy with them.

Maybe not motherload.  Make it a guaranteed plasma rifle that is guarded by Mancubi or Arachnotrons.

When I say "motherload," it doesn't have to be THAT much. Right now, you have four random weapons, right? I would say that is seems like 10% of my games have me finding a unique or exotic in Hell's Armory. I would just want to change it so that you have roughly a 1/3 chance of finding one piece of exotic/unique equipment. So if my estimate is right, that means I would want to see something like 14 pieces of random equipment (maybe 8 weapons, 4 pieces of armor, and 2 pairs of boots would be good).

I think Kornel said something about Spider Mastermind appearing in DoomRL 2.  Keep your eyes peeled!

Hey, no reason we can't have it in both games! Anyway, if someone programmed it in, Spider's Lair just seems like the perfect place for it.

I mean, it's a great idea, but some times some special levels just shouldn't have the need to be actually useful to the challenger.  Like the City of Skulls.  The ammunition available are good for those with a particular strategy of attack -- expecting better rewards just from killing Lost Souls and Pain Elementals is a little harsh.

Yeah, scrap the mod packs. I was thinking those might be overkill anyway. I still think a few shells would be nice, though. Shotguns are just such an ideal way to deal with Pain elementals, but shells are so rare in Phobos Hell. Having a little something there to at least make it so we don't lose as much would really be nice.

Yes, this is where the uniques/exotics should go.  But I think having a few mods lying around is a good thing too -- aren't mods useful and valuable enough to be in the Vaults?

No arguments here.
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Re: Changing rewards on special levels
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2010, 03:44 »

Quote
You already get a homing device... I don't see how it's all that game-breaking anyway. They're relatively common items anyway. The whole point is, I don't think a homing device in AoB is anywhere near as useful as a rocket launcher in the regular game, and Hell's Arena is MUCH harder in AoB. And the extra med-pack isn't very good either, since you'll probably burn through at least one large med-pack just to beat the level. An agility mod/boots combo would make it a little easier to reach the Chained Court but I hardly see how it would be gamebreaking.

Personaly I think its the Plastool boots part thats making it bit breaking and the agility. Boots with agility mod are very powerfull tool, as its pretty much a free hell runner trait. Specialy with plasteel as it gives a big knock back bonus.

I'd say protective or steel boots and extra large health packs and the bulk mod with maybe 1 tactical berserk pack would make it more like a winner. But no agility mods... yet.

Quote
The Vaults:

This is another one where the reward isn't worth what a pain it is to get the treasure. It seems like most of the time there isn't even a single exotic or unique in either of the side vaults. The one time I got to the middle I didn't see any either (although there might have been some--I was fried almost instantly and so I didn't get a chance to see).

Is it possible to make it so that the left and right vaults have a guaranteed exotic (one total, not per vault) without specifying which one? And one exotic plus one unique in the middle? That would be nice. Also, it's been said before, but how about a couple phase devices? One per side.

One thing that could also be added; Place the loot inside inbreakable walls and have those walls break after killing the monsters guarding them. I hate going to vaults only to find out everythings allready broken.
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