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View Full Version : Survival Mode DLC!



roder
01-16-2014, 01:54 AM
Came across an amazing suggestion in the steam forum, how awesome would it be if they added an endless survival mode DLC to the Banner Saga. I took many of my ideas from an awesome survival-type game I played, FTL.

In other words, its essentially a full-on Oregon Trail mode, or continuous travel mode (battle, event prompts, towns) with no story.

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Essentially, you'd be playing continuous battle after battle vs AI Dredge or Humans/Varl bands, no need to add any story, this is about an unsung band of vikings trying to survive during the end of the world, and just see how far in days you can survive till. Don't have to tie it in with the saga 1 story at all, you can even have the same character templates but be able to re-name your units to avoid story confusion and a more personalized party (I'd probably rename my hunter to Rook though :))

Give us a selection of some base character classes, and let us choose which ones we want in our party of 6. And then let some of the classes be unlockable depending on how far we got in the survival mode (Day 40 unlocks Grudgewielder, Day 50 unlocks Hardcore difficulty, then 20 days in Hardcore mode unlocks Eagle Eye, etc.). Unlocks are very important to replayability and playing a survival story over and over, as I had found out in FTL.

You play battle after battle, and once in awhile in travel you come across a town instead of a battle, where you can replenish supplies and buy items for newly upgraded units. Same as SP, just change the renown/supplies rate (1 renown for 1/2/3/4 supplies) for each market, and have randomly generated item selection at each market.

If you are too slow and fall behind in travel, because you are resting too much from sustained injuries, you run the risk of the Bellower catching up to you and have to fight a harder fight (sort of like how you always have to outrun the rebels in FTL/Faster than Light - or else you have to fight them). This is the overarching doom mechanism, you'll either die from starvation (lack of supplies, lose your entire population) or die from injuries (units will be unable to fight if they have injury requiring rest of 5 days, having to rest means risking threat of Bellower).

If your entire party is incapacitated or your entire caravan dies, your journey ends at Day X, your personal best should be recorded on the DLC's main screen in some little way :)

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Logistics: Not sure how easy it'd be, but I noticed many of the AI fights were already newly generated AI placement,e.g. having to restart a battle again you faced the AI being placed in different spots (the only static one was Bellower I believe). You can set the first few AI fights as easy difficulty, then medium, then ramp it up to Hard. you could re-use some material from the Dredge battles in SP, I would not mind having "the Tower" battlefield or even use Factions maps. For vs. Human/Varl AI battles, you can build on the Training Tent module and use that for creating some battles.

Other ideas for Survival mode:
-Global leaderboard accessible at main menu to compare to friends/past personal achievements
-Have random event prompts occur during travel, like in Saga, which can remove/give you an item, supplies, or a new character. This could be one way to unlock a character class for Survival mode.
-Be able to buy mercenary units from Market (although it would cost a lot of renown)
-Be able to have 2 items equipped per Unit for more customization
-Use the map, have it mark your entire progress through the journey and estimated last location where Bellower was seen on the map as well. Then you can know how far until next known town (but also have newly discovered towns/markets in between)

Meuhoua
01-16-2014, 10:04 AM
+1

I really think a real "oregon trail mode" without big storyline but an adventure of an anonymous group of vikings with travels/battles/random events and a kind of permadeath (may be not direct permadeath in battle but something like too many non cured injures -amount of total STR for exemple- could kill a guy) could be really cool and give to the game, already excellent with this wonderfull storyline and the Factions multiplayer, a new depth of "pure" gameplay.

Equlan
01-16-2014, 11:50 AM
I think that sounds like an excellent idea for a patch, add-on, or sequel. I like your idea for death from injuries Meuhoua. Something like that could be very nifty.

Aleonymous
01-16-2014, 06:07 PM
+1

I like it, as I like FTL & TBS. :)

Apart from the Bellower onslaught, I imagine quest-like battles, battles vs stray Dredge parties or your regular larger-scale wars.

