My thoughts on Tourist - Promotes Slow/Protracted Gameplay

Discussion in 'Conquest of the Wizardlands' started by Wootah, Aug 6, 2012.


The Tourist Skill tree ____________ . (Check any/all that Apply)

  1. is Fun

  2. is Unique

  3. is Powerful

  4. is Flavorful

  5. Compliments Other Skills Well

  6. is something other than listed above. (I will tell you about it in a post below)

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    Upon playing loading the expansion I noticed the Tourist Skill. This was the only skill that I hadn't heard anything about and decided that I would play the crap out of this skill to really learn it (as I tend to do on strings of playthroughs).

    All My thoughts are based off experience. If more is going on under the hood, to the tree's benefit, it isn't detectable. The tree makes me feel as though I am a tourist in Dredmor's Dungeon. For flavor this is actually really well executed. Nothing in the tree promotes really good combat or finesse decisions... the kind of decision that are usually necessary to survive a rogue like. It is as if the tree was designed to let you have a sloppy but slow gameplay, like a tourist wandering around. It also suffers much in the same way as crafting skills did before bonus stats were added to them as well.

    Rank 1: Relax and Unwind
    Passively gains +1:life_regen: and +1:mana_regen:

    As a starting skill this is just mediocre alright. I can see this on elvish being crazy powerful... but common, we are playing Going Rogue! Instead of regenerating a life every 13 turns we get one ever 12 turns. You might say that no first tier skill should be overpowered, but when you look at passive stats of other first tiers, this really is lackluster. Nothing to help you survive when you need it most. Things like Archeaology (1:nimbleness:1:trap_sense:1:trap_level:) or Perception (1:sight:5:edr:) really make a difference in those first few engagements. You can actually FEEL the difference here in combat from missing a skill that helps you kill things. Sure, after combat you can get back in the action slightly faster, but this does nothing to promote a fun, adventurous gameplay.

    Rank 2:See the Sights
    Passively Gains +1:trap_level:
    Activateable ability that grants (-25:sneakiness:+1:trap_level:+2:trap_sense:+3:sight:) Unlimited Duration.

    All around this skill is amazing and probably the highlight of the entire Tourist tree for me.
    Nobody has any stealth early game anyway. A free 2:trap_level: is worth tons of experience early game, as few traps will stand in your way. The 2:trap_sense: means you rarely step on traps. and the 3:sight: means you see things from a mile a way (not to mention great synergy with perception). Again though, no really combat benefit... But it basically removes trap threat early game (and at the very least always useful for spotting traps). Overall the best skill in the tree to me.

    Rank 3: Handle Strange Foreign Currencies
    Passively increases how much money you make (amount, and occurence is unknown)

    Honestly This skill is the most perplexing of the tree. I have heard 10% I have heard 20% passively increased. I have heard it works on skills like golden ration, or bankster, or when you sell to brax. I have heard it affects piles of gold on the ground. I don't know it is working though, because you can look at a pile of gold on the ground, see how much is there, and when you walk up to it, your gold amount increases by exactly that much. Whatever the benefit is, it is not enough. The game itself is not known for being gold intensive. You either need it for a few clutch items, a single good midgame shop purchase, or you have tons of it come endgame if you want to bother selling everything. Even if you race to get for your third level, you hardly notice an increase in the amount of gold you make. A single Midas Potion, Bling Wand, or Book of Whills will yield you more useful gold in a shorter amount of time than the skill seems to provide (sell the bling wand if you can already do any sort of ranged damage).

    I was sadly really dissapointed with this skill. Rushing to it, I still couldn't afford things in the vending machine that I wanted and so it felt like I had no benefit whatsoever. I sold things to brax and bought what I could. Oh well. It needs something else. I get far more benefit and gold out of lucky finds from perception. This feels like it has no use at all. The benefit needs to be more apparent, but even if it was the entire gold system in DoD isn't tightly balanced to matter.

