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Thread: Discussion: How could Survival Mode be improved?

  1. #1
    Superbacker Frown's Avatar
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    Question Discussion: How could Survival Mode be improved?

    I'm sure many of the die-hard fans of TBS have spent dozens of hours of this game mode, including myself. But that's not to say it's perfect. After browsing through the #spoilers channel and the TBS subreddit, these are some opinions that I dug out.

    Quote Originally Posted by "Nafeij" on Discord
    It's REALLY frustrating when you spend all of pillage mode meticulously and painstakingly squeezing your units around the centre of the battlefield, thinking that you're all set for a second wave, and then an archer manages to reach the center of the map and snipes a weakened unit.
    Is there a way to prevent the player from losing units from bad luck at the start of second waves? Or should that be part of the harsh reality of Survival?

    Quote Originally Posted by "DrobPrzan" on Discord
    Survival needs a bit more diversity and maybe a bit more advanced RNG system. (broadened)
    Should Survival approach more of a Roguelike style where there is more randomization in level picks, enemy compositions and maybe even hero availability? Or is the current style better for letting the player perfect his/her strategy?

    Quote Originally Posted by "Iog" on Discord
    Yeaaaaaaaaaah, permadeath is something I don't agree at all in survival. Too many cheap deaths and it limits build diversity, since archers/ menders are too squishy. Taking more than 2 archers or menders on survival hard run makes the run way riskier.
    Does permadeath add to the fun of Survival? What would be some alternative consequences?

    Quote Originally Posted by "maxverse" on Reddit
    Storytelling and writing in Banner Saga has always been fantastic.
    In contrast, has anyone else noticed that the little snippets used to introduce each battle in BS2 Survival are awfully cheesy? It's like a LOTR-style intro knockoff with pretty terrible writing
    Any thoughts on the narration in between levels? Does it add to the suspense and mood of Survival, or is it not needed?

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    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Great thread, Frown! Maybe we should move it outside the KS-exclusive subforum for wider visibility?

    Here's my thoughts on the points raised:

    1. Second waves -- First off: I don't generally do them, neither in SM nor in the main game (Saga1 Wars). The reason is, obviously, that you're way too exposed to cheap loses, even if you meticulously (and tediously) fortify yourself at the end of the first wave. If we had re-deployment but w/ reduced stats (e.g. like Bellower phase 2), I'd be more tempted to try them. You can even penalize the party, with a tight deployment zone, or hidden enemy units. But, for (the dead) gods' sake: Let us always have first turn in the second wave!

    2. Roguelikeness -- Yup, I'd certainly enjoy that, even though it kinda breaks the "arcade" feeling the devs were going for. In those games/era, knowing what was ahead of you was of critical importance to coming out victorious, as the odds were otherwise against you. In any case, minor touches like shuffling the boards in each "level" would add something to it.

    3. Permadeath -- It's a trademark ingredient, but... It would also be OK to have heroes KO'd and Injured, like in the Campaign. If you wanna use them Injured, OK. If you wanna heal them, you gotta spend Renown at a "Healer's Hut" met at each "level" break

    *. Marketplace -- How could you have forgotten that? I recommend putting a Marketplace at each "level" break. There, you can sell items (at low rates) for Renown and maybe purchase a few. No duplicates and Hero-rank restrictions will apply.

    4. Storytelling -- Heh, yeah. Writing could be better, but I don't think it's bad where it's at now.
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  3. #3
    The biggest gripe for me is also the randomness of second waves. First, you should have an auto renew option where you mend up your armor automatically so you aren't forced to spend a bunch of time in pillage mode doing so. Secondly, do something where you can redeploy and know where the enemies are coming from or at least make it so that the enemies don't get to walk around offboard. I have had enemies appear on the edge of the board and then walk around on the outside of the board and come in at the most inopportune spot to snipe someone. If they appear from offboard, they should have to immediately walk onboard at the spot they appear or else just have them appear in one of the valid spots on the board.

