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Is D2ed really well balanced?


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#21 rfisha

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Posted 18 October 2013 - 05:50 AM

If you feel the balance is wrong with Descent then I believe you can fix it easily by handicapping what areas you feel are making it unbalanced.  If getting items are too easy, maybe only draw 1 shop item card.  Maybe increase the monsters health or movement or add an additional monster group.  Randomize character selections or disallow powerful combinations might be another alternative.  Additionally, the campaign could be won by the OL before reaching the Finale if enough quests haven't been won by the heroes.  Simple ideas generally work the best.  LoR also contains BASIC II cards which are much more effective for the OL.

 

I see balance mentioned on these forums quite a bit.  The mechanics of the game are fantastic and it is incredibly addictive game which is lot harder to fix than any perceived balance issues.


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#22 Steve-O

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:43 AM

I see balance mentioned on these forums quite a bit.  The mechanics of the game are fantastic and it is incredibly addictive game which is lot harder to fix than any perceived balance issues.

 

Descent has a way of provoking balance discussions, it's true.  Of course, "balance" is a largely subjective thing, so people's opinions will always be their own.

 

Not too many people are willing to play 10,000 game sessions to achieve a statistically significant win ratio before deciding if a game is "balanced."  And Descent being scenario-based would even make that practice shady at best.  I think Descent's game balance is close enough to even that it's not an issue, but that balance does tip (sometimes significantly) depending on the individual quest.

 

I also agree with you that the best solution for those who are upset by what they see is house rules.  Consider such house rules carefully, make adjustments where you see the need, and keep having fun while playing.


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#23 Robin

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 09:31 AM

I think Descent's game balance is close enough to even that it's not an issue, but that balance does tip (sometimes significantly) depending on the individual quest.

 

I agree.

That "tipping" of the balance is what corresponds to my idea of "swingy".  ;)


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#24 Radish

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 09:19 AM

I think the biggest issue in regards to balance is quest design. Certain quests are so borked (Heart of the Wilds in the Labyrinth expansion is one of the largest offenders which is no exaggeration, impossible for the heroes to win if they lose the first half) that one side is going in at such a disadvantage they have to try hard to even get close to winning, if they can at all.  If you don't know to avoid them then one side will get out of control as they coast on easy victories.  Heroes specifically get exponentially better with access to certain gear and ability combinations which creates an avalanche of power imbalance.  Knowing to avoid certain quests can probably help keep things closer.  

 

Also I have a suspicion that the character upgrade kit should not be used.  Typically when my group had an issue with a hero really just exploiting the hell out of a map it was from that kit which I don't think was tested well at all.  Next time we play I am going to lobby hard to not include any of the heroes or monsters from it and see if it turns out better.


Edited by Radish, 28 October 2013 - 09:20 AM.

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#25 Robin

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 02:01 PM

the character upgrade kit 

wazzat?


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#26 MeisterH

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:04 AM

It's the expansion which includes all the old heroes, from descent 1ed. Just like Radish said, they can be kind of unbalanced.



#27 Jake yet again

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 06:37 AM

In my experience it's unblanced to the OL. Admittedly, we were playing more like an RPG where the heroes don't know the quest or monster strength and haven't read the quest book. (According to the rules we should know all the ins-and-outs of the quest up-front. Where's the fun in that?) There are too many races where the heroes can be roadblocked before they have a chance to break through and not enough beat-em-ups. This can be even worse when the race is assymetric (e.g. you can fly so we can't block you, but we can't)

 

The respawn rules need work too (What's the point of killing a red monster if it's going to come back anyway?) and like others, I'm far from convinced that the conversion kit has balanced the monsters at all well.

 

However, provided that the OL uses their advantage to manage the game balance, De2 can be fun.


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#28 Roxxy

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:11 AM

My experiance is after a weekend of doing the first campaign with all expansions to date was 5-4 (a ruor encounter was added hence 9 total dungeons) wins to the Heros. We were all fairly inexperianced at this game but seasoned gamers. Two of the heros 1st timers. The OL won the first two dungeons and the interlude. Two of the games being down to the wire, very exciting.

