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Descent or Descent Version 2?


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#1 Guy_LeDouche

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:28 AM

I got the core Descent box set literally a week before they released Descent Version 2.     I have a couple of questions for the more experienced folks:

 

  • With the release of Descent 2.0, is it worth buying the newly released version?
  • Also, with the relase of 2.0, is it worth investing in the other Descent expansions or wait?

 

Thanks all!

 

 



#2 Steve-O

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 12:38 PM

That's up to you, of course.  Everyone will have to decide for themselves if they want to switch to 2e once its available.  We don't know a whole lot about 2e right now, so its hard to say anything definitive.  Here's a quick list of pros and cons to consider:

Pros (of 2e):

- fresh start on the rules side.  Whether they'll be better or worse is a question we can't really answer right now, but they'll be independent of the old edition, which was getting bogged down with inconsistencies.  That's enough to count as a pro in my books, anyway. =)

- advanced campaign mode in the base box.  This means two things: 1) you don't need to buy a separate expansion if you want to play this way, 2) Hopefully the rules will better support this mode of play in 2e (in 1e the game mode was tacked on in an expansion due to fan demand - it did a good job of converting the game into what people wanted, but it was still converting the system into something significantly different than it was first designed to be.)

- future releases for the game will most certainly be for 2e.  If you're statisfied with what 1e currently has to offer, that's great, but there won't be any more of it coming.

- the conversion kit will let you recoup the figures from any 1e sets you have, if nothing else.  They've already said all the figures in 2e will be new, so no need to worry about repeats.

Cons (of 2e):

- kind of sucks if you just dished out for 1e to have to pay again for 2e. (But at least they seem to be minimizing duplication of contents.)

- if you're happy with 1e the way it is, you may not like everything that gets changed in 2e.  FFG is not shy about changing things between editions, although in my experience such changes are generally for the better (based on other games.)

 

That's about it, as I see things.  You may have guessed by now that I'm pro 2e in general.  At least until more info comes out, but I really don't see myself changing my mind about that.  Aside from the Fear of the New ™ and the potential for a large hit to the wallet for people just getting into Descent, I don't see much to dislike about 2e.  Though, as I said before, we don't know much yet.



#3 Guy_LeDouche

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:13 PM

Thank you for the response Steve-O.  The timing was something else; although I am glad I had only purchased the main box set so far. 

I'm interested to see what 2.0 has in store. 



#4 Mordaris

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 04:26 AM

I have to admit, even though I started buying my boxes before Well of Darkness released(I have all, up to Road to Legend), I have a bit of a sour taste in my mouth after spending over three hundred bucks on a game system, only to have them change to a new edition.  I love this game, and this company, but this is kind of disappointing to me.  I mean, the 'conversion kit' is a nod to those of us that spent our money with them in the past, but a bigger bone for my money would have been appreciated.

 

I hope some sort of "demo" is offered, so those of us that have already spent our money can make an informed decision about whether to gamble our cash again.



#5 aeroguru

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:04 AM

Mordaris said:

I have to admit, even though I started buying my boxes before Well of Darkness released(I have all, up to Road to Legend), I have a bit of a sour taste in my mouth after spending over three hundred bucks on a game system, only to have them change to a new edition.  I love this game, and this company, but this is kind of disappointing to me.  I mean, the 'conversion kit' is a nod to those of us that spent our money with them in the past, but a bigger bone for my money would have been appreciated.

 

I hope some sort of "demo" is offered, so those of us that have already spent our money can make an informed decision about whether to gamble our cash again.

…but can't you still get your money's worth out of the old edition?  I, like you (perhaps) was a relative latecomer to the Descent scene--I didn't start my collection until mid-2009, late enough that there were already a ton of expansions released, most of which were still widely available (and all of which I was able to acquire), but not long before the first edition was effectively tabled.  I picked up the lieutenant minis and everything. 

