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8BitCreature

The Strategy Problem

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I want to start by saying I love this game. Even in its current form I have gotten an impressive amount of value out of it and if it was released as is it would be a great game; however, I have had a reoccurring issue that I think speaks to a serious problem with the game as is. The core gameplay revolves around making strategic decisions, choosing bloodlines and classes that are the best possible option to deal with a situation, and by necessity the decision are often difficult ones, with certain classes and options not available or bloodline options that are less than ideal. But what feels problematic is how often decisions rely not on strategy but on sheer luck and random chance.

The Event System

The best example is the event system. Events currently provide a simple scenario with a variety of options, in which it seems it is impossible to make a strategic decision. You might decide to send one of your units away for several years to pacify the surrounding region, giving up a key tactical member of your team, thinking you are making a sacrifice for a purpose. However, that event may resolve with the returning hero dying or failing his mission, or another randomly generated outcome. A strategic decision should be to sacrifice one of your units for some gain, or to keep your unit and forgo the gain. With events as is, there is no way to know what is going to happen, you may decide to keep your unit only to have a painful negative outcome as the randomly generated resolution. I find myself feeling like I am playing the lottery whenever the event screen comes up, and it fills me a sense of dread, knowing that there is nothing I can do to make a smart decision. Everything that happens is random.

This should not be the case, or at least not be the case 90% of the time. Events should absolutely have harsh consequences, but you should have a feeling that you at least made a decision that has merit or a basis in strategy. Currently, I might as well have a giant roulette wheel that spins whenever the event options pop open.

Class Options

Another example of this is with classes. The hybrid classes are an awesome addition to the game and I like the unique flavour each one provides. The issue though, is that my lack of choice in who I can insert as a regent (which I think is a great element of game that makes it interesting) often makes the outcome of which class I receive completely out of my hands. Perhaps this is just me, but I rarely make a conscious decision about which hybrid class I will get, as I am dealing with such a scarcity of viable options for possible regents. Having hybrid classes feels random and not like a conscious strategic choice I get to make.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't want the game to be easy, I really like the difficult decisions that this game creates, but I don't want to feel like I am watching the game play out without really getting to make the decisions that effect the outcome.

Suggestions for Improvement

I hate the event system. I like the idea behind it, but the absolutely random nature of the whole thing sucks all the fun out of it for me. At least some of the time it should be possible to make a decision where I am faced with two or three crappy options and I get to decide which outcome I want. Getting to make actual decisions, which makes you feel like the ruler of a fantasy kingdom, would enhance the overall strategy and immersion greatly. Some events should be completely random, but no where near as many as the current system creates.

As for the different classes produced by regents, I think it would be cool to have a choice connected to what sub class is created. If, for example, I have a regent and partner that are caberjack and hunter, and I can decide to change one of the Shadowjacks into a pure caberjack or pure hunter at some kind of penalty, that decision feels more strategic. Currently I just deal with whatever the hell units I am stuck with. I want to choose to produce a Blastcapper because I think it would be an interesting strategic choice, not just receive them because I have no other option.

Once again, I love this game, and I do not want to change things to make it easier, as I want it to be difficult (because that makes it fun). Currently, I too often feel like I am passively observing, as if I am just playing out the situation that my current play through allows. Let me make decisions, and I am confident that you will be building a better game.

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It's worse when three new games in a row have very similar events in the first 50 years. Because it shifts the perspective away from strategy, and towards random. I agree that presently, having different classes feels a little random. I remain hopeful that at launch there will be a multitude of customization options so that you can play the kind of game you're in the mood for. For example separate random event toggles could be done up for, Tone: Serious/Silly/Both, Likelihood: H/M/L/Off?, etc...

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Re: The Event System

I agree. The event system needs to be adjusted.

I just finished up a game where almost every event screwed me. First, I had an event destroy my sagewright guild moments after I built it. This ballooned the time to research (50 years to build another guild :o) - and this was at the 100 year mark! Luckily, my autosave was before that. However, I then proceeded to get corruption+ after corruption+ event. Despite never losing a single battle, I got mighty close to having the corruption reach my chalice. At this difficulty level, sure NP. But at the higher level difficulties, losing a game exclusively to RNG events over which I had zero control is a bad idea.

