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JFarceur

Observations from playing IronMan-Hard with 0.93.1.1

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Observations/requests/suggestions from playing a Ironman-Hard game ... ugh...

1) When assigning a new hero to the VANGUARD, the Inventory window shows up. However, if the hero needs to be assigned new skills, the Skills window should show up first, because several heroes can unlock "two items" skill.

2) In Ironman mode : I saved & exit after assigning my Vanguard and chose my skills. I quit the game, and came back to continue. My Vangard was not saved, nor the skills assigned. I'd like the "Save" button to save.

3) I would like a reminder on the Kingdom management screen when a Partner has not been assigned to a Regent. Maybe a "To-do list" on the left side of the screen. :-)

4) On the Regent screen, the regent and partner does not indicate the [1] when skills are to be assigned.

5) A reason for waiting to assign a partner is when a probably-suitable trainee is 13-14 years old ; so sometimes it's worth waiting 1-2 year, just to check. The "New hero came of age" icon is now hidden under the other icons. I'd like if it popped over the castles or pop on the timeline before hiding itself under the other close ones.

=> Maybe be able to add an AUTO-STOP on predictable events : like display in advance the "Hero came of age" on the timeline, with a checkbox to make the timeline stops when that happens.

6) After researching new heroes, the game displays the Retinue screen. Since I won't look at the heroes until I will need to, I'd prefer be taken to the new research screen, but that's personal, maybe.

7) When having to choose where to adopt a newborn baby, be able to check the Heroes/Trainees/Keeps in order to see where the baby should go.

8) I think it's weird that a Hunter can shoot a target out of her/his sight range, but within his weapon range : if another character sees the target, the low-vision hunter can shoot it.

9) I always zoom out so I can see the Arrow icon over the monsters. Checking a character status resets the zoom, so I always have to zoom out again.

10) Once, a cradle killed my hero and a seed at the same time. The chalice was like "That'll learn ya, something something beast of pestilence!" .... but ... but... . my hero just died!

11) When the camera jumps into the chalice, before a battle, I always see a castle interior, for a fraction of a second, but I never have time to take a screen shot.

12) NEED to have default equipment settings on trainees ; forgot to equip the Weapon/Armor/Item = party wipe, no-reload. It's the second battle that I come out with 1 character alive, geez.

13) When making a new game, please have 50% male and females.[del] We just had 2 females, and one is sister to the guy we want king of the first keep.[/del] I had it wrong. We had 2 females, one was infertile. We recruited new heroes, we only got 1 fertile female. Times were rough, but we were lucky that our first regent had 9 children.

14) Using Explosive arrow on a Shatter Rock does not damage the enemies around it??

15) When using PREVIEW on a character (before assigning the regent), it is removed automatically from the VANGARD, even if not assigned regent.

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16) Explosion (Potion) damage (I think it applies to Boomstrikers too) : When Targeting an enemy with an AOE, display either the adjusted damage on each enemy, or their Damage-Resistance (ex : -3). It's hard to predict explosion damage right now.

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17) Why does the Cadence gets so agressive suddently, mid-battle? I know they have "higher agression whatever" when the cool music starts as a "majority" of the cadence has been killed.

I'm almost only using hunters (4 hunters, 1 alchemist). The alchemist is always hiding in the back, providing healing as necessary. Hunters (all wearing "Steady handers") are mostly always in stealth mode, and I'm killing the cadence one-by-one, taking multiple turns to kill them if necessary (it can take more than one turn to kill a single advanced seed, and up to 4 turns killing an advanced bulwark).

Now the cadence rushes to my position. I admit I never have been able to move from the 10x10 starting location, but I suggest the enemy AI should be between :

1) getting shot at, and not reacting at all because Sight=10 and the shot is coming from 11 tiles (the only thing that makes a hunter viable).

2) All enemies on the map suddently knowing your position and rushing to it.

I have taken 1 point of damage in this battle, up to now. I am expecting to lose 1 to 5 characters.

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18) Everytime a Regent or Standard dies with a relic, we first have to choose who will get the relic, and then choose who will replace the character. We cannot skip/wait the relic assignation, lest it would be lost. The problem is that I want to know First who will replace the Regent/Standard, then optimally assign the weapon to someone else. I'd like the weapon just to sstay in the bloodline's keep, if I don't assign it right away.

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14) Using Explosive arrow on a Shatter Rock does not damage the enemies around it??

14B) At first, I would "understand" this thing, because hitting a Shatter Rock has near 100% accuracy, so it feels "almost" like cheating to aim at Shatter Rocks to damage enemies, but Bulwarks can aim at Shatter Rocks and hit hidden Hunters behind it with near 100% accuracy...

