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Selke

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Posts posted by Selke


  1. That's some really comprehensive, cogent feedback. :o A+, would read again.

    RE: Caberjacks. I'm nitpicking, but I felt like they came into their own at level 6 and grabbed Charge. That addresses some of their core mobility issues while also giving them a second stun. I'm also a diehard Haste Hooch fan and would encourage you to try using it instead of the Wunderpants if you give the game another playthrough. It doesn't cost an action point to use, which lets you make really aggressive moves. Is that better than having another Hunter? Maybe not. But it makes the Caberjack feel more like a realized concept.

    On the Pacing front, I think you'll find a lot of agreement that attachment to heroes isn't where it needs to be yet, and a more evenly-applied Relationship system is something I can get behind. I'm not sure that there are great systems for that to interact with right now (is it just a tweak to combat stats and fertility?) but it definitely creates more room for that feeling of working with real, organic people.

    Conversely, how much do you feel would be fixed just by lowering the birth rate? A common sticking point so far is that you tend to run down to nearly no heroes around year 50 (around the Tombstone point) but run into a population explosion afterwards. If the early game gets smoothed out but the overall birth rate drops, does some of this go away? I agree that swapping a level 9 Hunter for a newly-graduated Level 8 Hunter feels trivial now, but to what extent is that solved by NOT having 8 more level 8 Trainees waiting in the wings?


  2. A loooong time ago, the Perks 'n' Quirks thread (LINK) brainstormed on what would eventually become Traits and Personalities. With new traffic from the Beta combined with the fact that we now know how the game actually works, I figure now is a good time to solicit more suggestions. What have y'all got?

    As a personal aside... From a design perspective, I prefer the Personalities with conditions attached (Avenger, Lone Wolf) over stat mods, which feel more like the jurisdiction of Traits. Curveballs like Reveler and Optimist/Pessimist are cute in moderation, as are stat mods based on unique training (Might of the Walrus). But this feels like fertile territory for fiddling with playstyle and tactical decision making that has yet to be dug into.

    Personalities

    Annoying: Enemies are more likely to attack this unit

    Apt Pupil: Increased XP gain when higher-ranking allies are present

    Graceful: Ability cooldowns reduced by 1 turn, but damage reduced when below max health

    Insular: Stat bonus when near members of the same family, penalty when no family members are within range.

    Nose for Trouble: Adds a small UI element indicating approximate # of enemies remaining (An army/a lot/a handful/a few).

    Peacock: Improved offense but reduced defense when near member of opposite sex.

    Persistent: Improved accuracy on the turn after a miss or glancing blow

    Relentless: Improved accuracy & damage below 50%, 25% HP.

    Resourceful: Chance of generating additional consumables (Alchemist items or accessories) at start of each turn

    Ruthless: Strikes on Stunned targets always crit

    Shot Caller: Reduces evasion of enemies within 3 tiles.

    Spiteful: Increased accuracy against most recent attacker, reduced accuracy against all other enemies.

    Sprinter: Improved movement range for first 3 rounds, reduced for subsequent 3. (Neutral afterwards. Let's not get silly here.)

    Thorough: Kills by this unit count twice for Research purposes.


  3. Languid is a good one, and probably preferable to my first thought of "One Pea Short of a Pod." (I swear, if I were lead designer the whole game would be impenetrably full of silly sayings and puns.) Anemic is thematically cute, but it feels like it overlaps with Sickly (lower Max HP).


  4. While playing Massive Chalice yesterday, I got to thinking about Rogue Legacy. Specifically, RL incorporates a lot of silly and sometimes mechanically-pointless traits in its quasi-generational structure. You might suffer from more Gigantism (causing a significant gameplay change by giving you a larger sprite and hitboxes), or you could have something goofier like Colorblindness (game becomes grayscale), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (hero sometimes farts when jumping), or Baldness (minor sprite change).

