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UmarSlobberknocker

I get the feeling that Descent is nearing it's end...

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Do you know? The other day I was thinking about something. Not tested yet, but at least, sounds interesting:

 

What if a knocked out hero put three tokens on the map instead of one? That would mean they will take 3 turns to recover. If in the mean time all heroes are knocked out, the game ends. This would give

a new breath in the game, taking out the 'race' aspect of most quests. And since we don't have conquest tokens anymore, seems a good idea to me.

 

3 turns is a long time.  When most games only take 6-8 turns. 

Plus then you have to start looking into all the other rules, like when a hero some how heals 1 damage he automatically stands up. 

Players already complain about down time with 4 heroes, and now you are going to ask them to sit there for almost half the quest?

Then they are going to get up with only 1 or 2 health left and you are going to knock them down again so they can sit for 3 turns again?

I'd have a riot on my hands if that was a rule. 

 

I cannot seem to find it but I actually thought if all 4 heroes were knocked out at the same time, the OL won anyway.  I cannot for the life of me seem to find it. 

 

I'd much prefer to see something like what IA does.  If you are knocked out you loose your 1 time ability or something. 

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Do you know? The other day I was thinking about something. Not tested yet, but at least, sounds interesting:

 

What if a knocked out hero put three tokens on the map instead of one? That would mean they will take 3 turns to recover. If in the mean time all heroes are knocked out, the game ends. This would give

a new breath in the game, taking out the 'race' aspect of most quests. And since we don't have conquest tokens anymore, seems a good idea to me.

Uh.... then some quests would be over before their eyelids even began to pop open. 

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For me 2nd edition of Descent met its end as soon as I played 1st. edition. Seriously, if you will ever try 1st. edition, 2nd edition will look like a tic-tac-toe to you. In 1st edition heroes death is meaningful, theme is strong, there is plenty of tactical options, replayability is huge, game is focused on direct confrontation between Overlord and players, not on a lame race for an objectives, and game really looks like epic adventure in dungeons, not some casual, half baked, effort. I have every single box expansion for 2nd edition and almost all Heroes & Monster Collection, I was buying this all in hope that somehow those expansions will fix the game and made it more like a 1st edition; now I know it will never happen.

 

It is time to say goodbye to my collection of Descent 2ed. My only regret is that I sank so much money in this garbage. The worst thing in all of this is that Descent 2 ed. is such a wasted potential, there are so many things done right: classes, skills, streamlined rules, condition cards; yet suprisingly next to all of that there are so many awful things, that bury this game for good: meaningless death and lack of conquest points, lack of threat, weak Overlord, focus on objectives instead of confrontation for overlord, lack of exploration, lack of treasure, weak single adventure mode, and many more.

 

I own a lot of FFG games and expansions: Runewars, Banners of War, Twilight Imperium, Shattered Empire, Battlelore, Hernfar Guardians, Warband of Scorn, Eldritch Horror, Talisman, to name a few; and, from all of their products that I own, Descent 2nd edition is the only one I would call "truly dissapointing".

 

P.S. I am not some former 1st edition player driven by nostalgia; my first contact with Descent franchise was with 2nd edition, and played it a few times, before I had a chance to try 1st edition. As of now in my gaming group 2nd edition is collecting dust and 1st, edition is a huge hit.

Having played a lot of D2e I do agree that death (getting knocked out) is a bit hollow. How did death work in first edition?

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Having played a lot of D2e I do agree that death (getting knocked out) is a bit hollow. How did death work in first edition?

 

In D1e, if a hero died, the OL "won" conquest tokens from the heroes equal to the hero's assigned value.  The hero was then placed back in town.

 

The hero could return to the dungeon on their next turn via activated glyphs.  Depending on the dungeon layout, and how much the heroes had explored before the hero's death, returning could mean coming back way behind the rest of the party - a huge penalty.  Of course, the hero could choose to stay in town and wait for those heroes still in the dungeon to activate a new glyph that would allow the hero in town to rejoin the team quicker, but then you have 1 less hero in the dungeon helping to kill monsters and move forward towards the ultimate goal.

