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DrStoked

The Final Battle

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I just had my first attempt at the final battle. If you haven't gotten that far and don't want to be spoiled on what it is, you probably shouldn't read this thread. Cool? Cool.

It feels awful and this is why I think so, and how I think it could be tweaked.

The set up (defending the Chalice as waves of Cadence appear to take you down) is a great concept. It's thematic and consistent with the narrative and that's all awesome. Summoning in new waves of Cadence after the previous has been cleared is fine: it's a final battle and you need to get the Cadence close to wipe them out. It's a big deal, after all. Meant to be a real test of your abilities.

When your heroes die and their ancestors take their place on the battlefield? GREAT! Super cool concept, and it's a nice feeling seeing the heroes of the past come back to kick ass one last time. Or, it does at first.

That leads me to my first major issue: the ancestors arrive on the battlefield at the level they were when they died. Makes sense, right? Well, when fighting against advanced forms of all of the enemy types, your mighty heroes of the past will do barely any damage and get killed almost instantly after the first few resurrections. I've had a hero die, resurrect, die, resurrect, and die again all in ONE Cadence Phase. Because they get surrounded, because the Cadence never stop spawning in after a certain point (it seems). It makes my memories of my badass heroes feel false, since they were now being so easily dealt with.

It's a final battle, and it's meant to be a challenge, but I spent over 45 minutes playing where the last 20 of those minutes I knew was going to be pointless, because my old heroes simply weren't high enough of a level to deal with the insane stream of Cadence.

That brings me to my other massive concern: there is no feedback on how close you are to the end of the battle. Do I have to survive a certain amount of turns? Do I need to clear a certain number of waves? Is there a button I have to reach? I have no clue and I felt so frustrated and helpless during the final mission because I had no indicator of how close I was to actually clearing it. Maybe my game just bugged out and the end didn't trigger? I have no idea, and that doesn't feel very good.

I absolutely love Massive Chalice, and the whole point of the backer beta is to try to make it the best game it can be before full launch. I really, really think something needs to be tweaked in the final battle. Maybe your ancestor heroes come in at the level of the hero they replace? Maybe the Chalice can give some indicator of how close you are to the end, either by having the voices call out "keep fighting, we're almost there!" or something, or some visual indicator (maybe it glows?). Just ANYTHING to let the player know they are making progress in this massive final confrontation.

It's such a fantastic scene for a final battle, but as it is right now, I felt frustrated and hopeless for the majority of it, rather than heroic and mighty.

Going to try again in a little bit. Just wanted to get my gut reaction to it posted to hopefully tweak it for the better.

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The Final Battle is easily the most experimental and least tested section of the game. We're going to be making a lot of adjustments to it and it's going to require some work!

I believe that there are 4 waves that spawn in after the initial one. I will check this number on Monday! I think that overall there are too many waves and that the battle is too punishing. It's a tight space on purpose, but I think we're throwing too many enemies in there. For sure we'll be adjusting that!

I also recognize the problem with the resurrection. We've had a couple of ideas. The original design was to have a stacking "Strength of the Ancestors" buff that would be applied to a resurrected character. This would probs just be a general buff (Str, Dex, Int, HP?) that gets a stack for each time a character is resurrected. For example, your hero dies and his mother warps in. She has Ancestor x1 buff. When she dies and her father comes in (the original character's grandfather) he would show up with the Ancestor x2 buff. This is an attempt to keep your ancestors relevant. But I'd be worried that this would make the battle too easy since you can easily have 7-8 heroes per bloodline!

Another idea is to have the enemies progress backwards through the difficulty of the timeline. The problem here is that if you *aren't* losing any heroes the battle will just get easier and easier and just be boring!

I'm hoping to do some focused testing on it this week. If you guys can email in your save games that are at the Final Battle that would be amazing! And it's best if you can save right at the battle (pre-deployment) so that we can see your tech research order, the state of your Nation, and all of your heroes (not just the 5 that you sent into the fight!).