    While a lot of those particulars aren't tonally appropriate for Massive Chalice, it did make me wonder if we could use "dummy" characteristics like this to give heroes and bloodlines a bit of a distinctive feel. Traits like Bald or Albino would be easy model tweaks, but even non-mechanical Traits (Six-Fingered?) or Personalities (Stern? Prankster? Cantankerous? Kind Of A Racist And Makes Everyone Uncomfortable?) would add a dash of little-p personality to the heroes. While the mechanical Personalities are sometimes interesting, the fact that you have situations like Tranquil being objectively good and Reckless being objectively bad have a way of boiling everything down to numbers.

    Thoughts?


  5. Infertility sucks. It is known. My question for the peanut gallery: does it suck more interestingly if it makes a hero have fewer children instead of no children?

    Currently, it's the clear, number 1 dealbreaker. There are other sucky Traits - Slow, Asthmatic, and Slow Learner come to mind - but you might overlook one of those if a hero has two other good Traits. Not so for Infertile, which straight up disqualifies the unit as a Regent or Partner - one of the key reasons to bring a unit into battle in the first place. Instead, you can consider them for Standard-hood, try to grind Relics out of them, or (most likely) leave them on the bench until the Sagewrights have a vacancy.

    Aside from being disproportionately debilitating, this also has the side effect of the trait removing itself from the gene pool after the first generation. It can still come up via hero recruitment, but it's very rare to come out of breeding. You might start the game with 6 Infertile units and never see another one due to the simple fact that they'll never be a parent.

    Conversely, if "Infertile" is code for "Low Sperm Count" rather than "Vasectomy," the cost/gain of installing one as regent is a little more nuanced. It still sucks, but if the game generates a bunch of starting heroes with Infertile, you may still roll the dice on them due to other Traits. That in turn has the side effect of them giving birth to Infertile children, meaning the trait becomes a generational complication (like other negative Traits) rather than an early-game roadblock.

    Thoughts?


  6. First try on the 0.85 Patch. Let's go!

    Reign of: King Selke II, Year 0-70.

    Guiding Principles:

    (1) Get a Crucible up right after the 2nd Keep, and funnel all XP up to then into a single Hunter to jumpstart Trainee growth.

    (2) Reveler is a terrible personality and can single-handedly neuter a character that's otherwise excellent. Don't let it spread.

    (3) Zone loss is pretty unusual and won't come happen until the mid-late game. Don't worry about it, and in particular it's not too bad to sack a Sagewright's guild due to the spottiness of the tech tree..

    I was surprised to see this run go completely down in flames.

    Things got off to a good start, plopping my 2nd keep down on the Bonus XP Per Kill region, then retiring a Level 4 Hunter as a Standard on the Bonus Crucible XP tile.

    On the keep side, I retired my core bloodline - an Alchemist with pretty so-so Traits - to the first, and a Hunter with similarly mediocre Traits to the second. Despite good fertility, the Hunter family only put out a couple of babies, which would come back to bite me when the 50 year crunch hit.

    Attempting to damage control my hero situation, I recruited heroes twice. The results were mostly crap, but it gave me some warm bodies, albeit mostly level 1 ones with terrible traits like Asthmatic, Slow, and Slow Learner. This was compounded by three consecutive Keep battles. The first wiped out my Sagewrights as well as a pair of crapsack heroes, another proved a handy chance to level up a crapsack Regent (who couldn't even partner up due to lack of heroes) and the third was on a Crucible I simply couldn't man at the time. The final coup de grace in the middle of all that was an Event about a riot which caused my two highest-level & best trait units, targeted as either Standards or Regents, to flee the kingdom simultaneously.

    I still hadn't lost a battle and my skeleton crew was starting to fill back out, but with terrible bloodlines, terrible standards, and terrible heroes, I hung up my crown in year 70.

    Lessons Learned:

    (1) The combination of funneling kills in your first 2-3 battles on to a single unit and dumping him in a Crucible is undeniably potent. I had level 4 Trainees almost immediately. This is easiest if the hero is a Hunter or Alchemist for the early killing power (range vs. AOE), but benefits from having a Caberjack or two to stunlock enemies so he can grab all the kills. Opening hero & trait rolls is very important.