    Rank 4: Meet Interesting People
    Randomly Summons A monster appropriate to the current floor. Can be Friendly or Hostile. 55 Turn Cooldown.
    Any targetable square you can see.

    Interesting skill and mildly useful. If it is hostile, it is something you can kill for experience. Sadly most of the summonable monsters are pushovers and easily killed by their peers (4-7 hits). Compared to other summons early game, none of your summonable monsters are ever at all useful such as zombies, the wyrmling, or the slime. The one forseeable benefit to this skill is that they have scaling unlike all other pets. Becaue they come from the current floor, they should be just as durable late game as they are early game. I imagine people would say that this is amazing... and they would be right IF it were reliable in combat. Buying yourself 3 turns is a life saver IF you get a friendly. Unfortunately, it is random and thus the times that you need it most, you could be killing yourself by adding another, equally deadly, monster to those that you are trying to buy yourself time from.

    This skill has real potential. But since you shouldn't be risking it in combat, you end up just casting it when you are in a safe place whenever it is on cooldown until you get something that wont kill you and is remotely useful. This is not a rewarding way to play. Again, it rewards slow non-strategic choices... Making you feel just like a tourist.

    Rank 5: Sample the Local Cuisine
    Eat something. Anything. Really... Anything in your inventory. 5 Turn Cooldown
    Grants a Food buff from 7-9 turns.

    This skill is a very different skill. Right off the bat this means you don't have to carry food if you don't want to. Even eating food gives great buffs. Shredded Cheese gives way more regen through this than through eating it normally. Lots of potential free inventory slots here.Just the disarming traps from the Rank 2 skill means I have tons of Caltrops which are mostly worthless anyway... I just eat those as food.

    With some combat favorable passives or maybe some mana regen, I could see this being a defining skill for the entire Tourist tree. It has flavor and humor. However, when you analyze what the nature of a roguelike game is and how this skill fits it completely breaks the archetype. In roguelikes there are two classical ways of dying. One is getting instantly slaughtered by making a mistake or fighting something that overpowers you. The other way is the long drawn out way of dying.... getting in fights constantly due to poor resource or item management (along with poor decisions) and being so weak that progression slowly kills you.

    Being able to eat ANYTHING in the game kind of destroys the latter. You can NEVER be whittled down as the dungeon has limitless amounts of things in it. This is good for saving tons of inventory space. What you find though is that you seem to take so much more damage as a tourist because you are dealing less damage and have less mitigation. Maybe this increases the chance of dying the former way because you cannot die the latter way, but again, not super fun and promotes a much slower less risky progression. Tourist flavor?

    Rank 6: Get Away from it All
    Teleports you up a Floor. Randomly Lose an Item. 80 Turn cooldown.

    I am not even going to bother with losing items here. Saving your character is worth it.
    By now, if you have bothered to read this much, you can see where I am going. This rewards sloppy and a slow gameplay. If you are close to being killed from a prolonged combat, then you just press the magic button and you vanish up a floor. Sure you can play slightly more daring but what it is really doing is pulling you out, but more than likely you will rarely use this, and when you do you will survive... over and over and over as necessary. Lets be casual to your approach of the game? A good thing maybe, but having spent 6 skill points on a tree that gives no real benefit in combat (magical or physical) you will be progressing FAR more slowly anyway, making the tourist approach very slow and plodding.

    I have to say the Camera is a nice touch and has saved my bacon before. The life draining when surrounded by monsters is absolutely amazing. Counting on the stun, not so much.

    Summary and TLDR

    I love the Gaslampgames guys. Don't take this criticism hard. I don't like necroeconomics either but I know those who do. I also LOVE most skills in the game, especially with the rebalance. I have been playing this for ages, and this wont slow my hundreds of more hours that I will spend on this game.

    Tourist is a completely unique skill tree. It doesn't really compliment melee or casting, but what it does exceptionally well is remove many of the barriers of the roguelike genre , allowing the player to play in a different way, casually approaching Dredmor's dungeon with less care... much like the tourist. While this isn't necessarily bad, it probably isn't what most people play DoD for.

