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sentinelshepard

Refocusing on the "Legacy" aspect that excited me in the kickstarter video

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I don't know if anyone, developer or not, really reads these things, but here goes. My take on what I have seen and heard about Massive Chalice, especially on the bloodline/leveling system.

To be honest, it all sounds pretty lame, not at all like the epic "passing on your legacy" style of progression that was seen in the Kickstarter video, and in the first few videos on youtube.

The problems with it, as I see it, are as follows:

1. Too complex. As far as I have seen, the bloodline crossing / training / breeding / fostering / sub-class system is super complicated, on top of other strategy layers like empire management, economy, and research. The game is starting to approach Eve Online levels of data processing and management. Which is a shame, since every table and chart a player has to study takes away from the emotional impact of war, heroism, and death.

2. Too generic. The bloodline and training system seems to influence the class(es) that a character can have, but not the specific skills that character can have. And the relics simply slot into certain skills, giving them a buff. This is basically the same skill system we have seen for years, at least since Diablo II. Massive Chalice can, and should, turn the leveling system on its head.

3. Too repetitive. Once a player figures out a character build he wants, he will breed that class, and when the character dies, the player will breed the same class again, and again, cloning the same character in every generation. The same skill trees will be filled out the same ways, in each generation. When a Tim dies, the player will say, alright, time for Tim, Jr, or Tim III, or Tim IV to take his place, and train up the very same skills, maybe with some minor random variations.

4. Doesn't deliver on "legacy after death." This was the defining feature of Massive Chalice, and is what me want to back it. Where is the mighty hero falling and leaving a sword that gives a huge boost to attack, or a magic relic, or armor? Without relics (or some kind of passed-on ability), that are truly character-defining, the character progression will be just like every other strategy and RPG game out there.

The way I would make it would go completely in the other direction.

No classes, no skill trees, no training, no genetics, no experience points!

It's all about legacy!

When a hero dies, he or she leaves behind a relic (or several relics) containing the essence of what that character was, and how he or she fought. A hero who fought on the front line and took wounds would leave behind armor; someone who fought at range would leave a ranged weapon, or another relic that helped with accuracy. A hero that fought in different roles could leave a relic with multiple benefits, or multiple relics. Some of these relics would give passive bonuses, but most would give specific active skills. A hero that uses fire magic may leave behind a relic that gives a unique area of effect fire spell. An archer that fought from range would leave a relic that gives a specific long range sniper-shot type skill.

The relics determine a hero's abilities, not points that a hero gains and arbitrarily assigns to skills in a tree. Nothing a hero does during his own lifetime can improve his own abilities; his deeds only help to strengthen the relic he leaves, and therefore the following generation! This is what Massive Chalice can and should do to totally change the way the game is played.

The longer a hero fights, the more battles he sees, the more powerful relic he can leave behind. But within a lifetime, each hero generally gets weaker, due to age. As the hero nears the end of his lifetime, the player will have a difficult choice: keep the hero in the field to increase the power his relic will have, or retire him, to allow the younger, stronger generation to use those relics.

When a new hero comes of age, he selects relics from the keep's armory. These relics completely define the hero's abilities. Want to create a warrior? Take some armor and sword. Want to create a mage? Take a staff or a magic ring. Want to create a hybrid? Take them all. But the more relics a hero takes, the less will be available for his siblings. There wouldn't be specific classes tied to each house, but you could create a house that specializes in a particular type of combat, and amass relics that boost that role.

All skills come from relics, from the legacy of that house. Each skill a hero possesses was earned, in blood, by an ancestor! The new hero fights with the strength of his ancestors, and, when he dies, leaves behind one more relic than he took: his own. The legacy and history of the house matters with every skill a hero uses on the field, not just in a table or list of stats a player sees in some menu screen before the fight begins.

In that way, the strength of each new hero is greater than those before; each new generation has access to new skills that the previous one didn't. No clone heroes or repeating the same builds. The strength of a hero is determined by the strength of the relics he can equip, and the house's cache of relics grow over time. In this way, it is really the HOUSES THEMSELVES that are leveling up, not the individuals heroes.

