Analysis of Grimrock

Talk about anything Legend of Grimrock 1 related here.
siggboy
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Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by siggboy » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:19 pm

athanatic_cube wrote:Suggestions ...
Let's hope that Almost Human will take your suggestions to the heart for a later version of the game or the next incarnation. You are spot on with your analysis and your conclusions. It's a bit worrying that no developer has commented on this thread yet (they might have in a different thread on the same topic).

The Protection vs. Evasion imbalance is really a shame, because it's the only real flaw in an otherwise balanced game (it doesn't reach the perfection of DM/CSB in this regard, but it's OK). It needs to be fixed.

Edit: Let me add an important point that I forgot earlier. Namely that avoiding attacks by evading them also means that they cannot poison you. So, to add insult to injury, not only does my Prot Warrior takes more damage than my Evasion Rogue, he also needs curing all the time -- in a game with a limited supply of antidote -- or he's always the last one to fully heal, due to the poison wearing off first.

Nah, Prot really doesn't cut it in this game.
[*]Relax the timings a little bit in the player coordination/reflex tests to acquire the Sword of Nex and to open the iron door on level 7. Although there is a certain amount of exhilaration from successfully completing these tests, it quickly wears off and is replaced by the feeling of being Almost Human’s well-trained monkey. Those two tests alone have destroyed my desire to replay the game; passing them once was enough for me.
I have to disagree here. You are exaggerating. I pretty much suck at action games (well, maybe I'm average, but certainly not a reflex monster), but I found those tests more than playable and solvable in a reasonable amount of time (retries). Quicksaving and -loading is now very easy with a dedicated hotkey, and none of these tests take really long, so it's possible to get a lot of retries within five minutes time.

You should play Chaos Strikes Back ("Supplies for the Quick", anyone?) and see some really hard tests (BTW that was a game where you had no idea on which level of the dungeon you started, and there where plenty of trap doors multiple levels deep; plus it was much slower to reload the game). Grimrock is easy.
SpoilerShow
You are right that the puzzle where you have to throw a fireball at a wall ornament in order to reach substantial content is not good. If you waste the Fire Sword on the attack before getting around to solving this puzzle you are pretty much screwed if you have no Fire Mage in your party. Or do other means of triggering the trap door, such as a fiery arrow/fire bomb, work here (still, even these are in limited supply without a fire mage)?

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flatline
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Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by flatline » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:58 pm

Just realised that this guide seems to think dexterity is useful for ranged characters, which it isn't. Ranged/throwing minotaurs with max STR and VIT, headhunter/skilled outclasses most second rank builds.

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Merethif
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Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by Merethif » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:01 pm

siggboy wrote:
SpoilerShow
You are right that the puzzle where you have to throw a fireball at a wall ornament in order to reach substantial content is not good. If you waste the Fire Sword on the attack before getting around to solving this puzzle you are pretty much screwed if you have no Fire Mage in your party. Or do other means of triggering the trap door, such as a fiery arrow/fire bomb, work here (still, even these are in limited supply without a fire mage)?
You do realise that this thread is pretty old (July)?
Anyway...
SpoilerShow
You can't "waste the Fire Sword on the attack before getting around to solving this puzzle" because not only Fire Sword is to be found in the room next to Fireball Puzzle but you do not encounter any monster on your way back between alcove with Fire Sword and room with Fireball Puzzle (except two Uggardians in secret area, but they are resistant to fire anyway). So practically you don't have any monster to use it on - unless you're attacking walls which is pretty dumb. I don't mind such mindless behaviour being punished by game/dungeon design.

Plus you have to go pass Fireball Puzzle before getting to an alcove with Fire Sword so by the time a player obtain Fire Sword he is already conscious about Fireball Puzzle. If the player though off about casting fireball but couldn't execute his idea because lack of Fire Magic skill he is given an object that casts fireballs just in the next room. Convenient isn't it?

siggboy
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Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by siggboy » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:37 pm

Merethif wrote:You do realise that this thread is pretty old (July)?
Yes. Your point being?
SpoilerShow
"You can't "waste the Fire Sword on the attack before getting around to solving this puzzle" because ..."
Yes, you can, and if you do, and don't have points in Fire Magic, then you can't continue in the level. Which sucks, and should not be possible in a game.

