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PinnacleOfJimbo

What is the point of this game being "unique"?

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1 hour ago, Battleruss said:

The example of the scenario card on the announcement page doesn't tickle my "Oh, this will be eminently replayable" senses. Looks like the specific scenario deck will be linear.

I worry about the randomness of the box's components. Will I get given the things I need to actually be able to complete the things I get given to do? Or will it be so anodyne a setting and story that it won't really matter whether I have a Lumberjack or a jet pilot? Will I be given a Mountaineer in a forest (and will their 'special ability' be so broadly defined that somehow they'll be as useful as a lumberjack would be)? 

I think that’s a legitimate concern. My guess is that each ‘random’ box is not intact completely random and that each come with certain core elements that are always applicable and explorers that can always benefit from those elements. 

This would make each ‘box’ a selection of puzzles (depending on what scenario is chosen and what explorer). Some scenarios might be more challenging than others? So we would see variance within a ‘box’ and variance across multiple boxes. How much fun and enjoyment to be had across that variance remains to be seen. 

Personally I think a lot of the fun is in accepting that challenge - can I survive with a mountaineer deep in the forest? Or a lumberjack lost in a desert? 

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3 minutes ago, Stenun said:

Oh I know.  Fancy wanting to experience everything a game might have to offer.  Who would do such a thing?

/sarcasm

Well uniques is a quality of itself. Put it this way: ‘that’ is what the game is offering?

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So again we have people blindly defending a customer unfriendly business practice. This really is beyond me. I'm going to go with one detailed example:

Descent 2nd edition

This game  has received a boatload of expansions allowing basically for anyone who owns it to set up endless types of dungeons and play for their entire lifetime without having to go through the same content thanks to the App (which uses contents you already own and pulls from them to create a UNIQUE campaign (sound familiar?))

- 72 heroes

- 26 classes

- 56 monsters

- 20 lieutenants (or bosses)

- and a ton of items and relics you could equip. Just make a quick math on how many permutations exists here to pick 4 heroes, 4 class 1 boss, maybe 6 monsters and let's say 12 items from this pool.. Yeah plenty enough to make Descent a "unique" game with each box priced a 80€ with different components slapped together.

Does that serve any purpose for you as a player? No. You could have the game like it has been actually sold: base game and expansions you buy on your own pace, expanding the possibilities of your game over time, and taking time to integrate everything that is new. The app make sure you will never walk through the same stuff  twice and here you go you have your unique experience like no on else had. This is achieved by letting everyone know what they buy and give you the choice. You don't want to buy all the expansions? Fine stick with the base game it sill works the same, and you can still have your unique experience through the app ( provided for free by the way). But for whoever wants it all, there is an option.

I'm convinced that the total number of components here is not bigger than what Descent 2.0 has  and it would have been nice to have a base game + expansions, enriching your game, being able to replay it as much as you want.

But instead you have 5 scenarios per box, (pandemic legacy for the same price gives you 12 by the way), the game heavily relies on the mystery and the unknown so it's mostly certain the replay value will be low once you know what you go against. So your only choice if you like the game? Buy another box.

And here comes really the ugly part that gets close to a lootbox system. You get anything in this new box that you already have? that's lost value that you can't replace. Obviously FFG will not consider buying you back any duplicates you might obtain, practically unfeasable. So the value for the new box is basically random depending on what you already have. And the more you buy, the more chances you have to get dupes. 

I still think this distribution model sucks for KeyForge but at least it's somehow justified by the the core principle of the game and the point of what Richard Garfield wanted to achieve. Here however this is pointless because this is not a competitive game. You don't care that other will have different components in the box. However the day you want to enrich your game and find some ways to expand it, and if you like the game, you will, because 5 scenarios again, that's 1 month worth of your time provided you play once per week, this is where this business model comes to bite you in the ***.

I'm convinced that FFG spend a lot of time and resources into R&D to put such type of algorithms in place for Keyforge and link it to a reliable printing system. Technically speaking, this a a real achievement, because they had to solve the issue of print on demand vs mass publication and still stay relevant in pricing. They want now to settle the investment by using it as much as possible.  Business-wise, it makes sense. But for a game like Discovery this is a totally unnecessary gimmick that will just spoil the long term experience we can have with the game.

