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Arizael
01-21-2014, 09:55 PM
Hello folks. While I had absolute blast while playing this game, but one thing constantly bugged me - the turn order.

The current design bugged me trough my entire first campaing. The constat feeling of beeing pushed to gamey tactics such as: "Maim but don't kill" or suiciding my wounded heroes, were probably the worst. The unnatural feeling when remaining enemies or even my heroes suddenly vastly improved in performance as their allies fell didn't help either.

Now I am realistic person and I realize that Stoic isn't going to change the entire system, just because i posted this on the forum. However I believe that game engine would allow to make my wish come true by simple modding (such as playing the entire combat in Pillage mode i.e.)

Could this be possibly done?

Aleonymous
01-22-2014, 10:02 AM
So, you'd like to be able to move all your 6 heroes before the enemy (AI) starts moving his own units? Sounds broken... Why would you wanna do this? I guess it could be done with modding, but turn-queuing is a fundamental game-mechanic, around which all unit abilities etc have been build. Breaking that could lead to... unpleasant results.

Dysp
01-22-2014, 10:33 AM
Probably is possible, however..

We'd need much much larger maps and probably much stronger units. Games like Fire Emblem, your characters can dispatch enemies in one to two hits, mainly depending on formation, healing, and the rock-paper-scissor lineup. For whole teams to move per turn, there would need to be a lot of obstacles on the map as well, because the first to move would have a significant advantage. If you were outnumbered on the map, like you are frequently in the campaign, you'd probably lose a character or more each turn. In even matches, the first to engage would almost always win, since the initiator will be at the highest possible strength while it is maiming the opposition's units. If mender and other healing type units make it into the game, I could see being able to try this whole-team turn system, but I simply don't think it'd be that interesting with the current design of everything else.

Also, the warleader's ability wouldn't do anything. :D

Arizael
01-22-2014, 10:50 AM
So, you'd like to be able to move all your 6 heroes before the enemy (AI) starts moving his own units? Sounds broken... Why would you wanna do this? I guess it could be done with modding, but turn-queuing is a fundamental game-mechanic, around which all unit abilities etc have been build. Breaking that could lead to... unpleasant results.

That wouldn't be ideal, but for me personally still better than the current. It would be probably much harder than the current system as the current "maim" strategy which the ai doesn't use.

Right now for example even when i uber failed early combat, loosing most of my team. Still I won the battle with Rook&Annete vs 8 guys. I simply outran and outshot the rest of the enemies because rest of my team got suddenly superhasted.

Ideal turn order: player-AI-player-AI as long as the combat is 6v6. If the AI has 12 men vs 6 heroes, than the combat should go player-ai-ai-player-ai-ai-player etc. You can do the rest of the math.

Arizael
01-22-2014, 11:10 AM
Probably is possible, however..

We'd need much much larger maps and probably much stronger units. Games like Fire Emblem, your characters can dispatch enemies in one to two hits, mainly depending on formation, healing, and the rock-paper-scissor lineup. For whole teams to move per turn, there would need to be a lot of obstacles on the map as well, because the first to move would have a significant advantage. If you were outnumbered on the map, like you are frequently in the campaign, you'd probably lose a character or more each turn. In even matches, the first to engage would almost always win, since the initiator will be at the highest possible strength while it is maiming the opposition's units. If mender and other healing type units make it into the game, I could see being able to try this whole-team turn system, but I simply don't think it'd be that interesting with the current design of everything else.

Also, the warleader's ability wouldn't do anything. :D

Games such as Expedition Conquistadors, Shadowrun returns or new XCOM and many others are doing this and still working well. You don't need huge maps or maze of obstacles(i kidna liked the empty fighter space, felt more realistic and fun, obstacles should be only when it makes sense storywise) . The only things you need is not being able to reach the enemy in first turn of combat.

But the heck i don't need My team/enemy team system. Keep the current order, but adjust it to the number of combatants. So if team A outnumbers team B 3:1, than it should be 3 moves of team A per 1 move for team B. Not 1:1 regardless of the ratio.

