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Difficulty level in wfto

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nepene, Feb 20, 2013.

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How hard should the main campaign be?

  1. Easy and noob friendly

    1 vote(s)
    1.2%
  2. A decent challenge for the average player.

    19 vote(s)
    22.6%
  3. A challenge for veteran players.

    18 vote(s)
    21.4%
  4. I like pain.

    16 vote(s)
    19.0%
  5. Variable difficulty level and lethargic enemies.

    30 vote(s)
    35.7%
  1. Nepene
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    Nepene Blood Imp Backer

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    I was in another thread talking about timed levels. They sharply increase the difficulty of levels so I was wondering this.

    What do you think the difficult level should be like in the game?

    In general, most games are designed so that 80% of players can do challenges first time 80% of the time. They are reasonably easy. They often have tough enemies which require grinding to get past. What sort of difficulty level should the campaign of the game have? Should

    Should there be difficulty levels (easy, medium, hard, or minion, villain, underlord if you like fancy names) for the masochists and weaklings of the world?

    There would also be the option of a very variable level of difficulty but rather lethargic enemies, so you'd have time to grind until you were strong enough to beat whatever.
     
  2. Lord of Riva
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    Lord of Riva The Lord Founder

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    the best games are the ones which are easy to play but hard to master ;)
    And yes im for variable difficulties it should appeal to newbies and veterans alike
     
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  3. Castigator
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    Castigator Gargoyle Backer

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    I think many levels in both DK1 and DK2 would have been far more difficult if the keeper AI was more, well intelligent. Usually that AI enemy keeper would run out of gold and be a sitting duck for the rest of the game. Often they would ignore gold or even gems, build, get broke and subsequently get defeated, because you put them out of their misery. That felt like a mercy kill every time you did this. However, all the levels, where you faced allied keepers, or the second last one in DK1, where you had no training room, would have been horribly difficult, if the enemy played aggressively. So the easiest way to regulate difficulty in levels with enemy dungeons is to modify their Keepers AI. A possible selection would be: Passive (sitting duck), Easy (slow and defensive),
    Medium (defensive), Hard (aggressive, but not mindlessly so). You could alternate their difficulty during a level for additional challenge. For instance: At the beginning of the match, the enemy keeper is set to passive, but as soon as you claim your portal he is set to medium difficulty to catch up. After 30 minutes the AI switches to Hard and starts assaulting your dungeon.
    That would increase the immersion of campaign missions. Multiplayer games against AI could use different AIs to make the game different from the last one. There could even be a turtle/steamroll AI for those, who like to practise against human opponents.;)
     
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  4. squee
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    squee Priestess Founder

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    would it make a lvl more difficult to have the enemy mirror your moves? what i suggest is to have a symetrical level and you both start in the exact opposite spots, you dig out 3x3 rooms, they dig out 3x3 rooms in the same spot based on their starting position you dig out gold they dig out gold you drop creatures in the training room they drop creatures in the training room and the only thing that the ai doesnt do is mimic your own creatures decisions, as if they choose to go to the library instead of you dropping them their the enemy keeper wouldnt drop them their and see what happens
     
  5. Cultist Joris
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    Cultist Joris Ember Demon Founder

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    Oh dear, it was sometimes so bad that I didn't even had to do something...he just drove his own creatures back into the portal with his lack of gold and his lonely imps got killed by some scout or misplaced trap of mine, leaving him with nothing but empty rooms and a heart waiting for his doom... :rolleyes:

    EDIT: PAIN!
     
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  6. Sacred
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    Sacred Templar Founder

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    This happened all too often in DK1 some levels they were really good expanded and made sure they were tough.
    Others did next to nothing walked themselves in then just sat there waiting to die!
     
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  7. Nepene
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    Nepene Blood Imp Backer

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    Once you realized they were doing this it would be easy for you to take advantage- you could dig out a backdoor to their dungeon and fill that treasury with all your gold, then attack it and steal all their gold. Their AI would have trouble adapting to such moves.

    Really, enemy AIs need some gemblocks, high level units, and an AI program to make them attack in force to make them competitive. A prebuilt dungeon would help too.
     
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  8. squee
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    squee Priestess Founder

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    the problem with this strategy is they would dig out a backdoor to your own dungeon at the same time, they would mirror ALL of your actions
     
  9. Enjou
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    Enjou Ember Demon Backer

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    I'm thinking that in regards to the campaign that difficulty levels would be hard to implement in a game like this. For many levels the AI has to be shackled to a degree since there has to be special behavior, otherwise it would run rampant through the level and ruin the play experience. Skirmish mode doesn't suffer from that since you can just adjust the competency of the AI.

