Author Topic: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion  (Read 53512 times)

bigosaur

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 407
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Bigosaur
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #615 on: March 15, 2019, 06:25:06 PM »
I am using exercises :) It's just going to take time. I'm feeling quite optimistic about it, I think I'll be fully recovered in another month or so. Nerve damage just takes a particularly long time to heal.

Glad to see you've got it under control.

Quote
Query - is it possible to lose in RPG mode?

Not really. If you die, you just restart the last level. The spawned minions in boss room also reset so stuff like snowballs and thorns are removed. And your skills increase with every room you clear, so even if you do low damage, you can simply grind it out and retry until you get powerful enough. For this reason I also removed thirst from the desert in RPG mode, so you cannot run out of potions.

Still I noticed that repeating the levels can be boring, so I also added an automatic skill increase every time you die.

Jubal

  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 27546
  • Karma: 118
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #616 on: March 17, 2019, 04:19:24 PM »
OK, had some playthroughs - unlocked both the new characters, played most of a game as the alchemist but got caught out on the Yeti Elder fight (I didn't have so much HP as I'd used the bare bones amulet, and I'm definitely not as quick as usual at the moment!) I like both, they have their own neat playstyles, and their unlock quests are reasonable. My main quibble is that I find it weird that the golem for the alchemist just walks through rocks - I think it should have the same pathfinding as everything else, it's not like it's a flying creature or anything.

The new challenge room in the ice area is good - I'd do a recoloured chest or something just to tip players off not to expect a normal blue-chest set of contents. I'd also leave the alchemist room appearing even after you have the alchemist - it's a fun enough challenge that I think it'd be worth having as a regular feature with some kind of reward available.

Also, you know the lower catacombs room where there's two statues blocking the entrance to a gated area with a gold chest in it? I did a sweep attack with a sword, somehow got into it from the outside, and then had no way out again. I don't honestly know how, but consider this a bug report that that's possible.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

bigosaur

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 407
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Bigosaur
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #617 on: March 17, 2019, 07:37:12 PM »
My main quibble is that I find it weird that the golem for the alchemist just walks through rocks - I think it should have the same pathfinding as everything else, it's not like it's a flying creature or anything.

It used to work that way in the beginning and it became mostly useless in many screens. It isn't much of a problem for enemies to get stuck behind obstacles because they can wait you out until you go around to fight them. Summoned guards are also alright because they can use ranged attacks. But the Golem was painfully useless and I just had to do something. I tried to improve pathfinding, but didn't really want to write a whole new AI engine for him. It just didn't work.

As for the reasoning, I added this to the Alchemist quest dialogue. The golem is made out of semi-liquid stone, so it can change shape and melt through obstacles at will (much like the T1000 robot in Terminator 3 movie).

Quote
The new challenge room in the ice area is good - I'd do a recoloured chest or something just to tip players off not to expect a normal blue-chest set of contents.

I thought that might give it away and I wanted the bugs to surprise the player (at least the first time).  ;D

Quote
I'd also leave the alchemist room appearing even after you have the alchemist - it's a fun enough challenge that I think it'd be worth having as a regular feature with some kind of reward available.

Good idea. I'll try to think of some other NPC appearing as it would be strange that you meet another Alchemist if you're playing with the Alchemist character.

Quote
Also, you know the lower catacombs room where there's two statues blocking the entrance to a gated area with a gold chest in it? I did a sweep attack with a sword, somehow got into it from the outside, and then had no way out again. I don't honestly know how, but consider this a bug report that that's possible.

There's special logic that allows you to go through stuff when you use dash attack. This is what allows you to dash through big boss enemies like Ogre Mama, Executioner, etc. And there's also some logic that allows you to move away when you get stuck "in" another creature, but it only checks for living creatures. I'll look into it, maybe to still allow checking for petrified enemies as well.

Jubal

  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 27546
  • Karma: 118
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #618 on: March 17, 2019, 08:15:02 PM »
Mmkay - it does look odd, but fair enough. I clearly didn't read the dialogue that well!