 

Once the heroes lost all of their conquest tokens, they lost the game.

Edited by any2cards

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Having played a lot of D2e I do agree that death (getting knocked out) is a bit hollow. How did death work in first edition?

 

In D1e, if a hero died, the OL "won" conquest tokens from the heroes equal to the hero's assigned value.  The hero was then placed back in town.

 

The hero could return to the dungeon on their next turn via activated glyphs.  Depending on the dungeon layout, and how much the heroes had explored before the hero's death, returning could mean coming back way behind the rest of the party - a huge penalty.  Of course, the hero could choose to stay in town and wait for those heroes still in the dungeon to activate a new glyph that would allow the hero in town to rejoin the team quicker, but then you have 1 less hero in the dungeon helping to kill monsters and move forward towards the ultimate goal.

 

Once the heroes lost all of their conquest tokens, they lost the game.

Okay, that does sound kind of cool. Just sayin'.

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I don't think you just buy whole expansions and H&Ms if you don't like the game. It kinda sounds like a ragequit.

If you like dungeon exploring and meaningful deaths, why not try a Co-Op?

I talk things that you disagree with, so you just insinuated that I am liar. Really mature. I don't care if you believe me or not but if you know BGG gameboard site you can search for user Embir (it is me); check my Gallery and game collection, you will find a ton of Descent 2nd edition stuff.

Thats might be true, but why spend time on something you do not enjoy?

I don't have to like subject of discussion to like discussion and argumenting itself. If your assumption would be true people would barely talk between themselves.

Edited by Embir82

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I think that regardless of which edition we play one thing is the same for us all. We really enjoy Descent and hope that we get more expansions. I would relish the chance to try a D1e game because personally I love the long encounters and more importantly the time with my friends. Unless FFG re-releases them I'm probably not going to get to play them. I'm sure I would have enjoyed them greatly. Barring winning the lottery and dropping $150 per expansion and $40-80 per lieutenant I have no choice but to embrace D2e and enjoy it for what it is. I have played it enough to see some of its weaknesses but it's still better than anything else I have found. If anyone here can recommend a better dungeon crawler I would love to get your recommendation.

Edited by UmarSlobberknocker

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Well, of course my idea would change a lot of stuff. Mainly the 'reinforcement' thing. In the second question of the core game sounds impossible to me that the heroes reach the goal to keep all tokens on the first encounter. The goblins move fast and are on the other side of map, while you put monsters near of the heroes as reinforcemnents almost every turn. Playing this quest with no reiforcements (at least for the ope group) would be better IMO.

 

Besides, the downtime time depends on the number of players and the time each one spend with their own actions. But I agree, it may not work well as I thought, it's a only an idea.

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I cannot seem to find it but I actually thought if all 4 heroes were knocked out at the same time, the OL won anyway. I cannot for the life of me seem to find it.

That's not a rule as far as I know. Maybe for a specific quest somewhere, but not in general. If all heroes are KO'd the game goes on. The OL WILL eventually win if they can't get back on their feet, but technically it doesn't end until one of the victory conditions is met.

 

Having played a lot of D2e I do agree that death (getting knocked out) is a bit hollow. How did death work in first edition?

Death on the level of the individual hero was arguably even more hollow in 1E. Your character "dies" and is immediately ressurrected in town with full health. Your friends don't even need to take the body back first.  Running into a new chamber to grab the treasure chest and then get slaughtered by monsters was a viable strategy because you'd reappear in town and everyone would have their treasure all the same.  In D2E the flavour term "knocked out" might seem to cheapen the process, but the fact that your body stays where it lies makes tactical considerations much more complex.  They sacrificed theme for the sake of mechanics, and as much as I love theme, the mechanics are ultimately more important in my mind.  Theme can easily be rewritten to suit taste.