 

Post match analysis of the 1st Act was OL was on par if not stronger than Heros (plus their inexperiance and getting used to the Class card combos) 

 

Second act was narrow win for first dungeon with OL winning second then Heros third. They were by this time a lot stronger with class card etc ugrades whereas OL Act 2 cards did not seem to reflect this. We found that even though the OL won dungeons he rairly benifited from them, IE getting Lieutenants or HP for later encounters, so that the Finale was a bit of a damp squb, with a very week Dragonlord Gryvorn and a cowering Baron Zach trying to find somewhere to hide while the seriously buff heros stood knocking at the door.

 

This encounter was over in four rounds with the Heros standing behind the rocks healing ready to attack. So it took just 2 rounds for 1 of the heros (others stayed hidden) to step out and take all 20hp off in 2 shots. OUCH. Mind you Gryvon had two attacks needing serges, min of 1 for second attack, second surge gave fire breath, did not role any so the did second attack as had card to give 1 serge. Second attack did small dam and no fire breath so no one else affected.

 

Analysis of second act was with all the cards monsters and Lieutants to think about the OL could do with a second player to discuss tactics with and interupt Heros goes to play, or even just remember to play cards. As the heros spent lot of time doing this. The Build up of the toons and interaction of their class cards if played correctly started to show amuch more powerful group that could not be stopped by the OL, only harried. and in some cases very badly. The choice of Monster groups for each senario is very important. Ie lots of Kobolds to slow heros down in Ritual of Shadow. Slow mvoing monsters even though powerful are no good if they cant keep up with the Heros, so ranged monsters are generally better. 

 

Two of the games came down to a crucial die throw missed, so all in all it looks to me like there are so many variable that a wrong choice of monster gp or use of card or die role at a certain time, could have a drastic affect on the balance and out come of a dungeon.

 

We nearly abandoned one dungeon as there was nothing the OL could do to win it. So the Heros insisted they would have been able to get all the search tokens. I said no so we played on. Splig managed to make a dash for the door when they thought they had him trapped, so they had to kill him finishing the game. As a result they did not get the loot, Very satisfactory. Yer i know a small victory but hay, any victory is a victory (in my book anyway).

 

 

All that said monday morning saw e-mails flying around saying how much people had enjoyed it and when were we getting together for the next one. 

 

For those of you wanting balance, get over it life and conflict is nerver like that, but with a bit of planning your can usually lessen the lose.

 

Good gaming all



#29 Silverhelm

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 07:44 AM

I've been playing this game for awhile now and my conclusion about balance Is this. This game can snowball in either OL or Heroes favor really quickly! And because of that its balanced enough for me. I don't believe a game like this needs chess level balance. I feel this game works best not knowing how (if it happens)things might snowball. The randomness of shop phase,players,quests, and so on is more then enough to keep this game on my shelf for quite awhile. The randomness is enough to keep it balanced enough to me!

Games that really need chess level balance is games like Warhammer or 40k these have a point system and still aren't as balanced as chess (and does it need to?). It's strategic enough and player dependent enough to ignor. War is never fair so some balance issues are exceptable. Good cammanders don't have the time to worry about fair just worry about what they can do.

Edited by Silverhelm, 29 October 2013 - 08:11 AM.

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#30 Robin

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 10:44 AM

It's the expansion which includes all the old heroes, from descent 1ed. Just like Radish said, they can be kind of unbalanced.

Ah ok. The Conversion Kit.
I have seen people whining that its heroes are OP and others complaining that its monsters are OP.
That should lead to some cosmic balance in the end.

Anyway, balance and unbalance are impossible to prove and I am convinced that concern about that issue is an irrational obsession, quite specific to some players of the Descent community.
Quite like a deep and unexplainable urge to put the game under trial and a priorly decided negative judgement.
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#31 Robin

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 10:48 AM

And, of course, playing the game wrong (e.g. hiding data from the heroes) will lead to wrong conclusions about its so called unbalance.
An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
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#32 Radish

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 11:12 AM

The problem with the snowball effect is that the side that is getting constantly creamed loses interest.  In a game where one side ends up being the victor after a 90 minute play session people move on to something else or restart from scratch.  In Descent winning an encounter allows the side that won to have an advantage in the next and so on.  It's not fun for either side of the game to just steamroll the other one so when upgrades are REALLY good (as some of the gear and abilities are) it's hard to come back against that.  

 

I don't know if there is a way to really fix it due to the nature of the game but at least with Descent 2 the campaign isn't as long as Descent 1 so the effect is lessened.  