But even beyond that, it just FEELS annoying. For instance, I chose to build a library in one event because I'm thinking, okay, what can go wrong there? NOPE. It got stocked full of existential literature and gave many of my heroes a negative personality trait. Or at other times, nothing matters and nothing happens. An old man shows up and asks how I'm doing and I say alright and he says cool.

I should be getting excited about the events. Ooo, a chance to get a useful personality trait! Or a powerful relic! Or a powerful hero! But no, because of how they're written throughout, I just feel powerless about them.

Re: Class Options

I can't say I agree. I had little trouble purposefully breeding for class and even for positive traits. I will say that, because of the nature of how breeding works, pure classes are tough to maintain. In my current game, I had a pure alchemist line for ehhh maybe 60-70 years, but that was because I specifically sought it out. I'd be happier to see a % chance of class, something like 75% hybrid, 20% pure, 5% reverse hybrid. Better yet, just put it as a game option the player can choose.

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Re: The Event System

Re: Class Options

I can't say I agree. I had little trouble purposefully breeding for class and even for positive traits. I will say that, because of the nature of how breeding works, pure classes are tough to maintain. In my current game, I had a pure alchemist line for ehhh maybe 60-70 years, but that was because I specifically sought it out. I'd be happier to see a % chance of class, something like 75% hybrid, 20% pure, 5% reverse hybrid. Better yet, just put it as a game option the player can choose.

Fair enough, though I don't know how I feel about just getting to choose a class. I think that would mess around with the whole idea of bloodlines. If you are going to straight up choose a class it makes more sense to me that you get a buff for choosing a class of the regents and suffer a penalty for any other class. Maybe instead you could put a hero into the chalice to change their class, which would take away from valuable research time or it could have a percentage chance to add a negative personality trait (or something of that sort). That way it still comes down to making a strategic decision.

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You misunderstand. By 'game option' I mean, a game modifier you click on or off at the start of a new game, like 'second wave' options in XCom.

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I'm okay with how events are now. In fact, I'd be fine with it even if you made no choices whatsoever and good or bad things just randomly happened to you, like Oregon Trail or King of Dragon Pass (KoDP is a great game to study if you want to understand random events, I think). The way I see it, the random events force you to adapt your strategies in the areas you can control as the stuff you can't control impact your strengths and weaknesses. It also gives the game some variance as your power on the tactical layer waxes and wanes due to random crap happening.

That said, I'm not immediately against the suggested change. There are a lot of games that give you options to "make actual decisions" and they actually turn out quite bland because you quickly learn what the optimal decisions are for your playstyle and then you'd make those choices every single campaign (even if it's balanced to allow multiple sets of decisions to work). However, more random events that give you some idea of what's at stake would be good. The Walrus event, for example, was a good one: you can pretty easily understand that one decision involves risk and reward while the other involves neither.

I like Xenrathe's idea of pairings giving a percent chance of generating pure, hybrid, and reverse hybrid classes. I want to be put in a position of trying to choose between bringing a hero of my favorite class and bringing a hero with better traits.

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I'm going to throw my two cents behind 8BitCreature's opinion of the random events.

I think the thrust (and especially the combat) of this game does a great job of conveying the sense of riding a bull by the horns--this war is happening and time is going to keep marching on, but if you work your resources just right, things will work out for you. Probably. In combat, I can see that if I miss this 85% shot, that Twitcher will get a hit in and kill one of my squad. When appointing a regent, I can see that if I chose him to be regent I won't get many kids, but if I choose her to be partner the kids they do have will be amazing. You never have complete control, but you at least have the illusion that you've been given enough. I rarely felt like I had any control in the random events.

There are definitely some great random events. Forcing players to choose between saving a mother or her child during childbirth is a fantastic(ally terrible) situation to force onto players. The goal of both choices are clearly communicated and the outcomes are reasonably predictable. The third option ("Put her into the Chalice?") is a great injection of humor and (presumably) a high-risk/high-reward alternative.

Most of the time, though, I have no idea what the stakes are in an event. I don't know why I'd make one choice over another, so I mostly stop caring and the choice becomes meaningless. How am I supposed to guess that by killing and eating a passenger ostrich, my entire stable of heroes might get a big exp bump? Why would I choose to feed it over catching it?

Unless I go read a wiki, of course.

