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KestrelPi

Controlling Hybrid numbers over time

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In MASSIVE CHALICE you start out with a random selection of heroes, and then usually end up with a few established bloodlines.

Most people tend to keep this quite balanced so they'll start a hunter bloodline, then perhaps a caberjack one, then an alchemist one over the course of the first half-century, and it might be that they build an extra keep for their most promising class.

With the new hybrid system, I wonder if there isn't an inherent problem that this will inevitably result in a push towards hybrids after the early game.

In the very early game, it's easy enough to marry together two of the starting bloodline hunters, say, get pure hunter children, but after that, without using new recruits or having a second house of the same class, it might be more difficult, on first appearance, to get pure classes out of the system, because it's simply easier to match differing classes until the families get large enough to make marriages within the same bloodline possible, later on.

Of course, it won't quite be that simple.

What will be interesting to find out on the teamstream that I might be missing out on is:

1) What happens if you marry a Caberjack/Hunter with a Caberjack/Hunter? Do they make caberjack/hunter babies or does the caberjack primary class take precedence and produce pure caberjacks?

2) What happens if you marry a Caberjack/Hunter with a Caberjack/Alchemist? Does it just go back to pure Caberjack (which would introduce another way of bringing pure caberjacks back into the mix even if you have all hybrids) or does it do something like flip 50:50 between which variant the children become?

My guess is that the hybrid class is always determined by the primary class of the regent/partner, so that two caberjack/hunters will produce a pure caberjack child and so forth, but it would be great to get clarification on this, and some thoughts on how they intend to convey the inherent complexity in all of this :)

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1) they said that hybrids are governed only by the primary class of both regent and partner. if both are primary hunters, secondary caberjacks. the child will be a hunter.

2) same with caberjack/alchemist and caberhack/hunter pairings i expect

as for hero diversity. i think more focus is going to naturally be turned towards recruiting heroes and research. In my play i have tested a bunch of things like xp passed on to children and things. lvl 1 partners are no better than lvl 10 partners. if one of the parents is lvl 5 with 3354xp and the other is lvl 1 with 0 xp then the kids will grow up to be lvl 5 with 3354xp as long as the regent doesn't die before they are trained. so really those lvl 1 heros you can research every few years are excellent candidates for becoming partners. you can maintain pure bloodlines if you want even if you only have 3 keeps.

just my thoughts

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Yeah, my first thought here was that it was going to be more difficult to maintain a specific version of a class as a result of this--especially with the increase in building time for keeps. I almost want to say that it should be easier to establish a bloodline, but harder to maintain it. It'll be interesting to see how much the hybrids change the game at both the tactical and strategic level.

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Yep, had exactly this concern. If we maintain the strictly deterministic system of classes we have now (all children get Primary Regent as their primary, Primary Partner as their secondary) you're pretty much never going to see a "pure" class after the first generation. People generally seem to like one keep for of the core classes, and your options afterwards are either to mingle those three bloodlines (producing only hybrids) or introduce additional bloodlines as you add more keeps. The latter is mostly a bad move though, since it slows down your leveling & relic processes, and since hybrids are intended to be just as good overall as pure classes, why go to extra trouble to create the latter?

Due to the way relics work (and in order to make kingdom management comprehensible in the slightest) the Regent's primary class must become the children's primary 100% of the time. But for secondaries, I think we're much better served using a weighted distribution to provide variety in the children. I'm thinking something like:

60% get the Partner's primary as their secondary class.

20% get the Partner's secondary as their secondary.

20% get the Regent's secondary as their secondary.

You still have a relative degree of certainty regarding what you're going to get, but some sensible variety comes in as well.

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I don't think that's the answer either - in that I like the predictability of the current system. I think it has the best chance of being clear as to what's going on, and it makes me feel like I've got a bit more strategic control.

Honestly, I think that as long as the two primary classes make up the hybrid (so that two Caberjack/Alchemists make a Caberjack/Caberjack, for example) then that will mean that there will always be opportunity for the core class to stay in the mix, and then this isn't so much of a concern.

