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View Full Version : Impressions: The Banner Saga’s F2P Multiplayer [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]



Sean
09-28-2012, 06:16 PM
Some days the skies are crystal clear and others, the rain pours down on you. Today, you get another helping of The Banner Saga... this time courtesy of Rock, Paper, Shotgun!

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/images/12/sep/bannersaga_2.jpg

On first approach, The Banner Saga felt just like any other turn-based strategy RPG. I positioned my four units on the snow-engulfed battlefield, arranged them in a traditional “melee business in the front, squishy party in the back” formation, and indicated that I was good to go. But then I made my first moves, and things got hairy. Flowing Viking giant beard locks hairy. I decided to advance my archer so as to make my opponent, technical director John Watson, think twice about charging into range with his two colossal melee brutes. Even early on, though, I had quite a few offensive options, so I decided to study up on them. And then, suddenly, my turn flat-out ended, and my archer was left totally exposed.
Go read Nathan Grayson's entire article: Impressions: The Banner Saga’s F2P Multiplayer (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/28/impressions-the-banner-sagas-f2p-multiplayer/).

lamaz
09-28-2012, 11:54 PM
A very informative article, although, a little unnerving with the timer and all but it must make the game feel a lot more involving than regular turn-based strategy. I expect a lot of Dota or LoL style moments with tears of anguish or joy. Hopefully I get to join the beta sooner rather than later!

kincajou
09-29-2012, 03:47 AM
agreed on the timer, instinctively i'm not in favour of it but as told it seems to be pleasantly intertwined with the game so it will feel good once we get the hang of it, will the single player game have the timer as well?

gaelvin
09-29-2012, 03:35 PM
Yeah... my kneejerk reaction to hearing about the timer was disappointment. I like turn-based games because they give me time to plan my next move. I don't think very fast, so real-time games are generally just frustrating for me, and having a time limit could do the same thing.

It could depend on how much time you have on the timer... hmmmm, that could be an interesting and simple way to have different levels of difficulty, if that's the route they're going. I'm still excited for the game, and I'm interested in seeing how it plays for myself.

John
09-29-2012, 07:40 PM
I will say that when we play 1v1 the timer provides a great deal of excitement as it ticks down and you have to make your decision. I found the same thing years and years ago when I played timed chess for the first time. Up to that point I had played chess casually, and it was often frustrating and somewhat boring when people just waste time and don't actually do anything. Once I was on a timer and forced to make my decisions and live with them the excitement and gravity of the matches improved... while at the same time getting the matches finished in a reasonable amount of time.

That's just what I've found personally. There's no reason to disallow two players from playing without the timer if that's what they want to do. When playing competitively, it is important that everyone in the competition is playing in the same environment (e.g. with the same timers), but in games 'just for fun', where the only competition is between the people currently playing, that constraint is not really there. I could see that potentially being a setting one could tweak when playing 'Friend' matches.

Incidentally the timer doesn't run when you are playing solo in single player.

JW

Angelo Jr
09-29-2012, 09:02 PM
Interesting the system, not too far from what we alredy know, but not too close. the mix of chess and magic the gathering will be great

Flickerdart
09-29-2012, 09:14 PM
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/think_logically.png

This XKCD seems relevant. :P

kincajou
09-30-2012, 04:36 AM
Thanks john, i'll definitley give the timer a shot but it does feel nice to have the option of not using it. ;D

gaelvin
09-30-2012, 11:13 AM
Yes, options are wonderful. Odd as it may seem, the fact that Ihave the option not to use the timer, may in fact lead me to use it by choice. And I forgot about the solo-play option... I tend to like to play games like these against myself (to improve my abilities) rather than against other people.

That brings up a question about Renown and Acievements; will these be awarded in both Solo and PvP matches?

LoliSauce
10-01-2012, 04:34 AM
Wow, am I really the only person avidly in favor of timed matches?

Recently I played a srpg mmo hybrid game titled Wakfu, which has given me an immense amount of respect for a timer in a multiplayer srpg. So much so, in fact, that I think it should be mandatory in almost any multiplayer strategy game. In Wakfu, you control a single character in a team of up to 6 people, with each person having a 30 second time limit per turn. The timer prevents things from getting horribly drawn out and adds an additional layer of excitement and anxiety. This rushed feeling will inevitably result in some mistakes made from time to time, but it will vastly increase how much you exercise skills of reading your opponents, predicting ally/enemy actions, planning ahead, and ultimately just boost your efficiency. It really comes naturally after immersing yourself in it for a short time, and if it were ever to be taken away I would definitely feel like something was lacking.

Most importantly though, I think having faster paced matches is very important for myself because I just plain don't have as much large chunks of time to sit down and dedicate to a game anymore. When I was in school and didn't have to worry about a job or anything, sure I could waste time all day burning hundreds of hours on games. Nowadays I have to prioritize a lot more shit over games, and that makes extremely time consuming games much less appealing.

I don't imagine you all will be happy with the timer at first; I know it was awkward for me to get used to right away, but I hope you guys can keep an open mind to how it can actually improve the experience. At the least, give it a legitimate shot in the beta (as in, really throw down on a lot of timed matches before outright turning against it).


Edit:
Speaking of the timer, is there any way to request at least the option to have timed fights in the single player as well?

