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Dr. Nocturne

Replay Scenarios?

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Not sure if I missed something here but does anyone know if the scenarios change if you replay them?

 

As a long time fan of 1e I really enjoyed the fact that you could play the same scenario and not have the same outcome. I play with different groups of people and really hope these aren't just straight forward repetitive scenarios.

 

Any insight?

Thanks!

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I have only played the first scenario once so this is what ive been told by others.

The scenarios differ in maps, monsters, events and each of them should have several different endings.

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Nocturne, if you enable first edition the first scenario has 6 different maps (and a lot more subtle changes here and there). It's the richest in terms of map variety, but each scenario has a few tweaks allowing for replayability (even if the core of the story remains unchanged, i.e. in Escape from Innsmouth you'll always have to escape from the city, if this has sense)

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I've played the first scenario 3 times already, and some monsters, items and map layout were different. The victory condition, story and endings were the same though.

Edited by DadouXIII

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I just did a second run through of the first scenario, and it had not only a separate map layout, but entirely different victory conditions and 3x the puzzles of the first run through. Not sure how common that is, but the variety is in there. (I was playing with all the extra content unlocked for earlier editions.

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So far, playing the same scenario multiple times can still prove to be fun, especially if you have the 1st ed stuff which allows for more map variance and a larger pool of monster types to pull from. On our first play through, all but two of the spawned monsters were pulled from 1st ed (core and call of the wild). 

 

That being said, I still wish there was more variance with respect to the narrative structure of each scenario. One of the cool things about the 1st ed scenarios is that as part of set up, the keeper "builds" the story by making several choices from a list of options. This not only changes the order in which the clue progression occurs, but introduces different clues and bits of narrative text. These story choices also directly influence the timed events and objectives that are revealed during the course of a scenario. It seems like this system would be even better implemented by an app. I.e., during initial scenario load, the app would randomly select from similar (albeit much more expanded) lists and create a scenario experience that was more varied narratively spesking each time you played. So for instance, is the main antagonist A, B or C and is their motive X, Y or Z? These combination would in turn direct how the scenario narrative played out with respect to events and objectives. As it stands, each time you play through a given scenario, the narrative structure appears to largely be the same with the same cast of characters, motives, events and objectives during each play through. Hopefully this is something FFG will fix in the near future and allow the existing scenarios to have even more re-playability. And given that this is now an app driven experience, adding more variations to existing scenarios would be relatively simple to implement.

Edited by Otakuon

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That being said, I still wish there was more variance with respect to the narrative structure of each scenario. One of the cool things about the 1st ed scenarios is that as part of set up, the keeper "builds" the story...

I'm going to disagree. I'd prefer more stories instead of trying to shoehorn even more variance within a story. The reason 1e had the choices was to give the keeper player something meaningful to do. That's not really needed since the app plays the keeper role.

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That being said, I still wish there was more variance with respect to the narrative structure of each scenario. One of the cool things about the 1st ed scenarios is that as part of set up, the keeper "builds" the story...

I'm going to disagree. I'd prefer more stories instead of trying to shoehorn even more variance within a story. The reason 1e had the choices was to give the keeper player something meaningful to do. That's not really needed since the app plays the keeper role.

 

 

What's wrong with both (more scenarios AND more narrative variance for each play though of a given scenario)?

 

Having less variance as it is now would be acceptable if FFG had released the app with 10-15 scenarios or was going to release them on a continuous basis (like a few per month).   As this is not the case, (and FFG implied when they first announced the 2nd edition that the new scenarios would have the multiple narrative paths like the 1st ed scenarios did) we have a situation where we only have 4 scenarios that start to get very repetitive after you play them for the first time. This is a major criticism of the game for many MoM 2E players right now..  Maybe FFG will surprise us and release a bunch of new scenarios before the two expansions drop.  Only time will tell...

Edited by Otakuon

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Having less variance as it is now would be acceptable if FFG had released the app with 10-15 scenarios or was going to release them on a continuous basis (like a few per month). 