    If this wasn't the intent, maybe some more passive buffs or procs would be nice, Possibly one for a caster and one for a melee.

    Any and all dissenting argument is welcome. Especially that which would show me what I am missing to make the tree more fun for gameplay.
  2. doorhandle

    doorhandle Member

    I agree with you on the making you less-careful part, but I don't think it's nessiarly a bad thing.
  3. Dynamod

    Dynamod Member

    getting just one point in tourist grants nice enough bonuses that I'd consider using it on an otherwise pure warrior.

    its the only mage skill tree that I know of which confers trap affinity, which is worth noting.

    I agree about the third skill though, zorkmids rarely have much use, it totally feels like a wasted skillpoint.

    Edit: well, I also found that glyph of imohtep also gives trap affinity, so there's 3 points from mage trees. not shabby.

    also, the third skill probably has some synergy with bankster (?) probably requires research. (aka I don't know)
  4. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    It's an interesting tree with unique, flavorful skills, but not one I would ever pick if I intended to power my way to Dredmor. But not all skill sets HAVE to be for that purpose. This is NOT a serious rogue-like.

    It's not even the worst skill out there, imho (having played with the new vampirism). I think with some tuning (not fine-tuning but some serious upgrades/changes to the skill) it could be worthwhile. But I wouldn't personally make a huge deal about that.
  5. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    I agree that the new vampirism isn't any much than the old one. I am not intending to make a huge deal out of it, but when looking at egyptian (which is going to get nerfed) and paranormal, and magic law, tourist seems completely out of place. Once you do those, you probably don't want to go back.
  6. Darkmere

    Darkmere Member

    I tried tourism on my current run as Egyptian gish. I mainly took it for the early mana regen boost to get all the glyphs up ASAP... and the :trap_sense: and :sight: are nice. After that... I find it really hard to justify putting any points into. I can't escape the feeling that jsut about every point here will be rendered moot long-term and could be ebtter spent in any number of places.

    Flavor is great, function is not.
  7. shaken

    shaken Member

    But what about a Vampire Tourist? Tourist buffs the Life Drain a bit, and gives the ability to eat food to the Vampire. Couple that with the easy Trap Affinity from Tourist, and it makes me think that maybe people aren't being creative enough with the new changes.

    Sure, maybe they could throw in some more stats on the later levels of Tourist, but it doesn't seem, to me, to be that bad as a support skill.
    jadkni likes this.
  8. Lorrelian

    Lorrelian Member

    Since it's probably a homage to the Nethack class... I don't think it should be good.
    Ouroboros likes this.
  9. JabberSnatch

    JabberSnatch Member

    And that's a homage to Discworld (the character Twoflower iirc).

    While I agree the over all skill tree is lackluster in terms usefulness, it does grant more mage levels if, for some reason, you need another mage skill in your line up with a bit of early :trap_level: that isn't Egyptian Magic.
  10. Nicholas

    Nicholas Technology Director Staff Member

    No mention of the camera? I think that's the main thing you get for picking the skill at the first pick, not the HP/MP regen bonus.
    Robsbot likes this.
  11. Midnight Tea

    Midnight Tea Member

    I don't overall feel like the tourist is meant to be "viable" or "useful" in the strictest sense, in a similar sense that vampire and werediggle are.

    It's just sort of a fun, flavour tree that harkens back to Nethack. I think "Get Away From It All" more rewards cautious progression than sloppiness since you did basically give up a potentially "good" skill tree in order to have it, and thus are overall less powerful than non-tourists.
  12. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member

    Firstly, I disagree it rewards "sloppy and a slow gameplay", and to be brutally honest, considering Dredmor and every aspect about it, it's NOT meant to be a super-hard, head-slam-athon where one mistake kills you. It's more relaxed, humorous and accessible to people who've never done roguelikes before, so to dismiss it with that reason - IMHO - is a bit close to the line.

