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DrStoked

The Final Battle

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Right, I just completed my first game and found the last battle very easy. In fact, I found the last 100 years of the game quite easy this time - while before I really struggled and died before year 200. I think for the last 50 years at least (perhaps even longer), all the kids became level 10 before even glimpsing a battle in their future. I think I've even had babies born at level 7 or 8.

It seems that my last strategy worked a little too well, so things got easy.

I believe I had 5 keeps, 2 crucibles and 3 guilds for most part of the game (or was it 3 crucibles and 2 guilds... gotta check that). In the beginning I really focussed on getting those buildings done. After that, as research increased a lot through the guilds, getting all the items developed was no struggle at all. I only lost 3 regions at the end.

On the whole I used battle-seasoned heroes as standard early on, but when choosing regents and partners I really only looked at traits. In fact, I often picked young heroes with great traits, so I wouldn't have to pick new regents for a long while. I believe that the crucibles did their jobs so well that my nation as a whole slowly levelled up to 10, without having to care about the levels of regents.

I entered the final battle with two level 10 caberjacks (both with level 10 relics), two level 10 hunters (1 relic, not maxed out) and one 10 level alchemist (level 10 relic).

Having said all of that, these are my thoughts of the final battle:

- I had NO idea that my heroes were being replaced by their ancestors. Awesome concept! But indeed, I agree that perhaps some dialogue could point this out? Or the first time, the game could zoom in on the hero that is being replaced, so it is perhaps a bit more obvious that there's a different person?

- I barely lost any heroes to start with - only 2, maybe 3. When I realised "I couldn't die" (as I had no idea the heroes were being replaced), I was like.. okay? I can't possibly lose now. That made the end feel like less of a challenge. Had I known about the ancestors, I would have felt different I think.

- I agree with those who said it before: the alchemist feels fairly obsolete here. Towards the end I left him pretty idle in the middle, throwing the odd bomb here and there. 80% of the enemies were taken out by the two caberjacks and their epic killing streaks.

- As my heroes were very strong, I wouldn't have minded the enemy being stronger / less easy to kill in one blow by a caberjack. Or more waves. I think I completed the final battle in about 45 min.

What I think would benefit the game (to prevent the end being so easy):

- Restrictions on the number of keeps / crucibles / guilds that can be built

- Make it more rewarding to retire battle-seasoned into keeps, to prevent using heroes as baby-makers only.

- Perhaps the hp / level / amount of cadence pawns could be relative to the average level of your heroes in the last generation(s)? So that it's always a bit of a challenge?

Sounds like I had a pretty similar experience to you. I had 2 crucibles and only 1 guild, and I was sailing for most of the game actually, but especially the last 100 years or so. I don't think I actually lost anyone and the battle ended with 411/500 health on the Chalice.

I don't think I was doing anything particularly outlandish on this run, just trying to retire high XP heroes and similarly for standards, with good fertility in my regents/partners. I don't feel like I was using any sort of minmaxing strategy, just trying to be sorta sensible, and I walked it.

Also, I don't consider myself particularly good at this sort of game. I'm just 'okay'

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Also, I don't consider myself particularly good at this sort of game. I'm just 'okay'

Haha, yeah, me too. Love strategy games, but get beaten by such games nearly as often as I win them. Hence I was a bit surprised I was doing so well in the last game.

I don’t think I actually lost anyone and the battle ended with 411/500 health on the Chalice.

My Chalice was barely touched by the Cadence too. In the beginning I had the urge to stay close to the Chalice to protect it, but after a few turns I realised it was easier to hover closer to the several spawn areas and take down the enemies there. Because of the mighty caberjacks and their killing streaks, hardly any pawn managed to get even remotely close to the Chalice.

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I've had the same experience. I'm not good at these games (e.g. I have yet to beat X-Com even remotely), but I'm doing alright with this. Given that Brad has said he wants it on the higher end of hard, this feels odd. But that's why each patch is so exciting! Seeing the balancing happening is really fascinating.

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Totally! Can't wait for the next patch and start a new and fresh game. Hopefully the game will beat me into submission again, next time. :)

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Just got to the final battle and also got the 0HP Chalice freeze and had to reboot.

