Topic: Late Crises Discussion

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  • #19927
    Kuroi_Kaze
    Participant

    Hello, everyone! I have completed two of late game crises: Greenskins Invasion and Undead Scourge and I want to have a little discussion about their overall feeling and gameplay. I’m sorry for my English, the way I express thoughts may be a bit awkward.

    So, here are some points I want to discuss. The things I say are MY OWN feel and impression of game and they sure may be different for you.

    1. The feeling that player is involved in the happening events.
    During both crises I didn’t have that feeling most of the time. There were more roaming enemies on the worldmap, there were raiding orcs and undead, dead people could rise as undead right on the battlefield, but – that’s all. I didn’t really have any overall feel of what’s going on and what to do. So, what I think is that player really lack information of the events going on in the world and ways he can influence them. Sure, I destroyed raiding parties, even without contracts, sometimes burned enemy locations and for sure I took contracts from noble houses fight greenskins and undead, but when crises suddenly ended, reaction was “Wat?”.
    In greenskins invasion they managed to destroy 5 towns before it ended, and really, I could fight for that towns, but I didn’t even know they were going down in the first place.
    So, what I think could really improve the game experience and give this big events more impact is Information. What kind of information and why should mercenary get it in the first place? Ok, sure, nobles probably won’t give any strategic insights to simple mercenary, but there are a lot of common people around and they always like to share news. The easiest way to implement such news is tavern in the first place. Some examples: “My nephew from Donnerfeste and all his family arrived just yesterday, they managed to run from the town right before it has been sieged by greenskins, we all pray for Donnerfeste citizens right now.”, “The captain of (Random Noble house) was here the other day, he said there is a big goblins camp north of Turmburg and they really need to destroy it to protect the city”, “War doesn’t seem to go in our favor, the caravan people who passed by said the orcs are already raiding Eisenberg”, “(Noble House’s) soldiers were heavy beaten under Sundberg, now they are looking for some mercenary to protect the town before they recover their own forces”, “(Noble House) is gathering troops to raid large undead camp, probably they will be looking for mercenaries as well”, “Garderburg is short of supplies already, don’t think it will last long, undead are all over the roads and caravans can’t reach it”.
    So, with something like this you could have better understanding what’s going on in the world and somehow have larger impact on those events.

    2. Difficulty of crises.
    First crisis I played was Greenskins invasion, and it felt somehow like a crisis. They managed to destroy 5 towns, the towns on the frontline were short of supplies, it was difficult to even buy a food there. But, that was mostly because of the bug. In that version noble houses didn’t send their units to patrol the roads, so orcs could roam and raid every town freely. In the Undead Scourge however everything was fixed and Noble Houses units just slaughtered all undead. The only settlements under some attack were those on the far ends of the map, where patrols rarely reach. So it wasn’t any kind of crisis at all and it ended on its own. So, in current version, I guess greenskin crisis also will be no crisis at all. Here some my thoughts of how the crisis could possibly work. First, early stage – some random parties of enemies start raiding and roaming around the frontline, they are not really strong, cause that’s just the vanguard of the enemies horde. Then, second – massive overwhelming attacks on few directions, large attacking enemy parties that are really hard to destroy are alternating with smaller forces raiding deeper in the lands of man, enemies build lots of new location, and as they grow, create new and move deeper into the lands raiding and sieging towns. Third – enemies getting weaker, mostly holding the positions they have, but still slowly moving onward, if player can’t push them away they gather strength and go to point two again and so on. So to overcome a crisis, one will have to push them out of the lands, destroy locations and complete some objective. (Actually, I think that there already are objectives to overcome crisis now, for Greenskins it’s luring out and killing the warlord, and for Undead getting some artifact, at least that were quests I did not long before crises ended). I think crises need to be really challenging, hard to beat, memorable and have more strategic and global feel. And, they have to be dependent on player’s strength, if player can help with the crisis, it will go in favor of men, if he isn’t capable yet it goes in favor of enemies and they continue pushing men out of their lands.

    3. Crises feel dead.
    This one statement partially is coming from the previous ones. But why they seem dead to me? Because there is no real feel that someone tries to fight against what is happening in the realm. My own opinion is that player’s mercenaries band have supporting role in the overall conflict, it’s the force which have to be used to brake the balance of forces not as main strength. Why so? Noble Houses have their own towns and armies, they are interested in fighting for their land and overcoming crisis. But are they doing something? Are they sending troops to protect far away settlements, do they try to burn down enemy camps and push enemy away? Nope. They are completely inert, and that’s why crises look dead. Here is my opinion how it can look to feel more alive.
    Situation: Noble House has four settlements and two parties of troops, two of their settlements are being attacked, but, they can send only two units. That’s why they create contract to protect third settlement from attack and protect first two on their own. If no one picks up that contract, Noble House waits till their army gets replenished, cancels contract, and then send their own troops to protect that settlement. Another one. There is a location near settlement that has to be destroyed, but it’s to powerful to deal with forces they have right now, they can hire mercenaries to assist in battle to have advantage over the enemy. There are already contracts where you fight alongside Noble House’s troops, but having more of them should be good. So, the mechanic is that Noble Houses have limited number of troops and they need time to replenish them, so they can partially fight crisis on their own, but mercenaries are used as equalizer to aid them where they have not enough force. Noble Houses units acting on they on, attacking location, protecting cities and so on will create the feeling of alive conflict, and having some news about their plans and moves will help player to better understand flow of the conflict and adjust his own participation in it.

