Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Discussions about possible changes and new features that might happen someday.

Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Postby Ferret » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:47 am

Since I already posted about it on Reddit, I might as well make a thread here too. :)

Short version is, I'm planning on adding Demon's version of Player Ghosts to the game with the next build. I have sketched out the basics of how it will work so far, but it's definitely not too late for input. :D

In brief, the short version is this:

1) Characters who die will generate ghost files, stored both locally and on the score server.
2) Ghosts will be largely based on, but not exact copies of, the character who died and their party. (Some adjustments will be made for balance reasons. Full extent of these is TBD, but at the moment, the only thing not being exactly copied is the summoner's resistance table.)
3) Certain conditions can bring these ghosts into games: the game will ping the server and request a relevant ghost. At the moment, those will be: searching summoner corpses (another new feature in the next build, relatively small chance), using Trouble Chimes (fairly high chance), or the Enemy Sense extra encounter (also a relatively small chance.)
To underline 3: At the moment, it is not planned to be able to run into Relic Wraiths completely at random, you will need to perform one of the behaviors specified in order to have a chance to encounter them.

Any feedback, questions, concerns are welcome, and thank you. :D
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Re: Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Postby Sandman25 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:35 pm

Please make them optional.
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Re: Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Postby Ferret » Sat Oct 15, 2016 3:45 pm

I remembered your request when I was designing this. :)

I had hoped that making them completely optional in terms of gameplay would be enough though. :( As it stands already, you will never run into them just wandering about a level at random: specific choices you make have a chance of bringing them out, but if you never do those things, they never show up.

Can you help me out here? How does the current design fail to meet what you want in terms of them being optional?
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Re: Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Postby Sandman25 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:31 pm

Well, it is not strictly optional as I would need to avoid using Trouble Chimes if I want to avoid ghosts. It is not Wind Card of course but still a very useful item for "kill x creatures" links
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Re: Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Postby Ferret » Sat Oct 15, 2016 4:50 pm

That's fair. :) Would it be alright then if I kept everything else as described, but instead of changing Trouble Chime, made a new Chime type that *only* summons ghosts?
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Re: Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Postby Sandman25 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:28 pm

That's a tricky question. I think you can give players a choice if they want to get some extra items/XP at the risk of fighting a ghost so it is impossible to make it completely optional as I still will lose those items/XP if I decide I don't want to fight ghosts. Do whatever you think is best, based on DCSS most players love ghosts so I am in minority of course.
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Re: Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Postby Ferret » Sat Oct 15, 2016 8:40 pm

It's true that if you avoid them, you don't get the XP/items, but you don't risk getting whomped by them either: your choice may not, over the long term, turn out to be so bad, given the risk in this particular risk/reward equation is probably pretty high. At least you get the choice though, I won't be flinging them about at random and with virtually no attempt to balance them like DCSS. :P

I'll confess that I am hoping, possibly completely in vain, is that I manage to get the implementation good enough that you're willing to try fighting them. :D I've had plenty of my own gripes with DCSS ghosts, it is not my intention to inflict the same thing on Demon players. That does not mean that during the early days after their introduction there might not be some mistakes of that sort, but the goal is to make them a good thing a game. If they are as busted as DCSS ghosts sometimes are, that will be a problem to be fixed, not the desired operation of the feature. :D

And frankly, if that proves impossible, I will yank them right back out again, though I don't expect that to be the case. The more likely "worst case" would be that ghosts simply start to resemble the source player less and less. :P I already have a reasonable...

::stops, looking around to make sure wiz isn't here to mention Adria::

I already have a semi-reasonable grasp of balancing Demon encounters, so I should be able to make a ruleset that results in non-broken ghosts, or at least I hope so. The first two steps in the probable right direction: not using their native resistances (no Soul Armor games) and probably only using an approximation of their stats, rather than letting them inherit the 4/140/4/4/4 stuff players often do directly (such a player, converted to a ghost, might turn out as 4/80/30/30/4 or something? Not sure what the exact conversion process would be yet, but you get the idea. :P )
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Re: Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Postby Gaswafers » Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:48 pm

If exact copies for player ghosts end up being imbalanced, doesn't that show imbalance in general? You already want enemy summoners to be as smart as possible, right? So player ghosts shouldn't be much different than them. Also, the tactics that players loathe to fight against the most(suicide charges from multiple enemies) are non-existent on players themselves. The only change ghosts should need is being unable to use uniques, whether it be the demon itself, the modifier, or soul armor.
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Re: Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Postby Ferret » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:05 pm

For the large part, you'd be correct, but there are a very... very... small number of things I don't allow enemy summoners to do that players can do, in part because they would be abusive in the hands of characters who aren't concerned with their continued survival. Example: Very, very lopsided stat builds. If a player chooses to go 4/100/4/4/4, that's his right: he's legitimately risking death because of Vit (and to a lesser extent), Str, and Agi neglect.

An AI with the same stat loadout is not in the same exact position: their actual combat performance is the same, but the risk is different: when you only have one life to live as a player, low Vit/Str/Agl is a serious risk that may have drastic consequences. For an AI? Well, you still might die of course... but you might also be able to blitz through with the high stat. The risk is rather meaningless because for an AI, nothing is on the line anyway in any real sense: a thousand AIs can die, but the player only gets the one.

So that explains the stat "mellowing" I will be doing on the ghosts for first pass. As for the custom resistances? That *is* in part to prevent Soul Armor, but also for flavor reasons. More on that will be revealed with their sprite art. :D

Otherwise though, for the first pass, I wasn't planning on any other restrictions (though there will be other adjustments, for example, recently dead demons will be revived and re-added to your party if necessary... we wouldn't want a ghost who fought to the bitter end in life to become a wimpy ghost. :D ) Banning uniques as you suggest may be a good idea too though: even if I restricted them to only spawning uniques your current game hasn't used yet, there would probably be too many cases of Enemy Sense ghosts spawning with a bunch of the cryptid uniques. :P
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Re: Relic Wraiths (Player Ghosts)

Postby mbj » Sat Oct 15, 2016 10:37 pm

Imagine a max vitality veil tank ghost with juggernaut+dash/swiftness running toward you and a party full of healers. My anus is already clenching at the thought :lol:

I think using trouble chimes to summon wraiths is fine, especially if the description warns you about what might happen. Trouble chimes are not necessary to capture a "kill x in y turns" demon, and capturing a "kill x in y turns" demon is not necessary to win the game. In fact, I've gotten into trouble 8-) trying to complete such links with trouble chimes before. The only non-optional part of the game is that you have to go through a portal to reach the next floor.

The other conditions are fine too, packaging wraiths with Enemy Search (if it gets split from Enemy Sense) would make that upgrade more attractive, and defiling corpses also sounds fun.

I'm not sure how I feel about relic wraiths using uniques. Might be cool, but it'd suck to have an ayayaya ghost that killed himself on the win portal with a party filled with modified uniques; not only because holy ferret hard mode, but also because that ghost would tie up all the uniques and your own character wouldn't be able to use them, assuming that the uniques are kept "unique".

As for imbalance, I think it's fine. Even with the current unique summoners in the game, a lot of builds that I play stand no chance against many summoners, especially late game summoners like Jayle and Breska. And sometimes, even early game summoners have to be cheesed with instant kills, burst damage, or max hp draining to eliminate their summons one at a time, which can be pretty tedious.

Also leave soul armor in, otherwise the wraith would have a wasted relic upgrade on him, which seems kinda dumb.
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