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TheHunterBoy

Is D2ed really well balanced?

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It's the expansion which includes all the old heroes, from descent 1ed. Just like Radish said, they can be kind of unbalanced.

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In my experience it's unblanced to the OL. Admittedly, we were playing more like an RPG where the heroes don't know the quest or monster strength and haven't read the quest book. (According to the rules we should know all the ins-and-outs of the quest up-front. Where's the fun in that?) There are too many races where the heroes can be roadblocked before they have a chance to break through and not enough beat-em-ups. This can be even worse when the race is assymetric (e.g. you can fly so we can't block you, but we can't)

 

The respawn rules need work too (What's the point of killing a red monster if it's going to come back anyway?) and like others, I'm far from convinced that the conversion kit has balanced the monsters at all well.

 

However, provided that the OL uses their advantage to manage the game balance, De2 can be fun.

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My experiance is after a weekend of doing the first campaign with all expansions to date was 5-4 (a ruor encounter was added hence 9 total dungeons) wins to the Heros. We were all fairly inexperianced at this game but seasoned gamers. Two of the heros 1st timers. The OL won the first two dungeons and the interlude. Two of the games being down to the wire, very exciting.

 

Post match analysis of the 1st Act was OL was on par if not stronger than Heros (plus their inexperiance and getting used to the Class card combos) 

 

Second act was narrow win for first dungeon with OL winning second then Heros third. They were by this time a lot stronger with class card etc ugrades whereas OL Act 2 cards did not seem to reflect this. We found that even though the OL won dungeons he rairly benifited from them, IE getting Lieutenants or HP for later encounters, so that the Finale was a bit of a damp squb, with a very week Dragonlord Gryvorn and a cowering Baron Zach trying to find somewhere to hide while the seriously buff heros stood knocking at the door.

 

This encounter was over in four rounds with the Heros standing behind the rocks healing ready to attack. So it took just 2 rounds for 1 of the heros (others stayed hidden) to step out and take all 20hp off in 2 shots. OUCH. Mind you Gryvon had two attacks needing serges, min of 1 for second attack, second surge gave fire breath, did not role any so the did second attack as had card to give 1 serge. Second attack did small dam and no fire breath so no one else affected.

 

Analysis of second act was with all the cards monsters and Lieutants to think about the OL could do with a second player to discuss tactics with and interupt Heros goes to play, or even just remember to play cards. As the heros spent lot of time doing this. The Build up of the toons and interaction of their class cards if played correctly started to show amuch more powerful group that could not be stopped by the OL, only harried. and in some cases very badly. The choice of Monster groups for each senario is very important. Ie lots of Kobolds to slow heros down in Ritual of Shadow. Slow mvoing monsters even though powerful are no good if they cant keep up with the Heros, so ranged monsters are generally better. 

 

Two of the games came down to a crucial die throw missed, so all in all it looks to me like there are so many variable that a wrong choice of monster gp or use of card or die role at a certain time, could have a drastic affect on the balance and out come of a dungeon.

 

We nearly abandoned one dungeon as there was nothing the OL could do to win it. So the Heros insisted they would have been able to get all the search tokens. I said no so we played on. Splig managed to make a dash for the door when they thought they had him trapped, so they had to kill him finishing the game. As a result they did not get the loot, Very satisfactory. Yer i know a small victory but hay, any victory is a victory (in my book anyway).

 

 

All that said monday morning saw e-mails flying around saying how much people had enjoyed it and when were we getting together for the next one. 

 

For those of you wanting balance, get over it life and conflict is nerver like that, but with a bit of planning your can usually lessen the lose.

 

Good gaming all

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I've been playing this game for awhile now and my conclusion about balance Is this. This game can snowball in either OL or Heroes favor really quickly! And because of that its balanced enough for me. I don't believe a game like this needs chess level balance. I feel this game works best not knowing how (if it happens)things might snowball. The randomness of shop phase,players,quests, and so on is more then enough to keep this game on my shelf for quite awhile. The randomness is enough to keep it balanced enough to me!

Games that really need chess level balance is games like Warhammer or 40k these have a point system and still aren't as balanced as chess (and does it need to?). It's strategic enough and player dependent enough to ignor. War is never fair so some balance issues are exceptable. Good cammanders don't have the time to worry about fair just worry about what they can do.

Edited by Silverhelm
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It's the expansion which includes all the old heroes, from descent 1ed. Just like Radish said, they can be kind of unbalanced.

Ah ok. The Conversion Kit.

I have seen people whining that its heroes are OP and others complaining that its monsters are OP.

That should lead to some cosmic balance in the end.