As it turns out, I don't have a lot of regular Descent-ers in my gaming group, so I think thus far we've really only played four of the main quests from the base game.  We all really like it, it just isn't often that we have the time to spend 5-6 hours playing a single game (particularly given that when it is played so infrequently, it takes time for certain of the people in my group to reacquaint themselves with all the rules).  As has been pointed out, after too much is tacked on many of the rules become an inconsistent mess that takes a 30 page FAQ (and endless discussions on this forum and BGG) to even handle what would seemingly be pretty basic situations.  I suppose to the extent your gripe is that FFG won't really be involved in "officially" ruling on matters related to the first edition you could feel that their support of the game and those who forked out the cash was somewhat lacking--but honestly sometimes the official rulings made less sense than various other alternatives that were discussed among the fanbase here and elsewhere.  I think there are still enough people with enough affection for the first edition that you could still play it far into the future, even if there aren't new materials being released for it (and kudos for finding the time to play through ALL of the old stuff, if you have--that's probably hundreds and hundreds of hours of playtime for what--$300 to $400?  When you match that up against a lot of videogames at $60 for around 10-12 hours of playtime--excepting larger RPGs, of course--I'd say you got pretty good value for your dollar). 

When I first heard the second edition was coming out, I was a little disappointed that there wouldn't be more stuff for first edition--that said, at my current playrate of the first edition I wouldn't be scheduled to play through all of the base game, and all of the expansions, with one or two advanced campaigns thrown in until sometime in 2032.  Granted, most of that is not having a regular Descent crowd to play with.  I'll probably get the Second Edition as well (and hey, at least now as overlord I'll have many more monsters to choose from as I can convert the first edition monsters over).  I can foresee that, if the second edition does in fact have a much shorter playtime, that at least with my current group it will get regular rotation and there will be little incentive to return to first edition.  Part of that makes me sad, I suppose, but all of the first edition stuff is still there technically for me to get full value out of--and it may still see rotation particularly if the general consensus ends up being that second edition is too "streamlined" (i.e., dumbed down).  However, I'm also sort of happy that I'll get the opportunity to maybe have a dungeon crawl in Second Edition that makes it into my current group with more frequent rotation and that is a little more involved than HeroQuest.



#6 Steve-O

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 03:11 PM

Mordaris said:

I have to admit, even though I started buying my boxes before Well of Darkness released(I have all, up to Road to Legend), I have a bit of a sour taste in my mouth after spending over three hundred bucks on a game system, only to have them change to a new edition.  I love this game, and this company, but this is kind of disappointing to me.

It never ceases to amaze me that some people are surprised to learn that things change.  Any commercially successful product will eventually reach a point where it needs to be redefined, to cut the bonds of the past in order to continue growing int he future.  Movies get remade, cars get new models, board games get new editions.  If this doesn't happen, the product stagnates and falls behind, gets forgotten in time.

Descent first edition is a perfect example of this; I loved it as much as anybody here, but I would be remiss if I didn't admit it was getting bloated with all sorts of rules that didn't really work that well together.  Expansions were reknown for introducing mechanics that never saw the light of day outside the quests that came with it.  Half the time, FFG's answers to rules questions only served to raise even more questions.  The fact that the fans felt the need to begin that huge FAQ project at all is proof enough that things were getting out of hand (I still have my fingers crossed that they get their answers, btw.  They deserve it after all the work that went in.)

However, just because second edition is coming doesn't mean you've wasted your money buying first edition products.  For one thing, there is the conversion kit, as you've mentioned.  I'm quite sure that fans will make homebrew rules for any terrain or other props that don't appear in the 2e base box in relatively short order, too.  If you're not inclined to do so yourself, just wait a few months after release and see what's around.  You don't need to buy 2e on release day if you're not sure about it.  Wait a few months, try to find an FLGS you can play it at first.  Make an informed decision.

And, of course, no one is putting a gun to your head and stopping you from playing first edition.  You don't have to burn all your old boxes just because there's a new kid in town.  You can safely ignore 2e and save your money, or if you really want new 1e material, you could consider picking up 2e and making homebrew rules to convert it backwards.  I'm sure you wouldn't be the only one interested in that, if you're so inclined.  Or you could just focus on making fan quests using what 1e has already provided you.

