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AaronChance

300 years is too damned long

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I still love the game overall. I love the visuals, and the music, and the toxic enemies slowly eating away at my borders. I like the overall snappiness to the combat, and deciding who to pair with who when the houses need refilling. But I think that the game is missing the mark on what I want it to be. Obviously, this is my personal opinion, and other people might approach the game in a completely different manner. I don't expect any of the fairly radical changes I'm suggesting to be implemented, but I still thought I'd give my honest impressions.

I had planned on writing them after completing the game, but I've been bored since year 200. I've already researched everything worth the effort, my heroes are all 9-10, and the random events are too few and too shallow to make much difference. If this a game meant to be replayed, I shouldn't be just killing time. In Civilization, there's lands to conquer, a tech tree to fill, and goals to work towards. In Massive Chalice, the goal is to wait. I'v had all the land taken up fifty years in, and there's no mechanic to change or improve on what I've already built. I can't even change houses if I wanted to get more of a different class. There's sort of a tech tree in this game, but it's not presented well. I wish there was a visual representation of working towards better and better things. Instead, options just appear, and I've got a whole list of items that don't seem worth the serious time investment they call for. Equipable items take too damned long to research, and the best ones I've found are low hanging fruit.

Fifty years in, I had five keeps producing babies, and individuals stopped mattering. It didn't matter what their traits were, what they did in battle, if they ever saw battle, because combined with standards everyone ended up the same level anyway. Since I was fielding mostly hunters, everyone murdered their enemies well enough to negate differences in individual performance. Relics didn't matter either. I had too many heroes to know who had them, and when I equipped them the difference in damage never ended up being significant. Ideally, I would rather heroes leveled more rapidly in battle to encourage me to use them more, and grow an attachment to them, and for all the outside effects to matter much less. I wish there had been more time to field those individuals, less children overall, and less generations to dilute my interest in the individual. With 300 years, and children being battle ready at fifteen, that's roughly twenty generations. If this had been someone spread out over 5-6 generations, including a family tree documenting these houses, the individuals would have become much more interesting. I also might actually be able to keep track of their relics.

Not quite on topic, I still feel there needs to be a basic defensive option for each of the classes in battle. When I can see enemies but can't get in range to attack, and I'm forced to burn a turn because of it... that just feels bad. My heroes are going to suffer, and I'm letting them down because I don't have the option to prepare them for the incoming attack. There are also too many enemies per battle in the last third of the game. This doesn't really make the fights more difficult. It just makes the encounters drag, and make me dread the next one. I wish the enemy numbers would be reduced down to 3/4ths past 200 years, and make them a little deadlier. Things should be getting desperate. I should be losing valuable troops just to survive. I have yet to see an advanced bullwurk actually hit anything, and lapses more than half the time. Melee enemies rarely get close enough to attack.

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...This pretty much sums up why we're having a beta. To work out a balance for the game (and to have some fun).

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When presenting the game to friends, I describe it like being "a wave on which we try to surf". We start at the bottom of the wave, but if we ever get on top, we win. Once you're on top, you're unlikely to get down, so you just surf until the end. A lot of players I see on this forum never get any higher on the wave, and they are always struggling, until the end, where they hit a wall and die.

I hope, like you do, that there will be a way to get the game more difficult.

I like your idea to have a "Defensive action". Caberjacks could have a Bonus to armor, Hunters to evasion, and alchemists to resistance, maybe.

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I think 300 is about right, I started losing territory and I was done with all the research I wanted. Maybe a little longer but any shorter and there isn't as much end game.

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I also think 300 years feels about right. Just needs some balance. Slightly less punishing at the start, probably, but with more of a difficulty curve in the last 100 years.

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I also think 300 years feels about right. Just needs some balance. Slightly less punishing at the start, probably, but with more of a difficulty curve in the last 100 years.

