Positive Growth

This is where all random discussion about DoE goes. If it doesn't feel like it fits anywhere else but is still related to the map, this is the place to post it.
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TheDeathstalker
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Positive Growth

Post by TheDeathstalker » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:24 am

Well, here I am again, hoping to find a way to make things better by opening up some discussion.

As Kaome pointed out, there are three ways in which Desert of Exile is no longer what it used to be.
Kaome Sky Deathand wrote: First, the Trebs.

I know most everyone really didn't care for them, while else would they have been removed by popular demand? However, I do believe they added a sense of epicness to the map. They...made it different from other maps I've tried. There was a very cool sense of 'Hey...you are in a f*cking battle!" Rocks screaming down at unknown times in unknown locations gave the map a feel that quite simply is visibly not there. Conditions can only be introduced by heroes to new players. They don't have the luxury of getting hit with a rock out in the boonies and going: "Oh...that's what that does..." instead they get hammered by it in the middle of combat and hope to god that pink potion does something.
Not very useful sure...a few minutes playing solo can show you the different things...but not everyone studies.
Some people like to jump in and learn as they go.
I've said it many times before, and I'm sure this will not be the last.
People hate chaos...randomness...things they cannot control.
That's why the Trebs were so good, so fitting. Having everything bubbled down to control is lackluster. It's a short step to having heroes deal X damage on every hit...every creep doing the same thing...every hero pulling the same stunts...which brings me to my next issue.
Items. ("Items" in this part of the post pertain to any item that costs faction from the Panda Merchants)

You said it Dusk.
DoE is becoming like DotA in a roundabout way.
I know the point against me will be: "Well Kao...it has always been your choice not to use items...so stfu..."
But it was a choice then. As versions progressed I noticed that the rich got richer and the poor got owned. That choice slimmed down until now, to play without items is to be foolish and ultimately looking for defeat. It seems that the items really do carry the game now. People that play the same way as I do will now find that if they do not buy specific items for specific enemies they will NOT stand a chance, whereas it used to be down to skill...and luck. Now he who holds the Crown wins the game. Not entirely true of course...perhaps wins the duel would be better. You really can't just be good with a hero anymore. You HAVE to get something at least just to hold an edge.
Of course...I do not breath this map...so it is very possible that a mild player like myself could have a skewed outlook on the map because I lack sufficient experience as a DoE player.
I realize it makes sense to pimp out a hero with a bajillion items so people can get their e-peen rise as they rip through the newbite warriors that are crying for their mothers and fleeing in abject terror before the awesome might of their foes unstoppable rampage. No-one feels better than the guy that has '26th Victim' pop up on the screen because he killed that many peons in a row.
It just discourages the few of us that try to enjoy the map at a laid back pace...but I suppose we should only play to win...nothing more.
Third is hero balance...

I don't need to say any names as I know this is being addressed.
I'll keep that whole res-zone slayer debacle under the sheets.
The point of this thread is not to complain, it is not to list problems, it is not to ... well, you get the idea.

What the point of this thread IS, is to create a means of reliable, sensible, feedback for the map, with the specific intention of determining how to make Desert of Exile more than just "a smart man's DotA", and into the game that it can be, and that Dusk has put so much work into making it. So please, put on your respectful people's hats, and let's see what we can do.
And though you come out of each gruelling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try—it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.

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TheDeathstalker
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by TheDeathstalker » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:24 am

(As to not to detract from the first post being a mission statement, I am putting my initial thoughts into this second post, I hope nobody minds.)

On the first point, the Trebuchets, I know there was a significant discussion on them previously, and I know that discussion was fairly one sided, but I personally liked them, as meaningless as that sentiment is. No, what is needed is a solution, something to make things work out, and I don't think just putting them back would be such a solution. Instead, what about having an on/off option just like OM and AR?

Or more interestingly, how about having the trebuchets be an alternative thing to purchase? Either having some large, one time payment to build each of them, or perhaps smaller ones to arm them for a period of time. Actually, here's an interesting scenario: You have both trebuchets present at start, but will not fire. For 300 gold, you can arm one trebuchet for a minute, which will do damage, but will not apply conditions. Additionally, you can pay 1 or 2 faction to enchant the trebuchets, causing them to apply certain conditions upon hit for one minute. This allows another money sink in game other than items, and allows for a very significant and advantage to those who choose to pursue it. The trebs could still be destroyed when one of the top or bottom bases falls, thus allowing the game to still end without the problem seen in old versions of OM games, where the Trebs would annihilate any enemy forces in the main.

The items, are not so easy to come up with good ideas for, and I don't think I can come up with a massive, sweeping solution to them, if there even is one. From how I understand it though, the problem is how unequally they benefit or punish certain heroes. Summoners are the heroes I see most needing of this, perhaps this could be solved by a simple item such as so:

Link of Fate -
Grants X additional armor to summoned units and all summoned units count as if they had all the items carried by the hero.

I'm sure there are flaws in this, but it seems like a decent concept. Sadly I'm not very well versed in items past this, but I'm sure someone else is.

As for heroes, again, I'm not very well versed, so I will again leave this for another time...