For now, if the Final Battle is annoying you to the point of souring you on the game, I would urge you to start a new playthrough or just stop playing the game altogether until we fix it. I appreciate your feedback so much and I don't want anyone to smash themselves into this part of the game repeatedly to their own detriment. :(

Thanks! :D!

-Brad!

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Also, I think that it's really rough for other reasons.

You have to invest a lot of hours in the game to get to year 300 (as I did earlier today, not expecting to win). The last battle needs to feel epic, but I also feel like it should find a balance between that epic-feel and victory lap. If you've done a half-decent job of levelling up your heroes and building up your bloodlines and relics, etc, it should feel totally manageable.

This is not just the last battle, it's the last hurrah for all your bloodlines and heroes, and it should be something celebratory - while in my game I didn't expect to win because I'd made some huge mistakes resulting in underleveled team, I feel like I would have had to be almost perfect to have a chance of winning in the end. And I think there's a chance that someone could feel like they're doing pretty well all through the game and still not be able to win the final battle. That's kinda a bummer after investing so much time!

Anyway, I think we'll need a bit more feedback to get the full measure of it.

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Yeah, I assumed you guys were already on the case. I'm sure it'll get put into a nice spot sooner or later :)

I definitely got more than 4 waves of spawning enemies, so maybe the end failed to activate after the 4th and just continued spawning enemies forever. I think it was 6 or 7 waves until I wiped completely, so maybe there's a bug that's causing it to not turn over after 4.

Again, I absolutely love the game. Can't wait to start a new playthrough with all new bloodlines. The Scotts have had their time in the spotlight, they should rest.

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Is it a bad sign that I registered to the Double Fine forums just to post in this thread? :P I absolutely love the game, by the way.

It was pretty clear to me when I played it that the final battle is unfinished, I really hope people aren't judging an otherwise excellent game based on that battle alone. But yeah, I think it works great conceptually, but not so much gameplay-wise. First of all, my whole strategy was very fertility focused, and so for hundreds of years every regent and their spouse was appointed at age 16, with the goal of having as many children as possible. So in the final battle, when I had my first casualty and she was replaced by her dead regent father, I wasn't thinking, "Oh, I remember him, he was a badass!" I was thinking, "Who? Oh right, the regent who spent his whole life making babies and never fought a single battle in his life. His sister was a badass, Aunt Mary who retired to the Crucible before giving me this awesome caber. I wish she were here instead." I actually had to assign skill points every time one of my ancestors appeared, because that was usually the first fight any of them had ever seen.

Also I think the battle is just too regressive, it feels like I'm moving backwards rather than coming to a conclusion. I think the ideal final battle should feel a bit like a microcosm of the previous 300 years, combined with a sort of trip down memory lane. Honestly, I think the simplest fix might be to just find a way for the ancestors to fight from backward to forwards, instead of the other way around like it is currently. Why not make it a sequence where the chalice uses some timefist shenanigans to pull heroes from the past into the battle, and has you fight alongside them for a certain number of turns (or until they "die" and get sent back to their own time)?

Or, if it would be too difficult to balance a fight where Level 2 heroes would still be useful alongside Level 9-10, why not concoct some reason why the current heroes are preoccupied and have it be a series of smaller battles using only the ancestors. Say, the game pulls in your greatest heroes from Year 1 to Year 50 and pits them against an intense wave of seeds, ruptures and bulwarks. Then when that wave is cleared, the ancestors disappear and are replaced by your greatest heroes from Year 51 to 100, who fight lapses and twitchers and wrinklers, and so on. Then finally culminating in one last battle with the Year 301 Crew. That would also have the added benefit of breaking up the battle into smaller chunks, so it's not one big 70 minute slobberknocker.

Anyway, just some thoughts, not sure if any of this would even be feasible, but that's my two cents. Otherwise the game looks great!

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Oh god, there's only meant to be 4 more waves?

I've been playing this Final Battle for a few hours, with my original 5 still intact, and I must've wiped out at least 20 waves hoping for the end to trigger. I came here in search of the problem, so I suppose it just bugged out.