 

Sorry, don't take this the wrong way, but releasing "a few scenarios per month" is something that would require an army of designers, app developers, and testers beyond imagination. Every time the app creates an option (a dialogue option, an item seeding option, a puzzle option, every darn option related to a possible action) you need lines of codes that needs to be debugged and tested. And then you need to have playtesters having time to play through these scenarios, on different platforms, with different group sizes, and give feedback, on bugs, on balance, on the overall feeling of the story; they need to check if the scenario can be blitzkrieged, if it breaks when specific item combos are triggered; the main element of the game comes with timers (number of rounds before element X happens, or before endgames) and these timers need to have sense; and all the rest. Behind a scenario there's possibly a couple hundreds of hours of works, if we sum the time spent on it by all the people involved in the project. There is no way that "a few more endings or twists can be added easily", and there's no way "a few scenarios per month" can be released. A lot of people think that having an electronic tool makes everything easier, and it's completely a wrong idea. An electronic tool like an app allows some things to be handled better IF the app is properly coded, but coding the app is a huge labor of love.

 

As a final note: most of the games we buy come with just ONE scenario: the game itself. And we repeat it over and over again, because it's fun, because there are different combos that can be triggered, and because maybe we play it with different groups and it's a new adventure every time. This game comes with 4 scenarios, and among those one comes with 6 maps, and another one with 2 (or maybe more, I don't remember), plus each scenario has different endings according to what you achieve during the game. And we know for sure that there are new scenarios coming, and if you have 1st edition, you don't have to buy anything because these scenarios come for free.

 

So, variance is granted. Sure thing, there could be more than this; but it's also sure that since it's FFG we're talking about, they will create more. I don't know the release pace of the scenarios, but I'm expecting the number will grow quickly in time; possibly we'll have a total of 10+ scenario within 8-10 months from now, which means you can play once / week and never repeat the same scenario for 2.5 months. Not bad, in my opinion.

 

But anyway, be happy as the game it is, or want more, it's your right; but please don't say things like they can easily release a few scenarios per month, because, really, you don't know what you're talking about

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Having less variance as it is now would be acceptable if FFG had released the app with 10-15 scenarios or was going to release them on a continuous basis (like a few per month). 

 

Sorry, don't take this the wrong way, but releasing "a few scenarios per month" is something that would require an army of designers....

 

Yes, I know FFG doesn't have any intention of releasing even a single scenario per month.  We will be lucky if we get even half a dozen per year.  I was being facetious in my response.  Which is why my main point is that if only a handful of scenarios are released in a given year (which is what it looks like the case will be), then it would be preferred if those scenarios that are released had more narrative variance.  This would improve the replayablity of these scenarios while we wait for more to be released and also increase their longevity once the game inevitably goes out of print and future development ceases.  While other board games might be the "same' each time you play, you generally play against another player(s) or a randomized mechanic which is what makes each session "unique".  When you have a heavily narrative driven board game such as MoM (or TIME stores as another example), once you play through and experience the one story, subsequent playthrouhgs are not as engaging (at least for many of us it is not).  

 

And if FFG was smart in the way they built their app (and as it appears it uses the same engine as the Descent app) modifying existing scenarios and adding new ones would not be that herculean of a task.  Again, if they knew what they were doing, they would have bought/built an associated software tool set that lets them create/edit scenarios without much actual coding having to be done.  This is standard practice in software development.  Sure the scenarios would still need to be play tested, but there are plenty of beta testers out there willing to do that (which I am sure you could attest to ;) ).

Edited by Otakuon

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I like the variety as well. I just figured with the limited manpower we could get more bang for the buck by minimizing variance within a scenario and having more scenarios instead. I hope FFG can or will release a scenario editing tool.

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I have played the starting scenario twice (once by myself; second time with my brother) and was really worried about what will be happening.

 

The conditions for winning, as mentioned earlier, happened to be the same.

The turn of events happened to be different and really surprised me (in a pleasant way).

​The map had all major tiles the same, others were different, items were the same, monsters mixed

 

However, second time we played with 2 investigators each, first time I played with 3 investigators.

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Not sure if I missed something here but does anyone know if the scenarios change if you replay them?

As a long time fan of 1e I really enjoyed the fact that you could play the same scenario and not have the same outcome. I play with different groups of people and really hope these aren't just straight forward repetitive scenarios.

Any insight?
Thanks!