Hope this is a decent start... I look forward to the potential of this thread... hopefully it'll work.
And though you come out of each gruelling bout,
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try—it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.

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assassingao
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by assassingao » Tue Aug 18, 2009 10:05 am

Decreases the faction cost for each items. (to about 3 or so)

This will allows everyone to have it easily, yet they still had to do something to get it.

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Re: Positive Growth

Post by vesuvan » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:24 am

The problem with catering to the hardcore fans is that, like with any culture, it will be so warped by their desires that it will no longer resemble what made it appealing enough to be worth a following in the first place.

Trebuches do add atmosphere for the people who are begging for more flavor in a map they already love, but to beginning players are a cruel trap. Even if the falling rocks had a shadow players knew to avoid, if you make them frequent enough that new players recognize the shadows, the trebuches have become overly intrusive, if they are infrequent enough to be discrete, then not even shadows will save them from appearing to be unwelcome fiends that ruin the day of any unsuspecting player. There just isn't a way to win here.
Having everything bubbled down to control is lackluster. It's a short step to having heroes deal X damage on every hit...every creep doing the same thing...every hero pulling the same stunts.
Decisions? Affecting the outcome of a game based on the correctness in prediction and their execution? Say it isn't so! The bit about adding control being a gateway to the heroes losing uniqueness is laughably specious.
As versions progressed I noticed that the rich got richer and the poor got owned.
Isn't that the point? If a player has gained enough items to make a significant impact on the gameplay, then this advantage will lead to their probable victory and allow the winner to deliver the finishing blow. This mindset applies to any dimension of the game. The team with more towers has the advantage and the team with razed buildings get owned; The lane with more hired mobs snowballs into a siege and the undefended base gets owned.
It just discourages the few of us that try to enjoy the map at a laid back pace...but I suppose we should only play to win...nothing more.
Really, if you don't want to get resource X and win because of it, what exactly do you plan to do in a DoE game? Move about at the upper-left corner as if you were at a ballroom dance? Count the trees? I'm sorry that I don't know how to make this less of a mockery, but the pleading of that sentence does not align with reality.


What DoE truly needs is hype. Look at the box art of a pokemon game. It does not say "Elegant mechanics! Intuitive system of checks and balances! Provides hours of RPG fun without forcing players to grind!" it tells a story about catching cute whatchamacallits and a fantasy world where sentient animals engage in colorful antics for their child owners. When a person buys pokemon and plays it, they may not realize the effective design of the game, but they still enjoy it intuitively.

DoE simply doesn't have a box-feature. It's probably one of the most efficient uses of the game engine to deliver a unique and fulfilling experience, but people will have no idea what that is, much less that it's extremely enjoyable. Fortunately, they don't have to understand exactly why the gameplay works so well, or even that its gameplay is good at all. People are intuitive creatures that can have a lot of fun without knowing why. The unfortunate side of this is that a person cannot truly say what they want from a game, and need to experience something to understand it on a very basic level.

In summary, DoE could be redesigned in two ways to attract a wider audience
* Remove anything that distracts a beginning player from enjoying the best parts of the map. The easiest way to make a player stumble upon the juicy center of a game is to make it the first thing they can get their hands on. First-time players are very easily impressed, be this a good or bad thing for a map.
* box-feature. Features that wouldn't be out of place advertised on Saturday mornings. Something that will make the players think they are having fun long enough to make the transition to real fun as transparent as possible.
͎̟͕͎̯̺͎̟͕͎̯̺ĩ̵̢͉̺̹͖͔̻̣̟̙ͦ̋̍ͤ̈́ͫ̓͐͐̅͊͒ͪͬͧͅn̢̮͈̪̤̳̏ͥ̐̍̌͊͜͟͠
̵̢͉̺̹͖͔̻̣̟̙ͦ̋̍ͤ̈́ͫ̓͐͐̅͊͒ͪͬͧͅn̢̮͈̪̤̳̏ͥ̐̍̌͊͜͟͠

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Kaome Sky Deathand
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by Kaome Sky Deathand » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:15 pm

Yes because we need Dusks face on the side of a cereal box eating a hearty big heapin' spoonful of Sozens with little discharge sugar packed marshmallow bits plastered into the wholesome grain goodness.
That's a great idea...let's plastic wrap DoE with a big thumb of Saturday morning cartoon whackball and fool the people into Bnet into thinking they are playing a good game instead of providing them with...Dare I say it? A good game.

I'd appreciate it if my opinions weren't turned into a rallying warcry of 'Sound like they are smoking something up there!'
I simply posted what came to my mind...nothing more.
Cruor Vult

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simultaneously the source of our greatest strength, and our greatest weakness.

Soon we shall be One...joined in the Word.

