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ddrussianinja

Keep Defense Battles Need Higher Stakes

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At first I was afraid that all of the combat sequences would be identical in "Massive Chalice", but I was very happy to discover that there was one other kind of random combat, which was the Keep defense combat sequence.

If you haven't encountered one of these, it's basically where the Cadence attack one of your Keeps in a massive invasion. You face off against a very high concentration of Cadence creatures and you also get to fight with whoever is Regent and Spouse in that particular Keep in addition to the five Recruits you send in normally.

However, I think that aside from the claustrophobic feel and the inclusion of the Regent and Spouse, this battle is still too similar to the other combat sequences. Additionally, the fact that you don't get a reward for it like you do for the other combat sequences really bugs me. Currently the only advantage to getting one of these is that you get to fight another battle with your Regent and Spouse and you don't have to worry about corruption increasing (although corruption isn't reduced in that region for successfully defending the Keep).

I think this can be improved.

For starters, I don't think you should only have the Regent and Spouse there. I think all of the Trainees should be there as well and the Cadence should prioritize attacking them so it becomes similar to the Terrorism missions in "XCOM: Enemy Unknown". Your goal becomes advancing as quickly as possible to prevent the Cadence from wiping out the next generation of that Bloodline rather than just protecting the Regent and Spouse (who can probably defend themselves anyway).

Additionally, I have a few ideas as to what the reward could be for this kind of mission:

- Complete removal of all corruption in the attacked region.

- Partial removal of corruption in all bordering regions.

- If the Regent and Spouse survive and defeat a certain number of Cadence enemies, they're more likely to randomly create a Bloodline Relic.

- An experience boost for the current Trainees of that Bloodline since they got their first taste of combat earlier than most.

Lastly, maybe this type of mission shouldn't be completely random. Maybe every Keep should have to go through this after a certain number of generations.

What do you guys think?

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I remember that there was an idea to have a cradle or something to represent young trainees or something but they're trying to keep the costs of the game down and creating additional models can incur significant cost (this is why trainees don't have animations).

I hear what you're saying about the keep defense missions but sometimes they can take on a frantic pace if your squad of active heroes are spawned across the map and have to fight to get to and protect the regent and partner. There is some variety in these missions as they go on and it certainly feels like there's a lot at stake because you have to defend your bloodline. Maybe the mission would count as a massive defeat if the regent and partner both fell in battle? That would certainly mean a lot more is at stake without requiring too much in terms of $$$.

I do know that my outer-region keeps were attacked pretty often but I don't think it would make sense for the cadence to attack keeps on an inner region if the outer one has yet to be fully corrupted.

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I remember that there was an idea to have a cradle or something to represent young trainees or something but they're trying to keep the costs of the game down and creating additional models can incur significant cost (this is why trainees don't have animations).

If that's the case, you could use a model that already exists (like the throne in the Keep), make it attackable (like the Chalice during the final battle) and every time a Cadence attacks it, a random Trainee is damaged or killed. This would accomplish what I'm suggesting without requiring the creation of new models and it would force the player to keep the Regent and the Spouse near the throne rather than just have them bolt as soon as possible to regroup with the main party (a strategy that I was able to use during every battle without much difficulty).

I hear what you're saying about the keep defense missions but sometimes they can take on a frantic pace if your squad of active heroes are spawned across the map and have to fight to get to and protect the regent and partner.

Again, every time I had a battle like that, I had no trouble just making the Regent and the Spouse run to the other end of the Keep to join the rest of the party. Once that happened, the Cadence would just move in to attack the party since I think their AI attracts them to the Regent and Spouse. Once you get them to join the party, the battle becomes pretty simple provided you have enough patience. Without something defenseless in the Keep to protect, there's really no reason to keep the party split up.

There is some variety in these missions as they go on and it certainly feels like there's a lot at stake because you have to defend your bloodline.

Since the Trainees aren't threatened, losing an easily-replaceable Regent and/or Spouse is rarely much of a significant threat to the continuity of the Bloodline.

Maybe the mission would count as a massive defeat if the regent and partner both fell in battle? That would certainly mean a lot more is at stake without requiring too much in terms of $$$.

This would incentivize keeping the Regent and Spouse alive, but again, that's not too difficult so long as you don't decide to have them try to hold off the impending horde by themselves and instead have them run as far and as fast as they can from the very beginning.

