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Thoughts up to year 263 in .96b

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STARTING OPTIONS

Version: .96a

Modes:

Hard

Non-Iron (I have no idea how hard the current game is, and I don’t feel like restarting if I blow is 200 years in)

Imbalanced start (I think you can easily compensate for the initial class skew based on your starting stable of non-vanguard heroes and recruitment)

THE FIRST BATTLE

1. Is there a way for us to access our hero stable during the first battle. I found myself wanting to feed xp to heroes I knew I would marry, but without access to your stable there’s no way to know that

2. I like the new top left camera controls. New console feature I presume? I’m sticking with the WASD Q/E but I like that the option is there.

3. Imbalanced start: 3 caberjacks, a hunter and an alchemist. Not bad if I can keep the squishies alive to breed

BATTLE REPORT: 7-0 good guys. 1 lapse and 6 seeds, no exp loss. Used hunter stealth to scout. Looped 2 caberjacks round the pillars to break LOS and stay concealed till it was time to strike. Chain stun and hunter fire finished the lapse before it could do anything. Caber stun is really good for tempo control AND for doing small predictable amounts of damage you can use to feed kills to the proper heroes. Entire party is almost level 2 and the one straggler was under 20 exp off. If I’d fed her the last kill instead of the guy I gave it to it’d be an almost perfect start.

Other mistakes:

Sent a slow guy in my flanking squad. Gotta check traits before doing that! I’m lazy about trait checking in the first mission.

Impressionable can be brutal! I had one guy pick up reveler from my drunken hunter, and another pick up cocky! Grrr

Surprise of the fight: a seed did 6 to a caberjack, who is my most armored, highest hp (12) hero and that was half her life! Scary stuff. Feels

more like XCOM when your troops are this fragile. I like it!

In MC the single fight I played the most and had the most fun with was one where I got a bad spawn and got hemmed in by cradles. Difficulty + player options + randomness = replayability

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DIFFICULTY LEVEL SAVESCUMMING AND SHORT NOTES

Yr40 –first savescum – lost a hero to a crappy alch flask into xposive bush combo.

Yr 50 – region loss inevitable now – attacks on two 2 strike regions simultaneously. #feelsbadman. Lesson kids is never savescum!

So far I’d say Hard is closer to classic on XCOM than impossible. Impossible took me double digits tries, youtube guides and actively trying to improve in order to beat the first mission. I think there needs to be a difficulty or two above this one.

yr 60

Lost 2 alchs to an 80%+ flask miss friendly fire incient #feelsbadman

Still went on to beat the mission. Which was really tough, and a ton of fun. So tempted to savescum but glad I didnt.

First exposure to cradles. They are scary! 70 hp when my heroes take 20. I wonder if the explosion into 3 seeds is too much. I never did see seeds recombine into cradles in previous versions. Does this replace that? If seeds can still combine, perhaps this is redundant.

Also: should players get xp for adds? I guess the seeds don’t spawn infinitely so its not exploitable, but cradle+3 seeds is a lot of experience.

Caberjacks are really good.

Yr 70

First teamwipe at ebbots marsh

Wrinklers do a LOT of damage.

Hard really is hard! But I think its fair. If I restart I think I can beat it. Its about a perfect difficulty level for me right now.

Yr90

Been using brewtalists as my alch type all game. Forgot how much sheer damage an alch deals out with freethrow. Freethrow gives you a lot of options/versatility

Yr120ish

I think im over the hump. I know advanced cadence are coming in 150+ though so I want to invest this time in strategic layer improvements. I decided to go for a sagewrights guild, which turned out to be a huge mistake. It didn’t improve research as much as I wanted, and my birthrate, which I thought was fine, turned out to be balanced on a knifes edge. I need new keeps and hero recruitment research. In retrospect I should have done both way earlier. 3 keeps is not enough.

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Year 150

STRATEGIC LAYER

Fertility feels like it needs a boost. I feel like I’d have more fun if I had more options, but less fertility = less heroes = less options, so I don’t have a ton of choice. I’m always on the razor’s edge, but not in a good way. I’m throwing subpar heroes into marriages of convenience instead of making choices I’m happy about.

Research rates also need a boost. I know there were some easily exploitable strategies involving multiple crucibles or sagewrights guilds early on in beta, but now I feel like each building or item is such a weighty decision that I cant afford to experiment or see much of the tech tree. Low fertility and research rates make you feel like you’re at a subsistence level—in some kind of Malthusian trap, unable to really advance. I think hard choices are important, but I think research costs are a bit too punitive right now.

