Topic: Some Necrosavants Part II: The Rustling

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  • #21368
    SekataSekata
    Participant

    I can’t make any excuses for the game at this point. I’m doubtful that adequate balance testing has made this less than a gambling sim. Here’s why

    Day 21 Iron Man Veteran:

    Given a 2 Skull Quest for artifact retrieval. Site looks like a necrosavant spawn site.

    Me: “There’s no way that enemy would spawn this early. Definitely not on a 2 skull… But that’s a necrosavant site. I will complete this quest FOR SCIENCE…. and gold”.

    I go to the site and am jumped by a group of 5 roaming necrosavants.

    Me: “Well then…”

    I retreat and try to run on the worldmap. Now just to clear up any doubt. 5 Necrosavants are absolutely faster than your army on the worldmap as in both instances (this one and the one that sparked the other thread) the necrosavant army has been able to close on me after recovering from the retreat stun.

    I can acknowledge that they did not all spawn with full health. Most spawned at Gravely Wounded status. This is an enemy with 9-lives though. They require 2 deathblows to actually kill in a game where a single turn is the difference between winning and failing, so the low health is hardly encouraging. They don’t take injuries either, so at no point of their lower health pool are they less combat able.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to put a high level enemy on a 2 star quest. I would not have been surprised to see Ancient Legionaries. One point of the game is that not every contract is worth the price and not every battle can be won, but to spawn a high level enemy that cannot be evaded either on the worldmap or in combat as early as day 21 is just ridiculous. This instance has very strongly convinced me that on the balance scale of gambling vs gaming or good dice rolls vs clever play, BB swings way more heavily towards the gambling rng side than it does good gaming. A successful game depends more on the rng gods smiling on you than it does being smart about guiding your company. Maybe that’s intended, in which case the finished product of bb is just not the game for personalities like mine. Maybe it’s the type of thing that will be tweaked. I don’t know.

    Again, I’ve had Iron Man games go past day 365. I could play past this if I wanted to. I won’t though, because the “Sometimes you’re screwed” philosophy is incredibly unattractive in a management game. The idea that other games have been successful purely because I had favorable world map rolls is just not attractive. When doing well is more a function of luck than skill or experience, then even the good experiences are cheapened. I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. If I wanted to gamble, I’d download a casino game.

    And yea, some of you might say “You could have turned down the quest when you saw the building type”. The first time I was attacked by a roaming necro army I was nowhere close to the building type and had no idea one was around. 1.) The fact that the enemy and it’s base has spawned in the world is enough to endanger the player. 2) I’ve seen the building type in other games spawn right by the road early on. Roaming armies aren’t always around, but the building type absolutely is, and it’s not always in a remote location. 3.) Considering the lack of transparency for a lot of information in the game, how the heck would a new player know to avoid this building type?

    The presence of the necrosavants also makes me believe that there’s possibly other issues in game that are absolutely not balanced to reward careful play on the players part. The game winds up looking like more gambling sim than a tactical management game. What good are tactics when the DM of the game simply decides you’re screwed? Sure, I could choose to look at BB the way it’s designed. It’s a board game, you can play campaigns over and over again. Losing and starting a new campaign is just part of the design. Fine, just not everyone’s cup of tea and absolutely not designed to reward careful play over a bad dice roll. There are plenty of other games that feature heavy RNG and reward careful play even if the player was dealt a bad hand at the start of the game.

    But spawning a late game enemy that cannot be evaded either on the worldmap or the combat screen is essentially an informal game-over screen that pops up independently of the player making a clear mistake. Other than being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    If the game is balanced as intended then it needs an official guide from the people that created it so that players know how best to hedge against bad rolls. Otherwise, to beat a dead horse, Losing isn’t fun .

    #21385
    mrbunnyban
    Participant

    Was considering moving on to iron man, you’ve convinced me otherwise. Thank you!

    #21389
    hruza
    Participant

    If I understand you right, those necros were not part of the quest. They were simply roaming around while you were heading to the location of the quest (otherwise they would not follow you on the world map).

    You could as well run in to them while doing anything else in the game.

    As for not able to evade …you can always hit retreat button once in the battle. Yes, you would get your mercs injured repeatedly since they would catch you again, but those injuries does not stack, it takes the same time to heal single injury as it take to heal five injuries (approximately).