It's about each hero fighting for his house and legacy, not himself! A hero can't level himself up, he can only pass on that experience in the form of a relic to the next generation. The death of a hero should be bittersweet; bitter, because a character you have come to know and like has passed on, but sweet, since his relics are now back in the armory, along with one (or some) more, waiting to be given to the next in line, to make an even stronger hero. The current system is all bitter, and no sweet. A super-powerful character you spent hours leveling dies? All that work is lost, and your only consolation is a shriveled toe you can use to give a marginal boost to a skill. But when a character does not gain strength for himself, but passes on that strength, then there is something gained from each death. The player actually wants his heroes to die or retire, but only after good and long careers! This is the kind of thing that can totally change the way the game is played.

It's about your deeds, not your blood! The legacy of a hero, what he passes on, is determined by what he did, how he fought on the field, not his genes or the training he received before he even saw a demon. No one is born great, or born a hero; he or she becomes a hero by his or her actions. That is the epic story I wanted to see when I backed Massive Chalice.

That's my take at least. A system like this is what would make me excited for Massive Chalice again, instead of what it is looking like now. Thanks for reading.

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http://www.eurocards.de/schweine,pigs/Schweine58.jpg

This n00b...

1. Too complex.

n00b if you want simplicity flip a coin. Guess whether it's heads or tails. You should win half the time. Don't need a computer to process all that fun.

the bloodline crossing / training / breeding / fostering / sub-class system is super complicated, on top of other strategy layers like empire management, economy, and research

n00b, you're confusing categories of content with volume of content. The manhours Double Fine can put into this game are finite. Each additional category of game mechanics doesn't multiply the base amount of content, it splits it. Multiple simpler systems interacting with each other is more interesting than one high-content system. Compare X-com minigames (shooting down a UFO with an Interceptor, deploying satellites for funds, selling spare resources to purchase more buildings and guns, etc.) with a cruder hack'n slash formula which offers you loot and...more loot.

The game is starting to approach Eve Online levels of data processing and management.

If you're too simple to handle the systems the game offers you then dial the difficulty down to easy like you always do, n00b. I'm sure there will be plenty of prompts, attention-grabbing icons, text-hints, tutorials, hints, auto-leveling systems, etc. to hold the hands of non-gamers like yourself. The rest of us enjoy having material to invest our thoughts into.

every table and chart a player has to study takes away from the emotional impact of war, heroism, and death.

You base this assessment on what? Nobody needed to study to play X-com, Dragon's Pass, Crusader King's, Total War, Final Fantasy Tactics, or any of the other games which've inspired this game. What alternative example do you offer for portraying emotional impact well?

Massive Chalice can, and should, turn the leveling system on its head.

Describe this head-turning leveling system.

3. I haven't watched the teamstreams or read the forums.

Various Traits will differentiate each generation. Character levels will get higher over generations so Tim the Third will unlock higher abilities than his grandfather ever had back in his day.

4. Where is the mighty hero falling and leaving a sword that gives a huge boost to attack, or a magic relic, or armor?

Most valid point you've had so far. Ah gotta agree relics as a slotted-thing is lamer than the initial concept. There were concerns about gaming the system to kill-off heroes to pop relics but there're various ways to check such a playstyle, starting with something as simpler as limiting how many relics can pop per x years.

When a hero dies, he leaves a relic containing how he fought.

1) So a level 1-hero has access to all abilities?

2) Players must murder-farm their heroes for items as opposed to researching and engineering them.

Nothing a hero does during his own lifetime can improve his own abilities; his deeds only help to strengthen the relic

So you level-up via item and a hero has to die for you to level-up. So Demons scale to the relic's level and players kill off parties quick to max-out items.

The longer a hero fights, the more battles he sees, the more powerful relic he can leave behind.[/b] But within a lifetime, each hero generally gets weaker, due to age.

So which is it, a sacrificed old hero's relic's weaker because the elderly are weaker than the youth or the relic's stronger because the whitebeard has survived more battles than the young guy?

Keep relic with oldie or give to youngin cause he wields it better

There goes your "characters have no power only the relic" line. So you mean stats decay over the years? Than naturally a player will kill off youngings as fast as possible because many of them dying in short succession should charge a relic faster than a single old dude and if it doesn't they'd always keep the relic with the oldest guy because the relic's boosts should compensate for the inferior stats and if they don't than relics are worthless as an all-fresh group of heroes without relics would be mightier than the most experienced old guy with a relic.

But the more relics a hero takes, the less will be available for his siblings.