I invested in a second sagewrights guild from about years 120-150, which took nearly 30 years—1/10th of the game—to build. That’s a long time, but it felt OK because I assumed I’d double my research rates once it was done. When I built it and my research times went from 28 years to 23 years, I felt cheated. I thought I was using a time when I felt ahead in the tactical map to invest in the strategic layer. Instead, I wasted 30 years. If buildings aren’t going to stack efficiently maybe set a hard limit of 1 per non-keep? I like the idea of being able to invest in 2 sagewrights guilds or 2 crucibles in the pursuit of an alternative strategy, but I currently don’t think such strategies are viable, they’re just a trap for the unwary, because they don’t pay off. 30 years is a tremendously long time, so if you’re going to let players invest 10% of the game’s time in something, make sure that something can pay off.

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1. Is there a way for us to access our hero stable during the first battle. I found myself wanting to feed xp to heroes I knew I would marry, but without access to your stable there’s no way to know that

totally agree. once i re-started a new game many times in a row to have a good starting position.

3. Imbalanced start: 3 caberjacks, a hunter and an alchemist. Not bad if I can keep the squishies alive to breed

I dont' know if this is unbalanced start related, but when i start a new game i often find 3-4 heroes fromt he same family (and with similar traits). Too bad.

Yr40 –first savescum – lost a hero to a crappy alch flask into xposive bush combo.

LOL :D

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Year 150

TACTICAL LAYER

Tactical balance feels really good. there's a difficulty spike as each new enemy types is introduced--which is almost every battle early on; but if you can work it out, you hit a lull in the100-150 range you can use to research and buildup. The difficulty curve feels good. Still tougher at the beginning than in the middle, but it's nowhere near as bad as XCOM.

CLASS BALANCE

I tended to use a lot of caberjacks, often 3:1:1 caberjack:alch:hunter.

Alchemists I usually brought along one or two. More if they were brutalists, who are nearly caberjacks anyway :D

Hunters it was usually one, but I don't leave home without that one. Stealth and a ranged attack are critical. Flask arrow is immensely useful against the new cradles.

Up through year 150 I only had one keep for each class and few pure classes after the first generation died on. I had a lot of shadowjacks and brewtalists, with the odd trickshot and boomstriker mixed in.

I think crowd control and stealth are really powerful, hence the classes I focused on. I think you need a solid line of caberjacks or brewtalists to handle your crowd control needs. There are a lot of enemies who need to be shutdown with stun or you lose.

Hunters might need a slight damage buff to make them worth taking over the massive cc of the caberjack.

ALCHEMIST

Alchemist - I didn't see much of the standard alchemist so far this game. I only started with one, and immediately set him up with a caberjack to make early brewtalists, who I remembered were really strong. Ranged AOE knockback/stun is very powerful.

Boomstriker- I only got one of these later on in the game, and she had a relic. But my reliance on brewtalists had me forget how strong freethrow is. Really great ability, adds a lot of burst DPS and versatility. Precision flasks are great: tons of damage, and great range with aerodynamic flasks. Honed hearing makes them excellent artillery. Fun variant on the alchemist. Not sure why they don't get stealth and the shadowjack does though :/

Brewtalist- mainstay class for the early game. Knockback flasks are strong, but not too strong. The knockback range isn't long enough to encroach on the caberjack's territory. Unless the enemy is parked up against an obstacle/other enemy, you often need multiple bombs to get the stun off, meanwhile the caberjack knockback and charge are more reliable line stuns with longer knockback range. HackNslash is a great burst damage ability, essential for dealing with Bulwarks early on. Great class, powerful, fun to use, and well designed.

CABERJACK

Caberjack- my biggest surprise of this playthrough was how much I loved caberjacks. Reliable stun on a 2 turn cd, means 2 caberjacks = permastun. And charge is magnificent for getting caberjacks into position or adding on additional stun.

Blastcapper- I've made none of these so far. I remember them being really weak. The AOE melee damage isn't very good compared to the range on the alch classes or the Trickshot and more importantly they lack the caberjacks signature crowd control and mobility.

Shadowjack - initially I thought they'd be much weaker than the caberjack. I assumed they'd have no good way to close with their stun targets if the map doesn’t have high cover for stealthing. In practice I found there's usually plenty of cover and if not you just have to go in hard! Where there is cover, I tend to stealth all my stealth capable guys and hide the others behind obstacles to block LoS and set up ambushes on wandering cadence. Stealth is of course also great for scouting, hiding injured heroes and getting into position for a stun.