I also imagine this as a side-dish to competitive Factions play where, apart from Dredge, you might come across another viking band and... you know what happens! :D Perhaps this could be formed as a "race", where the parties (the players) try to reach the same destination, and they get to beat each other over it along the way! Your fights could be either PvP or PvE (vs AI), where it actually matters how fast you play and how competent you are. For example, finishing off the enemy in X1 minutes (or turns) gives you a +Y1 day advantage in this "race", while suffering X2 casualties gives a -Y2 day penalty (for recovery). You get to choose whether to go for PvP or PvE battles but, obviously, PvP battles are the most rewarding. Being too far ahead ("first") could trigger random & hard PvE battles to slow you down and increase the competition. Actually, all this could serve as an alternative Factions Tourney, or simply as the "framework" for it. Imagine that its a weekly festival in Strand, to form bands and having the one who first reaches Godstone Z be the champion.

Dysp
01-16-2014, 08:01 PM
+5 (beat that!)

Very good idea! Beyond the story I think reusing battles to make a survival and/or challenge mode would add a ton of value to TBS. As it stands, the game has a great combat system that could be utilized for more than story telling purposes.

As for a challenge aspect, I could see just making generated maps with increasing difficulty, possibly adding in achievements and/or score system. One of my favorite combat mechanics was the end part of the war system, where you could continue on fighting for a chance of a reward. Challenge maps could simply be that with a more-or-less endless mode. I think a challenge mode would be a little easier/quicker to implement, but I don't know.

Overall, I'd like to see any sort extension on the combat system.

Mallux
01-16-2014, 09:43 PM
Or you could just go complete Oregon trail on the game. Let the game play out Rooks journey from the main game, but without the story missions and instead with random events. Maybe let you create your own starting party and enable later hiring of heroes with renown, maybe introduce permadeath to the heroes. You would then score on how big your caravan was and how high level your heroes are. That way Stoic can just reuse the artwork from the main game and make it that much easier to implement.

roder
01-17-2014, 12:11 AM
Yeah :D essentially full-on Oregon Trail. but oregon trails does not feature battles, right?

it is basically always being in travel mode, without any story. just keep running into battles, event prompts and towns. I don't really want to continue rook's journey, i want an anonymous team that I can name myself, because I want anything to do with Rook/story left until chapter 2 begins again.

Mallux
01-17-2014, 02:26 AM
You won't continue Rooks journey, you'll walk the same one. It''s the cheapest and easiest thing to do (The easier it is the likelier it is they will make it) as they can just use the same artwork and towns. They'll use the same artwork as in the singleplayer game (minus the varl part of the story). However creating your own party is definetly a possibility.

roder
01-17-2014, 12:45 PM
ah that makes sense Mallux. Yeah, I don't mind if they walk the same path that Rook's party and Hakon's party took, although I do want to explore to north more :D Varl land, I only had one battle vs varl

Tychoxi
01-17-2014, 01:09 PM
well, roguelikes are super popular nowadays...

Arnie
07-27-2014, 10:19 AM
Wow, I missed this thread...not only do I like it, but I'd love to do it.

Aleonymous
07-30-2014, 04:32 AM
Wow, I missed this thread...not only do I like it, but I'd love to do it.

And we missed you posting here, Arnie. Do come back, won't you? :)

So, when will you start spilling precious bits of info about the things-to-come with TBS2? :D

On another topic, we (err, well, we=I) been waiting for some official feedback from you on "The Banner Contest" (http://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthread.php?3249-Banner-Contest-Winners&p=30072&viewfull=1#post30072). :rolleyes:

raven2134
07-30-2014, 02:18 PM
Glad someone posted this and Arnie found it. We talked about this quite some time ago (before Chap 1 released even). I'd be glad as well if this kinda thing ever came out :)

shigad
07-30-2014, 09:15 PM
Came across an amazing suggestion in the steam forum, how awesome would it be if they added an endless survival mode DLC to the Banner Saga. I took many of my ideas from an awesome survival-type game I played, FTL.

In other words, its essentially a full-on Oregon Trail mode, or continuous travel mode (battle, event prompts, towns) with no story.

