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Thaeggan

I don't understand the app hate

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The forced nature of the app is the problem. Its not about providing players with options the way Descent does, its about limiting the experience. If you don't like apps, as I don't, tough luck. While the logistics are an issue, the big problem I have is that it breaks the immersion. I simply don't like the "feel" of it and can't get invested.

On ‎4‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 2:10 AM, Nanich said:

I am not sure what the concern is either. For people who do not like app supported games, they should play games that are not app supported. There are a lot of games that I do not enjoy. Desert themed games I have always found quite boring, but I do not go on forums to hate on them, I just don't play them.

I think the people who do not like the idea of the app, are more concerned that there is a game coming out that has a theme they enjoy, but is not actually the game that they want. If that is the case, just play a different game.

 

 

 

Many people say this. The problem is if there is another Lord of the Rings branded, RPG themed, Gloomhaven style board game out there I can't find it. The physical parts of the game look fantastic; too bad its just half a game.

On ‎3‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 11:21 AM, Theldyrn said:

Boardgame apps are here to stay, and Journeys in Middle Earth won't be the last title to require one. While there's nothing wrong with not liking apps, any serious arguments that games shouldn't include them are now dead.

As for this game, after watching the live play through, I suspect that its app may be the best boardgame app ever, above "Mansions of Madness". 

 

There are no reasons to exclude apps but plenty of reasons not to force players to use apps. I won't labour the point as it has been argued to death in other forums but I will say that while apps make it easier for some people (not a criticism) there is nothing an app can do that a physical game can't if you can be bothered to develop the game mechanics.

On ‎3‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 10:54 PM, tibia said:

Buying a tablet will just slightly improve the logistics, but it will definitely "improve" the cost of the game 😉

Anyway, the market will tell us if this is a "good" solution. 🙂

Many many years ago there was a boardgame called Atmosfear which tried to introduce the support of VCR cassettes: it was a clear flop 🙂

I don't think that the market will in this case. Fantasy Flight has such a huge following that people will buy it simply because it is Fantasy Flight. Likewise Middle Earth remains very popular among gamers. The brands advertise themselves now and this game was always going to be a money spinner regardless of quality.

On ‎4‎/‎4‎/‎2019 at 11:49 PM, Wandalf the Gizzard said:

Remind me why you’re on this forum?

Stumbled on to it while searching for something else.

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, nathanielb said:

There are no reasons to exclude apps but plenty of reasons not to force players to use apps. I won't labour the point as it has been argued to death in other forums but I will say that while apps make it easier for some people (not a criticism) there is nothing an app can do that a physical game can't if you can be bothered to develop the game mechanics.

How would other games manage event texts with varying success and tile placement?

I can only imagine this scenario without the app... open a book, then if players do X, turn to page 3B and read aloud and perform a test. Then depending on the players success, go to section 3C, 3D, or 3E.

Next event occurs, turn to page 4A if players did 3D result on page 3B, place the following tiles and enemies. Otherwise move to 4B and read allowed and perform a test. Rinse repeat.

Consolidating the puzzle of steps to an automated app sounds far better than my speculation above.

Edited by Thaeggan

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9 hours ago, Majushi said:

It’s a full game. Too bad you don’t like half of it...

I'm afraid I'd have to agree there seems to be less strategy than I'd like, based on first impressions. 😕 Of course, we've only seen the first intro adventures (what do you call them?), so thankfully there's a large chance I'm dead wrong.

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2 hours ago, Wandalf the Gizzard said:

I'm afraid I'd have to agree there seems to be less strategy than I'd like, based on first impressions. 😕 Of course, we've only seen the first intro adventures (what do you call them?), so thankfully there's a large chance I'm dead wrong.

Yeah, I think the opening mission(s) will be simpler to introduce the mechanics. Then later missions are more likely to get complex.

I suppose it's a wait and see at this point. It'll be hard to know what the missions have in store without spoiling the campaign for yourself, but you can always wait for playthroughs before buying the game.

I mean, I don't think the game is going to disappear immediately after release, so you can probably wait to buy it for a while...

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18 hours ago, Majushi said:

It’s a full game. Too bad you don’t like half of it... 

You are correct. I should have written "too bad it's half a board game".

11 hours ago, Thaeggan said:

How would other games manage event texts with varying success and tile placement?

I can only imagine this scenario without the app... open a book, then if players do X, turn to page 3B and read aloud and perform a test. Then depending on the players success, go to section 3C, 3D, or 3E.