 

What 1E DID have, which I agree that D2E is lacking, is some sort of permanent loss condition for the heroes - death on the party level, if you will.  In D1E when the heroes ran out of CT it was game over, no matter how well they were doing.  That's the part that's missing from D2E.

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Death on the level of the individual hero was arguably even more hollow in 1E. Your character "dies" and is immediately ressurrected in town with full health. Your friends don't even need to take the body back first.  Running into a new chamber to grab the treasure chest and then get slaughtered by monsters was a viable strategy because you'd reappear in town and everyone would have their treasure all the same.  In D2E the flavour term "knocked out" might seem to cheapen the process, but the fact that your body stays where it lies makes tactical considerations much more complex.  They sacrificed theme for the sake of mechanics, and as much as I love theme, the mechanics are ultimately more important in my mind.  Theme can easily be rewritten to suit taste.

 

What 1E DID have, which I agree that D2E is lacking, is some sort of permanent loss condition for the heroes - death on the party level, if you will.  In D1E when the heroes ran out of CT it was game over, no matter how well they were doing.  That's the part that's missing from D2E.

 

 

I completely disagree. What you are saying is simply not true.

Indeed, when getting killed, hero was going back to town and he automatically was resurrected, but:

- every time hero was killed, players were losing Conquest Points. If Conquest Points ever went down to zero players' team was immadiately losing the game, so to kill players was the main goal of an Overlord - perfectly fitting from thematic point of view if you ask me. To kill the players was the main goal of the Overlord, not some lame race in which winner is the one who will collect more crops or some other stupid objective, like in Descent 2nd edition.

- every time hero was killed, he was losing half of his gold. So death not only was closing players team to losing, it also weakened players directly.

- yes it was viable strategy to send hero to get killed and activate glyph but: more often than not this tactic was used by only one hero in the group, known as runner, or hero worth 2 Conquest Points, who was acting as a sacrificial lamb.

- I don't see how death in Descent 2 edition gives more tactical considerations - quite the contrary; in Descent 1 edition because of green glyphs or in especially difficult quests players needed to be very careful, one death could mean that unfortunate hero will have to wade trough corridors swarmed by spawned monsters. In Descent 2 edition death is only a weak tool used to slow down heores in race for objective. Many times it is more optimal for overlord to completely ignore players and just focus on running for the objective.

- and finally idea of Conquest Points was great because it meant that hunt for players was the main goal of Overlord, death was meaningful, because with each death Overlord was getting closer to victory, yet this idea prevented player elimination. Also because 1st. edition was based on confrontation focused quests, instead of objective focused quests it was almost infinitely replayable, because shape of quest was dictated by players actions and not by scenario imposed objective. In our games, we played through initial quest of Descent 1st edition "Into the Dark" four times, and each time we had a lot of fun - on the contrary, every one in my team was sick of playing "Fat Goblin" from Descent 2nd edition, second time.

 

In short, if both games had a soundtrack it would sound like this:

 

Soundtrack for Descent 1st. edition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHfE682mm3c

Soundtrack for Descent 2nd edition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK6TXMsvgQg

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As with anything else, you are entitled to your opinion - just like others are entitled to theirs.  Neither is right, nor wrong.

 

It does make for a good discussion and debate, and that is great.  But I would take care that you don't unintentionally come across as arrogant or dismissive of other's points of view.

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Embir, you make it sound as if every quest in D2E is a race. There are race encounters (Fat Goblin), but there are also defensive encounters (Blood of Heroes) escorts (Monster's Hoard), and battles (Reclamation, Fire and Brimstone.) There are a good number of maps where the OL is trying to accomplish an objective and the heroes are trying to stop him (Rude Awakening, Ritual of Shadows) quests where the heroes are being stalled by the OL (Honor Among Thieves,) and quests where each side needs to make tactical decisions between completing their own objectives and stopping the opposition (Fury of the Tempest, Rat Thing King, The Twin Idols.) 

