Ascension? ...or what?

Talk about the game. What game? The game with the power? What power? The power of ... aw, skip it.

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Deathkiller
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Postby Deathkiller » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:05 pm

Ryme wrote:3) Decisions about several ascensiony factors, including
a) types of runs: softcore, hardcore, casual, no-IotM? Bad moon equivalent where no permed skills are a factor? Is there a more truly level playing field we could pick? Are there mechanics other than "the pull" for softcore alternatives?


I definately like options, but one thing I've always thought about is in addition to different rewards, how about different content for the types of runs, that way people can have even more incentive to play the game and retconsend more often to experience the differences... kinda like going through a choose your own adventure book repeatedly and deliberatly picking different choicse so you can read the different versions of the story. As for "pulls" I think as people discussed before it can be a future/alternate universe version of you sending it to yourself or something. Having the "standard" run be one that encourages a level playing field would also be cool, as I am definately an advocate of trying to make newer players feel like they can be as cool as older ones.

Ryme wrote:b) skill perming. I think this is one of the most appealing factors of KoL, so I'll absolutely have it in some fashion, but there's room for variety. For instance, do all skills need to be permable? Can some be specific to a class and never permed? Should there be extra skills that aren't class specific? This is also obviously affected greatly by the ascension choices: if there's no hardcore, say, or no softcore, then we might not have two levels of perming. Or could there be three levels if there's some other option out there? Or a way to play a run without accessing permed skills that's not like Bad Moon, to remember how a vanilla character works?


I think that you should not nessicarilly be able to perm all skills... at least not equally. Perhaps you can only perm higher level skills if you've already permed lower level skills? The rationale is that the lower level skills give your mind a framework that allows the higher level skills to work, the whole learn to walk before you can run idea. As for non-class skills (a la the KoL gnome skills) I think that would be an awsome idea and could add a lot to the game! Perhaps even tie some of the higher level content to it, you need to retconsend and thus gain these skills before a new area opens up?

Ryme wrote:c) Ways to introduce variety into successive runs. I think reputation will be one of these--in a fast run there won't necessarily be freedom to switch back and forth easily, and this can be expanded, maybe even be a factor in a quest. Still, there's room for other options. Choices in quests which determine options in later quests. Multiple rewards for quests, depending on how they're solved. Stuff like that. There might be an obvious parallel between the teet/booze/oxy paths and KoL, but are they really interesting, and is that worth copying? What about a no-sidekick run? Or restrictions on transportation? What else might be interesting?


One run idea that collectors and other power plays do for fun is the speed run... perhaps make this have it's own reward, as an optional restriction you can retconsend into a world in peril where you need to "save the world" (ie complete the content) within a certain time period... if you do it you get a big payoff... if you don't you have wasted a run, or lose a permed skill or some other penalty?

Ryme wrote:d) Possibly reconsidering how sidekicks work. There seems to be a general dissatisfaction with the current method of having them as special buffs, and a lot of requests for more permanent options. I've been fighting it, but if I'm going to mess with this mechanic it should be before retcon is an option.


How about the idea of having perment sidekicks that are similar to KoL familiars? Ideally you could have it so that the system was a bit more complex and you could really "nurture" them and guide thier development... maybe even picking what skills they learn on thier way up... a big part of the super hero genre is the sidekick and many great stories have been written about the sidekick becomeing a hero themselves. This could lead to another level of the whole retconsension thing where you lose your sidekick becuase they go off to adventure themself... but they come back on occasion and give you some kind of benefit (temporary companion, buffs, side quests, items they "though you might like" etc).

Ryme wrote:At the most basic, I'm committed to the idea of being able to replay the quests, and within that guideline I think it's really only compelling if there's some means of improving your character with each attempt at a replay. Beyond that, anything could work.