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    Superbacker Frown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    Great thread, Frown! Maybe we should move it outside the KS-exclusive subforum for wider visibility?
    By all means!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    *. Marketplace -- How could you have forgotten that? I recommend putting a Marketplace at each "level" break. There, you can sell items (at low rates) for Renown and maybe purchase a few. No duplicates and Hero-rank restrictions will apply.
    I do agree that this could be a good idea. It's actually a legitimate strategy to sacrifice heroes at low levels just so you can get some renown out their items at viking funeral, which is kinda the opposite of "survival".

  5. #5
    Background - I have 13 finished survival runs on hard (most of them without Alette).

    Problems specific to Survival mode:

    1. Permadeath . It leads to frustrating experiences and limits build diversity.
    I know that the devs wanted to have the players feel that their heroes are really at stake, but the result is simply annoying. Part of the issue is that there is a world of difference in survivability between varls on one end and archers/ menders at the other end. This simply encourages the players to have characters that don't die easily (read varls ) and limit the number of fragile characters (archers and menders). This is compounded by the fact that there are only 2 menders in the game, so if you lose them there is no replacement.
    Hero deaths are frustrating. You would imagine your heroes die in a blaze of glory at the end of a nail biting fight. Nothing further from the truth. My heroes die because:
    a. Fast moving enemies ( kragsman spearman for ex) act quickly in the first turn and one shot or almost one shot Eywind or an archer who didn't have time to act. Hard to prevent besides counting invisible tiles on the board.
    b. I painstakingly position my squishy characters properly. Kragsman spearman spawns with a + move item and all my calculations are ruined and squishy gets one shotted again. Honorable mention to the Blackfish artefact which besides +move items is the second most annoying source of ruined calculations.
    c. Eyeless - maddening with her respawn and acting immediately. At 20 str/ 3 exe on hard is impossible to prevent her from one shotting archers/ menders if you get a bad respawn.

    2.Second waves - already mentioned. You either lose a lot of time stalling to position for the second wave (not fun gameplay) or you skip them entirely. Unfun in general.

    Secondly, there are generic issues with the game in general.

    Most important I feel is the lack of build diversity. Some classes are better than others and some characters in the same class are better than others.
    1. Varl outshine melee humans (raider, spearmen and poets). Horseborn archers are inferior to human ones and horseborn melee are only useful because of mule kick, which is probably the second most powerful ability in the game after Alette's Overwatch with knockback.
    2. Characters in the same class. For ex Iver starts with 35 points and has max 17 str/ 16 arm. Bersi and Sigjborn start with around 28 I believe and their max is 16 str / 12 arm. No point in using them. Griss has 15 str/ 15 arm max while Mogr 14 str/ 18 arm. Mogr is better by a long shot. Similar examples with human melee can be found.

    After so many runs now I find normal is too easy and hard is bearable only with a specific roaster of heroes, which makes the hard runs boring. I guess the solution is to play normal with underpowered heroes, but a balance for a challenging run is hard to find.

    Sorry for the long kind of rambling post . Thank you Frown for opening the discussion (and quoting me :P ).
    Last edited by iog; 08-27-2017 at 06:46 PM.

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    Superbacker Frown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iog View Post
    1. Permadeath . It leads to frustrating experiences and limits build diversity.
    How about if random deaths didn't occur? I personally think that permadeath is important for keeping the feeling of urgency in SM, but I do agree that it's difficult to find the motivation to keep playing when a character is doomed, and there was nothing you could do about it. One or a combination of the following solutions could fix this:

    1. Allowing the player to preview the battlefield before choosing loadout.
    2. Allowing the player to view the turn order of the enemy before choosing positioning.
    3. Having larger margins when playing "surrounded" scenarios.
    4. Allowing for one undisturbed round of movement after the match has started.
    5. Forcing the enemy AI to play defensively in the first round.