I'd pool all my relics on 1 hero. He'd win the mission while the rest died, generating more relics.

not just in a table or list of stats a player sees in some menu screen before the fight begins

You can't see a list of your relics before a fight? Maybe in the form of a nice table...

each new generation has access to new skills that the previous one didn't.

attained from items imbued with skills the previous generation had. So how can the 1st generation have a fireball to imprint upon an item to pass on to the 2nd generation yet the fireball be a new skill for the 2nd generation that the first didn't have? Sounds like you have the same abilities (all unlocked) for every generation. Unless the fireball gen 1 unlocks fireball 2 in the item. Which means you've eliminated permadeath by copying player abilities onto an immortal item.

Waah! I don't like permadeath. This videogame I imagined makes me feel good.

They've been saying they'll have permadeath since the Kickstarter n00b. Maybe Learning Frog's the developer for you. You know how I'd feel about my imaginary hero who I need to murder-farm dying so he pops another relic? Good. I just got another relic.

It's about your deeds, not your blood!

Why do you hate nature untermensch?

http://www.silberschmiede-oswald.de/wp-content/uploads/wpsc/product_images/wildschwein_002.JPG

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I don't know if anyone, developer or not, really reads these things, but here goes.

Welcome. The MC Team definitely reads the forum, if you explore around, you'll notice that they respond to comments and are reading and taking notes -- plus they even mention various forum items in their Team Streams!

My take on what I have seen and heard about Massive Chalice, especially on the bloodline/leveling system.

To be honest, it all sounds pretty lame, not at all like the epic "passing on your legacy" style of progression that was seen in the Kickstarter video, and in the first few videos on youtube.

The problems with it, as I see it, are as follows:

1. Too complex. As far as I have seen, the bloodline crossing / training / breeding / fostering / sub-class system is super complicated, on top of other strategy layers like empire management, economy, and research. The game is starting to approach Eve Online levels of data processing and management....[/b]

I think you are probably overseeing complexity. I think so far they've a pretty good aim of how to make training your heroes, and fostering worthwhile bloodlines heroes, pretty intuitive. A couple of earlier Team Streams focus on these sorts of things, so I encourage you to watch those or watch those again. Or, if you have some specific examples, bring those up and we can discuss!

2. Too generic. The bloodline and training system seems to influence the class(es) that a character can have, but not the specific skills that character can have. And the relics simply slot into certain skills, giving them a buff...

I believe the class combos do impact the skills. There was a whole team stream where they displayed and discussed rudimentary class ideas and types of skills that could be unlocked with a Warrior-Mage or various other combos. Check it out.

As for the relics, MC Team definitely is aware that some of us backers aren't as thrilled with the relic system as it was first talked about, but I expect we'll hear more about it soon.

3. Too repetitive. Once a player figures out a character build he wants, he will breed that class, and when the character dies, the player will breed the same class again, and again, cloning the same character in every generation...

I think the break up the repetitiveness -- this is where their 'Traits' and equipment / relics come into play.

4. Doesn't deliver on "legacy after death." This was the defining feature of Massive Chalice, and is what me want to back it. Where is the mighty hero falling and leaving a sword that gives a huge boost to attack, or a magic relic, or armor?...

As mentioned earlier I think they are considering a hybrid system when it comes to relic 'pips' vs equippable items. We'll learn more in the next few weeks I imagine!

The way I would make it would go completely in the other direction.

No classes, no skill trees, no training, no genetics, no experience points!

It's all about legacy!

Honestly, I think your view of legacy is pretty narrow then. Genetics, skills, training, class, are all aspects of legacy.

If you haven't watched the Team Streams, you probably should at least do that. You are missing out on lots of direct information and thought from MC Team. :-)

Smiles

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@sentinelshepard - you are totally entitled to your opinions. Thanks for sharing them! I tend to disagree with a lot of what you've put forth, but it's just my opinion as well. I want to make as many people happy with this game as possible, but I also want to make myself happy!

For example, the classless system like the one you describe has been seen in a lot of games, and while I think your relic'd up version of it is a very cool new interesting twist, at level 1 this system would behave similarly to a classless system that we've seen in other games. Characters in those games tend to be very generic and uninteresting in my opinion. I really love hard-class systems like WoW or Diablo... it really lets us bake a lot of personality into the classes, both visually and mechanically.