HUNTER

Hunter - Didn't use pure hunters much, but follow-up is a useful source of burst damage, and the usefulness of stealth, even without the upgraded hunter armor, cannot be overstated. I think Stealth is potentially very powerful, but I think it's in the perfect place right now: incredibly useful, but disabled if you're spotted. It's also easy to underestimate the utility of a ranged attack which costs no ammo! Only the hunter based classes can do that in this game, and their engagement range makes them useful for whittling down enemies from distance.

Enforcer - Knockback arrow is difficult to use and probably needs a buff. I don't think it'd be too overpowered if it had the same knockback as the caberjack's skill. It's just a line knockback after all--not a guaranteed stun. And it has a longer cooldown. I didn't use enforcers much after the very early game but I remember point-blank shot being underwhelming. Bottom line for me is any class hybridized with a caberjack had better have some useful cc or knockback, and the enforcer doesn't make the cut.

Trickshot - Hadn't used them much in the past, but this playthrough I was shocked at how useful flask arrow was. It's a rocket launcher! Simple but effective. I think they really came into their own now that cradles spawn seeds after death. I think they might need a *tiny* buff though. Their burst isn't nearly as good as that of the boomstriker, who can use freethrow to really dish out the damage all in one turn. I often felt flask arrow was a downgrade from my normal attack, when as a limited use, special ability, it should always feel like an upgrade! If I use a flask arrow on a single target I want that target to be dead, not tickled.

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I like the idea of being able to invest in 2 sagewrights guilds or 2 crucibles in the pursuit of an alternative strategy, but I currently don’t think such strategies are viable, they’re just a trap for the unwary, because they don’t pay off. 30 years is a tremendously long time, so if you’re going to let players invest 10% of the game’s time in something, make sure that something can pay off.

I think you are absolutely right about Guilds, but Crucibles still seem worthwhile. The XP curve is even tougher than it was before (seems like most people aren't getting all heroes to level 10 by the final battle), so I think having additional trainers is a viable time investment.

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ITEMS

Again, I didn't research many. Research times were huge and I didn't feel the items were gamechanging enough to warrant taking a hero's only item slot. I stuck exclusively with health potions and vitalibands. I will upgrade to the ultralixer and wunderpants for the endgame.

The vitaliband is pretty strong, way stronger than health potions imo. Health potions let you heal after being hurt, but vitalibands stop you from being oneshot, which doubles the shots it takes to kill you when it really matters: eg against really tough enemies. Sometimes – since this game has no cover—you cant help but be shot at. In those situations being able to live through a single turn of fire lets you react and maybe even retaliate. The importance of dying in 2 shots rather than 1 (double the shots to kill you) or 3 rather than 2, is expressed perfectly in starcaft timing attacks. +1 armor can make the difference between victory and defeat if it means your zerglings now take 3 marine shots to kill instead of 2.

THEORY

I learned moving from vanilla XCOM:EW to XCOM:EW Long War mod that more options are better. Moving from 1 item slot to 2 item slots per trooper really opened up the range of items you could use, which opened up more options in combat, which allowed devs to make the game harder. This went hand in hand with allowing you to start the game with a lot of items researched: flashbangs, battle scanners, smoke grenades, HE and AP grenades, armor, extra rockets, extra shredder rockets, extra ammo, an aim boost, a medkit, and a morale booster. That’s 12 starting items!

Game changing item research, like the twitcher warp stones, all the cadence weapons, the wunderpants, make sense as researchable—they’re the MC equivalent of XCOM’s chem grenades, or ghost grenades: late game, really powerful items. But we could probably afford to start out with some item options, maybe smaller versions of the researchable stuff? Eg in xcom u start with the laser sight and then have to research the SCOPE. Maybe we can start with the little health potion and have to research the ultralixer?

Now we don’t need as much item based cc in MC as we did in XCOM, because of caberjack stuns, but it would be nice to have some early item based cover. For example I would love a 1 use fertilizer flask as an early game item. Then if the alch skill needs a buff give it a higher evasion bonus, or make it affect only allies.

To tie in another game: you spend jp to learn to use health potions, phoenix downs and ethers in FFT, but they're basically free. Basic functions like: healing, providing cover (in a game with no cover system), increasing aim, seem like useful starting items.