Korica
01-22-2014, 11:31 AM
Seems like there is a decent argument to be made that taking turns back and forth, as it is now, probably makes more sense for Factions than it does for the single-player. I also think that the system which allows smaller teams to make more moves against larger teams was meant to empower the player when they are at a disadvantage, which is a good thing. I ended up with only 4 Heroes in one of the Chapters, and when you have to fight 7-8 enemies with only 4 Heroes, it was very helpful.

But I personally don't mind it that much. When a game uses turn-based combat of any type, I already give it a large grain of salt for not making much sense. Nobody takes turns when they are trying to kill each other =P

piotras
01-22-2014, 11:50 AM
There was a lot of discussion about the turn order during balancing which took part in early days of TBS:Factions (the whole point of that spin-off even existing). Thus, you got stuff like Pillage mode, without which a single unit could dance around a big group of enemies and obliterate them.

But back to the topic - without the existing turn order the banner saga... looses all of it's depth, especially that pulling off a combo of different skills would be super easy and boring. Although it may seem weird at first, the jumping back and fourth / main vs kill decision / target selection dependant on turn order is what defines and make the game different. Play Factions and you will see the beauty of the system when you play against an equally sized (!) team controlled by a living person. The decisions really mean more then.

Arizael
01-22-2014, 12:16 PM
There was a lot of discussion about the turn order during balancing which took part in early days of TBS:Factions (the whole point of that spin-off even existing). Thus, you got stuff like Pillage mode, without which a single unit could dance around a big group of enemies and obliterate them.

But back to the topic - without the existing turn order the banner saga... looses all of it's depth, especially that pulling off a combo of different skills would be super easy and boring. Although it may seem weird at first, the jumping back and fourth / main vs kill decision / target selection dependant on turn order is what defines and make the game different. Play Factions and you will see the beauty of the system when you play against an equally sized (!) team controlled by a living person. The decisions really mean more then.

I do understand that the current system makes more sense while playing balanced multiplayers matches. I imagine that here the match is usually decided in first few turns and before you reach the superspeeded heroes factor.

But in singleplayer you START most of the battles being outnumbered already (played on hard though), so you posses superspeed units already, making the battle significantly easier. Leaving all enemies at STR 1 is thus nobrainer tactics and it takes a lot of roleplaying not to do so.

Regarding the depth and combo usage: As I've posted above I don't want the My team/their team as it is done i.e. in Xcom. I would like to keep the current system, but adjust it according to number of combatants. So if battle is 2 heroes vs 4 ai, the turn order would be: hero1-ai-ai-hero2-ai-ai-hero1
So depth would be the same and landing combos would be actualy harder. Until you have already vastly outnumbered the enemy, but by that time you have usually won anyway.

hreinnbeno
01-22-2014, 12:18 PM
Games such as Expedition Conquistadors, Shadowrun returns or new XCOM and many others are doing this and still working well. You don't need huge maps or maze of obstacles(i kidna liked the empty fighter space, felt more realistic and fun, obstacles should be only when it makes sense storywise) . The only things you need is not being able to reach the enemy in first turn of combat.

But the heck i don't need My team/enemy team system. Keep the current order, but adjust it to the number of combatants. So if team A outnumbers team B 3:1, than it should be 3 moves of team A per 1 move for team B. Not 1:1 regardless of the ratio.
It is quite funny in that regard. Because I dislike the combat in expedition conquistador but like this one. It depends on the player. Why cant combat be different between games. Some players will like this combat more (which I certainly do) and other want the other type of combats.
It is in a part what Piotras says. By having the combat this way, it gives you different combo effect and makes the special abilities harder to use and thus more fun.
I do like the combat though more in multiplayer. Mainly because both players know the rules and thus maiming is not really that good strategy (works against new players but not against veterans). Than it starts to be about which to maim which to kill (often it is better to kill). It is as well in part that both players start at the same point (with as many units and power)
+ I wouldnt really say the multiplayer is decided in the first few turns ( it depends though highly on who you are playing). It is often decided in the last few turns.