 

I grant that some maps are more or less interesting than others- but our group finds the diversity of objectives to be the part that keeps the game interesting. Each side has to be prepared to tackle multiple types of quests throughout the campaign. The heroes can't just tank every time because that's how they survive, and the OL can't always use the same open group just because it's best at killing the heroes. If that isn't what appeals to your group, that's fine- but to criticize the second edition's lack of interesting objectives just because it isn't your favorite objective every time is a bit narrow-minded, in my opinion. 

 

Hero "death" is worked into several quests (mostly finales) using special rules- it can be worked into more fairly easily, it's just not something that has been the focus of a large number of quests so far. Again, I find the flexibility of the second edition to be an advantage here, not a disadvantage- all it takes is a few quest specific rules and you've got the high stakes battle you're seeming to crave.

Edited by Zaltyre

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IA seems to have got the balance Just right.

It has the flexibility of D2e with the peril of D1e.

D2e still has a life, whether it's through cooperative expansions, campaign books or the scenario editor.

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Embir, you make it sound as if every quest in D2E is a race.

 

Because it is. The very moment heroes became immortal game had to be based around objectives. It is always race about who will complete objectives faster, with the exception of two or three quests where you indeed can kill or injure players.

 

IA seems to have got the balance Just right.

It has the flexibility of D2e with the peril of D1e.

D2e still has a life, whether it's through cooperative expansions, campaign books or the scenario editor.

 

Yeah I have read massive amount of opinions indicating that IA fixed all things wrong with Descent 2nd edition. Of course it is great game where a lot of things get done right, mainly return of threat, way to harm heroes, elements of exploration and skirmish mode (this is great idea). Yet there are three things wrong with this game, that makes it unplayable for me:

 

1) I don't like games based on Star Wars. First two movies were great, cinematic masterpieces, and I will always back to watch them again, but the rest of Star Wars stuff is completely atrocious. Nowadays Star Wars is nothing more than empty, milked out, franchise ruined by George Lucas and his greed. (midichlorias, Ewoks, Jar Jar, and the rest of this inept trash). More so, my dungeon crawl has to be placed in fantasy setting, I can't digest sci-fi, space opera or zombies in this type of game.

 

2) Game is too much expansion focused. It is designed to milk out wallets of Star Wars fanboys.There are even less monsters and heroes than in Descent 2ed. Yet it is much, much more expensive game than Descent. There are only 6 heroes and you can't pick classes for them. Of course there is milion small overpriced expansions to overcome limitations of base set.

 

3) There is still focus only on campaign play, meanwhile a lot of people want full dungeon crawl experience contained within one gameplay session.

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How about this idea for dealing with the "meaningless death" issue with heroes being knocked out.  Each time a hero is knocked out, place a marker such as an unused search token on the hero sheet when it stands up.  Each time the hero is subsequently knocked out add another marker to its sheet.  When the number of tokens equal the hero's starting fatigue (or health if you'd rather use that value) then the hero is removed from the remainder of the quest (killed or withdrawn depending on how you want to look at it).  Also, like was earlier mentioned, if a hero hasn't used their one time ability when knocked out for the first time, revive them with the card flipped over so they lose that ability. 

 

Just a thought since the "endless death" mechanic seems to frustrate some OL players and having the Imperial Assault style two KO limit may frustrate some hero players.

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I can understand if people don't like the way the second edition handles death or the focus on objective based mission design. Neither is it a game attempting to be a dungeon crawler nor it is a game where killing is the only way to win. So why are we comparing it with something it obviously isn't. If you don't like it simply don't play it or buy it and focus on games that deliver to your expectations. After three pages of discussion it should be clear that either side it entitled to their opinion and has no intention of changing it. As you already pointed out it is now a discussion for discussions sake without any value as it is only repetition of the same arguments over and over again.

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I think to summarize Descent 2nd Edition, is to say it is a tactical battle type game, where both sides have an objective. Things that can effect it are of course where and how you move and what kind of damage and defense your dice allow you to roll. So to dislike it for being what it is, that's fine, but I don't think it should be expected to be anything else. 

