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Caravel Forum : DROD RPG Boards : RPG Architecture : A Matter of Soul (Relatively conventional RPG hold.)
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
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.

Unfortunately, seep respect orthosquares, so this change actually would not work on its own.
03-28-2016 at 12:23 AM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Thelas wrote:
Unfortunately, seep respect orthosquares, so this change actually would not work on its own.


Oh, of course.

At the broader level, the new second floor is definitely a lot harder, and I haven't been able to come close to doing it without alchemy. So in that respect, it's solved the problem I kept raising. Currently, I can get to the Mad Eye at 2E, but not with enough health (or alchemy) to kill it. I'll have to keep working to improve my play on the new floor.

It does, however, look like you've removed pretty much all of the incentive to go into 2S1E for anything other than the free reagent at this stage. There aren't enough options for green keys to consider going in there for the ATK gem, since I can't climb a greckle door for it any more.

Similarly, 1S2E is mostly bad tradeoffs at this stage. I assume that's the GKey alchemy recipe back there, but since I have to either spend a green and yellow key or kill two grey men, I won't be doing that any time soon.
03-28-2016 at 03:42 AM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
It does, however, look like you've removed pretty much all of the incentive to go into 2S1E for anything other than the free reagent at this stage. There aren't enough options for green keys to consider going in there for the ATK gem, since I can't climb a greckle door for it any more.

Similarly, 1S2E is mostly bad tradeoffs at this stage. I assume that's the GKey alchemy recipe back there, but since I have to either spend a green and yellow key or kill two grey men, I won't be doing that any time soon.


2S1E: My inital playtester spent the green key there, so I think the trade is better than you think it is.
1S2E: The top half is a little better, I'd say? The alchemy recipe is mostly intended for later, and only available early as a safety measure for running out of GKeys.

Glad alchemy is now relevant.

[Last edited by Thelas at 03-28-2016 04:24 AM]
03-28-2016 at 04:04 AM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
I'll just say that spending the green key there at this point means not opening up alchemy until I can get another (and the options for that are alchemy or past the Mad Eye), can kill a grey man, or have 3 yellow keys to spare. None of that was close to happening on this runthrough.

As for the top half of 1S2E, I didn't bother with that in the old version of Level 2, and don't see many paths through it that I'm interested in in this version.

[Last edited by Gordius at 03-28-2016 12:13 PM]
03-28-2016 at 12:11 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
Doing much better this time. I'll save up a rundown for if/when I finish, but I have some comments on 1N3E. First, the tunnel doesn't function, because you can only exit out of the north end in the same direction that you use the tunnel. Second, I can't come up with any conceivable function for the yellow door up near the mother's eyes. If it were tar, that would mean something, but I don't think there's any way opening that door eases your path to the eyes, except for a bomb in as yet uncreated sections of the hold. And there are no adjacent doors or anything else I can see that affects the grey man or his vicinity. Third, I don't know if it's intentional, but killing the left brain for two yellow keys is a huge aid in getting to the three green keys I needed for the blue key. Green keys are really tight throughout the hold, and I don't know if I can afford to spend one here, but spending a second yellow key instead is an easy choice.

[Last edited by Gordius at 03-29-2016 03:27 AM]
03-29-2016 at 03:04 AM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
Doing much better this time. I'll save up a rundown for if/when I finish, but I have some comments on 1N3E. First, the tunnel doesn't function, because you can only exit out of the north end in the same direction that you use the tunnel. Second, I can't come up with any conceivable function for the yellow door up near the mother's eyes. If it were tar, that would mean something, but I don't think there's any way opening that door eases your path to the eyes, except for a bomb in as yet uncreated sections of the hold. And there are no adjacent doors or anything else I can see that affects the grey man or his vicinity. Third, I don't know if it's intentional, but killing the left brain for two yellow keys is a huge aid in getting to the three green keys I needed for the blue key. Green keys are really tight throughout the hold, and I don't know if I can afford to spend one here, but spending a second yellow key instead is an easy choice.


