Topic: Morale system: Less "swingy"

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  • #21681
    mrbunnyban
    Participant

    Note that I don’t actually expect the devs to implement these changes as it’s a pretty big change. I just like discussing design in general. Well, just ignore this post if you don’t like that.

    ———-

    Morale mechanics as it is designed is really really *swingy*. 98% of the time you don’t need a single drop in resolve and you’ll do fine. So this makes resolve completely unneccesary in non-ironman games as you can just reload for that rare 2% of battles. Much like how folks save scummed for stat ups in older versions, and still save scum for recruitment.

    When that 2% kicks in though, boy is it incredibly bad! Mainly due to 3 reasons:
    1. Entering fleeing status sends a morale check on other brothers around the fleeing brother
    2. Fleeing brothers will attempt to move with all their AP
    3. There is no limit to “Attacks of opportunity”

    So when one brother enters fleeing status, he has a chance of infecting the entire band with the fleeing status, thus dooming everyone to a quick death from attacks of opportunity.

    And this is before we consider how rare geists are!

    Basically, resolve is currently this stat in the game which says “instant death resistance”. The “instant death” status is hardly ever used and is a dead stat throughout the game, but when it triggers boy will the player feel it! The importance of resolve becomes incredibly RNG based, more so than any other stat in the game. If you’ve played older versions of D&D, the current morale system is very similar to “save or die” from those games.

    —————-

    I propose morale failure and resolve would have been better implemented in the following fashion: The unit loses ONE turn. Next turn the morale failure status wears off. Maybe makes ONE attempt to move. That’s it. But resolve checks happen more often, and results in morale failure more often. Thus resolve is more consistently significant, but less a of death sentence when it does fail.

    Just like the way X-COM does it. Players will still utterly hate losing turns with a passion, but it isn’t nearly as big a death sentence as it is in the current system. Less *swingy*.

    #21683
    Namespace
    Participant

    I did not have a problem with that yet and I have played about 300 hrs on Expert Ironman since launch. I do spec in resolve though and pretty much always have a sargeant with rally unless I don’t need him and level new guys.
    I usually try to get my guys to around 50-60 resolve (with veteran levels or +4 rolls) if they are going to be in melee, getting surrounded.
    Even against Geists I hardly have my guys affected by an ally fleeing which happens pretty much all the time even with high resolve if i’m lucky they will resist the fear for maybe 2-3 rounds at most.
    Geists with Wiedergangers are actually a big part of my fights in a late campaign when I roam the map and clear ruins and camps.

    Removing this system would work both ways. If they change it fights against Direwolves or Nachzehrers might become much more difficult. New systems would require a lot of testing and coding probably so I expect we will see some tweaked numbers at most.

    #21684
    mrbunnyban
    Participant

    I did not have a problem with that yet and I have played about 300 hrs on Expert Ironman since launch. I do spec in resolve though and pretty much always have a sargeant with rally unless I don’t need him and level new guys.
    I usually try to get my guys to around 50-60 resolve (with veteran levels or +4 rolls) if they are going to be in melee, getting surrounded.
    Even against Geists I hardly have my guys affected by an ally fleeing which happens pretty much all the time even with high resolve if i’m lucky they will resist the fear for maybe 2-3 rounds at most.
    Geists with Wiedergangers are actually a big part of my fights in a late campaign when I roam the map and clear ruins and camps.

    Removing this system would work both ways. If they change it fights against Direwolves or Nachzehrers might become much more difficult. New systems would require a lot of testing and coding probably so I expect we will see some tweaked numbers at most.

    Remember, I don’t expect to see changes made into the game as is (see first sentence in my opening post). Just discussing how resolve was designed ended up being really “swingy” and the consequences of that. I’m not sure why you’re telling me how many points you put into resolve?…

    Ironman, you’ll naturally spec into resolve due to those rare occasions resolve becomes a huge issue. But resolve isn’t necessary most of the time and feels like a dead stat most of the game. So it’s the perfect stat to dump if you are not playing iron man. Overhype has changed parts of the games to reduce save scumming before, specifically the way stat ups are chosen. If the effects of resolve were more consistently felt (but less extreme when it is felt for balance), we wouldn’t have so many folks advising to dump resolve and only sink points into Melee attack, melee defence and fatigue.