 

I never owned Descent 1st Edition, in fact didn't much know about 2nd Edition until recently. As to how Death in 1st Edition is described though, it makes me wonder if some of the quests or material were even seen or played. No conquest points and the game ends? Must have been hard to see or experience the ending quests then. I also remember how it was in Hero's Quest. A hero died and he was dead. You had to make another one from scratch. So to me anyway, Death in 2nd Edition ( Knock out) I don't mind so much. Players who have their heroes Koed don't feel left out, are fighting to be useful again. The Overlord gets reinforcements- an endless supply of monsters- so it balances out. Also the Overlord gets to draw a OL card or gain a threat token. Those can add up. 

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I really don't get the "meaningless death in D2E" complaint.

 

Perhaps you guys didn't play enough D2E, but killing a hero usually has a big impact on the heroes' capabilities. First of all the heroes lose one action minimum and the OL draws a card, furthermore your hero normally only comes back with ~4 HP and no fatigue, making him very vulnerable and severly gimping his offensive/utility capabilities.

 

So D2E traded death mechanics that interacted with arbitrary campaign-resources for death mechanics that directly influence the gameplay on the gamingboard.

 

That aside, the expansions bring much more interesting quests to the table than the base game campaign that really show off the capabilities of the D2E system.

Edited by DAMaz

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I never owned Descent 1st Edition, in fact didn't much know about 2nd Edition until recently. As to how Death in 1st Edition is described though, it makes me wonder if some of the quests or material were even seen or played. No conquest points and the game ends? Must have been hard to see or experience the ending quests then.

Well, Conquest Tokens were also reset at the end of every quest.  Each quest started with an amount of CT balanced for its dificulty (usually 5 or 8 IIRC.)

D1E was all about one shot quests.  The "campaign" mode was really just playing several one shots back-to-back.  At the end of each, everything was reset - including treasure, training tokens and gold.

That's why Road to Legend was such a huge overhaul of the game rules, and so highly regarded among those fans who wanted a proper campaign game for Descent.

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Since "Road to Legend" seemed to be the expansion that transformed DE1 into a the classic it is, any chance DE2 has that kind of meta-evolution coming? 

 

After all, Road to Legend also came at the so called "end" of Descents life cycle, following up other expansions and introduced various "tweaks": rule changes, a more personal overlord, a world map, ... - all in all detailed and magnificent "metagame" stuff that could be added to Second Edition as well, no? The campaign book for DE2 already has some of those more epic vibes going for it i think...

 

And if adding coop to DE2 was possible, why not go nuts and add a big box filled with tools to recreate the succes of Road to Legend?

This time being based on this more streamlined and the already richer content of the second edition? 

 

Someone at FFG must at least be considering this no? Best of both ...

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I would say no.  For several reasons.

 

First, while RTL (Road to Legend) was an admirable attempt to make a true campaign for D1e, it had all kinds of issues ... especially balance issues.  It was, after all, a bolt-on to a long time existing game.  Many of the mechanics within RTL, while very cool, were quite ineffective due to the fact that it was a bolt-on.  There simply was no way to effectively play test all of the possible combination of things.

 

More importantly, and far worse, was the expansion called SOB (Sea of Blood - which came out after RTL).  If you thought there were issues with RTL, SOB was a complete and utter disaster.  While some disagree with me, and granted the timing of KW leaving FFG didn't help, I have long held that the game known as D1e, and any potential continuing growth ceased to exist due to how bad the implementation and rules for SOB turned out.

 

Once again, while the concept, lore, background, etc. for SOB was good, the implementation was an utter disaster.  If they would have ever bothered to finish an FAQ for SOB (and I mean fully fleshed it out), it would have been hundreds of pages long ... and that is on the already lengthy sections for RTL.

 

I, for one, hope that FFG has learned their lesson in trying to bolt-on a concept for an already existing game that was not originally designed for the concepts in question.  Trying to do this never ends well.  If the game wasn't designed for the functionality to begin with, it rarely works out by adding it after the fact.