    Thanks, if you managed to read to this point, I would like to hear your own feelings and impressions of how the crises are implemented right now. =)

    #19934
    Ioci
    Participant

    more event descriptions could be great, like totalwar attila, for example, there were information pop up about the birth of attila, the rise of attila, the approaching of attila, the arrival of attila, a fight against attila, the fall of attila.

    #19948
    Nathoz
    Participant

    I only played the Noble War crisis , and i dont see the problems you listed there , troops are always patroling , raiding sieging citys and you can “exploit” the battles for some easy mid game armor and the noble house contracts , its realy hard , you are always outnumbered and will face powerfull enemys like hedge knighs and swordmasters and lots of the goddamm overpowered crosbowman , making it impossible to make one of the quests without losing a few brothers .

    #19973
    AGiantPie
    Participant

    I’ve played the Noble War crisis to completion and I’m in the middle of the Undead crisis. Noble War was pretty exciting (although heavy crossbowmen were kind of OP), and so far smiting Undead raiding towns has been pretty fun. The main thing I’m worried about, though, is towns getting raided and burned down without me ever knowing that they’re being raided. I’m paranoid and always checking the map to see if any towns are getting attacked because I don’t seem to be able to influence it unless I do.

    #19992
    Human Warlord
    Participant

    Well i beat up the undead crisis so what will be if player complitly ignore the crisis? Will it solwe by itself?
    As i understood i taken quest from noble house and thay sended me to some dangeons/captured cities and i captured some artifact for them, in another quest i defended the city from siege and i chosen the “defead undead crisis ambition(winning)” and the game said that i win, so i beaten it because of this noble houses quests or ambition or both?

    I must say i really dissapointed with this crisis thing it really feels kinda short or dont feels at all.I dont want to say that the fights was easy but all was kinda to simple?Like go kill this or kill that! i want some adventure! something like find the misterious tomb ( and you must find it comletely yourself by searching the map on your two, finding clues maps ancient artifacts that you can bear in your iventory) of undead emperor and defeat him or something.

    So i dont really undrestand will crisis bee infinite if i dont interferre or what? If undead will have atleast one captured city will they be ok?

    #19998
    le_souriceau
    Participant

    I want to share one thing that outraged me without limit during noble houses crisis.

    There is quest about raidin. In 2 of 3 of target locations I was greated by huge garrisons of elite mercs (I think 22-24 them, including hedge knights and swordmasters). Even one such battle is hard. Two almost in row (there is time limit for quest) made my hair grey! They actually stronger than “field armies” of houses. Where is logic in this? Why some farking salt mine or lumbermill on the end of world guarded better then most princeses virginity? As I understand raiding – it is hit and run on soft spots. Not killing entire elite armies.

    #20002
    Kuroi_Kaze
    Participant

    I want to share one thing that outraged me without limit during noble houses crisis.

    There is quest about raidin. In 2 of 3 of target locations I was greated by huge garrisons of elite mercs (I think 22-24 them, including hedge knights and swordmasters). Even one such battle is hard. Two almost in row (there is time limit for quest) made my hair grey! They actually stronger than “field armies” of houses. Where is logic in this? Why some farking salt mine or lumbermill on the end of world guarded better then most princeses virginity? As I understand raiding – it is hit and run on soft spots. Not killing entire elite armies.

    I had same experience in Undead Scourge. Contract to destroy two locations. First was 6 Honor Guards and 15 Legionnaires, I lost 4 men there and went to second, there were 6 ghosts, 5 Fallen Heroes and 19 armored zombies, 30 in total, so my party was almost wiped out, I retreated and abandoned the contract. Yep, it’s a bit unfair but that’s more of balance issue, not gameplay.

    #20005
    Shadow
    Participant

    I had same experience in Undead Scourge. Contract to destroy two locations. First was 6 Honor Guards and 15 Legionnaires, I lost 4 men there and went to second, there were 6 ghosts, 5 Fallen Heroes and 19 armored zombies, 30 in total, so my party was almost wiped out, I retreated and abandoned the contract. Yep, it’s a bit unfair but that’s more of balance issue, not gameplay.

    The mid to late game and crises balance has a lot of issues indeed. I wonder what the solution would be.

    Perhaps the primary thing to consider is making mercs stronger, since clearly they’re not significantly tougher than any single lategame enemy, and the game throws hordes of them at you by the end, as if they were supposed to be manageable without brutal losses. Balancing this is probably no easy task. The early game feels fine overall (talking from a Veteran perspective), but difficulty seems to ramp up too quickly, with most companies ending up underpowered and undergeared to face contemporary opposition after a couple of game months or so.