    So only issue would be loose of the morale and it would be race to find some allied party before your mercs start deserting you.

    It’s not automatic game over. Even if you would loose most or all the mercs it would not be automatic game over unless you have no spare equipment and no money at all. You can almost always recover.

    Gambling? Yes, luck plays role in this game, but more often it’s your own decisions that matter. You seems to insist in your post that game should be somehow fair and balanced. I disagree. It’s an open world sandbox game, fact that you can run in to enemy which is well beyond your ability is something I consider good, not bad design. Fact that enemies can overpower you IS fair. Because you can also overpower them. Would you complain on the fact that you as a player took on group of 4 enemy tugs in rags and clubs with your party of 12 veterans? I don’t think so.

    #21391
    SekataSekata
    Participant

    If I understand you right, those necros were not part of the quest. They were simply roaming around while you were heading to the location of the quest (otherwise they would not follow you on the world map).

    You could as well run in to them while doing anything else in the game.

    As for not able to evade …you can always hit retreat button once in the battle. Yes, you would get your mercs injured repeatedly since they would catch you again, but those injuries does not stack, it takes the same time to heal single injury as it take to heal five injuries (approximately).

    So only issue would be loose of the morale and it would be race to find some allied party before your mercs start deserting you.

    It’s not automatic game over. Even if you would loose most or all the mercs it would not be automatic game over unless you have no spare equipment and no money at all. You can almost always recover.

    Gambling? Yes, luck plays role in this game, but more often it’s your own decisions that matter. You seems to insist in your post that game should be somehow fair and balanced. I disagree. It’s an open world sandbox game, fact that you can run in to enemy which is well beyond your ability is something I consider good, not bad design. Fact that enemies can overpower you IS fair. Because you can also overpower them. Would you complain on the fact that you as a player took on group of 4 enemy tugs in rags and clubs with your party of 12 veterans? I don’t think so.

    The possibility of running into them anywhere is exactly my point this early in the game.

    They very clearly follow me on the worldmap, which is why there are two battle sites on the screenshot. In the last necrosavant post, that necrosavant army followed me on the worldmap and I was nowhere near a visible undead camp.

    Notice the banner above the undead worldmap army and the banner above the structure . They were spawned from that location, and the location description mentions hemovores, which is what necros used to be called in earlier builds. This is an enemy that guarantees loss in the form of time or crowns one way or the other. The punishment is simply for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Choosing your engagement isn’t a factor because you can’t outrun them on the worldmap. You have to engage at one point or another.

    If I ran into them by clicking the structure and they were the quest enemies I would be perfectly fine . I can retreat, and they would be confined to the structure. But this is a roaming army that could have caught me on the road just as easily and did in another playthrough. This isn’t a case of making a risky attack or a long shot quest and being punished for it. It’s a case of being punished for being at the wrong place at the wrong time without clear error on the player’s part. The enemy type should not spawn as a roaming army this early, and it’s worth noting that the location and associated dangers came attached to a 2 skull contract.

    As I mentioned, I did hit retreat. You can see two separate battle sites on that screen shot. The first is when they attacked me the first time and the second is where they caught up to me again after recovering from the retreat stun.


    @hruza
    I try and give you the benefit of the doubt in other posts. I try not to assume anything that you haven’t said and I’m doing my best to very clearly read what you’re implying. Rather than implying that you don’t know the game, I assume that you’re a competent player and are simply fine with things as they are. Please do the same for me even if we differ on what we consider balanced or good design.

    Do I ever use the word fair? No, I don’t. ctrl+f. Please, go for it. Only use of the word is in your post.

    In the original Necrosavant thread I use the word, but I define the term. Fair is simply the player having the tools to handle the situation presented in game. By handle I don’t mean win. If the player runs into an overpowering enemy type, that tool is retreat. Necrosavants cannot be retreated from without taking injuries since they teleport. Fighting them this early guarantees the loss of a brother. Non-engagement is not an option since they are faster on the worldmap. There is no single tool that the player has at this point to avoid loss, and had I killed them there would be no reward associated with the quest. They weren’t the target even though they spawned from the site.

