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Schicksalsknecht

Please fix "Heart of the Elders" scenario A

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Hi there,

I really have to create this post, sorry...

Why? Because it would be my favorite scenario (and I have all cycles so far), but it has such a significant flaw (and the first one which really bothers me) which makes me feel… no, never play it again. Even Forgotten Age!

We love the idea of "Heart of the Elders"! Why? Because of the splitting into two scenarios, the re-usage of the exploration decks (back in the jungle, yeah) and the idea to have the ability to re-start scenario A as well in order to get all pillars. The scenario A is also well-designed, has a nice feeling, is not too hard (time to breath). WOOWWWW! Such great ideas!!!! Please more!!! As I said, it would be my favorite scenario.

HOWEVER, the flaw…

****SPOILER ALERT****

After taking the first hurdle… you can restart the scenario again and again? Without any penalty? WHAT???

I really thought a lot about it, but I couldn't find any reason why you shouldn't start the scenario over and over again? Ok, you might not get that many XP, but besides that?

What are the consequences?

- If your starting hand is bad… start all over
- If you get hurt.... start all over
- If the wrong mythos card is drawn… start all over
- If the exploration deck is bad… start all over
- Once you've got another pillar… start all over

=> The scenario is trivial!

and even worse:

===> Performing well in the previous scenarios is not needed!!! You get all pillars "for free" in this scenario! So, why bothering in previous scenarios (once you want to replay the campaign and know how things work). This is taking all my joy playing this campaign!

That's a big bummer in my opinion???

As said above… don't get me wrong, a perfect idea! It's also ok to have a scenario which is not too hard, finally (a kind of catch up mechanism for the rest of the campaign). However, not having any penalty is a FLAW.

It would be that easy to fix! Just integrate a minor penalty! The scenario would remain easy (and awesome), previous scenarios (pillars) would still have a little bit of significance.
Why not requiring "gas" for restarting (given that you can restart at least once/twice for free, e.g. you automatically get two gas before starting the first time)? Wouldn't that be thematic?
Or at least one investigator gets a psychotrauma for a restart (also not THAT bad).

I hope that this will be fixed! FAQ? Or latest with the "Return to…" box :(

 

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On 11/22/2018 at 4:22 AM, Schicksalsknecht said:

===> Performing well in the previous scenarios is not needed!!! You get all pillars "for free" in this scenario! So, why bothering in previous scenarios (once you want to replay the campaign and know how things work). This is taking all my joy playing this campaign!

You do still get the experience points for cleaning up Boundary Beyond, and you need to earn at least three pillars if you want to restore Ichtaca's faith. Otherwise, I agree completely.

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I believe you do take trauma for losing so you get weaker and weaker, this is where we decided to abandon Forgotten Age for now.

Personally, I hated the mechanic, but as your post suggests YMMV. 

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14 hours ago, sfo2018 said:

I believe you do take trauma for losing so you get weaker and weaker, this is where we decided to abandon Forgotten Age for now.

Only if you get defeated. Like I said, the problem is that you're better off running at the first sign of trouble instead of actually making a decent effort. If you compare Doom of Eztli, that scenario gets harder each time you repeat it until eventually you either blow up the temple or get everyone killed and have Alejandro steal the relic himself. With Heart of the Ancients (A), each replay gets easier, because you retain your act progress. It has to get easier, because there's no alternative to failure beyond just playing again.

If there's going to be a retry option, there needs to be both a penalty to failure beyond the usual penalties for defeat and an alternative solution so players eventually have a way out (whether they get buried under the penalties or just want to move on). Imagine, for instance, that Heart of the Elders (A) gave you a choice when you failed: You could either blow up the door by force, gaining 5 Yig's Fury for each missing pillar, or you could try again the next day, adding one (cumulative) doom to Mouth of K'n-yan that persists through agendas and into Part B. That gives you a way out of the rut and penalizes you for running away.

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There is a penalty to restarting if you've accumulated any victory points, in which case they are lost. But if you are doing well on your last run you could always stall on unlocking the final pillar to rack up VP. Overall, I agree, the design is a bit flawed here. There should be some cost to spending additional time unlocking the cave. Luckily I never ran into trouble during the scenario, so only had to do it once. 

