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Thelas
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icon A Matter of Soul (+4)  
Not going to go into too much detail about the plot because I'd like to know how the writing holds up on its own, but I've decided to try to make a fairly short RPG hold to get used to things before I, say, try to modify that magic system that's been floating around (thanks, LL!)
So, here's the first level. The first bit is sort of tutorial-ish; the part after the first score checkpoint is (or is intended to be, and seems to be) significantly harder. I'd appreciate whatever feedback can be given, not just scores. Most interesting decisions, for instance (or decisions that seemed completely one-sided, so that they can become less so.)

EDIT: Version 0.35 attached, which is intended to be a final version of level 2.

[Last edited by Thelas at 03-12-2017 03:20 PM]
03-18-2016 at 08:42 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+2)  
Some comments:

- You may want to place an auto-save after killing the roach in Ground Floor, 1N, since that's the start of the hold and the place where you can make your first real choice. That way you can restore there if you want, and not have to replay the first couple of seconds of the hold if you don't want to.

- I don't get why there are so many greckle gates in Ground Floor 2N1W leading up to the brain, in that shape. Maybe they should just be a 1-wide corridor with 2 gates?

- Ground Floor 1N1W has a bit where you can either fight one wraithwing or two roaches for 2 yellow keys. In nearly all cases, the wraithwing does more damage and gives you less money than the two roaches, making fighting the two roaches always better. That might be on purpose, though.

- In Ground Floor 2N2E, you have a choice between killing a wraithwing or paying 25 GR to get at +1 ATK (and a subsequent trade of killing one spider for a green key). This seems like a non-choice since wraithwings do so little damage at this point, and 25 GR is so expensive.

- There's a 50 GR man in Ground Floor 1N3E, in the southwest corner, that seems completely useless. I didn't even get any reward after I paid him and walked around in there.

- The greckle gate corridor in Ground Floor 2N2E leading up to the blue key is a good idea. It's possible to partially progress through it as yellow keys are needed, but there's still incentive to hit good ATK thresholds, particularly for the Antlions.

- The two areas with 5 GR coins guarded by Kobolds should probably be left until later levels when the players' defense is higher; there's enough greckles and ways to get them in the second part, particularly with how many greckles the mud mother blob gives, that there's no particular rush to get *those* particular GR.

Overall, I definitely like this first level - the end boss is difficult enough that you do need to make some tough choices and get some resources early in order to build up enough strength to actually beat it, but it's still possible to leave behind some choices and trades, and bring keys and greckles to the next level (where, presumably, they'll be even more useful).

Here's my two score checkpoints:

Defeated Guardian!
HP: 40
ATK: 17
DEF: 16
Keys: 1/0/0

GR: 13
REP: 28

Score = 144

First Level Complete!
HP: 241
ATK: 29
DEF: 24
Keys: 3/0/0

GR: 31
REP: 241

Score = 253


____________________________
Quick links to my stuff (in case you forgot where it was):
Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by Chaco at 03-18-2016 11:00 PM]
03-18-2016 at 10:33 PM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
quote:
Chaco wrote:
Some comments:

- You may want to place an auto-save after killing the roach in Ground Floor, 1N, since that's the start of the hold and the place where you can make your first real choice. That way you can restore there if you want, and not have to replay the first couple of seconds of the hold if you don't want to.


Yep, will do.
quote:

- I don't get why there are so many greckle gates in Ground Floor 2N1W leading up to the brain, in that shape. Maybe they should just be a 1-wide corridor with 2 gates?


Yes, legacy version of room was different and I am bad at fixing things.
quote:

- Ground Floor 1N1W has a bit where you can either fight one wraithwing or two roaches for 2 yellow keys. In nearly all cases, the wraithwing does more damage and gives you less money than the two roaches, making fighting the two roaches always better. That might be on purpose, though.


Yes, intended for tutorial purposes - I consider everything up to first scorepoint mostly tutorial.
quote:

- In Ground Floor 2N2E, you have a choice between killing a wraithwing or paying 25 GR to get at +1 ATK (and a subsequent trade of killing one spider for a green key). This seems like a non-choice since wraithwings do so little damage at this point, and 25 GR is so expensive.


