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fragmaster2

Isn't this a bit broken? (Geomancer)

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Hi, Descent noob here (but not boardgaming, tactical gaming noob, far from it).

We tried Road to Legend with 3 friends of mine recently. We studied the characters we had available and the RtL rules and decided to create a party to take advantage of the MAJOR bonus of monsters attacking the stone in many different circumstances.
We breezed through the campaign like it was nothing. On hard...

The usual scenario was, party stacks on the door, Geomancer opens and throws leveled-up Stone (defensively). Most of the monsters would attack the stone (`````80% of cases, maybe more) which absorbs HUGE amounts of damage, especially when the monster count is low (ettins etc.), then Fighters go in and scoop. Next turn, stone gets thrown near the remaining monsters, they attack it and so on. Healer heals the rest of the damage.

This party never lost one scenario throughout the whole campaign and we did double-triple check the rules. The RtL manual specifically mentions how the Summoned Stone plays! It's like FFG wanted the Stone to be played that way. The problem is that having a 2hp damage absorber which has the potential to redirect monster damage from the heroes, available turn after turn after turn made the game ridiculously easy. Now I'm pretty sure that maybe there are other classes out there that may be even more broken than Geomancer but I just wanted to vent I guess. I also know that the first thing someone would propose is to utilize the rule about monster behavior and let them target a hero instead. We kinda wanted the AI to be a bit more intelligent than that I guess. Sometimes it says 'target the lowest Strength' and so on but STILL the RtL manual goes on about familiars not having a relevant stat count it as 0 (as in 'lowest') when the AI checks for it!  Again, this looks like someone in FFG WANTED the stone to be targeted ALL the time. I don't know, going through the campaign with such a cheesy tactic didn't feel right and we didn't really felt it was fun after all.
Maybe FFG should bother a bit about the balance of classes with RtL in mind instead of just releasing it to the wild and letting a vague rule of 'choose yourselves how you want the monsters to behave' dictate the gameplay here?

OK, vent over.

Thoughts? I'm not asking for comparisons here, please refrain from posting 'yeah, you should see X class in RtL, it's OP' and so on, that's not the point. The point is why there are so many passages inside the RtL manual boosting the Stone's power and tanking ability? Maybe the new campaign mitigates this thing a bit? Can anyone tell us (without spoilers please)?

Should we use Geomancer with our party going in the 2nd campaign or should we replace him with another class?

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The easy answer would be: If you felt that playing with the geomancer was cheesy and you had no fun, don´'t use him in your next game.

Classes with familiars generally seem to be very good at tanking damage in RtL.

I think they choose to treat familiars as targets, because they can also do serious damage if left unchecked. At least summoning familiars costs the heroes actions and stamina.

One of the limitation of RtL is, that it lacks the situational awareness of a human overlord. Perhaps FFG might include some additional monster activations that explicitly ignore familiars in the future.

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You can always tweak the AI a bit and have it prioritize heroes over familiars, so;
Engage closest hero becomes

     a. Engage Closest (actual) hero within speed + 3 spaces.
     b. Engage Closest familiar within speed + 3 spaces.
     c. Attack closest hero/figure within 3 spaces.
     d. Engage closest (actual) hero.


Basically ignoring a pet if there is a hero target viable.  Mind you, this will open the AI up to being exploited another way, where the action economy of having a pet is exceptionally good since it will almost never be attacked.

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You could just dice it. Roll a blue, on a surge/cross the monsters target familiars as heros, anything else they ignore them for this activation. Making it random should prevent familiars being abused either way. 

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On 2/2/2017 at 0:37 PM, fragmaster2 said:

Hi, Descent noob here (but not boardgaming, tactical gaming noob, far from it).

We tried Road to Legend with 3 friends of mine recently. We studied the characters we had available and the RtL rules and decided to create a party to take advantage of the MAJOR bonus of monsters attacking the stone in many different circumstances.
We breezed through the campaign like it was nothing. On hard...

The usual scenario was, party stacks on the door, Geomancer opens and throws leveled-up Stone (defensively). Most of the monsters would attack the stone (`````80% of cases, maybe more) which absorbs HUGE amounts of damage, especially when the monster count is low (ettins etc.), then Fighters go in and scoop. Next turn, stone gets thrown near the remaining monsters, they attack it and so on. Healer heals the rest of the damage.

This party never lost one scenario throughout the whole campaign and we did double-triple check the rules. The RtL manual specifically mentions how the Summoned Stone plays! It's like FFG wanted the Stone to be played that way. The problem is that having a 2hp damage absorber which has the potential to redirect monster damage from the heroes, available turn after turn after turn made the game ridiculously easy. Now I'm pretty sure that maybe there are other classes out there that may be even more broken than Geomancer but I just wanted to vent I guess. I also know that the first thing someone would propose is to utilize the rule about monster behavior and let them target a hero instead. We kinda wanted the AI to be a bit more intelligent than that I guess. Sometimes it says 'target the lowest Strength' and so on but STILL the RtL manual goes on about familiars not having a relevant stat count it as 0 (as in 'lowest') when the AI checks for it!  Again, this looks like someone in FFG WANTED the stone to be targeted ALL the time. I don't know, going through the campaign with such a cheesy tactic didn't feel right and we didn't really felt it was fun after all.
Maybe FFG should bother a bit about the balance of classes with RtL in mind instead of just releasing it to the wild and letting a vague rule of 'choose yourselves how you want the monsters to behave' dictate the gameplay here?

OK, vent over.

