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Insoluble
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icon Re: King Azb's Arena Development Thread (0)  
For some reason the hold does not have the same hold ID as the version I had previously downloaded. It downloaded as a completely different hold. If you have multiple copies please try to make sure that you are uploading the same hold so that the testers do not lose all their progress.

I replayed through the levels I had played through before. I don't have much to add to the comments I had before. I will mention that the timer in Level 1.3 The hunt: 1N was a bit too tight to be enjoyable.

Round 2.1 Burly Brawl This level was pretty enjoyable on the whole. The difficulty level was a bit uneven with some rooms feeling super easy and others being very tight solution requirements. 2N1W verges on feeling like a magical move sequence and could stand to be toned down a bit.

Round 2.2 Fancy Footwork I like the mechanic of this level. I feel like it could actually be used for some interesting linchpin puzzles, but that wouldn't really fit in with the idea of this hold I suppose. It did feel a bit on the easy side.

Round 2.3 The Maze of Death This was my favorite of the new levels. The mechanics make for some interesting and fun rooms. That being said, quite a few of the rooms felt a little bit too similar. I wonder if some more differences between some of the rooms could be added in. The tunnels in 2N is very difficult to see. I wasn't sure how I was supposed to enter at first. It would be nice to have them not covered by the power token and speed potion.

2.4 Infested I had to stop playing here. The rooms on this level are just way too tedious. I'll try to come back and finish this off at some point, but I hope you'll consider replacing these or at least making them less of a slog.

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08-12-2017 at 07:26 AM
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azb
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As the hold is not officially published yet, please note I added a warp zone to the south in the First Level. This addresses A: having to replay old levels to get the new ones and B: quitting out of frustration due to a single level (in this case, Round 2.4), as you can just skip the levels you don't want to even try in favor of levels you want to try (note that there is still Round 2.5 to 3.5 uploaded).

Also, was 2.4 really that much of a slog? It might be just due to m y fighting abilities, but I found it not much different than other "spam" levels I made such as 1.4 and 2.2.

I appreciate the feedback! Don't give up... there's going to be much more to explore.

If it's any assurance, a handful of levels in Round 3 go back on the monster spamming in favor of things such as "quicksand" or extremely tight timers. Each round is different and thus some (like 2.4, 2.2, and 1.4) will intentionally spam monsters (it wouldn't be an arena otherwise) and others will have few monsters but demand tactical strategy (such as 1.1 or 2.3).

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[Last edited by azb at 08-12-2017 11:29 AM]
08-12-2017 at 11:09 AM
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Insoluble
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I saw the level warp and very much appreciate it. I just like to have a full set of demos for things, I suppose it's not a big deal though.

And I didn't mean to give the wrong impression, I fully intend to test out other levels! I just may be skipping 2.4 for the moment. I'm not sure why but it definitely did feel like the rooms were much longer and more exacting that the previous levels. It may be that I hit some of the more difficult rooms in the level early on, I didn't even fully explore it. It may also be that I was getting tired as I had been playing for a couple of hours at that point! I may also just not be as skilled with large brained roach hordes in small quarters.

Either way, I'll probably move on with 2.5 tonight and press on from there. I'll also mention that I'm having a fun time with this on the whole, so thanks for working on it.

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08-12-2017 at 03:03 PM
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azb
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Thank you for clarifying. It would have been a shame if a single level changed your opinion of the hold and made you think the hold was worthless when the one level was entirely bypassable.

I decided not to revise 2.4 for now, but if there is a large number of people that find it unpopular, I will ask for suggestions for replacements while still keeping the theme of "roach queen survival."

Also, I've read about mentions of magic sequences as early as Round 1.1, but I would counter those with the fact that monster mechanics are entirely knowable with the right resources (Advanced Concepts holds, Mechanics of Monster Movement article, etc.) so it is not, in reality, a guessing game if you slow down to break the movement down.

For most rooms, though, I have tried to make sure this type of knowledge is unnecessary but just basic fighting skills are required (how to use terrain or your sword to block enemies, back slashing techniques, etc.)