Again this is just my opinion! Our pitch could have been taken in a thousand different directions. That's part of what makes it interesting but also potentially frustrating for backers. I hope that you'll trust us to make a cool game even if every decision is not the one that you would make.

Brad!

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@Blood Bridle - no need to sling insults, man! I want to make sure that dissenting opinions can be voiced here and that we can talk about them in a mature fashion. If you disagree with someone I think that we can have civilized, tea drinking, top hat n white glove wearing discourse about these topics without fighting about them. I think it'll be more productive for everyone! :D!

Plus we're all just trying to make this game the best version of what it can be. We here at DF are not perfect, and we want to listen to what the community is saying! You guys enabled us to make this game after all. :D!

Brad!

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@ Blood Bridle

Thank you for reading my post and your suggestions! Let me comment on them:

"if you want simplicity flip a coin."

That does sound like a fun game, but we are talking about Massive Chalice here, a computer game that, like all, must balance complexity with simplicity. Everything has a limit!

"Multiple simpler systems interacting with each other is more interesting than one high-content system."

I totally agree! My concern is that the training / breeding system is no longer a "simpler system," and is becoming a whole game unto itself.

"If you’re too simple to handle the systems the game offers you then dial the difficulty down to easy."

Thank you for that suggestion! I think though, that the issue is complexity, not difficulty. A simple game can be difficult, and a complex game can be easy. A "complexity" dial would be much harder to implement, though. I wouldn't turn it down, though. I don't mind complex games; what I mind are games that are needlessly complex, that have hundreds of decisions that have no real, substantive effect on gameplay. Trim it down to the decisions that really matter, that can actually make you lose if you choose wrong.

"Character levels will get higher over generations so Tim the Third will unlock higher abilities than his grandfather ever had back in his day."

This sounds like system close to what I had in mind! But how will this occur? Will research, or money be required to unlock these new levels? It would be nice if these new unlocks were tied to the actions that occurred on the field, so the player would feel as if they earned them, rather were given them, or simply chose them.

"1) So a level 1-hero has access to all abilities?

2) Players must murder-farm their heroes for items as opposed to researching and engineering them."

1) There would be no hero levels, but yes, new heroes would have access to a wide range of abilities. It would be boring to start every hero over from square one, dozens of times over the course of the game. The whole point of a legacy system is to allow characters in later generations to start out stronger than their parents did.

2) A hero that dies young would leave a very weak relic, or no relic at all, so there is no benefit in 'murder-farming,' or intentionally getting a hero killed. This system of relics would not replace research and economy layers.

"So you level-up via item and a hero has to die for you to level-up. So Demons scale to the relic’s level and players kill off parties quick to max-out items."

A hero does not have to die. You could choose to retire one, and have him give up items. Killing off a whole party would be disadvantageous, since heroes that die young leave weak relics. I do not like scaling the enemy strength on anything.

"So which is it, a sacrificed old hero’s relic’s weaker because the elderly are weaker than the youth or the relic’s stronger because the whitebeard has survived more battles than the young guy?"

The older a hero is, the weaker he is personally, but the stronger relic he would leave. The strength of the relic left is not tied to the strength of the hero at the time of death. In fact, the two are inverse. That is the "on its head" system I was referring to earlier. Character strength grows over generations, but declines within a hero's lifetime.

"There goes your “characters have no power only the relic” line. So you mean stats decay over the years? Than naturally a player will kill off youngings as fast as possible because many of them dying in short succession should charge a relic faster than a single old dude and if it doesn’t they’d always keep the relic with the oldest guy because the relic’s boosts should compensate for the inferior stats and if they don’t than relics are worthless as an all-fresh group of heroes without relics would be mightier than the most experienced old guy with a relic."

Many young heroes dying would produce a bunch of weak and pretty much useless relics, so this strategy would not work. And yes, having a lot of relics would make a single character strong, even into late age, but the best strategy would be to distribute relics among heroes according to their roles.

"I’d pool all my relics on 1 hero. He’d win the mission while the rest died, generating more relics."

One powerful hero and several weak ones would not be effective on the field. Distributing them according to roles would be more advantageous.

" So how can the 1st generation have a fireball to imprint upon an item to pass on to the 2nd generation yet the fireball be a new skill for the 2nd generation that the first didn’t have?"

