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Is D2ed really well balanced?


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#41 Steve-O

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 08:46 PM

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.

 

The thing about the CK is that it was mainly a gimmick to attract players of first edition to start buying second edition.    Awesome sauce in abilities makes it more tempting.  Balance was not the primary focus during design.  In that regard, the CK was really more like a promo than a true expansion.

 

The fans (even those who didn't own 1E) loved it for the added variety of monsters.  They wanted choices, not balance.  (Maybe they wanted choices AND balance, but beggars can't be choosers, right?)

 

I said back when 2E first launched that the appeal of the CK for variety would die off as more 2E expansions came out.  There was no doubt in my mind that such expansions would come out, although I admit they've been coming a little faster than I expected.  And now that more proper 2E variety has been added, people are starting to look at the CK monsters (and heroes) with a bit more critical eye, and realize what's happening.

 

Mind you, expansions will begin to show similar power creep in time.  Some might argue that they already have in a few cases.  That's what continuously expanding products do, they get more and more powerful over time in order to keep consumer interest.  The CK just kicked things off with a bang for D2E.


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#42 Silverhelm

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 10:03 PM

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.

 
The thing about the CK is that it was mainly a gimmick to attract players of first edition to start buying second edition.    Awesome sauce in abilities makes it more tempting.  Balance was not the primary focus during design.  In that regard, the CK was really more like a promo than a true expansion.
 
The fans (even those who didn't own 1E) loved it for the added variety of monsters.  They wanted choices, not balance.  (Maybe they wanted choices AND balance, but beggars can't be choosers, right?)
 
I said back when 2E first launched that the appeal of the CK for variety would die off as more 2E expansions came out.  There was no doubt in my mind that such expansions would come out, although I admit they've been coming a little faster than I expected.  And now that more proper 2E variety has been added, people are starting to look at the CK monsters (and heroes) with a bit more critical eye, and realize what's happening.
 
Mind you, expansions will begin to show similar power creep in time.  Some might argue that they already have in a few cases.  That's what continuously expanding products do, they get more and more powerful over time in order to keep consumer interest.  The CK just kicked things off with a bang for D2E.

Wow well said that's exactly how I feel about the CK.
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#43 Underworld40k

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 02:51 AM

The conversion kit does add a lot of options that may be seen as 'best picks' for both the heroes and the overlord, i would argue in this instance the overlord needed a bit of variety at launch, and maybe still does in relation to large monster picks (although not much more, the newly announced big expansion will probably add enough that 2nd ed only monster picks will be varied enough).

Heroes are mostly ok, again imo, there are only one or two offenders in the possible 'breaks game omgwtf' category imo (Nanok being the one i think most people go nuts over) and even they can be managed. Newer item combinations obviously can make some characters into absolute wrecking machines but that can be applied to more then just a few conversion kit characters.

Overall i agree with Steve-O, as with any game that has a release schedule of new products newer things need to be enticing for players to buy and this inevitably leads to some power creep across a product range.
 



#44 Jake yet again

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:20 AM

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.

 

The problem I have had with the reinforcement rules is that (in every quest we have played which has allowed reinforcements - and if you recall I started my initial post with the phrase "In my experience) the respawn allow the Overlord to pick which monster respawns. As the Overlord, which are you going to pick: Deric, the arthritic goblin, or G'Hrrg-Nathok, Slayer of Thousands?

 

If the heroes struggle to defeat a master monster - often a roadblock whose destruction is necessitated in order for progression - having it come back so quickly denies any sense of achievement. We ended up house-ruling this so that if there are master and regular monsters of the same type, the regular monster must be used before the master can be employed. This also makes sense in a narrative perspective - there's should be more rank and file monsters than chieftains.

 

And, on a personal note, I take offence at your use of the phrase "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." It was insulting, uncalled for and unnecessary. The original poster asked for opinions; I offered mine based on my experiences of the game. I freely accept that these may well be mistaken and that you are more than entitled to disagree and offer counter-arguments, all of which are welcome. However, please do so in a civil fashion, affording me the same respect you would expect to receive yourself.


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#45 JorduSpeaks

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 11:59 AM

The problem I have had with the reinforcement rules is that (in every quest we have played which has allowed reinforcements - and if you recall I started my initial post with the phrase "In my experience) the respawn allow the Overlord to pick which monster respawns. As the Overlord, which are you going to pick: Deric, the arthritic goblin, or G'Hrrg-Nathok, Slayer of Thousands?

 

If the heroes struggle to defeat a master monster - often a roadblock whose destruction is necessitated in order for progression - having it come back so quickly denies any sense of achievement. 

 

 One thing you may be overlooking is that, when the monster respawns (if he respawns), he does so on the other end of the map.  So, he's still not a roadblock.  Although, having something you struggled to defeat resurface so quickly may be demoralizing, it rarely presents a significant hindrance.