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08-12-2017 at 03:38 PM
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Finished most of 2.4 Infested. I did skip the central room. It turns out it was a matter of getting blocked by the most exacting room early on while most of the level was very reasonable. I enjoyed the rooms that let you carve out your playing area in crumbly walls. These rooms added an extra layer of strategy that lets the player make the execution much more reasonable just by setting the room up properly. The rooms that felt really tedious to execute for me were 1W and 1N1W. I think the rest of the level seemed much more enjoyable, especially the three rooms in the north. But those two rooms, 1N1W in particular, felt very long and repetitive. I know my demos for them are not the most efficient, but since you are essentially just plowing through roaches it's not really the most interesting thing to try to optimize. I guess rooms like this are just not my thing, others may disagree and enjoy them though.

Round 2.5 Stronghold I liked this level a lot. Especially the rooms that required me to come up with a repeatable pattern that would keep the outer area clear. Some rooms didn't really require that (the entrance for instance), but were still okay rooms. A few of the generator rooms could be done using basically the same pattern to keep clearing monsters until the doors opened, but that's probably fine since the rooms differed in other ways.

Round 3.1 Burlier Brawl Speed potion combat definitely has a different feel to it so this was an interesting variation on the previous golem level. The rooms did tend to feel very similar to each other after a while, but were still enjoyable. 2N1E is the standout room here and was refreshingly different. If you want to add more variety to this level it might be interesting to try doing a room with an invisibility potion instead of a speed potion.

Round 3.2 Blunderdome Difficulty level here was very mixed. The 20 second timer seemed very generous for easily predictable monsters like roaches. For the room with 6 wrathwings (effectively not predictable) I had to spend a much longer time brute forcing a solution.

I started Round 3.3 Cold War, but haven't finished yet. I'll try to come back to this soon since I'm close to the end of what you have so far developed. I'm still very much enjoying it save for a few rooms.

quote:
azb wrote: Also, I've read about mentions of magic sequences as early as Round 1.1, but I would counter those with the fact that monster mechanics are entirely knowable with the right resources (Advanced Concepts holds, Mechanics of Monster Movement article, etc.) so it is not, in reality, a guessing game if you slow down to break the movement down.

You can play through Advanced Concepts, read through multiple posts (the Mechanics of Monster Movement article is super basic and doesn't even come close to describing some of the more intricate mechanics that get used in more advanced holds by the way) and so on. It will not make a pack of wraithwings like the one in Round 3.2 Blunderdome: 2N 1E any more pleasant to try to predict. Some monsters like wraithwings in large groups exhibit behaviors that become unfeasible to predict with any precision due to things like movement order. You can rely on heuristics to get an idea of what kinds of moves and arrangements are likely to lead to solutions, but there really isn't a good way to see several moves ahead what the exact arrangement is going to be. That's not a huge problem as long as the solution to the room isn't too specific or exacting. That being said, I don't think anything in Round 1.1 (or in the rest of the hold for that matter) is really specific enough to qualify as a magic move sequence.

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[Last edited by Insoluble at 08-13-2017 07:50 AM]
08-13-2017 at 06:37 AM
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azb
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While Round 3 showed new ways to use old monsters introduced in previous levels (with the exception of the last level, which it seems you haven't reached yet), Round 4 will introduce new monsters, both built-in (such as Serpents or Guards) and scripted (such as, well... play to find out!)

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08-13-2017 at 12:36 PM
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Is this hold has been in Holds board?

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09-26-2017 at 03:43 PM
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azb
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Definitely not.

In the first post, I said I would only post a few levels at a time for testing/quality checking purposes. I didn't specify how much levels would be in the final version initially, but will now: There will be 60 levels (11 Rounds * 5 levels, 5 more bonus levels afterward).



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[Last edited by azb at 09-29-2017 07:55 PM : Clarified when project would be complete]
09-29-2017 at 07:53 PM
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Sorry I haven't replied to this in a while. Mostly finished with round 3 at this point. I'll probably skip ahead to round 4 and come back to the last few rooms at some point.

