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Volkren

Road to legend

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Finally got a better look at the trailer. From what is shown so far it doesn't look too much like a campaign tracker, but more like an automatic overlord.

There is no mention of tracking any of the currently campaigns, they just show the app 'tracking' the campaigns played in the app.

 

So I'm not too worried at the moment :P

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About apps in board games, let us say that one of the reasons why I'm a board game adept is because I realized I could have a hobby which didn't imply me watching a screen all the time. I like that moment of privacy from the everyday, and I can also share it with friends or family without thinking about how many hours a day we would be sitting in front of a screen. Don't get me wrong here, I am not an anti, but I do try to avoid the exposure in order to preserve that tradition of having to go through a hardcover rules book, drawing cards or rolling physical dices instead of letting a program do it, etc. There goes the line for me.

I also have a computer packed with tools and information about the game, so that's not incompatible at all, but at the time of playing none of this is with us, bar the occasional search for rules online, or a picture of a card that I happen to have missed to take with me.

I get that the app does not replace human decision, but automating the execution of these decisions does replace an element of gaming that I personally enjoy doing.

And if the app is the core of the game, like in XCOM or Golem Arcana, then I just wonder why not playing it as a pure video game. Back in the days there were these games with pre-recorded voices, CDs or even VHS and we all found them ultra cool, but it was kind of a hybrid experience, it often fell flat and game flow was not natural. I do think modern and well designed apps can remedy the issue, but they will still bring that automatisation I would have liked to see or even touch. Even having cards defining the AI of the monsters is nicer.

Look at Loony Quest, which is essentially a video game made board game. You could have had an app showing the levels but no, they chose regular paper, and see how great the experience is.

To be fair I have no idea what the exact scope of this tool will be so I am not trying to dismiss it here, although I do admit I have a skeptical eye in it.

But yeah, they could have released this functionality in a complete different way. I don't see what this app would do that a regular game system wouldn't be able to. Except the difference is that having it inside a black box that is the app sorts of kills many discussions about rules and mechanisms. It's easier to maintain an app than to provide new rules, but players won't be able to choose which rules they want to play with. So there are some pluses and minuses about that.

About exploration, I was persoanlly not seeking it nor did I miss it. There are other games around doing it very well. Exploration is not a bad thing per say, but it conflicts with the idea that descent is a strategy game where objectives are laid down before you start, where you can plan for doing things etc. that to me is what made Descent interesting compared to these other games.

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I think it is a very sensible way to continue the coop expansions. Depending on how well you do it, itmight even allow an intelligently acting AI, but even if it stays mainly with activation card type of behaviour, it is a very nice way to help handling those aspects of play.

 

I personally prefer the classical game with a human overlord, but I do think that there is a big crowd who want an overlord who does not compete on the current level to actually win: and an AI is simply better for that than a player who is set up, more or less, to loose, or at best make it challenging.

 

I also think this model will make it much easier to develop lots of coop content and if they set it up well, the app may also dubble as an easy to use campaign tracker for normal play (letting you keep track of what the heroes and the overlord have accumulated.

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Brilliant move from FFG! Looking really forward to this.

 

You know, they also could do the opposite as well for people who like to play by themselves. Like the player is the overlord and the AI controls the heroes trying to invade his dungeons and foil his plans. I doubt that will happen though. :)

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Well, excuse me for being in opposite side, but I strongly dislike the idea. Board games are board games. If I want to interact with technology I play video games instead.

 

Thanks God this not mandatory to play the game.

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This is a cool idea. I like the option of having an AI Overlord or Imperial player for games like this or Imperial Assault. As someone who normally is "forced" to play the Imperials in the campaigns I play (a high class problem, but still! :P ) it would be nice to have all the players in my group play against an enemy that isn't me.

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Could it be that it fully corporates the quest vault? It certainly looks more like a tool than a new 'game'. And an automated OL is cool, but the unpredictable choices of a human are what makes board games so cool. Why did the OL make that move? What could he have come up with? Is it a bluff? is it a double bluff?

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I think many people have caught this but this app is just a digital version of the co-op expansions. It doesn't track hero or monster position (except monster placement), it doesn't automate rolling die. It just replaces the cards used in the co-op expansions.

It DOES build on these expansions though. The current co-op expansions are a single long quest while this app permits a co-op campaign with shopping and gaining experience points. Also, it's programmed to incorporate all the expansions you already own. Pretty cool.

If you have enjoyed the co-op expansions, you should enjoy this.

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There is no mention about using this app to play coop the campaigns that came with the core and expansion sets. It looks like like it will be a delving mode (like Descent 1st edition), and a app-only campaign mode (that you pay for).

 

I really hope they include the ability to use this app for the shadow rune and other box-campaigns.

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Awesome news! I hope it's successful and they manage to add all the expansions up to date. I will definitely pay for the app (so long the price is not silly), and would also buy a similar thing for Imperial Assault.

 

I also think the app will give new life to the game in my group... being the most experienced player means I usually play Overlord, and then my players tend to complain of how unbalanced the scenarios are in my favour. Being able to play coop with them means they'll be happy to play more often.