    I always felt a the game was a little ‘off’ whenever anyone gets 4 free out-of-turn attacks from a fleeing enemy, worse still if he gets 4 free actions from another fleeing enemy right after. It’s just weird to me and breaks the illusion that the turn-based battle is an abstraction of a real battle.

    #21686
    RusBear
    Participant

    New moral check system( v 0.9 and later) – not ready for realesed game- that is fact. Yes, devs have maked so that players must spent level up points for resolve. . But same time make some backgrounds and traits “dead” for game. If it is all that they want – well, that’s ok. But is it working and looks like good? Not.

    #21703
    mrbunnyban
    Participant

    New moral check system( v 0.9 and later) – not ready for realesed game- that is fact. Yes, devs have maked so that players must spent level up points for resolve. . But same time make some backgrounds and traits “dead” for game. If it is all that they want – well, that’s ok. But is it working and looks like good? Not.

    Whoa there, it isn’t that bad Rusbear! It more or less works, just could have been better. Overall I’d say the game was a pretty good first game from folks who’ve never done this before. In particular, the game’s writing and AI is excellent; even accomplished studies like Firaxis do not program their AI as well as Battle Brothers.

    #21709
    RusBear
    Participant

    I have inflated demands for this game. it’s true. Why? Because this game can be like that.

    #21711
    Namespace
    Participant

    But same time make some backgrounds and traits “dead” for game.

    Yeah, this is the biggest problem I see with the need for higher resolve. Deserters with 20 resolve, guys with bad traits etc.


    @mrbunnyban
    I told you how much resolve I have on my troops becasue the morale system is not swingy for me anymore. Yes, if your guys are all around 30-40 resolve at best you might get a huge snowball effect. They already implemented a way to counter this by moving fleeing brothers to the end of the initiative queue so you may rally them before they recieve any free damage.
    Generally, a snowball-effect will only occur if your guys are already Wavering and Breaking. If only one guy turns Fleeing and the rest is Steady, their morale will only drop to wavering, unless the first Fleeing guys triggers another Breaking guy to also turn fleeing, which then activates another morale check, etc.
    You can also use the Hold Out perk which removes the morale check for when an ally turns fleeing though I have never used this before.

    The developers introduced these morale mechanics to make Resolve not such a “dead” stat. I guess Veteran Levels are supposed to make up for the additional points required. For me this is ok because my campaigns usually last long, but if you like shorter games and maybe retire after the first crisis there is no way to get enough points to level up all the necessary stats (Fatigue, Attack skills, Defenses, HP, Resolve).

    I never had any shame or remorse using the 4 free attacks to my advantage. On the contrary, successfully snowballing a fight through breaking the enemy’s morale feels pretty good to me.

    I would suggest to increase the base resolve for new hires across the board. Right now it seems the base would be around 30-35 ±5. I think increasing that to ~40 would be appropriate – or simply increasing the minimum resolve and keeping the maximum value would work too.

    Also, increase the success chance on Rally the Troops for Wavering and Breaking morale status. I like the effectiveness on Fleeing brothers but getting them back to steady is really, really hard. I Sometimes need 3 rounds of spamming rally with 100+ Resolve next to the guy to get him from Wavering to Steady – usually it is faster to get a kill which triggers a positive morale check instead.

    Again, I think changing the fleeing mechanic in the way you suggested in your original post would hurt the player more than it would help. The way you describe it, 2% of the time the morale mechanic works against you but much more often you take advantage of it.

    #21717
    mrbunnyban
    Participant

    But same time make some backgrounds and traits “dead” for game.

    Yeah, this is the biggest problem I see with the need for higher resolve. Deserters with 20 resolve, guys with bad traits etc.

    @mrbunnyban I told you how much resolve I have on my troops becasue the morale system is not swingy for me anymore. Yes, if your guys are all around 30-40 resolve at best you might get a huge snowball effect. They already implemented a way to counter this by moving fleeing brothers to the end of the initiative queue so you may rally them before they recieve any free damage.
    Generally, a snowball-effect will only occur if your guys are already Wavering and Breaking. If only one guy turns Fleeing and the rest is Steady, their morale will only drop to wavering, unless the first Fleeing guys triggers another Breaking guy to also turn fleeing, which then activates another morale check, etc.
    You can also use the Hold Out perk which removes the morale check for when an ally turns fleeing though I have never used this before.