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19) Hunter's "Follow Up" mentions the second shot is at 50% "Damage" (which normally would not be bad), but it's actually 50% "attack power" : in hard mode, the second shot is often around 1-7 dmg, whatever the first shot was, because it suffers the 50% penalty BEFORE the applying armor. I suggest that the 50% to be applied AFTER the armor reduction, so it is always a true 50% (and not useless).

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19) Hunter's "Follow Up" mentions the second shot is at 50% "Damage" (which normally would not be bad), but it's actually 50% "attack power" : in hard mode, the second shot is often around 1-7 dmg, whatever the first shot was, because it suffers the 50% penalty BEFORE the applying armor. I suggest that the 50% to be applied AFTER the armor reduction, so it is always a true 50% (and not useless).

Good catch.

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14) Using Explosive arrow on a Shatter Rock does not damage the enemies around it??

14B) At first, I would "understand" this thing, because hitting a Shatter Rock has near 100% accuracy, so it feels "almost" like cheating to aim at Shatter Rocks to damage enemies, but Bulwarks can aim at Shatter Rocks and hit hidden Hunters behind it with near 100% accuracy...

Very true.

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21) RANDOM EVENTS - Geez. I'm at year 258. I run with 3 houses (2 hunters, 1 alchemist) since the beginning (so not a lot of heroes). I lost a sagewright early on and I still keep going. I have 5 hunters on my Vangard, 3 have a level 10 relic, and the two other relics are going well.

ONE : one random event where a random revolutionnary "queen" asks for 3 heroes, 2 that are either on the vangard or next for the throne. I refuse, they become Disheartened. That's not cool.

- No'jike's father was about to die, and she was the last available family member that could take his place on the throne. She should gain "Patriotic" to defend her territory, her keep and her people instead of roaming the land with I-don't-know-who.

- The elder of the Folkmans had a relic, I could not spare him since I wasn't sure if the game would stole it from me (because hero disappears from retinue or something). Since Hunters are useless without a level 10 relic, I could not take that risk.

TWO : "Family feud" between the two only active bloodlines that I have. Worst, the two characters are in my VANGARD and have level 10 relics. I throw them in the Bossadome, knowing that (in another game) the characters gained family-bond or patriotic or something, but instead they kill each other. AT LEAST : the text said they both broke their weapon, but that did not happen.

Now half of my hunters will be Disheartened, and I lost one of my Vangard, and another one gained "Shellshocked", whatever that means.

Knowing how random these events are, I wish I could just turn them off prior to a game. I might lose because of random.

030_Year_258.jpg

030_Year_258.jpg.c1132ba5d7d3bfe6d7acd76

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22) When exiting the game in IRON mode, there should not be any message saying "Anything not save will be lost" since everything is saved.

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21) RANDOM EVENTS ...

C) 10 years after the cruel events, this. I was just thinking : "Oh great thing YOU turn 15, you will be a central part of the last battle, because I really think 4 hunters won't make it, and since I cannot load, I need YOU, yes, YOU, Jatham Trooper. Oh, you have a level 9 relic, good. Things aren't going as much out of control as I thought."

He is 18! There was ZERO battle since he turned 15. He would already be on my VANGARD if I had the option. I know that if I let him go, he might either become Patriotic, either never come back and THEN I will lose my relic and the final battle.

...

DISHEARTHENED!

Year 270 ... here I go.

031_FUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.jpg

031_FUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu.jpg.43930b

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23) One of my trainees just turned 15, and a battle appeared. I want to "promote" a vangard to the Sagewrights, so he can give his relic to my new trainee, but I can't, because there's apparently a battle going on. Could we please be able to manage the kingdom normally even if there is a battle waiting, else we'd have to pause the timeline at each event just in case we miss an opportunity.

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22) When exiting the game in IRON mode, there should not be any message saying "Anything not save will be lost" since everything is saved.

Not entirely accurate. You can slip at least one thing past the save. But they are pretty standard things (you can reload an ironman battle map by quitting alt-F4 during the enemy turn and one time it didn't save a few years of progress, but that was unintentional).

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23) One of my trainees just turned 15, and a battle appeared. I want to "promote" a vangard to the Sagewrights, so he can give his relic to my new trainee, but I can't, because there's apparently a battle going on. Could we please be able to manage the kingdom normally even if there is a battle waiting, else we'd have to pause the timeline at each event just in case we miss an opportunity.

This has become a definitely limitation on game play satisfaction. There is a certain inevitability that comes from not trying to prepare for things happening too close together that makes even the planning aspect feel random.

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By the way, even if we're not replying, I am reading this thread with interest. Simply busy on other things right now, and posting on forums eats away at our time :P

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- The elder of the Folkmans had a relic, I could not spare him since I wasn't sure if the game would stole it from me (because hero disappears from retinue or something). Since Hunters are useless without a level 10 relic, I could not take that risk.

Oh man, this is my family's bloodline! First time I've heard of someone getting it!