Because of the trapdoors, you might want to kill the wraithwing swordless. Do you think it should be $10?
quote:

- There's a 50 GR man in Ground Floor 1N3E, in the southwest corner, that seems completely useless. I didn't even get any reward after I paid him and walked around in there.


Yep, he's supposed to have a YK-for-health trade and a GR-for-GK trade behind him - I got distracted while trying to pick the numbers and apparently forgot completely. >.>
quote:

- The greckle gate corridor in Ground Floor 2N2E leading up to the blue key is a good idea. It's possible to partially progress through it as yellow keys are needed, but there's still incentive to hit good ATK thresholds, particularly for the Antlions.


Glad you like it! I was very unsure about it.
quote:

- The two areas with 5 GR coins guarded by Kobolds should probably be left until later levels when the players' defense is higher; there's enough greckles and ways to get them in the second part, particularly with how many greckles the mud mother blob gives, that there's no particular rush to get *those* particular GR.


Those were added in a version where every greckle gate in the corridor cost $25. Probably not necessary any more - but they are a nice failsafe for low-optimization runs; do you see any reason not to leave them in?

quote:

Overall, I definitely like this first level - the end boss is difficult enough that you do need to make some tough choices and get some resources early in order to build up enough strength to actually beat it, but it's still possible to leave behind some choices and trades, and bring keys and greckles to the next level (where, presumably, they'll be even more useful).



Thelas is a happy lich. ^^

quote:

Here's my two score checkpoints:

Defeated Guardian!
HP: 40
ATK: 17
DEF: 16
Keys: 1/0/0

GR: 13
REP: 28

Score = 144

First Level Complete!
HP: 241
ATK: 29
DEF: 24
Keys: 3/0/0

GR: 31
REP: 241

Score = 253


Hm. I'm impressed at your checkpoint 2, especially given your checkpoint 1; did you skip some trades in the first part to come back for them later? Also, did you take either of the key-for-HP trades in part 1? Was there anything particularly unusual you did in part 2?

Thanks for the help!

[Last edited by Thelas at 03-18-2016 10:44 PM]
03-18-2016 at 10:42 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
quote:
Thelas wrote:
Because of the trapdoors, you might want to kill the wraithwing swordless. Do you think it should be $10?



Yeah, either 10 GR or not at all, since killing a spider for a green key is a great trade, heavily incentivizing just killing the wraithwing and the spider in one trip (in which case, might as well use the Foil).

quote:

Those were added in a version where every greckle gate in the corridor cost $25. Probably not necessary any more - but they are a nice failsafe for low-optimization runs; do you see any reason not to leave them in?



They're both fine, particularly since the one in 1E is blocking some useful power and defense gems.

quote:

Hm. I'm impressed at your checkpoint 2, especially given your checkpoint 1; did you skip some trades in the first part to come back for them later? Also, did you take either of the key-for-HP trades in part 1? Was there anything particularly unusual you did in part 2?



The main reason I had such little HP for checkpoint 1 is that I took damage from the Mad Eyes in 2N2W for 5 GR, to avoid having to kill addiitonal wraithwings for the foil. I didn't bother getting any HP out of 1N1W or 2N1W until after I got the foil. After killing the Guardian and getting the green key, I was able to recover HP with the help of the wraithwing in 2E, the roach in 2N2E, and spending a yellow key in 2E for 600 HP (a good deal). The rest of the level is a lot less dangerous once I got some ATK from 1E, 2N1E, and 2E, all of whose costs are simultaneously relatively cheap and relatively constant.

I might write down a complete walkthrough next time I play through the first level, to give you a step-by-step instruction of what I did.

____________________________
Quick links to my stuff (in case you forgot where it was):
Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by Chaco at 03-18-2016 11:23 PM]
03-18-2016 at 11:21 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
In contrast to Chaco, I find the second half of this level to be unbearably difficult. I can get past the guardian with roughly the same stats as Chaco, but I don't see any obvious entries into the second half. There are a lot of possible paths, most of which are very expensive (and choosing the cheap ones doesn't make the expensive ones much less so), and opportunities to replenish my health are limited. Pretty much every approach I've tried has gotten me stuck at around 20/18 stats with insufficient health and keys to do anything else. If I had to guess, I'd say the second half is too constrained, but so complicated that it's impossible to see exactly why.
03-19-2016 at 01:40 PM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
In contrast to Chaco, I find the second half of this level to be unbearably difficult. I can get past the guardian with roughly the same stats as Chaco, but I don't see any obvious entries into the second half. There are a lot of possible paths, most of which are very expensive (and choosing the cheap ones doesn't make the expensive ones much less so), and opportunities to replenish my health are limited. Pretty much every approach I've tried has gotten me stuck at around 20/18 stats with insufficient health and keys to do anything else. If I had to guess, I'd say the second half is too constrained, but so complicated that it's impossible to see exactly why.

