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thitan

overlord so weak and errata beat up in a dead body

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Luck is always a factor. Always. While you can reroll to increase probability of success, 80% success is still not guaranteed.

The best laid plans are still at the mercy of blind, unrepentant luck.

Edited by PlainWhiteBread
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I agree.  How many football teams have went into the Superbowl as favorites, and lost?  Luck is always a factor.  As long as we're rolling dice, it's a major factor.  Anybody that's played a game with dice, should know this.

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Looking for global balance is an illusion.

Wanting global balance is forgetting that luck and multiple factors make the endeavour impossible to reach.

 

Balance is a myth.

 

If balance is just a myth, why were the OL cards errataed?  Why was Castle Daerion changed?  I assumed it was because they were unbalancing.  Should they have been left alone and people having issues been told to be luckier?

Those are modifications of some punctual elements of the game.

My point is not about balance issues in some details, but about the claim that Descent is globally unbalanced in favour of one side (OL or heroes).

Again, global balance is a myth, which has no serious basis.

No one can say that the game is broken and be credible.

 

 

Oh, well, I wasn't saying that.  But can I say some areas of the game are broken and still be credible?  Like, "Silhouette as a treasure hunter is broken because it lets the party get 250+ gold plus a map.  This is much more than other treasure hunters collect."  How was that?

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I agree.  How many football teams have went into the Superbowl as favorites, and lost?  Luck is always a factor.  As long as we're rolling dice, it's a major factor.  Anybody that's played a game with dice, should know this.

 

I hate luck.  And it hates me.

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Oh, well, I wasn't saying that.  But can I say some areas of the game are broken and still be credible?  Like, "Silhouette as a treasure hunter is broken because it lets the party get 250+ gold plus a map.  This is much more than other treasure hunters collect."  How was that?

That's a valid statement. Silhouette is just incredibly good at the Treasure Hunter job, moreso than probably most of the scout class characters. Fighting games do this all the time, bracketing characters into tiers based on their effectiveness. Silhouette is probably one of the top tiers in Scout, along with Lindel and probably Arvel Worldwalker.

Hands down, the worst -- Bottom-tier -- hero out of the lot is Eliam. A warrior with a brown defense die (and before Labyrinth of the Wurm had a worthless Hero Ability until he could get another 1-handed weapon) and no stats above 3 was just a recipe for disaster. His feat doesn't make up for it.

 

I hate luck.  And it hates me.

 

It seems like at times, if I didn't have bad luck, I'd have no luck at all. I hear you loud and clear.

Edited by PlainWhiteBread

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That's a valid statement. Silhouette is just incredibly good at the Treasure Hunter job, moreso than probably most of the scout class characters. Fighting games do this all the time, bracketing characters into tiers based on their effectiveness. Silhouette is probably one of the top tiers in Scout, along with Lindel and probably Arvel Worldwalker.

Hands down, the worst -- Bottom-tier -- hero out of the lot is Eliam. A warrior with a brown defense die (and before Labyrinth of the Wurm had a worthless Hero Ability) and no stats above 3 was just a recipe for disaster. His feat doesn't make up for it.

 

 

I had a thought once of giving characters values between 1 and 4.  I'm pretty sure Descent one did this too, but mine were going to be used differently.  An average party would total 8 (very few characters are worth 4) and if the party cost goes above 8, the OL gets more advantages such as more cards, starting XP or an extra monster group.  Likewise, if the group wants to build a party full of Eliams, it would lower the OLs starting hand.  Just an idea.

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We've played campaigns with this game multiple times with different heroes and overlords and the results are the same, someone ends up running away with it during the map instead of having a fight that is close a great deal of the time.  

I think the above sentence perfectly sums up my entire Descent 2 experience so far... someone is always getting bent over the kitchen table in this game; the victim might change from day to day or map to map but it is always going to happen and despite what I have been "hearing" a few people say, I don't believe it's the result of luck or skill, it's just the way the game was made.

 

Call me old fashioned but when I play a competitive game with my friends I want to see a hard fought match where "the best man wins" bc he was either lucky or brilliant or both, but in this game it seems like that between the silly mechanics, often poorly thought out quest objectives and mountain of variables with hero/monster abilities leading to potentially game breaking exploitation (i.e. OL card combinations letting them keep their whole deck in their hand or heroes earning 500gp a map) that the winner is decided before we even set up the board.  