    (2) Reveler is hard as crap to avoid. I felt like unit with decent Traits either had it or Infertile, and it can be passed on as a parent, step-parent, Standard, or even just a warrior. It's everywhere!

    (3) Hunter nerfs have been more potent than I thought. They were still incredibly valuable, my previous run included a lot of time on the initial Beta build, giving them a bit leg up in terms of XP and Relics. Here, they couldn't reliably kill Bulwarks, Lapses, or Ruptures in a single turn, sometimes even with Follow Up. That was devastating, especially in the Sagewright defense.

    (4) The early game is still incredibly fragile. If my two top heroes had vanished at year 150, I feel like I'd have had the resilience to deal with it. When it happens just as the 50 year crunch is happening, it's a backbreaker. That may not be the end of the world (I'd rather lose after 2-3 hours than 8-10) but it's definitely an important hurdle to clear.


  7. If special (researched) weapons can never turn into relics, what is the point of researching them and using them? It seems like you are shooting yourself in the foot. Might as well skip those weapons entirely to increase the chances of getting relics.

    I've used Cadence weapons for a couple reasons. On my playthrough, I tended to bring 2 people from my Caberjack family, 1 from each of my 2 Hunter families, and 1 from my lone Alchemist family. But there were a few times where the people I had given Relics to (or had mentally tagged as prime warriors) weren't of age yet or had been retired as a Standard or Partner in their twilight years. I didn't feel like I needed a 2nd Alchemist relic or a 3rd Caberjack one, so I'd go with a Cadence weapon instead.

    Alternatively, they can be handy tools for your Regents, Partners, and Standards for when the Cadence attack one of your buildings.


  8. I use them, and they are indeed less immersion-breaking, but the examples I took are from the Thematic bloodlines.
    If "AAAAAAAAAAH" is marked as thematically appropriate, I'd be tempted to put that in the Bug forum. I worry about opening every Bloodline up to that level of nitpicking, but that seems like a strong candidate for "intentionally silly."

    A formatting pass would be great, but I can't imagine that anybody on the dev team is going to vet the Latin mottos for proper grammar. (Or other languages for that matter, but I imagine Latin is the most common.) When the core bloodline selector (LINK) gets put in, you're welcome to do a full review of all bajillion bloodlines though. :P (I suspect that, aside from the conjugation issue, the "frogs" motto is correct. Does the house have a frog on their banner?)

    The latest verdict (I think?) on customizing Bloodlines in game is that it won't happen, or at least won't happen any time soon. Aside from the "people paid for this" factor, it's a non-trivial task to port the sigil creator from the website to the game engine.

    Edit: Found the word from Brad on in-game Bloodline creation/customization! LINK


  9. The path-finding for the maps is rally odd at times - especially when you are trying to attack something that is nearly at the limit of your movement - I would like to be able to hover over the "square" I want to attack from (like Heroes of Might and Magic) - this way you can be more tactical and plan where your other guys stand. As it currently stands you are forced to attack where the PC wants to put you - which appears to be on an arbitrary diagonal left corner!

    Is there any cover on the maps? It's hard to know - needs to be more obvious if you are in it/using it - hate to say it but the new xcom gets that right

    There is a "change melee positioning" button to address your diagonal-left-corner issue. It's either the 'F' key by default (I think?) or an on-screen button when the game asks for confirmation of your move. Not the most graceful solution, but it lets you choose where you want to attack from. Very important when using Caberjacks' Knockback move.

    There is cover, but it's binary; either attacking is possible or it's not. It's not XCOM's system of evasion boosts. There are probably a few explanations for it floating around, but here's one I posted earlier today. (LINK)

    Why do I sometimes get a free throw? I thought it was because I didn't move beyond the orange range the turn before - but that's not always the case - is it like the taunt functionality and has a cool down times that isn't implemented yet?

    "Free Throw" is the Alchemist's level 2 ability, so level 1 Alchemists will never have access to it. Similar to the Caberjack's Taunt or Knockback, it does have a cooldown of a few turns. Do note that you can level-up your units in-combat though, so someone that kills a Cadence and hits level 2 because of it can immediately learn Free Throw and use it for the rest of the fight.