A relic left behind would grant an ability related to, but not exactly like the skills used by that hero. A hero that used fireball a lot would leave behind a relic that gave an AOE fire damage, or a fire wall, or enchants weapons with fire, or a general buff to magic or fire damage. Descent with variation! And maybe the spell that enchants a weapon would be better on a melee type character, suggesting a whole new type of hybrid build that wasn't possible before. A house would have to begin with a small pool of relics to get the whole process started.

"They’ve been saying they’ll have permadeath since the Kickstarter. You know how I’d feel about my imaginary hero who I need to murder-farm dying so he pops another relic? Good. I just got another relic."

I don't like permadeath. I don't dislike permadeath. Like all game mechanics, it is a tool for gameplay and storytelling. But my experience with games with permadeath is that they really don't have permadeath; they have a lot of "quit and reload mission" when a character dies. By giving a benefit to death, in certain situations, makes permadeath meaningful. I think there should be a penalty to death in most circumstances, namely, that an inferior relic is left behind. Only when a character has fought long and hard can he leave behind a great relic when he dies or retires.

"Why do you hate nature untermensch?"

I love nature!

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@ Smiles

Thank you for reading my post!

"I think you are probably overseeing complexity. I think so far they’ve a pretty good aim of how to make training your heroes, and fostering worthwhile bloodlines heroes, pretty intuitive"

I don't mind complexity, what I don't like is complexity that isn't meaningful, where decisions don't matter, or are repeated over and over. If they have a system that allows meaningful traits that are passed down through genetics, rather than relics, so much the better, but the relic system has so much intuitive credibility.

"I think the break up the repetitiveness—this is where their ‘Traits’ and equipment / relics come into play."

But how meaningful are those variations? Are they enough to really change the character, to make a certain role possible or not?

"Genetics, skills, training, class, are all aspects of legacy."

They are all aspects of the opposite of legacy. Legacy is what a character leaves behind, not what he got when he started. A character can pass on his genes, but a character's genes don't change during life in response to the character's actions. You could only make a "genes" system work if it is a very non-biologically based system in which the "genes" a character passes on are tied to what he did during life.

@DF Brad

Wow, thanks for reading my post!

"Characters in those games tend to be very generic and uninteresting in my opinion."

I agree, the classless characters tend to be generic, since the incentive is to specialize, not hybridize. Making the skill interact with one another, even from completely different disciplines, could somewhat fix this.

" it really lets us bake a lot of personality into the classes, both visually and mechanically."

The game could internally assign a 'class' to a character based on the relics he chooses, for visual/personality purposes.

And yes, I trust you guys will make a cool game, although the very early stage of the game seen in the Kickstarter makes it quite a leap of faith. But you guys wanted feedback, so I gave it!

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@Blood Bridle I think that we can have civilized, tea drinking, top hat n white glove wearing discourse about these topics

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110302035859/fallout/images/d/d8/White_Glove_greeter.jpg

Such discourse sounds so tasty. I'd love to have you for dinner.

A bunch of stuff.

I read everything you wrote ah just don't have a comment for each line.

What you're most interested in: heroes imprinting abilities onto their progeny through useage, could be incorporated into the team's bloodline system.

IRL, many traits require multiple gene sequences related to them to be arranged in a certain way (say clumped together in one uninterrupted sequence) for that trait to express a certain active way. Others are shown more or less based on external activating factors. For example, a man who stands 5 feet tall wasn't hardwired to be 5 feet, no more no less. He may've actually had genes which would allow him to go between 4'10-6'0 and these genes expressed as they did because of his nutrition, stress levels, etc. So as a complimentary system to the gene-sequences the programmer was talking about in the latest teamstream, Fallout-style x times doing y confers z bonus Perks could be encoded into a a hero's gene sequences. So by random-assignment, when Bobby the Barbarous gains the "Fiendslayer" perk, the engine pairs it with his GATTACA gene sequence, which confers red hair, so in any of his descendents who've red hair they will also have the Fiendlsayer perk.