Rathag
10-01-2012, 01:05 PM
I *really* don't like the idea of a timer. If I wanted to be timed, I'd play realtime games. The beauty for me of turn-based strategy is that you can actually think things through. I don't happen to think particularly quickly, therefore I *always* lose timed games NO MATTER WHAT. This is a feature of my cognition, it's just how my mind works. So timed games are not fun for me AT ALL. And 45 seconds for a game of this complexity is way too short. I am really frustrated that after funding this game on Kickstarter, I may be unable to play it and enjoy the experience. I hope that the option of the timer is more optional than it sounds in the statements above.

I'm sure timed games can be fun for those of you who are quick thinkers or know what you're doing. But not all of us are like you.

asafe
10-01-2012, 02:14 PM
Can't wait to start playing! so very exciting!
Although I got in it for the single-player I won't mind some multi-player fun!

Illessa
10-01-2012, 02:39 PM
Favourable impressions from RPS and Polygon? Get something on PAR and you'll have completed my trifecta of major sites whose opinions I take on board with less than a boatload of salt :).
I'm ambivalent about Factions, but that's purely because I'm not a big competitive multiplayer person, you can bet I'll be diving into the beta in the hope it changes my mind and if not all these previews have succeeded in getting me really excited for the single player game :D

Aaron
10-03-2012, 04:32 PM
About the battle scenes. I'm not going to lie, I was hoping for full terrain maps instead of the plain, flat grids that were featured. I appreciate how you designed the gameplay on a real chessboard though, and hopefully the position-based abilities of the different classes will make up for the flat terrain. Making all those maps would have probably been a lot of extra work anyway.

The King of Dust
10-03-2012, 04:41 PM
I too was hoping for the terrain to have a bit more involvement in the gameplay. That's pretty much my only complaint from what I've seen so far though. Really looking forward to getting my hands on this game.

John
10-03-2012, 05:00 PM
The terrain IS flat -- however not necessarily rectangular. The battle boards we have shown so far have been rectangular for the most part, but they can really be any shape.

The great hall tutorial board has a firepit obstacle all the way down the middle:

http://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthread.php?197-Art-Blog-Combat

Really, obstacles and choke points can be used in a variety of ways.

LoliSauce
10-03-2012, 10:52 PM
Reducing some elements for simplicity can be worked to amazing effect. Spectral Force Chronicle is one of my favorite srpgs, and that game is basic to a fault; however, that forced simplicity really brings out a lot more emphasis on spacing, meter management, and actual tactics. Reducing environmental concerns just brings the focus on character abilities and team composition even more to the forefront, it seems.

Troll
10-04-2012, 09:13 AM
In a way, less overall complexity means much deeper basics, and more time devoted to them.

lamaz
10-05-2012, 08:58 AM
In a way, less overall complexity means much deeper basics, and more time devoted to them.This.

Harukio
10-09-2012, 07:54 AM
I also like the use of a timer. Although it can make things panicky when first learning, I find it helps keep the game moving. My only problem with timers has been in multiplayer games (hello Dofus & Wakfu) where suddenly there's a connection error and the timer keeps going and bungles the game.

Arnie
10-09-2012, 09:19 AM
Right.
I think I'd like to make 2 versions of the timer. Basic play could be just over a minute and then have a second 'tournament timer' for 30 seconds. When you know how to play the game 30 seconds feels right because you need to be concentrating and mistakes can happen, which is good because the more skillful player that knows their team can take advantage. Just over a minute for basic play doesn't feel too rushed we've found. When Nathan from Rock, Paper, Shotgun was playing we had it set for 45 seconds and it was a little rushed because he never played before, so 1 whole minute should feel fine. That being said ALL this is open for debate and balance once we're in Beta. I'm just musing here.
When playing friends there will be more timer options including no timer. So you can relax and teach a friend over chat or work on testing tactics.
Of note: "Friend mode" does not accrue Renown. It's just for fun, bragging rights and training.

kincajou
10-09-2012, 01:57 PM
sounds good to me

Troll
10-09-2012, 04:03 PM
Yeah, a timer makes players prepare their moves beforehand, making surprise moves by the ennemy even more surprising because you have to replan your next moves with just a few time left.

LoliSauce
10-10-2012, 06:26 PM
I also like the use of a timer. Although it can make things panicky when first learning, I find it helps keep the game moving. My only problem with timers has been in multiplayer games (hello Dofus & Wakfu) where suddenly there's a connection error and the timer keeps going and bungles the game.
Hello, fellow Wakfu player. This is a huge issue if disconnects happen though, good point. However, I think it happens that way to give the player a chance to reconnect in the short term and get back into the game. A 4 hour arena attempt was saved because of this, actually. I had disconnected late into the arena run, but managed to reconnect in less than one round of turns, allowing me to remain in. Unfortunately, end result is still that it lags out the other players majorly for the duration.


Right.
I think I'd like to make 2 versions of the timer. Basic play could be just over a minute and then have a second 'tournament timer' for 30 seconds. When you know how to play the game 30 seconds feels right because you need to be concentrating and mistakes can happen, which is good because the more skillful player that knows their team can take advantage. Just over a minute for basic play doesn't feel too rushed we've found. When Nathan from Rock, Paper, Shotgun was playing we had it set for 45 seconds and it was a little rushed because he never played before, so 1 whole minute should feel fine. That being said ALL this is open for debate and balance once we're in Beta. I'm just musing here.
When playing friends there will be more timer options including no timer. So you can relax and teach a friend over chat or work on testing tactics.
Of note: "Friend mode" does not accrue Renown. It's just for fun, bragging rights and training.
This sounds great.

Dragosak
10-14-2012, 02:34 PM
I love tactical games where the positioning counts. And for MP of course the timer is a good thing :-) Let's get this started :-D