One somewhat radical (at least radically different from the KoL ascension) idea that was in mind is sticking with transmogrification. You don't come into a slightly different world and repeat the quests... everything you did, you did, it's still you, only altered. Now to make it fun and simulate new content is to take at least some of the existing quests and make them repeatable. You beat one goon shaking down the Galaria, now you come accross a different goon doing something similar elsewhere. Just make a system that swaps in a list of names and such and have the quests reoccur periodically. Make the rewards a pull from a table of different but roughly equivlant items. One time it might be a level appropriate weapon, another it's a helmet, etc. Heck if you really wanted to get contentastic you could of course do both a retconsension AND a transmorgification option...

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Postby TheK3vin » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:13 pm

MagiNinjA wrote:That may draw out runs too much, but as an optional thing, it'd be interesting.

Perhaps, in addition to giving more retcon module "points," you might be able to perm higher-level, more powerful skills after completing higher-level quests. These could be added after ascension is already implemented- Imagine having skills that you needed to get to level 30 to perm. Or have multiple difficult challenges that would allow you to get very powerful skills.

I like the idea of having things outside of normal speed retcons allowing you to optimize your runs. If there were a lot of these, it could be very close to impossible to get all of them, and you would have to be strategic about which ones you obtain and when. This could make it much harder to approach a perfectly optimal ascension, and there would always be plenty of room for improvement beyond tedium.

Sorry for the weird tangents in that post; I promise there's some good ideas in there somewhere...

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Postby Cristiona » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:09 pm

MagiNinjA wrote:That may draw out runs too much, but as an optional thing, it'd be interesting.
If retcon is set at level 20, it's not "drawing runs out" as runs don't currently exist.
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Postby MagiNinjA » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:18 pm

That's why I said it may draw out runs.

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Postby Corrupt Shadow » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:02 pm

But as the first few levels are extremely easy to pass, is 20 that big a number?
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Postby MagiNinjA » Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:16 am

Corrupt Shadow wrote:But as the first few levels are extremely easy to pass, is 20 that big a number?


Yes. Especially if we want 1 dayers.

Ryme wrote:3) Decisions about several ascensiony factors, including
a) types of runs: softcore, hardcore, casual, no-IotM? Bad moon equivalent where no permed skills are a factor? Is there a more truly level playing field we could pick? Are there mechanics other than "the pull" for softcore alternatives?


I like having a "choose your run" type thing. All of those types are good as well. And no-IotM Bad Moon will probably be the levellest playing field for vanilla characters as it ever gets. Not that you can pull for Bad Moon anyways. And I'm very certain there are more mechanics you can think up, but they're just not very obvious.

Ryme wrote:b) skill perming. I think this is one of the most appealing factors of KoL, so I'll absolutely have it in some fashion, but there's room for variety. For instance, do all skills need to be permable? Can some be specific to a class and never permed? Should there be extra skills that aren't class specific? This is also obviously affected greatly by the ascension choices: if there's no hardcore, say, or no softcore, then we might not have two levels of perming. Or could there be three levels if there's some other option out there? Or a way to play a run without accessing permed skills that's not like Bad Moon, to remember how a vanilla character works?


Well, KoL has it so that classes have features so that skills don't really need to be class exclusive. Having class combos (or perhaps complete a superhero quest/retconscension run to perm) may be a neat idea though (like the TT's butt combo).

c) Ways to introduce variety into successive runs. I think reputation will be one of these--in a fast run there won't necessarily be freedom to switch back and forth easily, and this can be expanded, maybe even be a factor in a quest. Still, there's room for other options. Choices in quests which determine options in later quests. Multiple rewards for quests, depending on how they're solved. Stuff like that. There might be an obvious parallel between the teet/booze/oxy paths and KoL, but are they really interesting, and is that worth copying? What about a no-sidekick run? Or restrictions on transportation? What else might be interesting?