Endless Arena I think feels too random? I've got to wave 35 at the highest, but it's too easy for things to happen that I have literally no way of preparing for - given it can choose to suddenly spawn, say, a boss plus over ten ice wizards in a game where I've had literally no ability to gain ice immunity, that's a bit of a problem to put it mildly, any character can just get shot to death with no way of stopping it which is frustrating (with that many, even if you have an elven shield it'll vanish in seconds). It sort of matters less if that an impossible enemy appears in the very early rounds (which it does, often - I've had e.g. multiple castle wizards showing up alongside skeletons or even jackal gorillas and hyper-speeding them at me before wave 10 even happened), but once you've invested the time to get more than 20 waves in then it's just annoying when the game throws something at you that you literally don't get given a way of dealing with. I feel like at the moment if I got to wave 100 for the challenge win, I'd just feel like I'd got lucky rather than feeling like I'd accomplished something, which isn't ideal. I also found that I bought most of the useful stuff from the shops pretty fast, so money stopped being interesting after about wave 20 and I was just sitting there hoping that each next cursed key wasn't going to kill me.

I dunno what the right tweak is, but some ideas:
> You could make the shops restock with new random goods once you've bought all the things in them. This would create some interesting incentives and provide another way for the player to get new random good stuff.
> I'm not sure if making all the keys cursed is really necessary. You're already trusting to fate a huge amount given that 50% of the chests will be near or totally useless. Also skeleton mages are quite common so it's not like having regular keys would leave the player without the threat of random spell effects.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

bigosaur

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 407
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Bigosaur
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #619 on: March 18, 2019, 08:56:29 AM »
Endless Arena I think feels too random?

That was actually what I was aiming for. A randomized gauntlet, almost impossible to beat. It's meant to be the final challenge, where you need all your skills and some luck on top. I made it for players who beat everything, but still need some excuse to play the game ;) I never designed it as something fair or always beatable. There are other game modes for that.

As for the Ice Mages problem, try playing it with the Paladin. Divine shield protects you from projectiles, so your main concern is just building rage quick enough. I beat this run earlier when the game was even harder (no random potions at all and less drops from chests):


Quote
I'd just feel like I'd got lucky rather than feeling like I'd accomplished something, which isn't ideal.

Luck plays a big role until wave 50 or so. After that, you have unlocked enough chests to get a good assortment of usable stuff to combine and survive. And you probably have all 6 silver coins, so you can escape mid-battle to heal up and prepare before going back in (for example, shooting arrows to rebuild rage). You also got access to Crocodile or Racoon who make a huge difference. I usually get to around wave 60-70 with other non-Paladin characters, but I always die by not using some of the items/weapons/pets game offered or simply by making some dumb mistake.

Quote
I also found that I bought most of the useful stuff from the shops pretty fast, so money stopped being interesting after about wave 20

You can still use it to get silver coins.

Quote
I was just sitting there hoping that each next cursed key wasn't going to kill me.

I never use the keys right away. If I feel like I'm doing enough damage, I do 2-3 rounds in succession. Especially if I'm out of Dragonfire potions. The only time when I deviate from this rule is when I'm playing with Pyro and run out of mana, so I have to risk unlocking something to get a mana potion for my fireballs.

Quote
You could make the shops restock with new random goods once you've bought all the things in them. This would create some interesting incentives and provide another way for the player to get new random good stuff.

I'm trying hard to avoid that because it creates problems with network code. As for spending extra money, I'm thinking more in the direction of having something in the game where you can spend it any time. Maybe something like a Divine Altar where you can remove all negative effects for 5000 gold?

Quote
I'm not sure if making all the keys cursed is really necessary. You're already trusting to fate a huge amount given that 50% of the chests will be near or totally useless. Also skeleton mages are quite common so it's not like having regular keys would leave the player without the threat of random spell effects.

No. This mode should be hardddd.  :) Since I have discovered that it is beatable, I'm not making it any easier ;)

P.S. I don't recommend playing a lot of arena for you because it's very intense. Your hands won't like it. Later in the game, the waves have more enemies. It can go up to 40. It takes about 100 minutes to get to wave 100 and even my hands got tired by that point. Esp. if you play a melee character.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2019, 09:01:55 AM by bigosaur »

bigosaur

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 407
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Bigosaur
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #620 on: March 18, 2019, 08:58:45 AM »
Quote
Also, you know the lower catacombs room where there's two statues blocking the entrance to a gated area with a gold chest in it? I did a sweep attack with a sword, somehow got into it from the outside, and then had no way out again. I don't honestly know how, but consider this a bug report that that's possible.

There's special logic that allows you to go through stuff when you use dash attack. This is what allows you to dash through big boss enemies like Ogre Mama, Executioner, etc. And there's also some logic that allows you to move away when you get stuck "in" another creature, but it only checks for living creatures. I'll look into it, maybe to still allow checking for petrified enemies as well.