The yellow door is a mistake and will be removed.
The ability to spend two yellow keys to kill the brain is also a mistake - for some reason I was thinking you had to step off the green door to stab a brain. The order of the doors will be switched.
Apologies for the sloppy architecture. >.>
03-29-2016 at 04:11 PM
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Midootje
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
Wow, this is pretty hard indeed! I managed to finish it after killing both brains in the mud mother room (otherwise greckles are too hard to come by). I ended with 56 ATK, 62 DEF, 500 HP and 1 spare yellow key. There is room for optimization, as I'm pretty sure I didn't get all the available DEF gems at the right time. I managed ATK pretty well, I think, although the first Mad Eye you have to kill in the Wooden Shield room gave me no breathing space at all, and I had to leave all those yellow keys there.
Comments:
the DEF gem at the Swordsman in Workshops: 1S2E is not a choice. It's never going to be worth 600+ HP for just one DEF. Especially since you STILL have to pass the Soulless or a yellow door for the ATK gem.
Similarly, the DEF gem in Ground Floor: 2N1W is never going to be worth it. It will take 500+ HP to get it.
Other than that, this hold is a very good example of micro management; the multiplier is kept low, so every gem may make a huge difference. I personally got as much as 18 ATK and 17 DEF before beating the Guardian, but I saw others going there at lower values. This allows for very interesting gameplay, worth trying over and over.


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03-29-2016 at 05:09 PM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Midootje wrote:
Wow, this is pretty hard indeed! I managed to finish it after killing both brains in the mud mother room (otherwise greckles are too hard to come by). I ended with 56 ATK, 62 DEF, 500 HP and 1 spare yellow key. There is room for optimization, as I'm pretty sure I didn't get all the available DEF gems at the right time. I managed ATK pretty well, I think, although the first Mad Eye you have to kill in the Wooden Shield room gave me no breathing space at all, and I had to leave all those yellow keys there.
Comments:
the DEF gem at the Swordsman in Workshops: 1S2E is not a choice. It's never going to be worth 600+ HP for just one DEF. Especially since you STILL have to pass the Soulless or a yellow door for the ATK gem.
Similarly, the DEF gem in Ground Floor: 2N1W is never going to be worth it. It will take 500+ HP to get it.
Other than that, this hold is a very good example of micro management; the multiplier is kept low, so every gem may make a huge difference. I personally got as much as 18 ATK and 17 DEF before beating the Guardian, but I saw others going there at lower values. This allows for very interesting gameplay, worth trying over and over.


I've seen playtesters take both of these gems, so I'm not immediately convinced they're useless. Might be a little too expensive, though - any suggestions?
03-29-2016 at 05:45 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Midootje wrote:
Comments:
the DEF gem at the Swordsman in Workshops: 1S2E is not a choice. It's never going to be worth 600+ HP for just one DEF. Especially since you STILL have to pass the Soulless or a yellow door for the ATK gem.
Similarly, the DEF gem in Ground Floor: 2N1W is never going to be worth it. It will take 500+ HP to get it.
Other than that, this hold is a very good example of micro management; the multiplier is kept low, so every gem may make a huge difference. I personally got as much as 18 ATK and 17 DEF before beating the Guardian, but I saw others going there at lower values. This allows for very interesting gameplay, worth trying over and over.



I agree with the first DEF comment and disagree with the second. If you take the DEF gem first on that floor after paying to kill the brain, then coming back for the ATK later on costs much less.

I suspect many of the lower values for beating the Guardian were from an earlier version that didn't allow reopening 2N2W for 2 yellow keys. Mine certainly were, but I usually have about the same stats as you gave for this version.
03-29-2016 at 11:47 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
Alright, I finished this version, but that's predicated on being able to get past the mud mother for free without having to spend a green key, which Thelas has noted was not the intent.

Defeated Guardian:
521/17/18/19/44 2/0/0

First Level complete:
340/30/35/12/332 1/0/0

Mad Eye defeated: (I picked up the shield after killing the Eye)
261/35/53/45/845 2/0/0

Level 2 complete: (The save point is before spending the 500 greckles to exit, but clearly I have them)
47/50/65/669/2494 5/0/0

Once I got past the mud mother, I pretty much just traded up for the necessary green keys and then traded greckles for health until I was able to kill the various monsters. I almost certainly could have made better decisions to improve my final stats/score, but it was clear I was in a position to force through to the end, so I just went. Once there's a third floor I will do it differently.