Reputations would easily be the coolest way to change up runs. Parallels to KoL aren't very interesting to me, as there are few strategic differences between different types of runs. However, it does give people more things to think about, so. A no sidekick run would be neat though, without a doubt. Transportation? Not so much. Unless you design new quests to ignore transport or something. But I don't see much variation in transportation yet. Other things that may be interesting...that's difficult. KoL's got the moons, but I'd rather have something else interesting. There's got to be some kind of layer we can add on.

d) Possibly reconsidering how sidekicks work. There seems to be a general dissatisfaction with the current method of having them as special buffs, and a lot of requests for more permanent options. I've been fighting it, but if I'm going to mess with this mechanic it should be before retcon is an option.


Spend X time with sidekick to gain its trust? I don't know.

e) Leaderboards. What would really compel people to compete? Most basic is total number of retcons, and speed (in terms of minutes rather than turns, probably) for a run. I suppose broken down by paths, if we do that. Lifetime stats? Lifetime PvP (which needs its own improvements, clearly)?


Honestly, I think KoL's way of rewarding people is fairly fine (run rewards, leaderboards/fame) because people run plenty (sort of) of contests in the community. However, maybe a collection of trophies (not badges) of what positions on the leaderboard have been hit would be a very interesting way to spice things up. So like a trophy for hitting 1st place through 5th place, etc.

a) Leagues (or clans, or guilds, or whatever). Not really required for retcon itself, but it's a popular request, and gives some leaderboard angles.


I can guarantee that clans are awesome for the community.

c) More holidays? I know holidays are fun on their own. The ones that currently exist would mostly interfere with a run, rather than enhance one. Do we need some that are more predictable and/or more limited in scope that might add to strategy? Or is it better if they're unpredictable and disassociated from retcon-style play?

Maybe some more holidays, but this not need to be a selling point of doing runs. In fact, And I'd very much like to have holidays that either help me but don't interfere (like the snow one) or optional and choice provoking. Not ones that I can't avoid.

What else is really necessary to make replayability work? Or what could serve to improve the experience upon replaying the same basic set of events for dozens of times?


I know I've brought this up and it's sort of hard to apply here, but Left 4 Dead. In more tangible examples...you already sort of have the concept down. New Game +. The idea that you start the game over with everything you end the last game with. Hmm. Replayability. I can only see procedural generation or user-submitted content as the only things that can perpetually go on forever.

A sort of insane idea I had was having each run give a story of a sort, depending on how the quest is finished.

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Postby Cristiona » Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:24 am

MagiNinjA wrote:Yes. Especially if we want 1 dayers.
Which begs the question (not really, but I like misusing terms): "do we want 1 dayers"?
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Postby Satan » Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:50 am

Cristiona wrote:
MagiNinjA wrote:Yes. Especially if we want 1 dayers.
Which begs the question (not really, but I like misusing terms): "do we want 1 dayers"?


Part of the fun of 'back before there were 1-day ascensions in KoL', was that it was a challenge. People kept pushing the limits, and even though it wasn't /designed/ to allow it, it didn't stop it from happening. The best course would just be to ignore the speed factor altogether and Ryme can just make it as hard as he wants to. I think it'd be good not to put too much into allowing it or preventing it, since it'd be kinda lame for it to be impossible on purpose :/

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Postby Ryme » Sat Jan 31, 2009 11:37 am

Satan wrote:Part of the fun of 'back before there were 1-day ascensions in KoL', was that it was a challenge. People kept pushing the limits, and even though it wasn't /designed/ to allow it, it didn't stop it from happening. The best course would just be to ignore the speed factor altogether and Ryme can just make it as hard as he wants to. I think it'd be good not to put too much into allowing it or preventing it, since it'd be kinda lame for it to be impossible on purpose :/


I think Satan has this right on. I don't care at all about the actual day or turn count of the fastest possible run turns out to be. What I do care about is having a framework where it feels like there's always room for improvement, and that it's possible--but not trivial--to work your way up to faster and faster speeds as you gains skills and experience. The real challenge is having balanced, non-trivial choices ... assuming it's possible at all to provide those. I've seen a LOT of effort and heartache from the KoL dev team as they attempt to provide those choices, only to have some clever mathematicians and strategists reduce the choice down to "picking X approach is always the right one." Perhaps the best I can do, in some cases, is make it so that X at least varies a little with some non-permable class intrinsics, so that players get a little variety through runs.