Anyway, balance and unbalance are impossible to prove and I am convinced that concern about that issue is an irrational obsession, quite specific to some players of the Descent community.

Quite like a deep and unexplainable urge to put the game under trial and a priorly decided negative judgement.

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And, of course, playing the game wrong (e.g. hiding data from the heroes) will lead to wrong conclusions about its so called unbalance.

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The problem with the snowball effect is that the side that is getting constantly creamed loses interest.  In a game where one side ends up being the victor after a 90 minute play session people move on to something else or restart from scratch.  In Descent winning an encounter allows the side that won to have an advantage in the next and so on.  It's not fun for either side of the game to just steamroll the other one so when upgrades are REALLY good (as some of the gear and abilities are) it's hard to come back against that.  

 

I don't know if there is a way to really fix it due to the nature of the game but at least with Descent 2 the campaign isn't as long as Descent 1 so the effect is lessened.  

 

I think the rewards for the Overlord can be kind of meh after a certain point so late game he or she caps out earlier and doesn't gain much from winning unless lieutenant upgrades are on the line and those are often one use per map.  You don't really want more than 15 cards in your deck to make it efficient so eventually you don't have anything to spend points on but the heroes really can always make use of extra abilities or money.

Edited by Radish

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Yes but at a certain point he or she has all the cards that are needed due to some of the basic cards being better than the specialized card decks and that can be before the last few encounters.  I had this happen as an overlord where I ended up with extra XP at the end that was unspent since nothing I could buy was better than what I had in my deck especially after heroes started getting stuff that helped them pass ability tests.  The overlord needs some kind of permanent upgrade to spend XP on.

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The respawn rules need work too (What's the point of killing a red monster if it's going to come back anyway?) and like others, I'm far from convinced that the conversion kit has balanced the monsters at all well.

 

If you can manage a couple of turns where you kill more than one monster at a time you should be fine.

 

On the whole, I don't really see this as a game in the competitive sense that it was intended to be.  As an entertaining experience, Descent works just fine.  Do not make the mistake of going into this expecting a fair experience for all players, though.

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In act 1 it's to hard to tell if the game will snowball it generally happens in act 2. In act 1 heroes must muster the coin to upgrade or OL will have an advantage in act 2 regardless of his deck because his monsters get a free upgrade ( If heroes fail to do this soon Game can snowball in OL favor). So I wouldn't throw in the towel in act 1. In act 2 I've seen OL and heroes snowball in power and still loose at the end anyway. If this was a hack&slash game with no other objectives then yes i would agree its unbalanced. Also you got to factor in quests favor either OL or Heroes (not all) so thinking ahead is required throughout the game.

This game can be situational which makes it feel unbalanced at times. Perfectly balanced? nope, can it be? Nope. Still enjoyable? Yes.

Edited by Silverhelm

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I think the sheer number of possibilities will only every make this game close to balanced. My experience has always been fun, regardless of win-to-loss ratio, when considering our group has access to 14 heroes with 14 different classes, 20 monster groups, two Basic Overlord decks, more Overlord classes than I can remember, random shop items, random Search draws, random Overlord deck draws, random dice rolls...

 

In essence, I believe with the above stated that the vast number of complains of imbalance between the two sides should surely counteract each other.

 

...That is, if you're playing the game right. Which is to say, don't do what this guy's doing:

 

 

In my experience it's unblanced to the OL. Admittedly, we were playing more like an RPG where the heroes don't know the quest or monster strength and haven't read the quest book. (According to the rules we should know all the ins-and-outs of the quest up-front. Where's the fun in that?) There are too many races where the heroes can be roadblocked before they have a chance to break through and not enough beat-em-ups. This can be even worse when the race is assymetric (e.g. you can fly so we can't block you, but we can't)

 

The respawn rules need work too (What's the point of killing a red monster if it's going to come back anyway?) and like others, I'm far from convinced that the conversion kit has balanced the monsters at all well.

 

However, provided that the OL uses their advantage to manage the game balance, De2 can be fun.

 

Heroes knowing their goals will only help bolster their strategies and bring control back to them. You can't say "The Overlord is overpowered because only he knew what he was supposed to be doing."

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And I don't understand the comments about "respawn rules" as there are no such generic rules.

How reinforcements enter an encounter is defined in its special rules - and some encounters even don't have any reinforcements.

Additionally, from a technical p.o.v., reinforcements are not a respawn, but tbe entry of brand new monsters in an encounter.

So expressing a general judgement about the game, by basing oneself on encounter special rules lacks either true knowledge of the game system or thoroughness.

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The respawn rules need work too (What's the point of killing a red monster if it's going to come back anyway?) and like others, I'm far from convinced that the conversion kit has balanced the monsters at all well.

