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Author Topic: Dicey Dungeons  (Read 1472 times)

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Titandrake

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Dicey Dungeons
« on: June 14, 2018, 02:19:40 am »
+4

https://www.terrycavanaghgames.com/dice/

One of the latest games Terry Cavanagh is working on. He's most well known for VVVVVV and Super Hexagon. It's a dice-based roguelike, and it's free to play in the browser. New builds have been coming out every 2 weeks. Interface is pure drag-and-drop, there's no save file and you'll lose progress on a refresh.

It's somewhat unpolished, but it was still strangely fun. I beat Warrior and Inventor on my first try. Thief took me a few tries, I beat it when I got the Thieves Guild and learned Backstab which helped my damage output a lot. I still haven't beaten Witch, I feel like I'm always too low on health, and die on floor 4 to a high damage enemy or a Banshee that keeps silencing me.

Edit: just beat Witch, essentially by lucking into a floor 4 where I only had to beat one enemy to pass, and where I set up a good spellbook before I got silenced every turn.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2018, 03:03:51 am by Titandrake »
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sitnaltax

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Re: Dicey Dungeons
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2018, 10:15:09 pm »
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Thanks! There's a lot of potential here and messing around is fun. I'll definitely keep watching and play when it's reasonably baked.
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pacovf

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Re: Dicey Dungeons
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2018, 12:47:08 am »
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Tried the warrior, was fun, has some good ideas.

...although now I have "Womanizer" stuck in my head.
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blueblimp

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Re: Dicey Dungeons
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2018, 04:19:36 am »
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I've played v0.7. It's definitely fun and worth a try. One thing it does nicely is to keep play moving along. It doesn't drag much.

The Yahtzee-style dice manipulation in particular is quite fun, but after I got used to that, I feel like the rest of the game isn't as interesting. In combat, it feels like you're usually trying to do the same thing every turn. Slay the Spire solves that with systems like showing enemy intents and combat with multiple enemies. I think that enemy intents might work even better in DD than they do in StS, because in DD you almost always have access to all your abilities every turn. (I haven't played much StS, though, mostly because of pacing.) Here's an article about the StS intents: https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2018/02/19/why-revealing-all-is-the-secret-of-slay-the-spires-success/.
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singletee

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Re: Dicey Dungeons
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 02:31:07 am »
0

I've discovered a tactic to maximize the use of your limit break. If you are in a battle that will cause you to level afterwards, and you are about to kill the enemy, wait and let it hit you until your limit meter is full (or until you risk dying), since you will heal fully anyway.

Titandrake

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Re: Dicey Dungeons
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2018, 11:51:56 am »
+1

An update:

* Game is officially announced. (Chipzel is on for music! They made the music for Super Hexagon, which was pretty good.)
* There was 1 more free build update that rebalanced a bunch of stuff. Curse is now "50% chance you fail to use an item" instead of "all your dice become 1", Witch got buffed a lot (extra dice + you start the fight with 1 spell learned), and other changes.
* All future builds are behind a paywall at itch.io, if you pay once you get access to all future alphas and the full game when it's finished.

I haven't bought in yet, but I might, since the full game is going to cost more than the itch.io price.
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Re: Dicey Dungeons
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2018, 05:25:50 pm »
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As thief, a highly amusing (and viable!) strategy is to use the stolen transform ability to play as a bear. You remain a bear for the rest of the game.
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Titandrake

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Re: Dicey Dungeons
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2019, 12:44:59 am »
+2

Hey, remember this?

Well, the game has officially released. Check it out.
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blueblimp

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Re: Dicey Dungeons
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2019, 01:15:16 am »
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I've given this a try to see whether it resolved my problems with the alpha. It doesn't, though it is much improved in other ways. Caveat: all I've done so far is beat Ep1 with the first three classes, so maybe things get better later on.