Yea the start is really frustrating when you lose because all your hunters miss or something unforseen like that. The end doesn't have this problem nearly as often so it makes fights more predictable and easier. I think a balance between the two would be more enjoyable. Enemies doing more damage and having more HP and dodging less. I would be totally happy with miss removed entirely.

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A lot of people have been asking about overwatch or something similar. I think the key questions here are A) does a defensive action fit the current system? and B) why do people want overwatch? do they want it because they liked it in X-com, or do they want it because it would fit the game? I think it's pretty clear that if defensive actions were added, then all the enemies would have to be adjusted for them. Adding more variables midway just makes balancing the game even more difficult.

I think the game works well enough with the current line of sight mechanics. They emphatize hiding, ambushes, combination attacks and taking as little damage as possible, in short, guerilla tactics. Sitting in plain sight like a lemon taking attacks is more of a Fire Emblem "knights in armor" type thing.

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I think it's pretty clear that if defensive actions were added, then all the enemies would have to be adjusted for them. Adding more variables midway just makes balancing the game even more difficult.

Without talking about OverWatch, I thought that a defensive action could be a good idea, when your character "does nothing but moving".

Indeed, what I did not thought about, was that monsters probably would have, then, their own defensive actions, when they do nothing as well.

So yep, forget it.

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300 years seems like a good amount, though I admit there wasn't much to do the last 50 years or so. I had researched all I wanted and combat was a bit of a bore/too easy with my 5 caber wrecking crew.

Wouldn't be unhappy if it was moved to 250 years at current balance. Otherwise they need a better spread of enemy difficulty and/or elite versions.

Also +1 for something to do with unused action points besides wasting them. Defensive buff, offensive buff, overwatch, whatever. Unused resources just feel like wasted opportunity and lessen strategic options.

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I think the big problem right now is that once your heroes are popping out at level 10 and you've done all the research you want to do, there's nothing to do but sit on your hands and wait for the end. It might be nice if there was some way to actively speed up the end of the game once you're at a good place; maybe a combination of research and sending max level heroes out to gather Cadence essence?

Also, there's currently kind of a weird point I encounter around year 220-230 where I've got a fresh crop of great heroes who aren't going to last until the final battle and may not have the chance to jump in Crucibles or Regencies to pass on their awesomeness in time for the heroes who will be around for the final fight. But that would probably happen regardless of how long the game takes.

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Perhaps the option to start the final battle early (even if the chalice isn't fully charged yet). This would give you 300 yrs if you need it but let you final battle at say 200 and 250 years, Two programmable events, might be easier to program than a start when ever option. IMHO

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I believe 300 years is just perfect. I'm also against adding defensive actions because I feel the mid to late (possible late i've only made it to year 200 so far) game is well balanced.

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I'm surprised some people think 300 years is perfect. What are you doing during the last 100 years? I had already built everything and none of the research options seemed worth doing at all. I even maxed armor and researched a new weapon for caberjacks despite never having any caberjacks. The main thing I was doing was replacing dead people in posts like lightbulbs, and slogging through inconsequential battles. The exp was pointless by that time, so on the rare instances I actually lost someone in battle it didn't impact the game whatsoever.

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I also find that it works for me.

Perhaps it would be nice, at some point down the road, to add in special options before beginning a campaign, similar to the genetics choice and the iron man modes you currently have.

- chooses the length of the campaign

150, 300, 600 years

-limit the amount of keeps

3, maybe

-and so on

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I'm surprised some people think 300 years is perfect. What are you doing during the last 100 years? I had already built everything and none of the research options seemed worth doing at all. I even maxed armor and researched a new weapon for caberjacks despite never having any caberjacks. The main thing I was doing was replacing dead people in posts like lightbulbs, and slogging through inconsequential battles. The exp was pointless by that time, so on the rare instances I actually lost someone in battle it didn't impact the game whatsoever.

You ignored 1/3 of the research. 300 years should be enough time to research all the 3 class weapons and armor in addition to everything else. Some things should be sacrificed because not having a tradeoff isn't challenging though.