 

The thing about the CK is that it was mainly a gimmick to attract players of first edition to start buying second edition.    Awesome sauce in abilities makes it more tempting.  Balance was not the primary focus during design.  In that regard, the CK was really more like a promo than a true expansion.

 

The fans (even those who didn't own 1E) loved it for the added variety of monsters.  They wanted choices, not balance.  (Maybe they wanted choices AND balance, but beggars can't be choosers, right?)

 

I said back when 2E first launched that the appeal of the CK for variety would die off as more 2E expansions came out.  There was no doubt in my mind that such expansions would come out, although I admit they've been coming a little faster than I expected.  And now that more proper 2E variety has been added, people are starting to look at the CK monsters (and heroes) with a bit more critical eye, and realize what's happening.

 

Mind you, expansions will begin to show similar power creep in time.  Some might argue that they already have in a few cases.  That's what continuously expanding products do, they get more and more powerful over time in order to keep consumer interest.  The CK just kicked things off with a bang for D2E.

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The respawn rules need work too (What's the point of killing a red monster if it's going to come back anyway?) and like others, I'm far from convinced that the conversion kit has balanced the monsters at all well.

 

The thing about the CK is that it was mainly a gimmick to attract players of first edition to start buying second edition.    Awesome sauce in abilities makes it more tempting.  Balance was not the primary focus during design.  In that regard, the CK was really more like a promo than a true expansion.

 

The fans (even those who didn't own 1E) loved it for the added variety of monsters.  They wanted choices, not balance.  (Maybe they wanted choices AND balance, but beggars can't be choosers, right?)

 

I said back when 2E first launched that the appeal of the CK for variety would die off as more 2E expansions came out.  There was no doubt in my mind that such expansions would come out, although I admit they've been coming a little faster than I expected.  And now that more proper 2E variety has been added, people are starting to look at the CK monsters (and heroes) with a bit more critical eye, and realize what's happening.

 

Mind you, expansions will begin to show similar power creep in time.  Some might argue that they already have in a few cases.  That's what continuously expanding products do, they get more and more powerful over time in order to keep consumer interest.  The CK just kicked things off with a bang for D2E.

Wow well said that's exactly how I feel about the CK.

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The conversion kit does add a lot of options that may be seen as 'best picks' for both the heroes and the overlord, i would argue in this instance the overlord needed a bit of variety at launch, and maybe still does in relation to large monster picks (although not much more, the newly announced big expansion will probably add enough that 2nd ed only monster picks will be varied enough).

Heroes are mostly ok, again imo, there are only one or two offenders in the possible 'breaks game omgwtf' category imo (Nanok being the one i think most people go nuts over) and even they can be managed. Newer item combinations obviously can make some characters into absolute wrecking machines but that can be applied to more then just a few conversion kit characters.

Overall i agree with Steve-O, as with any game that has a release schedule of new products newer things need to be enticing for players to buy and this inevitably leads to some power creep across a product range.
 

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And I don't understand the comments about "respawn rules" as there are no such generic rules.

How reinforcements enter an encounter is defined in its special rules - and some encounters even don't have any reinforcements.

Additionally, from a technical p.o.v., reinforcements are not a respawn, but tbe entry of brand new monsters in an encounter.

So expressing a general judgement about the game, by basing oneself on encounter special rules lacks either true knowledge of the game system or thoroughness.

 

The problem I have had with the reinforcement rules is that (in every quest we have played which has allowed reinforcements - and if you recall I started my initial post with the phrase "In my experience) the respawn allow the Overlord to pick which monster respawns. As the Overlord, which are you going to pick: Deric, the arthritic goblin, or G'Hrrg-Nathok, Slayer of Thousands?

 

If the heroes struggle to defeat a master monster - often a roadblock whose destruction is necessitated in order for progression - having it come back so quickly denies any sense of achievement. We ended up house-ruling this so that if there are master and regular monsters of the same type, the regular monster must be used before the master can be employed. This also makes sense in a narrative perspective - there's should be more rank and file monsters than chieftains.

 

And, on a personal note, I take offence at your use of the phrase "So expressing a general judgement about the game, by basing oneself on encounter special rules lacks either true knowledge of the game system or thoroughness." It was insulting, uncalled for and unnecessary. The original poster asked for opinions; I offered mine based on my experiences of the game. I freely accept that these may well be mistaken and that you are more than entitled to disagree and offer counter-arguments, all of which are welcome. However, please do so in a civil fashion, affording me the same respect you would expect to receive yourself.