Hmm, interesting.
Questions for you, if you don't mind:
Did you try taking the YK->600hp trade in 2E? Did you try taking the YK->250hp trade first, if you're really desperate for health? If you were able to get a GK, did you take the GK->800hp trade in 1E?
Did you remember that you can step on trapdoors unsworded to avoid dropping them? (If this was the problem, I'll add a weapon slot in that room to make it obvious.)
Did you try getting some keys from 2N2E?
What was your approach to 2N1E?
How did you spend your greckles?
If you had a similar score to Chaco's from P1: was it (strictly) worse in anything except HP/GR? If so, you should re-optimize the first part instead.
What's the smallest change that would have helped? I don't want to make the level completely trivial, but if you were, say, 15 HP or 10 GR or something off breaking in, I don't mind making it a little easier (and such changes shouldn't make it less interesting to optimize.)
03-19-2016 at 02:03 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
I have tried various of those things. But I think the problem is the sheer number of them that you list. The first section has three broad approaches to proceeding that I saw, all centered around how best to get yourself to 20 GR for the foil. For me, all three got me through the Guardian with comparable ATK/DEF, but different tradeoffs between health, greckles, and keys. I'd have to look at exactly what.

The second section then compounds these discrepancies by offering ways to buy small and medium amounts of health for keys. And then to choose among several different ways to spend small, medium, and large amounts of health for various rewards that mostly only decrease the cost of subsequent monsters when you combine two or more of the rewards. And very nearly every thing you can do in the second section involves closing off (at least temporarily) something else you might want to do, meaning all of the above gets compounded by many A or B decisions. It's just too much to evaluate. The seven attempts to find a workable approach that I tried all ended more or less as I said. At which point, my inclination is to treat this as "not fun any more" and go back to trying to get through level nine of Chaco's Pie Fortress.

Only somewhat as an aside, this attitude is furthered by a first section boss whose stats say "focus on defense" followed by a second section where having focused on defense turns out to be a colossal mistake. I didn't count those attempts in the seven.

And also I have concerns about the notion that maybe I need to better optimize the first part. If this is intended as the beginning of a larger hold, then the second section of the first floor is way too early to be requiring players to have tightly optimized their play. At that rate, only the very best players (Chaco and Blondbeard) will ever get through the hold, and most will give up in frustration long before that. It doesn't need to be as slow a ramp-up as Tendry's Tale, but there needs to be some kind of ramp-up.

That's all harsher than I had wanted these comments to be, but I think a problem the RPG board has historically had is that if Chaco is the only one commenting on a hold, it tends to mean the hold is starting out too hard and Chaco's (very good) comments tend not to convey that.
03-19-2016 at 04:13 PM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
Only somewhat as an aside, this attitude is furthered by a first section boss whose stats say "focus on defense" followed by a second section where having focused on defense turns out to be a colossal mistake. I didn't count those attempts in the seven.


The first boss's stats don't say "focus on defense" to my knowledge - you take between 295 and 300 damage for any combination of 3 gems acquired in the first section; it was specifically designed to not require you to focus on either stat. Do you think DEF is not valuable enough in part 2? I might have to make it more so (though the choice of boss is explicitly intended to make DEF matter a lot...)

quote:

And also I have concerns about the notion that maybe I need to better optimize the first part. If this is intended as the beginning of a larger hold, then the second section of the first floor is way too early to be requiring players to have tightly optimized their play. At that rate, only the very best players (Chaco and Blondbeard) will ever get through the hold, and most will give up in frustration long before that. It doesn't need to be as slow a ramp-up as Tendry's Tale, but there needs to be some kind of ramp-up.