It's already going to feel pretty 'random' once you start marrying together caberjack/alchemists with hunter/caberjacks and ending up with caberjack/hunters etc, and I feel like if you obfuscate that further by making it so that sometimes you'd end up with a caberjack/caberjack, sometimes with a caberjack/alchemist and sometimes a caberjack/hunter people will start to feel like they're losing track of where all these hybrids are coming from.

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I mean, the core class is in the mix if... (A) you use the Recruit Heroes research, (B) you use heroes received as mission rewards, or © you breed together heroes of the same bloodline. I consider both A & B bad moves since strategically, I'm much more concerned about eliminating bad Traits than I am about introducing new good ones, meaning I don't want to introduce a genetic crapshoot into the mix. A has an additional strike against in that it wastes research time for no real gain. C avoids those pitfalls, but it's only available many generations into the game, and it's kinda gross feeling even when the relation is distant enough for the game to allow it. I don't think any of those are good options, which will lead to core classes disappearing almost immediately and never coming back.

The other thing I'd throw out there is that the "default" strategy is to use 3 bloodlines and field your squad in a 2/2/1 class breakdown. (I'm liking 2 cabers & hunters in the early game, switching to 2 cabers and alchemists towards the late.) This gets a little more nuanced - and more clearly highlights individual heroes - if my two Muir caberjacks have (or can have) different secondaries. Likewise, it makes team composition and unit selection more interesting once your gene pool has stabilized and you start getting multiple siblings with near-identical Traits and Personalities.

I agree that the player needs to feel like they're mostly in control of the classes they're going to get, which is why I'm suggesting a pretty heavy weight in favor of the partner's primary class. But I think there's something to be said for making this a little more organic.

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To have "Pure classes", you usually need two houses of different bloodlines, but with the same class. This sounds like good news, as it will "usually" improve Diversity in the kingdom.

I think I will start a new game with a "Core class", like Hunters, and every hero will be a hunter. I will need 5 keeps

1) 1 Caberjack keep, where regents marry hunters = Caberjack/Hunters

2) 1 Alchemist keep, where regents marry hunters = Alchemists/Hunters

3) 3 Hunters keep

=> 3a) One where Hunters marry Hunters = Pure hunters

=> 3b) One where Hunters marry Caberjacks = Hunters/Caberjacks

=> 3c) One where Hunters marry Alchemists = Hunters/Alchemists

So I can have a game with every 5 classes of Hunters in each battle, until the end of the game. Repeat the process with each class = 3 games.

- I may use the same Bloodline for all 3 hunters keeps, because marriages between cousins works well (as of last version).

- I would try to have my Keeps in the inner ring (as much as possible), so every 5 builds survive until the last battle.

Yup yup.

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I'm sorry if I'm a little negative here, but I really don't like it when comments start to focus on one specific, 'optimized', style of play as something that should drive the entire development of features. My issue now is the assumption that 3 bloodlines is 'optimal' in any way. I always aim for 5 keeps, minimum, with 5 bloodlines. This approach eliminates any need to worry about recruiting new heroes after the first 100 years or so, as you'll rarely reach a bottleneck with too much inbreeding, as you are likely to with only 3 keeps. If you like the challenge of that, then fine, but please don't make blanket statements about how a certain number of keeps is 'optimal'. The game isn't finished balancing yet, so any discussion of 'optimum' or 'default' play is moot.

Please stop assuming that everyone is an 'optimal' player, and try to view some of these situations from the point of view of a more 'normal' player, who most likely won't be reading every scrap of information they can find about how to play the game perfectly. Difficulty settings should take care of your 'optimal' problems.

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It occurs to me that hybrids might serve to make building over the course of the game more viable. With the increased build times, you're going to be adding additional houses over the course of the game to get more options in play. Of course, that's going to bottleneck research even more, so . . . .

Alternatively, I suppose we could see this as a way of making the game more replayable because you won't be able to hit every combination in every game?

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Yep, had exactly this concern. If we maintain the strictly deterministic system of classes we have now (all children get Primary Regent as their primary, Primary Partner as their secondary) you're pretty much never going to see a "pure" class after the first generation. You generally want one keep for each of the core classes, and your options afterwards are either to mingle them (producing only hybrids) or introducing additional bloodlines beyond your first three. That's mostly a bad move though, since it slows down your leveling & relic processes, and since hybrids are intended to be just as good overall as pure classes, why go to extra trouble to create the latter?