It really grind my gears to see yet another apparently nice game design ruined by shady and customer unfriendly business model, and see this defended to the death by a mob of fans that cannot even take a step back and look at the wide picture, beyond their own single purchase and who keep fencing every criticism off with the same  generic arguments " you're not the core target" ," it's a new concept", "MTG sells randomness for decades and it's OK"," stop ruining everyone's life with your negativity, go somewhere else if you're not happy".

 

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3 hours ago, Battleruss said:

I worry about the randomness of the box's components. Will I get given the things I need to actually be able to complete the things I get given to do? Or will it be so anodyne a setting and story that it won't really matter whether I have a Lumberjack or a jet pilot? Will I be given a Mountaineer in a forest (and will their 'special ability' be so broadly defined that somehow they'll be as useful as a lumberjack would be)? 

I suspect that everything is designed to be moderately flexible, with abilities that can be used from one biome to another.

Unless your character is named "Gratuitous Extra Who Dies Ten Minutes Into the Show". Then you're hosed.

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Yeah,

Imagine if FFG sold X-Wing like this!?

$60 and you get a full 100pt squadron.

A unique combination of Pilots ships and upgrades. You didn’t get to choose the faction or the upgrades. But all the core components are the same. Dice templates tokens.

You can play a full experience!

What are you complaining about? Share your story with others and watch their videos on YouTube!

No one needs all the parts! That will cost hundereds $$€€££

But I f you really want another experience? Buy another $60 box.

 

Panic...

 

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19 hours ago, PinnacleOfJimbo said:

It makes a certain amount of sense with Keyforge, because the idea there is that you will buy multiple copies, or multiple decks. The price point of a single unit of Keyforge is very low.

This is a $60 game. Am I supposed to buy more than one copy? What value is there in it being "randomized" if I only need one copy to play, and I'm not likely to buy another copy?

I guess either I'm missing something, or "unique" is just a gimmick FFG is trying out.

From what I gather from the trailer is: you buy the game and you might end up in the desert, while my copy takes place in a tropical jungle. So you don't know where it takes place before you buy it.

On one hand, that really fits the theme. On the other hand it's a bit overkill doing it like that, and at 60 dollareedoos it's very steep.

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The way I'd have done it is like this: starter set with the player characters, and meeples and stuff. And two sealed packs containing an adventure and the random tiles.

And have random adventure/tile packs you could buy seperatly.

 

EDIT: And price them a lot cheaper!

Edited by Robin Graves

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1 hour ago, Hellvlad said:

But instead you have 5 scenarios per box, (pandemic legacy for the same price gives you 12 by the way), the game heavily relies on the mystery and the unknown so it's mostly certain the replay value will be low once you know what you go against. So your only choice if you like the game? Buy another box.

I think this is the point where we have a different understanding. My understanding is that you have some replayability in the box thanks to having different scenarios, character and I suppose random drawing mechanism of cards in the box. So of course the mystery will not be as high as your first game but there is still fun and adventures to be enjoyed. So I think that the only logical choice if you like the game is to play again with your own box. I do not think the intent is for people to buy several boxes.

If you are right and the replay value is low, except by purchasing another box then I totally agree with you but that's is not what the impression I had of what has been revealed so far.

They named the game Discovery, Lands Unknown is a subtitle. I suppose that we will have other games like Discovery: creatures unknown or who knows what.

But Discovery is part of the gimmick. I can agree that it is a way to sell their game but why not. If they have enough components to create a huge box that would cost $600 and contain all the different terrains, characters, scenarios, objects..., I would not be interested in buying that, I would name that game Overwhelmed: what do I do with all this. If the box at $60 gives you 10% of all the components but it enjoyable, I can live with the gimmick. It is quite implausible that I would play the game so much that having a big box will all the components would be worth it.

 

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3 minutes ago, wirbowsky said:

If they have enough components to create a huge box that would cost $600 and contain all the different terrains, characters, scenarios, objects..., I would not be interested in buying that, I would name that game Overwhelmed: what do I do with all this. If the box at $60 gives you 10% of all the components but it enjoyable, I can live with the gimmick. It is quite implausible that I would play the game so much that having a big box will all the components would be worth it.