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The problem I have had with the reinforcement rules is that (in every quest we have played which has allowed reinforcements - and if you recall I started my initial post with the phrase "In my experience) the respawn allow the Overlord to pick which monster respawns. As the Overlord, which are you going to pick: Deric, the arthritic goblin, or G'Hrrg-Nathok, Slayer of Thousands?

 

If the heroes struggle to defeat a master monster - often a roadblock whose destruction is necessitated in order for progression - having it come back so quickly denies any sense of achievement. 

 

 One thing you may be overlooking is that, when the monster respawns (if he respawns), he does so on the other end of the map.  So, he's still not a roadblock.  Although, having something you struggled to defeat resurface so quickly may be demoralizing, it rarely presents a significant hindrance.

 

You're right on about Robin's attitude, though.  His hostility is completely uncalled for.

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And I don't understand the comments about "respawn rules" as there are no such generic rules.

How reinforcements enter an encounter is defines in its special rules - and some encounters even don't have any reinforcements.

Additionally, from a technical p.o.v., reinforcements are not a respawn, but tbe entry of brand new monsters in an encounter.

So expressing a general judgement about the game, by basing oneself on encounter special rules lacks either true knowledge of the game system or thoroughness.

The problem I have had with the reinforcement rules is that (in every quest we have played which has allowed reinforcements - and if you recall I started my initial post with the phrase "In my experience) the respawn allow the Overlord to pick which monster respawns. As the Overlord, which are you going to pick: Deric, the arthritic goblin, or G'Hrrg-Nathok, Slayer of Thousands?

If the heroes struggle to defeat a master monster - often a roadblock whose destruction is necessitated in order for progression - having it come back so quickly denies any sense of achievement. We ended up house-ruling this so that if there are master and regular monsters of the same type, the regular monster must be used before the master can be employed. This also makes sense in a narrative perspective - there's should be more rank and file monsters than chieftains.

And, on a personal note, I take offence at your use of the phrase "So expressing a general judgement about the game, by basing oneself on encounter special rules lacks either true knowledge of the game system or thoroughness." It was insulting, uncalled for and unnecessary. The original poster asked for opinions; I offered mine based on my experiences of the game. I freely accept that these may well be mistaken and that you are more than entitled to disagree and offer counter-arguments, all of which are welcome. However, please do so in a civil fashion, affording me the same respect you would expect to receive yourself.

I really don't see what is offending when I simply develop a logical argument.

There is not an ounce of personal attack in my post.

I simply underlined that you cannot establish a global judgement based on quest special rules of reinforcements as they vary from quest to quest - and some encounters don't even have reinforcement rules at all.

If you consider that my expressing a diverging view from yours is insulting, I sincerely don't know what to do about that strange way of seeing what in my eyes is simply an intellectual debate.

Edited by Robin

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I really don't see what is offending when I simply develop a logical argument.

There is not an ounce of personal attack in my post.

 

 

What is offensive is that you split hairs to set up a straw man, then use the straw man to denigrate other posters.  Kindly cut it out.

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I did not intend to be hostile (?) and you are reading far too much in what I posted.

I certainly maintain that it is not being thourough to judge the whole game system from special rules that appear in some encounters - not speaking of the different reinforcement special rules, btw.

 

Now, if your feelings were hurt because how I wrote things did seem to you that I was leading a personal attack (which I was not), I am sorry.

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Normally Robin is pretty good about things, so I don't think he intended the insult. There was some confusion about the way things were worded. He thought the "reinforcement reference" was made as a general statement applicable to balance on the game as a whole and that was the same for every quest. It wasn't intended quite that way and while it was intended to be meant as a generality, since reinforcement rules can and do affect balance for each quest, it wasn't meant to imply that every quest uses the same reinforcements.

 

Robin's statement definitely came off as a bit of "You clearly don't know what you're talking about", but I highly doubt he intentionally tried to set up a straw man just so he could use it to attack someone. The statement about people complaining about balance from a stance of playing rules incorrectly is a valid and common one, but it probably could have been phrased better, and he should have at the very least clarified first.

 

Edit: Ha. And Robin got to it while I was typing. ;-)

Edited by griton

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Thanks griton.

 

Again, sorry if I was percieved as attacking someone personally.

 

This is only a game and I don't see the point to set up traps to hurt people in real life.

I however sometimes do indulge in heated debates, but I really do care about not making it anything else than a confrontation of opinions and logical arguments.

I also am quite conscious that I don't allways hit the mark and that I can be wrong.

And, coming to insults, I have been called a "choirboy" on some occasions and a "dumbass" (but that was on the French forum, where the level of hate against FFG/Edge can be occasionally very high).

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