Still, whether or not it's possible, it's going to be one of the guiding principles for what I'm *attempting* to do as I pull the game closer to retcon.

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Postby MagiNinjA » Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:55 pm

Even then, I can't agree that it was harmful. It just burns a lot of funds.

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Postby Cristiona » Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:11 pm

CTID wrote:One thing I did note about 1 dayers in KoL is that they took a large amount of prep, skill and expensive items. 1 dayers were extremely difficult to get but it did give a lot of people something to aim towards and throw meat at. Theres no harm in it if you have to plan for it, its only harmful if everyone can get one or two dayers without much effort.
Eh. If you spent the time doing the prep, they weren't that bad, assuming you had been around long enough. The air, drinks, and scarf could be grabbed for "free" by doing HC prep. Food you should have had anyway. The part I hated about them was donating $30 for free Juniors (and a flaming pink shirt when I did it). And the people who were better than me (or had sticks) didn't even need to donate.
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Postby MagiNinjA » Sun Feb 01, 2009 12:34 am

You know what I just thought about?

Chrono Trigger.

Yeah.

<.<

>.>

Maybe rewards could be based off a pool so that shorter ascensions (e.g. in Chrono Trigger, if you go new game +, you can fight Lavos the first time you meet him, as opposed to later), give less spectacular tangible rewards, but a better story result? Or a point based system according to how many quests are completed? Dunno.

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Postby Corrupt Shadow » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:07 am

Are we going to have 13 different endings as well? ;) :mrgreen:
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Postby Ryme » Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:52 am

Sure. You can die horrible deaths 1-12, or you can win.

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Postby Satan » Sun Feb 01, 2009 6:29 pm

Probably. It'd be ridiculous to only get 10 of each ever :p

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Postby Ryme » Sun Feb 01, 2009 8:45 pm

It was always intended that the VR center would reset upon ascension, yes.

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Postby malk-a-mite » Mon Feb 02, 2009 12:05 am

Satan wrote:Probably. It'd be ridiculous to only get 10 of each ever :p


You're only supposed to have 10?
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Corrupt Shadow
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Postby Corrupt Shadow » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:22 am

LOL @ Malk's 800-900 scalpels.
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Postby TheK3vin » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:20 pm

I think a LOT more can be done with reputations, and I think that ascension could be a great opportunity to expand a mechanic like that with so much potential. Jick was talking on Monday about the possibility of having pre-made characters that you could chose to use for an ascension that would give you some unique items and skills but also introduce some restrictions into your run. I feel like, modifying this idea a bit, it could be introduced into TH retcon replacing pre-made characters with locked-in reputations that would introduce restrictions and bonuses, like unique skills, unique gear, or intrinsic bonuses. There could then be a leaderboard for each reputation. Some could be positive and allow for faster-than-normal runs and some could slow things down and add extra challenge. Each one could have it's own rewards, etc.

Thoughts?

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Postby MagiNinjA » Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:47 pm

This calls for a leaderboard revamp.

Revampalution. Say it.

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Ryme
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Postby Ryme » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:52 pm

I ... can't say it. It's not pronounceable.

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Postby Satan » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:38 am

Re-vamp-uh-lucien. Yep.

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Ryme
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Postby Ryme » Fri Feb 06, 2009 11:53 am

I thought Lucien was a werewolf, not a vamp?

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Postby Satan » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:35 pm

Yes. But if you've seen the movies, Lucien 'associated' with vampires >.>

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Postby TheK3vin » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:39 pm

Woh, what are you guys talking about? Sounds really hot.

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Postby MagiNinjA » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:02 pm

Stop offtopic-ing this thread.


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