 

 

Here is exactly the comparaison I was making with Descent. Of course a single 600 USD box is crazy and nearly no one will buy it. But a base game, + expansions it's exactly what has beeen done for ears and it works. IF you can spread the same 600 USD over 1 or 2 years? that sound way more approachable. What FFG tries here is to replace base game + expansions business model by unique game business model. For those who never bothered with expnsions and were fine with the base game this makes little difference. But for all the others it's a big loss

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2 hours ago, Robin Graves said:

Interesting how FFG is going from Living Card Games, where you know evereything before you buy it, to Unique games where you know nothing.

Yeah it is quite an interesting shift to the polar opposite end in distribution and transparency of products. I imagine there will be other games coming out besides just Keyforge and Discovery that will use this model. They even have a separate section of the forums dedicated to "Unique" games, so it seems to be an idea they are going to promote for a while if it sells well enough.

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3 hours ago, Hellvlad said:

So again we have people blindly defending a customer unfriendly business practice. This really is beyond me. I'm going to go with one detailed example:

Descent 2nd edition

This game  has received a boatload of expansions allowing basically for anyone who owns it to set up endless types of dungeons and play for their entire lifetime without having to go through the same content thanks to the App (which uses contents you already own and pulls from them to create a UNIQUE campaign (sound familiar?))

- 72 heroes

- 26 classes

- 56 monsters

- 20 lieutenants (or bosses)

- and a ton of items and relics you could equip. Just make a quick math on how many permutations exists here to pick 4 heroes, 4 class 1 boss, maybe 6 monsters and let's say 12 items from this pool.. Yeah plenty enough to make Descent a "unique" game with each box priced a 80€ with different components slapped together.

Does that serve any purpose for you as a player? No. You could have the game like it has been actually sold: base game and expansions you buy on your own pace, expanding the possibilities of your game over time, and taking time to integrate everything that is new. The app make sure you will never walk through the same stuff  twice and here you go you have your unique experience like no on else had. This is achieved by letting everyone know what they buy and give you the choice. You don't want to buy all the expansions? Fine stick with the base game it sill works the same, and you can still have your unique experience through the app ( provided for free by the way). But for whoever wants it all, there is an option.

I'm convinced that the total number of components here is not bigger than what Descent 2.0 has  and it would have been nice to have a base game + expansions, enriching your game, being able to replay it as much as you want.

But instead you have 5 scenarios per box, (pandemic legacy for the same price gives you 12 by the way), the game heavily relies on the mystery and the unknown so it's mostly certain the replay value will be low once you know what you go against. So your only choice if you like the game? Buy another box.

And here comes really the ugly part that gets close to a lootbox system. You get anything in this new box that you already have? that's lost value that you can't replace. Obviously FFG will not consider buying you back any duplicates you might obtain, practically unfeasable. So the value for the new box is basically random depending on what you already have. And the more you buy, the more chances you have to get dupes. 

I still think this distribution model sucks for KeyForge but at least it's somehow justified by the the core principle of the game and the point of what Richard Garfield wanted to achieve. Here however this is pointless because this is not a competitive game. You don't care that other will have different components in the box. However the day you want to enrich your game and find some ways to expand it, and if you like the game, you will, because 5 scenarios again, that's 1 month worth of your time provided you play once per week, this is where this business model comes to bite you in the ***.

I'm convinced that FFG spend a lot of time and resources into R&D to put such type of algorithms in place for Keyforge and link it to a reliable printing system. Technically speaking, this a a real achievement, because they had to solve the issue of print on demand vs mass publication and still stay relevant in pricing. They want now to settle the investment by using it as much as possible.  Business-wise, it makes sense. But for a game like Discovery this is a totally unnecessary gimmick that will just spoil the long term experience we can have with the game.

It really grind my gears to see yet another apparently nice game design ruined by shady and customer unfriendly business model, and see this defended to the death by a mob of fans that cannot even take a step back and look at the wide picture, beyond their own single purchase and who keep fencing every criticism off with the same  generic arguments " you're not the core target" ," it's a new concept", "MTG sells randomness for decades and it's OK"," stop ruining everyone's life with your negativity, go somewhere else if you're not happy".

 

It’s not only unique though. It’s also restricted. Which is needed to satisfy the other half of the explore / survive element of the equation. 