This'd combine nature-and-nurture and be akin to your relic idea with the relic's as blood.

http://students.cte.umt.edu/PrevStudents/F2010/Tony.Buss/Pictures/the-wolf-eating3.jpg

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I think the biggest problem with all of your ideas are that they sound pretty time-consuming and expensive to program. A class system that also allows for interesting hybrids allows for enough complexity to get a decent number of wildly different classes in, without blowing the scope wide open in order to create a balanced and easy-to-understand classless system. You talked a lot about the current system being too complex, but I actually find it to be a lot simpler to understand than what you're suggesting. They way I see it, each house has a class, therefore you know (generally) what you're getting, and can then pick the secondary class. This leads to simple and easy to track decisions regarding classes and skills.

I completely agree on relics, however I think attaching active skills to them would require far too much in the way of bespoke programming and assets. As passive buffs, I'm completely on board, as this would allow for a cheaper solution to the fact many are calling for actual items (again, budget permitting).

I think that some of our other points have already been covered, though. In terms of distinguishing factors, the team is definitely working on a 'perks and quirks' style system to make sure each character feel unique. Not sure if you've played Rogue Legacy, but it sounds quite like a slightly less zany version of that genetic system, and actually sounds rather cool.

I don't like the idea of losing experience for individual warriors. Levels provide the best way to 'feel' individual character's progression throughout the game. I hate the idea of starting with a young warrior, just out of his keep, who learns nothing until he dies, taking everything from just his sword. I like the idea that the team has proposed that, as the game progresses, each successive generation starts at a slightly higher level, allowing your house to progress, while still maintaining that individual progression from inexperienced youth to an experienced soldier.

You definitely raise some good points, and it's great to see some discussion of criticism for the directions the game's going in right now, as far as I'm concerned it can only lead to a better end product :)

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"Genetics, skills, training, class, are all aspects of legacy."

They are all aspects of the opposite of legacy. Legacy is what a character leaves behind, not what he got when he started. A character can pass on his genes, but a character's genes don't change during life in response to the character's actions. You could only make a "genes" system work if it is a very non-biologically based system in which the "genes" a character passes on are tied to what he did during life.

We'll have to agree to disagree, since I think your view of legacy is completely narrow. :-)

Smiles

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No need to get crazy up in here.

I'm going to just post again what I posted in the other thread about relics not being "massive enough".

Brad, John, etc. Take a minute and pull up that initial picture that ignited the fire of interest in the Kicsktarter community -- the one of the hero fighting with his ancestors in tow, swinging his sword while being bolstered by generations past. Stare at it. This is the thousand-word-in-one-picture elevator pitch for not just your game, but the MC BRAND encapsulated in a single frame right there.

I work in marketing, so I'm always very conscious of the importance of capital-B Brands and the perceived 'souls' thereof in the minds of clients. Your brand will the primary vehicle for the persona of your enterprise. As it goes, so do you. People's expectations -- especially the 99% of your customers and biggest initial advocates who DON'T follow the boards here - are going to be using that one shot as their point of reference for evaluating and judging the final product once they see it.

Massive Chalice did something remarkable when it planted its flag -- namely brought something **genuinely new and unique** to the horrendously crowded and done-to-death fantasy adventure RPG genre. That uniqueness is what people latched onto, it's what they funded, it's what they are expecting. More than anything else, it is that legacy system that defines the uniqueness of MC. It is the "underwater city" of Bioshock or the Masochistic Difficulty Curve of Dark Souls. It is your one word pitch.

I realize that hard gameplay considerations and concessions are necessary when finalizing your design, but please remember to keep the soul of this image in mind when you're designing your ultimate systems, as it is the representation of the MC brand. Some things (like the perks and quirks inheritance) feel extremely true to the spirit of the vision laid out in this initial art piece. Other things (like the relics system as it is currently proposed) do not. My own take is that people will quickly forgive mechanical quirks or rough edges if they are in service to this meta-brand vision, but sacrificing the game's uniqueness in favor of a producing a "better board game" will most likely relegate Massive Chalice to the also-ran pile of mechanically proficient but quickly forgettable games of which we already have too many. Years later we still remember Psychonauts. Psy-Ops? Not so much. Why? Nobody cares about the mechanics of Psychonauts 10 years down the line, but everyone remembers the emotional hooks, characters and the Summer Camp vibe.

Ultimately I have faith that the team at Double Fine can split this knot. You guys are super talented and super creative. Almost everything I've seen from the dev diary and the livestreams has been extremely encouraging. Maybe it's that the staff there is deep into design and programming land -- I just feel like we need some assurance that you're paying attention to the forest as well as the trees.

