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Veins of evil: props/decoration

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Ben Chandler

Impassibly Cool
WFTO Backer
Jan 23, 2013
More and more discussion of veins has come up as we get closer to beta, and I thought it would be good to see the veins of evil affecting the look of your dungeon.
What this means is you know what you're up against. In many games you choose a class, specialisation etc and visually this is apparent. It means if you know you're fighting a pro dominantly sloth player, you can adapt your tactics accordingly.

Perhaps it's too much due to all the different themes etc; but this could work two ways:

1st, the game detects which vein you seem to be specialising in, and adds various props to your dungeon walls/tiles/rooms which reflect that vein. I.e. some skulls or broken weapons for wrath bla bla bla (really can't think of anything specific - read later)

OR each unlock you choose determines an added visual feature (maybe not for every unlock) so your dungeon has an appearance determined by your choice of what you unlock.

The pros and cons of each:
First one. Perhaps too simplistic. Although you can clearly see which vein the under lord has put most focus in, it may be that this majority only exists by one unlock. So although they may be mainly wrath, there could be a lot of investment in greed too, which should affect the tactics needed to defeat it. However as mentioned earlier, it's probably simpler and clearer.
The second one. This could theoretically show you almost exactly what the under lord has invested in, giving you much more detail. BUT not only may it be more complicated for devs, the player would need to observe what prop/decoration corresponds to what unlock in veins of evil.

What are people's thoughts on this?


Ember Demon
WFTO Backer
Jan 10, 2012
I don't like this - it forces an aesthetic on your dungeon based on your vein choice, which is not necessarily what I want. I prefer to just use themes to choose what I want my dungeon to look like.

Also, I just don't like there being such a blatantly obvious visual indicator of my chosen strategy for the enemy to see.
Likes: Castigator


WFTO Backer
Feb 2, 2013
Entering through a Hero Gate
I don't like this - it forces an aesthetic on your dungeon based on your vein choice, which is not necessarily what I want. I prefer to just use themes to choose what I want my dungeon to look like.
That, and, I don't really want my enemy to know exactly what strategy I'm about to employ, or how much magic, or whatever, because he threw down a scrying spell on a random chunk of my dungeon.

Kind of kills the mood.


WFTO Founder
Feb 17, 2013
Hmmm. This really isn't a bad idea, don't discard it just yet.

For starters: I'd prefer the 'small additions' you mentioned over things you choose and pick. The aesthetic features of the game should stay out of the way of the actual gameplay. I don't want to have to choose the colour of my wall banners while I'm in the middle of an intense game. Randomly added banners will do fine for me.

With that down, we come to the issues Enjou and Tenebris put up: forced aesthetics aren't fun + I don't want random parts of my dungeon to reveal my strategy.

In regards to the issue of forced aesthetics: Enjou is very much right in that it wouldn't be fun if you like your dungeon notoriously clean and simply speccing into the Greed vein pops up corpses all over the place, in a nutshell. This does not need be a problem, though. With the objects the OP mentioned (bones and broken weapons), we're talking an amount of aesthetic impact that's nearly neglegible and fits in with pretty much any dungeon theme. These objects obviously cannot become too prevalent, but whether you're playing with a steampunk theme or an Empire team shouldn't matter if we're talking small ground props. As long as they're comparable to the amount of randomization we see in the original DK games when it comes to wall/tile shapes and props (torch on this wall, no torch on the next one), aesthetics aren't a problem.

The other issue of revealing a keeper's strategy however, is more detailed. I guess one really easy way around it would be to only have these props show up in single-player or making an on/off switch for multiplayer. Past that point though, the question pops up whether these things 'displaying' a player's strategy is really a bad thing - which really rolls back down to the age old 'Is fog of war in RTS's good or bad?' question. I won't go into that one since it's impossible to answer and differs per game, though I will say that we don't have all the data about the veins yet. For all we know, it may be so that every player specs into all three trees for the first 15 minutes of any game and that past that scouting becomes relatively useless as everyone's tactic will be mostly obvious anyway.

I guess I'd like Simburgur's input on all of this, since we need more in-depth data to say anything worthwhile about the idea.

I'll leave you this additional suggestion though; what if there is only one set of props that simply increases in number and prevalence as you spent more vein points, regardless of what strategy/vein you're choosing? Again - the props need to not become TOO prevalent to prevent forced aesthetics, but they could be large enough to reflect the power of a certain keeper more accurately in his dungeon halls and walkways.

Ben Chandler

Impassibly Cool
WFTO Backer
Jan 23, 2013
I think it's fair that people wouldn't want their enemies to know their tactics immediately. But surely very quickly you'll be able to get an idea of your opponents tactics once they start attacking you, or not as the case may be. If you hAve to rely on sight of evil before you plan on which way you're going to go with the veins, then it's probably too late.

As moz said, we need more input from devs. Personally in single player at least I'd like the choices I make in the game to affect aesthetics much like in the fable games.

I guess I'm torn though between looks and not making it too easy for enemies to counteract you.
Jan 3, 2013
Perhaps there won't be a need for such thing.

We still don't know other Veins and thus how this system works completely. So far, every next room requires an investment of sin points. If I'm right, you won't have rooms other than lair granted to you by default, wich means if you can see what rooms your opponent has built ( be it by scout or a spell ) you can quickly guess which veins he currently has selected.

Probably all players will have to invest some points to every Vein, in order to obtain most essential rooms, like treasury or slaughter pen, and later expand into a Sloth - Foundry or Wrath and Greed with their signature rooms.
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