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KestrelPi

Examples of easy ways to deepen investment in and out of combat

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There's been a lot of chat about whether it might be possible to bring some basic form of interpersonal relations back into the game using the statuses as a way to convey this. I just wanted to summarise my current thoughts on the matter because definitely a recurring theme is that people want to care more about the individuals.

At first I thought that what would be needed is a pretty involved relationship system which would be very resource heavy, but lately I've been thinking that even with a really rudimentary system you could add a lot of interest at a low cost.

I think the biggest challenge would be how to make this clear in the UI, but I think in principle the idea is gold:

When heroes fight together a couple of times, they have a chance of forming a bond. This might just be between two people, or perhaps groups who fight together more than once become part of a 'military unit.' Backers could suggest unit names, and they could appear next to the hero names in the interface.

Regardless of how it works, heroes who are bonded either interpersonally or by being in the same 'unit' give more XP to their children when retired together. This makes it potentially advantageous to retire heroes who have fought together, who have a history.

Right now, if someone has the fainthearted trait, if someone dies on the battlefield, they get penalties for the rest of the mission. But what if, when they are bonded (again, however this works), they also have a % chance of gaining the 'Disheartened' trait permanently?

That's just one example of how having even a really simple interpersonal relation system in the game, you could do more interesting things both inside and outside of battle. I think it would be really cool if something like this could make it in because it's relatively 'cheap' - it doesn't involve a bunch of new assets and stuff (maybe just some interface tweaks to make it clearer what's going on).

What do other people think?

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Well, instead of bonding, a "Named Squad" attached to those Heroes?

Interesting idea. I'm not sure there's enough combat to justify a Squad. But I like your included drawbacks.

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Well, instead of bonding, a "Named Squad" attached to those Heroes?

Interesting idea. I'm not sure there's enough combat to justify a Squad. But I like your included drawbacks.

My idea for multi-hero bonds, expanded upon a little is that when more like once 2 (or more) heroes complete their 2nd battle together, they become members of 'The 52nd Legion of Randomly Generated Name' or whatever, and it's a visible thing near their character name.

So you might have 5 heroes, 3 of which are on their 2nd battle together, and at the end of that battle they'd get a named 'band of heroes' automatically.

Then if another person fights with them 2 more times (if they're lucky enough to see 4 battles), they also become a member of that same band.

and being part of a band confers various bonuses/penalties

Ideas for bonuses in battles:

When someone gets XP from a kill, the other band members get a % of that XP too

When someone dies from the same band, a hero with the avenger trait might permanently get a stat boost, or with the fainthearted trait might permanently become disheartened.

Ideas for bonuses outside of battles:

When members of the same band marry, they confer bonus XP onto children

There could be other things as well, but you start to see how this pretty simple system could make your individual parties, who right now are so fleeting, much more memorable, and give you more reason to think of them as people rather than just 'a pile of numbers' as the chalice puts it.

Also you'd be more encouraged to put heroes into battle before retiring them into a keep.

It seems like a lot of potential added interest, for relatively little implementation cost. It also closes a gap that I see - I'm invested in bloodlines, and I am sometimes invested in individual heroes when they particularly stand out, but I rarely remember who fought together, under what circumstances. I feel that that's an important piece of the 'human interest' puzzle.

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Today I got the fight between party members-event (can't seem to name it) And on a whim, decided to throw the two ladies belonging to my main caberjack and alchemist lines to the BOSSADOME! By pure chance, the event ended in a way that created the "Familial Bonds" Buff to both houses, creating a lasting effect and a story event.

Now wouldn't it be better if the player had ANY control over how these kinds of effects are granted?

There are already lots of event-sensitive traits, that represent things people want to see in-game. There are romances, tragedies, Feuds, Bonds, all kinds of cool things, but because they have such a small chance of appearing and an even smaller chance to be useful, people don't find them, fail to reach them, or may not even suspect they are there. Sometimes this system hits a jackpot (like in the example above), but othertimes, it gives personality and character to two fairly disposable heroes that will sadly pass on to other non-combat duties.

So yes, I agree with Kestrel's suggestion that there should be some kind of simple system to give the player control over the distribution of these engaging elements of the game. The [del]Squid[/del] Squad system, is by the way, the second notable idea we've had about ways to make combat matter more, the other being the "Battle hardened" experience distribution idea.

EDIT: I have to point out though, that there is a joy to discovering these events and their outcomes. Very often, I come out of them with a little bit more understanding of the world. And it's true, the randomness adds the element of surprise (although the fact that events happen every ten years or less makes it a little less surprising after the beginning)

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I like the idea of "Permanent" effects when people die in battle ; You don't want a young hero to make ties with a older hero that will die from old age right after the battle.

There is a danger with the "Disheartened" personnality, as it is transmitted to Trainees.