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First time we got that far in the campaign, we aced Boundary of Time and got all 6 locations stabilised.

Our reward for doing so was to skip Heart of the Elders pt. 1 entirely. It seemed like the latest in a long line of bad design decisions, giving us a reward of less content to play.

Now we have the full campaign, we've just reached that point with a mere 4 locations stabilised and now I get to see what the fuss is about. I'm braced for mediocrity...

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I think the idea is that the longer you stay in HotE-A the more chance you have of getting poisoned.   If you have to replay it you stand a very good chance of acquiring this weakness or trauma.   In fact we just replayed this scenario last night, and I'd never done a pillar re-start in it before.   Obviously a lot depends on how your campaign went so far.    For us,  we needed 1 pillar on our second time through.   We could have easily snagged it and moved on to part B, but would have gotten no VPs if we did that.   So we played for XP.  

We had the Serpent hounding us the whole time through, and we found it difficult to get away from him as many of the locations are connected, and we couldnt exhaust him by placing a pillar token since that would end the scenario immediately.  We also had run out of gas and were unable to mulligan,  my starting hand as Rex was very poor, and even though the serpent doesnt AoO you, it is still difficult to get set up with him around dealing you damage every round in the monster phase as you spend your actions getting your gear out,  and that's only made worse if you have to draw in to all your gear first.   

We didn't have the map, and we were never able to find the Ancient location in the exploration deck, and while we still had doom on the clock, we had to finish the scenario before we found it, because of concerns over our remaining HP and sanity.   In the end we managed to pick up 3 VPs,  2 from locations and 1 from an Apex Strangleweed.   Ok, but not great.   

I think it's fine to have a scenario where the main goal is to amass XP and not get poisoned.   Especially if it's only half a scenario.   Really I enjoyed my time, and didn't find it to be annoying or poorly designed at all.  I like this scenario quite a bit and consider it far, far superior to say,  City of Archives.  

Edited by awp832

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Even me said in the initial post that this scenario is well-designed, not poorly designed! I also mentioned already that you would loose XP (resp. not gain XP) etc.

Please don't think that I want to fire against this scenario. Quite the opposite! I am just dissapointed by this stupid flaw!

We can discuss a lot about poison, XP etc. However, after I reached a certain state, from a rule point of view nothing does prevent me from selecting my starting hand card by card, because I can restart infinitely.
Yes, that's not thematic, not "realistic", that's not fun, noone with brain should do this… bla bla… that's clear to me, but this is exactly what I mean! Where is the border? If my starting hand is bad, should I only redraw once (come back the next day), twice (the very next day) or until next month and retry every day?

Why do the rules of that scenario allow me to do that? That's simply a flaw!

It can be fixed very easily? Don't you think that this should be fixed? Why not? Do you think getting a trauma, for example, would be such a problem?

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Or you could play by strict rules and instead of assuming you might have eventually mulliganed enough for that God hand you manually selected, just keep drawing opening hands until you find one that's good enough. That's within the rules and still involves playing the game.

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  I think the point was that, if you actually keep drawing mulligans hoping for the God-Hand, you're going to get tired of it. Eventually you'll take one that's just "good enough." So playing strictly by the rules and actually doing the mulligans prevents some of the abuse possibility you pointed out. 

  It also goes against one of the design maxims, "Never give the player the choice between feeling bored or feeling stupid," but I still think that was his point.

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Ah ok, understood now :)

I agree… somehow... but on the other side, just the fact that rules mention that I have to do something "in real life" doesn't mean for me that I cannot virtually skip an infinite number of mulligans, if there is no meaning to actually do it in real life.

Or more pragmatically, it is usually ok to just do 20-30 mulligans, so that's my hand is "good". I would not be able to select the "perfect" hand anyways. Together with the other aspects I mentioned the scenario simply gets trivial.

I am really wondering, why people here rather defend the way it is.

Edited by Schicksalsknecht

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If the optimal way to play breaches a design maxim, that is the fault of the design, not of the player. Likewise, patience of players shouldn't be part of game balance.

Without wishing to get into a long critique of the scenario or the campaign as a whole, when we did get around to Heart of the Elders pt. 1, it was not a positive experience. If I was being generous, I'd call it "unnecessary".

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