Lets say the ‘musket’ is awesome item. If you get one it makes certain scenarios a breeze. In your example I have “all the components” so why wouldn’t I include it? 

But if each box is a restricted pool, there’s no guarantee this item will appear. This means as players we have to find new strategies.

Arguably yes, this could be achieved with a ‘complete’ game and an App that somehow forces you to select certain components and not others pre game play. But that’s not much of a game experience (please spend the first 2 hours of game time sorting through all the bits you need for a game).

As for additional boxes - I don’t think we know yet if they act as expansions or not. Does the game world just get bigger? (I’ve got 6 mountains and... now I’ve got another 6). Duplicates might just mean ‘more’ game, not lost value.

 We also don’t know what any ‘expansions’ might look like. Survival booster packs of unusual items? Packs of new heroes? A pack of scenarios? Or a mix of everything? FFGs LCG model is 2-3 ‘core’ boxes plus expansion packs. Not impossible we see the same approach here?

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3 hours ago, Xelto said:

I suspect that everything is designed to be moderately flexible, with abilities that can be used from one biome to another.

Unless your character is named "Gratuitous Extra Who Dies Ten Minutes Into the Show". Then you're hosed.

They can probably pair up characters to certain biomes. So that lumberjack is always somewhere with wood.

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8 minutes ago, GroggyGolem said:

Yeah it is quite an interesting shift to the polar opposite end in distribution and transparency of products. I imagine there will be other games coming out besides just Keyforge and Discovery that will use this model. They even have a separate section of the forums dedicated to "Unique" games, so it seems to be an idea they are going to promote for a while if it sells well enough.

I imagine FFG feel they have the LCG model nailed down. It’s possible they have reached (or are close to reaching) market saturation of that type of product.

A bit of research has probably shown them that a % of game players like cracking open a new pack of ‘unknown’ stuff. In some ways that’s part of the culture? “What’s this game going to be like?”.

Players who like certainty in experience; well this probably isn’t a game for them - which is fine (we can’t all like the same things). 

I play X Wing and it’s possible in that game to almost predict what kind of experience you’re going to get from seeing the previews to dropping models onto the board. It’s great fun, but I don’t have much of a sense of discovery/exploration from playing (nor would I want any). 

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14 minutes ago, Tam Palso said:

I imagine FFG feel they have the LCG model nailed down. It’s possible they have reached (or are close to reaching) market saturation of that type of product.

A bit of research has probably shown them that a % of game players like cracking open a new pack of ‘unknown’ stuff. In some ways that’s part of the culture? “What’s this game going to be like?”.

Players who like certainty in experience; well this probably isn’t a game for them - which is fine (we can’t all like the same things). 

I play X Wing and it’s possible in that game to almost predict what kind of experience you’re going to get from seeing the previews to dropping models onto the board. It’s great fun, but I don’t have much of a sense of discovery/exploration from playing (nor would I want any). 

Oh, absolutely, going from a company known for their transparency of product to random blind buys seems very much a business decision (and tbh, a smart one, as pokemon, yugioh, mtg have been selling product for yeeeaars). It just probably isn't a popular business decision with some customers (such as myself), given that FFG has built a reputation with their customers regarding their transparency of the distribution of cards/components in their games.

There's definitely people out there who enjoy blind buys; I used to enjoy it when I got into Heroclix years ago, before I was disillusioned with it after spending so much money and having very little of the rare figures to show for it. Still I had fun playing the game when I got the chance, I just found I had to quit the game to break myself of that mentality of impulse buying to hopefully get the epic loot and when I see a game that has that same sort of distribution model, I choose not to buy into it.

I definitely enjoy certainty in experience, it's why I have bought many, many FFG products (collected some of Star Wars LCG, had a modest collection of X-Wing waves before I sold them due to never getting the chance to play anymore, I run Star Wars and Genesys RPG's and I've got the base game and an expansion for Cosmic Encounter).

Yeah my experience with X-Wing was that the excitement came with announcement articles and theorycrafting a squad I would enjoy with what I had at the time, seeing how the new stuff fit into that and then playtesting it with a friend. Unfortunately it was a game I couldn't get many into and 1 vs 1 games can fizzle out when the other person's life gets busy. I stick to boardgames and RPG now, as I prefer group gaming over 1 vs 1 gaming.

