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Duciris

Consistant Narritive Vs. Random/Replayability

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I'm not sold on random as a selling point.  It won't be the same here as what I'm about to reference, but I still think it's worth a conversation.

After a few playthroughs of Diablo III, the randomization of the dungeons didn't do it for me anymore.  I found games that randomized their boards a little too inconsistent to be appealing.  I passed on No Man's Sky because of this lack of appeal (I know, what a shame).

This mirrors some of my concerns for random.  If a game has a scripted version, but can also be setup with a random version, I almost only play the scripted one.  I find the purely random setup for Dominion and Twilight Imperium to be too chaotic, however, selective random setup for both are usually preferred for me.

Without having my hands on this I cannot judge it fully, but given the option at the moment I'd choose 7th Continent over this.  7thC has random events (and other elements) but it gives consistent waypoints for the player.  How the player reaches those waypoints, and how many hours it takes them is driven by the player, but those waypoints are consistent in each of the curses (missions).

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17 hours ago, Duciris said:

I'm not sold on random as a selling point.  It won't be the same here as what I'm about to reference, but I still think it's worth a conversation.

After a few playthroughs of Diablo III, the randomization of the dungeons didn't do it for me anymore.  I found games that randomized their boards a little too inconsistent to be appealing.  I passed on No Man's Sky because of this lack of appeal (I know, what a shame).

This mirrors some of my concerns for random.  If a game has a scripted version, but can also be setup with a random version, I almost only play the scripted one.  I find the purely random setup for Dominion and Twilight Imperium to be too chaotic, however, selective random setup for both are usually preferred for me.

Without having my hands on this I cannot judge it fully, but given the option at the moment I'd choose 7th Continent over this.  7thC has random events (and other elements) but it gives consistent waypoints for the player.  How the player reaches those waypoints, and how many hours it takes them is driven by the player, but those waypoints are consistent in each of the curses (missions).

It is a struggle for coop games to be able to keep things fresh after a few playthroughs because you play to defeat a system Once you understand the system the game loses a lot of its charm and you are left with a few options:

- Different difficulty settings. This will keep up the challenge but it does not solve the problem that players will know more and more the system they face and it ends up in a pure puzzle / numeric problem they will try to beat by min/maxing their abilities.

- A legacy system. Like Pandemic did, keeps it all fresh but has 0 replay value unless you re-buy a full box.

- Randomness. This guarantees you will never face the 2 same situations. However, the game can feel artificial and bland at times because some combinations will feel weird or make no sense and brake the sense of immersion the theme of the game tries to put. This is the part that puts you off of it if I understood well.

- Script. This works really good but requires a LOT of work. Gloomhaven or Arkham LCG do that, or even before these we had the "choose your own adventure" type of books. The scripts are designed to replace a game master, or another actual opponent / narrator you will be put against. This can be done through multiple ways some clunkier than others (remember Atmosfear) ? The problem with Scripts is that replayability is low and once you know what you go against, there is little incentive to go on. Gloomhaven fixes that by the gigantic amount of scenario and the 100+ hours campaign.

- Player choice: Having the player to choose between multiple different characters or abilities that all work with entirely different mechanics will allow replayability as you will have to solve known puzzles with new unknown tools. This is why having alts in an MMO is so appealing.

- Have an app/computer software be the opponent and design it to be the less obvious possible about the process he follows to take its decisions. It's the whole principle of video games and applies usually poorly to board games

- Put a real time pressure on the players to prevent them to think and weight all the possible options and push them to react more instinctively to the situation the game presents them.

 

That's about all the solutions I see, Most games will tend to combine 2-3 of these rather than sticking to one. But on the long term randomness is the best value proposition for long term replayability that will not require a crazy amount of work. You can always replace it with scripting, but you will turn any "regular" 50/60 USD product in to a monster-game like Gloomhaven and given the budget you cannot target the same audience.

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9 minutes ago, Hellvlad said:

It is a struggle for coop games to be able to keep things fresh after a few playthroughs because you play to defeat a system Once you understand the system the game loses a lot of its charm and you are left with a few options:

- Different difficulty settings. This will keep up the challenge but it does not solve the problem that players will know more and more the system they face and it ends up in a pure puzzle / numeric problem they will try to beat by min/maxing their abilities.

- A legacy system. Like Pandemic did, keeps it all fresh but has 0 replay value unless you re-buy a full box.

Pandemic Legacy didn't have replay value. Yes, you could start over if you purchased a new game, but you knew what was coming, which spoiled the effects they were looking for.

I think that if FFG crossed their unique game system with a legacy game system, I would be a lot more interested—though my final decision on that would end up being influenced heavily by the number of game sessions I could expect to play compared to the price I would have to pay for it. 

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On 8/13/2018 at 7:13 PM, Duciris said:

After a few playthroughs of Diablo III, the randomization of the dungeons didn't do it for me anymore.  I found games that randomized their boards a little too inconsistent to be appealing.  I passed on No Man's Sky because of this lack of appeal (I know, what a shame).

Well, for me, the main incentive to keep playing Diablo III was initially to play all the different characters. I first played the campaign with every available class and then pretty much stopped except for the occasional multi-player session with friends. Then I discovered season play (in adventure mode, i.e. play random quests) and again played one season with each of the classes. Now, I'm pretty much done with the game, but given that I spent hundreds of hours playing, it was still an excellent investment.

In solo/co-op (adventure) board games it's actually similar: I really enjoy trying out all of the different combinations of characters. This approach even works for games like 'Race for the Galaxy': Here I set myself the goal to play with each of the starting worlds against each other starting world (controlled by the robot).

So, for 'Discover' replayability would largely depend on how different the characters are and what the impact of their abilities on the game is.

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