 

They are better off simply creating a D3e with that concept built in from the start.

 

Just my two cents worth.  :P

Edited by any2cards

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I, for one, hope that FFG has learned their lesson in trying to bolt-on a concept for an already existing game that was not originally designed for the concepts in question.  Trying to do this never ends well.  If the game wasn't designed for the functionality to begin with, it rarely works out by adding it after the fact.

 

They are better off simply creating a D3e with that concept built in from the start.

 

Just my two cents worth.  :P

 

I agree up to a point. While there are extreme mechanics that can drastically shift the functionality of a game that should probably be reserved for future editions (for example, I don't know that trying to create a skirmish mode for D2E such as is found in IA would be well advised,) one of the biggest benefits of expansions is to introduce new (albeit less radical) mechanics to the game on top of the new content. For example, the rumor mechanic first introduced with Lair of the Wyrm I think added a new aspect to campaign play that is very interesting. Similarly, the secret room treasure card, corrupt citizen cards, influence- all examples of new mechanics that are positive contributions from expansions. The threat/plot card mechanic is also a really neat addition. While you can argue balance of specific content encompassed by those mechanics, the mechanics themselves are good ideas that have (in my opinion) been implemented very well into the existing D2E framework. 

 

The Coop adventures represent a much larger departure from the campaign playstyle than anything else released for D2E. I enjoy the coop adventures and am surprised by how they take the second edition components and put them to a very different, yet enjoyable use (had you tried to pitch the concept of a loot track or a doom counter to me I probably would have laughed.) Perhaps FFG has just learned to test things a bit more before releasing them?

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I, for one, hope that FFG has learned their lesson in trying to bolt-on a concept for an already existing game that was not originally designed for the concepts in question.  Trying to do this never ends well.  If the game wasn't designed for the functionality to begin with, it rarely works out by adding it after the fact.

 

They are better off simply creating a D3e with that concept built in from the start.

 

Just my two cents worth.  :P

 

I agree up to a point. While there are extreme mechanics that can drastically shift the functionality of a game that should probably be reserved for future editions (for example, I don't know that trying to create a skirmish mode for D2E such as is found in IA would be well advised,) one of the biggest benefits of expansions is to introduce new (albeit less radical) mechanics to the game on top of the new content. For example, the rumor mechanic first introduced with Lair of the Wyrm I think added a new aspect to campaign play that is very interesting. Similarly, the secret room treasure card, corrupt citizen cards, influence- all examples of new mechanics that are positive contributions from expansions. The threat/plot card mechanic is also a really neat addition. While you can argue balance of specific content encompassed by those mechanics, the mechanics themselves are good ideas that have (in my opinion) been implemented very well into the existing D2E framework. 

 

The Coop adventures represent a much larger departure from the campaign playstyle than anything else released for D2E. I enjoy the coop adventures and am surprised by how they take the second edition components and put them to a very different, yet enjoyable use (had you tried to pitch the concept of a loot track or a doom counter to me I probably would have laughed.) Perhaps FFG has just learned to test things a bit more before releasing them?

 

 

Regarding the comparison between the D1E modifactions and the D2E COOP adventures there is a big difference.

 

The coop-adventures created a very limited space for themselves, in which they can introduce all kind of new mechanics (as it only applies to 4 monstergroups at a time, fixed roomsetups and nearly no variations/moving parts on the antagonist side) without considering a complex interaction with dozens of already tightly balanced aspects of developed content that is already out.

D1E tried that and I guess they kind of failed in a few regards, maybe because the whole expanison rich product-model was very new grounds at that time? I don't know.

 

D2E on the other hand seems to be designed from the beginning specifically with expansions in mind. The very controlled design of fixed maps with no secret information, the specific monster traits, the new dice-system and especially the very general way of how mission objectives and interacting with them works, give room for a plethora of possible content and small structural campaign upgrades and gameplay additions (like the influence mechanic), without really compromising already developed content.

Edited by DAMaz

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