So I love the game so far and I don’t want to add anything or make cryptic’s life more difficult than it already is. I want to focus on improvement for what is already here rather than adding new features. The succubus fight is one such feature that I think needs some tweaks. Also, as a rule for myself, I’m trying not to criticize anything without at least making an attempt at a suggested solution.
1st - I find myself running into the succubus too soon on the second floor. I know the floor shape is smaller than the first which gives the random generation a lot less space to play with. However on the first floor, I very rarely run into the goblin boss unexpectedly. I’m always at least aware I’m in a location where he Might be. I know the succubus generates in corners of the second floor, but I continuously find myself running into her before I’ve explored more than half the floor. And when I need to grind in order to defeat her, finding her by accident too early on the floor is always troublesome, which leads me to my second point-
2 - She’s not an engaging combat encounter. Every combat with her goes the same way, Long text, fight, click to attack once, fail hypnosis check, instantly dead. Or you succeed the hypnosis check and you’ve won in two rounds. While thematically, I think the hypnosis works very well as an ability of the succubus, the way it currently functions instantly kills the player when they deal full damage to themselves. And last I checked, you need a will of around 30 to have a reasonable chance to resist. Which is pretty annoying if you wanted to play a character with low will. Thankfully the re-stat guy is super cheap and the game has a workaround, but it’s doing itself a disservice by making one stat mandatory.
My proposed solution is to lower the damage the hypnosis can do to you. Make it more like the Confusion condition in pokemon. That way the fight can be a much more dynamic encounter, taking an attack while hypnotized should be a risk not a death sentence. the fight doesn’t need to take an arduous amount of time, but give the player some choices instead of death on first contact every time.
OR instead of attacking yourself and dealing full damage when hypnotized, why not make it like a mental battle, Take low sources of damage every turn while she’s slowly making you fatter. You can make the choice to try and mentally resist to break free of the effect while sacrificing more weight, or attempt to attack to end the battle quicker BUT you’re more likely to take damage if you do so. - Plus if you do this option, the death weight penalty could be reduced because just encountering is going to fatten you a little no matter what.
3rd - the moment the encounter begins, I know instantly that I’m going to die and get fatter or that I have a chance of succeeding. There’s no mystery as to how it’s going to play out. My options are limited, attack, or flee and the flee option is laughable. I’ve tried it, but because hypnosis kills me in one hit always, running away is even more pointless than attacking. Instead, why not make the succubus succeed on fattening the player partially as they run away? No where near as bad as death but still enough to make the encounter harrowing (Or fun)
To fix these three issues I would suggest the following-
The second floor be made as large as the first this way, there can be more floor space to encounter skeletons to battle and train on, More lead up to reach her, and her placement can be more reliably put near the “end” of the floor.
The succubus needs to be tougher, she needs more hitpoints, and her damaging effects need to be lessened. That way the fight has some room to be more dynamic, the player should have choices to run away, forgo an attack to try to overcome her mental control, or take the risk of swinging at her.
The succubus should be more focused on debilitating the player rather than instantly killing them. The weight penalty at the end is fine, but it doesn’t feel deserved the way the succubus currently runs.
I can elaborate on any of these ideas, feel free to pick them apart, or please come up with something simpler than mine.