That said, given how easy it was from that point on, I will probably spend the green key (and various other costs to get the brains) to kill the mud mother as soon as I possibly can. The sudden prevalence of greckles, which hadn't been the case at any point earlier in play, would have made a lot of decisions much simpler. I was concerned that the green key would be too steep a cost, particularly given how many you need on this floor, but having whizzed through the level beyond that point, I can see it's actually a lot more valuable than, e.g., any of the places you can buy 800 HP.
03-30-2016 at 12:11 AM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
That said, given how easy it was from that point on, I will probably spend the green key (and various other costs to get the brains) to kill the mud mother as soon as I possibly can. The sudden prevalence of greckles, which hadn't been the case at any point earlier in play, would have made a lot of decisions much simpler. I was concerned that the green key would be too steep a cost, particularly given how many you need on this floor, but having whizzed through the level beyond that point, I can see it's actually a lot more valuable than, e.g., any of the places you can buy 800 HP.


Nod - I'm thinking about reworking that room - it seems to remove basically all the tension from the level. :(
At minimum, I'll need to make the monsters in it not give GR (and of course remove the ridiculous end-level cost) - but I'd rather rework it than do a bandaid fix. Any suggestions?
03-30-2016 at 02:28 AM
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Gordius
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It might make sense to shift one of the brains to behind the mother. That way you can't kill it for free. With one brain, I start at 120HP/square when I get there and can get it down to about 72HP/sq. relatively quickly. But that's still significant enough that I can't just clean the room and move forward with a mass of greckles. But if you go that route, I'd leave the greckles on in the room. Also then there are added incentives/tradeoffs for leaving some of the mass as unbabied mud when you finally kill the eyes and the last brain, so you can clean it for free, but for only the mud baby greckles.
03-30-2016 at 02:58 AM
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Chaco
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File: A Matter of Soul v032 (Chaco notes).zip (6.4 KB)
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (+1)  
Here's some logged gameplay that both gets the 3 DEF guarded by the Seep in the Ground Floor, and kills the Mad Eye in Workshops 2E without performing any alchemy.

Now that there's far less free HP, I think alchemy is less attractive in this version than in the last version, since you really need to gather lots of HP lying around to deal with the tough monsters in 1S and still have enough HP for the Mad Eye afterwards. You can still use two Reagent 1s to do one of each basic recipe to make a health profit, but it's a very small profit and probably not the most effective way to use the reagents.

I'm also less interested in the Seep DEF after seeing the DEF and yellow keys in 2E - not getting that Seep DEF would mean having more HP for this floor, meaning I could kill more mud mother tiles in Ground Floor 1N3E for money, wait longer to kill monsters for HP in Ground Floor and probably still have enough money to get those extra yellow keys and DEF in Workshops 2E, which combined with that single DEF gem available there might be adequate compensation.

Overall I think the new level is harder than the old one, but probably just because more fights are mandatory than in the last version. The posted stats might be just barely enough to complete the second half of Workshops, but it's probably not going to be easy since I won't get any "free refills" and more keys seem to be necessary right away.

Defeated Guardian! (same stats as before)
HP: 224
ATK: 18
DEF: 15
Keys: 0/0/0

GR: 12
REP: 27

Score = 140

First Level complete!
HP: 68
ATK: 31
DEF: 33
Keys: 2/0/0

GR: 3
REP: 313

Score = 275

Mad Eye defeated!
HP: 178
ATK: 33
DEF: 46 (including the Wooden Shield)
Keys: 0/0/0

GR: 39
REP: 649

5 Reagent 1s

Score = 307

____________________________
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03-30-2016 at 06:18 PM
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Gordius
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Chaco wrote:
Now that there's far less free HP, I think alchemy is less attractive in this version than in the last version, since you really need to gather lots of HP lying around to deal with the tough monsters in 1S and still have enough HP for the Mad Eye afterwards. You can still use two Reagent 1s to do one of each basic recipe to make a health profit, but it's a very small profit and probably not the most effective way to use the reagents.



Whereas I made much greater use of alchemy in this version, because I'm generally using it in the opposite direction you are. I've found a good balance of trading greckles for health and then using that health to progress (and get more greckles). Plus, I can't imagine that it's possible to get enough green keys for the end of the 2nd floor without using that alchemy recipe.
04-02-2016 at 03:12 PM
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Nitrate
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
My intuition would be that it is possible actually.
I used the recipe for green keys exactly twice, so that's two green keys that you have to spare somewhere. I can think of some places, even though it would be painful (for instance the green key I used in the first level, and the green key I spent to get the ATK gem in the seep room).