  10. Combat:

    WISHLIST:

    - A way to heal heroes in battle (A healing class, basically)

    - A cover system. I was looking forward to Fantasy New XCOM, but without cover my favorite part of new XCOM is gone.

    Couple quick notes on these.

    While none of the classes are dedicated healers, there are a handful of research options that give you healing potions, lifesteal accessories, or +Max HP accessories. Alchemists can also learn a skill that lets them fling said healing potions, which I think makes them AOE as well. (I personally don't tend to go for that option, but it's certainly there.)

    There is a cover system, actually! It just doesn't work quite like XCOM's.

    Maps are 2D planes, but there are three basic obstacle types scattered around them. Small blockers - rocks or bushes around knee or waist high - will block movement but allow line of sight for ranged attackers, and Alchemists can hurl things over them. Medium blockers are ones slightly taller than your heroes. These block movement and line of sight (and thus most ranged attacks), but Alchemists can chuck things over. Some can also be attacked to break them into low blockers. Large blockers are things like tall trees, which extend indefinitely far upwards, meaning no movement, line of sight, ranged attacks, or Alchemist throws.

    There's still a lot to manage there, and in some respects it's more pronounced than XCOM's. If a Lapse comes into vision, you can move your units behind a medium or large blocker to break line of sight, forcing it to charge up to your team rather than sniping away at range. (In XCOM it might have just sat in high cover and taken a low-percentage shot at you.) Likewise, you can put Medium or Low blockers between you and Wrinklers or Ruptures while hammering them with ranged attacks. Honed Hearing (Hunter skill) adds a dimension to this as well.


  11. Hybrids will be in the 1.0 release, but have not yet been implemented. My personal guess is that we're going to see a few more changes in the base classes before they give us a cut with hybrids.

    As for partners, yes, they hand down Traits to their direct children, and Experience and Personalities to their Trainees. (Meaning, children + any stepchildren still in the keep when they marry in.)

    Relics are bound by Bloodline, not by direct lineage. So a Partner who dies with a Relic can hand it down, but only to a relative (sibling/cousin/niece/nephew/etc.) that shares their name & banner, not to their children.


  12. Right in the Taint! Your subjects have located a Cadence corruption core which threatens to bring devastation to [Zone X] unless we dispose of it immediately! How shall we do so? Ignore to lose zone immediately. Throw in Chalice to disperse corruption, applying one point to a random zone. Store in a Keep to add Sickly (-HP) Trait to all units born or residing in the Keep for the next 10 years as the corruption fades. Send to the Sagewrights to apply a -10 Intuition penalty for the next 5 years as they safely deconstruct it.

    The Great Fae! One of your Alchemist's prayers at the Chalice are interrupted when the Queen of Faeries springs from the vessel's sacred waters. Touched by his reverence, she offers to bless an item; what do you choose? Weapon, turning his basic weapon into a Level 3 Relic or adding 3 levels to the highest-level Relic in his inventory. Armor, granting the next level of Alchemist armor in the tech tree. Vitaliband, yielding the Vimbrace, which acts as a Vitaliband that also grants minor HP regen when you start a turn <50% HP. Steady Hander, yielding the Graceful Hander, which acts as a Steady Hander that also grants +10% evasion versus ranged attacks. (In a perfect world, "enhanced" accessories like this would be tracked individually on the retinue rather than made available to all units, but I don't think that tech exists currently.)

    The Tree's Last Gift! The Great Oak is dying, its roots poisoned by the encroaching Cadence. But the spirit of the tree will not go quietly, and offers the last of his strength for one final gift to the land that he loves so - what do you take? Trunk = Level 3 Caberjack relic to be assigned immediately. Iron Acorn - assign to a keep, all units born or residing in for the next 10 years gain (+STR) Trait. Copper Apple - assign to a keep all units born or residing in for the next 10 years gain (+INT) Trait.