Edited by GroggyGolem

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FFG originally had some CCGs with CoC and AGoT. They then switched to LCGs because they were more effective that way.

Unique seems like a new way to do things that fits a different niche in the market.

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3 hours ago, StupidPanic said:

Imagine if FFG sold X-Wing like this!?

$60 and you get a full 100pt squadron.

A unique combination of Pilots ships and upgrades. 

I know this was supposed to be a horrible scenario, but tease it out a little.

When you buy the pack you get a team at 100pts. Those pilots all have unique Star Wars names and a unique combination of ships and upgrades that no other team will have. The composition has been designed by an AI that makes sure that the upgrades make sense and there are combinations with in the team.

Each squadron comes with it's own unique call sign (painted on all the ships!) and QR code. The QR code is used to track their performance in competitive games. Success means the team get medals! But might also result in injury or infamy penalising them in future games.

It certainly wouldn't be the game of X-Wing we have now, and it certainly wouldn't be for everyone. What a game though! 

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You know what's weird?  The more I think about this game's concept the more I like it.  The same thing happened with Keyforge.  Initially for both games I felt pretty apathetic, but then as it stewed in my head I got more and more excited about the idea of having my own unique experience with a game.

Edited by phillos

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6 hours ago, Hellvlad said:

So again we have people blindly defending a customer unfriendly business practice.

I think it’s presumptuous to assume that a practice is unfriendly to the consumer when the publisher is being completely transparent about what the concept for the game is and before a single gameplay impression is available. I completely understand how someone could be put off by buying a $60 boardgame without knowing definitively what’s going to be in the box. But the value proposition for everyone is going to be different and a “unique” game is no different in this regard.

I have friends who absolutely refuse to spend $50 on Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective because it’s not replayable. I disagree and think that $50 on SHCD is some of the best money you can spend on a tabletop experience, but that’s their prerogative.

It’s the same with this. If someone is a “completionist” and doesn’t want to buy a game knowing they cannot possibly own all of it, that’s their prerogative.

But it’s weird to say this product isn’t friendly to the consumer when the example you listed is Descent 2nd Ed where, to buy all components at MSRP currently on FFG’s page you’d have to drop $1000 USD. If you want to say that just Descent 2nd Ed core has more value than Discover does... well... 1) we don’t know what kind of replayability one box of Discover will bring to the table and 2) the original MSRP for Descent 2nd Ed was 33% more expensive than Discovery is going to retail for at launch.

Edited by KalEl814

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1 hour ago, GroggyGolem said:

Oh, absolutely, going from a company known for their transparency of product to random blind buys seems very much a business decision (and tbh, a smart one, as pokemon, yugioh, mtg have been selling product for yeeeaars). It just probably isn't a popular business decision with some customers (such as myself), given that FFG has built a reputation with their customers regarding their transparency of the distribution of cards/components in their games.

There's definitely people out there who enjoy blind buys; I used to enjoy it when I got into Heroclix years ago, before I was disillusioned with it after spending so much money and having very little of the rare figures to show for it. Still I had fun playing the game when I got the chance, I just found I had to quit the game to break myself of that mentality of impulse buying to hopefully get the epic loot and when I see a game that has that same sort of distribution model, I choose not to buy into it.

I definitely enjoy certainty in experience, it's why I have bought many, many FFG products (collected some of Star Wars LCG, had a modest collection of X-Wing waves before I sold them due to never getting the chance to play anymore, I run Star Wars and Genesys RPG's and I've got the base game and an expansion for Cosmic Encounter).

Yeah my experience with X-Wing was that the excitement came with announcement articles and theorycrafting a squad I would enjoy with what I had at the time, seeing how the new stuff fit into that and then playtesting it with a friend. Unfortunately it was a game I couldn't get many into and 1 vs 1 games can fizzle out when the other person's life gets busy. I stick to boardgames and RPG now, as I prefer group gaming over 1 vs 1 gaming.

Great post. Like you I rarely get to game with others although I was a big RPG fan years ago. I’m now limited to the odd X Wing tournaments.

For that reason Discover is a great game for me: just as I wouldn’t know what the GM had in store for the next RPG session if Discover is a good solo play I’ve basically got an unknown adventure in a box. For me at least that’s pretty appealing.