    2-5 in this list could also fix the problem with Second Waves. If the player loses a character, it should be because they were ruthless, and not because of bad luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by iog View Post
    Most important I feel is the lack of build diversity. Some classes are better than others and some characters in the same class are better than others.
    I've been a bit bothered by this as well. For example, why would anyone ever pick Gudmundr over Egil? I guess Gudmundr is better if the player wants to invest in Talent Ranks, but I think we can all agree that those are less valuable than actual stat boosts.

    Still, I can't find a good solution to this other than to meddle with the stats of the characters. Anyone has any good ideas?

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    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Good points, iog.

    Permadeath -- I think the situations you described mostly hurt in Krumr's Mentor runs (and No-Reload runs in general). In most other cases, it's probably OK to spend one Reload after such an unfortunate event, no? It took me several tries to nail KM achievement, so I do feel you. But, on the other hand, it became a core part of my Party-building strategy to place "zone control" heroes in the first two slots, e.g. Oddleif, Dytch, Egil, Sparr. In overall, I think that Permadeath is a core ingredient of survival mode, and I wouldn't like it entirely removed.

    Build diversity -- Now, this is indeed a problem in SM, and one I've argued about in the beta phase too. As it'd be kinda silly to flat-stat all Heroes for SM, my recommendations on how to address this are:
    (a) Renown costs (hire, promote etc) should depend on Hero "power"; it's fairly straightforward to identify and "grade" the strong & weak heroes in ~5 tiers. So, e.g., Iver costs 15R to recruit, where Bersi is only 5R.
    (b) Enemy team composition (ranks, classes) depends on Party composition: Bringing your Dream-Team would mean facing a Nightmare-Team in each battle, for the same Renown gain as somebody who fields a team of modest/underdog Heroes!

    --

    @Frown: Interesting suggestions. I think we've gone through them in the past. With the current mechanics, I think the most realistic ones are: 3 and 4. Suggestions 1 and 2 are maybe "too much" (especially 2), i.e. they'd make the battles considerably easier. Number 5 needs tweaking the AI, so it's probably the hardest to implement.
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    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    FYI -- I moved this thread to "The Longhouse", so that everybody can see it
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    @Frown. To be honest, I will sometimes pick Gudmundr over Egil because I think he's kind of cool. But clearly I'm not the kind of person who uses the most optimal build and nothing else.
    The only people I tend not to use because of better versions are the Warhawks, and that's because they really are the same except for stats. At least until you get 2nd abilities, everyone else has their own usefulness - and even then I prefer to make a bunch of different combinations.

    Also, I'm going to bow out of this discussion now. I don't play survival mode because I find it frustrating and I'm not good with time limits, but I don't think there's any way to make me play it a lot without inherently changing what it is.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    Good points, iog.
    Permadeath -- I think the situations you described mostly hurt in Krumr's Mentor runs (and No-Reload runs in general). In most other cases, it's probably OK to spend one Reload after such an unfortunate event, no? It took me several tries to nail KM achievement, so I do feel you. But, on the other hand, it became a core part of my Party-building strategy to place "zone control" heroes in the first two slots, e.g. Oddleif, Dytch, Egil, Sparr. In overall, I think that Permadeath is a core ingredient of survival mode, and I wouldn't like it entirely removed.
    Yes and no. Reloads, good position and zone control heroes certainly help with avoiding hero deaths but there are still situations where you feel powerless like Eyeless respawn or a very bad starting position. I feel that the game would benefit from more zone/crowd control tools, but that's another discussion. More importantly I feel that permadeath limits build diversity by forcing you to severely limit the number of squishy characters. I am not saying that an all archer runs should be possible, but would be nice to play with a roaster with more than 2 archers/ menders.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    Build diversity -- Now, this is indeed a problem in SM, and one I've argued about in the beta phase too. As it'd be kinda silly to flat-stat all Heroes for SM, my recommendations on how to address this are:
    (a) Renown costs (hire, promote etc) should depend on Hero "power"; it's fairly straightforward to identify and "grade" the strong & weak heroes in ~5 tiers. So, e.g., Iver costs 15R to recruit, where Bersi is only 5R.
    (b) Enemy team composition (ranks, classes) depends on Party composition: Bringing your Dream-Team would mean facing a Nightmare-Team in each battle, for the same Renown gain as somebody who fields a team of modest/underdog Heroes!
    Same stats for heroes in the same class would be bad, but I would be happy with a standardization in which the total of max str,arm and break is the same for a class. For ex Bersi could have max 18 str/ 14 arm / 2 break, Sigbjorn 18 str/ 13 arm / 3 break and Krumr 17 str/ 13 arm / 4 break. Likewise I don't see a reason why the starting points should be different between heroes of the same class. I know that the devs are trying to make very hero unique, but I am not a big fan of diversity for the sake of diversity in which you end up with clear tiers of power levels.
    Last edited by iog; 08-28-2017 at 08:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iog View Post
    I feel that permadeath limits build diversity by forcing you to severely limit the number of squishy characters. I am not saying that an all archer runs should be possible, but would be nice to play with a roaster with more than 2 archers/ menders.
    My point is: Permadeath is scary if you got many squishy heroes in your Party, yes. But, that is a problem mostly in hardcore/competitive play. In my opinion, playing all-archer on Normal is perfectly doable (beating 1-40 with 5-6 Reloads), and even gets OP near the end. Actually, there's just a handful of battles where specific builds are in danger (e.g. the vs. Kragsmen are scary for all-archers, or the Canary Bridge battle is scare for all-varl).