Thoughts? I'm not asking for comparisons here, please refrain from posting 'yeah, you should see X class in RtL, it's OP' and so on, that's not the point. The point is why there are so many passages inside the RtL manual boosting the Stone's power and tanking ability? Maybe the new campaign mitigates this thing a bit? Can anyone tell us (without spoilers please)?

Should we use Geomancer with our party going in the 2nd campaign or should we replace him with another class?

As far as I've been able to tell after getting halfway through Kindred Fire campaign and having done a couple of Delves, it's working as intended. It's a tradeoff; have a tank take the hits, or have a familiar take them. The tank will need healing, or the familiar will get killed, usually before you've made much offensive use out of it. So, the trade really becomes around who's action is going to be used to mitigate damage? The Mage (resummon familiar), or the Healer (cast heal)? And remember that once a tank gets some decent gear, it's pretty common to simply not take damage. Depends on the class you have tanking of course. By the first quest in Act II in my current Kindred Fire campaign my Knight's defensive dice every turn are a black, a grey, and 2 brown, plus two points of shield on demand each round. Not much gets through, leaving the Mage's familiar to not get killed by damage, so totally free for offense. 

Also, for Geomancer, make sure you are remembering that the Summoned Stones are obstacles. Putting them in front to always take hits is a big limiter for the party behind if it doesn't get killed. Because now you can't move through it or see past it, so the party will have to shuffle around to keep line of site and engage and such.

Edited by Kaaihn

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It's not that the Geomancer is broken, it's that the game really isn't that hard:P  You'll find as you get better you will want to make houserules to increase the difficulty.

Stone tanking is far from being the best method of tanking, almost any well-built tank will be basically invincible to attacks (plus you won't have to keep wasting actions resummoning, if the tank takes any damage a healer can heal him without spending an action, whereas if a stone gets hurt the geomancer has to spend an action making a new one).

Edited by Dervish

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On ‎03‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 5:30 PM, Silidus said:

You can always tweak the AI a bit and have it prioritize heroes over familiars, so;
Engage closest hero becomes

     a. Engage Closest (actual) hero within speed + 3 spaces.
     b. Engage Closest familiar within speed + 3 spaces.
     c. Attack closest hero/figure within 3 spaces.
     d. Engage closest (actual) hero.


Basically ignoring a pet if there is a hero target viable.  Mind you, this will open the AI up to being exploited another way, where the action economy of having a pet is exceptionally good since it will almost never be attacked.

This is exactly as I play because it got a bit stupid that the enemies were too busy beating up dogs and mirror images.

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It's true, the geomancer is particularly strong, because he doesn't "waste" an action to summon a stone (as he gets an attack with the stone when he summons it). Just keep in mind that the bonus surges don't apply, when you are attacking with the stones (I did play this wrong as well).

 

and yes the app is really easy (even on hard) and FFG shouldn't have put the hint that you are supposed to pick a synergetic hero-party on hard (this pretty much ruined the first Kindred of Fire campaign for me).  Imo they should've just written that it's for people who allready know this game as well as what is actually different in this mode.

Another way to up the difficulty is to force activate the monster-group that makes the most sense instead of letting the app randomly choose and play a little bit smart (for instance don't double move ranged units, or only move and retreat with ranged units).

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Regarding the difficulty something might be coming in the future.

The app already has the following 4 difficulty levels in its data files: Normal, Hard, Heroic and Legendary.

At release the app only supported normal difficulty.

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On 2/16/2017 at 0:36 PM, DAMaz said:

It's true, the geomancer is particularly strong, because he doesn't "waste" an action to summon a stone (as he gets an attack with the stone when he summons it).

Not a fully 'wasted' turn, but still vastly inferior to having a tank take the hit.  A geomancer's summon action is much inferior to an actual action because

1) No bonus surge.

2) No attack bonuses that apply to the hero themselves (this reduces a lot of cross-hero synergies).

3) No using attack skills.

4) What if you didn't want to use that action attacking?

On top of that, the tank is way way less likely to take damage in the first place, and if he does take damage, as I said the healer's heal truly is action-free, unlike the stone summon which is a far more constrained action 'refund'.

Edited by Dervish

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9 hours ago, DerDelphi said:

Regarding the difficulty something might be coming in the future.

The app already has the following 4 difficulty levels in its data files: Normal, Hard, Heroic and Legendary.

At release the app only supported normal difficulty.

Unfortunately, the app's methods of upping difficulty are rather lame in general.  I don't want to start with less gold and fame, I just want the encounters to be tougher.  Most homebrew difficulty increases I have seen are better than what the app does.

Edited by Dervish

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FFG might find new ways to increase difficulty though. The easiest way would be to add some monster activations, that are tougher then the current ones. These could be used in higher difficulty settings.

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I would love to see some higher difficulties, and there are several methods they could use to adjust the difficulty.

Adjusting the minor peril time, is one, having minor perils activate sooner and last longer (major perils shouldn't happen sooner than they do on hard, since there is a fixed minimum number of turns required to traverse the map and perfom open door/token actions).

Monster groups could be more selective.  Preventing the app from choosing bad monster groups for the current heroes (Knowledge check events against heroes with high knowledge etc), picking stronger monster groups when available (flesh molders instead of dark priests, or golems instead of Ettins).  These could even be rated by the quest goals (for instance, ettins hit harder but golems are harder to take down, so depending on the timing of the quest, or whether the heroes are more likely to die from time related events or damage, one may be better than the other).

Gold and Item reduction, tweaking the store so only one weapon ever appears in the store on a given week.

Change to monster AI card events to be more dire.  Hero with the LOWEST knowledge checks knowledge instead of highest, etc.

 

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