    It's got potential for some good use, such as quickly getting to a Brax shop to sell your gear when your inventory is full and you're not near any stairs, but largely it's a shortcut. I don't think the "randomly lose an item" debuff thing is particularly fair, though. I would have thought a disorientation debuff (e.g. reduced trap sense, etc) and a longer cooldown would be a much better balance.
  13. jadkni

    jadkni Member

    It has its' uses. The later tiers could use a rework if you ask me but the camera is a great item and +2:trap_level: early on is quite useful.
  14. zellking

    zellking Member

    the tourist tree does go well with nearly any build. as mentioned, it does need a few upgrades around and about, but the effects it does give you are pretty nice
    and the food skill is a lot better when you have perception or piracy (or any other find stuff on killing tree's) as you have a crap load of items you can use it on, that aren't really worth a lot
    camera was kind of useless for melee characters if I remember correctly though (IF I remember correctly)
  15. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    I have stepped on a teleporter that put me inside one of those zombie cage things on floor two. I had 12 zombies surrounding me. I had 40 Hp. I thought I was dead... since there was no way to step off then back on the teleporter..... the camera saved me. a single picture would hit all the surrounding zombies, draining life, filling me back up to full. It was amazing.
  16. Midnight Tea

    Midnight Tea Member

    By the way, I was pretty amused by the message you get if you try to use Get Away From It All while inside Diggle Hell.
  17. Stryke

    Stryke Member

    That was fun, managed to get a Unfriendly AI on my first cast of Meet Interesting People on Level 2, he promptly butchered half the floor with not much help from me.
  18. shaken

    shaken Member

    So that would be a friendly AI then. ;)
    Robsbot likes this.
  19. Does the "Randomly Lose and Item" thing make the item fall out on the floor where you cast the spell or vanish into the ether never to be seen again? I've seen contradictory information here >.<

    Anyway if its the former I really don't think it comes across as that harsh? Because then the skill is a "oh shit in way over my head" panic button, and you can always come back better prepared later.

    But yeah I do not particularly thing rewarding cautious play is a bad thing, and the idea that nobody plays this game casually is pretty blatantly untrue? (Besides the whole point of the game is to be a humorous accessible roguelike? I mean that's why it's got graphics and mouse controls. :p)
  20. Wootah

    Wootah Member

    You guys have certainly have given me things to think about with regard to the tree.
    I am sorry I left the camera out of my original description. I had intended to give it a full section describing different uses, but the write up was so long i forgot. On many of my earlier tourist build/plays I died when I tried to count on the camera to save me, both stun and damage. But the stun is unreliable, and early game the drain isn't enough and you will lose any damage race one on one. I found it better to do a low HP dance while slowly regenerating. The camera really shines though when you have some mitigation and are fighting lots of enemy units, and Nicholas is right. The camera plus the first tier is pretty awesome when you consider them together.

    Yes this is a casual roguelike, but it still punishes you. I guess if you build right the tourist takes even more of the punishment edge off of it. I plan on playing with this tree in all sorts of builds till I beat the game. I had never even thought of the synergy between the vampirism and tourism eating skill. I still think vamps should be able to 'eat/suck' the meats up, but that is another topic.

    Based on what people are saying, it seems that the level 3 currency skill is the only place that the tourist tree really needs help. Maybe it needs to come with some stats or something that would match the theme of the rest of the tree being compatible with so many other skills. I also would like to have some visual cue as to when and what it is doing.

    Finally the last skill could use a slight boost. I wouldn't mind seeing it passively improve some of the other skills in the tree, kind of like some skill tree skills can improve the results on other skills in the tree. For tourist this could possibly increasing the chance to get a friendly summoned (or more than one friendly), increase the amount of gold gained for currencies, and maybe even give a small amount(2-5) of mana regen from eating objects. This way, even if you only used the skill once in a playthrough it would still feel rewarding to have it when using the other tourist skills.
    Robsbot likes this.