My key complaint is lack of variety. Enemies feel about the same, and turns feel about the same. For context, my favorite entry in the board-game-ish roguelike genre is Hearthstone's roguelike PvE content (much of which is free--not F2P, actually free). There, the turns vary a lot: your hand changes, the board changes, you're gaining mana, etc. The bosses tend to encourage somewhat different approaches, too.

In Dicey Dungeons, there's very little difference turn to turn. Typically, you're just trying to maximize the effect of your equipment, whether that's damage, poison, block, etc., and the way you do it is the same each turn. The enemies usually just do over-complicated stuff that results in you taking damage. There are some attempts to break this tedium, like how shocked equipment forces you to decide whether to unlock it, but to me it just doesn't feel different enough.

I also feel that the turns are too brain-burning, which is weird because I like think-y games. But here, you're calculating as much as you would to pull off a cool combo turn in Hearthstone (or Dominion, for that matter), except instead off pulling off a cool combo, you're just doing a normal amount of damage. And you gotta do this every turn. It just feels like way too much calculation for what you're getting from it.

There are some other minor things that bug me:
  • There are too many situations where dragging out a fight for farming purposes is optimal (like the situation singletee mentions). This is tedious, plus it doesn't make sense from a game universe perspective: why can't I use Bandage to recover health outside a fight? It's OK to have farming in corner cases, but it feels too common in this game.
  • So far, gold feels a bit pointless. I haven't yet failed to have money for something I wanted to buy.
  • It bugs me that you can't inspect what resistances an enemy has from the map. e.g. It sucks to enter a fight with a poison build and find out that the enemy is poison-resistant. Obviously you're eventually going to remember who is poison-resistant, so there would be no loss of strategy to tell you in-game.
  • This is probably a bug, but my equipment doesn't consistently stay in the slots where I put it.
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Titandrake

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Re: Dicey Dungeons
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2019, 04:27:02 am »
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I didn't think I would play Dicey Dungeons very much, but I have about 8 hours so far and expect to play a bit more. I have Episode 1 beaten with the first 5 classes and am trying to finish all episode with the Warrior (have Episodes 1 to 5 finished).

Problems I have with the game.
  • It's really hard to get a very different build. You don't have a lot of slots, and the guaranteed level-up equipment is often good enough by itself to form an okay build. Each run is short enough that you don't see very many different builds.
  • So far, it's felt like the final boss always has a chance at beating you if you get unlucky, no matter how good your build is. Maybe this will change when I get a better handle on how to play around the different bosses, but it's annoying when this happens, because it doesn't feel like it's my fault.

Despite this, I've been having fun. I haven't been calculating probabilities or anything, I've mostly been playing by feel. As for farming, I've basically decided not to do this.

I do agree that the game could really use more depth. But it's got a lot of breadth if you start playing the different episodes. After beating episode 1, you unlock challenge episodes where the rules change, but it doesn't just change the rules, it also changes the hardcoded items you get on level-ups and in chests. For example, episode 3 of the Warrior changes your starting weapon to Venus Fly Trap (do same damage as dice number, +2 health if you place a 6), but when you level up, your max health drops by 2. This is a big nerf, because by the time you hit the final boss you only have 16 or 18 max HP. To counter this, it feels like you're more likely to get shields, your level-up choices are changed to give you options to survive more easily, it's easier to get equipment like Midnight Charm to turn non-6s into 6s, and the weapon pool includes more weapons where attacking with a 6 gives you a bonus.

So, each class gets boring to replay the same episode for, but many episodes act as different variants of that class. I expect that if I finished all the episodes, I would stop playing the game, but that'll take a while to get to.
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Titandrake

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Re: Dicey Dungeons
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2019, 04:20:38 am »
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After unlocking and beating my first bonus round (Episode 6), I'm thinking that episode is the one intended to have the most replayability. Your level-ups are still consistent, but at the start of the game you choose your starting items out of 2 options, and at the start of every level you get a random rule that makes the game harder. For the random rule, you can choose to either accept the given rule, or reroll a new one. It makes the game harder in a more random way than just giving all the enemies more health, which I appreciate.
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