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Komag
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Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by Komag » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:10 pm

I have to take the side of the fire sword issue being not a problem. Merethif's explanation really covers is pretty well. "Yes you can" waste the charges, by firing at Uggardians who are immune, or by going off back to other parts of the dungeon before coming back, but those are non-issues. A normal player will realize "hey, this will be useful for that fire puzzle right back there that I couldn't get past"
Finished Dungeons - complete mods to play

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Merethif
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Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by Merethif » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:09 pm

siggboy wrote:
Merethif wrote:You do realise that this thread is pretty old (July)?
Yes. Your point being?
I'm not one of those extremist who thinks that replying to even one-week old thread is necromancy (you meet those sometimes on various forums). Just wanted to point out that some posters from previous pages may not respond. But if you knew it, that's all fine for me.

siggboy
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Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by siggboy » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:34 pm

Komag wrote:I have to take the side of the fire sword issue being not a problem. Merethif's explanation really covers is pretty well. "Yes you can" waste the charges, by firing at Uggardians who are immune, or by going off back to other parts of the dungeon before coming back, but those are non-issues. A normal player will realize "hey, this will be useful for that fire puzzle right back there that I couldn't get past"
Well, I guess we have to agree to disagree here.
What's a "normal player"?
And doesn't that realization of his or her that you suppose, imply that the player has already solved the puzzle, rendering this argument moot?

All I'm saying is that it is possible to get stuck here, and not astronomically improbable. A level where you can get stuck at all, no matter how likely that happening is, is badly designed.

--Sigi

siggboy
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Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by siggboy » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:36 pm

Merethif wrote:I'm not one of those extremist who thinks that replying to even one-week old thread is necromancy (you meet those sometimes on various forums). Just wanted to point out that some posters from previous pages may not respond. But if you knew it, that's all fine for me.
That's OK. What I have to say is not very important. I'm just wondering why nobody from the dev team has ever posted in this thread -- because the game analysis of the OP raises some significant issues with the game, which might need fixing for the sake of game balance.

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Merethif
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Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by Merethif » Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:31 am

siggboy wrote:(...)All I'm saying is that it is possible to get stuck here, and not astronomically improbable. A level where you can get stuck at all, no matter how likely that happening is, is badly designed.
Actually it's not really "getting stuck" as the puzzle we're talking about is optional. Let's say it's a reward for some extra thinking and prudence.
I would totally agree with you if fireball puzzle were needed to be solved in order to proceed further and potential inability to solve it would make finishing the game impossible. But it's not the case.

That said, I agree with rest of your first post (especially the part about poison seems very reasonable).

ExodusC
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Re: Analysis of Grimrock

Post by ExodusC » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:57 am

I just registered to the forums here to respond to this (great) post.

I also just beat Grimrock about a half hour ago. I played through maybe 12 hours of the game a month or so ago, before having to take a break because of work. I got back to it the past few days and finished it off, and the game on the whole was one of the best RPG experiences I've had in a long time.

However, after reading your post, I realized many of my hunches about the game were correct.

I wanted to go with a non-standard party, so I picked a Human (Mace) and Minotaur (Axe) up front, with a Lizardman (Dagger) and Insectoid (Wizard) in the back. It was a fun run, but it didn't take me long before I realized that of course Swords was definitely the best melee skill tree (well, I didn't consider Unarmed). As OP's post pointed out, there are so many more Swords in the dungeon compared to Maces/Axes, and the Sword skill tree is just... better. Even my Lizardman in the back with a dagger was pumping out damage, because my Human and Minotaur could never hit anything.

It also didn't take me long to figure out that Evasion outclassed Protection by a longshot. Still, both my frontline characters went up the Armor skill tree, eventually getting to Heavy Armor, which I found to be a waste because of how heavy it is vs. its damage resistance, and all of what's covered in the OP.

I'm just bumping this thread in hopes that Almost Human happens to read through it all (if they haven't already), simply because so many things (the biggest being how overpowered Evasion is compared to Protection) can be addressed just by tweaking the mechanics. The same goes for Swords and Daggers easily outclassing Maces/Axes. I found Maces, used by my main character, to clearly be the worst weapon, which was unfortunate.

Oh well, despite using a super sub-par party, they still fought through every inch of Grimrock and I had a lot of fun. Time to try out some of the user-created dungeons!

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