 

Maybe that works for some people and they don't mind waiting for their turn to stick it to the other guy, but it's just not a situation that I am finding to be very fun.

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AltWren said

Oh, well, I wasn't saying that.  But can I say some areas of the game are broken and still be credible?  Like, "Silhouette as a treasure hunter is broken because it lets the party get 250+ gold plus a map.  This is much more than other treasure hunters collect."  How was that?

 

Of course.

My point is about people saying that the whole game is broken and unbalanced in favour of one or the other side (I just read a thread on BGG where a poster considers that the OL dominates in all cases).

Silhouette's heroic feat does seem overpowered, I agree.

Castle Daerion was broken, because of the bad timing of the Militia setup/entry of game.

At that level, all games know well founded debates (e.g. SW about the Diplomat power at two player level, ASL about scenarios being "three legged dogs", etc.), but players rarely jump to the conclusion - like it is quite common about Descent - that the producers are stupid, that the game as a whole is crap, etc.

I hardly see people whining that Arkham Horror is unbalanced, even though the investigators can get severly thrashed because of some bad dice rolls. AH players cope with that and don't spend their time attacking the game's value as a whole.

 

I do also consider that one cannot avoid stumbling upon an unforseen problem generated by the combination of multiple factors.

That happens in about all games which have some level of complexity and which present a variety of scenarios.

We cannot avoid being the "definitive playtest bench".

Edited by Robin

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Nobody complains about the difficulty in Arkham Horror bc it is a "survival horror game" that is meant to be hard, players win and lose as a team and you appreciate each victory bc you have to fight so hard for them.

 

Descent is like a game of monopoly were one random player can run around the entire board once per game and buy as many properties as he wants; how much enjoyment can you get from winning or losing a game like that?

 

Now don't misunderstand me, I love the idea of Descent and this whole genre of games in general but... it just feels like I would have to re-write the half the rule book and errata nearly every quest in the game just to make it work :(

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I don't share your global judgement on Descent.

And I don't think your analysis is thorough enough to be convincing from a rational point of view.

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I don't share your global judgement on Descent.

And I don't think your analysis is thorough enough to be convincing from a rational point of view.

 

Well we don't share your opinions either.  So there.   -_-

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I don't share your global judgement on Descent.
And I don't think your analysis is thorough enough to be convincing from a rational point of view.

 

It's ironic that you would make a statement saying that "my arguments aren't rational or thorough enough," without actually addressing any of the arguments I have made or offering any points of your own about why I might be wrong except "I don't agree."  

 

So lets take a step back for a minute and look at this rationally: the basic premise behind my complaints have been that "I do not find the game to be well balance" and have pointed out a number of reasons why I think that is... For Example,

 

1) the rules are often vague and confusing, especially when it comes to movement, and can lead to very strange situations like heroes effectively teleporting into the "nearest available space," monsters getting flung half-way across the map, line of sight firing around corners and through walls, characters being able to move even when their supposed to be immobilized, and large monster performing ridiculous move-actions where they "swing their piece for extra movement," etc; but most importantly of all you can easily find yourself in a situation were a character has an ability you can do absolutely nothing about just because the exact wording of the text can lead to loopholes in the rules 

 

2) the quest objectives are poorly thought out; my group has encountered many occasions on different maps were the result became a foregone conclusion after the first turn bc a specific character ability or monster choice can completely trivialize an entire map, the results of a previous map can make it next to impossible for a player complete their objectives, or just because the rules favour one side over the other the way they are written.

 

3) campaigns can all to easily snowball out of control; if a player gets off to a good head start it can literally dictate the course of the rest of the campaign

 

 

Looking back at some of your posts the arguments I have seen you make is that a) you don't think the that one side is more powerful than the other, b) that there isn't any consensus between players, c) that it is all a game of chance and d) therefore there are no balance issues with the game; is that right?

 

 

When I see Descent players complain that the game is unbalanced because their heroes (or monsters) rolled three successive "X" results, I am wondering if they integrated the fact that there are many luck factors involved.

 

In addition, if there were a global problem, there would be a global consensus.

But there is none. None.

Some people are vocal that the OL is OP, others that the heroes are OP and others don't see any dramatical unbalance in the game.

I really think that the phenomenon is a strange twist of the mind of some Descent players - or perhaps do pre-existing complaints about balance lead to some imitation threads ?

So, if you put aside all opinions which rely upon belief or which are based on partial data, you simply find nothing that can give you a clear answer about the game's global unbalance.