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I like the idea of "Permanent" effects when people die in battle ; You don't want a young hero to make ties with a older hero that will die from old age right after the battle.

There is a danger with the "Disheartened" personnality, as it is transmitted to Trainees.

Is disheartened definitely a personality? It feels like is should be a Status.

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The [del]Squid[/del] Squad system, is by the way, the second notable idea we've had about ways to make combat matter more, the other being the "Battle hardened" experience distribution idea.

I prefer the term 'band of heroes' but that's just me. ;)

I think the battle hardened one is good, too. Could have both (as long as their bonuses don't stack too heavily. Maybe 'veteran' would be a better term than 'Battle Hardened'

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I like the idea of "Permanent" effects when people die in battle ; You don't want a young hero to make ties with a older hero that will die from old age right after the battle.

There is a danger with the "Disheartened" personnality, as it is transmitted to Trainees.

Is disheartened definitely a personality? It feels like is should be a Status.

I think it's a personnality. It's very fun when the "Patriotic" personnality spreads in the generations, but the "Disheartened" can spread as well, and there is actually no way to give back hope to those heroes (like : kill 10 cadence in a single fight to be awesome, or just earning a title would clear that status)...

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Disheartened is definitely a personality. I actually like it that way because it plays very much into the nature/nurture thing. Your parents are constantly feeling like they can't succeed . . . yeah, that's going to rub off on some of the kids.

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After thinking about it a bit.... It doesn't quite seem so natural to link character traits and developement to combat. Sure, it would be easy, because the combat sections currently feel better than the preparation sections, but reallly, most of this kind of developement should really happen with words, outside of the combat zone where we can have context on what the characters are feeling and doing. Not sure what kind of system that would be (though again, the ideas are easy enough to spin).

I think the game wants you to feel, to a certain extent, that these are people, not just soldiers.

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After thinking about it a bit.... It doesn't quite seem so natural to link character traits and developement to combat. Sure, it would be easy, because the combat sections currently feel better than the preparation sections, but reallly, most of this kind of developement should really happen with words, outside of the combat zone where we can have context on what the characters are feeling and doing. Not sure what kind of system that would be (though again, the ideas are easy enough to spin).

I think the game wants you to feel, to a certain extent, that these are people, not just soldiers.

I think thats what events are for, mostly.

I think the problem is more that when it comes to combat, these heroes aren't much more than numbers to me, and it would be good to have those hooks: oh, these people have fought together a bunch and we're calling them this, oh, these two partners fought together. It provides interest in battle, yes, but also hooks that back into the strategy layer. The best systems in the game affect both: like how wrinklers age people.

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I mentioned this in another thread, and I think it's a solid way to expand on personality and kind of balance out the trait build up, with player control.

Titles. Won through regular Tournaments (every 25 / 50 years) which are passed on at death to any Hero of your choice. A Tournament should award one or two titles, and the Titles could come with a string of events tied to that Title. Titles would have trait bonuses that over ride or "level up" certain other traits. So then you could at least get rid of one disheartened squad member for awhile, then maybe two or three.

A sort of over the top example, but just as an example. Marshal of the Coast. Maybe gets called off by himself to handle personal disputes, or settle a fight between towns, or even a staged fight against the Cadence with a town in the background/in a town.

But that said. Rather than events. You could pick these up by meeting certain combat requirements. "Brothers in Arms" two male relatives who both attack the same target a lot (7 times). "Stalwart" a Hero who frequently survives (thrice) with less that 5 HP - clears most negative traits. Once unlocked some of these, could be moved from a Hero upon death to another Hero of your choice, "Sally what's-her-face Trueblood the Stalwart" wishes to pass her knowledge of combat onto another, who do you send to her on her death bed.

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I don't think tournaments are likely to make it due to scope, but the ability to bestow honorific titles (that could have gameplay value or just be cosmetic) that last until the hero dies, has potential possibly.

Smiles

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This is a great idea. I know Brad has spoken about emergent story-telling multiple times during his teamstreams.

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So yes, I agree with Kestrel's suggestion that there should be some kind of simple system to give the player control over the distribution of these engaging elements of the game. The [del]Squid[/del] Squad system, is by the way, the second notable idea we've had about ways to make combat matter more, the other being the "Battle hardened" experience distribution idea.

EDIT: I have to point out though, that there is a hoy to discovering these events and their outcomes. Very often, I come out of them with a little bit more understanding of the world. And it's true, the randomness adds the element of surprise (although the fact that events happen every ten years or less makes it a little less surprising after the beginning)

I had missed the Battle hardened experience distribution idea. What is that?

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So yes, I agree with Kestrel's suggestion that there should be some kind of simple system to give the player control over the distribution of these engaging elements of the game. The [del]Squid[/del] Squad system, is by the way, the second notable idea we've had about ways to make combat matter more, the other being the "Battle hardened" experience distribution idea.