Hm, that's interesting - I'd thought it'd be better to make it clear there was something wrong as soon as possible rather than "you optimized L1 badly, but we're not going to punish you for it until L7" (note: the intended length of the hold is 4-5 levels, not 7, just a hypothetical example). Do you disagree on this?

quote:

That's all harsher than I had wanted these comments to be, but I think a problem the RPG board has historically had is that if Chaco is the only one commenting on a hold, it tends to mean the hold is starting out too hard and Chaco's (very good) comments tend not to convey that.

Yeah, don't worry about harshness, feedback is always valuable, and good to hear different perspectives.
Still, honestly I've been worried the level was too easy (the version I have in the editor is significantly harder than the posted version because there were an absurd number of cheap keys/other trades available.)
Would you be willing to log your best attempted run, so I can see what changes would help without making it too easy to convert a good start into 10+ keys? Thanks for the feedback, either way.
EDIT: Also, if not in the mood to log a run, please confirm with me that you have tried dropping your sword to get the ATK and DEF in 1E cheaply. That's one of the big things I'm most worried about the player missing.

[Last edited by Thelas at 03-19-2016 04:38 PM]
03-19-2016 at 04:36 PM
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Chaco
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+3)  
Here's a full log of a new run for the March 18th version (which is currently posted). It achieves these score checkpoints:

Defeated Guardian!
HP: 76
ATK: 17
DEF: 16
Keys: 1/0/0

GR: 12
REP: 27

Score = 144

First Level complete!
HP: 115
ATK: 31
DEF: 30
Keys: 1/1/0

GR: 8
REP: 318

Score = 277

I had to take some rather disadvantageous trades to get the higher statistics noted in this second section, and I nearly ran out of greckles and health to actually complete the level, so getting this higher score might not be the best way to complete the hold in the long run (especially if there's a shield not too far into level 2).

It's hard for me to directly comment about the hold's difficulty, but I can at least say that there's a surprisingly large amount of stuff available in the second half of the ground floor hiding behind direct damage, wraithwings, and evil eyes, all of which are either mostly-constant cost or relatively cheap. Getting the foothold is the hard part; once killing mud babies and spiders is practical the rest of the level isn't too tricky.

It's hard to say what the best way of handling this is, particularly since I haven't seen Thelas' edits to 2N1W and 2N2E yet. But, it might help to start the player with more health, make a little bit of free health available upon entering part 2, or put in some more greckle -> health or yellow key -> health trades that are completely and utterly straightforward, such that there would still be incentive to avoid them, but they would be available later in order to avoid situations where you're completely out of trades.

____________________________
Quick links to my stuff (in case you forgot where it was):
Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by Chaco at 03-19-2016 05:42 PM]
03-19-2016 at 05:42 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
quote:
Thelas wrote:
The first boss's stats don't say "focus on defense" to my knowledge - you take between 295 and 300 damage for any combination of 3 gems acquired in the first section; it was specifically designed to not require you to focus on either stat. Do you think DEF is not valuable enough in part 2? I might have to make it more so (though the choice of boss is explicitly intended to make DEF matter a lot...)



I have not found DEF to be at all valuable in part 2. A difference of 1 DEF makes a small-to-medium difference on every monster; mostly small on the ones I'm able to manage when I get there. A difference of 1 ATK makes medium-to-large leaps (some very large) for various monsters come earlier. And (see below) if you want people to consider dropping their sword for any reason, that 1 ATK makes a giant difference.

By "focus on defense" I was just noting that at the stat levels the Guardian is at, each additional ATK has a decreasing value whereas each additional DEF has an increasing value. But I see your point that at the actual levels that matter, they're about the same.

quote:

Hm, that's interesting - I'd thought it'd be better to make it clear there was something wrong as soon as possible rather than "you optimized L1 badly, but we're not going to punish you for it until L7" (note: the intended length of the hold is 4-5 levels, not 7, just a hypothetical example). Do you disagree on this?



I guess if you're going to require players to optimize to within an inch of their lives from the very beginning, I'd prefer to know sooner rather than later. But I'd rather you didn't make me do that. It's like having a hold with both a regular final boss and a secret final boss, and then deleting all the options for getting through each level that would be adequate for the regular boss. I want high-end optimization to be necessary for the best ending, not for any ending (or even to get past the first level).