Next event occurs, turn to page 4A if players did 3D result on page 3B, place the following tiles and enemies. Otherwise move to 4B and read allowed and perform a test. Rinse repeat.

Consolidating the puzzle of steps to an automated app sounds far better than my speculation above. 

Ah, but it is manageable, can be done, and is considered fun by many people. I also seriously doubt that the app will provide complexity. Nothing shown thus far has been anything approaching a complex sequence of events. Now this doesn't mean that you can't have an app. I have always supported the idea of versatility and for people to play the games they want in the way they like. Anyone who argues that you shouldn't have an optional app is wrong. As stated, the problem is that the app is forced. Rather than providing play options, this setup has taken options away. There is no deluxe edition or app-less expansion to substitute the app. I also question how easy some aspects of the app are really going to be. You manage your cards and play them, imputing your details into a series of fields having effectively already done the maths. It seems like extra steps for little benefit. Set-up is clearly easier but at a cost of table-top interactivity.

Going back to the original question, I wonder if the reason for why this particular game is getting hate is that it is so significant. XCOM was a less popular property, Mansions of Madness was already owned by many and if you had it and didn't want the app then you could just stick to the previous version. Journeys is unique. Its a big IP that has never had a game like this and a lot of people are going to be upset that they are being left out by the way some of the content is being delivered.

From Fantasy Flight's perspective, I wonder about how it will effect sales. Its clearly a huge seller, but there seem to be many people who are giving it a miss due to the app. They lost three sales from my group and my group is tiny so they must be loosing sales from other people. Will the monetisation of the game as new modules are released for download make up for it and will they outsell print-on-demand style add-ons? I have no idea, just voicing some ideas.

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I do understand some actions on the board can be done without the app. However, usually there is someone controlling the board and people already will be relaying their actions to them, so might as well confirm it within an app.

 

I also understand people want physical forms of products. Hopefully with LoTR being a huge IP, a fan will data mine the app or document all the scenarios and put it on paper. I doubt FFG will do it themselves and I personally don't see a reason for it or dislike/hate for the app just because it is the only medium to play the game. The game will still play the same regardless it came with a book or an app, but the app in my opinion will make it a far smoother experience especially for those who don't play board games often.

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It is quite possible that people in these forums makes scenarios that does not require the app. The game system is not that complicated, but I definitely like that the app is making the bookkeeping. I don`t like that part in Gloomhaven! Gloomhaven definitely would have been better game if it would have been made similar way as this around the app!

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Now I understood which is my problem with this game 🙂

Reading many of the threads, these are my conclusions:

- the majority of the people plays alone and some in 2 people

- there is "a lot" of interaction with the app (the majority of the time?)

The result, for me, is clear: why call it a boardgame and not a PC/App game with some "physical support"?

IMHO a boardgame is played within a group of people (normally 4, some times more, some times 2) with a lot of interaction among them and at most 5% of time to interact with a PC/App: this seems not the case, at least this is my impression reading your experiences.

Maybe I am wrong, but the threads seem not to contradict my opinion 🙂

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I find the app to be great.  The atmosphere with the music and sound effects. How it tracks and saves information for you.  Plus the way it generates the map and events in the game.

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2 hours ago, tibia said:

Now I understood which is my problem with this game 🙂

Reading many of the threads, these are my conclusions:

- the majority of the people plays alone and some in 2 people

- there is "a lot" of interaction with the app (the majority of the time?)

The result, for me, is clear: why call it a boardgame and not a PC/App game with some "physical support"?

IMHO a boardgame is played within a group of people (normally 4, some times more, some times 2) with a lot of interaction among them and at most 5% of time to interact with a PC/App: this seems not the case, at least this is my impression reading your experiences.

Maybe I am wrong, but the threads seem not to contradict my opinion 🙂

The majority of people are playing alone or with 2 people because the game is brand new. Everyone is anxious to play immediately and a solo or 2 person group is the easiest way to play often and get through a few campaigns. I've also read other threads with people saying they've already got dates set up with their gaming groups to play with more people.

We don't call it a PC/App game with some "physical support" because it IS a board game with some "PC/App support". The app does not control every aspect of the game. In fact, it really highlights the idea of a fellowship of players vs. an evil Sauron-esque AI. All the physical content like boons, gear, items, titles, damage/fear, abilities, etc. are all for the player heroes while all the digital content is for the AI enemies, terrain, and story. I think it's a really cool dynamic tbh.