And that right there is my major concern. Without something in-game that gives me some idea of what to expect from the events, I have no way of regaining agency over my choices save for cracking the system wide open.

I think the solution might be pretty simple, too. (Please don't confuse this "simple" with "easy".) If hovering over the option of killing the passenger ostrich revealed a tooltip that read "Legend has it eating the meat of a passenger ostrich will sharpen a hero's body and mind... assuming the toxins have been properly baked off" I now have a motivation to make that choice and an idea of the risks.

I'm completely in favor of purely negative events, for the record. I'd be fine getting randomly screwed over, so long as I know that I'm getting screwed over--and especially if it comes with two or three "Well... life sucks right now. Lets get back to work." choices.

Also, I love Xenrathe's idea of percent based hybrid/pure trainees. I don't know that reverse hybrids would work for the sake of lineage and relics, though. Unless the child was maybe marked as illegitimate and stripped of their banner...?

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For Class option:

Perhaps we can have the option to give one trainee the class of one standard.

Like a "mentor".

The more standard, the more possibilty to change a predestined class

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I agree that some of the event outcomes are particularly harsh right now, especially if they come at an inopportune time, but I enjoy the element of unpredictability that it adds to the game.

I wouldn't change them so that there's a clear strategy to 'winning' them, because then they'd become trivial after a couple of playthroughs.

However, for one of my games, The Wager, we had similar sorts of events (except with multiple decision points) and there the outcomes depended not on a RNG but on a combination of: items you had with you, outcomes of previous events, the levels of your team members, and various other things. This created an unpredictable and replayable experience which didn't rely on randomness.

I just don't see how they'd move to something like that without a major overhaul to the events and I don't think that's on the cards or even necessary. I think all they really need to do is:

-Revisit some of the more brutal event outcomes and see if they can be toned down a bit.

-Consider perhaps making it so that certain events only unlock under certain conditions, to protect against situations where a roll of the the die will completely end a run for someone.

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I think events are just about where they need to be, conceptually. It's true that individual outcomes and circumstances aren't always structured or communicated well; A Standard Baby has gotten a lot of flak, and I had an instance with Relic In Time yesterday when the unit was already holding a level 10 relic, I told them to chill out, and they jumped in the portal anyway never to be seen again. But I don't want to see a huge system tacked on top of this. It does feel like some events should allow you to pick which units are involved, and we're going to unnecessarily constrain the kind of events that can be written for the game by forcing them to be purely reactive. (And if that segues into certain events adjusting their outcomes on the presence of specific traits or personalities, great. But I don't think that's a requirement by any stretch.)

Where I'm more concerned is with the rest of the strategy layer; I echo the idea that it doesn't really feel that strategic. Looking at XCOM (which was also pretty simple on this front) your options are basically rushing ALL the satellites, churning out a few satellites at a time, OR ignoring sats to do an alien base rush. You have some minor variation via base building, research paths, equipment, etc., but it's pretty much those 3 overarching plans of attack. And even the alien base rush strikes me as more of a novelty than a good, solid plan.

Right now, I'm not sure we even have that much strategic variety. The little twists are there: traits & personalities, which class gets the first keep, what research order you use. But I don't feel like I can go into a game and say "I'm going to do things differently this time by doing X" except where X is something like "No Caberjacks," which isn't so much a strategy as a silly challenge. Ultimately, you build your hero engine and chill in a holding pattern, and your engine is only ever going to be a little bit different from mine by way of keep count, crucible count, and so on.

As for what to actually do about that? I don't entirely know. Beefing up the research tree some might yield more definition in mid-game strategy. (I'm thinking of something like Civilization, where your choosing to research Animal Husbandry vs. Ironworking vs. Navigation is a big deal. Everyone gets them all eventually, but the one you choose now has a big impact on how you get to that endpoint.) Making Traits & Personalities more impactful might contribute some. I do like the idea of individual keeps being upgradable in some capacity, but the economy system would need to remain pretty stripped down to not become a distraction. Maybe some standard growth over time, combined with Cadence corpses, similar to Banner Saga's system of Renown? That would at least give me something to do with the 900 Lapse corpses I have sitting around by the end of the game.

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It does feel like some events should allow you to pick which units are involved, and we're going to unnecessarily constrain the kind of events that can be written for the game by forcing them to be purely reactive. (And if that segues into certain events adjusting their outcomes on the presence of specific traits or personalities, great. But I don't think that's a requirement by any stretch.)