I agree with Kevin regarding the attachment to the Regents. I had the same strategy; appoint a young, fertile Regent who'd stay there their entire life. Even though the Chalice warns you in the tutorial to not make it a numbers game, that's exactly what it became. The only time I'd notice even the names of the characters was when I saved a particular person for their bloodline, rather than becoming the partner of another bloodline's Regent.

Maybe this is because I wasn't a bloodline backer, but I just didn't feel invested in them as characters. Someone in another thread suggested random events specific to bloodlines, and I'd heartily agree with that. Small disputes that happen more frequently would give them some kind of a personality, beyond 'Dimwitted - Lower Intelligence'.

Another thing (probably not relevant to this thread), is that my Caberjacks never had a bloodline weapon. Potentially a bug?

Anyway, the Final Battle is, as already mentioned, great thematically - just not implemented as strongly as it could be. The Chalice letting you know how many waves are left, or just something so that you don't give up hope.

Great game, looking forward to the addition of more random content, and a working Final Battle ^_^.

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Oh god, there's only meant to be 4 more waves?

I've been playing this Final Battle for a few hours, with my original 5 still intact, and I must've wiped out at least 20 waves hoping for the end to trigger. I came here in search of the problem, so I suppose it just bugged out.

I'm in the same boat! I was so surprised when I read that. My four hunters (I regret not bringing a fifth) are each up to somewhere between +350% and +450% for Chalk One Up, so I must have killed over a hundred enemies. They just keep coming!

Is it required that you lose some heroes and see the resurrections for the mission to end?

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I actually found the final battle to be pretty breezy. Once I survived the initial rush (which was pretty hairy) and realized where the adds port in, I just sat one caberjack in each spawn zone and let them one-shot everything with their knockback weapon + killzone. I had a hunter for cleaning up anything that hot through, and an alchemist that quickly became useless after wave 8-9 when she finally ran out of flasks.

ALchemists really suck on the final battle, compared to the gods among men that hunters/cabers are. Chalk em' up should decay after three or so rounds, so I'm not doing 300 damage a hit, and killzone should start dropping your speed after the first two kills so you can't run over then entire map in one turn. Alternately, make mad bomber slowly regenerate flasks so alchemists still feel useful after the first few rounds.

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Just beat the game and I wanted to get down some thought before turning in.

First, I want to echo both the that this game is awesome and this battle is a drag.

I'm glad that the equipment seems to get passed up the reincarnation-chain. It meas that the armor carries on but also the relics! Instead of a "Might of the Ancestors" type buff I wonder if it makes sense to pass up some portion of your XP. You spent the entire game pushing XP from parent to child so having the end reverse the process seems cool.

I also want to use the final battle to talk about some other aspects of the game which seem especially relevant in year 300.

Is the frustration of constantly hitting level 10 and getting de-leveled intended? I'm on board with the lapse de-leveling you but at this particular point ion the game its especially annoying. Has it been considered that heroes could fill up their level 10 XP bar but never hit level 11? That way a Lapse could still steal levels but you could also build a bit of a buffer.

In a normal level the enemies are just occupying space and you sort of ambush them. The search and destroy is sometimes annoying (especially on the Pale Sea for some reason) but in a mission framed as a defense mission its is weird that you have to run around to the corners of the room to find the enemies and finish the game. I'm not sure what the solution here is. Maybe you abandon the chalice health mechanic? Maybe the chalice highlights enemies remaining? Maybe enemies on this level roam more aggressively? Please just dont make me run around this room 50 times.

I would also like to echo the notion that you never have any idea of how long much longer it'll take. Waves seem to be time based but the mission still wont end til you exterminate all the cadence?

I'm going back and forth between whether I think the final battle should be the last obstacle or a victory lap. For a game that is about the massage of centuries it seems weird for your success to be based on on single fight.

Can't wait to see where this goes next. Bed time!

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Is the frustration of constantly hitting level 10 and getting de-leveled intended? I'm on board with the lapse de-leveling you but at this particular point ion the game its especially annoying. Has it been considered that heroes could fill up their level 10 XP bar but never hit level 11? That way a Lapse could still steal levels but you could also build a bit of a buffer.