  13. I'm surprised by the move to Early Access as well. With the game being largely stable and feature-complete, I agree that this is likely to take away some of the hype from the overall launch. On the one hand, I can see folks being frustrated with the release slipping up to 6 months past the initial target of September 2014, and this is a nice bone to throw them. But I do worry about what this'll mean for the overall financials. Missing the Christmas rush will hurt, too.


  14. Infertile for Babies - Fix to show the Infertile trait for Trainees so that you don’t accidentally assign an Infertile baby Regent!

    Iiiiinteresting. Stealth Infertility is a potentially devastating turn of events for a young regent, but it made a certain amount of sense that you wouldn't know whether a person was infertile/bountiful until they came of age.


  15. Little bit of a thought experiment here: are heroes hitting the 3 Trait/Personality cap too quickly?

    I get the impression that Brad doesn't want research to be intricately linked to the core of the heredity game (i.e. researching Unlock 2nd Trait Slot), but I'm wondering if the game might play better by organically ramping up the number of Traits and Personalities in play. Imagine if your starting heroes had only one Trait and one Personality. As the game progresses, Keeps and Crucibles will cause those lists to gradually fill out, leading to 3/3 heroes somewhere around the 100-150 year mark.

    My thought process is something like this:

    (1) Right now, the early game is a mad rush, but the game arguably gets less complex as you go due to having a solidified infrastructure. This change would reduce some of the infodump in the beginning and shift some of that complexity to the midgame.

    (2) Ramping up the number of Traits and Personalities provides a stronger feedback loop, letting the player feel (correctly) like he's growing his bloodlines over time. Achieving this by changing our starting heroes (rather than via Research) makes this an organic process that doesn't necessitate screwing with the tech tree.

    (3) Even with only 1 Standard, he competes with up to 9 Personalities (the parents' and the individual Trainee's). And with so many Traits flying around, heredity is more of a trend ("many of my kids have Quick and many have Bear Strength, but few have both, and all have other stuff too") than a line. This would improve the signal-to-noise factor, potentially leading to more player attachment to their lines & heroes because those decisions are more strongly defined. When you're installing your first Caberjack Keep, you're choosing between the quick guy or the strong guy. Period. And because Traits aren't capping as quickly, you're more likely to see Quick and Strong in the kids, and they have more room in their Personalities to pick up one from the Standard.

    (4) We know code is already in place to support heroes as carriers (having genes to pass down but not expressing the Trait itself) and for random mutations, so we aren't necessarily locking out genetic diversity by doing this. Mechanics are in place for genetic curveballs, even if they may need some tweaking.

    What do you all think? On to something, or out in left field?


  16. No, you're not being "honest," you're being an ass.

    This x10.

    Seriously, how do you spend that much time writing the OP and not pause for a second to realize how completely terrible it is?

    There's room to dislike the art style. There's room to wish classes had played out differently. But the mix of actually-wrong things, navel gazing for Yet Another Sword Dude Killing Tiny Green Men game, and a nice sprinkling of Being A Gigantic Toolbox? Wow. Bravo. And great job holding up Pathfinder -- a game created specifically to not be something new -- as the bastion of creativity. You wanna really spice up the game, maybe add some zombies or Cthluhu references? We're riding the bleeding edge here.

    AND PS SINCE I'VE SEEN THIS TOO MANY TIMES NOW: Overwatch does not equal tactical depth. I like XCOM 2012 as much as the next guy, but strategy games went decades without Overwatch and they'll go plenty more without it as well. It's a neat mechanic, but if you believe Overwatch is a crucial element of XCOM tactics, you've got a lot to learn about XCOM and about tactics. Overwatch is a sometimes food, people.


  17. I just had a playthru with an interesting case for adoption. I had appointed a child as regent, and when the child came of age he was infertile!
    Yeah, that makes for an interesting gamble when appointing regents. I definitely got to the point where I was happier appointing a child with 2 good traits and 1 bad one than I was with a child who had only 2 good traits, out of fear that he was carrying the dreaded Stealth Infertility.