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In my mind, the main problem with the 300 years is that the game is a bit easy so far, and maybe research in the late game hits a wall where around year 225 you don't want any of the research options you still have left. I'd like the game balanced to be harder, hitting an ideal point where the average player maybe gets 75 years or so first time, maybe year 150 second or third time, and then after that maybe reach final battle 50% of the time. On average difficulty, with iron man rules. On hard difficulty, I want each battle to be a serious risk of failure and team wipe. On an easy difficulty, I want at least a few hurdles where you risk losing your team, maybe 3-5 over a playthrough. All of which on iron man rules, obviously. If save scrumming, I expect anyone will be able to reach end game at any difficulty.

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Also I think the point being missed here is that many of us saying that 300 years are about right acknowledge there's pacing problems in the mid-late game now, and balance stuff to be sorted out. It's just that our proposed solution is not 'shorten the game' but 'work on balance' as they are already doing.

So sure, actually I did start running out of things to research around year 250 in my playthrough, and the game was a bit easy in the mid-late stages for me. But this is exactly the stuff I expect will get addressed in the next few months.

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I'm surprised some people think 300 years is perfect. What are you doing during the last 100 years? I had already built everything and none of the research options seemed worth doing at all. I even maxed armor and researched a new weapon for caberjacks despite never having any caberjacks. The main thing I was doing was replacing dead people in posts like lightbulbs, and slogging through inconsequential battles. The exp was pointless by that time, so on the rare instances I actually lost someone in battle it didn't impact the game whatsoever.

You ignored 1/3 of the research. 300 years should be enough time to research all the 3 class weapons and armor in addition to everything else. Some things should be sacrificed because not having a tradeoff isn't challenging though.

I didn't ignore them. I didn't see any point in them. In a game driven by choice, I should choose how to spend my time, and if I don't feel something is worth researching, I'm not going to do it. XCOM can get away with it because it also has a build component, but in MC you're done building by year 50. Without things to research, you're just waiting for people to die.

Also, if this is a game meant to be replayed, should it really be long enough to where I can get everything? Then what's the point of replaying it? Right now there's so much time that you can pretty much do everything the game has to offer, unless you get screwed out of one of the three classes, which isn't much incentive to go back.

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It'd be silly to ditch 300 years right now, until more aspects of the game are balanced -- a la building requirements / nerfs / buffs which they are looking into; hybrids; birth rate; and whatever the main 'difficulty' level is fine tuned to be for normal.

Once those things are in or tweaked, then I think it makes sense to see if fiddling with the scale of time is a solution. Otherwise if you do it now, you aren't comparing like things for future balancing.

Also, if this is a game meant to be replayed, should it really be long enough to where I can get everything? Then what's the point of replaying it? Right now there's so much time that you can pretty much do everything the game has to offer, unless you get screwed out of one of the three classes, which isn't much incentive to go back.

Obviously I can't tell you why something is replayable, since this varies from person to person. But I've always felt the game will be replayable because of the emergent stories and the bloodline aspect of it.

Smiles

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It'd be silly to ditch 300 years right now, until more aspects of the game are balanced -- a la building requirements / nerfs / buffs which they are looking into; hybrids; birth rate; and whatever the main 'difficulty' level is fine tuned to be for normal.

Once those things are in or tweaked, then I think it makes sense to see if fiddling with the scale of time is a solution. Otherwise if you do it now, you aren't comparing like things for future balancing.

Also, if this is a game meant to be replayed, should it really be long enough to where I can get everything? Then what's the point of replaying it? Right now there's so much time that you can pretty much do everything the game has to offer, unless you get screwed out of one of the three classes, which isn't much incentive to go back.

Obviously I can't tell you why something is replayable, since this varies from person to person. But I've always felt the game will be replayable because of the emergent stories and the bloodline aspect of it.