    I'm for making it a moderately difficult campaign - not so difficult that an average player can't win, but difficult enough that it isn't easy for a veteran.

    For variable difficulty I'm thinking campaign mods could be made for that.
     
  10. squee
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    squee Priestess Founder

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    i dont think it would be too difficult to adjust the lvl of the ai's minions
     
  11. Nepene
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    Nepene Blood Imp Backer

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    I meant you could dig a backdoor in your own dungeon edit which they would then build. You have overwhelming speed and force and can take advantage of any openings much more easily than the enemy. AI issues are mostly with troop movement and fighting.

    So essentially, you could engineer a situation where the enemy's entire economy was laid bare to you (and your economy was laid bare to them) but it was much easier for your superior human skills to attack them.
     
  12. squee
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    squee Priestess Founder

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    eh maybe they could throw it out there for a skirmish lvl or something
     
  13. Castigator
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    Castigator Gargoyle Backer

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    Skirmish levels are a pretty good idea. I used the 1player command in DK1 a lot, to get a good skirmish running. Sadly, even in the multiplayer levels the AI won't usually dig gold. It gets even wierder, when some AIs in certain levels dig up gold and on others they return to their previous sitting duck behavior. I tried feeding those AIs gold from their own veins and they expanded their dungeon with that, but even when they completed their dungeon, they wouldn't mine for themselves. Can anyone familiar with the inner workings of DK1 explain that behavior?
    This basic flaw of enemy AI made Dungeon Keeper much easier, than it could have been. DK2s AI sometimes had similar quirks, but due to the create gold spell they were far less apparent. What do you think, do you want an AI system, that is adjustable?
    Also, the mirror AI would have to be located on a map, that is perfectly symmetrical, or it wouldn't work.
     
  14. squee
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    squee Priestess Founder

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    i know, i mentioned that in my original post
     
  15. Nepene
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    Nepene Blood Imp Backer

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    I'd be totally fine playing that, or having it in one campaign mission. It would make for an interesting surprise.
     
  16. Melvin Li
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    Melvin Li Dwarven Worker Backer

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    I think it will be great if the difficulty of the game is based on the AI of the component.
    But obviously that will create a lot of work as the dev team will have to come up with different versions of AI
    So I am also fine if they just set difficulty level based on the % of damage AI and players take. (As long as the AI is already good enough)
     
  17. Slichizard
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    Slichizard Bard

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    Since it is a campaign we shouldn't expect both AI overlords and human overlords in the same situation and position on the levels. There will be levels where AI is in very optimal position while heroes come to us to drink beer every hour.

    Campaign difficulty should be progressive ( assuming there will be many levels ), otherwise it should start with first 2 levels of ''pseudo-tutorial'' difficulty, with next being normal, hard and very hard in the end.
     
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  18. HermanK
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    HermanK Priestess Backer

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    please implement variable difficulty. it gives the game re-playability. in the campaign it can't be too difficult to just add a few more heroes or increase their level etc. In terms of AI of other keepers, well i'm no expert there but is it not possible to alter the AI skill by simply adjusting the speed of decision making and time to action? The idea of adjusting damage % is pretty simple, however, i can see myself getting very irritated if the AI level 10 horned reaper always owns mine.
     
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  19. Castigator
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    Castigator Gargoyle Backer

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    The AI skill won't really increase, if it just acts faster. In DK1, the AI was able to build rooms in one second or slap all its Imps in the same time. That didn't make the AI overly difficult, though. The problem here would be, that the AIs amazing speed would be hampered by its creatures. Research would need to be conducted, creatures need to train and imps have to dig gold, so all in all, the AI would end up being a little faster, than you are.
    In this case, the simple way out, eg. increasing enemy stats, is generally frowned upon. It makes defeating the AI more difficult, sure, but it takes all the immersion out of the game and leaves you with the knowlege, that you have been cheated.
    I think, that it should be possible, to dynamically alter the AIs difficulty by using level scripting.
    That would suffice for the campaign. For skirmishes, there can be a drag/drop menu for certain AI types of different challenge.
     
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  20. RMJ
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    RMJ Priestess

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    Yeah its hard to say yet, because as people already said, The AI in Dungeon keeper was well, to put it nice, braindead. The AI back then just wasnt very good.

    If you suddenly played Dungeon Keeper against an AI from say today, i met that would be pretty challenging, imagine AI digging and sneaking around the fog outside your dungeon to suddenly burst into a room near your dungeon heart! stuff like that.
     
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