I don't think they should make the system purely reactive, I just think the variability needs to be toned down a lot.

For example, if you are going to give a player three options, don't make the options fake ones. Currently for most events, no matter what I choose pretty much anything can happen. Even if I pick the same option for multiple playthroughs I can get a different result. I would rather have an event just happen than click on a choice that doesn't actually do anything but set a random sequence into motion. My perfect system for at least some of the of events would be to be presented with several options and all of them suck but allow for a complex decision.

Example:

The corruption is causing a sickness that is harming your heroes and one of your houses has several effected members. Your choice is to quarantine the house (meaning you cannot use any heroes from that house for the next battle), ignore the issue (all heroes suffer a penalty in the next fight with a chance of greater negative effects), or you purge two effected members (lose two heroes permanently).

In this example all of the options sucks, but at least you get a make a choice and if written correctly you should be aware of at least some of the consequences of your actions. A choice of this kind allows for strategic decisions. If you don't want to encourage strategic decision making than don't give me events with fake choices, just explain something randomly good or bad that has happened to me. I know some of the events currently allow for options of this kind but too many feel like roulette wheels.

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Where I'm more concerned is with the rest of the strategy layer; I echo the idea that it doesn't really feel that strategic. Looking at XCOM (which was also pretty simple on this front) your options are basically rushing ALL the satellites, churning out a few satellites at a time, OR ignoring sats to do an alien base rush. You have some minor variation via base building, research paths, equipment, etc., but it's pretty much those 3 overarching plans of attack. And even the alien base rush strikes me as more of a novelty than a good, solid plan.

Right now, I'm not sure we even have that much strategic variety. The little twists are there: traits & personalities, which class gets the first keep, what research order you use. But I don't feel like I can go into a game and say "I'm going to do things differently this time by doing X" except where X is something like "No Caberjacks," which isn't so much a strategy as a silly challenge. Ultimately, you build your hero engine and chill in a holding pattern, and your engine is only ever going to be a little bit different from mine by way of keep count, crucible count, and so on.

As for what to actually do about that? I don't entirely know. Beefing up the research tree some might yield more definition in mid-game strategy. (I'm thinking of something like Civilization, where your choosing to research Animal Husbandry vs. Ironworking vs. Navigation is a big deal. Everyone gets them all eventually, but the one you choose now has a big impact on how you get to that endpoint.) Making Traits & Personalities more impactful might contribute some. I do like the idea of individual keeps being upgradable in some capacity, but the economy system would need to remain pretty stripped down to not become a distraction. Maybe some standard growth over time, combined with Cadence corpses, similar to Banner Saga's system of Renown? That would at least give me something to do with the 900 Lapse corpses I have sitting around by the end of the game.

I think this takes a bit of a narrow view of strategy. Personally my favorite part of the game is the bloodline management on the strategic layer. That alone makes the strategy layer much deeper than XCOM ever was. I groan with every crappy trait kid that's born and salivate with anticipation when I have a promising prospect for a future regent/standard coming up the ranks.

That said, I agree that meaningful tech tree choices are important and I like your civ example. But I think there are already some viable strategic options in MC as far as what items you choose to research. Armor rush? health vials? vitalibands? steadyhander? hero recruitment? go for a tech build with heavy sagewrights guilds? Maybe some values need tweaking, but I think the bones of what you suggest are definitely there.

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Personally my favorite part of the game is the bloodline management on the strategic layer. That alone makes the strategy layer much deeper than XCOM ever was. I groan with every crappy trait kid that's born and salivate with anticipation when I have a promising prospect for a future regent/standard coming up the ranks.

Because of the way I currently play (5 keeps with a particular class in each), I'm so busy checking to have the correct Class/Sex that, other than "Infertile", I don't really have "time/opportunity" anymore to check the Traits/Personnalities as much as I had in previous versions.

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Where I'm more concerned is with the rest of the strategy layer; I echo the idea that it doesn't really feel that strategic. Looking at XCOM (which was also pretty simple on this front) your options are basically rushing ALL the satellites, churning out a few satellites at a time, OR ignoring sats to do an alien base rush. You have some minor variation via base building, research paths, equipment, etc., but it's pretty much those 3 overarching plans of attack. And even the alien base rush strikes me as more of a novelty than a good, solid plan.