    Quote Originally Posted by iog View Post
    Same stats for heroes in the same class would be bad, but I would be happy with a standardization in which the total of max str,arm and break is the same for a class. For ex Bersi could have max 18 str/ 14 arm / 2 break, Sigbjorn 18 str/ 13 arm / 3 break and Krumr 17 str/ 13 arm / 4 break. Likewise I don't see a reason why the starting points should be different between heroes of the same class. I know that the devs are trying to make very hero unique, but I am not a big fan of diversity for the sake of diversity in which you end up with clear tiers of power levels.
    Yes, that was the idea behind balancing the Factions units: The sum of all 5 stat max limits should be the same [wikiref]. Starting with ARM+STR and moving to your suggestion (ARM+STR+BRK) is probably a better criterion for balancing units of the same class, surely, and it could be used in Survival Mode too. Why they didn't do it? I think the reason is that (a) they wanted the heroes to be different (e.g. Sigbjorn weaker than Gunnulf) for main story/campaign reasons, and they (b) preferred to keep the same max-stats for all heroes in SM too. Is that understandable? In my opinion, yes, and that's why my suggestions tried to take that inherent/inherited diversity into account.
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    Superbacker Frown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    My point is: Permadeath is scary if you got many squishy heroes in your Party, yes. But, that is a problem mostly in hardcore/competitive play. In my opinion, playing all-archer on Normal is perfectly doable (beating 1-40 with 5-6 Reloads), and even gets OP near the end. Actually, there's just a handful of battles where specific builds are in danger (e.g. the vs. Kragsmen are scary for all-archers, or the Canary Bridge battle is scare for all-varl).
    I can definitely back this. My first ever successful no-reloads run (on Normal) was with Alette + Oddleif + Nid + Yrsa + Zefr + Canary. If there's a group of underpowered hero units, I'd say it's Spearmen and (some) Raiders.

    Anyone have details on what Stoic has said when it comes to lvl 11+? Perhaps the characters can be re-balanced at this stage?
    Last edited by Frown; 08-29-2017 at 12:52 PM.

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    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frown View Post
    Anyone have details on what Stoic has said when it comes to lvl 11+? Perhaps the characters can be re-balanced at this stage?
    That is a well-kept secret. If you ask me, I think there will not be Rank 11+ (w/ extra points to be spent on stats or talents) but some different way of hero progression. I have a few ideas, but it is wild guessing. For instance, they've mentioned these "Heroic Titles" several times, so maybe they are what you'd call Rank 11,12,13. As for the bonus given, I'm guessing some sort of special "ability" or "modifier", e.g. +1WIL to all heroes when you Rest or when you kill a foe, or +1ARM to all allies within an aura (1-2 tiles distance), or +1 STR damage, or +1 range (to archers) etc.