Simplest option: reduce item research times so people are encouraged to experiment early game. Keep wunderpants and the lategame goodies as serious investments, but health potions and the like should be everywhere.

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1. Is there a way for us to access our hero stable during the first battle. I found myself wanting to feed xp to heroes I knew I would marry, but without access to your stable there’s no way to know that

totally agree. once i re-started a new game many times in a row to have a good starting position.

I've been savescumming random events recently. They're so powerful and so random :3

3. Imbalanced start: 3 caberjacks, a hunter and an alchemist. Not bad if I can keep the squishies alive to breed

I dont' know if this is unbalanced start related, but when i start a new game i often find 3-4 heroes fromt he same family (and with similar traits). Too bad.

I think I had the same thing happen, but I'd have to check.

Yr40 –first savescum – lost a hero to a crappy alch flask into xposive bush combo.

LOL :D

xD this is why I need ironmode. I will just savescum the heck out of the game otherwise. I had no troops in my memorial in XCOM and its not because I was good :P

I was so tempted to do it again when I lost 2 alchs to an 80% bomb throw suicide. But I persevered and beat the mission and it was actually great fun.

-----

I like the idea of being able to invest in 2 sagewrights guilds or 2 crucibles in the pursuit of an alternative strategy, but I currently don’t think such strategies are viable, they’re just a trap for the unwary, because they don’t pay off. 30 years is a tremendously long time, so if you’re going to let players invest 10% of the game’s time in something, make sure that something can pay off.

I think you are absolutely right about Guilds, but Crucibles still seem worthwhile. The XP curve is even tougher than it was before (seems like most people aren't getting all heroes to level 10 by the final battle), so I think having additional trainers is a viable time investment.

Not sure why I assumed crucibles were as nerfed as sagewrights guilds. good catch, thanks!

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Simplest option: reduce item research times so people are encouraged to experiment early game. Keep wunderpants and the lategame goodies as serious investments, but health potions and the like should be everywhere.

This is a great idea. Or give us the option to change it with a "New Game+" option. I'd love to see a host of options for a second playthrough. I'm sure we could come up with a lot of good ideas if the devs are open to it.

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I learned moving from vanilla XCOM:EW to XCOM:EW Long War mod that more options are better. Moving from 1 item slot to 2 item slots per trooper really opened up the range of items you could use, which opened up more options in combat, which allowed devs to make the game harder. This went hand in hand with allowing you to start the game with a lot of items researched: flashbangs, battle scanners, smoke grenades, HE and AP grenades, armor, extra rockets, extra shredder rockets, extra ammo, an aim boost, a medkit, and a morale booster. That’s 12 starting items!

I'd like to voice my support for expanding the number and accessibility of items in Massive Chalice, while also offering the caveat that I think The Long War goes waaaay overboard into fiddly ridiculousness. This ties into the research & strategy layer as a whole having issues, but I eventually settled into getting Steady Handers and basically nothing else.

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I don't think more options are necessarily better, at all. In some cases they can be a lot worse. I know there are some games (not just video games) I've played where the choice is extremely limited, moment to moment, but the considerations in making that choice are rather complex.

In theory, at least, I think that sort of thing works well for this sort of game: the interesting choice would not be so much that there are 10 things I can research and all of them could lead me down good roads, but more 'there are 3 things I can reasonably research at this point and I can come up with a compelling argument for all 3, which do I choose'?

I don't think there's quite enough of either in the game at the moment, for most of the game I was researching something because I felt I had to, not because I felt I was making a call.

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@kaltoro thanks! I love the idea of a new game+, maybe even an iterative new game+ where you go to new game++, then new game+++ and so on. I'm leaning towards this idea of just decreasing item research times as the best, simplest option here.

@selke I think Long War's complexity is perfect... for Long War. I wouldn't want to see that here. But I do want to see some more item variety and I think reducing item research times, starting us off with some minor item options, and maybe increasing the number of item slots would be the way to go. A qualitatively similar solution to Long War's, but with maybe 2 starting items instead of 12. I do like MC's low item number per hero, but the tradeoff to that is if we are going to spend time researching items, and using our only item slot for them, they need to be worthy investments.

@KestrelPi I totally agree that all game my research was geared towards "this is what I need *right* now to survive". I think my solution goes some way to alleviating that.