Right now, I'm not sure we even have that much strategic variety. The little twists are there: traits & personalities, which class gets the first keep, what research order you use. But I don't feel like I can go into a game and say "I'm going to do things differently this time by doing X" except where X is something like "No Caberjacks," which isn't so much a strategy as a silly challenge. Ultimately, you build your hero engine and chill in a holding pattern, and your engine is only ever going to be a little bit different from mine by way of keep count, crucible count, and so on.

As for what to actually do about that? I don't entirely know. Beefing up the research tree some might yield more definition in mid-game strategy. (I'm thinking of something like Civilization, where your choosing to research Animal Husbandry vs. Ironworking vs. Navigation is a big deal. Everyone gets them all eventually, but the one you choose now has a big impact on how you get to that endpoint.) Making Traits & Personalities more impactful might contribute some. I do like the idea of individual keeps being upgradable in some capacity, but the economy system would need to remain pretty stripped down to not become a distraction. Maybe some standard growth over time, combined with Cadence corpses, similar to Banner Saga's system of Renown? That would at least give me something to do with the 900 Lapse corpses I have sitting around by the end of the game.

I think this takes a bit of a narrow view of strategy. Personally my favorite part of the game is the bloodline management on the strategic layer. That alone makes the strategy layer much deeper than XCOM ever was. I groan with every crappy trait kid that's born and salivate with anticipation when I have a promising prospect for a future regent/standard coming up the ranks.

That said, I agree that meaningful tech tree choices are important and I like your civ example. But I think there are already some viable strategic options in MC as far as what items you choose to research. Armor rush? health vials? vitalibands? steadyhander? hero recruitment? go for a tech build with heavy sagewrights guilds? Maybe some values need tweaking, but I think the bones of what you suggest are definitely there.

I agree there are interesting elements. But I wouldn't use the word "deeper" as a given, perhaps, "subtle" or "hidden" which adds a lot of variance in the outcome, but the hows of getting there I think do have a tendency towards repetition. Even the simplistic economy of the most recent X-com still feels deeper to me, and definitely so with the expansion and all of the 2nd Wave Options.

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8BitCreature. You should toss that example in to the Random Event Ideas sticky.

I followed your advice. Here is what I came up with. I think it is a good example of the direction I think many more of the events should be going.

The Dishonoured Bloodline

Word is spreading that the [random keep] family has been hiding [two random heroes from keep] to keep anyone from realizing that they are both deeply ill from corruption exposure. The [random keep] family is furious at the accusations, claiming that the rumours are an attack on the validity of their bloodline. Your Sagewrights caution against allowing anyone with corruption sickness to mix with the rest of your soldiers, but the [regent of the random keep] begs you to ignore the whispering.

Choice 1: Quarantine the entire house (Warning: You will not be able to use any hero from this bloodline for the next 8 years)

Result Message: The [random keep] family is embarrassed and angry but despite their grumbling agree to allow your Sagewrights to keep them under quarantine. (Effect: No heroes from this bloodline can be used for 8 years, 20% chance that the regent gains the personality trait Pessimistic)

Choice 2: Ignore the issue, it is but the idle whispering of rumor mongers

Result Message: The [random keep] family is grateful for your trust but mere days later it is clear that the corruption is only too real and spreading like wildfire. (Effect: All heroes have the status of sickly for 10 years, 20% chance that the regent of the house will gain the personality trait Stalwart)

Choice 3: Take no chances and purge the two corrupted heroes (Warning: You will lose both heroes)

Result Message: [regent] is furious with your decision and has many in his family openly questioning your leadership. Regardless, any threat of illness seems to have passed and there appears to be no further danger. (Effect: Lose both heroes, 40% chance for regent to gain the personality trait Agitator – which causes everyone in the party to have decreased initiative)

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Where I'm more concerned is with the rest of the strategy layer; I echo the idea that it doesn't really feel that strategic. Looking at XCOM (which was also pretty simple on this front) your options are basically rushing ALL the satellites, churning out a few satellites at a time, OR ignoring sats to do an alien base rush. You have some minor variation via base building, research paths, equipment, etc., but it's pretty much those 3 overarching plans of attack. And even the alien base rush strikes me as more of a novelty than a good, solid plan.