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Here's the thing I don't get. These sorts of games (like 7th continent for example) typically have tons of replayability, out of the box. So they in a sense randomize themselves, without needing to buy multiple copies. I don't understand why they didn't just make it a typical replayable game and instead went this confusing route. I'm not as angry about this one as Keyforge, just confused. It doesn't really make sense. Adventure games have always had randomly generated encounters and stories. So why does this one need to only have one route per copy?

The old core+expansions model seems to work better here. So an expansion pack that adds jungles, one that adds deserts, one that adds alien planets, whatever it may be. 

And you can still do the whole "unique" maybe by randomizing the adventurers and maybe some of the cards/quest-thingies.

Edited by Supertoe

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1 hour ago, Supertoe said:

Here's the thing I don't get. These sorts of games (like 7th continent for example) typically have tons of replayability, out of the box. So they in a sense randomize themselves, without needing to buy multiple copies. I don't understand why they didn't just make it a typical replayable game and instead went this confusing route. I'm not as angry about this one as Keyforge, just confused. It doesn't really make sense. Adventure games have always had randomly generated encounters and stories. So why does this one need to only have one route per copy?

The old core+expansions model seems to work better here. So an expansion pack that adds jungles, one that adds deserts, one that adds alien planets, whatever it may be. 

And you can still do the whole "unique" maybe by randomizing the adventurers and maybe some of the cards/quest-thingies.

They are probably taking the random part to it's extreme. Or they have gone insane. Possibly the latter. 

Atleast with Keyforge its decently priced. I already think that 60$ for a boardgame is to expensive... Making the box about 80% blind bag isn't helping.

 

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2 hours ago, Supertoe said:

Here's the thing I don't get. These sorts of games (like 7th continent for example) typically have tons of replayability, out of the box. So they in a sense randomize themselves, without needing to buy multiple copies. I don't understand why they didn't just make it a typical replayable game and instead went this confusing route. I'm not as angry about this one as Keyforge, just confused. It doesn't really make sense. Adventure games have always had randomly generated encounters and stories. So why does this one need to only have one route per copy?

The old core+expansions model seems to work better here. So an expansion pack that adds jungles, one that adds deserts, one that adds alien planets, whatever it may be. 

And you can still do the whole "unique" maybe by randomizing the adventurers and maybe some of the cards/quest-thingies.

7th Continent isn’t really random. The map is always the same, more or less. Encounters can be random, and curses can change your starting tile. But the map is the map. You try, you die, you try again. That cave, that cliff... they’re always in the same spot.

Hard to say from what we know about Discover which one will have more “replay value.”

31 minutes ago, Robin Graves said:

They are probably taking the random part to it's extreme. Or they have gone insane. Possibly the latter. 

Atleast with Keyforge its decently priced. I already think that 60$ for a boardgame is to expensive... Making the box about 80% blind bag isn't helping.

Yeah I think this gets back to the value prop, which is such a hard thing to gauge since it’s so personal.

Pandemic Legacy was one of the better times I’ve had with a game so the cost seems justified. I can’t totally begrudge someone who thinks $80 (or whatever MSRP is) for a game you destroy is preposterous even though I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a group of players so terrified that a character was going to die, only to be so relieved when they realized we actually lost the month right before the next outbreak happened which would have killed our beloved Dr. Derp... the tension just wouldn’t have been there if we didn’t have to rip up the card upon death! $80 for four friends to have a totally rad 12-24 game campaign doesn’t seem like too steep a price.

So I dunno. The art here seems great. And with so many games on the shelves of shops where we know 100% of what we are gonna get, and where the web breaks down everything to min : max it right away... I just don’t see the harm in a product or even a small line of them where you really dunno what you’ll get. That and Corey designing it have me really curious at the least. 

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I for one think that most of this discussion will be obsolete when more information is passed to us. Most likely it all comes down to your expectations to the Game. I can totally see myself buying one copy when it is released. For me it doesnt make any difference whether it is random or not. Being unique may just be a nice gimmick. My copy of Robinson Crusoe has hit the table a dozen time and we always play the same scenario. As the exploration is in both games random i can totally see a decent replay value there. I for one will keep calm (and positively excited) and wait for more information to come.

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