I guess the TL/DR version is just guys, REALLY LISTEN to what people are saying about feeling disconnected from the emotional angle of Massive Chalice" and take these critiques seriously as you progress -- especially as they relate to heredity and the vision of the Ancestors passing the torch down to the youth in a **meaningful** way.

You can have all the best mechanics and systems in the world, but if you water down that emotive portion you'll be betraying the uber-Brand Vision of your backing base in a serious way, setting this brand up for to fail the Gut Check test in the minds of your early adopters. People were willing to forgive the new X-COM a lot because at the end of the day they were respectful and true to the soul of X-COM.

Still, super heartened by everything I see overall. Keep up the good work!

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@Blood Bridle - no need to sling insults, man! I want to make sure that dissenting opinions can be voiced here and that we can talk about them in a mature fashion. If you disagree with someone I think that we can have civilized, tea drinking, top hat n white glove wearing discourse about these topics without fighting about them. I think it'll be more productive for everyone! :D!

Plus we're all just trying to make this game the best version of what it can be. We here at DF are not perfect, and we want to listen to what the community is saying! You guys enabled us to make this game after all. :D!

Brad!

I think your positivity and rationality got through to them. I would've likely just gotten out the anvil and banhammer.

@sentinelshepard

You're talking about the elements that you value yourself, which is of course prone to be different - but in another forum post I talked about the importance of a core, and how several systems often simply serve that core, but the other systems might be mistaken for the core due to personal preference.

So far, you want heritage to be the core, and it seems that, though it is a unique system, and definitely one of the more interesting ones, it's just another system, and not the core. The core is usually an experience, and not a system, and for a reason, and if you see the reason, you udnerstand why putting focus on a single system doesn't make sense. It's good in the sense of making progress in the medium to fully explore the extent and potential of a system, but not in the sense of crafting a fully fledged game and, more importantly, an experience.

This is why some decisions seem arbitrary and irrational, but it doesn't mean they are, or that they have a basis in such; it's just that explaining some of the decisions as to how all the systems interact to serve the core takes time. A lot of it. Mainly due to systems being a science, and an experience being subjective and based in emotion, so you're trying to mix oil and water to create a beautiful experience.

I'm just going to summarize here: I doubt Brad is going to comprimise his vision (or core as I've referred to it) of the game simply to emphasize a single system (technically sub system, since everything's interacting), but if the system seems to be a more important element to better the experience, there's little reason not to do it. However: that would be the only reason to do it.

At this point, if I were you, I would either, from a misplaced sense of entitlement, demand a better explanation as to what Brad hopes to do with the game, or have faith in him. Currently everything is liquid; nothing has taken shape, so there's nothing to base distrust on - so until we get to see the system and subsystems working together, I'm doing the thing I hate the most and put my faith in him and the team.

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First I think we should make the distinction between complex and complication. You don't wanted to make a game too complicated, but you want to make it complex. The key is to make the game complex enough to keep it entertaining throughout the average play period, but simple enough to allow new users to jump in and not be bombarded with tons of menus right away. From what I understand, a lot of the "complicated" stuff will happen behind the scenes.

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First I think we should make the distinction between complex and complication. You don't wanted to make a game too complicated, but you want to make it complex. The key is to make the game complex enough to keep it entertaining throughout the average play period, but simple enough to allow new users to jump in and not be bombarded with tons of menus right away. From what I understand, a lot of the "complicated" stuff will happen behind the scenes.

The distinction I think you're looking for is one of depth vs complexity:

And the result is often to strive for elegance, which can defined as the depth to complexity ratio. I've been looking into ways to measure elegance, and one method is the number of steps required to achieve a goal. Going through layers of menus to select which building to build vs pressing ctrl + G, for that specific building, for example.

Complexity can often be mitigated with learning through steps, though - which is part of why you have to unlock things through the game - the part is to create a better sense of progression. This is something we're likely to expect in Massie Chalice, too. Starting with only a group of heroes, and maybe not even a keep. Then having to reclaim it and have bloodlines introduced. Research is available later. It's about striking the balance between what you've learned and what you need to learn, and how much information requires conscious thought and effort to process. Simply introducing more complexity as you've learned other elements is the standard for a reason. It also slowly teaches you the interplay between them.