Considering that getting dropped to lvl 9 is the only thing standing in between my hunters/cabers from wiping out each pack as they spawn, I hope it is intentional.

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I'd prefer that it were harder to get to level 10 in the first place and you feel rewarded when it happens as opposed to using the level up, level down, level up, level down, level up, level down cycle as a balance crutch.

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I agree that constantly flickering between 9 and 10 when hit by lapses just gets tedious. It might be a little too abstract to convey, but maybe lapses could attack your kill count on the current mission once you're level 10. I'm not sure how they'd make this make sense, but mechanically it could be a good way of providing that buffer.

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where do we email our saves to?

Probably with all the Bug dated data, hopefully including a relevant title ;)

support@doublefine.com

----

Anyway I finally got to the final battle and it really did feel epic for the first ~10 turns. The floor was just littered with the remains of Cadence and the first time an Ancestor popped up it was truly a "What the Hell!" experience, in a good way. Bravely I charged into the fray with the mindset of "we have reserves"

Pretty soon I figured the flaw in this plan however as Cadence kept reappearing (it certainly felt more than four waves) and my heroes slowly got ground down to my first house; back to back Hunters in-front of the Chalice surrounded by three Lapses, a Twitcher and four bulwarks. Rather anticlimactic as they couldn't hit anything, let alone cause enough damage to thin the herd.

Overall a really great idea but obviously needs some tweaking.

Oh and perhaps the funniest thing in the whole game happened in the final battle. Old guy resurrected after my hero was killed; then immediately died of old age. I don't know if it was because my previous hero was killed by a wrinkler (before the age gain was added) or if he had a heart attack at seeing all the cadence surrounding him.

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I enjoyed the game, but I had to stop playing it once I reached the final battle, mainly because it now keeps crashing two turns after loading, but also, when it doesn't crash, the waves are endless, I've spent over an hour on it killing wave after wave of cadence. I figured I'd take a break for a while.

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4 Waves my ass ... sorry! I don't know how many Cadence I killed already in my fight now...

I'm really surprised, that you think Hunters can manage this ... or I'm bugged. But I get waves basically every one-two turns and if my Caberjacks wouldn't kill like 6-7 enemies in one turn (more is impossible, because I can't reach the next enemies or some stupid bulwark has his armor up already) I would be already dead. Yes, my Hunters are one-shotting anything ... but there are just a "few" too many enemies!

And I would really like to switch out my Alchemist. He is doing nothing after all his flasks are gone ...

Let's see how long I will survive ... or someone tells me what the frack I should do...

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@Sinner2000 - yeah if you could send your save files to support@doublefine.com that would be great! :D!

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ok I said this was the first thing that I was going to do this morning and I got sidetracked!

So this is like really Inside Baseball but if you're reading this I'm just going to assume that you're interested. :D

Here's the data right now:

Class.nMaxRoundsBetweenWaves= 5

Class.nTotalWaves = 10

Class.nSpawnPointsPerWave = 3

Class.iMaxInitalSpawnPoints = 5

Ok so this means there are TEN EFFING WAVES after the initial bunch of enemies. This is absurd and I should have checked this out before it went live! Sorry about that! :(

I believe I have 12 random spawn points placed in this level. When the battle starts it picks 5 of them at random and spawns a group there. I think this is fine. The beginning feels pretty tough to me, especially with the random distribution of enemies.

It gives you 5 turns to clear those enemies out before it spawns in the next group. If you manage to clear the enemies out earlier it will spawn the next batch. I feel like reducing this number down to 4 (or maybe even 3?) might make the fight more exciting.

When it's time to spawn a wave it chooses 3 spawn points at random and spawns a group at each one. I think this is fine too? If the waves are 3 groups each but they are closer together you'll have to be on your toes to avoid overlaps and getting overwhelmed!

So here's what I'm going to test locally:

Class.nMaxRoundsBetweenWaves= 3

Class.nTotalWaves = 5

Class.nSpawnPointsPerWave = 3

Class.iMaxInitalSpawnPoints = 5

This reduces the length of the battle by more than half. I think this is a good place to start! :D!