EDIT: I have to point out though, that there is a hoy to discovering these events and their outcomes. Very often, I come out of them with a little bit more understanding of the world. And it's true, the randomness adds the element of surprise (although the fact that events happen every ten years or less makes it a little less surprising after the beginning)

I had missed the Battle hardened experience distribution idea. What is that?

That idea is to do with conferring a status of 'battle hardened' or veteran to a hero who has been in 3 or more battles, for example. What it means is that as regents/partners (and I guess standards) they'd get a bonus to the XP they pass on. Conversely, regents/partners who have never seen a fight would be 'Green' and get an XP penalty when passing on to children.

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So yes, I agree with Kestrel's suggestion that there should be some kind of simple system to give the player control over the distribution of these engaging elements of the game. The [del]Squid[/del] Squad system, is by the way, the second notable idea we've had about ways to make combat matter more, the other being the "Battle hardened" experience distribution idea.

EDIT: I have to point out though, that there is a hoy to discovering these events and their outcomes. Very often, I come out of them with a little bit more understanding of the world. And it's true, the randomness adds the element of surprise (although the fact that events happen every ten years or less makes it a little less surprising after the beginning)

I had missed the Battle hardened experience distribution idea. What is that?

That idea is to do with conferring a status of 'battle hardened' or veteran to a hero who has been in 3 or more battles, for example. What it means is that as regents/partners (and I guess standards) they'd get a bonus to the XP they pass on. Conversely, regents/partners who have never seen a fight would be 'Green' and get an XP penalty when passing on to children.

That sounds like an easier change to the game, using rule changes already coded for. Simple enough to not worry about, can be recreated, even if you lose some Heroes or wipe occasionally it's something that doesn't go away or is a missed opportunity. I think I see the appeal.

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So yes, I agree with Kestrel's suggestion that there should be some kind of simple system to give the player control over the distribution of these engaging elements of the game. The [del]Squid[/del] Squad system, is by the way, the second notable idea we've had about ways to make combat matter more, the other being the "Battle hardened" experience distribution idea.

EDIT: I have to point out though, that there is a hoy to discovering these events and their outcomes. Very often, I come out of them with a little bit more understanding of the world. And it's true, the randomness adds the element of surprise (although the fact that events happen every ten years or less makes it a little less surprising after the beginning)

I had missed the Battle hardened experience distribution idea. What is that?

That idea is to do with conferring a status of 'battle hardened' or veteran to a hero who has been in 3 or more battles, for example. What it means is that as regents/partners (and I guess standards) they'd get a bonus to the XP they pass on. Conversely, regents/partners who have never seen a fight would be 'Green' and get an XP penalty when passing on to children.

That sounds like an easier change to the game, using rule changes already coded for.

Simple enough to not worry about, can be recreated, even if you lose some Heroes or wipe occasionally it's something that doesn't go away or is a missed opportunity. I think I see the appeal.

It is easier, but it does have the slight drawback of being a little harder to convey in the interface to make it obvious what is happening. My preference would actually be for a combination of both because as I mentioned earlier, I feel like a sense of relationship between heroes (except for the marry button) is a bigger part of what feels missing, investment-wise. I never remember who fought together and it doesn't really matter who fights together, and I think it would be cool if it did slightly have implications on and off the battlefield.

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We'll just say this should go to the Expansion Pile, but I really like the ideas put into this post. I have some thoughts that I've posted around on different threads, but I'm getting ideas from all of you.

A big thought I've had is comparing the existence of the Cadence to the Others in Game of Thrones. They are an ancient threat to the people of the other areas, but are focused solely on breaking you first. The game says that the Cadence can only summon enough power to launch attacks every once in a while, but I think we could find something to make it a bit more common.

Maybe MAJOR attacks take a while to prepare (ten or more creatures) but minor incursions are common in the border regions. A single Seed or a pair of Ruptures will break through into a village and cause some havoc before disappearing. Remember, heroes live and fight in their own cities while away from the Chalice. They'd be more than capable of defending local towns from such attacks. You wouldn't play this personally, but would see it pop up in the timeline. Young, untrained heroes might not fare well, but once they have some XP under their belt, you wouldn't have to worry about them.

In order to make it more strategic, you would appoint WARDENS to those areas that border the Cadence. Similar to Standards, the existence of a Warden improves XP, but Wardens can also fight in the great battles every few years. Wardens can also be replaced, or be turned into Regents.

You could put together teams of young heroes on the borders, and they would fight together and earn XP (at a lower rate than larger battles) and earn traits from working together.

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I think it's harder to implement whole new mechanics than it is to use the existing mechanics in new ways, so some of that might be quite tough and more expansiony.

I hope they get to do something along these lines though because as much as I love the game so far, I do feel like there's just a little somethin' needed to make the year-to-year gameplay feel more personal, make individuals (and small groups) more memorable for what they've achieved together.

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