Compare this to the first level of Chaco's Pie Fortress. There's a lot of nuanced optimizing that can be done there, but my guess is that as long as you get your stats to a place where you're killing the final spider for the minimum possible, you're going to still be in a position to complete the game. That seems to remain true at least until level four. And so a player who is only okay at optimizing is going to be able to get to the end (or, at least, I've gotten to level nine), but a player who is excellent at optimizing is going to have an easier time and higher score.

quote:

Yeah, don't worry about harshness, feedback is always valuable, and good to hear different perspectives.
Still, honestly I've been worried the level was too easy (the version I have in the editor is significantly harder than the posted version because there were an absurd number of cheap keys/other trades available.)
Would you be willing to log your best attempted run, so I can see what changes would help without making it too easy to convert a good start into 10+ keys? Thanks for the feedback, either way.
EDIT: Also, if not in the mood to log a run, please confirm with me that you have tried dropping your sword to get the ATK and DEF in 1E cheaply. That's one of the big things I'm most worried about the player missing.


Yeah, if you've dropped your sword, the ATK and DEF in 1E (and the ATK in 2N2E) don't look cheap to me. Especially if you've picked up DEF instead of ATK in the first section. So it occurred to me to do this, but I immediately dismissed it as a terrible idea.

In other questions, why is there an orthogonal square in 1N1W? It doesn't seem to do anything.
03-19-2016 at 06:41 PM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
In other questions, why is there an orthogonal square in 1N1W? It doesn't seem to do anything.

I'll answer other things when I have a bit more time, but that ortho-square is because it used to cost two roaches for that YK. Will be removed.
03-19-2016 at 06:58 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Thelas wrote:
quote:
Gordius wrote:
In other questions, why is there an orthogonal square in 1N1W? It doesn't seem to do anything.

I'll answer other things when I have a bit more time, but that ortho-square is because it used to cost two roaches for that YK. Will be removed.

Costing two roaches for that yellow key (or, really, one more roach anywhere) would enable me to get to 20 GR without having to kill a WW or go into the NE-most room without a foil. That would make that approach to the first section far more appealing.
03-20-2016 at 11:30 AM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
quote:
Thelas wrote:
quote:
Gordius wrote:
In other questions, why is there an orthogonal square in 1N1W? It doesn't seem to do anything.

I'll answer other things when I have a bit more time, but that ortho-square is because it used to cost two roaches for that YK. Will be removed.

Costing two roaches for that yellow key (or, really, one more roach anywhere) would enable me to get to 20 GR without having to kill a WW or go into the NE-most room without a foil. That would make that approach to the first section far more appealing.

I've added a good additional source of GR in the first section that should enable a different approach.
In general, my current version of L1 is much easier than posted (with several HP-for-DEF trades to make it still fairly tight to optimize); roughly, it makes the best trades slightly worse, the worst trades much better, and then throws an extra 250 HP or so around (and 30-40 GR overall, in "easier monsters you'll now actually be killing" plus "extra coins".)
I can post the new version if you wish, but was trying to get L2 done first.
03-20-2016 at 11:44 AM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
The first half of Level 2 (up to the third score checkpoint of the hold) is now, or will very shortly be, available for access from the first post.
Specific requests for comment:
1) First Level: For stronger players, was it too boring? For those who had trouble in v0.1, was v0.23 more winnable?
2) Second Level: 1W - Taking suggestions to replace the clearly a placeholder name thing here (no, not the accessory, that's proposed real). Also, general thoughts on the room/its mechanics are appreciated.
3) Score checkpoint: Obviously, I'd like to see it. I'd like to see both "the score I'd actually want to proceed with" and "all score-positive trades taken", preferably, but the former is more important.
4) Second Level: 1E - is the boss an appropriate difficulty?
5) Anything else you want to tell me.
03-20-2016 at 06:51 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+2)  
First off, I thought the first floor was a much more reasonable challenge. I ended at

753/30/31/16/326 1/0/0

There were a couple of poor choices with yellow keys at the end there, but even without that, this was manageable, but I'm confident I can yet improve upon it.