To come at it from another direction, the problem is the items are double gated. First barrier is just researching the item, which takes away from keep building, weapon and armor research, recruiting heroes, adopting children, and so on. Second barrier is actually using the item, when most of your non-alchemist heroes have only 1 item slot. So even after researching the item, you have to give up your only item slot to use it. Maybe part of this is vitalibands being too strong, but I can't see giving up +30% health for ANYTHING. I add on health potions when I start getting double item slots, but I can't see myself replacing that extra HP with anything. Maybe lategame wunderpants for level 10s, but I don't think anything else comes close. I might experiment with steady handers for my backline folks (or even caberjacks if they keep missing their knockbacks), but even then its a hard sell.

Hrmm now I wonder if this isnt a vitaliband problem. I would probably default to health potions on everyone if vitalibands were removed, which isn't much more diversity. But health potions feel less critical, which means maybe I'd only take a few, and bring along steady handers instead. But then I'd have to research steady handers, which takes us back around to the first problem.

Maybe if item research times for early items were dropped to 4-5 years, so you could get two new items before a battle, I would consider more research.

The other option is make items more powerful, so you feel that the 10 years you spent between battles is worth it. Maybe tooltips would help here, so we can see exactly how much damage the perilous core does, and exactly how much aim the steady hander gives, and so on. Right now the 10 year research times on items don't seem like they'll pay off, which means maybe items are too weak, or its too unclear how they will help the war effort.

eg.

Experience scarves are a clear luxury investment for when you're ahead,

I've still never built a perilous core. I have to research and then equip an item which might blow me up? No thanks! But if I knew it did 50 damage? Well...

Never felt I needed a steady hander. At least not yet.

I like the idea of the dodge boots, but I'm not sure the research time will pay off. These could be an alternative to vitalibands. Missing > more hp, since you avoid status effects as well.

and so on for pretty much all the items, till you find yourself not doing much with items at all. You pick one or two and that's it for the game. All these cool sort of off the wall items like twitcher warp stones or sponge stones never get researched.

In general I think we all agree items and research need to be a bit more accessible so we have room to experiment.

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I agree with the description of the items (and other researches too), should be more detailed.

I never tried vitaliband before last rush... and it's far way more useful than health potions all trought the middle-late game... must say that health potions are more useful in the very early stage (30% of a 10-15 hp hero is less than 10 hp heal) and can be upgraded to ultralixir while vitaliband doesn't... and i must say i lost an hero right when researching it, while it wouldn't happened if i had health potions... i had that battle happen at the 7th-8th of 10 years research, while health potions costs only 6 years and i could have got them before that fight.

The other items... what are them? :) Steady handlers... should it be some solution for nervous trait? I never felt the need of them or of anything else.

About research times... IMO it's not items research times being too long but the other ones really are, they take out all of the 300 years and you don't have the time to try out the items and cadence-based weapons...

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Just thought of something. Could there be an optional, particularly difficult battle that triggers a random, free artifact research? It wouldn't greatly affect the balance of the game and would give players the opportunity to explore a different artifact that they may not normally research because of the time allocated.

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YEAR 151

I have decided to play on even with the sagewrights misplay. Going for recruitment boost, then some recruitments to fill out the ranks. Then some keeps to get our fertility up, then finally the next set of armor and elite training upgrades. Hopefully we will get a few more relics to let us survive the onslaught. The only other item I think I *need* is the ultrlixer, but the steady hander might be a good stopgap if the advanced cadence dodge gets any better.

YR 151 fight

First triple attack! Aaaah!

Up against lapses, wrinklers and advanced seeds. Do the advanced seeds get packhunter now?

First sighting of advanced seeds: they look awesome and scary, and they take 37 each! But rebound causes them to constantly bounce back and stun each other, which is the best thing to ever happen ever. Rebound is fantastic. I usually leave a skill point floating till I need a skill, and I saw rebound working so well on one shadowjack I had to pick it up on the other. Defensive stunning is stellar! Rebound + trickshot and alch AOE made much shorter work of this level than I expected, even with tons of glancing blow and misses.

I brought a level 2 alch from the earlier low level recruitment on this battle. He has only good traits/personality, so he will be the partner for my currently partnerless caberjack matriarch, who lost her much older husband to old age a few years back. I rationalize it as him having to prove himself in battle before getting to marry slightly older but vastly higher level woman from a good family. Meanwhile he’s a nobody from out of town—but with potential!

Also brought along a high level relic wielding brewtalist and a high level relic wielding trickshot.