I'm just writing for the sake of it at this point, but that's because this is elementary to pacing, and the element of having to learn the system is unique to games and pacing has been shown to be elementary in any experience. Then there's that the player has the option to ruin their own pacing. It's in interesting cookie.

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First I think we should make the distinction between complex and complication. You don't wanted to make a game too complicated, but you want to make it complex. The key is to make the game complex enough to keep it entertaining throughout the average play period, but simple enough to allow new users to jump in and not be bombarded with tons of menus right away. From what I understand, a lot of the "complicated" stuff will happen behind the scenes.

The distinction I think you're looking for is one of depth vs complexity:

And the result is often to strive for elegance, which can defined as the depth to complexity ratio. I've been looking into ways to measure elegance, and one method is the number of steps required to achieve a goal. Going through layers of menus to select which building to build vs pressing ctrl + G, for that specific building, for example.

Complexity can often be mitigated with learning through steps, though - which is part of why you have to unlock things through the game - the part is to create a better sense of progression. This is something we're likely to expect in Massie Chalice, too. Starting with only a group of heroes, and maybe not even a keep. Then having to reclaim it and have bloodlines introduced. Research is available later. It's about striking the balance between what you've learned and what you need to learn, and how much information requires conscious thought and effort to process. Simply introducing more complexity as you've learned other elements is the standard for a reason. It also slowly teaches you the interplay between them.

I'm just writing for the sake of it at this point, but that's because this is elementary to pacing, and the element of having to learn the system is unique to games and pacing has been shown to be elementary in any experience. Then there's that the player has the option to ruin their own pacing. It's in interesting cookie.

Appreciate the link to the video, but I'm talking of the complicated nature of some strategy games. You want things to be complex enough to make them fun to play again and again, but you don't want them to be complicated so normal players can't understand what's going on (ie. too many menu, too much information coming at them at once, etc).

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http://www.weirdwarp.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Mars-Attacks.jpg

you don't want them to be complicated so normal players can't understand what's going on

A disingenuous point of reference.

Who's a "normal gamer"?

Considering Candy Crash is a videogame, most people with smart-phones are gamers.

Take online poker and your average college jock is the normal gamer.

Look at social media app adaptations of board games like Scrabble and middle-aged and senior aged women are normal gamers.

Take into account the generation of children who all reach for their parents electronic device to play a game today and toddlers are normal gamers.

Don't hide your wants behind an appeal to an imaginary mean of the majority. If you want the game to be simple, say so like a man and like a man brace yourself for the criticism to come.

Your concerns are misplaced. The list of features the team's talking about implementing, taken all at once, may seem daunting to grasp simultaneously in your brain. But when we're playing the game we won't need to. You won't need to know every single gene sequence, research option, equipped item, etc. at every given time. When there's a change the game will prompt your attention (glowing yellow exclamation point to indicate a character's ready to level for example) and then you'll give your attention to the single new decision which needs it. In the meanwhile, your decisions from previous turns about who's making babies, who's researching and what hero wields which equipment will continue to be carried out until a time comes when you're called to reconsider them (research completed; what next?). You'll be able to handle it guy.

This reminds me to remind ye developers, please

1) Allow us to view a list of all the items we possess. When an item in the column's clicked have the hero wielding it be displayed to the right. This way we can browse/filter by options easily.

2) Have some auto-equip option or saveable equipment templates. It was tedious in X-com, when one of my dudes was injured, to have to strip him of his sniper-gear, item by item, so I could miserly save money by recycling gear for the fresh sniper getting deployed instead of needing to buy new equipment. It'd be nice even to've a simple check which auto-unequips injured squad members and auto-equips members of a class with the best available equipment of their class.

the emotional angle of Ancestors passing the torch down to the youth

A cheap means of getting some of this element is to've a text-engine spit out descriptions of climatic actions taken with an item and attach those descriptions to the item. So there may be a "Pedigree" button in the item-view window which lists previous actions of import taken with it. This goes back to the first time "Bob the Killer" slew a demon, which called from the text-list and generated a line like,

"Bob the Killer raised his new axe shining in the sun, brought it down, his first demon done, his first battle won."

So at any time players may review what an item a hero has equipped has been through and bask in the nostalgia.

http://masatoyoshimura.com/image/56.jpg

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