Right now, I'm not sure we even have that much strategic variety. The little twists are there: traits & personalities, which class gets the first keep, what research order you use. But I don't feel like I can go into a game and say "I'm going to do things differently this time by doing X" except where X is something like "No Caberjacks," which isn't so much a strategy as a silly challenge. Ultimately, you build your hero engine and chill in a holding pattern, and your engine is only ever going to be a little bit different from mine by way of keep count, crucible count, and so on.

As for what to actually do about that? I don't entirely know. Beefing up the research tree some might yield more definition in mid-game strategy. (I'm thinking of something like Civilization, where your choosing to research Animal Husbandry vs. Ironworking vs. Navigation is a big deal. Everyone gets them all eventually, but the one you choose now has a big impact on how you get to that endpoint.) Making Traits & Personalities more impactful might contribute some. I do like the idea of individual keeps being upgradable in some capacity, but the economy system would need to remain pretty stripped down to not become a distraction. Maybe some standard growth over time, combined with Cadence corpses, similar to Banner Saga's system of Renown? That would at least give me something to do with the 900 Lapse corpses I have sitting around by the end of the game.

I think this takes a bit of a narrow view of strategy. Personally my favorite part of the game is the bloodline management on the strategic layer. That alone makes the strategy layer much deeper than XCOM ever was. I groan with every crappy trait kid that's born and salivate with anticipation when I have a promising prospect for a future regent/standard coming up the ranks.

That said, I agree that meaningful tech tree choices are important and I like your civ example. But I think there are already some viable strategic options in MC as far as what items you choose to research. Armor rush? health vials? vitalibands? steadyhander? hero recruitment? go for a tech build with heavy sagewrights guilds? Maybe some values need tweaking, but I think the bones of what you suggest are definitely there.

I agree there are interesting elements. But I wouldn't use the word "deeper" as a given, perhaps, "subtle" or "hidden" which adds a lot of variance in the outcome, but the hows of getting there I think do have a tendency towards repetition. Even the simplistic economy of the most recent X-com still feels deeper to me, and definitely so with the expansion and all of the 2nd Wave Options.

Yeah gotta disagree on that one :P XCOM is basically spam sats, and decide if you are going to plasma rush or not

Long War mod adds in some roster management, but on the whole the strategy layer is pretty one dimensional. I dont think that compares to MC strategy at all.

Of course in MC you want to boost exp as much as you can--our equivalent of sat spam-- but traits constantly force you to consider another axis beside exp. It's at least two dimensional, if not more.

Personally my favorite part of the game is the bloodline management on the strategic layer. That alone makes the strategy layer much deeper than XCOM ever was. I groan with every crappy trait kid that's born and salivate with anticipation when I have a promising prospect for a future regent/standard coming up the ranks.

Because of the way I currently play (5 keeps with a particular class in each), I'm so busy checking to have the correct Class/Sex that, other than "Infertile", I don't really have "time/opportunity" anymore to check the Traits/Personnalities as much as I had in previous versions.

Yeah sometimes you have so many knobs to turn that none of them really matters anymore. I definitely still care about traits--but I can see how having too many things to worry about can make each thing matter less.

I think I personally care less about class than I do traits maybe? I'm early into my .9 run but I set up keeps intending to get a diversity of primary classes, and then pick partners with good traits. The particular hybrid I end up with matters less to me than a good pairing, if that makes any sense.

Hopefully there's no one right way to play it and you always have to balance traits/classes/sex

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I think I personally care less about class than I do traits maybe? I'm early into my .9 run but I set up keeps intending to get a diversity of primary classes, and then pick partners with good traits. The particular hybrid I end up with matters less to me than a good pairing, if that makes any sense.

Hopefully there's no one right way to play it and you always have to balance traits/classes/sex

Indeed. I added a "restriction" on my game : I must play as much battles with theses 5 classes.

In the end, each player will prioritize some aspect. I put class on top. You may choose traits over XP, or XP over traits and classes.

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A lot of the events seem to me like... fording rivers in Oregon Trail.

Except that there's usually a delay before you find out the results of your choice, and if the person(s) involve survive, they might gain unique traits that don't seem to show up otherwise and I can then make that person a regent or a standard to pass those traits onto further generations.