And that would seem to me an indication that there is no global problem of a global unbalance leaning towards only one direction.

 

Looking for global balance is an illusion.

Wanting global balance is forgetting that luck and multiple factors make the endeavour impossible to reach.

 

Balance is a myth.

 

 

Of course.

My point is about people saying that the whole game is broken and unbalanced in favour of one or the other side (I just read a thread on BGG where a poster considers that the OL dominates in all cases).

 

I have never argued this point, I don't believe one side is superior to the other either, what I have said repeatedly in more than one thread that the problem with the game was that it was wildly inconsistent and that somebody was always dominating the opposing side.  The simple fact that there might be disagreement in the FFG community as to what exactly is wrong with the balance between players in this game does not mean that there isn't a problem, just that some people have only experience part of the problem and that is the experience that they are sharing with other people. 

 

You are right that luck will always be a factor in a game involving dice, and I don't have a problem with a match climaxing with an all important die roll; it can be a lot of fun and add to the tension.  What I find frustrating about descent is that 70% of the time win/loss seems to be determined during the set-up not the game play.  

 

Do the rules/objectives favour me on this map? did I pick that one character or monster that is perfect for this scenario? how much treasure did we gather up to this point? did I make a mistake it part 1 that I am still paying for?... these  are the questions that dictate victory in this game, not my ability as a player to adapt and overcome challenges or my opponent's ability to do the same.

 

So with all of that having been said, has your group been having a different experience?  Have your quests been hard fought matches where you never knew who was going to win until the very last turn?  If not, maybe it's just a difference in our definitions of a "balanced game" means, because an equal number of overwhelming victories for both sides is neither fun or well balanced to me.

Edited by CaelanCross
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I don't consider luck as the only factor.

It actually is because there are so many factors (including different players' skill, hero group size and composition, choice of monsters, etc.) that a global judgement seems to me quite impossible to establish.

I have seen quests being decided with the last dice roll, while others leaned in favour of one side quite fast.

One can find some aspects of the rules annoying (I recently approved the fact that the movement mechanics, with "action" and "mp pool" notions, are cumbersome and could have been more simple to grasp).

There certainly are unbalanced aspects in some details of the game, but I don't think that blanket statements about unbalance of the game are convincing.

Balance is not possible either, unless much more restrictive quest rules are established (e.g. no open group, clearly defined hero group composition, etc.).

Descent is a hybrid between a rpg and a tactical skirmish game.

There is a lot of freedom about how the players organise and develop themselves, mixed with precise tactical objectives.

I like that mix and I perfectly understand that it does not satisfy other people.

To each one his own.

Edited by Robin
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3) campaigns can all to easily snowball out of control; if a player gets off to a good head start it can literally dictate the course of the rest of the campaign

 

Agree. my group had the luck to get the 2 best equipments of act 1. the campaign lost the fun.

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3) campaigns can all to easily snowball out of control; if a player gets off to a good head start it can literally dictate the course of the rest of the campaign

 

Agree. my group had the luck to get the 2 best equipments of act 1. the campaign lost the fun.

 

 

Yeah it feels like some of the quests are really designed around being singular entities rather than what could be third part of an act when heroes have gear which really gets around the gimmick of a level.  I understand balancing so many variables is difficult but some stuff just really seems like it wasn't thought out in terms of how exploitable it is.  Descent 1 got really bad in this regard (we made some obscenely broken stuff happen) and it felt the initial idea behind 2 was to get away from that but with some of the recent gear additions and the character kit history is starting to repeat.

 

 

Also in regards to luck, when almost every skill check is a 1/5 you can't count on it working except in outliers so basing your winning strategy around that is bad.  In a game like descent where a single bad move can result in a loss which then starts a chain reaction of being weaker than the other side creating more losses you don't want to be using that kind of unlikely stuff.  We all agree it's silly to use a dark charm on a character with a stat of 4; so when the heroes have configured all of their characters to effectively have that same probability on 3 of their 4 stats and the last one being what used to be their lowest now having the chance of their old highest you've trivialized that aspect of the game.  It gets into what people have been talking about with the game snowballing.  If the overlord has spent his or her experience on a deck designed to hamper heroes based on their stats and the heroes then get gear that makes that useless (or statistically unlikely) they are now effectively using their tier 2 characters against a starter OL.  