I'm yet to finish the last battle, but so far it's really good, I love the intensity. If I win it, it will really feel like I beat the challenge. It's rare to get a last level that actually challenges you. Please don't nerf it too much :-)

Just a suggestion if someone hasn't already mentioned it, is this:

When the Chalice is fully charged, it automatically forces you into the last battle. At this point I was a little time off getting my latest generation to level 10. Can we be given the option to prepare for the battle? i.e let the timeline and infractions occur so my heroes can still level up, because after all it is the Chalice itself that initiates pulling the cadence in, not the cadence overwhelming us.

Update: Just finished the last battle, it was very good. Waves coming in on top of each other was a real challenge.

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I also got that endless waves bug... am at least 15 waves in. My other concern is that it only started getting vaguely challenging past wave 10, after my two alchemists had used up all their bombs (all heroes are level 10, so each has 10 bombs plus two bee hives) and my only, slow Caberjack was teleported to the far end of the map by a Twitcher, while the rest was getting stormed by masses of Twitchers near the chalice.

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Just wrapped up the final battle on my 0.86 playthrough. Definitely less tedious killing 5 waves than 10. Or infinity. :P Definitely agree with the posts above asking for feedback along the way. The Chalice is calling Cadence in - it should have some idea how far there is to go.

Alchemists have come a looong way since 0.82 or whatever when I last hit the endgame. I went with 2 Cabers, 2 Alchemists, and 1 Hunter for my party and it felt like the right balance. You probably could've subbed the Hunter out for anything else and been fine though; their damage may have been reined in a little too much in light of the fact that they can't go on single-turn killing sprees like the other classes can. Even having stacked Chalk One Up to 50% (10 kills) had me just barely guaranteeing kills on Lapses and Wrinklers

Also, I noticed this time that you can actually bring Standards, Regents, and Partners to the final battle. Has it always been that way? Definitely loosens up the need for Relic juggling in the end game, though honestly I had relics to spare.

It's difficult to say whether the honeypot aspect is too strong, or if a team of maxed out murderers is too strong; I had one unit get hit one time (de-leveling him from 10 to 9, natch) and that was it. The Chalice remained untouched, and vast majority of enemies never even got to launch attacks. Probably should've sacrificed someone to see the ancestor thing.

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I was running into the same problems with playing for hours and saving and loading a lot and eventually getting overwhelmed with new waves every round and 20+ cadence active at once over -far- more waves than five.

I loaded from the auto save at the beginning of the battle, didn't save or load at all after that, and finished in something less than an hour with just one hero death. Yay! I agree it being a bit longer or ramping up more at the end would be fine as long as there was verbal or visual progress indicators.

A suggestion though about the ending-- perhaps at the very beginning have the Ruler choose a color or symbol or some other element to represent them, then after the end when the Ruler dies, if you start a New Game Plus have the "reforged" Chalice incorporate that color or element somehow, to imply the Ruler became part of the wisdom of the Chalice too when it was reforged. It would make the "You'll be in Good Company" line make sense and I think be really satisfying to see for players when the cycle starts over. : )

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I encountered the infinite spawns bug yesterday with the latest build on Linux. I have a save which I can shoot through, but it's after the final mission started.

I reloaded a save from about 20 years back (giving me some time to make some alternative research choices) and was able to finish today. If the enemies hadn't been spawning so fast, 10 waves would've felt like a sweet endurance run - finishing up in 5 waves didn't feel anywhere near as satisfying as holding out for 10 waves felt.

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@Cheeseness: did you save mid-battle? That seems to be a recurring theme for the infinite spawn problem.

Finally finished my 0.90 playthrough! Final battle is still a little wonky.

I felt much more boxed in initially - I think I had the nearest possible Cadence spawns to start - but after that initial hump it was smooth sailing again. I did have a couple injuries, but 2 Ultralixirs cleared that right up, so I still haven't encountered any deaths in the final fight. Probably should've tried that given the new auto-equip logic that's supposed to be in place. The Chalice only got hit once, on a Bulwark shot that tagged a unit halfway across the map. Cradles seem to be behaving a little weird, as well. A few took shots at me, but there were a couple times that they ran right by in order to get closer to the Chalice. Honeypot too stronk.

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If the enemies hadn't been spawning so fast, 10 waves would've felt like a sweet endurance run - finishing up in 5 waves didn't feel anywhere near as satisfying as holding out for 10 waves felt.

I think I might tend to agree with this.

Edit: Also, part of me would like a final battle that had a variable number of waves -- so the player wouldn't immediately be sure what number of waves they would have to withstand...