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Oh one other thing! The AI uses a "honeypot" mechanic that lures them to the Chalice. This isn't strong enough! I'm going to work with Chad to figure out how to make the pull stronger, and also figure out how to get the enemies to more aggressively prioritize the Chalice over the heroes. I think that we could support more enemies without making the game impossible or overwhelming.

I'm aiming to get something out this week! Thanks for all of the feedback you guys! :D!

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Thanks Brad! Will the update be retro-active? I have a save file that's mid-fight and it'd be nice to see a light at the end of the tunnel. If not, then I absolutely understand (I think I've fought 12 waves at this point) and I'll just wait until my next game gets to that point to try it out. Also thanks for recognizing that the "honeypot" mechanic isn't strong enough, it was definitely frustrating to sit back at the chalice and see the cadence hiding from me. Although, I do have to admit, I felt pretty badass thinking that they were afraid of my heroes ;-)

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I posted this on a Wishlist thread, but here are some ideas I had to make the final battle better.

First, I think there should be a minor version of this battle around Year 150. This introduces the player to the ancestral regeneration mechanic and makes use of the less powerful ancestors that are far too useless to be included in the final battle. It impresses the importance of choosing powerful regents and introduces the idea of "wave" combat.

Second, I think that there should be unlockable abilities to use during the battle. For example, maybe the player doesn't have the ancestral regeneration ability by default, but if they complete an optional mission, they unlock that ability to use during the final battle. Maybe you could also have a mission to unlock some kind of limited siege weapon ability for the Chalice to use to knock out massive chunks of enemies at the expense of the Chalice's health or the ability for the Chalice to reduce fog of war so you know where the enemies are spawning. This would give the player something proactive to do and make time management a bit more critical since the player will have to balance between preparing their Recruits and Researching the items and abilities they'll need while also investing time on optional missions.

Third, there HAS to be some way to defend against the Lapses' ability to drain XP. Since you can't gain additional XP after reaching Level 10, just one hit from a Lapse robs any Level 10 character of their strongest ability, and since they are ranged attackers, there's not a lot you can do to avoid them. What's the point of having cool Level 10 abilities if you can only use them during the first two rounds of the final battle?

Lastly, there needs to be some indicator of how many waves/enemies are left. I'm glad that the number of waves is being significant reduced (10 FREAKING WAVES!?) but it's still frustrating to have no clear idea of how close I am to completing the battle.

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Class.nMaxRoundsBetweenWaves= 5

Class.nTotalWaves = 10

Class.nSpawnPointsPerWave = 3

Class.iMaxInitalSpawnPoints = 5

I don't think that these numbers are correct in my save ... I get new Waves every round (I think one time I even got two Waves in one round...) and I'm quite sure that I killed more than 10 waves already ... I think I start new, maybe then I get an ending... I'm currently dying anyway :P

Or how does "new wave" count? If one wave has still one enemy left and the next wave ports in. Now you kill this last enemy; does this trigger a new wave? Maybe this is my "problem"!?

The start of the ending wasn't that bad as you think it was! Maybe I got some good positions, but it was quite ok!

The XP loss is also really annoying... especially when you loose level 10. Couldn't we just ignore the max level and still get xp? You don't need more skills or levels, but so you can loose XP to Lapses and still keep going! ... Or is this too strong then?

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Just spent 3 hours on the last battle (The auto save in the first image was of the beginning of the final mission, while "BuembaBattle 2" is the save I just made before coming here to post).

I don't know how many waves I fought yet, but it's been way more than 10 for sure. As you can see in the second image the map is covered with more dead enemies than a Dynasty Warriors game. I sometimes get new waves back to back, clear most of the board, walk to some corner and immediately run into 9 or 10 enemies bunched up in the shadows. Not that I blame them for hiding since my Hunters are doing over 600% bonus damage from their final skill and can one shot anything.