Round 3.3 Cold War The difficulty level for this level was very mixed. Some rooms (golems and roaches for example) were very straightforward. The rooms that involved a whole mess of wraith-wings took a lot longer. The entrance was probably the most difficult room in the level, consider swapping positions with another room. 2N was my favorite here, mostly because it had a bit of a puzzle aspect to it instead of just being straight combat. The central room was, oddly enough, possibly the easiest one of the level.

Round 3.4 It's not Easy. Yet again one of the hardest rooms on the level is the entrance. Roaches provide the fewest opportunities for delaying monsters. 2N1W was also pretty tough. No checkpoints on this level. When this mechanic (half speed) has been done before it has always been scripted like this so that checkpoints don't work. Unfortunately I don't know of any workarounds for that.

Round 3.5 Gobbin' Goblins Very mixed difficulty here. The entrance seems very tight and quite hectic. I did not clear it. Some rooms though are quite easy. The room with the invisibility potion felt like a gimme. The rooms with direct belining monsters mixed in were much more forgiving, and, again, the thin ice room felt very fun and different given the fact that you could use logic to determine a survivable setup ahead of time. I'll try to come back and finish the entrance and a couple of other rooms I left soon. But first I'll probably check out round 4.


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10-03-2017 at 08:15 AM
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azb
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With a few exceptions (such as The Maze of Death), entrance rooms let you walk to other rooms if you can't beat them, so they aren't necessarily the easiest to do first. However, central rooms, as you must do them last, are either the hardest or have something special about them that other rooms don't (examples include Burly Brawl where the central room has a new layout or Gobbin' Goblins where the central room introduces a new monster).

In Cold War, though the central room is easy, it is unique from the other rooms in that it is the only one to feature Generators.

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10-06-2017 at 10:00 PM
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Insoluble
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quote:
azb wrote:
With a few exceptions (such as The Maze of Death), entrance rooms let you walk to other rooms if you can't beat them, so they aren't necessarily the easiest to do first. However, central rooms, as you must do them last, are either the hardest or have something special about them that other rooms don't (examples include Burly Brawl where the central room has a new layout or Gobbin' Goblins where the central room introduces a new monster).

In Cold War, though the central room is easy, it is unique from the other rooms in that it is the only one to feature Generators.


That makes sense.

I've moved on to Round 4 now. Thoughts and demos posted.

Round 4.1 Hammer clones. I was surprised at how much of this room I could do without the speed potion in the entrance. I did eventually take it though, but the fact that it doesn't impact the scripted guy is interesting. The speed potion was definitely welcome in all the rooms you included it though, especially 2N1E.

Round 4.2 Serpent Room Brawl This level on the whole felt a great deal easier than the few that have proceeded it. It felt like it could have fit better with the round 1 or 2 levels. The only one that felt a bit tricky was 1N1E, but that was more due to the goblins than the snakes. You might consider beefing this up a bit, but then again, it's nice to have a breather level mixed in too.

Round 4.3 Garden of Pain The new generators are interesting. They seem to be working properly for the most part. One strange thing I noticed is what happens when you are standing on one of the spawn tiles when it is time for a spawn. If you or another monster of any kind is on a spawn tile it seems to delay some of the spawned monsters (not just the ones you are standing on though not all of the tiles either). When you move the spawns will start to come in. This isn't really a big deal though. These rooms were pretty fun. Again, slightly easier than I would have expected for round 4, but not way out of line. Is it possible to replace the conquer tokens in the middle of each room with something else? They will make the high scores for all of these rooms trivial to attain, which is a bit of a shame.

I enjoyed these three levels, I'll try to come back to do the last two in round 4 soon.

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10-23-2017 at 12:31 PM
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Nuntar
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So I gave this a try, and managed to beat all of Round 1. My feedback will mostly echo what others have said, but I hope that helps encourage you to make some changes and not just progress with new levels :P

1.1: Probably my favourite level. It felt a big magic-sequency to start off, but then I noticed how the asymmetry of the initial setup provides a clue as to how to begin the room. The different setup in each room meant that slightly different strategies were required, but I agree that over nine rooms it felt a little samey. I think 2N was the easiest room.

One thing I didn't like much was that the announcer's text plays when you step off the central trapdoor, covering up the monsters until the text is finished. I'd prefer it if he says his line when Beethro enters the arena.