Due to the way relics work (and in order to make kingdom management comprehensible in the slightest) the Regent's primary class must become the children's primary 100% of the time. But for secondaries, I think we're much better served using a weighted distribution to provide variety in the children. I'm thinking something like:

60% get the Partner's primary as their secondary class.

20% get the Partner's secondary as their secondary.

20% get the Regent's secondary as their secondary.

You still have a relative degree of expectation regarding what you're going to get, but some sensible variety comes in as well.

I posted in the update thread not knowing that this thread was already going on. :) This is pretty much what I was thinking, with a little small change:

50% get the Partner's primary as their secondary class.

20% get the Partner's secondary as their secondary.

20% get the Regent's secondary as their secondary.

10% become pure class of the Partner's primary.

Edit: With maybe a switch to some of these %'s or an addition of a random secondary class for the Rebellious trait.

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the random class idea is awful.

you as a player control which houses to establish. you choose which heroes marry, you choose which genetic traits to promote and which to ignore. you can influence and positively affect the personality of your heroes in many ways. You choose what to reasurch to do, when and then choose when it is best to use that reasurch in battles. You choose which provinces are lost and what skills heroes learn and what you build when and where.

in this game you, the player, have direct control of all these systems and these systems make you responsable for your sucsess and failure in all these areas over time. though the systems are not always easy to manipulate or transperant about the effectiveness of your choicesall the time, actions have predictable results that streach across generations.

the idea that you randomly get different class regents completely regardless of the choices that you make is silly. it has nothing to do with player choice, stratagy, theme or the idea that bloodlines are persistent across generations.

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in this game you, the player, have direct control of all these systems and these systems make you responsable for your sucsess and failure in all these areas over time. though the systems are not always easy to manipulate or transperant about the effectiveness of your choicesall the time, actions have predictable results that streach across generations.

You do realize that that's exactly the same as the systems you just described as awful, right?

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in this game you, the player, have direct control of all these systems and these systems make you responsible for your success and failure in all these areas over time. though the systems are not always easy to manipulate or transparent about the effectiveness of your choices-all the time, actions have predictable results that streach across generations.

You do realize that that's exactly the same as the systems you just described as awful, right?

no it isn't the same.

all the systems in the game have an absolute result. kids born of a parent with asthma- have asthma in their genetic code always. the game dosnt show you the code but if you as a player are paying attention you can figure out what genes will become dominant in certain pairings allowing for certain dominant traits. the game doesn't have tool-tips in it yet and dosn't show you the genetic code but it is not a random system and will produce consistent non-random results from player choices.

the suggestion to add a % based system for defining a hero's clas. into a game which is built on the principle of the player makeing choices is counter-intuitive. as a player you have control over every aspect of a hero from their parents clothes personality and genes... but the class is random?

it dosn't make sense

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I actually had the opposite worry from OP. Because only the primary class determines the offsprings class e.g. Hunter/Caberjack x Hunter/Caberjack --> Hunter/Hunter, you will naturally be able to refresh your pure classes. My worry is that it feels a bit unintuitive that Hunter/Caberjack x Hunter/Caberjack doesn't produce another Hunter/Caberjack! Hybrids don't breed true in other words. Which is sort of odd. I understand the need for simplicity (for ease of understanding) and deterministic (not probabilistic!) class generation (for increased ability of the player to make informed, strategic decisions); however, I think it makes sense for hybrids to breed true.

So a Hunter/Caberjack x Hunter/Caberjack --> Hunter/Caberjack offspring

but

a Hunter/Caberjack x Hunter/Alchemist ---> Hunter/Hunter offspring, because the secondaries don't agree!

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in this game you, the player, have direct control of all these systems and these systems make you responsible for your success and failure in all these areas over time. though the systems are not always easy to manipulate or transparent about the effectiveness of your choices-all the time, actions have predictable results that streach across generations.