The honest answer is "No, they are repetitive." You may have different tiles or monsters, a different "ending" text conclusion box, or even a slightly differing layout, but the scenarios run exactly the same unlike 1e. There's no built in variance in the storyline. Once you've played a scenario once, you've basically burned it for yourself because it doesn't change. To complete it, you'd take same clue a to location x, and for the same reason just like last time. There's one caveat, one novelty scenario is included that is based on npcs, so the the app chooses which npcs are guilty. Even that scenario plays out basically the same each time, yet there is token variance there. But that's it, one scenario out of four. 

 

Every time the question is asked comparing replayability with 1e because of differing storylines, a fan (or employee?) will step forward to say "Yes! Layouts! Spawn points! Different conclusion text! Replayability, just like 1e." as if they've somehow misunderstood the question. If the question is about divergent storylines within scenarios the honest answer is "No" outside the one novelty scenario mentioned. Differing layouts and spawn points in no way add the replayability of divergent investigation processes/resolutions. A different conclusion text box is not even remotely the same thing.

 

Sorry if i'm coming off a bit annoyed, but it's tiring to see these kinds of answers given in every thread where the question is asked as if we're still at Gencon and people don't know any better. The cat's out of the bag, we're playing the game now. It doesn't make sense to tell us there's variability in the game that's not there. If there are plans to put it in the app later, that's great - that would be good news, but no one's said anything like that. Telling people who are thinking of buying, or even those who already own it, the variability is the same as 1e, is really starting to look suspicious. 2e had 15 storylines in the box, whether you say they were good or bad isn't the point. 2e has 4, 6 if i'm being generous. You could play a scenario in 1e three times and not get the same experience, you can play a scenario in 2e once.

 

If we wait until October we get two more scenarios - a zombie graveyard and a dunwich horror rehash. If you don't own 1e and call of the wild already, you'll have to pay to get them. It would probably be unwise to expect those two to have varying storylines that aren't present in the base game.

 

And btw, if you have to "recode" the platform to add tokens, events/spawns in normal scenarios, etc, after having the app written to support for both descent and mom... you may need to question how your app design team has built it. Knowing ahead of time you'd be using it for multiple properties and importing divergent assets, there should be a simple scripting tool to add dialog options, confirmation prompts and place tiles for your scenario writers. If you're rewriting in the app proper to add these things, she's right, you'll have real trouble getting content out to people. And a huge issue if you've got your scenario writers hacking around in the base code you have a pretty good chance to tank the app repeatedly. But of course you wouldn't do that, the same way you wouldn't have your programmers inputing scenario information. Just sounded strange no scripting tools, somehow descent, and mom, and god knows what else as completely separate unencapsulated apps with no abstraction, and every scenario change a writer comes up with has to go to the engineers to add and test separately - didn't make a lot of sense. An undergraduate project maybe, but not something that will be maintained by different future teams that directly effects two of the company's main properties, and therefore the bottom line.

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I don't know Phil, I give pretty high importance toward map "randomization". I like the mix in monsters as well. I think it adds more to replayability then a second or third ending. To your point, I'd rather see 15 scenarios with 1 ending and map/monster/item variability then 5 scenarios with 3 endings each and less map/monster/item variability. For now we have neither though I suspect that will quickly change.

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I remain optimistic at this time that FFG was in a hurry to get the game out before it leaked and in doing so, they cut back on the initial complexity of the scenarios with the intent to update them at a later date.  But we shall see...

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I remain optimistic at this time that FFG was in a hurry to get the game out before it leaked and in doing so, they cut back on the initial complexity of the scenarios with the intent to update them at a later date.  But we shall see...

One can hope.

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To your point, I'd rather see 15 scenarios with 1 ending and map/monster/item variability then 5 scenarios with 3 endings each and less map/monster/item variability. For now we have neither though I suspect that will quickly change.

Put that way I completely agree. But if we're comparing 15 outcomes with no tile variability (to be fair, in 1e there was some monster variability due to story choices) to 4 outcomes with tile/monster variability, well anyone can see it's a bit ridiculous to keep saying they offer the same replayability.

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Another important point that seems to be missed, if 1e scenarios were as linear as 2e... that too would've solved the setup time problem. When certain rooms *always* have the same investigation clues and every other room is random, 1e goes from a 90 minute setup to 15. So the app fixing this problem is also b.s. because the new 2e design just removed this problem from the equation. It's not an app fix, it's a complete design change. 