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Oh man, this is my family's bloodline! First time I've heard of someone getting it!

Pretty much my main family :-) I'm closing in to the final battle. I'll record a video or something.

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24) Closing in to the end of the game, I started choosing "Shoot n' scoot" instead of "Dead eye". Really bad idea, I thought I could always "Scoot" after "Shoot", but with around 50-60% accuracy (level 9 hunters wih steady handers), it's more like "Gamble and maybe scoot". Really underpowered ability, "Dead eye" is superior.

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9) I always zoom out so I can see the Arrow icon over the monsters. Checking a character status resets the zoom, so I always have to zoom out again.

Really, since I always shoot at maximum distance, sometimes it's hard to have in the same screen the tile I want to walk to, and the monster, so I can see if my hunter can shoot it or not. It's even worst with dead eye : I sometimes need to rotate the screen so I can fit the 14 tiles distance properly.

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25) When a character can "Scoot" or "Zoom", I would like the TAB button to cycle back to that character. Right now, the character is skipped by the TAB Key.

26) I want an indicator (like in classic Xcom) on the number of Cadence currently seen by the heroes. Reason : when a player discovers a cadence for the first time, the screen moves and show it to the player, but after, if the player walks in range of the same cadence, there is no "notification". A bad camera angle could cost a lot in that case.

27-Bug) I killed a cadence with a hunter. "Scoot" activated. I TABBED to the next characters, did nothing, and then came back to make the "Scoot". Once I did the Scoot, THEN the battle finished. It was really weird.

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I totally agree with having something say how many Cadence a selected hero can see! Sometimes they're blocked by rocks or something and I totally miss one!

Totally.

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28) Need button to rotate character, so I can take a better look at my relics, and take cooler screenshots.

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And how would you have graded the difficulty? Too easy? Too hard? There are some pretty interesting changes to research, damage, and relic xp happening in the next patch. Hopefully you'll be up for trying another ironman then :)

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And how would you have graded the difficulty? Too easy? Too hard? There are some pretty interesting changes to research, damage, and relic xp happening in the next patch. Hopefully you'll be up for trying another ironman then :)

Hi Silvio. Thanks for taking time to answer. This last game might just be my last try at the game. According to steam, the game ran 140 hours on my computer, now I feel like I'll start something else. Maybe making my own games, I don't know.

From my gamer backgound, I think Massive Chalice is a very interesting game, but generally easy : I need to give myself challenges to complete for most of the games I've made. Here's a quick history of my games :

1) I stopped playing as soon as I built my 3rd keep, and understood I should build one keep of each class.

2) Game with 2 friends, all well trained in Xcom and Tactics games. We had a lot of fun watching the bloodlines evolve, giving Nicknames to our characters, so we recognize them (Nicknaming the characters would be a really useful feature by the way). We never had the chance to finish it, and new features appeared, so we might make this again, when the game is fully ready.

3) My first completed game. I called the Alchemists "Mascots" because I thought they were useless.

4) Alchemist-only : I thought alchemists would fail, but they shined, to my surprise.

5-Hybrids) All Caberjacks : I decided to create 5 keeps, one keep of each "Caberjack" class, so I would be able to compare them. Caberjacks are the strongest class, and Enforcer was useless.

6-IRON+HARD) No Caberjacks. I wanted to avoid the Enforcer class at all cost, and try all the Hybrids I didn't see yet. I also wanted to play Hunter-Only, but I had to use one alchemist in the last battle.

Overall, the HARD difficulty was not that hard, but playing without Caberjacks was very tough. I think I would've lost the last battle without my level 10 alchemist (feels like he did half the job there).

The hunter's lack of FirePower made me struggle the entire game, until I got my first Hi-level relics, and then it seemed "ok". Hunters are so fragile, they hardly survive one hit (it felt like playing the original xcom).

In fact, it was frustrating to play.

First on the list are the random events. They should be disabled in IRON mode, they are so random. Once I thought I would lose because of random events.

I think most research items are designed for Caberjacks. Alchemists have two interesting sets of armour, and Potions/SteadyHander. I would think a "strategy game" to have more than one strategy, but a Hunter NEEDS a level 10 Relic + SteadyHander + VeilArmour, else they are not worth it. There is a long list of items to research, but none that can be used by a Hunter :

- Potions? They get hit twice, they die. Might as well use SteadyHander so they miss less and don't get hit.

- Vitalibands : I don't want to get hit.

- Drain life? They get hit once, they die, so they won't drain life.

- Skipping stone? Teleport in the middle of enemy territory? Death.

- Age and rage : increase damage? They need dex.

- Bonebarb bow? If a level 10 Relic does "decent" damage, I don't even think about a "normal weapon".

- Shotgun bow : close-range = death. Also, no critical hits.