 

I think the rewards for the Overlord can be kind of meh after a certain point so late game he or she caps out earlier and doesn't gain much from winning unless lieutenant upgrades are on the line and those are often one use per map.  You don't really want more than 15 cards in your deck to make it efficient so eventually you don't have anything to spend points on but the heroes really can always make use of extra abilities or money.


Edited by Radish, 29 October 2013 - 11:29 AM.


#33 Robin

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:16 PM

The OL can tune his deck down to 15 cards.
So buying new cards allows make his deck more effective.
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#34 Radish

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:22 PM

Yes but at a certain point he or she has all the cards that are needed due to some of the basic cards being better than the specialized card decks and that can be before the last few encounters.  I had this happen as an overlord where I ended up with extra XP at the end that was unspent since nothing I could buy was better than what I had in my deck especially after heroes started getting stuff that helped them pass ability tests.  The overlord needs some kind of permanent upgrade to spend XP on.



#35 jadedbacon

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 01:24 PM

Plot Decks sound like just what you're looking for


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#36 rfisha

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Posted 29 October 2013 - 05:43 PM

We play to win, but we are not ruthless. When playing heroes they like to remind the overlord when they forget etc



#37 JorduSpeaks

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:38 AM

The respawn rules need work too (What's the point of killing a red monster if it's going to come back anyway?) and like others, I'm far from convinced that the conversion kit has balanced the monsters at all well.

 

If you can manage a couple of turns where you kill more than one monster at a time you should be fine.

 

On the whole, I don't really see this as a game in the competitive sense that it was intended to be.  As an entertaining experience, Descent works just fine.  Do not make the mistake of going into this expecting a fair experience for all players, though.



#38 Silverhelm

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 11:18 AM

In act 1 it's to hard to tell if the game will snowball it generally happens in act 2. In act 1 heroes must muster the coin to upgrade or OL will have an advantage in act 2 regardless of his deck because his monsters get a free upgrade ( If heroes fail to do this soon Game can snowball in OL favor). So I wouldn't throw in the towel in act 1. In act 2 I've seen OL and heroes snowball in power and still loose at the end anyway. If this was a hack&slash game with no other objectives then yes i would agree its unbalanced. Also you got to factor in quests favor either OL or Heroes (not all) so thinking ahead is required throughout the game.

This game can be situational which makes it feel unbalanced at times. Perfectly balanced? nope, can it be? Nope. Still enjoyable? Yes.

Edited by Silverhelm, 30 October 2013 - 01:07 PM.


#39 JBouthietteJr

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 12:07 PM

I think the sheer number of possibilities will only every make this game close to balanced. My experience has always been fun, regardless of win-to-loss ratio, when considering our group has access to 14 heroes with 14 different classes, 20 monster groups, two Basic Overlord decks, more Overlord classes than I can remember, random shop items, random Search draws, random Overlord deck draws, random dice rolls...

 

In essence, I believe with the above stated that the vast number of complains of imbalance between the two sides should surely counteract each other.

 

...That is, if you're playing the game right. Which is to say, don't do what this guy's doing:

 

 

In my experience it's unblanced to the OL. Admittedly, we were playing more like an RPG where the heroes don't know the quest or monster strength and haven't read the quest book. (According to the rules we should know all the ins-and-outs of the quest up-front. Where's the fun in that?) There are too many races where the heroes can be roadblocked before they have a chance to break through and not enough beat-em-ups. This can be even worse when the race is assymetric (e.g. you can fly so we can't block you, but we can't)

 

The respawn rules need work too (What's the point of killing a red monster if it's going to come back anyway?) and like others, I'm far from convinced that the conversion kit has balanced the monsters at all well.

 

However, provided that the OL uses their advantage to manage the game balance, De2 can be fun.

 

Heroes knowing their goals will only help bolster their strategies and bring control back to them. You can't say "The Overlord is overpowered because only he knew what he was supposed to be doing."


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#40 Robin

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 02:52 PM

And I don't understand the comments about "respawn rules" as there are no such generic rules.
How reinforcements enter an encounter is defined in its special rules - and some encounters even don't have any reinforcements.
Additionally, from a technical p.o.v., reinforcements are not a respawn, but tbe entry of brand new monsters in an encounter.
So expressing a general judgement about the game, by basing oneself on encounter special rules lacks either true knowledge of the game system or thoroughness.
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