1.2: Not a fan of this. Every room came down to "find a safe sequence of moves, then repeat until the end of the time limit". If you want to keep this level in, I'd suggest reducing the limit to 30 moves, and looking again at the rooms that can be solved by holding down the battle key to see if you can make them more interesting.

1.3: Except for the central room, this was much easier than 1.1. The darkness felt unnecessary, but I guess it wasn't too annoying. In the central room, the time limit was really short and it felt like mostly luck that I eventually got a solution that worked, so that wasn't fun.

1.4: Also very easy, and I was just doing the same thing in every room.

1.5: Now this was quite a bit harder, especially the two speed potion rooms. Nothing unmanageable, though. 2N1W felt like I got it by luck, whereas its partner room 2N1E required strategical thinking.

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[Last edited by Nuntar at 10-24-2017 12:26 AM]
10-24-2017 at 12:19 AM
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azb
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Round 5 has been uploaded, and it uses monsters from Round 4 (such as snakes and guards) in new ways, but also introduces its own monsters (from more harmless ones like preplaced mimics or scripted allies to more ... smarter and robotic ... enemies).

The reason levels like 4.2 and 4.3 are easier is because they introduce a new enemy that was not seen in previous levels, allowing players to get a sense of how to defeat the enemy in later levels that use them in more complex situations.

Round 1.2 is easy because of how early on it is (the limited pallete of monsters, and the fact you are just beginning). There will be a similar level in one of the last few rounds that does not have any safe spots like 1.2 did, however.

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10-27-2017 at 07:38 PM
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Maybe you need make a variation the room layout a bit.

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12-07-2017 at 11:45 AM
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azb
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The design of the rooms are 100% intentional. The variation is supposed to be solely in enemies and materials in the "arena" space of the rooms in the majority of levels, but there are some levels with varying rooms where combat differences alone don't quite provide enough variation to still be interesting (Round 1.5, most notably).

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[Last edited by azb at 12-08-2017 07:07 PM]
12-08-2017 at 07:06 PM
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azb
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Round 6 has been finished. It has the same similarity in design between rooms as the other levels, but introduces concepts new to the hold (besides monsters) such as non-sword combat in a handful of the levels.

In addition, there is a boss at the end, but unlike Round 1's 'Seather, this one actually has a sword like yours.

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12-10-2017 at 02:19 PM
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Dying Flutchman
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Hi azb,

I'm also playing through this a bit. Many comments have been made already, so I'll keep this short.

1) Do like the concept. No lynchpins whatsoever, just battling your way through. Fair deal. If you don't like it, don't play it and everyone's happy.
2) However, also if you do like it, it tends to get a bit tedious to have to play all of the rooms in every level. As a suggestion, I'd like to have a navigation hub to exclude levels (temporarily perhaps) to skip forward one or two levels and return to the boring/problematic sections later.
I guess you could also do this batch-wise, for example only granting access to rooms 2.x if 1.x have all been completed. Or, (would be nicer if you ask me), only let a player skip a fixed number of rooms/levels and no more. If the number is reached, some skipped rooms will have to be cleared to progress further.
3) Now stuck at 2.4. I must say: MUCH more difficult than all other levels combined imho. I'd advise to make the increase in difficulty a bit more gradual.
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[Last edited by Dying Flutchman at 12-10-2017 05:20 PM]
12-10-2017 at 04:58 PM
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azb
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1) Glad you enjoy the theme/concept!

2) There is currently no room skip, but there is a level skip right beneath the entrance of the first level.

3) 2.4 1N is solvable just like the rest, despite the increased rate from the Generators. I'm not sure how you solved the other rooms, but the way I did it was to use terrain to block the roaches and take advantage of the speed potion by taking "shelter in corners", like this:

      PR
       SW
      RW

P = Player
R = Roach
S = Sword
W = Wall


If that isn't helpful, I can give you a victory demo myself.

Round 2.4 is admittedly more difficult than the levels before it, but in most levels from that point forward, the intensity only increases, with things like guards, serpents, brains and tarstuff in the mix.


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[Last edited by azb at 12-10-2017 06:05 PM]
12-10-2017 at 06:05 PM
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