I ended this chunk of the second floor at

49/33/32/33/528 0/0/0

I didn't use alchemy at all and next run I'm going to see if I can manage to not even pick up the pouch to this stage. I think there were some rooms where I needed to be able to pick up the reagents to get to health behind it, but I'm not sure.

With as few ATK over 30 as are available, this was largely an exercise in collecting as much health as possible as cheaply as possible and then killing the mad eye. And given how much the shield will save me in the rooms I largely ignored, I doubt I'm going to work to get more ATK on the next run. Quite possibly I'll try to do it with less.
03-20-2016 at 09:12 PM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
First off, I thought the first floor was a much more reasonable challenge. I ended at

753/30/31/16/326 1/0/0

There were a couple of poor choices with yellow keys at the end there, but even without that, this was manageable, but I'm confident I can yet improve upon it.


Glad to see these changes managed to work. Did you find it easy, though? That's a worryingly large amount of HP. (Also, did you use both GKs or leave the 2-spider one available for later?)

quote:

I ended this chunk of the second floor at

49/33/32/33/528 0/0/0

I didn't use alchemy at all and next run I'm going to see if I can manage to not even pick up the pouch to this stage. I think there were some rooms where I needed to be able to pick up the reagents to get to health behind it, but I'm not sure.

With as few ATK over 30 as are available, this was largely an exercise in collecting as much health as possible as cheaply as possible and then killing the mad eye. And given how much the shield will save me in the rooms I largely ignored, I doubt I'm going to work to get more ATK on the next run. Quite possibly I'll try to do it with less.

Not glad to see this, though. I'm sorry to have to ask this, but I consider this level a horrible failure if it's possible to play through it without using alchemy even once; the design goals are "make sure you can't just rush the shield as hard as possible" and "teach the player the alchemy system". I'm going to replace the yellow key in 1S (past the mad eyes) with blue and increase the cost of the shield by 5YK, 1BK, 100GR (provisional numbers, need testing but are confirmed possible.) Are you still able to reach the score checkpoint with at least that many resources to spare, or is that too hard? (Not saying "go do the exact same strategy again", more "is this still possible with your starting resources after you try L1".)
Alternately, do you have any other suggestions to meet these design goals and siphon away yellow keys? (It is possible to reach the scorepoint with something disgusting like 12YK...)

Thank you for testing, regardless. Need to have _someone_ break your hold before it's released, rather than after.

EDIT: v0.23 has been or will very shortly be added to the OP, featuring:
* Fewer reagents!
* An appropriately-costed shield! (Maybe.)
* Slightly more health!

[Last edited by Thelas at 03-20-2016 10:10 PM]
03-20-2016 at 09:56 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
Well, one thing that would make rushing the shield harder is putting less health between the pit floors and the monsters in the various cells of 1S. I set down my sword and was able to pick up a lot of health. And it's far more minor, but I think there's supposed to be an orthogonal square adjacent to the leftmost left-facing arrow in 1S2W. As it is, you can move diagonally around the arrow to get 100 HP, meaning it doesn't really serve a purpose.

To the extent that I was trying to save up yellow keys, the first floor was reasonably difficult throughout. The large amount of health at the end of the first level was the result of spending two yellow keys that I shouldn't have on ~450 health before realizing what I actually needed to do to get past the mother more cheaply. I wouldn't do that again. But it would mean I'd have two additional yellow keys, so factor that into your alterations. I think I agree with removing the green key just before the blue key on the first floor, but replacing it with a yellow key probably isn't necessary. And you could probably remove a second one and still be in pretty reasonable shape.

I'll wait until .23 comes out before I try this again.
03-20-2016 at 11:54 PM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
Well, one thing that would make rushing the shield harder is putting less health between the pit floors and the monsters in the various cells of 1S. I set down my sword and was able to pick up a lot of health. And it's far more minor, but I think there's supposed to be an orthogonal square adjacent to the leftmost left-facing arrow in 1S2W. As it is, you can move diagonally around the arrow to get 100 HP, meaning it doesn't really serve a purpose.

To the extent that I was trying to save up yellow keys, the first floor was reasonably difficult throughout. The large amount of health at the end of the first level was the result of spending two yellow keys that I shouldn't have on ~450 health before realizing what I actually needed to do to get past the mother more cheaply. I wouldn't do that again. But it would mean I'd have two additional yellow keys, so factor that into your alterations. I think I agree with removing the green key just before the blue key on the first floor, but replacing it with a yellow key probably isn't necessary. And you could probably remove a second one and still be in pretty reasonable shape.