    The only thing we got in writing for Saga3 combat is KS Update#12 (Combat), which makes no mention of hero progression.
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  14. #14
    Great topic!

    I love survival mode very much, although I have only few victories to show for it. Maybe that is because I mostly refuse to play in any way other than in a certain mode (hard, "Together Or Not At All", "No Outsiders", "Not Some Fantasy" - why those three is another story). So far, I haven't managed it yet. But I appreciate that there are many different ways of approaching SM, which is indicated by the achievements. So far, they only exist as "trophies", but maybe improvements made to the SM could bear these different approaches in mind. That especially concerns permadeath and build-diversity.


    1. Second waves

    I don't really see why they needed to be so highly randomized all the time in the first place. Some fight scenarios clearly show that the enemies can only come from one side, so it would help greatly if we could use such visual cues for calculating the risks of engaging the second wave. The same goes for Dredge that are called to the battlefield - why, at fight number 5 where the heroes fight with their backs to an abyss, can they spawn at the abyss-end of the battlefield???


    2. Randomization

    Well, many of the "special" passives are quite rng-based already. Also, which items we get during the fights varies hugely in terms of usability. But it would be nice to see a bit more enemy variety - maybe we could have a few specific battles in which the enemies might be completely unpredictable?

    3. Permadeath

    I think permadeath is an important element of SM. It seems to me that permadeath is an annoyance not in itself, but in combination with several approaches/achievements. That would suggest that "fixing" it would require a combination of several slight alterations.

    Quote Originally Posted by iog View Post
    This is compounded by the fact that there are only 2 menders in the game, so if you lose them there is no replacement.
    That is a good point. As long one is not doing a no-death-run, the availability of some classes is somewhat limiting. Maybe these classes should have just one more member?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frown View Post
    How about if random deaths didn't occur? I personally think that permadeath is important for keeping the feeling of urgency in SM, but I do agree that it's difficult to find the motivation to keep playing when a character is doomed, and there was nothing you could do about it. One or a combination of the following solutions could fix this:

    1. Allowing the player to preview the battlefield before choosing loadout.
    2. Allowing the player to view the turn order of the enemy before choosing positioning.
    3. Having larger margins when playing "surrounded" scenarios.
    4. Allowing for one undisturbed round of movement after the match has started.
    5. Forcing the enemy AI to play defensively in the first round.

    2-5 in this list could also fix the problem with Second Waves. If the player loses a character, it should be because they were ruthless, and not because of bad luck.
    This is a good idea. though I feel that 2 and 4 especially might not suit all battle scenarios.

    Maybe the hero titles could add something to avoid completely random deaths? Something like "if a character is near death, a hero with a certain title might interrupt the turn order once and rush in to defend the weakened hero". It might be difficult to balance, but some character-based effect similar to the Ring of the Wolf might be just what we need (Minsc from BG2: "Despair not! I shall inspire you by charging BLINDLY ON"). Or we might just have more renown per battle, especially on hard. That could give squishy characters some more of those handy passives.
    Concerning my own runs, I felt that the very restricted number of reloads combined poorly with permadeath. Maybe a solution for that could be something of a customizable SM: At the start one could either choose a quick play and only select the difficulty, or one could select some sub-modes to be active (similar to our achievements now) that could, maybe, disable permadeath or give more reloads


    4. Marketplace

    Oh yes, I like that idea. Maybe we could sell items we do not need (that would finally give them some use).