As the final image shows I also ran into a bug where the game's still giving a corpse some of the attributes of a living enemy (I can target it, but my attacks whiff, and the game doesn't let me activate stealth while inside its view range). Either that or some enemies are so desperate they're resorting to feigning death to escape the wrath of my party.

MC01.jpg

MC02.jpg

MC03.jpg

MC01.jpg.7ab13a1dd31202abe63bab48e5a57c4

MC02.jpg.eaccb6bef85fbaf79b35bf7a5605a06

MC03.jpg.c9bed25dedab6134abe0e37fdd5ac50

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When I did the final battle, I didn't have any deaths and I didn't really have a sense of chaos. My heroes were able to handle the enemies too easily. As a result, I didn't get to experience a number of the mechanics that I've heard about in this thread that would have made the fight cooler.

My alchemist threw his 10 flasks in the first 3 waves, and then was pretty much useless for the rest of the fight. Now that I know the mechanics a bit better, it would have been better strategically to let him die, so I could get more flasks.

Also, since only 1 of the sides of the chalice was fully exposed, it was easy to put heroes between the enemies and the chalice, and the enemy never even took 1 shot on the chalice.

Since my hunters and caberjacks were one-shotting everything, the seemingly endless waves didn't increase the difficulty of the fight, just the duration.

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I too crushed face with all 5 of my units. Or rather with my 2 Hunters and 2 Caberjacks, and I guess an Alchemist walked around too. Some kind of Boss Monster might be nice, both to reduce the need for repeated waves and to ramp up the lethality so that the player does lose a unit or two.

Also, no Bulwarks or Ruptures ever spawned for me. What gives? Let's see the whole enemy cast.

And I'm pulling this straight from my playthrough thread, but I was kind of annoyed with the ending. SPOILERS IN WHITE TEXT With a name like the Cadence, the idea of this happening in cycles was kind of narratively inevitable. At the same time, it feels a little cheap to pull a last minute story twist like this in a game that has so little narrative to begin with. Just tell us in the beginning that we can usher in an age of peace and stave off extinction, don’t move the goalposts at the last minute. This needs to feel more like a grand culmination rather than a last second rug pull, and the Chalice justifying misdirection on the grounds of “Yeah you might have been a sad sack and a quitter” is sorta crappy.

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Also, no Bulwarks or Ruptures ever spawned for me. What gives? Let's see the whole enemy cast.

I also got no Ruptures. But Bulwarks? I can help you there:

z1Nruoz.png

Don't worry I get bored, I get 6+ every round ... at least I got, don't know how long I will stay alive! (or even try)

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ok I said this was the first thing that I was going to do this morning and I got sidetracked!

So this is like really Inside Baseball but if you're reading this I'm just going to assume that you're interested. :D

Here's the data right now:

Class.nMaxRoundsBetweenWaves= 5

Class.nTotalWaves = 10

Class.nSpawnPointsPerWave = 3

Class.iMaxInitalSpawnPoints = 5

Ok so this means there are TEN EFFING WAVES after the initial bunch of enemies. This is absurd and I should have checked this out before it went live! Sorry about that! :(

I believe I have 12 random spawn points placed in this level. When the battle starts it picks 5 of them at random and spawns a group there. I think this is fine. The beginning feels pretty tough to me, especially with the random distribution of enemies.

It gives you 5 turns to clear those enemies out before it spawns in the next group. If you manage to clear the enemies out earlier it will spawn the next batch. I feel like reducing this number down to 4 (or maybe even 3?) might make the fight more exciting.

When it's time to spawn a wave it chooses 3 spawn points at random and spawns a group at each one. I think this is fine too? If the waves are 3 groups each but they are closer together you'll have to be on your toes to avoid overlaps and getting overwhelmed!

So here's what I'm going to test locally:

Class.nMaxRoundsBetweenWaves= 3

Class.nTotalWaves = 5

Class.nSpawnPointsPerWave = 3

Class.iMaxInitalSpawnPoints = 5

This reduces the length of the battle by more than half. I think this is a good place to start! :D!

Well that certainly explains a lot. Can't wait to give the final battle another try once the fix is in!

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