I think we need more advanced elements and puzzles otherwise games we have will 
remain to easy 

On 25 Jan 2011, at 08:13, Thomas Ward wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> 
> Okay, here is the deal. Beta 17 is almost ready for public release and
> it may appear as early as Friday/Saturday barring any unforseen
> issues/problems. Which brings me to the point of this e-mail.
> Basically, if there is any last minute comments, suggestions, or input
> you would like to give before the release goes public. In particular a
> few issues I didn't quite get too in my last e-mail on Mysteries of
> the Ancients last week.
> 
> A few days ago I sent a post regarding new Mysteries of the Ancients
> levels. Most of you understood this as a question of keeping old
> levels or creating new ones. Unfortunately, I didn't make myself clear
> in that e-mail but I was looking more for suggestions and input on
> various aspects besides that question. So I'll address each of them
> hear directly.
> 
> Random Items/Monsters --- I know back in the early days of MOTA this
> was one of the number one requests for the game. Ever since I added it
> some time back it remains one of the top selling points of the game,
> but what you may not know or have considered is that like anything
> else it has pros and cons. As I sit hear thinking about the future of
> the project as a whole I can't help feel like the cons outway the
> advantages of a more triditional mainstream side-scroller without
> random monsters, items, etc.
> 
> For one thing I've been playing mainstream games all of my life, and
> the majority of games do not have randomly placed monsters and items.
> Instead monsters and items are usually placed in the same general
> location each and every game with the same general stats. There are a
> number of advantages of doing it this way.
> 
> For starts balancing game play. When you have a fully random game like
> we have now you don't really know what monster you will be facing, or
> B, what its stats will be when you do face it. While I don't doubt
> this adds replay value for some gamers I also know it makes it
> impossible to test and balance correctly because I never know from one
> moment to the next what to expect from the game.  Games that have
> fixed monsters and challenges don't generally have this problem.
> 
> For example, in the original Tomb Raider game there is a Greek temple
> Lara Croft has to explore in order to find one of the lost pieces of
> the scion. There is a chamber inside the Greek temple with two
> centaurs that were transformed into stone centuries ago. When Lara
> accidently lifts the spell on the centaurs they come to life, and she
> has to fight them to get the missing piece of the scion. Besides being
> a major element of the plot/story they just wouldn't fit anywhere else
> in the game as an enemy. In this case those enemies generally wouldn't
> be good to randomly place in the game.
> 
> When it comes to mysteries of the Ancients I often find myself in a
> similar situation. There are certain rooms or areas were one monster
> or enemy is better than another. Rooms were it might be practical not
> to randomize anything and just place items there by default.
> 
> For example, imagine swimming underwater. Putting treasures like gold
> coins and gems in the water is perfectly fine since the water couldn't
> damage them. If we were randomly placing items, as we do now,  it
> would put things like ammo, swords, scrolls, etc in the water were we
> wouldn' want those items randomly placed. by all rights the water
> should ruin a scroll rendering it unreadable and worthless so
> randomizing in this case is not cool.
> 
> Diddo for the monsters. it is perfectly fine for a skeleton or maybe a
> zombie to be swimming around in the water trying to kill you but it
> wouldn't work for a centaur, harpy, or several other enemy monsters I
> could name.
> 
> Plus a lot of games I know have a lot of one kind of enemy on one
> level, and a lot of a different kind on another level. For example,
> level 1 might have an army of skeletons because they are fairly easy
> to kill/fight and while there might be a lot of them around they still
> aren't a serious threat. Later levels might feature harpies, and
> another one centaurs, and another one zombies.
> 
> The reason I point this out is that mainstream games often use miner
> enemies in lower levels and progress to more difficult enemies as you
> progress.In Tomb Raider Prophecy, for example, it starts you out with
> fighting gray wolves and ax wielding skeletons. Later levels introduce
> you to more hostile/difficult enemies such as black fire breathing
> wolves, undead priests that cast fireballs, and even the skeletons
> will throw fireballs and stuff at you. Point being there has to be
> some sort of natural progression rather than just randomly mixing it
> all up the way we are doing.
> 
> Bottom line, it is hard to write a plot, balance game play, with too
> much random stuff going on. So I really need to know how many really
> think random items and monsters is worth it. Is it a deal braker for
> you personally, or shall we create a more triditional side-scroller my
> way.  Before anyone asks doing both is not an option. It is one way or
> the other here.
> 
> Scoring and Arcade Mode ---- Ever since I have converted MOTA to C++ a
> number of you have asked about a standard and arcade mode. While this
> is possible and fairly easy to add I'm wondering how many people
> actually are interested in this. It isn't that hard to add, but if
> there aren't many really interested in this feature I'm not going to
> take time away from other things to add this feature. So I'd like to
> know how high this ranks on your wish list.
> 
> Puzzles and Traps ----- There has been a lot of talk about this issue
> both on and off list. So I think we need to open this up and hash it
> out once and for all.
> 
> A few versions back I remember there were a number of complaints about
> no warning step sounds in front of fire pits, spike traps, and other
> things to let you know when and where to jump. Unfortunately, I have
> always maintained this is sort of like a classic case of x marks the
> spot, and in my opinion jumping fire pits, spike traps, chasms, etc is
> far too easy. Therefore what I think needs to be done is add some
> ability to jump higher and further depending on how long the keys are
> held down. Perhaps some jump system like Q9. The reason i say this is
> you have the mud indicating the edge of the pits, but i've often
> screwdd up and fell to my doom too. So that system is more than fair
> for jumping traps.
> 
> What worries me more is puzzles. I've seen cases where some people
> have complained that they couldn't unlock a certain door/statue
> because they couldn't find the proper lever to pullin the current MOTA
> releases. Strictly speaking that's pretty simple compared to some of
> the puzzles I could use to open certain doors.
> 
> For example, in a lot of the interactive fiction games I've played
> they use passwords, riddles, and other puzzles of that kind to open
> certain doors. In the Tomb Raider games puzzles range from using a
> specific lever/switch to unlock a door to more advanced puzzles like
> jumping on certain pressure switches,hidden in the floor, in a certain
> order, to unlock a hidden passage, etc. All pretty cool, but I fear
> might be too advanced for most Vi gamers. What do you think?
> 
> 
> Cheers!
> 
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