Trickshot did great work one-shotting lapses from across bridges. 100% to hit on basic cadence and insane range is the best

And the 2 rebound shadowjacks round out the squad.

Oh can we get the region title somewhere on the level layout? I never know what region I’m in. I know them all by sight, and I know all their names, I just cant match names with locations.

It feels really good to be ahead of the curve. Everyone just feels really fun to use and effective. Even when things don’t go perfectly, I think you have a lot of tools to get out of bad situations, which isn’t really the case in the early game.

Our level 2 alch comes out as a level 4 (ok he was nearly 3 to begin with), and I ended up getting more kills on my relic holders than initially intended, but more relic xp isn’t exactly bad. Aside from 2 wrinkler swipes I earned through lazy scouting, it was a pretty easy mission.

YR 162 FIGHT

Triple attacks are going to get ugly, but capturing the ostrich gave us a free point of corruption removed on a 2 point region, which is huge!

Lost our lvl 6 brewtalist to old age, so she passed her relic on to a young brewtalist

Our alch got married, so we replaced him with another young brewtalist

All in all its: 2 shadowjacks at levels 4 and 5, two level 4 brewtalists (1 relic), and our trickshot (1 relic). Everyones got vitalibands and the alchs with extra items have health potions

Up against twitchers, advanced bulwarks, and wrinklers

Twitcher stuns a shadowjack on turn, and then my trickshot the next turn, and its looking like a wipe.

The trickshot dies, stuns and blinding arrows missing all over the place.

And slowly, inevitably, everyone goes down. I think that’s beatable with better scouting from me. I engaged twitchers in a narrow corridor where their stun could wreak havoc. Once the twitchers were dead my final few troops lasted a long time. Plus the glancing blow on my stun, and the missed arrow didn’t help.

TEAMWIPE 2 : (

I do want to give it another shot before accepting defeat. I still think its beatable. I will reload from missions beginning and try again. If I fail again I think I’ll accept defeat and try to bounce back.

**So I misclicked after the battle and accidentally closed the relic bequeathal event and now I think the relic is just lost? You should definitely not lose relics to misclicks. Super frustrating.**

YR 162 FIGHT part 2

Moved slowly, exploited stealth on shadowjacks and trickshot to set up ambushes, and the indirect fire of brewtalists to stun over walls. I managed to wipe out a ton of wrinklers and advanced bulwarks before running into the twitchers. Lost 1 guy to a sloppy play (waited too long to spring my ambush and died to a twitcher) but I’m not going back for him.

Advanced bulwarks aren’t actually so bad, its really the twitcher swap and stun which is the most deadly thing. Wrinkler aging on glancing blow is no fun though : (

On the plus side double exp for kills on that mission got 1 hero with 8 kills 3700 xp for herself and (presumably) for her relic. Now she’s level 6.5 with a level 7 relic, and she started the fight as a level 4. Badass!

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YR 171 FIGHT

3 of my vanguard are old enough they wont see another fight. Be nice to get a relic out of one of the two caberjacks, but I’m not hopeful, I don’t think they’ve gotten enough kills themselves for this one fight to make a difference, even if I feed them. But feed them I will. It’s worth a shot.

Using a lvl 4 brewtalist to replace my dead lvl 4 brewtalist from last fight, and I’m starting to worry about my strategic layer. Fertility is low, and though I have upgraded recruit heroes, and have used it twice, I need to get a keep down to get fertility up, but I also need upgraded training and armor ASAP before advanced cadence overwhelm me.

Advanced seeds, lapses and wrinklers.

Lapses are annoying but basically harmless.

Wrinklers are only scary because my squad is so old. They are the first priority

Advanced seeds aren’t too tough with caberjacks who have rebound. Not worried bout them

YR 180 FIGHT

Got a relic from one of the old shadowjacks from last mission, gave it to a new blastcapper

Bringing along the other 2 relics holders: brewtalist and trickshot

Then a new alch I recruited and the lvl 4 brewtalist from last match,.

My vanguard has great levels: a few 7s, 5s close to 6, but the homefront isn’t great:

Recruit heroes is bringing in level 5s, which is fine for now, but my fertility/hero production is only making lvl 4ish heroes, and not enough of them. And to make things worse, a random event hit my heroes with child averse 

Started a keep to try to turn the tides on hero production; hopefully that won’t cripple my armor/training research.

Looks like a fight with no advanced cadence? Just lapses twitchers and ruptures?