    There’s several factors that need to be tinkered with, most likely. Since the early game feels fine, one variable to tackle is mercenary growth curves, so that early levels work more or less like they do now, but the upper ones represent larger improvements, possibly increasing the number of points and/or stats you can improve per later level up. An alternative is to make experiance gain faster, and raise the level cap so that the average player company reaches the lategame with several more levels under their belt.

    Another aspect which needs revision is higher-end recruits. They need to be more reliable, or at the very least the player should be shown more information about the candidates they’re about to shell out serious sums for. Currently, they’re too expensive and too random, as money isn’t exactly easy to come by after a certain point, and you might end up spending your entire savings on a supposed professional who turns out to be not that significantly better than a good farmhand.

    Mid to late game contract profitability is perhaps another variable to tweak, but it might not be necessary to do so if mercenaries reach this stage stronger, and able to reliably complete missions without excessive losses.

    As for endgame crises, I suppose enemy numbers could be thinned out, but a) that’s not very thematic for a civilization-threatening event, and b) if other factors are revised, it might not be necessary to weaken endgame forces.

    #20009
    le_souriceau
    Participant

    At this point, I think, in sense of balance and logic of game mechanics we have 2 games.

    In first one you can beat anyone without too much genius spark or something. You just need to meticulously use some kind of merc eugenics (to pick best of best), may be restart map several times to have “perfect roster”, then level-up them in certain boring, but effective way, farm tonns of best possible rare items to furher increase effectiveness оf ubermecrs. Then save-load (scum) for only 100% no losses win, preferably using most cheese tactics possible.

    In other… with “average joes” on veteran, with roster regulary weakening from wounds (and perm ones), deaths, equipment losses (as game meant to be played, I think), wihout tonns of rares, many contracts/encounters/locations more or less unbeatable.

    Mercs just don’t have raw stat power this way to overcome armored, hardhitting and always very numerous enemies.

    #20010
    Shadow
    Participant

    I don’t think any extensively save-scummed (be it to get the “perfect starting roster” or ensure flawless victories) game can or should be used as a parameter for game balance adjustments. There’s no point in trying to balance a game whose mechanics the player will be constantly fudging in order to get the best possible result. It’s tantamount to cheating, and it’s not the game’s responsibility if the resulting experience feels too easy.

    It’s fair to say the game should be primarily balanced around Veteran, and the assumption that players accept their losses and roll with the punches, so to speak.

    #20011
    Kuroi_Kaze
    Participant

    I think the game should be balanced around Ironman Mode. But, this topic was started to talk about game from gameplay perspective, because, while balance is something that can be changed pretty easily by changing some numbers, the logic and idea behind core game mechanics is something that needs lots of time and effort to implement, and game has less and less of that time before release.

    #20012
    le_souriceau
    Participant

    I hope for realease version some balancing will be done.

    After hours and hours of play I almost hate end-game battles (especialy this crisis ones, with packed in series of 2-3 or even 4 in row), fearing them – they long, very hard and only lead to another, even more brutal ones. And this is bad, unfair hardness. Like you spawned in ditch and 20+ guys above on hill, 5-6 of them start practicing their warbow and heavy crossbow skils, then 2 swordmasters run down and gently chop survivors to pieces.

    I always played on vet (since yearly versions) and now even considering to be craven and go for normal, just to have pleasure from game and relax in adventures, not eat endless suffer.

    Sorry for this little whiney offtop : ) Those crisisis ended my nerves with cascading extreamly hard battles.

    #20152
    Kuroi_Kaze
    Participant

    I played Noble Houses War crisis and now have some idea of how it looks. Actually it felt like there was more going on than in two other crises, they used their units to attack each others, hired mercenaries, etc. But I failed that crisis in a very harsh way. Here is how it played out. I won a battle against 21 noble house soldiers unit on the road (4 of them were dogs actually). Sure I had some injures and lost 2 1-2 lvl newbs (other brothers were mostly 7-11 lvl). I moved to largest city of my allied noble house to get new men heal and repair. But it turned out impossible. Each day, or even twice a day new enemy’s units attacked the city and I have to fight on my own. Every time that was 19 soldiers unit and in last battle there was even knight. And my noble house didn’t even try to protect the citadel or there were no soldiers left for him, I don’t know. Sure, with no possibility to repair armor and heal wounds and injures my company was finally destroyed in, I guess, 3 days of unstoppable siege. And that’s the largest city, why enemies can send troops each day and my noble house can’t? The other thing is that before that I completed two “Large battle” contracts, where you have war camp and fight with your allies against other noble house. So, if we destroyed their forces twice they should be weakened, shouldn’t they? But they still have lots of soldiers spawning every day.
    I don’t know how game’s economy and demography is supposed to work, but it doesn’t seem that it works correctly now.
    And again about lack of information, while I was busy making contracts in that city, other large city of my Noble House were captured by enemy and I had no idea that it was going on and no contracts to protect that city from siege, are there even such types of contacts?

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