 

You're right on about Robin's attitude, though.  His hostility is completely uncalled for.


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#46 Robin

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Posted 31 October 2013 - 02:35 PM

And I don't understand the comments about "respawn rules" as there are no such generic rules.
How reinforcements enter an encounter is defines 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.


The problem I have had with the reinforcement rules is that (in every quest we have played which has allowed reinforcements - and if you recall I started my initial post with the phrase "In my experience) the respawn allow the Overlord to pick which monster respawns. As the Overlord, which are you going to pick: Deric, the arthritic goblin, or G'Hrrg-Nathok, Slayer of Thousands?

If the heroes struggle to defeat a master monster - often a roadblock whose destruction is necessitated in order for progression - having it come back so quickly denies any sense of achievement. We ended up house-ruling this so that if there are master and regular monsters of the same type, the regular monster must be used before the master can be employed. This also makes sense in a narrative perspective - there's should be more rank and file monsters than chieftains.

And, on a personal note, I take offence at your use of the phrase "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." It was insulting, uncalled for and unnecessary. The original poster asked for opinions; I offered mine based on my experiences of the game. I freely accept that these may well be mistaken and that you are more than entitled to disagree and offer counter-arguments, all of which are welcome. However, please do so in a civil fashion, affording me the same respect you would expect to receive yourself.
I really don't see what is offending when I simply develop a logical argument.
There is not an ounce of personal attack in my post.
I simply underlined that you cannot establish a global judgement based on quest special rules of reinforcements as they vary from quest to quest - and some encounters don't even have reinforcement rules at all.
If you consider that my expressing a diverging view from yours is insulting, I sincerely don't know what to do about that strange way of seeing what in my eyes is simply an intellectual debate.

Edited by Robin, 31 October 2013 - 02:36 PM.

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
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#47 JorduSpeaks

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:09 AM

I really don't see what is offending when I simply develop a logical argument.

There is not an ounce of personal attack in my post.

 

 

What is offensive is that you split hairs to set up a straw man, then use the straw man to denigrate other posters.  Kindly cut it out.


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#48 Robin

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:45 AM

I did not intend to be hostile (?) and you are reading far too much in what I posted.

I certainly maintain that it is not being thourough to judge the whole game system from special rules that appear in some encounters - not speaking of the different reinforcement special rules, btw.

 

Now, if your feelings were hurt because how I wrote things did seem to you that I was leading a personal attack (which I was not), I am sorry.


An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#49 griton

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 09:48 AM

Normally Robin is pretty good about things, so I don't think he intended the insult. There was some confusion about the way things were worded. He thought the "reinforcement reference" was made as a general statement applicable to balance on the game as a whole and that was the same for every quest. It wasn't intended quite that way and while it was intended to be meant as a generality, since reinforcement rules can and do affect balance for each quest, it wasn't meant to imply that every quest uses the same reinforcements.

 

Robin's statement definitely came off as a bit of "You clearly don't know what you're talking about", but I highly doubt he intentionally tried to set up a straw man just so he could use it to attack someone. The statement about people complaining about balance from a stance of playing rules incorrectly is a valid and common one, but it probably could have been phrased better, and he should have at the very least clarified first.

 

Edit: Ha. And Robin got to it while I was typing. ;-)


Edited by griton, 01 November 2013 - 09:48 AM.


#50 Robin

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:01 AM

Thanks griton.

 

Again, sorry if I was percieved as attacking someone personally.

 

This is only a game and I don't see the point to set up traps to hurt people in real life.

I however sometimes do indulge in heated debates, but I really do care about not making it anything else than a confrontation of opinions and logical arguments.

I also am quite conscious that I don't allways hit the mark and that I can be wrong.

And, coming to insults, I have been called a "choirboy" on some occasions and a "dumbass" (but that was on the French forum, where the level of hate against FFG/Edge can be occasionally very high).


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An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#51 TheHunterBoy

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:07 PM

Coming back to main issue (thank you all for so much contributes!), personally I don't need a chess game. So for me it's welcome a game like this, where you can win on the base of dice, right cards in the right moments, a lot of strategy and tactic and, of course, a good amount of luck. is it a "swinging" game? Well, no one wants a chess-time (sure not me!): I'm pretty ready for unbelievable moments of funny action, slamming monsters, choosing strategy to overcome dragon's fury, winning (or loosing) for one more heart (or shield) on the dice, and so on.

With your replies I'm starting to convince myself I'm on the right way 'bout this feeling!

 

IMO, at this moment, the magic world of Descent is indeed the most beautiful experience in the fanatsy boardgaming: the most complete, expanded and supported fantasy board game among the "dungeoncrawling list" of all time. That's matter.