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The initial mini campaign that comes with the app can be played with the Core edition components only, as stated in the article.  Then we see a picture of the first campaign costing 9.95 USD, pretty cheap for what could be a full campaign (HoB is 25 USD so less than half the price, assuming it is the same length).  I imagine that for this first full campaign you will need to own at least one expansion.  They will most likely draw on some tiles from 1 or 2 to build the map.  Which is fair they need to push their product and most people probably own the expansions already anyway.

 

I like the idea of combining monsters and items from all of the expansions though and use them at any point in the use of this app, that seems really cool and the fact the app can keep it all organized for me is great.  I don't see this as invading our table top experience, I think it will just enhance the human element.  Now you have full on table talk, no Overlord trying to be secretive, Heroes trying not to tip their hand or strategy totally, just a fully immersive co op experience where you still need to move the figures and roll the die.

 

Looks great and I can't wait for the IA version as well.

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I don't have a tablet... and I really can't imagine either using my phone or switching to the P.C. to run any campaigns. It LOOKS cool in retrospect, But if I have to have a tablet running to enjoy a tabletop experience, i don't know how much I would like it. I'm intrigued though. 

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Beautifully done, like many others I hope we get an IA version too. I always play the overlord against the kids, so it's going to be great to be a hero alongside them. Also great to see its going to be available for multiple platforms; sick of seeing stuff only released for IOS.

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I personally think this app will be awesome and I am looking forward to using it.

 

Sometimes my friends and I have all wanted to play heroes and nobody wanted to play as Overlord for a campaign. This will allow us the opportunity to do so.

 

I am glad it's not required to play the game too (How could it be? It is being released years after the core game came out) because people can choose to use it or not.

 

Super stoked about this.

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It would be cool if the program is self-learning and allows for different difficulty settings. When playing the other co-ops with new players, I would often give them advice like 'don't do that, if [insert often recurring event like peril or the 'with this activation the monsters never miss' here] happens, we will be screwed'. And that can spoil the gameplay for the new player in the sense that this player doesn't feel the freedom he should experience while playing an rpg.

And by self-learning I mean that the program adapts to different playstyles and uses the data from different campaigns to determine what would, and what would not work.

Edit: okay maybe self-learning sounds a bit too sci-fi. But anything that prevents the players from meta-gaming is fine:)
Edited by Ceasarsalad101

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In the trailer there is a mouse moving around and it says available on Steam, so I am assuming there will be tablet/phone and desktop versions.

 

I prefer the computer version, hook it up to a bigger screen and make it a part of the whole experience.  I hope they have some sound tracks to go with it as well, now that would be great.

 

And like someone said above, this is completely optional.  I understand some people are apprehensive about using digital devices for a table top experience, but it really is pretty simple.. don't like? Don't use it!  Hey look how easy that was. :)

Edited by FrogTrigger

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Using technology in this way allows us to consume board games even more, even easier.  The discussion should be about how technical and component heavy a board game can be before becoming an analog video game. Playing through Forgotten Souls all I felt was "this is awesome.. although a bit too clunky". Using many components while playing a co-op game often means that one person will do more manual labour than the others and that gameplay will not be seamless. Immersion is ALWAYS lost in any setting that is not real life.

 

Sure there is a charm to board game pieces, and people can hate on "staring at a screen", but as someone who grew up with video games and reverse engineered my hobby into board games, I only see applications and solutions.

 

This is awesome FFG, I can clearly see Descent hitting the table MORE with this app so ironically using technology makes for more use of an analogue game.

 

For anyone truly worried that staring at a screen will be a hassle, put your tablet on the edge of the table or use chromecast or plug your PC to a big screen that is clearly visible from the gaming table. If you lack these electronical appliances the fact still remains the same:this app will allow for more Descent to be played around the world compared to what they could've developed in traditional content instead. There is already tons of traditional Descent content, what is needed is not more content, but different smarter content. Like this.

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Given the rise in popularity of co-op and solo games this makes a huge amount of sense. I will still enjoy playing vs others but this is awesome.

I hope they integrate the community generated scenarios from the Quest Vault.

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(Robotic Voice) "Fear people of Terrinorth, as I, Skynet, your new Overlord will rule this land" *Pum, iPad hits the table and starts commanding legions of miniatures*

 

Hahaha I really love this app, when I first saw the video I almost choke myself with my food. I was, and still I am, excited about this new tool.

 

I see this as a potential way to introduce new players to the game. For example, when I first introduce a player to the game, I play along with them as a hero in the Forgotten Souls Variant, because there I could explain almost every basic rule as a tutorial. Then when people start to gain trust on their skills they ask me to play a couple of quest, even a campaign. This will help me to explain other mechanics outside the current Forgotten Souls variant.

 

In the other hand, recently, my most advance playgroup has hit a lose streak and they have started to lose faith in the versus mode and are asking to return to the Coop variant, to never ever leave that place...* sigh* So now, this will help me rebuild their trust so they can be the heroes once they were (with me in their side ofc).

Edited by Volkren

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I noticed in the video that the app permits to register which lieutenant you own. This means that the app will be able to manage plot decks cause i don t see any other purpose ?!?

 

I think it will be in order to spawn Lieutenant into the Dungeon. For example, openning a door and there's Splig with his army of Goblin Archers and Witchers; or perhaps Ardux Ix'Erebus with a legion of skeletons.

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