Like, Patriotic is an awesome trait. Is anyone ever just born with it, or do recruits show up with it already? I've only ever gotten it from an event, and you can bet I had the characters involve raise a future generation of patriots for me. (which, now that I think of it, seems kind of creepy. "Remember kids, you love the overlord and our great kingdom! Don't ask why, you just do.")

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Patriotic seems like the best personnality, though sounds like the worst name for a personnality. I'd prefer something like "Heroic" or Motivated over "Patriotic"

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Like, Patriotic is an awesome trait. Is anyone ever just born with it, or do recruits show up with it already?
I think only events give it, and a family of Patriotic people is awesome. When I did my "All alchemist game", I had an event where "all achemists becomes patriotic". Fun times.

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Like, Patriotic is an awesome trait. Is anyone ever just born with it, or do recruits show up with it already? I've only ever gotten it from an event, and you can bet I had the characters involve raise a future generation of patriots for me. (which, now that I think of it, seems kind of creepy. "Remember kids, you love the overlord and our great kingdom! Don't ask why, you just do.")

... Totally normal. People do it with ideologies more generally but just look at what an impressive man ... the guy who rides bears without a shirt in the cold country? Yea. I suck at idolatry. Er, whatever the correct term is.

But to answer your question I did once get a Hero with worldlier... worldly, yea. But not sure about Patriotic. The one family I had with that ended up breeding infertile at the same time. So. I have mixed feelings about patriotism now. >.>

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I'm going to reiterate something with a brief example. I was playing one of the many 4x games earlier (and deciding that I didn't think it appreciated that adults just don't have the spare time that we used to as young single, or student gamer's who took the summer off*) and noticed that despite all of the numbers the game was throwing at me, I had this niggling feeling that there were currents underneath the data that I simply wasn't grasping. Which made me appreciate Massive Chalice a little more. Instead of having a lot of control and a lot of influence (directing employees in cities, and the road workers, and the academics, and the senators, etc...) you have just enough control to maybe make a difference. But mostly you're just winging it. Trying to do the best you can. Sometimes shooting into the dark forests of chance with a sling shot. Other times crushing you're enemies with a seer's insight. But mostly. You're like. "Uhm. Chalice, may I?" It's kind of a nice change, it's a game that admits having a plan in the face of the enemy is pretty much asking for that plan to go awry.

"Chalice may I have better armor?" or "Chalice may I have a bigger log?"

"Chalice may I have some new recruits?" or "Chalice may I have a ... baby - I don't need to know where it came from. Seriously."

"Chalice may I ludicrously research magical underwear." or "Chalice may I have a few seconds of peace to myself without narration?"

"Chalice may I please maybe have something good happen when I put an object/person/existential doubt into you."

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I'm going to reiterate something with a brief example. I was playing one of the many 4x games earlier (and deciding that I didn't think it appreciated that adults just don't have the spare time that we used to as young single, or student gamer's who took the summer off*) and noticed that despite all of the numbers the game was throwing at me, I had this niggling feeling that there were currents underneath the data that I simply wasn't grasping. Which made me appreciate Massive Chalice a little more. Instead of having a lot of control and a lot of influence (directing employees in cities, and the road workers, and the academics, and the senators, etc...) you have just enough control to maybe make a difference. But mostly you're just winging it. Trying to do the best you can. Sometimes shooting into the dark forests of chance with a sling shot. Other times crushing you're enemies with a seer's insight. But mostly. You're like. "Uhm. Chalice, may I?" It's kind of a nice change, it's a game that admits having a plan in the face of the enemy is pretty much asking for that plan to go awry.

I have definitely had that feeling myself, like there is something about this game that makes it exciting regardless of how much control you seemingly have. The only thing that has bugged me (aside from the still unbelievably irritating event system) is on some playthroughs I don't seem to be able to make many relevant decisions, at least for really long stretches of time. So often I want to make a tactical decision and train a specific class but then I find their traits are so awful or their levels just aren't high enough that I cannot. This makes for an interesting game, but can leave you feeling passive. As you said, this game is best when it feels like you are winging it, barely holding it together, but getting to make decisions on how you hold everything together makes it a much deeper game.

I think the tuning is still slightly off, and some of the suggestions above I think would make a big difference. Such as Xenrathe's idea of a percentage chance of a class. That small change allows for just enough variability that some more strategic decisions present themselves.

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