#52 Robin

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:39 PM

I do agree that if someone is looking for a nice, immersive adventure experience, Descent is a good game.
Why do some people get upset about "balance"?
I presume that they place competitivity higher than storytelling on their scale of what they call "fun".

I would agree that chess or checkers would meet their expectations much better.

Edited by Robin, 01 November 2013 - 04:39 PM.

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.
G. K. Chesterton

#53 TheHunterBoy

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 04:59 PM

I mean: travel across a magic land full of adventures, enter dark woods and grim dungeons, slay dragons, fight ogres and goblins in frozen caves or over some hot magma lakes, cast spells all around you, pull off your sword and survive hordes of zombies and skeletons, find treasures, trade weapons and potions, discover ancient relics and open secret doors in the walls of a castle. How can you want more from a single board game??  :)  :)  :)

 

Then, someone (actually very fussy) screams aloud: "wait, wait, wait! It's still too swingy!!"

I say: who matters? I've never played before a swingy game like this!



#54 Jake yet again

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 05:40 PM

Thanks griton.

 

Again, sorry if I was percieved as attacking someone personally.

 

This is only a game and I don't see the point to set up traps to hurt people in real life.

I however sometimes do indulge in heated debates, but I really do care about not making it anything else than a confrontation of opinions and logical arguments.

I also am quite conscious that I don't allways hit the mark and that I can be wrong.

And, coming to insults, I have been called a "choirboy" on some occasions and a "dumbass" (but that was on the French forum, where the level of hate against FFG/Edge can be occasionally very high).

 

You're forgiven.


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#55 rfisha

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 06:21 AM

Well I just won an extremely close one playing 'Barrow of Baris' - if the OL hadn't failed her attribute test it would have been all over.  But she did, and in one turn i managed to get my treasure hunter around using all his movement and fatigue to make the distance, attack and use his his Heroic feat to get an additional attack which was enough to finish Merrick by one heart in the end :)

 

Classic game and we had a lot of fun playing it.



#56 JorduSpeaks

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 11:20 AM

I would agree that the fun this game provides outweighs the balance issues.  I would also point out that FFG has been slowly, but surely improving the balance through expansions.

 

That said, balance is something to be concerned about for two reasons.  First, encounters are more exciting when they are close, and providing an exciting experience for players is paramount in this game.  Second, this game is not RPG lite, it is a one vs. many game, and although perfect balance is impossible for a game with this much luck, players in a game where the goal is to win want the experience to at least feel fair.

 

The issue of fairness is important because one of the reasons we enjoy diversionary activities like gaming is because life, itself, is fundamentally unfair, which is a fact that is far more enjoyable to forget than be reminded of.  Additionally, if the experience doesn't feel fair, then it was essentially a waste of time, because the outcome was largely determined without your input.


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#57 TheHunterBoy

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 03:09 PM

Again, the fact that all around here there are a lot of people who say that the game is unbalanced sometimes in favour of OL and sometimes in favour of heroes, makes me thing that, at the end, the game is fair enough.

The best game experience, IMO, is when both OL and heroes are skilled players. Is then that you can have very close encounters. I really believe that this game is far from to be a RPG, so an OL too much gentle could only result in a waste of time and enthusiasm for all players. I prefer to loose against a hard foe than to win fighting a mild OL.



#58 rfisha

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Posted 02 November 2013 - 04:38 PM

Again, the fact that all around here there are a lot of people who say that the game is unbalanced sometimes in favour of OL and sometimes in favour of heroes, makes me thing that, at the end, the game is fair enough.

The best game experience, IMO, is when both OL and heroes are skilled players. Is then that you can have very close encounters. I really believe that this game is far from to be a RPG, so an OL too much gentle could only result in a waste of time and enthusiasm for all players. I prefer to loose against a hard foe than to win fighting a mild OL.

 

I personally have no issues with balance as of yet, but I have not read of anyone playing the game by the 2e rules with 4 heroes state that is balanced in favor of the O.L



#59 TheHunterBoy

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 01:18 AM

 

I personally have no issues with balance as of yet, but I have not read of anyone playing the game by the 2e rules with 4 heroes state that is balanced in favor of the O.L

 

 

4 heroes vs a blasting OL could be an exciting challenge. With the introduction of the LTs packs the options for a skilled OL will be increased, so, henceforth, I don't think that a campaign 4 vs OL using a LT pack would be an easy walk even for the most skilful party



#60 Steve-O

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 07:30 AM

Robin's statement definitely came off as a bit of "You clearly don't know what you're talking about", but I highly doubt he intentionally tried to set up a straw man just so he could use it to attack someone.

 

I just had a flash idea for a new class - the Druid (because I can't think of anything better): summons "Straw Man" tokens to the map which must be attacked by monsters if legally able.  They take a hit and go "poof" but serve their purpose in distracting monsters. =)


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