I'll wait until .23 comes out before I try this again.


.23 is already out in the OP - it doesn't add a new scorepoint, though, if you wanted that. That'll be in .30.
The free health is intended as a sort of "bonus for paying attention".
I think making 2S mandatory makes it an interesting situation of "how can you efficiently spend this, when you'll need to get at least this much back to progress"?

In general, hope the hold is more fun now?
03-21-2016 at 01:08 AM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
The Mad Eye scorepoint now activates as soon as you enter the room. Haven't done much in the new L2 yet except wandered around. I'll take a more serious shot at it tomorrow.

End of L1:

112/31/31/0/315 1/0/0

The 2 spider GK is still available, as is the 800 HP I might have bought with it.
03-21-2016 at 02:53 AM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
The Mad Eye scorepoint now activates as soon as you enter the room. Haven't done much in the new L2 yet except wandered around. I'll take a more serious shot at it tomorrow.

End of L1:

112/31/31/0/315 1/0/0

The 2 spider GK is still available, as is the 800 HP I might have bought with it.

Fixed Mad Eye scorepoint, thank you. (The new version is not yet uploaded.)
Best of luck with L2.
Did you use the 1 spider GK in the west part of the level?
03-21-2016 at 06:19 AM
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Gordius
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quote:
Thelas wrote:
Fixed Mad Eye scorepoint, thank you. (The new version is not yet uploaded.)
Best of luck with L2.
Did you use the 1 spider GK in the west part of the level?


The east part, you mean? I used that to come at the mother from behind.
03-21-2016 at 12:42 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+2)  
Finished the updated L2, still without using (or even picking up) alchemy. It required a lot of terrible trades toward the end to get enough health to defeat the Mad Eye, but it's definitely still doable. In general, though, I was happy with my play through picking up the blue key in 1S.

202/34/31/36/681 0/0/0

Part of the reason I keep pushing through this way is that I can't figure out when it makes sense to use alchemy. I nearly always need both cash and health (which is an impressive level of balance in your design, by the way), and trading one for the other generally just means solving a slightly different problem than the one I have now. I could blow through all my reagents to trade up for more of both, but I'm pretty confident that's going to be a losing proposal as soon as the hold gets extended.
03-22-2016 at 02:12 AM
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Chaco
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File: A Matter of Soul v023 (Chaco notes).zip (8.8 KB)
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+2)  
Here's a new playthrough up to the end of level 2, in version 023.

In contrast to Gordius, I tried using alchemy within the level in order to make my life easier. I only ever made HP -> GR trades in order to avoid fighting too much, so at the end of the level I left most of the monsters in Workshop 1S1E and Workshop 2S1E unkilled, as well as the antlions in Workshop 1S2E and many of the spider -> HP trades, in the hopes that the Wooden Shield and the later ATK and DEF upgrades in the hold would make those trades cheaper.

I did have to spend a yellow key in Ground Floor 1E for 510 (effective) HP, though; I'd much rather have waited to do that but I didn't see any better way of handling things.

Defeated Guardian!
HP: 224
ATK: 18
DEF: 15
Keys: 0/0/0

GR: 12
REP: 27

Score = 140

First Level Complete!
HP: 123
ATK: 31
DEF: 32
Keys: 3/0/0

GR: 3
REP: 313

Score = 284

Mad Eye Killed (manually recorded these stats)
HP: 336
ATK: 35
DEF: 35
Keys: 0/1/0

GR: 22
REP: 627
8 Reagent 1s

Score = 308

---

Some final notes:

* Gray Men don't ever seem worth killing - they do tons of damage and don't give all that many greckles. There's usually ways to spend keys or fight other monsters to get around them.

* Spending 200 GR in 1S to sneak around the two brained mud babies definitely seems worth it, as you get alright compensation for that. Most of these high cost gates seem to encourage alchemy use in order to build up that many greckles.

* There's no reason to ever spend 25 GR on the Greckle Man in Workshops 1S2E, to avoid a single Bound Spirit hit. They don't hit *that* hard. Maybe 10 GR would be better here?