I have fixed this now. Will upload a new version later today.

Jubal

  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 27546
  • Karma: 118
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #621 on: March 18, 2019, 12:04:04 PM »
OK, fair enough. I guess I just don't find those really long battles terribly exciting and there's less tactical diversity than in the regular game (no places to take cover, often needing to do several really long fights before I get to do any thinking about what I'm doing, and a lot of the fights the tactic is just one obvious tactic and you just have to grind it out for ages). I'll probably finish it at some point, it just feels more of an endurance fighting slog with quite a lot of luck than a particularly fun new challenge. That's probably just me though - I'm much more focused on the roguelike and tactical elements of SoaW generally, and spending several minutes running around grinding down a pack of ten jackal-gorillas that I'm just fast enough to keep away from but basically don't offer any sort of tactical variation is just a bit shrug. I can imagine players who are more interested in grinding into combat all the time might prefer this mode though.  :)
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

bigosaur

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 407
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Bigosaur
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #622 on: March 18, 2019, 01:39:43 PM »
feels more of an endurance fighting slog with quite a lot of luck than a particularly fun new challenge

That is true. This is the reason why I avoided adding the arena mode so long. I played it in other games, and it's really hard to make it interesting without player simply becoming OP at one point. Definitely not something that more strategy-oriented players would be interested in a lot.

Jubal

  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 27546
  • Karma: 118
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #623 on: March 18, 2019, 02:02:16 PM »
Yeah. I think I might go back to the main game, honestly - I've had another couple of tries, and I can sort of see how I could win this mode if I played it enough but I can't really bring myself to find it fun. The bigger battles get to a point where I just can't process the information on the screen or even sometimes see where my character is, which I don't really find enjoyable (I suspect I don't do split second decision-making etc so well as you do).
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

bigosaur

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 407
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Bigosaur
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #624 on: March 18, 2019, 07:45:38 PM »
The bigger battles get to a point where I just can't process the information on the screen or even sometimes see where my character is

I had such moments during that Paladin run. I was actually only listening to the sound effect of shield dropping and watching the rage bar at the top of the screen. Because I had no idea where my character was ;)

Quote
which I don't really find enjoyable (I suspect I don't do split second decision-making etc so well as you do).

It definitely is the most twitchy mode of the game. If you still play at the same tempo like you did the last time I watched you, I imagine it's super hard for you. This is the only game mode where smarts are not enough to compensate.

Additionally, for some of the enemies the usual tactics don't work well, esp. those who show late in the regular game when you're already very powerful. I had to find new evasion patterns for Bats and Gorillas for example. And you have to learn which enemy combinations are deadly to neutralize those before it's too late. For example, I just got killed at wave 70 by a room full with Sky Wizards and the Elephant boss. None of those is specially hard on their own, but when the Elephant knocks you down, you cannot move for a while and then all those ice meteors fall right at you doing massive damage (when you fall down you are immune to all attacks except meteors). I actually had a lot of ice and poison arrows, so I could have prevented it by freezing the boss to death, but I never recognized the threat until if was too late.

BTW, it's also worth restarting with a seed if you find a good assortment of items in the shop. For example, Mammoth Amulet and General's Sword are a good combination to have, esp. to prevent early death by ice mages.

Jubal

  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 27546
  • Karma: 118
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #625 on: March 18, 2019, 09:52:13 PM »
Soooo... I decided to give it one last try and it turns out that getting the rogue ring early kinda breaks this mode. I could quickly work my way around all the rooms and grab the most important items at an early stage. This game having replicator scrolls also made a huge difference - I did up to about level 70 with a heavily upgraded life staff and the parrot (which mostly just covered for the fact I'd messed up and drunk a barbarian's friend potion and a magic down + orbs up potion). Then I got a bit bored so I had a potion making session and used a bunch of the elixir potion with a stack of other (otherwise useless) potions to boost my melee. Then I made a buffed up cutlass and started building my melee further on actual enemies. By wave 200, my basic quick hit with the cutlass was 950 (which was usually doubled as I had critic's shield).





Spoiler (click to show/hide)

I decided that I'd done enough once I got to 200. There's nothing the arena can really throw at a character this powerful, and because my HP regen is based on vampire blood and I have the lizard pet, I can't even run out of supplies.