-----------------------

Essentially, you'd be playing continuous battle after battle vs AI Dredge or Humans/Varl bands, no need to add any story, this is about an unsung band of vikings trying to survive during the end of the world, and just see how far in days you can survive till. Don't have to tie it in with the saga 1 story at all, you can even have the same character templates but be able to re-name your units to avoid story confusion and a more personalized party (I'd probably rename my hunter to Rook though :))

Give us a selection of some base character classes, and let us choose which ones we want in our party of 6. And then let some of the classes be unlockable depending on how far we got in the survival mode (Day 40 unlocks Grudgewielder, Day 50 unlocks Hardcore difficulty, then 20 days in Hardcore mode unlocks Eagle Eye, etc.). Unlocks are very important to replayability and playing a survival story over and over, as I had found out in FTL.

You play battle after battle, and once in awhile in travel you come across a town instead of a battle, where you can replenish supplies and buy items for newly upgraded units. Same as SP, just change the renown/supplies rate (1 renown for 1/2/3/4 supplies) for each market, and have randomly generated item selection at each market.

If you are too slow and fall behind in travel, because you are resting too much from sustained injuries, you run the risk of the Bellower catching up to you and have to fight a harder fight (sort of like how you always have to outrun the rebels in FTL/Faster than Light - or else you have to fight them). This is the overarching doom mechanism, you'll either die from starvation (lack of supplies, lose your entire population) or die from injuries (units will be unable to fight if they have injury requiring rest of 5 days, having to rest means risking threat of Bellower).

If your entire party is incapacitated or your entire caravan dies, your journey ends at Day X, your personal best should be recorded on the DLC's main screen in some little way :)

---------------------

Logistics: Not sure how easy it'd be, but I noticed many of the AI fights were already newly generated AI placement,e.g. having to restart a battle again you faced the AI being placed in different spots (the only static one was Bellower I believe). You can set the first few AI fights as easy difficulty, then medium, then ramp it up to Hard. you could re-use some material from the Dredge battles in SP, I would not mind having "the Tower" battlefield or even use Factions maps. For vs. Human/Varl AI battles, you can build on the Training Tent module and use that for creating some battles.

Other ideas for Survival mode:
-Global leaderboard accessible at main menu to compare to friends/past personal achievements
-Have random event prompts occur during travel, like in Saga, which can remove/give you an item, supplies, or a new character. This could be one way to unlock a character class for Survival mode.
-Be able to buy mercenary units from Market (although it would cost a lot of renown)
-Be able to have 2 items equipped per Unit for more customization
-Use the map, have it mark your entire progress through the journey and estimated last location where Bellower was seen on the map as well. Then you can know how far until next known town (but also have newly discovered towns/markets in between)

++idea, I just played ftl yesterday.

shigad
07-30-2014, 09:23 PM
it must be bought, else anyone who bought TBS actually don't get nothing special but the story itself, which can be seen in youtube. i mean, TBS must have unique races and classes and mechanics and if you make it free for all you are just worser than a thief because you told the peaople you stole from to give you the money

Aleonymous
07-31-2014, 06:50 AM
I agree that it should be a paid, somehow, but I don't know exactly how. Logically, they'd give you a couple of hours or some "first levels" for free, to tease you, and then you'll have to buy some sort of DLC (for Factions) in order to keep playing, progress.

Fazolt
09-21-2014, 11:37 AM
This is actually a fantastic idea, one that could possibly be accomplished via modding with the newly released Zeno modding tool. Unfortunately there seems to be only oneperson who seems to have the slightest idea about modifying adobe air applications in the community right now, Aleonymous (that I know of at least).

Aleonymous
09-21-2014, 03:56 PM
John said that Zeno is still missing some functionality, and that he'd complete the tool once he's done with the tablet port/release. Maybe he'll get back to "supporting" our (small) modding community then...