- Armor that does not allow to Hide = Death. In the last phase of a battle, High-agression enemies rushes to your positions (a little less if you're hiding). Ranged enemies kill you when they see you.

- Dodge socks : Need to research Hunter armour first, and we don't have time for that.

- Explosive Core : Like I really need to suicide a hunter, or to lose time at research.

Skills for Hunters

- Level 4 : "Put them down" is mandatory. I don't remember what is the other choice.

- Level 6 : Blinding shot is a weaker form of Caberjack's Stun. In Normal difficulty, I would never use it, but in HARD, it is mandatory to use against Bulwarks (if you don't use Caberjacks). Still, it's better than nothing (Flarrow).

- Level 8 : Dead eye is mandatory. Shoot'n'scoot does not allow to "shoot and hide" effectively, because accuracy ranges in the 70% most of the game (so it's not reliable). - Level 10 : Useful in the last battle. I could kill a seed in one shot!

Skills for Bazookers

- Level 2 : Explosions! When I had these guys with the Brainy Trait, I could deal some damage. But then my Alchemist bloodline went near-extinct. No more Bazookers.

- Level 4 : I really need "Put them down", too bad for 2 items.

- Level 6 : "Shoot items" doesnt work with Steady Handers, so the other skill gets it (can't remember what it was).

- Level 8 : Poo-Shot doesn't help hunters not getting killed. In fact, the ability text suggested it would help the cadence hide in bushes so they can reach my hunters more easily, and kill them : not a very good level 8 ability.

Also, Dexterity plays a HUGE role for hunters' damage. Just before the last battle, I replaced a Older level10 Hunter with a young level 8 because of his Dexterity Boosts (Age & Traits & Personnality).

The best thing from using only Hunters, was that I needed to research only few items, and I finished researching the useful stuff by year 290 (including the Advanced Alchemist Armour although I never used it). Having lost a Sagewright early in the game, research was very limited.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Video - Last 2 battles :

a)

: Skyline is fuzzy

b) Boom and zoom (

) : If I use a free throw for a first action, the ZOOM offers a very wide movement range, but only a short move is allowed.

c) In the last battle, you may notice Random damages appearing over the enemies (See Lapse :

) :

-> I observed (in previous battles) that when I damage an enemy that I don't see, the damage pop-up will appear the first time I see this enemy, later.

-> Maybe new enemies use the same ID as dead enemies, so we see weird messages popping-up.

d) Ancestors coming back (

) : So weird. The chalice narrators says it's a bad thing that my hero died, but nothing about an ancestor that reappear by magic out of nowhere.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

+) I would've liked to use more the Region bonuses, but since they are random, they would not always fit with the thematic I use for the game. I suggest being able to choose the region bonuses.

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Isn't Honed Hearing the alternate choice from Put It Down for base hunters? I still haven't played on this patch, but since hybrids came in my impression has been that hunters are so weak that Put It Down is actually the worse option. My reasoning has been that hunters tend to deal a hair over half of an enemy's health per attack, which means you need two hunter actions for a kill. That puts Put It Down in a weird position of only adding value when it's enough to push Follow Up over into a one-action kill. (This also becomes less valuable as the game goes on since Follow Up's likelihood of critting increases, which is generally enough for a one-action kill.) It's the same problem I have with Chalk One Up at this point - yes, your damage increases, but almost never enough to cross the threshold of saving you turns.

Again though, this is all a patch or two behind, and not on Hard. Were these actually time-savers in practice?

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Isn't Honed Hearing the alternate choice from Put It Down for base hunters? I still haven't played on this patch, but since hybrids came in my impression has been that hunters are so weak that Put It Down is actually the worse option. My reasoning has been that hunters tend to deal a hair over half of an enemy's health per attack, which means you need two hunter actions for a kill. That puts Put It Down in a weird position of only adding value when it's enough to push Follow Up over into a one-action kill. (This also becomes less valuable as the game goes on since Follow Up's likelihood of critting increases, which is generally enough for a one-action kill.) It's the same problem I have with Chalk One Up at this point - yes, your damage increases, but almost never enough to cross the threshold of saving you turns.

Again though, this is all a patch or two behind, and not on Hard. Were these actually time-savers in practice?

In normal difficulty, I wouldn't care.

In Hard, if I had, let's say, one hunter on the team, I'd probably use "Honed hearing", so the Hunter would be a "support character". Since I tried to use only hunters, I really need every point of damage available. In Hard, the second shot of "Follow-up" is way way lower than the first shot, since the armor is applied after the 50%. So the first shot is like 25, and the second shot 7. With Put it down, the second shot is sometimes more like 15-20 : more likely to get a kill in one action.

Time-savers : in normal battles, I use many, many turns to kill cadence. In the final battle, you don't have that kind of time. It probably helped a lot.

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JFarceur - Thanks for all the testing man! This thread is super valuable! :D

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