I feel the app does an excellent job at striking a healthy balance between the digital and physical. It streamlines and supports the game by keeping the flow moving too. The game doesn't crawl and the atmosphere isn't killed by having to pull out and manage a ton of extra materials or sift through a book for more instructions. And that's where the app ultimately shines: management of the game. I'm not saying EVERY board game needs an app; but for RPG styled games like this one, they prove to be a major help instead of a hindrance. Just look at the apps both fan-made and manufacturer-made for games like Gloomhaven, Descent and Imperial Assault to name a few. The benefit is there and desired.

Saying that if a game even has 5% of its interaction controlled by an app makes it a PC/app/video game is honestly ridiculous. Even saying this game is no longer a board game is a huge stretch. If you want a PC/app/video game with "physical support", I'd look at games like Disney Infinity, Nintendo Amiibo, or Skylanders as examples. None of the app supported board games I can think of come close to those. If FFG wanted to make LotR:JiME an app game, they would've put the WHOLE game on the app like the digital version of the LotR LCG that just came out. 

Obviously everyone doesn't feel the same way. That's just the nature of humanity. I'm sorry many players will be missing out on this fantastic game because they can't get past an app supporting a part of the game that some physical material would be doing anyways. To each their own, but I've thoroughly enjoyed the first 3 missions of the campaign with my brother and I'm looking forward to our next play session. I'm also super pumped to paint my minis and see what content comes down the pipeline in the future.

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I like some app games. Mansions, Imperial Assault, and Descent with app work for me since they make the games coop and that's my preference.

 

However, I do think theme should be considered when making the app/board game decision and I find the world of Tolkien to be decidedly antithetical to the screen life. I wish this particular game required no screen time. If I can handle the Silmarillion I can handle a scenario book. For this game I'd prefer all analogue. But I have it and I'm enjoying it.

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If someone was really keen to play this without an app they could load it and record every single instance of search tokens etc. Make a deck of them, and then play it. (Yeah, that’s a fair bit of leg work but doable. At this point you may gain an appreciation for all the minutiae the app actually handles for you)

the game has been designed like it has for a reason. If you don’t like it you have two choices.

move on and find something else.

or

make it work somehow for yourself.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, The Archangel said:

Saying that if a game even has 5% of its interaction controlled by an app makes it a PC/app/video game is honestly ridiculous.

Sorry, it was 50%, but the 0 ... This percentage was in a review (half of the time).

Edited by tibia

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On 5/1/2019 at 8:21 PM, The Archangel said:

The majority of people are playing alone or with 2 people because the game is brand new. Everyone is anxious to play immediately and a solo or 2 person group is the easiest way to play often and get through a few campaigns. I've also read other threads with people saying they've already got dates set up with their gaming groups to play with more people.

i a`m one of those people that like the psysical components of a board game but also like the option to play solo most of the time , i might play once a month with some friends and even that is not likely to happen.So any combination of a good rpg style game makes me happy and i might want even more from the app ,like more voice acting ,figures on the map etc.

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I like the app myself, I didn't find it intrusive, I thought it added to the experience.

People who are critical of the game say things like it tries to be all these different things and fails at all of them, but I don't agree.  I find the sum of all the parts to be an enjoyable experience.  With the app, it's sort of like playing a video game, but you also have the hands on physical experience of a board game.  You get to explore like a dungeon crawler, and you get to manage your decks like a card game.  Or you can look at the app sort of like a portable dungeon master in a box.  I also found it added greatly to the mood, theme, and atmosphere with its music, dialogue, and effects.

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I’m enjoying the game and the app is fantastic.  This game with expansions has a lot of potential I’m excited for things to come.

However, I did come upon a glitch in scenario #8.  Were the app would not progress past a certain point.  I had to quit the game and load it up again, it started me at the start of round 5.  But it stalled in the same place.  Repeat 3 times, fearing I’ve lost my campaign to a glitch.  Finally I changed my choices in the round and it progressed, phew campaign saved!  Problem is I had to change an optimal choice to a sub optimal one and lost the scenario.

point is great game, I love the app.  I just pray no more glitches like that!  And I guess that is the real problem of a game that is dependent on an app.

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9 hours ago, Ywingscum said:

However, I did come upon a glitch in scenario #8.  Were the app would not progress past a certain point.  I had to quit the game and load it up again, it started me at the start of round 5.  But it stalled in the same place.  Repeat 3 times, fearing I’ve lost my campaign to a glitch.  Finally I changed my choices in the round and it progressed, phew campaign saved!  Problem is I had to change an optimal choice to a sub optimal one and lost the scenario.

Well, that must have been frustrating.  It's a bit of a chore for me to find the time to set up and play a round, that would be bad to reach a certain point and have to start over.

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