Looking into this "Survival Mode", and having to rely only one existing assets, I see this implementation:
1. You start off with 1-2 heroes, e.g. Rook & Alette
2. You fight 2-3 battles (of escalating difficulty) earning renown, kills and suffering injuries
3. Battles can be mostly against Dredge, but maybe against human/varl too.
4. After each set of battles, you arrive in a Village (the generic one, met 2-3 times in the Saga)
5. In a Village, you get one new hero (e.g. first Iver, then Egil, then Tryggvi etc). Also, you can rest (recover injuries), buy items, promote characters.
6. If you stay in a Village for too long (it's uncertain how much is safe to stay/rest), Dredge catch up and you have to fight an "escape battle".
7. Then you fight another set of 2-3 battles, etc.

For the "world/caravan view", we can use the long side-views from the game, e.g. Skogr->Einartoft or Einartoft->Boersgard. The villages could be evenly spaced, or we could also use the existing ones, that more or less satisfy that pre-req. For the battle maps, we have plenty of options ~10, and we could also spice 'em up with obstacles, coals etc.

Just some early thoughts

LearnCurve
09-24-2014, 03:30 AM
It is really odd I came back to this forum after a long break (probably 6 months) and coincidentally an idea I loved of survival mode has been resurrected in the forums only a few days ago. If you search "Freedom Survival Mode" you can see a post I made on the topic. It is actually too long of a read looking back on it, the main part I'd save from it is an idea that to recruit random mercs there is a "Rescue" event( a battle the reward for success being a random merc), and to lose a merc from your party you can send a merc to lead enemy baddies away from your caravan, sacrificing the merc possibly.

This is the idea taken directly as I wrote it back then:

Also at certain times in this mode there will be opportunities to "Rescue" someone new from trouble. This battle/rescue is the main source of recruitment in this mode. Though the mercenary shall be random, this event shall be happening now and then rather consistently. This "Gaining" of cast members shall be offset by two other events. One is that occasionally the "Rescue" is simply a trap set up by bandits, and regardless of victory in the battle no new member is gained in the event of a "Trap." The second event which shall also happen in a somewhat consistent manner as you travel, is that you will need to send one mercenary cast member to lead Dredge off away from the caravan along with 10 of your fighters. This "Lead Away" event is unavoidable, and there is a 50% chance you will never see that mercenary of your choosing again (and you lose the 10 or so fighters or 40 clansmen from the caravan stat).

As you rescue mercenaries and also Choose who to send on the most dangerous mission in this mode, of "Lead Away," (50% chance of losing the merc) this mode will allow more freedom because it has a method for weening out those you do not wish to keep.

Anyway that was what I wrote way back when.

I actually came to forum to ask a question off-topic from this thread, is windows 8.1 supported now? I heard back in the day it caused crashes in the game, then when I upgraded to 8.1 (many months ago) I never re-installed the game. This is basically the reason I have not played in 6 or more months. I'll maybe make a new post to ask, I think it was a memory leak issue perhaps? 64-bit issue? I can't recall. Have updates been made to the game to allow it to work on 8.1? Anyone running it on 64 bit win 8.1 now?

Aleonymous
09-25-2014, 03:00 AM
It is really odd I came back to this forum after a long break (probably 6 months) and coincidentally an idea I loved of survival mode has been resurrected in the forums only a few days ago. If you search "Freedom Survival Mode" you can see a post I made on the topic. It is actually too long of a read looking back on it, the main part I'd save from it is an idea that to recruit random mercs there is a "Rescue" event( a battle the reward for success being a random merc), and to lose a merc from your party you can send a merc to lead enemy baddies away from your caravan, sacrificing the merc possibly.

Coincidentally, I happened to be reading that thread of yours (http://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthread.php?2034) a couple of days ago. So, I was confused to see your familiar sounding name in the forum-chat, but with zero post-history. You could not retrieve your old account name?

I like your suggestion of this "Rescue" event, that fills your heroes with a special set of usable units: mercenaries. I also see the rationale behind the "Lead Away" event (losing some of those mercs), but I am not so fond of the story-implementation you proposed. Let me explain: Considering that mercs/sellswords etc are typically not trustworthy individuals, I can't see a motive behind their decision to go into a suicide mission (lead away angry Dredge), just because your rescued them a while ago. Of course, I am assuming that they paid their dept, by fighting a couple of battles for your side.