    If a player takes on a risky quest and finds enemies that he/she can’t contend with, then the punishment is either losing brothers in a bad fight, or losing relationship by retreating and cancelling the quest. In the case of necrosavants, the punishment is double headed. Since the army roams and is faster than you, you HAVE to engage. Retreat without either injury or death is a non-option. It also means that since the army roams, it can find you outside of the quest/reward loop. Having to take losses associated with Necrosavants in the early game winds up meaning punishment for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s what I have an issue with.

    I do imply some form of balance be maintained. I consistently say that the player should be punished for making a clear mistake. I mention that I would have expected to run into a group of legionaries, an enemy type that I can in no way contend with. That’s a battle that I simply could not fight, they’re even more dangerous than the necrosavants in close quarters. Legionaries can be evaded without guaranteed loss in the form of injuries and brothers. They don’t teleport. They aren’t faster on the worldmap.

    Notice, I’m not complaining about having to flee from 3 bandit armies at once. I’m not complaining about orc marauders sacking caravans in two star quests on day 15. I’m not complaining about a difficult enemy just to complain. All of those dangers can be avoided and losses mitigated even if the player fails the quest.

    Running into an enemy that can overpower you with the option to run is not the same thing as running into an enemy that you have to take automatic heavy losses from (in the form of coin or time). In one case, you rolled a dice that you can’t overcome (legionaries), but you can salvage the situation by choosing not to engage, since its the best option to prevent losses. Time to leave and regroup. In the other, you rolled a dice that gives you absolutely no option but to take loss because there is no escaping the enemy type. If you don’t have gold to hire more brothers there is no option but to wait for recovery, and that costs money over the long run.

    And yea actually. I would complain about the thugs scenario. One of the biggest issue with builds before the ghoul rework was that the enemy was not threatening and no fun to fight. Every time one of the contracts popped up I would roll my eyes. There was no challenge or danger to it. It was just guaranteed time eaten up hitting an enemy that couldn’t really do anything in the mid-late game. That was worth complaining about. Similarly if the game only spawned thugs into the mid and late game it would be worth complaining about. When I have a good team going, I regularly turn down quests where the gold yield suggests that there won’t be a good fight. A game without challenge is boring. A game that punishes the player automatically, which is exactly what it means to run into necrosavants this early and be REQUIRED to take injuries or deaths because they can’t be outrun on the worldmap, is frustrating.

    As far as I know, I’m giving feedback to the devs following the release period about how I as a player experience the game. Is that a crime? They might intend for it to be this way. I mention that in the post. If the experience is intended then it’s a non issue. A game that wants you to play on iron man but punishes the player arbitrarily is just not my kind of game. I have no way of knowing, so I post here. If it’s not what they intend it can be adjusted. I thought that was the point of this forum. Never-mind though. One player is fine with everything in the game. It must be balanced. Shut down the forum, no need to give feedback. Hruza likes it all. We solved balance guys! Pack it up, time to go home.


    @hruza
    Please do not put words into my mouth. I’m fine discussing balance and the place of RNG in design philosophy, but its tiresome to have to repeat myself over and over again because it’s easier for you to be right if I said something that I never said. We have different opinions of what balance is in an open world game. That’s fine, I have no reason to think less of you for it. I won’t suggest that you’re ok with things that you have not explicitly stated. Do me the same favor.

    #21393
    SekataSekata
    Participant

    TLDR:

    The necros do follow me on the worldmap. note: The two battle sites.

    They also spawned from the building type, which itself spawned on or before day 21. note: The banner above the worldmap army and the banner above the base. Note also the base description which alludes to it being a place for hemovores- the previously used name of necrosavants.

    (1) Being required to take injuries or combat losses from a roaming army that cannot be evaded is a punishment for the player being at the wrong place at the wrong time. This means a loss of time and resources without a clear mistake that justifies it. That is not a problem that exists with any other enemy in the game.

    (2) The game does not need to be ‘fair’ but it should give players the tools in the form of mechanics or knowledge to hedge against loss. In most encounters where the player is overwhelmed, that tool is retreat. It is not a tool that applies to necrosavants, and again the player takes loss in the form of time and coin for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. This would not be the case if the army did not roam.

