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Difficulty doesn't scale with more players?


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#1 GrooveChamp

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:56 AM

Let me say, I absolutely love Eldritch Horror and all the changes it made. I honestly can't think of any major changes I'd make for an expansion (other than adding more cards).

 

But...up until now I've been playing only 2 player games. Recently I've tried some with 8 and it seems way too easy. I don't think the challenge scales enough as you add more people.

 

I'm not talking "easier in some ways, harder in others" like in Arkham Horror (where more investigators meant easier to win by closing gates, harder to win final battle), I'm talking easy period.


Comparing 8 players against 2:

-4 times the number of investigators

-4 times the clue requirements, but 4 times the clue spawns to even out

-Only 2 times the gate spawns (with no reduced max gates as you add more players mechanic like Arkham)

-Only 3 times the monster surge (which almost never comes into play because it's easy to keep the gates constantly shut with 8 players and only double the gates)

-Epic monsters barely get tougher as the player number goes up. Only +1 health per investigator. Getting to and killing an epic monster (helloooo, spinner of webs!) with 4 health in a two player game is much tougher than sparing the manpower to kill a 10 health monster with the same stats in an 8 player game.

Not to mention the fact that since so many investigator abilities and spells are global (politician, psychic, actress, flesh ward, instill bravery, plumb the void, etc.) compared to Arkham's mostly personal effects, you get more exponential benefits as the investigator count climbs.

2 player games you can't really afford to go out of your way to close many gates, and it's a race to solve the mysteries as the gates get out of control. My 8 player games so far it's not unusual to have zero gates open at any time, with the max being one or two. The doom hardly budges. It seems the only possible way to ever lose with 8 is for the mythos deck to run out, but I don't see that happening due to all the crazy global combos possible with a lot of investigators.

Basically it seems like with more investigators, the challenge increases (at most) arithmetically (only when it comes to clues, gates and monsters are easier) while the player strength increases geometrically. I don't want to make any major changes to the game, but I think the difficulty increase for more players needs to be looked at. It might even be as simple as increasing the gate spawns and monster surges (3 gate spawn for 7-8 players, 4 monster surge).

 

What's everyone else's experience with small vs large games?



#2 Glaurung

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:51 AM

I use to play mostly 2 3 4 players game. And game getting harder with a number of players. And if you feel game is easy just remove easy mythos card and you will see......

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#3 Julia

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 04:08 AM

Only played 4p games so far, so I can't really give you a decent feedback on this one, but I can see how scaling problems can arise. The first thing I'd see as a problem is that many things in EH works on a "half the number of the investigator" rule, but you actually have to round these numbers if you play an odd number of investigators, and this is always done penalizing the players (so that actually "half of three" is exactly like "half of four"). I guess that adding investigators on large numbers ill make the game a lot easier, simply because you have more options during the same turn and you're able to cover Earth's surface more effectively, so that the risk of having a Rumor in the Pacific with all investigators in Rome is considerably lower.

 

Interesting analysis, though, thanks for posting it.


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#4 C2K

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 04:32 AM

I've been playin 4-5 players, and its tough.  I'll have to try it with 8.  I think the only Investigators that scale with no. of players are Charlie Kane and Jaqueline Fine though, because they become lynchpins in team organization.  I don't see the others being an issue other than just being another body to help out. 



#5 GrooveChamp

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 08:25 AM

I've been playin 4-5 players, and its tough.  I'll have to try it with 8.  I think the only Investigators that scale with no. of players are Charlie Kane and Jaqueline Fine though, because they become lynchpins in team organization.  I don't see the others being an issue other than just being another body to help out. 

 

The investigator abilties are only a tiny part. The main issue is that the increased challenge doesn't keep pace with the increased strength of more investigators. Clue spawns increase the exact same proportion as their rumor/mystery cost, while gate and monster spawns fall behind (1 gate for two investigators compared to 2 gates for 8 investigators). Unlike Arkham Horror, there is no "max monsters" or "max gates" mechanic based on the number of players to balance for this. Shub's reckoning always spawns one monster regardless of whether there's 1 investigator or 8.

 

I guess that's an item on my wishlist for the expansion: a revised set of numbers for gates/clues/monsters for high investigator count games.



#6 Devon Greatwolf

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:15 AM

GrooveChamp

 

-Only 3 times the monster surge (which almost never comes into play because it's easy to keep the gates constantly shut with 8 players and only double the gates)
GrooveChamp

 

 My 8 player games so far it's not unusual to have zero gates open at any time, with the max being one or two.

 

Just a thought on the above items, as I have played this wrong when learning the game.

 

Page 8, right column of reference guide (emphasis mine).

 

"If a Mythos card has the Monster Surge icon, resolve a Monster 
surge on each space containing a Gate that corresponds to the 
current Omen. If there are no Gates on the game board that 
correspond to the current Omen, spawn 1 Gate instead."

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#7 GrooveChamp

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 01:35 PM

 

GrooveChamp

 

-Only 3 times the monster surge (which almost never comes into play because it's easy to keep the gates constantly shut with 8 players and only double the gates)
GrooveChamp

 

 My 8 player games so far it's not unusual to have zero gates open at any time, with the max being one or two.

 

Just a thought on the above items, as I have played this wrong when learning the game.

 

Page 8, right column of reference guide (emphasis mine).

 

"If a Mythos card has the Monster Surge icon, resolve a Monster 
surge on each space containing a Gate that corresponds to the 
current Omen. If there are no Gates on the game board that 
correspond to the current Omen, spawn 1 Gate instead."

 

 

That's kind of another issue of the lack of proper scaling: the monster surge will only ever spawn one gate regardless of whether there's only 1 investigator or 8.



#8 Glaurung

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 01:05 AM

Just take out easy mythos cards from the deck and start with random rumor card from the box and will see how it will be easy ....

Wizard is never late.......

 

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http://www.youtube.com/user/olegyd   


#9 C2K

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 07:48 AM

I just played a game using 8 investigators.  The game still has teeth. 

 

First off, 2 Gates spawning is a big deal.  You can't let any gates sit otherwise a monster surge can ruin your day.  And when playing against Shub(I randomly picked Shub as the AO for this game), those monster surges start making the doom counter drop fast. 

 

Regarding Clues, yes I had almost every clue out on the board or in my characters' possession, but I still had to earn them and I still had to get them on the right people.  And then when a rumor card comes up, its almost like solving another mystery. (in this game, I had two "investigators will lose the game" rumors come up, so I had to solve them)

 

The one issue I did notice is the "lack of cards" issue was more relevant with 8 players than with 4.  You burn through the decks so fast.  But fortunately, there is an expansion that should fix that. 



#10 Julia

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Posted 22 February 2014 - 08:47 AM

The one issue I did notice is the "lack of cards" issue was more relevant with 8 players than with 4.  You burn through the decks so fast.  But fortunately, there is an expansion that should fix that. 

 

I hope the correct wording could be there is at least one expansion that should fix that. If they keep on developing EH, it's quite probable that the decks will keep on getting bigger and bigger and bigger so that farming through one deck won't be so quick in a hopefully not too distant future :)


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