* I got the ATK gem in Workshop 2S1E through shenaniganry, but I'll probably wait to do any more work in there until I can kill the Mad Eye in the northwest corner reasonably, and sweep through the rest of that area in one go. Seep hit really hard!

____________________________
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03-23-2016 at 03:41 AM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Chaco wrote:
* I got the ATK gem in Workshop 2S1E through shenaniganry, but I'll probably wait to do any more work in there until I can kill the Mad Eye in the northwest corner reasonably, and sweep through the rest of that area in one go. Seep hit really hard!


I haven't had time to watch your playthrough, so maybe this is sort of what you mean by shenaniganry, but...

Click here to view the secret text

03-23-2016 at 11:57 AM
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Chaco
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
Click here to view the secret text



Yup, that's exactly what I did. Essentially this means spending two yellow keys to save around 550 HP, which isn't that terrible of a ratio, when you then consider the east side from that point actually profits in HP as minor compensation. It also gave me an opportunity to buy a yellow key for 25 GR (those greckles came from alchemizing 50 HP and a Reagent 1 earlier).

Seep hit so hard that I'm not sure getting the extra DEF gem in Ground Floor: 1E is actually worth it. True, you do get one more DEF, but I checked and I haven't actually taken 350 hits yet in this playthrough, meaning that the DEF doesn't pay for itself until after the Workshops are completely done. In the meantime, it makes you have to play through the entire opening game with 350 less health, which is pretty tough.

____________________________
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Click here to view the secret text


[Last edited by Chaco at 03-23-2016 12:56 PM]
03-23-2016 at 12:53 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
Interesting. I haven't picked up any of that seep-guarded DEF in 1E yet. Probably going through once for 2 of them is worthwhile at some point prior to now, but I rarely have that kind of spare HP.
03-23-2016 at 05:14 PM
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Nitrate
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+2)  
For the record, I've picked up the 3 of them in my route.
I also pick up the defense gem in 2N in addition to the attack gem.

Also, some scorepoints:

Defeated Guardian!
HP: 109
ATK: 18
DEF: 16
Keys: 0/0/0

GR: 13
REP: 23

Score = 140

First Level complete!
HP: 25
ATK: 32
DEF: 34
Keys: 2/0/0

GR: 0
REP: 365

Score = 282

Mad eye killed!
HP: 185
ATK: 35
DEF: 38
Keys: 0/1/0

GR: 26
REP: 666
R1: 5

Score = 313

Another notable difference with Chaco is that I use the green key in level one for the 800hp, not for the mother. (For the mother, you either have to pay 1 green key, or 1 yellow key, 50GR (EDIT: nope, 26GR actually, since you get 24 for killing the mother twice) and ~120hp. I preferred the latter.)

I have tried to pick up as many DEF gems as early as reasonably possible, but the latest of them should probably be delayed after the Wooden Shield.

[Last edited by Nitrate at 03-26-2016 02:07 PM]
03-23-2016 at 05:39 PM
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Suwako
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
This is a quite hard hold, after some replays managed to get to the second level where I can't continue, will have to replay the first one again.
Overall a great hold where all the choices are shown, love that :)

Guardian defeated
HP: 326
ATK: 18
DEF: 15
Keys: 0/0/0
Score: 143

First level complete
HP: 320
ATK: 31
DEF: 24
Keys: 0/0/0

When you enter in the 1E room of workshops there is a score checkpoint without do anything, problably an error.

____________________________
A moment last forever, an eternity passes in an instant, the time I spent here was inevitable...
03-26-2016 at 01:21 PM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
Version 0.32 is, or will shortly be, uploaded in the OP.
Features:
* Level 2 now complete!
* New alchemy recipe!
* A greater than 1 average ATK gem per room ratio in new rooms!
* Tradition!!
* New Greckle Man type!
* Decisions!

Best of luck with playtesting. This version is definitely not the final Level 2 but I think it'll be fun to play and feedback on difficulty is valuable.
03-27-2016 at 07:59 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
It's a minor note, but the orthosquares by the seep in GF:1E can be replaced by a single orthosquare on the middle DEF gem. It still forces you to step on all five spaces as you go around.
03-27-2016 at 11:53 PM
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