I do know that my outer-region keeps were attacked pretty often but I don't think it would make sense for the cadence to attack keeps on an inner region if the outer one has yet to be fully corrupted.

That's fair, but it would be easy enough to explain away. Perhaps the Chalice power required to build a Keep creates a back door that the Cadence can use only once to send in a massive horde. Perhaps there's a traitor in the Keep who lets the Cadence in.

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Again, every time I had a battle like that, I had no trouble just making the Regent and the Spouse run to the other end of the Keep to join the rest of the party. Once that happened, the Cadence would just move in to attack the party since I think their AI attracts them to the Regent and Spouse. Once you get them to join the party, the battle becomes pretty simple provided you have enough patience. Without something defenseless in the Keep to protect, there's really no reason to keep the party split up.

Brad mentioned in another topic he was going to talk with Chad about making the AI potentially more aggressive in some circumstances -- maybe they could make it so they are seeking out the regent and spouse? Eh.

Anyways, I like the idea of some how raising the stakes.

Smiles

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Along this same line, I'd like to be able to equip my regent and spouse before one of these battles. The other day I started a battle pretty late in the game and I realized as the battle was starting that my spouse had no armor or items or upgraded weapons. If possible I'd like to be able to gear them up as well so they're not such a liability in battle.

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I don't know what to make of this. By some coincidency, my keep battles were always at the crucible. Which worked out well usually because my Standard was often pretty badass hunters who could stealth their way out of the start. But I can imagine being in a situation where I had other classes up there that couldn't hide so well.

Honestly, losing regents early already sounds like a pretty big punishment - an entire bloodline can fall, that way, if you get unlucky with the timing.

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Along this same line, I'd like to be able to equip my regent and spouse before one of these battles. The other day I started a battle pretty late in the game and I realized as the battle was starting that my spouse had no armor or items or upgraded weapons. If possible I'd like to be able to gear them up as well so they're not such a liability in battle.

I'd like to be able to equip Regents and Spouses as well, though I honestly don't know how viable this is since the current load-out screen seems designed with only five Recruits in mind. If it can be done easily, I'd like this feature as well. Or perhaps I should just start planning ahead and equipping all of my Recruits before battle in case I end up marrying them off later on.

I don't know what to make of this. By some coincidency, my keep battles were always at the crucible.

I... actually didn't know that could happen! I thought these fights only happened on regions with Keeps. I didn't know the other building types could be attacked as well.

Maybe only the Keep battles would have you fighting to protect your Trainees. Maybe the Crucible battles would risk reducing the passive XP gain for Trainees and the Sagewright battles would do the same for research time. Or maybe those could be more like escort missions? I dunno.

Honestly, losing regents early already sounds like a pretty big punishment - an entire bloodline can fall, that way, if you get unlucky with the timing.

Sure, but these kinds of battles happen so rarely that the likelihood of getting one that early on seems pretty slim. I think I had four over the course of the entire playthrough.

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I'd like to be able to equip Regents and Spouses as well, though I honestly don't know how viable this is since the current load-out screen seems designed with only five Recruits in mind. If it can be done easily, I'd like this feature as well. Or perhaps I should just start planning ahead and equipping all of my Recruits before battle in case I end up marrying them off later on.
I'm at year 270 on my playthrough and haven't had a Keep/Guild/Crucible battle yet (may start savescumming for one) but you can probably sneak into the regent's equipment in the pre-fight screen. Just track down a Hero that's a child of either the Regent or Spouse, click on the parent's emblem in the family tree, and hit the Info button. (Siblings of the regent/spouse should work as well.) There should definitely be an easier way to do it, but that should be a serviceable workaround for the moment.

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I don't like the keep battles, personally. I understand them now, but the first one was a real slap in the face because the game really emphasizes "once you appoint a hero to a post, they will never see battle again." Due to this I never modified their inventory. They were in the lowest tier armor and didn't have an item equipped. Now I know that keep attacks exist so I make sure to have my regents up to date. In addition I've always lost both regent and partner every time, no exceptions. The game always seems to spawn the a horde of seeds right near the courtyard and at least two cradles to siege the rulers once the seeds have vision.

If the appointed heroes die every time, why don't they just stay inside behind that big iron gate they just stand in front of?

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