Of all the gaming companies I've known, FFG is the most conservative about releasing new editions.  That's not to say it never happens, of course, but they're generally pretty good about recognizing what games need an overhaul and what games are well enough as is. All bickering about the particulars aside, the fact is that Descent needed a new edition.  To keep going in first edition would only have made the game system more bloated and less logical than it already was.  Maybe you don't like how 2e is shaping up, and that's your prerogative, but this is something that needed to be done sooner or later (and I seem to recall having said so several times, long before FFG announced 2e.) 

Descent has been kicking around for 7 years now, and the average lifespan of editions for most board games/RPGs is roughly 10 years, in my experience.  That is to say, after 10 years, a game will either have seen a new edition or it will have gone OOP.  Which would you prefer for Descent?



#7 Columbob

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:17 AM

Steve-O said:

Descent has been kicking around for 7 years now,

I like how on the products page for D2 they say : "Kevin Wilson’s Descent: Journeys in the Dark has been among FFG’s most popular titles for nearly ten years,"

 

The game hadn't been out for 6 years when they wrote that. Who are they trying to fool anyways?



#8 Steve-O

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 01:27 AM

Columbob said:

 

I like how on the products page for D2 they say : "Kevin Wilson’s Descent: Journeys in the Dark has been among FFG’s most popular titles for nearly ten years,"

The game hadn't been out for 6 years when they wrote that. Who are they trying to fool anyways?

Welcome to the world of marketing.  Numbers are rounded up generously (unless it's better for them to be smaller, of course.)  As far as who they're fooling; probably lots of people.  I myself was guessing the game had been out for about ten years before I went and double-checked the actual release date.

Not that I'm really too upset about them inflating that number a bit.  I mean, if it's a choice between putting out 2e now or waiting another three years for the sake of appearances, I'd rather see it done now.



#9 Monsterberger

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 11:25 AM

If I were you, I would play both versions.  Your 1st edition has hundreds of hours of gameplay.  I have some friends whose Road to Legend Campaign lasted over a year.  That being said, you may enjoy 2nd edition more because it is supposed to have a streamlined set of rules that permits quicker play.



#10 Vyron

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 03:16 AM

 Though I am very eager to see 2e edition, I nevertheless bought D1e recently. Also, I bought all of the expansions (in french and italian mind you, german/english versions are unbelievably expensive nowadays) because my friends and I like this game so much. After reading the rules, I also had to have the expansions. I don't care.

My hop is only to be able to convert most of the stuff to 2e edition which another friend of mine is going to buy. We can then combine all of the good of both games… maybe the rules are a bit messy in 1e, but I adore the "old school" look and feel… puts me back into a sort of a 90s RPG (D&D, The Black Eye, Diablo I)… kind of like the difference between Warcraft 2 and 3 or SC 1 and SC 2 graphicwise (and controlwise)… sure, the games last longer but there is such a depth…

 

Remains to see how 2e will compete with game depth with "streamlined", i.e. simplified rules…



#11 Torin Negatia

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:11 AM

Someone will inevitably rework rtl and/or sob into being used with 2e rules. There are alot of players on the forums that enjoy making homebrew content. Though it may not be officially supported by ffg.



#12 Polylux1

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 01:59 PM

I'm a big (HUGE, more precisely…) fan of 1e with all of non-campaign expansions. I've read all previews of 2e and honestly can say - no interest. Well, it's called Descent so I do have some kind of interest which pushes me to read these previews but I really don't think it's step forward. For me it's step … sideway :-)  

 

So, don't be sad about anything. Be happy you have one of the best games ever, play it and if you'll find it's too long, it should be more colorful, simplified and "modern", than think about 2e, I'm definitely sure that 1e will be very easy to sell. 

On the other hand I (and my mates) think 2e should be more complicated, less colorful, with bigger dungeons, with more various components (traps, customizable obstacles and definitely with chest, money and potion tokens instead of unisex "search" tokens) …  so I am more than happy with my collection and do not desire about anything else.   



#13 Atraangelis

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 01:48 AM

I'm a mixed buyer,  I got Descent but plan on getting 2nd Ed due to the changes.

I look forward to playing all new adventures with updated rules. An the conversion kit will keep all of that plastic useful in the new edition. I'm not worried about the cardboard though.

 

 


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