Oh, and one major thing I noticed - there really ought to be something to tell you that you have bomb immunity. It currently doesn't have a status line symbol but also as far as I can see it doesn't appear in the sidebar list when you press ESC either. When doing several runs of this it's easy to get confused, I had to find some helpful bomb goblins and let them throw explosives at me in order to check!
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

bigosaur

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 407
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Bigosaur
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #626 on: March 19, 2019, 08:36:24 AM »
By wave 200

 :o  :o  :o


Quote
I decided that I'd done enough once I got to 200. There's nothing the arena can really throw at a character this powerful, and because my HP regen is based on vampire blood and I have the lizard pet, I can't even run out of supplies.

Do you think I should add some more challenging stuff after wave 100? I thought about doing it (maybe have only boss enemies spawn after that point), but it already takes about 100 minutes to get there, and since you cannot save the game and continue later it feels like getting players to play for hours doesn't make sense anyway.

Quote
Oh, and one major thing I noticed - there really ought to be something to tell you that you have bomb immunity.

I will add it.

Jubal

  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 27546
  • Karma: 118
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #627 on: March 19, 2019, 10:29:07 AM »
I agree there's no point lengthening it.If anything it'd be nice to have a "finish and return to menu" portal appear somewhere at that point to tell you you've basically completed the content. You could make it spawn two bosses for every boss fight or something though I guess.

Would there be any way to spawn a few obstacles that only exist for some five-wave sections? I think it'd make the arena more tactically interesting, and things like the ghost orb, astral projection potion, and teleport staff could become much more useful then. Ghost orb feels pretty pointless in the arena atm.

Another thought, either replacing a current room, or opening as a special reward after wave 50, give players the favoured enemy room from the castle as a bonus. I think that wouldn't be too game breaking but would let the player feel they had more choices.
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...

bigosaur

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 407
  • Karma: 0
    • View Profile
    • Bigosaur
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #628 on: March 19, 2019, 11:04:47 AM »
Would there be any way to spawn a few obstacles that only exist for some five-wave sections?

AI algorithms for many of the bosses rely on empty rooms. If I added obstacles, those would break and start behaving very strange. So, if I were to add any obstacles, I would have to program a new AI for most of the bosses. But even if I wanted it would be hard to make sense. For example, when the Golem rolls across the screen it would be really weird if he had to go around and up and down while rolling.

Quote
I think it'd make the arena more tactically interesting, and things like the ghost orb, astral projection potion, and teleport staff could become much more useful then. Ghost orb feels pretty pointless in the arena atm.

I will remove those from rotation in Arena mode.

Quote
Another thought, either replacing a current room, or opening as a special reward after wave 50, give players the favoured enemy room from the castle as a bonus. I think that wouldn't be too game breaking but would let the player feel they had more choices.

That thing uses the castle graphics set. I would have to redraw it for the dungeon style, but it could be nice. I was also thinking about adding all 4 altars in top,left,bottom,right room.

Jubal

  • Megadux
    Executive Officer
  • Posts: 27546
  • Karma: 118
  • Awards Awarded for oustanding services to Exilian!
    • View Profile
    • Awards
Re: Son of a Witch: Devlog and general discussion
« Reply #629 on: March 19, 2019, 11:33:00 AM »
Ah, good point regarding the bosses, I'd not thought of that. And yeah, if you're not going to have a use for those then removing from rotation seems sensible.

And yeah, it'd take some redrawing, I think it's a particularly good room to have for this mode though as it gives players some active choice-making to do which goes beyond a binary open the box/don't open the box. Having some altars might be good as well, but bear in mind that if the player gets any of the books that will make a huge difference to their ability to win.

EDIT: Now completed regular game with both the new characters. Alchemist I think is balanced, I had a bad set of potions & no mana canteen so it wasn't a terribly easy run. Controlling the golem can sometimes be more trouble than it's worth on the last three levels - often by that point in the game I'm strong enough that I either want to fight at range and not run in & tag enemies with a sword, or if I am swordfighting I'd like to be powerful enough that when I close with something it goes down. Also often I'd tag an enemy, dodge out the way, but the enemy would go for me and the golem would just wade through the other enemies taking damage. OTOH the golem is super powerful against all the human-size bosses, including the dragon master, so I think it balances.

The Paladin meanwhile I think is OP compared to the other characters. At present she has the same start melee skill as the knight, a different balance, but also the paladin invulnerability aura and double damage to undead which collectively are miles better than the knight's starting 25 shield points. I think her starting melee skill should be dropped to 80 to compensate, and would make her more clearly the defensive "tank" character.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 08:38:11 PM by Jubal »
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...