Smiles

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@Cheeseness: did you save mid-battle? That seems to be a recurring theme for the infinite spawn problem.

I saved at the very beginning, but continued without re-loading.

Edit: Also, part of me would like a final battle that had a variable number of waves -- so the player wouldn't immediately be sure what number of waves they would have to withstand...

That could be neat. It feels like pushing the uncertainty angle would definitely help, although I agree with earlier posts that it'd be nice if there was some charge up indicator for the chalice.

Another thing I'd be keen to see the final battle do is not end when you kill every enemy - you're supposed to be protecting the chalice, but it also needs them nearby. It'd be great if there were still enemies on the battlefield when the level ends to help hammer home that "holding out against the odds" endurance type motif that the game calls to so much.

Edit: Oh, and stats! I want to see stats from the final battle :D

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Just did the final battle last night. (also, my first win)

It was pretty intense. I managed to keep all my heroes alive, although it was close on a few of them. One of my Shadowjacks in particular got healed a bunch as he was using Kill Rage to take out whole clusters of enemies. I always felt like I was staying ahead of the cadence though, albeit I was running around like crazy trying to take stuff down. I almost want to say it could be just slightly more difficult, but I think I need to play it again with different heroes to be sure.

As has been echoed in the thread before, some feedback from the Chalice on how much longer the fight is going to go on would be nice. Also, I feel like they should react when they get hit. They felt... passive.

My only other feedback for the moment was that I normally keep my Hunters/Hunterbrids in Veil Armor, which... doesn't do much in this fight. Once the battle gets going, stealth is rarely an option. The protection from the Advanced Hunter Armor would have been better for the finale. A heads up that the fighting will be near constant might be useful in preventing that. Or some way of letting players know that they may want more armor than stealth for this fight.

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I had an interesting experience in my last game (pre .90). I was losing due to the bloodlines going south, but I decided to push on. I had two level 10 heroes around the early 200s, but my final heroes (what few there were) were around level 5 (I said it went really bad). I started skipping battles just to get to the final battle and see the losing ending.

However, as my last two generations fell, my level 10 heroes came back and I proceeded to win the game. This feels . . . wrong. Basically, My game was a downhill loss to the very end. I only just held on and then . . . I won because I had two level ten heroes with relics 75 years before?

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Reliance on ancestors is the whole point of the finale, I think. It gives all the decisions you made during the game meaning. That's a good thing.

There's a nice quote from Brad where he talks about the game being about evoking a sense of holding out against the odds and making a difference in a situation that seems doomed. Having high level ancestors come back to support you feels in line with that IMO.

I'm wondering if maybe the spawn rate/frequency should be based on your kill rate rather than a static frequency so that it can ramp up/down in a way that ensures that players are still being challenged if they're using Kill Rage to take out multiple enemies per turn (clearing the battlefield too quickly makes the final mission a cakewalk).

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I totally get the reliance on ancestors thing, but this . . .doesn't feel like that. As I see it, the final battle is either a big obstacle to overcome that will require you to rely on generations or it is a victory lap where you get to show off how good your game has been. In the first case, my strong current generation is not enough and is doomed to fall and here come the ancestors. In the second case, I probably never see the ancestors because I've done such a good job and my level 10 heroes with great traits and level 10 relics are kicking ass and taking names.

What happened to me is that my level 4 and 5 heroes held up as long as they could, but simply couldn't make it. The next generation was weak to, but then I hit my couple heroes who were in the vanguard from maturity to death and they mopped the floor. The problem I have (despite how much fun it was to see them come back and celebrate their strength) is that I basically lost the back third of the game, but because of those earlier heroes I won. It just feels off. Like after I hit level 10 once in eaach bloodline I don't really need to worry too much.

Of course the game was still great fun and I had a lot of wonderful moments where I was pulling the game back from the dead only to be crushed again (the joys of losing in the mid to late game!), this just didn't feel like it played right. Like I didn't deserve to win.

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What happens if you just hit level 10 around the point of the finale? Your ancestors would get progressively weaker, making them even less effective.

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What happens if you just hit level 10 around the point of the finale? Your ancestors would get progressively weaker, making them even less effective.

That's the position I was in and it was still fun.

Brad mentioned earlier in the thread that they were considering having an XP bonus for ancestors to keep them relevant.

IMO, it'd be neat to keep the current level of relics in play as well (I don't think that's currently happening - I ended up with a couple 0 XP relics in my first attempt) since they represent a tie to the past.

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