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Re: Positive Growth

Post by shalnath » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:16 pm

I think ves pretty much summed everything up. Well said.
"Within every world, there are cultures, within every culture, there are groups, within every group, there are leaders. These leaders are not truly chosen, they are destined, it is their fate to lead, and it is this fate that drives them. Souls yearn to be driven, they in themselves can not direct, however, these leaders are predetermined, by whatever means, to guide the wills and mend the errors of these wandering souls. A forest, cold, cured, flawless, meticulous, and fearful, what drives it, what keeps the balance? The inner beings of all the co-existant creatures swarm together, and every one is guided by another, in more a cycle, then a hierarchy. The eyes of a forest are always watching and guiding, yet the sun never sets on the forest, and it never shall." ~ The Chaos Theory

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Rising_Dusk
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by Rising_Dusk » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:26 pm

This whole box stuff doesn't work for DoE because it's not DotA. So oh well.
Kaome Sky Deathand wrote:I'd appreciate it if my opinions weren't turned into a rallying warcry of 'Sound like they are smoking something up there!'
I simply posted what came to my mind...nothing more.
By virtue of posting it, you're (unfortunately) entitling people to use it as such.
"I'll come to Florida one day and make you look like a damn princess." ~Hep

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Kaome Sky Deathand
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by Kaome Sky Deathand » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:50 pm

True enough.
I'll take this as a lesson well learned and keep my mouth shut next time.
Cruor Vult

Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion,
simultaneously the source of our greatest strength, and our greatest weakness.

Soon we shall be One...joined in the Word.

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SetaSoujirou
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by SetaSoujirou » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:31 pm

For reference, I never said to remove trebs. They actually benefited me more than hurt. Unless I'm not a hardcore player.
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by 2-P » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:04 pm

Isn't that the point? If a player has gained enough items to make a significant impact on the gameplay, then this advantage will lead to their probable victory and allow the winner to deliver the finishing blow. This mindset applies to any dimension of the game. The team with more towers has the advantage and the team with razed buildings get owned; The lane with more hired mobs snowballs into a siege and the undefended base gets owned.
No.
You're mixing things up here. You need to differentiate between being closer to victory and having an advantage over the enemy.
I'll try to keep it short (there's a 15million page long thread at wc3c about the snowballing issue if you want to read more).
Let's take sports as an example. If team A scores a goal in soccer they obviously get "closer to victory", but their chance to score another goal doesn't increase. Both teams still have the same chance to score the next goal.
The same applies to towers, destroying tower X doesn't increase the chance to kill tower Y. Yes, sieging a base with a tower less or being two levels above the enemy hero gives you an advantage of course, but it's only minor compared to a hero that runs around with a bunch of faction items.
If your team is better than you don't need an advantage in order to win to begin with. Denying all advantages would make the game boring/lame though, so it's about limiting the possible advantage to a certain point.
Really, if you don't want to get resource X and win because of it, what exactly do you plan to do in a DoE game?
He wants to pick hero X and play the game, not farm for resource Y.
Maybe I just can't be bothered to look through two shops of items in order to find a good one for my hero. If you want to do that that's perfectly fine, but please leave me a fair chance to still be able to beat you.
Humans don't have the patience to wait even ten minutes for something!

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Oxygen
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by Oxygen » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:54 pm

2-P wrote:a hero that runs around with a bunch of faction items.
A handful of heroes only very slightly benefit from faction items, versus other which become exponentionally stronger with them, and this is one of the issues I would like to bring up.

I believe that a way of making a game more interesting is to give smaller goals which will make it more enjoyable for the players who stand out and accomplish superior actions, such as killing heroes or destroying moneuments, and to reward the completion of the said goals. But if your hero happens to not really benefit from accomplishing these goals, you end up with a hero that's uninteresting, for there aren't many outside, unique, options to customize your playstyle.

I can guarantee that DoE wouldn't be as enjoyable as it currently is if hero and monument killing were made as trivial as a creep wave.

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Rising_Dusk
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by Rising_Dusk » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:50 pm

You know, you say that a lot, but which heroes gain extremely little/no benefit from items? I mean, I personally have a very powerful item build for all heroes.
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Oxygen
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by Oxygen » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:27 pm

Of course all heroes will benefit from items, but is sanctuary, for instance, so amazing on rose, which will tend to stay where the bad people aren't? What if none of her abilities did benefit from other items? She'd feel pigeon holed into using defensive items, and those aren't exactly great until they actually save you. Innert or Stille are cases that come to mind, but I think that this is a trend for many heroes using summons, as those really don't benefit from items and remain the same ( ruin, shh ) from level 9 to 18 to end game.

Point is, it really doesn't feel as rewarding to get kills or take down towers as, say, ztera, than it is as caliga

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Rising_Dusk
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by Rising_Dusk » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:37 pm

I don't know, it's on those heroes where I find real value in items such as Philo's, the Everlasting Potion, and stuff like that. That they don't happen to take advantage of a dozen attacker items isn't the end of the world, I don't think. Besides, I've seen some silliness with Stille, PI, and the Bleeder. xD

If you have specific examples, rather than "These heroes can't really utilize the attacker items," that'd be great. Just because all heroes don't focus on fighting isn't the end of the world.
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AnemicRoyalty
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Re: Positive Growth

Post by AnemicRoyalty » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:01 pm

Ok uhh, I have a thought on the matter of over-emphasis on itemisation (but since I'm just the art d00d, don't flip out if it sounds retarded :P)

Remove the faction items entirely and in their place give each hero an unlockable sixth spell that costs faction to learn and upgrade.

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