    (3) Just because the game over is not automatic, that does not mean that the design is balanced. By creating a loop that punishes the player without clear reward (the necro encounter was not the quest encounter) and without a clear mistake, the player learns that the game will punish them whether they make an error or not. Again, fine for gambling and fine for certain gamers. Not fine for other kinds of players (like me) or games that imply that skill is more important than RNG. It’s the difference between dark souls and poker. One game is brutally difficult by nature of the enemies the player is facing and RNG is not the primary factor. The other game is challenging because of its random nature. These games attract different kinds of player.

    (4). I never said that I wanted the game to be easy or that I don’t enjoy challenge. That’s a suggestion that you have made to de-legitimize my issue with this enemy type. As far as I can tell, you have ignored my words in previous posts just so that you can make the allegation. I have previously mentioned being perfectly fine with the state of enemy types that can wreck the player, like the ghoul re-work, since it made them a threat. I would have been fine if the necros were confined in the quest location, since it ties them to the quest/reward loop, and means that they are confined to the location. An army roaming on day 21 and the instant punishment that it implies for the player is where I have an issue. I am not sure whether or not it is intended to fit in the balance since the game has just released and am mentioning it here. If it is intended, I stand by my statement that I don’t like the design because of the implications for the risk/reward loop and punishing the player outside of a mistake being made.

    I will take your points seriously and will be civil in debates of design and philosophy. I will give you the benefit of the doubt as a player and assume that you understand the game and are simply fine with its current state. I will cease to be civil (or take your seriously at all) if your basis for responding to my own critiques depends on suggesting that I hold opinions that I have not clearly stated (your 4 thugs scenario) or am incapable of playing the game. I can play, very well, and find certain design choices lacking.

    #21395
    SekataSekata
    Participant

    To be clear, I have issues with quite a few things in the game. Maybe you can recover from a bad dice roll. Is it fun? Is the player under the impression that adequate tools were given to cope with a situation and he/she simply failed to use them? These are my standards when judging a game that encourages Iron Man play.

    The End Game crisis is fun but feels rushed and slightly unbalanced. I say this having played through 2/3 of them successfully in one campaign before restarting the game. It’s incredibly immersion breaking to be sitting in an army camp with a noble house and have to dodge 3 randomly generated bandit armies to save strength for the actual quest encounter.

    Quests randomly punish the player by having encounters that cannot be anticipated or avoided (stolen good caravans/ mercs after package). These are things that may be intended, but are not fun and do not lead me as the player to believe that I have much ability to change the results in the game. I’m not sure that’s the atmosphere that is meant to be cultivated in an Iron Man intended game. I will point them out here in the forum. I have no way of knowing if its intended if I do not comment on it and give feedback.

    The negotiation system, worldmap spawns, relationships, all of these things could use a once over. There is no feeling that the player can actually negotiate with the leader of a town that he has saved many times form orc invasion or werewolf scourge. It seems like flavor text. I say that as feedback, because I do not know if that feeling is intended, or if the system is implemented that way for time constraints.

    My assumption is that I am free to give feedback and the devs can decide that it’s intended or unintended. If these sorts of things are intended then I am simply not the intended audience for this type of game. Even that is worth knowing. Much of it could be me misunderstanding a lot about the game and the intended audience. That’s perfectly possible.

    #21413
    mrbunnyban
    Participant

    In this case, I think the necrosavants were badly balanced. The devs clearly tried to make balance the early game appearance of Necrosavants by reducing their HP. This is not a good way of balancing end-game units because they still have the stats, powers and damage output of an end-game unit.

    #21453
    Namespace
    Participant

    Yeah. Day 21 for roaming necrosavants is waay too early. I would just remove them as world spawns entirely unless it’s the undead crisis. Just spawn legionaires instead or give them different weapons for the early game.

    I really don’t get this. The game doesn’t spawn Hedge Knights or Master Archers that early either. Same goes for Orc Warlords, Overseers/Shamans and pretty much all the late-game enemies in the game. Just Necrosavants are the exception.

    #21464
    mrbunnyban
    Participant

    Yeah. Day 21 for roaming necrosavants is waay too early. I would just remove them as world spawns entirely unless it’s the undead crisis. Just spawn legionaires instead or give them different weapons for the early game.

    I really don’t get this. The game doesn’t spawn Hedge Knights or Master Archers that early either. Same goes for Orc Warlords, Overseers/Shamans and pretty much all the late-game enemies in the game. Just Necrosavants are the exception.

    Day 21? faced packs of them on day 2. T.T

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