You do realize that that's exactly the same as the systems you just described as awful, right?

no it isn't the same.

all the systems in the game have an absolute result. kids born of a parent with asthma- have asthma in their genetic code always. the game dosnt show you the code but if you as a player are paying attention you can figure out what genes will become dominant in certain pairings allowing for certain dominant traits. the game doesn't have tool-tips in it yet and dosn't show you the genetic code but it is not a random system and will produce consistent non-random results from player choices.

the suggestion to add a % based system for defining a hero's clas. into a game which is built on the principle of the player makeing choices is counter-intuitive. as a player you have control over every aspect of a hero from their parents clothes personality and genes... but the class is random?

it dosn't make sense

Okay, let's unpack this a little bit. Asthma is a trait that doesn't have a direct opposite (such as Quick/Slow/normal speed) so we have two alleles, the dominant A and recessive a.

If asthma is recessive, then a parent with asthma (aa) will absolutely pass down asthma genes to their child. However, if their partner does not have asthma, we're either guaranteed children who do not have asthma but carry the gene (aa + AA = Aa) or we have a probability spread of kids who carry and kids who express the gene. (aa + Aa = Aa, aa).

If asthma is dominant, then a parent with asthma may or may not pass down the genes to their children, because it's not clear whether they're homozygous (AA) or heterozygous (Aa). If the partner is not asthmatic, then there's a chance that asthma will not be passed down (Aa + aa = Aa, aa), cutting it from the family's genetic code. This remains a possibility even if the partner is asthmatic. (Aa + Aa = AA, Aa, aa)

Even for the simplest scenarios above, the existence of heterozygous (Aa) units means that we had to use words like "chance," "probability," and "possibility" a whole lot there. Even if we knew exactly which genes were dominant/re-cessive/incompletely dominant/co-dominant (and I'm going to call you on that "if you as a player are paying attention" dig here, because I don't think anyone has a great sense of which are what) there's still uncertainty in cases where we don't know if the unit is homo- or hetero- zygous. Even if the game adds the ability to view genetic code, those heterozygous units still are handing down alleles based on probability.

And then there are the two monkey wrenches. First, there's a random mutation factor, which can derail even the most absolute of absolute scenarios. And second, there's still a hard cap on 3 Traits and Personalities. Even if your unit has the perfect genes for a Trait, there's still a chance that it won't be expressed because 3 other genetic Traits he had randomly happened to be the ones expressed.

Calling any of these systems "absolute" is a huge overstatement. You have direct control of the inputs to these systems, but that doesn't give absolute results on the outputs. All we're ever doing is tweaking the odds, even if there are corner cases where we can tilt them far enough to hit 100% - and even then we often have to couch it in probability statements. (I know this guy is AA, so I know his kids will have at least one dominant allele, and they'll probably express it.)

It's the same for Crucibles. Having one Patriotic Standard gives a chance to pass it down to my Trainees. I can tilt the odds by having five Standards with Patriotic. But even then, there's no direct control - I can't point at a unit and say "This guy is going to be Patriotic" with certainty. All I can accurately say is that, as a trend, the vast majority of my units should be Patriotic. (And even then there's likely a remote chance to whiff on all of them.)

Right now, class inheritance is the only absolute system in the bloodline side of the game. That in and of itself isn't inherently bad, and nobody is saying we need to go all or nothing in terms of deterministic or probabilistic systems. And even on the probabilistic side, we're still not pulling sub-classes out of a hat. Just like inheritance and Standard-training, the ideas being presented draw on the player's decision, hitting expectations more often than not and adding in some understandable diversity on the fringe.

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Another idea : the player could just choose the secondary class of any trainees, when choosing the skills.

well that sounds simple and good, i would run with it.

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Another idea : the player could just choose the secondary class of any trainees, when choosing the skills.

well that sounds simple and good, i would run with it.

That's similar to what I would like to see too, a choice when offspring comes of age. That would give you more control over the distribution of classes.

e.g.

Choice one: Specialise/train under the Regent (i.e. pure class based off Regent’s primary class; perhaps with greater chance of inheriting the Regent’s personality traits)

Choice two: Balanced training (i.e. hybrid class)

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