All annoying enemies though. Lapse knockback stunned 2 and then twitcher swapped in at the end of the turn, and it was almost a casualty right there.

I’m missing shadowjack stealth, my trickshot is slow from a leg injury due to a random event, so his scouting stinks.

I’m also missing reliable stuns. Blastcappers stink. No stun = no Bueno

Yeah no advanced cadence... nice little breather in a part of the game where I desperately need some breaks

YEAR 191 FIGHT

More fertility shenanigans! Marriage counseling random event ruins my newest match.

I have a 4th keep but no one to rule it, so I’m running another hero recruitment drive.

This match is advanced bulwarks, wrinklers and twitchers.

I just cannot seem to play against twitchers. They’re always swapping me and just stunlocking the shit out of my team.

This level started with a wrinkler aging someone I thought was out of LOS and a twitcher swapping into my units and stunning 2 of them with 1 blow—doing about 20 damage to each. Guess I need to spread out and avoid walls, which is freakin impossible in this narrow level :/

Twitchers are scarier than advanced cadence. No idea what I’m going to do vs advanced twitchers. I’m scared.

So this marks TEAMWIPE 3 : ( lost 3 heroes and bailed

2 teamwipes in the last 5 fights, twitchers make the game hard!

YEAR 191 FIGHT ATTEMPT 2

Lost a blastcapper who got swapped into about 7 enemies by a twitcher. I also messed up by giving him a health potion instead of a vitaliband. Though maybe 10 hp healed > +30% hp in his case, since he did live to use the potion.

I think a normal caberjack or a shadowjack live there, with rebound/charge/knockback instead of the useless explosive caber. Explosive caber also does about 10-15 damage when his normal attack with a relic does 30+. If ever you wanted huge AOE melee damage it’s when you get swapped into a huge group of enemies, but the damage was so pitiful I ignored the skill entirely.

Other than twitchers swapping people over chasms where you can’t get to help them easily (salt stacks hard map) the mission wasn’t so bad the second time around. Only 1 big stun and a lot of glancing blows from the twitchers, and no stuns of more than 1 person.

I think theres no sense savescumming for that blastcapper. Onwards and upwards!

Major demographic crisis boys and girls. Our vanguard is levels 6-8 but they are all either old or heart diseased; I don’t know if any of them will make it to the next battle. And our keeps are only popping out level 4 and 5 heroes. We can recruit level 6 heroes but that will only work for so long. Our 4th keep just went up using 2 of the newcomers, but our hunter house is currently plagued by passionless and child- averse meaning that line may well die out unless I adopt soon. In fact I’ll adopt now and recruit right afterwards and hope we make it in time for the next cadence attack.

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YEAR 202

I think we are officially well behind the curve. Its another teamwipe, but I guess sending in level 4-5 heroes against advanced cradles will do that.

Restarting from just after last battle I go in again with higher level heroes and its… ANOTHER TEAMWIPE

OK third time’s the charm, 3 dead, but we did it! And those deaths likely could have been avoided.

Got some adopted babies in our low fertility house, and some lvl 5-6s in our keeps. Feeling close to getting back on track, but we desperately need to invest in tactical armor and training.

YEAR 213

Keep defense against advanced ruptures, advanced seeds, twitchers and normal cradles

Took 2 tries but the second time everyone came out alive

YEAR 225

Double attack, and gotta choose between a keep (whose family has a relic) and the crucible. Let’s save the keep, relics are important…

Lost 2 heroes (and the crucible) vs advanced lapses, advanced bulwarks and advanced ruptures but gotta keep on truckin

UGH! lost another region and 3 heroes and a relic (from the family we *just* sacrificed the crucible to save) to the commoner queen event.

YEAR 235

Clean win against normal cradles, advanced bulwarks, normal twitchers, and advanced seeds

Elite caberjack armor is up and elite alch armor will be up soon. Worried about hero levels and the lack of relics, hopefully 65 years is enough time for another generation or 2. Losing that hunter relic to the random event cannot be helping our chances.

YEAR 245

Lost an elderly hunter but otherwise a clean win against advanced ruptures, lapses and bulwarks

YEAR 253

Flawless victory against twitchers, cradles, advanced seeds and advanced bulwarks

YEAR 263

Trying to research the ultralixer and at least one of the elite weapon trainings, as well as getting some high level heroes into the keeps to try to get one last generation. Relics are now tied up in heroes on the throne trying to get those levels for our last generation.