  18. An unrelated piece of TECH feedback while we're talking about it: I've found the "1 item/accessory slot per hero" rule very restrictive. I basically always want to take a restorative item there. I've been using Wunderpants more since their buff a couple of patches ago, but for the most part, none of the equippable items seem greater in utility than the extra HP you get from packing around a potion. Does anyone else feel this way, too?

    I agree that the single accessory feels restrictive, but Wunderpants (and potions) are a sucker's bet. They don't help unless you're getting hit, and why are you getting hit? Grab your Haste Hooch and run all over the map trucking fools.


  19. I sadly haven't had much time experimenting with high level Caberjacks. I've picked Stun Slam but haven't been able to use it yet. So I guess it sucks. Hahaha

    It's a pretty stark difference for a couple reasons.

    (1) Caberjacks are already pretty heavily limited by their movement range, and because the Cadence outnumber you and have nasty rider effects (age gain, armor corrosion, etc.) you don't want Cabers just tanking and exchanging blows. Charge gives you a new trick to make decisive moves, whereas Stun Slam is just another stun.

    (2) Stun Slam can only be used after a single move, which further cuts down your range. (Unless this has been adjusted - haven't played in a patch or two.)

    (3) Stun Slam looks like it's supposed to have the advantage of being an multi-target stun, but Charge (and the basic Knockback) are multi-target as well if your enemies are in a line.

    So basically, it's tougher to use and isn't necessarily better than Charge even when you can use it. It's not bad, it's just worse than the alternative and doesn't address any of the Caber's existing weaknesses.


  20. Honed Hearing or Put It Down: Since the Follow Up nerf, I've been going with Put It Down to make sure I'm more consistently killing Cadence in one action. I do make it a point to put Honed Hearing on my regents/partners/standards when it's an option, though.

    Flarrow or Hobbling Shot: Flarrow, every time. It keeps you safe from ranged Cadence by making them miss, and it keeps you safe from melee Cadence by knowing they're there and staying out of their range. Hobbling only does the latter.

    Dead Eye or Shoot 'n' Scoot: Dead Eye every time. Like shootin' fish in a barrel.

    Eagle Eye or The Acid Solution: Pretty much just Eagle Eye. You can't afford to miss any potions given the limited supply, especially since missing by 1 square often means blowing up an ally. I just don't trust Alchemists without it.

    Throw Items or Extra Item Slot: Extra Item Slot. I like Steady Handers on my Alchemists - again, I don't trust them missing potions EVER - and Haste Hooch is close behind it as the second best accessory. With Alchemists serving as a melee/ranged hybrid, the combo suits them really well, and my Caberjacks can bring their own Haste Hooch.

    Bees in a Bottle or Fertilizer Flask: Pretty much a wash, though I lean towards Fertilizer since the bees disperse in an unpredictable pattern and like to re-activate Bulwark shields.

    Rebound or Fury: Fury, though I don't love either; good positioning means you shouldn't be getting hit very often anyway. Fury sometimes will give you a guaranteed kill on a Cradle or Twitcher when it'd normally be at the high end of the damage prediction, though.

    Stun Slam or Charge: You're not a Caberjack until you have Charge.

    Stand Ground or Fortify: Mostly gone for Stand Ground. Neither has felt huge, but it knowing you can (at level 10) kill Lapses without fear of getting stunned is handy.


  21. The game is only in Beta right now, so it's limited access. If you backed high enough for Beta access, you should've gotten an email directing you to the Humble Bundle site, where you can redeem your copy.

    Final release is TBD, fingers crossed that it comes together in time for the Thanksgiving/Christmas rush.


  22. The Bulwark's piercing shot is also interesting in that it appears to be an all-or-nothing affair. If it the guy in front can't evade it, it's tagging everything in the line behind it. If the guy in front is nimble, the bolt flies off into the nega-zone, affecting nothing. In a way this makes for a soft-counter to the Hunter, whose high dex & evade are ignored when the Bulwark takes aim at a dopey Caberjack or Alchemist standing in line with him. But like your concern above, it feels weird that the game treats the attack as a single event affecting the forwardmost hero rather than evaluating each target individually.

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