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    jp's Minecraft Dungeons (PS4)

    [June 2, 2022 06:56:27 PM]
    Played this a few more times, for a couple of hours each, still couch co-op, and...I really appreciate the flexibility in the difficulty settings and I feel like the game's option space has definitely opened up a bit more in terms of options and things to configure your character with. It's a bit annoying that the options seem to be "locked" behind the RNG of the loot drops, but then again, I think that's par for the course with this kind of game.

    I guess the bigger picture thing I've been thinking about is that there's a difference between knowing/understanding the kinds of options that exist, but that you simply haven't run into or found yet - and not even knowing what the space of options even is - and wondering if you'll even get to see it at.

    This can be fun from a surprise/discovery point of view, but if the RNG does not help - you can walk away with a sense of disappointment - and presumably the designers can worry that "oh man, you never saw any of the fun stuff!". This makes me wonder if the RNG is tweaked - and whether or not the kinds of things you can get in drops has been designed such that, from a designer's point of view, they can guarantee "fund drops" at a rate such that in, say, 20 hrs of playing the game you will have seen all of the thematic/mechanic variety the game has to offer?

    Some rogue-like games do this by telling you all the content there is - and letting you unlock things that get added to the RNG pool (Slay the Spire) or telling you all there is and just showing you what you've seen/haven't seen (Noita). Minecraft Dungeons isn't like these games (also not a rogue-like, there's a strong clear progression across sessions system, it's closer to Diablo really) - but I wonder how these ideas from rogue-like could make their way into other more progression-based games?

    Either way, for now this game's going back on the shelf!
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    [October 20, 2021 08:25:22 PM]
    Played this couch co-op over the weekend a few times and I guess my biggest surprise is that the game is a streamlined Diablo rather than a rogue-like. For some reason I thought the game was a rogue-like, but it's not. It's Diablo!
    So, dungeon romp where you kill mobs, pick up loot and upgrade your character. It's simplified - so there are no classes with abilitiesa and everything is connected to your equipment. There are three main slots for weapon, armor and ranged weapon and you can also load up 4(or was it 3?) artifacts which have abilities you can trigger with cooldowns. Additionally the equipment can be upgraded via enchantments - and here's where some randomness comes in - the same equipment might vary on how many enchantments you can imbue it with and what those enchantments are.

    I really appreciated how flexible the game is in letting you try things out. Each time you level up you get an enchantment point and you use these to imbue the enchantments and also level them up (up to three levels AFAIK). The neat thing is that when you trash an item that's been enchanted, you get all the points back. It's not quite an open re-spec (you have to give up the item to get the points back) but it is nicely flexible and doesn't make you feel like you've wasted points of given up progress or have to "grind" a new item just to make it interesting again. Of course there's an additional layer of rarity for the items as well.

    So, I've enjoyed that - and found it was really neat to try to get cool combos off different enchantments and artifacts. For example, I had some artifacts that summon creatures to help you out and I was able to kit out some gear with enchantments that buffed by summoned creatures.

    Something else I liked is that you can toggle your difficulty level from the get-go, you don't need to clear an area on default before being allowed to play it at a harder level. So, we played a bunch of levels on a pretty hard setting and it was just the right challenge, so yay! My sense is that the game is tuned less hard to make it more kid-friendly and accesible (a good thing) but we appreciated being able to max it out. At least in the levels we played it was a good experience. I'm not sure what the difficulty curve is looking forward in terms of the other areas of the game - but perhaps the difficulty might plateau too soon? As in, the harder areas won't get that much harder?

    I'm also curious about the enchantment points and what happens if (when?) we max out on those. So, once we all have enough points to max out each enchantment on all the equipment. We haven't reached that point yet (I think we're at character level 16 or so?) but I get the sense, due to the fact that we haven't played many levels, that we might reach that limit soon. I did see that there's a special area/mode where you must spend enchantment points, so perhaps that's what happens - you keep on accruing points but you use them as currency in the end-game content?

    Lots more to see and explore!
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    jp's Minecraft Dungeons (PS4)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Something better came along

    GameLog started on: Saturday 16 October, 2021

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 2 June, 2022

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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