Maybe another type of random event could trigger if you have a lot of mercenaries, like a mini-mutiny (that you have to fight off) or a sudden disappearance (along with a number of supplies and/or fighters). Each merc could have a different "mentality", measured by a hidden "satisfied?" (i.e. merc morale) variable, that changes depending on factors like: How many battles did you use him for? In how many battles was he injured/knocked-out? How many promotions did he get while in your service?


I actually came to forum to ask a question off-topic from this thread, is windows 8.1 supported now? I heard back in the day it caused crashes in the game, then when I upgraded to 8.1 (many months ago) I never re-installed the game. This is basically the reason I have not played in 6 or more months. I'll maybe make a new post to ask, I think it was a memory leak issue perhaps? 64-bit issue? I can't recall. Have updates been made to the game to allow it to work on 8.1? Anyone running it on 64 bit win 8.1 now?

Yngvar mentioned yesterday, in the forum-chat, that he's running TBS1 with no problems on Win 8.1.

LearnCurve
09-27-2014, 03:39 AM
Oh as far as my old account name goes, I, like so many gamers, have so many e-mails it would not be worth it for me to log onto them all to reset a password somewhere, I rarely use my main e-mails for forum sign-ups.
To your question of whether a "Lead Away" event is within character for the merc you send, he is not going alone, he would be leaving the caravan with a certain number of fighters and clansmen and his goal is not to charge the enemy suicidally but to lead them on a merry chase and the mercenary would hope to make it back to the caravan safely by a circuitous route, never engaging the enemy. If they fail to return to the caravan they may not even be dead, just unable to make it back to the group. It is the end of the world seemingly and risks must be taken by any and all. Seemingly almost all the fights the player of the game engages in may almost seem suicidal, but choices are limited.
That being said in defense of it, I am not married to it, I just thought random hero/merc gains would lead to high re-playability for this survival mode idea but then you would also need methods to ween the unwanted out and I thought Leading Dredge away fit the apocalyptic world scenario.

I was gonna say I like the mini-mutiny idea, but doesn't it put realism in front of fun? Hidden variables that may cause the loss of team members you are trying to build up. If you were making the mode allow for normal hiring in towns as you suggested it would be fine. Because if you say, lose a thrasher, no big deal you just hire a new thrasher in some town down the road that has one available. But if it was to be the random "Rescue" event I laid out, because of the fact that it is random it may be a very long time until you can replace that thrasher if they can only be gained randomly, so the mini-mutiny event would be terribly frustrating in a Survival mode without the town hiring you advocated. I would not want to only gain mercs randomly then possibly lose a random one based on a hidden satisfied variable. So my thoughts on the mini-mutiny depends on the method of merc gaining that would be present in the game.

I am very glad the game works for someone on 8.1, I am gonna re-download it through steam then. I remember when I was playing it on XP I had to close it from time to time to prevent a crash, I guess it was easy for me to believe . . . there might be problems . . .
I do love the game. Also glad there are some people to talk to about this Survival Mode idea.

Aleonymous
09-27-2014, 09:23 AM
You're right "hidden variables" can be frustrating. Let me tweak my suggestion a bit: You will be able see the merc's "disposition" towards you (in 3-4 states, just like morale, e.g. { Satisfied ; Indifferent ; Restless }) but you can not tell safely how to change that disposition for the better. Also, some mercs might be more easily swayed than others, etc.

Another idea that came to mind is this: Depending on your caravan population (fighters, varl etc), you will always have a number of rank-0 units that you could use in fights. Those are obviously handicapped compared to your regular heroes (which are rank 1+, i.e. they have an active ability and higher stats), but here's two incentives to use them: (1) you can protect your heroes from knock-outs in tough battles, (2) once the rank-0s get a decent amount of kills, or some other XP-measure, you can promote them to the "hero-status" in villages by spending Renown.

Aleonymous
06-03-2016, 06:42 AM
Almost two years later, this came to happen:

The Banner Saga 2: Survival Mode!

It's still in beta-testing, but it's open to the public (owners of Saga2, that is). Details on Steam sub-forum, here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/281640/discussions/3/