[Last edited by Nitrate at 04-02-2016 07:18 PM]
04-02-2016 at 03:19 PM
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Gordius
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I ran this again and only killed the yellow and green key brain (using both keys, instead of two yellows, since that was Thelas' intent) in the mud mother room. For me, at least, it was a much more reasonable challenge and I completed the second floor with very little margin (10 HP, no keys, and no reagents). I think moving a brain behind the mother and leaving greckles on in that room is probably a reasonable solution to it. If I hadn't been able to get all those greckles from the mother, I don't know what I would have done for the final greckle man.
04-02-2016 at 06:57 PM
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Thelas
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File: A Matter of Soul v035.drh (37.9 KB)
Downloaded 7 times.
License: Public Domain
icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
This is hopefully to be the last version of level 2 before work begins on level 3. It may look intimidating, but it only bites with survivable force. Enjoy!

(...Yes, this is still alive! ^^)

Changelog:
- Cosmetic changes to level 1.
- Minor changes to the first half of level 2.
- Major rework to the second half of level 2.
- Green key recipe cost changed.
03-10-2017 at 06:47 PM
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Thelas
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Still no feedback? Even if the new stuff is too hard/frustrating, that's valuable feedback.
03-15-2017 at 11:45 PM
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Gordius
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I'm looking at it, but I haven't had time to really think it through yet.
03-16-2017 at 07:00 PM
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Gordius
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Yeah, it definitely looks like I'm back to not being able to get through the first half of the second floor. It mostly hasn't changed, but it's been long enough that I don't remember what I did. To the extent that nobody else is offering feedback, it may just be because it's too hard for all but a few of the best players.

One of the difficulties that I have with the whole alchemy premise is that it obliterates my ability to determine where the problem is. And this is exacerbated by the fact that almost all of the stats on the second floor are pretty costly. So I finish the first floor, spend a significant amount getting to alchemy, and then can barely afford to make any additional progress. Do I need to improve my play on the first floor? Should I be using alchemy differently? Which of the various expensive approaches to the second floor is best? I have no idea, and it makes trying to get through it a lot less fun.
03-23-2017 at 03:13 AM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
quote:
Gordius wrote:
Yeah, it definitely looks like I'm back to not being able to get through the first half of the second floor. It mostly hasn't changed, but it's been long enough that I don't remember what I did. To the extent that nobody else is offering feedback, it may just be because it's too hard for all but a few of the best players.

One of the difficulties that I have with the whole alchemy premise is that it obliterates my ability to determine where the problem is. And this is exacerbated by the fact that almost all of the stats on the second floor are pretty costly. So I finish the first floor, spend a significant amount getting to alchemy, and then can barely afford to make any additional progress. Do I need to improve my play on the first floor? Should I be using alchemy differently? Which of the various expensive approaches to the second floor is best? I have no idea, and it makes trying to get through it a lot less fun.


It sounds like you're rushing alchemy. There's no point in using it until you know what you want to do with it. I'm not sure how I can make the hold better at hinting what you should do if you're making mistakes; how would you advise that be handled? I don't just want to change the design of the Second Level completely; it seems to flow fairly well for at least the testers I've gotten to actually watch play - but I also agree L2 is too early to say "play perfectly or die".
03-25-2017 at 07:30 AM
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Nitrate
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
Just for the sake of adding some feedback, even though it's not too interesting: I am also having a lot of trouble getting through the first half of the second floor.

From what I remembered from my last playthrough, I didn't need to use any alchemy until quite late in the floor. Here, I don't know, I just can't seem to be able to know what I should be doing. Getting even 1 ATK gem is terribly painful (I can get the one in 1E by "wasting" all the yellow keys I had left, and that's about it). So yeah, maybe I'm just not good enough for this.

For the record, my stats when completing the first level are as follows:

Click here to view the secret text


I have used the green key in the first level 1E to get some health (without it I just don't know how to complete the level, unless I try to go greedily for pure health instead of gems, which does not seem sane).
03-29-2017 at 07:06 AM
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Thelas
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icon Re: A Matter of Soul (0)  
Hm, interesting; it is expected for it to be significantly harder, but that's because I thought the current version of L1 was quite easy and, like most holds, would like to ramp it up a bit. What sort of changes would make it better for you? Are any parts too open/confusing?
03-29-2017 at 07:39 AM
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