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Another important point that seems to be missed, if 1e scenarios were as linear as 2e... that too would've solved the setup time problem. When certain rooms *always* have the same investigation clues and every other room is random, 1e goes from a 90 minute setup to 15.

 

?????

 

This means that if you play always the same objective for one scenario in 1st edition, you prep the game in 15 minutes? Ergo, 75 out og 90 minutes are needed to check "am I reading the right column / row in the setup diagram"? C'mon...

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Preclarification:  I like a lot of the changes in 2nd ed (e.g. damage/insanity card system, setup time, search descriptions).  My first playthrough of Rising Tide was really fun.  It was a very engaging experience.  I don't regret buying it.  I just feel like replayability is one of two major things that 2nd Ed gets wrong.
 
If I step into the house playing 1st Ed's Blood Ties, I have no idea what's going to happen or what's where.  There are 48 different variations of this scenario.   The first choice made by the keeper fundamentally changes the entire goal of the game.  Yes, it's the same map every time, but I get that sense of suspense because the flow of the game is unknown every time.  Each scenario is three in one and which one you get is a surprise.
 
****SPOILER****
 
If I step into the house playing Cycle of Eternity,  I know that I'm first going to move into the important adjacent room that I'm obviously supposed to move into.  I'm going to have the same encounter in that room every single time.  I'm going to be told to go to two more rooms in a specific order -- and where they're at (hint: they're to the left and right just at the end of the hall -- every time).  If I hustle, I'll get victory condition #1; if I don't, I'll get VC#2.  Randomizing the room names doesn't add any surprises.  Adding one more puzzle here and there doesn't add any surprises.  Randomizing the butler's role is meaningless that late in the scenario.  Zero suspense.  The flow of the game is exactly the same every single time.  You can play it over and over, but what's the point?
 
***End of spoiler***
 
The amount of variation in 1st Ed. would not have been hard to achieve with the app at all.  Monster behavior (my other gripe) would be harder, but story and layout variations would not.  I kind of wish they'd skipped 2nd Ed and put more effort into an app that would be the keeper for 1st Ed.  I'd buy that in a heartbeat.  There's so much more depth.  In my opinion, five maps containing fifteen (5x3 variations) stories > four maps (room names randomized) containing four stories.
 
I apologize if this is an incorrect assumption, but it feels like those championing the replayability of these new scenarios might not have had much experience with 1st Ed.

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Ive played the first scenario 3 times and the second scenario twice.

 

Personally, I'm a tad disappointed in the mission variance.  With both the first edition and second edition sets there should be a hoard of options and layouts available and for the first scenario it did sort of feel that way.  each map had a different layout and starting room etc but the overall goals were the same.  Thats fine.

 

The second scenario has been exactly the same every time and based on the story elements of it, i don't see how it could really change.  I plan to go through the other scenarios soon but to be honest i feel they REALLY dropped the ball here.  There is easily a means to create tons of variance for the missions.  I mean really all you need for the first mission is a randomized set of interior layouts from either 1st ed or 2nd.  (maybe even some of the cave ones if u really wanted to get crazy from 1st ed) and then a few of the garden tiles for the finale.  Then connect them. (start with base tile and rotate around placing your options until the second to last or so tile u place is the finale tile) It wouldn't be very hard to randomize it at all programmatically.  But as it stands it looks like they just pre-build a few maps and left it at that.  Very lazy.

 

With so many options available and the fact it was app based the possibilities were endless.  But they just went lazy with it and to be honest simply feels like anything you would get out of a mission setup book.  Pre-defined layouts that you would simply pick from.

 

With all that being said though, the game is still extremely fun.  Although you don't get the replay-able sense of mystery on discovering where to go every time you sit down to do a mission.  Because they arent randomly generated in any way.

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I'm very happy there's new MoM support... that being said.. if they have to 're-code' the app every time they add a new scenario... they're doing it wrong... and I can't believe that's the case.  If they haven't built some standard scripting tools to build around, that seems strange.  That's sorta standard operating procedure for app design (yes, I'm familiar with app design).  I understand the play testing and man hours, but in theory, a baseline app builder should make scenario creation far simpler than the print/paper variety... otherwise again, they're doing it wrong.  

 

Here's hoping the support continues and we see more scenarios... and here's hoping they're not re-writing code each time.  That would be odd.  

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