But we haven’t had anyone making babies in keeps for quite some time. There were a lot of old regents past their fertile years who I was waiting to replace. I finally did but we are down to 4 active heroes, one of whom is level 5. 2 years for our next trainee – 13 yo to be ready.

So a 4 man squad vs advanced twitchers = TEAMWIPE. Just utter destruction. Stand Ground is evil. I really want the level 8 and 9 heroes on offer from winning these missions, but I dont know if they are beatable. But if I give them up I lose keeps I still need! We have 40 years to go and our keeps are full of trainees who will probably be our fighters in the final battle, or their parents.

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YEAR 263

Gave it another shot. Stealthed the caberjack and the level 5 trickshot, waited for the advanced twitchers to wander around. They wandered into me and uncovered my stealth and stunned me, but I managed to use the alchemists to kill both advanced twitchers. Took a lot of ultralixer AOE spam, but managed to heal my way through the first half of the fight. 29 enemies and 22 turns later, it's just me and and a bunch of advanced seeds (and normal seeds) and eventually they just wear me down. No more ultralixers, no sponge stone, and 1 damage a turn per seed just wore my shadowjack and boomstriker down.

Really fun fight, but probably not possible with 4 heroes, one of whom is level 5 nearly 270 years in. I need to back up and at least take 5 heroes into this fight--I'll switch my research to recruit heroes over the next ellite weapon training. To be honest to do this right it's probably worth backing up to year 120 or so, to undo that stupid second sagewrights guild and play this thing right from the beginning. We got behind the level curve pretty quickly in the second half. I wanted to push through to 300, but I'm not sure we can make it!

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YEAR 263

Gave it another shot. Stealthed the caberjack and the level 5 trickshot, waited for the advanced twitchers to wander around. They wandered into me and uncovered my stealth and stunned me, but I managed to use the alchemists to kill both advanced twitchers. Took a lot of ultralixer AOE spam, but managed to heal my way through the first half of the fight. 29 enemies and 22 turns later, it's just me and and a bunch of advanced seeds (and normal seeds) and eventually they just wear me down. No more ultralixers, no sponge stone, and 1 damage a turn per seed just wore my shadowjack and boomstriker down.

Really fun fight, but probably not possible with 4 heroes, one of whom is level 5 nearly 270 years in. I need to back up and at least take 5 heroes into this fight--I'll switch my research to recruit heroes over the next ellite weapon training. To be honest to do this right it's probably worth backing up to year 120 or so, to undo that stupid second sagewrights guild and play this thing right from the beginning. We got behind the level curve pretty quickly in the second half. I wanted to push through to 300, but I'm not sure we can make it!

Just wanted to throw it out there that I love reading about all your playthroughs, in case you are worried that you are just writing to no one :). I find all the data and your thought process very helpful.

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YEAR 263

Gave it another shot. Stealthed the caberjack and the level 5 trickshot, waited for the advanced twitchers to wander around. They wandered into me and uncovered my stealth and stunned me, but I managed to use the alchemists to kill both advanced twitchers. Took a lot of ultralixer AOE spam, but managed to heal my way through the first half of the fight. 29 enemies and 22 turns later, it's just me and and a bunch of advanced seeds (and normal seeds) and eventually they just wear me down. No more ultralixers, no sponge stone, and 1 damage a turn per seed just wore my shadowjack and boomstriker down.

Really fun fight, but probably not possible with 4 heroes, one of whom is level 5 nearly 270 years in. I need to back up and at least take 5 heroes into this fight--I'll switch my research to recruit heroes over the next ellite weapon training. To be honest to do this right it's probably worth backing up to year 120 or so, to undo that stupid second sagewrights guild and play this thing right from the beginning. We got behind the level curve pretty quickly in the second half. I wanted to push through to 300, but I'm not sure we can make it!

Just wanted to throw it out there that I love reading about all your playthroughs, in case you are worried that you are just writing to no one :). I find all the data and your thought process very helpful.

hey thanks a lot! means a lot that someone is reading and enjoying it. I *was* worried I was writing to no one :)

There probably won't be anymore till the next patch. I'm not sure this run is salvageable. I'm tempted to go back and get 5 heroes for this fight, but if I go back that far I may as well go back and fix my strategic layer mistakes, which means I may as well go back to like year 120, which means I may as well start over, and if I'm going to do that I may as well wait for .97, which is what I'm going to do I think.

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