    5. Narration

    For me, the quality of the narrated bits varies. I quite like some, and some are a bit funny. Maybe they could be up to twice as long, and contain some vague strategic information about the situation one is in? Along the lines of the archer-themed one: Just a few homes, a few defences. But the people inside seemed to hate everyone outside. Hate them enough to kill them.. It might be changed to something slightly more explicit and informative... maybe, say, "What used to be a peaceful village of hunters turned into a battlefield for ground and distance. The hunters became the hunted, the houses became barricades."
    Of course, the narration for battle 6 would have to be a special one.... With fourteen armour and fourteen strength, the enemies in this village were not from this world. ..... I hate that fight.

    But far more important than the narration is the music and the Raven-chants in my opinion. I remember especially the end of the first stonesinger-battle (20) and the beginning of the battles after. They chants provide so much amtosphere.... expanding on them or just keeping them would be essential for me.


    6. Build diversity

    Quote Originally Posted by iog View Post
    1. Varl outshine melee humans
    . Huh, you see, I hardly ever play with Varl (maybe that's why i never finish hard SM runs...). I actually quite like spearmen, and poets, and Oli. But you are right - they are maybe too squishy. Maybe humans should get another passive.... say, X% more renown to spend on passives like Defy or Divert? There has to be some advantage in being an agile human over being a huge Varl....But that's the thing: if most people prefer Varl over poets and spearmen, that might point at a deficiency of the human heroes, since mechanically they are at least as interestign as high-STR Varl....
    (Heroes with low max-values might have some rather limited uses, but uses nonetheless. Tale Worth Telling profits from having lower STR.... and if a character has a low maximum, they reach the special passive ranks faster, e.g. Godmundr reaches Defy/Stubborn ranks 2 points faster than Egil. Granted, that has never make me choose him over Egil, but maybe if you have a special build in mind...?)


    sorry for such a long post....
    Last edited by Percej; 09-05-2017 at 04:06 PM. Reason: Typos...

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    Superbacker Frown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Percej View Post
    sorry for such a long post....
    No need to apologize! You made some really good arguments!

    Quote Originally Posted by Percej View Post
    The same goes for Dredge that are called to the battlefield - why, at fight number 5 where the heroes fight with their backs to an abyss, can they spawn at the abyss-end of the battlefield???
    Good point. While SM shouldn't necessarily be classified as canon, they should at least make sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Percej View Post
    This is a good idea. though I feel that 2 and 4 especially might not suit all battle scenarios.
    I agree, and that's why I'm hoping for option 5 (passive enemy). Or perhaps the AI should just be unable to use exertion or abilities in the first round?

    Quote Originally Posted by Percej View Post
    Maybe a solution for that could be something of a customizable SM: At the start one could either choose a quick play and only select the difficulty, or one could select some sub-modes to be active (similar to our achievements now) that could, maybe, disable permadeath or give more reloads
    I'd love to see a way to practice in the different battlefields after having finished them for the first time (without using the debug console). Perhaps we'll see this in the Eternal Arena?

    Quote Originally Posted by Percej View Post
    Oh yes, I like that idea. Maybe we could sell items we do not need (that would finally give them some use).
    Yes please. Also, take a look at my suggestion for giving low-level items more of a purpose: http://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthr...-items-in-TBS3

    Quote Originally Posted by Percej View Post
    There has to be some advantage in being an agile human over being a huge Varl
    This makes sense. A human could, for example, start Dodge rank 1 at 10% rather than 5%.

    Quote Originally Posted by Percej View Post
    they reach the special passive ranks faster, e.g. Godmundr reaches Defy/Stubborn ranks 2 points faster than Egil. Granted, that has never make me choose him over Egil
    I've also considered this, but in the end I agree that raw stat boosts are simply superior to talent ranks. Anyone who thinks otherwise?

  16. #16
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    I agree that the SM content should be more accessible to people that: (a) like the combat system, but (b) don't like the hard & competitive ingredients of SM. Part (b) includes stuff like: Permadeath, limited turn timer, limited reloads, unique save-slot for each "campaign", achievements & leaderboards & online-ness.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Frown View Post
    No need to apologize! You made some really good arguments!
    Thank you

    Maybe we can bundle all these concerns.... so we have: 1. the wish of customizing the SM, 2. balancing of the SM and possible additions and 3. balancing of classes in general.

