First: I’m sorry for not reading all of your posts. I haven’t been following this topic from the beginning and reading this much text at once is a bit much for me.
Sorry if I say something that has been settled already.
np. I write a lot :) Hopefully you read some of it :D I will simply repeat my arguments. Perhaps they get easier to understand each time I formulate them. They are crystal clear in my head =p
I agree with Holy Death, that it is one of the main objectives to manage a band of faulty men. Having shortsighted fools and old swordmasters is essential part of the gameplay, as well as dealing with all the problems that result from choosing your companions.
I do not disagree with that. I am saying that the way it is now, main stream gamers WILL not play like this as the unfair result of your decision of hiring a character is too harsh. Revealing the information is one way to go to solve this (the easiest way) and doesn’t necessarily mean that you only would buy characters with flawless background. Just like you don’t only buy hedgeknights (or whatever) now. They have other downsides – in this case money.
However it’s silly if you cannot recognize a one-legged character before you hire him. There are some things the player should hve control over. That includes things we could control in a realistic scenario. Here I could see if that Miller is fat or athletic. Taking this control from the player is a punishment.
It IS strange from a realistic point of view. That isn’t my main concern though, but it’s effect. My main concern is that I am asked to make a decision – who to recruit. I look through the characters available. I value their background (miller, mason, swordmaster, hedgeknight), their cost and my current situation and strategy. I make my decision and then turn out to get something good/bad that is a pure gamble. Obviously spending all my money on a hedgeknight that turn out to be a (for example) a Dastard and [add another really damaging trait here] suddenly turned all decision making into a joke as the result went bad. Similarly recruiting 5 cheap characters with irrelevant background sometimes is a jackpot. This is a gamble – not an informed decision. And as it is very important for the mercenary squad, most main stream gamers will save/reload to avoid to be disappointed (some will do it to get all good ones, but that is another level of power gaming – avoiding to be unfairly treated is the main strive).
Of course there’s the background info on each character. These include hints on the less obvious character traits and with playing BB you learn which traits are more likely to appear with which professions. My point is, that this could still be improved by making a bigger variation of background texts and with more hints on the easy-to-see traits.
I have read the backgrounds, or I started to. But as for now, I felt it didn’t help me avoid things I didn’t want. And… if it did… wouldn’t that ruin the aim to make me get characters that aren’t perfect? ;) By investing some real time?
Aside from that, some people will still play the game in a way “it’s not supposed to be”, and that’s alright. Things that could be considered “unfair”, like blending out negative traits that the player should be totally aware of, should be reworked in order to prevent frustration.
But that’s just my two cents.
Agree! I see no issue that it’s possible to power game. I believe that most main stream users will save/reload before each battle for instance. That is not bad in itself of course, but it takes away the “rouge” feeling. As I believe the battles already are pretty well balanced I don’t feel the need to do this. Living with the risk of defeat is important for the fun of the game to me. But I am a “soft” ironman gamer.
Currently I save/reload:
* before taking raze missions because it “randomly” asks me to raze things that are deadly or impossible. I think that information should be available to me to make a decision. Perhaps the amount of money offered is a clue? If so, I should learn and stop that.
* before recruiting. After recruiting the ones I want – I check them. If they have “unfairly bad” features I will reload and avoid them.
* when assisting a caravan regurlarly. As I can easily lose the contract after spending hordes of real time because I am sloppy. I get sloppy because it’s boring to sit and click around for several minutes as investment to get money. If there is a fight I am on! :)
* I save before battles, but only reload if it bugs out (very seldom now) or if I make mistakes based on not understanding how the game works (come to think of it, I haven’t reloaded for that for ages, but soon new things will come ;)
I see every reload that the game “forces” me to as something to look at as it diminishes the hardcore feeling. I hope the game will allow for ironman so users can get “credit” (a in game bonus of some sort would be cool – doesn’t have to be big) for not just save/reloading themselves through the game. But regardless I can hold that principle on my own if the game is avoiding to punish me when making decisions.
As a note, if the game doesn not give me information about recruits and missions and so on, I would still play ironman and try to live with the consequences of the recruits. That would, however, lower enjoyment and probably cause rage quits and/or cannon fother tactics. This may or may not be a a feeling issue of wanting to make good decisions (which management is about) and not always about the exact effect of bad traits.