    The developers introduced these morale mechanics to make Resolve not such a “dead” stat. I guess Veteran Levels are supposed to make up for the additional points required. For me this is ok because my campaigns usually last long, but if you like shorter games and maybe retire after the first crisis there is no way to get enough points to level up all the necessary stats (Fatigue, Attack skills, Defenses, HP, Resolve).

    I never had any shame or remorse using the 4 free attacks to my advantage. On the contrary, successfully snowballing a fight through breaking the enemy’s morale feels pretty good to me.

    I would suggest to increase the base resolve for new hires across the board. Right now it seems the base would be around 30-35 ±5. I think increasing that to ~40 would be appropriate – or simply increasing the minimum resolve and keeping the maximum value would work too.

    Also, increase the success chance on Rally the Troops for Wavering and Breaking morale status. I like the effectiveness on Fleeing brothers but getting them back to steady is really, really hard. I Sometimes need 3 rounds of spamming rally with 100+ Resolve next to the guy to get him from Wavering to Steady – usually it is faster to get a kill which triggers a positive morale check instead.

    Again, I think changing the fleeing mechanic in the way you suggested in your original post would hurt the player more than it would help. The way you describe it, 2% of the time the morale mechanic works against you but much more often you take advantage of it.

    …erm. I feel like I’m a duck trying to talk to a chicken. I’m saying quack quack, you’re saying cluck cluck. To counter my arguments, you’re just saying something else entirely which isn’t wrong but completely misses the point I was making @.@

    98% of battles, you do not need to have sunk a single point into resolve. Battles simply don’t require it often enough. So in 98% of battles it is a dead stat essentially. Sure, you’d want to sink points into resolve when you’re playing iron man just to make sure that 2% of the time when it snowballs out of control never happens. Sinking points into resolve removes the whole snowball effect. But resolve is needed SO infrequently that folks who do not play iron man never see the need to put points into it. The penalty for not sinking any points into resolve are so incredibly infrequent that there is an incredible incentive for non-ironman players and even some iron man players to ignore resolve entirely, in spite of the catastrophic snowball effects which happens very very infrequently. I’m trying to explain why some folks still recommend to ignore resolve completely and concentrate on melee, melee defence and fatigue only.

    The 4 opportunity attacks have always felt weird to me. Hey, I play D&D/Pathfinder! Infinite out of turn actions in a turn-based game doesn’t make sense to me. but that’s just me.

    #21739
    Namespace
    Participant

    Well, I took resolve mostly to counter the morale checks when getting surrounded and not to counter this catstrophic snowball effect.
    I just don’t like the idea of changig the fleeing-mechanic the way you proposed. It is true that in many cases Resolve is still not a good or necessary stat.

    In my opinion, more positive morale checks would be better. Let a brother who is surrounded and gets support from an ally that moves right next to him (counter-surround) trigger a positive morale check, it would open up much more possibility for tactical play as well.
    Or restore Rally’s function to buff to confident, but lower the chance and take the base Resolve of the buffed brother more into account.
    Another option would be to lower the effects of “mood” and give a brother a base chance to start with confident morale based on his resolve.
    I don’t think more morale checks would be bad just don’t like changing the fleeing mechanic.

    I think Resolve should primarily have a positive function and not be a failsafe against catastrophic events.

    #21743
    mrbunnyban
    Participant

    Well, I took resolve mostly to counter the morale checks when getting surrounded and not to counter this catstrophic snowball effect.
    I just don’t like the idea of changig the fleeing-mechanic the way you proposed. It is true that in many cases Resolve is still not a good or necessary stat.

    In my opinion, more positive morale checks would be better. Let a brother who is surrounded and gets support from an ally that moves right next to him (counter-surround) trigger a positive morale check, it would open up much more possibility for tactical play as well.
    Or restore Rally’s function to buff to confident, but lower the chance and take the base Resolve of the buffed brother more into account.
    Another option would be to lower the effects of “mood” and give a brother a base chance to start with confident morale based on his resolve.
    I don’t think more morale checks would be bad just don’t like changing the fleeing mechanic.

    I think Resolve should primarily have a positive function and not be a failsafe against catastrophic events.

    A positive effect triggering more often is a very interesting suggestion! I like that idea! As long as folks see the effect of morale more consistently it would be good.

    I’m thinking of various stages of confidence statuses. Would be a bit of a bitch to indicate graphically (maybe the same raised flag but blue instead of white?).

    Another idea would be extra AP or stamina. Something that makes sense for folks with high morale.

    Anyway resolve being primarily a positive effect sounds very sweet.

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