Smiles

Well said. I think the key issue here is that the scaling of the game mechanics feels off and there are tons of ways to improve that by switching around numbers on spreadsheets. Changing the number of in-game years is one thing, but it could also be done by changing research times, adding a project or two, adjusting fertility, adjusting the time spent on a generation.... As I said in my first post, solving these problems is basically why we're having this beta period in the first place.

Of course, the end result ultimately rests on what the dev team wants the game to be.

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I'm surprised some people think 300 years is perfect. What are you doing during the last 100 years? I had already built everything and none of the research options seemed worth doing at all. I even maxed armor and researched a new weapon for caberjacks despite never having any caberjacks. The main thing I was doing was replacing dead people in posts like lightbulbs, and slogging through inconsequential battles. The exp was pointless by that time, so on the rare instances I actually lost someone in battle it didn't impact the game whatsoever.

You ignored 1/3 of the research. 300 years should be enough time to research all the 3 class weapons and armor in addition to everything else. Some things should be sacrificed because not having a tradeoff isn't challenging though.

I didn't ignore them. I didn't see any point in them. In a game driven by choice, I should choose how to spend my time, and if I don't feel something is worth researching, I'm not going to do it. XCOM can get away with it because it also has a build component, but in MC you're done building by year 50. Without things to research, you're just waiting for people to die.

Also, if this is a game meant to be replayed, should it really be long enough to where I can get everything? Then what's the point of replaying it? Right now there's so much time that you can pretty much do everything the game has to offer, unless you get screwed out of one of the three classes, which isn't much incentive to go back.

I don't think it is possible to be done building by year 50. I think you start with 1 keep at year 0? So that leaves 10 or so plots of land to populate. That seems really hard to do by year 50. I think you can do it by year 100 if you ignore everything else but that seems really inefficient.

I only upgraded Caberjacks and by around year 200 I was done researching, it I wanted to get the other armor it would have taken around 60 more years. I didn't get any weapons which would have added maybe 30 years if I got 2 weapons.

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I don't think it is possible to be done building by year 50. I think you start with 1 keep at year 0? So that leaves 10 or so plots of land to populate. That seems really hard to do by year 50. I think you can do it by year 100 if you ignore everything else but that seems really inefficient.

I only upgraded Caberjacks and by around year 200 I was done researching, it I wanted to get the other armor it would have taken around 60 more years. I didn't get any weapons which would have added maybe 30 years if I got 2 weapons.

That depends on which bonuses you get on your outer five regions. If you randomly get the one that makes researching buildings twice as fast and plonk your first or second researched building on it, the rest are going to come really fast.

Edit: I'm in the middle of a campaign now where I had the global research building bonus and the local sagewright research bonus and was able to get all the buildings made by year 58. This included 2 or 3 rounds of extra Heros to try and get some useful heros and fill positions. I think I might have gotten Healing Potions too.

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I think that, when you get to the lulls in the timeline, you should be able to go on the offensive to clear out cadence from infested areas, but have this be much more difficult missions, e.g. constantly spawning Cadence (as they are on the defensive).

Allow maybe one of these mission every 50 years, but allow you to bring 6 or more (maybe even 10?) heroes but with the difficulty tuned such surviving with 5 heroes will be quite the accomplishment.

Think of it as a mini form of the last battle, only without the chalice there.

Also, failure of one of these missions would mean that not only would you lose the troops you went in with, but that it would speed up Cadence attacks.

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I think that, when you get to the lulls in the timeline, you should be able to go on the offensive to clear out cadence from infested areas, but have this be much more difficult missions, e.g. constantly spawning Cadence (as they are on the defensive).

Allow maybe one of these mission every 50 years, but allow you to bring 6 or more (maybe even 10?) heroes but with the difficulty tuned such surviving with 5 heroes will be quite the accomplishment.

Think of it as a mini form of the last battle, only without the chalice there.

Also, failure of one of these missions would mean that not only would you lose the troops you went in with, but that it would speed up Cadence attacks.