    1. Customizable SM
    As you said, this might be very close to the Eternal Arena.... (the "sandbox-style battle options" and "different gameplay rules" sound very close) so it depends on what the developers are/ will be planning. That really has been the question ever since they announced it - how are SM and Eternal Arena related? Maybe the Eternal Arena is just that - customizable fights - and SM is supposed to be one single hard mode?

    2. Balancing of the SM and possible additions
    The balancing part also encompasses keeping specific runs in mind (e.g.: only humans; no deaths; no reloads, etc). I do not want to imply that such balancing has not been done; but depending on general player experience, there might be a cause for this. That of course also begs the question how balanced we want it - whether all combinations should be doable by most people, or if, akin to some games, there are just some crazy-triple-crown-solo-iron-man-exert-doom-modes that are just nearly impossible.
    The other part would be additions like the things mentioned above: item trading, dual items, more logical and/or predictable spawns, (better) battle previews, randomization...

    3. Balancing classes in general
    That would be the hardest part to discuss, I feel, for most classes sound actually pretty good in theory. For instance, I am very fond of poets and their abilities (yes, also in general but I really mean in this game). "Tale Worth Telling" is a fantastic addition for archers, especially if they have "Bird of Prey". "Insult" and their passive are similarly useful. And yet, I do understand that people prefer other classes - I myself feel more comfortable with four raiders, one archer and spearman than with three raiders, archer, spearman and Aleo. The importance of raw stats seems closely related to this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Frown View Post
    in the end I agree that raw stat boosts are simply superior to talent ranks. Anyone who thinks otherwise?
    I am certainly not an expert on TBS combat, but I have often heard th claim that STR, ARM and especially BRK are the main stats of any character. As far as I can tell, there may certainly be something to it. I really enjoy TBS combat, so the importance of stats is a good thing in general, but in this context we have to ask if this favours certain classes and thus leads to different class and hero tiers.
    It becomes problematic when hard stats are also more valuable than talent ranks AND abilities. The tricky part is deciding whether this perception is due to personal strategy preferences, or due to a "tier"-distrubition of usability (similar to what Aleonymous's observed) maybe even across classes: is Iver just plain better than a raider, no matter the setup??
    Aleo, the poet, has stats pretty similar to an average raider and his abilities are really good. Would you use Aleo instead of Oli / Eirik /Rook? What would it take for Aleo to be used?

    Poll?
    Maybe we could put up a small poll and ask everyone about these concerns and their own SM runs ...
    (questions like: Do you wish you could turn off certain aspects of the SM? Did you do achievement-focused runs? If yes, did any specific achievement create specific problems that seemed annoyingly hard? What additions would you like to see in the SM? How would you feel about X...? Did you feel any classes lack usability?)
    Ideally, that would indicate some general tendencies.... and then we would, from a community point at least, make some suggestions based on that....

  18. #18
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    The Poll is not a bad idea. Forum visibility is very limited though (we'll get very few votes), so it should be done in another platform (e.g. GoogleForms) and have Stoic "approve" it so that they can send it around to more players through their social-media etc. They did surveys like that during the Saga2SM beta phase, so it's not something new to them.

    Back to the discussion, balancing the classes in general is quite undoable at this point. It was already complicated in Factions where build-restrictions applied and there were so few units. With so many abilities (classes) and heroes in Saga2, it's a nightmare! I think that abilities can only be balanced within each base-class (e.g. Raider- or Archer- or Spearman-class). This leaves all the "unique" heroes totally IMBA, of course

    As I've said in the past, Aleo's "Tale Worth Telling" is a very interesting and game-changing ability. But, I only find a use for it when the battle is going badly for me, e.g. a bunch of my heroes are maimed/near-death. So, having such a hero on board (1 slot in 6) as a back-up, doesn't feel like an optimal strategy. I wish the (single-player) game "forced" these special heroes in some story-battles, like it did for those Training Scenarios.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

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