 

A game like Munchkin or Dungeon Quest can have really whacked out odds with little chance of success in situations because those games are based around the randomness resulting in wacky stuff being the fun and those games take about an hour or two to play.  Descent is about trying to use your resources strategically to outmaneuver your opponent or opponents so attacks that are very unlikely to succeed to to do that is not going to work out well and in addition playing it can take days to finish.  I think the least fun gaming experience is knowing you are going to lose and still having to play it out.  When you have 45 minutes left you can tough it out and hope for a hail mary play but with 8 hours more you just get more and more frustrated unless you are in the minority of people that really enjoy a severe uphill battle.  Luck being a factor isn't a magic "well there's a small chance this player might not lose so therefor it's balanced!" cure.  It's a way to make sure that the result isn't the same every time, but you still try and work the odds so that what you want to happen will.  If you can work those odds so effectively it stops being a fun game and become something where one side is just dominating the other it's a problem and it seems like many people are having this experience.  It's a bummer since I want to play this game but people are becoming less and less interested in setting it all up for a multi-day campaign when halfway through it becomes obvious how it is going to play out.

 

I really think this game needs some power games to sit down with the quests and try and break them as hard as possible with anything they want to have access to in regards to gear and class abilities.  For one this should pick up some of the more obvious stuff that could be fixed with some tinkering but if certain stuff shows up consistently being used to ruin games it could be removed via errata,

Edited by Radish

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If they gave the Overlord the ability to dump a card from his hand for another card once per turn, it would be very difficult for me to lose.

 

Broken quests are the most annoying.  But after playing so many of them, I came to the realization that this game is all about doing 1 of 2 things:

 

1) trying to find the biggest pedantic exploit in order to accomplish your goal

 

OR

 

2) trying to come up with a strategy to thwart number 1 ^

 

Thems the breaks.

 

Jee

Edited by Inspector Jee
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Note that the Shadow Dragons' "Shadow" ability doesn't only affect attacks against itself. Any attack from a hero (or familiar treated as a figure) declared from a space adjacent to the Shadow Dragon requires the extra surge, even if it is a ranged attack targeting a goblin in the opposite direction. (I couldn't tell from this post if that was understood or not, so I figure it's best to clarify just in case.)

 

 

You rock griton.  Thanks for pointing that out.  It's a major detail I missed and will exploit during my next game.

 

 

Ditto!

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Well I an newbie to the game, but I would just apply the same things we did with Talisman 2E which had tons of rules contradictions and exploits - use the rules that make the game fun.  If something seems unbalanced, agree on what rules make the game fun and fair and house rule it.  You may not get it right first time, but it will eventually work out.

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We just started playing the game recently with the OL from hell. This guy doesn't want to play a hero at all. We have tried everything but he just keeps winning. He is extremely crafty with the OL cards, how he spends his points and moving/targeting strategy in general.

 

 I think it depends on the OL playing.

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We just started playing the game recently with the OL from hell. This guy doesn't want to play a hero at all. We have tried everything but he just keeps winning. He is extremely crafty with the OL cards, how he spends his points and moving/targeting strategy in general.

 

 I think it depends on the OL playing.

 

It's true that the OL needs to be a jerk to hold his own in this game.  He can't go easy on the heroes at all, and that can sometimes be difficult for players who are more accustomed to playing a "DM" role in an RPG.

 

However, it's also true that the heroes have a steeper learning curve than the OL does.  If your group just started playing, don't let first impressions fool you.  Odds are, the hero players will improve as they learn how to use the mechanics to their favour.

 

Also, don't let your OL player make rulings from on high!  He's a player like anyone else, he doesn't have the authority to change rules to suit his tastes.  If everyone agrees to a house rule, that's different, of course.

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We just started playing the game recently with the OL from hell. This guy doesn't want to play a hero at all. We have tried everything but he just keeps winning. He is extremely crafty with the OL cards, how he spends his points and moving/targeting strategy in general.

 

 I think it depends on the OL playing.

 

It really does depend on the OL and it also depends on the heroes. OL has to be out for blood and has to sometimes block out the cries of his heroes for the sake of the game. The heroes would not want a wimp of an OL for their quest anyhow. If so, they would not want to play.

 

And I understand your OL's feelings for playing as a hero. I have played as a hero twice. My brain has a very hard time thinking on those terms. I sometimes can feel powerless when I don't know my character well. As the OL, there is always the hope that my deck will give me something good, even if I choose really bad monsters. With the heroes, what you see is what you get.

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