The thing is, the Cadence is actually the yellow muck surrounding you, not the "pawns" you fight. According to the voice over, the Pawns only appear once every 10 years, which is why you can only fight them periodically. So this kind of event doesn't even fit the current story.

...Not to mention the techincal side of designing 10 man encounters, interface, missions... This would be a really big commitment for a "side mission". Therefore: another idea for the Expansion Pile!

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...Not to mention the techincal side of designing 10 man encounters, interface, missions... This would be a really big commitment for a "side mission". Therefore: another idea for the Expansion Pile!

Well, there are already 7-man encounters, not to spoil. So that seems reasonably extensible from a UI and difficulty perspective at least.

As for going on the offensive, I think its a good idea from a mechnical perspective, though it doesn't fit easily/obviously into the lore. Though, I'm only haflway through, and curious how the back 100 years feel to me.

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...Not to mention the techincal side of designing 10 man encounters, interface, missions... This would be a really big commitment for a "side mission". Therefore: another idea for the Expansion Pile!

Well, there are already 7-man encounters, not to spoil. So that seems reasonably extensible from a UI and difficulty perspective at least.

I suspect ApexHawk is already aware of the 7-hero encounters you mentioned. I think AH's point is that those scenarios are already in the game at this beta stage, while larger encounters would have to be developed and balanced in beta which or may not be doable at this stage, with like a dozen or so patches until release.

Smiles

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Yeah I knew what the Cadence was.

In X-Com you had a way to lower infestation, whereas in MC you don't, you just choose the lesser of 2 evils when it decides to spread itself.

Being able to cleanse an area would shift the dynamic so you aren't just continuing the timeline and waiting for the next thing to happen. 7 man missions already exist, so putting in an extra 3 doesn't strike me as hard.

There's also a mission where Cadence spawn repeatedly already, so combining the 2 doesn't seem like it would be difficult. Ofcourse, I'm not a coder, so I may be missing something incredibly obvious.

Attach a high difficulty and price of failure, and it gives the player more agency, as in, should I play is safe and just beat off the cadence, or is the high risk operation of clearing it out of an area worth it (I mean, if you knew you were going to lose 3 out of 10 heroes and consider yourself lucky, would you do it? Would you do it for a new relic? For an extra 2000 xp?)

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In X-Com you had a way to lower infestation, whereas in MC you don't, you just choose the lesser of 2 evils when it decides to spread itself.

Being able to cleanse an area would shift the dynamic so you aren't just continuing the timeline and waiting for the next thing to happen. 7 man missions already exist, so putting in an extra 3 doesn't strike me as hard.

I think that the mechanic worked well for XCom because of the lore and storyline, but I am not sure I'd want it for MC based on the lore, which is sort of encroaching defensive holdout. I think it could work from a gameplay perspective, but I am not entirely sure that gameplay would add any additional fun to the game, other than 'another thing to do' -- but to me that doesn't always equal fun.

Re: putting in extra 3 heroes, the technical side I suspect isn't the hardside -- it is likely the balance side that is. There is only so much beta, so it is a tradeoff always on what to work on and balance and introducing something at least new from a balance perspective, will have costs on other features and plans.

Don't get me wrong, I the ideas have the potential to be fun, but there is a lot in the game I'd like to see balanced addressed, and then if there is time, I'd totally dig it probably.

Smiles

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The biggest problem about that 200 makes everything feel too easy for you is the current unbalanced leveling booster building. They already said they where going to nerf it. Because they don't mean you to be level 9-10 yet at year 200 that's why all the battles are too easy.

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heh, no disrespect about game knowledge intended :D

right, balancing for the three extra heroes , considering difficulty and time to play through it, is probably a bit much for the dev window? I dunno! What we have *is* a nice package overall!

kind of feels like there's plenty of room to expand on current systems though, at least from how OP describes the late game. Again, interested to see for myself! exciting!

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