Arizael
01-22-2014, 12:31 PM
It is quite funny in that regard. Because I dislike the combat in expedition conquistador but like this one. It depends on the player. Why cant combat be different between games. Some players will like this combat more (which I certainly do) and other want the other type of combats.
It is in a part what Piotras says. By having the combat this way, it gives you different combo effect and makes the special abilities harder to use and thus more fun.
I do like the combat though more in multiplayer. Mainly because both players know the rules and thus maiming is not really that good strategy (works against new players but not against veterans). Than it starts to be about which to maim which to kill (often it is better to kill). It is as well in part that both players start at the same point (with as many units and power)
+ I wouldnt really say the multiplayer is decided in the first few turns ( it depends though highly on who you are playing). It is often decided in the last few turns.

Please read my post again(especialy the last one). It seems I have failed to express my thoughs accurately. I don't want the game to adapt the Conquistadors system. I just want it to adjust, so the heroes in team with less numbers doesn't get the speed advantage.

Aleonymous
01-22-2014, 01:03 PM
As we all agree, the present system is good for 1:1 ratios of units. So, instead of changing the turn-queuing, I'd try to fix the number of enemies to the number of Heroes (i.e. 6 most of the time), and just tweak their stats/classes to make the match harder or easier.

Regarding the AI not using the "maiming-technique"... Well, it's something that feels more "right" w.r.t. game-lore. For example, Dredge are baddies that don't miss a chance to kill fleshies! If some story element was introduced (e.g. Dredge want to capture humans alive, as much as possible), then that maiming could work... Dunno...

Slimsy Platypus
01-22-2014, 01:39 PM
I think the core of the dislike for the system is that it isn't some other system that has been enjoyed previously.

I could say that you have to use "gamey" tactics in classic turn based strategies where you get close to one enemy at a time and kill him while his counterparts in the distance watch idly. It's all about perspective.

The Saga's system is fine in my opinion. I actually like combat in the single player more than factions. I think it's harder to be perfect and to me that has been a fun challenge.

I think the disapproval for some might be subjective. In a classic death spiral in classic turn based games, the more units you have the more turns you have, and the less chance your opponent has to win. Which means when you are winning, it's very clear and becomes increasingly hard to lose the more you units you kill. Stoic's combat doesn't have that luxury. Sometimes it can be very difficult to tell if you are winning, and furthermore you just can't see the impact of turn advantage in your head easily.

I don't think that means we need to coin the combat bad or call it a flaw. It's just the nature of the system. I find the question to main or kill rather compelling. I think a lot of critics of the turn order are simply falling symptom to the subjective feeling that its harder and unfamiliar because it's new and thus doesn't feel intuitive. For me personally after playing it hundreds of hours, it feels rather intuitive and fun.

Rensei
01-22-2014, 02:12 PM
I do understand that the current system makes more sense while playing balanced multiplayers matches. I imagine that here the match is usually decided in first few turns and before you reach the superspeeded heroes factor.

Why don't You come over and try? There are people coming here and complaining about the battle system being too simple, too obvious, too transparent etc. all the time, so far none has made it in Factions. Somehow it's not so obvious anymore, and that 1hp guy, You left to gain turn advantage, ends up screwing You harder than well placed WarHawk. And I have yet to see a battle where one could point the winner based on first few turns.

Of course we always welcome absolute judgments coming from people who saw the system for the first time a week ago, we like a good laugh.

Arizael
01-22-2014, 02:40 PM
I think the core of the dislike for the system is that it isn't some other system that has been enjoyed previously.

I could say that you have to use "gamey" tactics in classic turn based strategies where you get close to one enemy at a time and kill him while his counterparts in the distance watch idly. It's all about perspective.
But the ai could also throw multi units on your bad positioned guy and take him down before he could act. In saga the ai won't maim your soldiers.



The Saga's system is fine in my opinion. I actually like combat in the single player more than factions. I think it's harder to be perfect and to me that has been a fun challenge.

I think the disapproval for some might be subjective. In a classic death spiral in classic turn based games, the more units you have the more turns you have, and the less chance your opponent has to win. Which means when you are winning, it's very clear and becomes increasingly hard to lose the more you units you kill. Stoic's combat doesn't have that luxury. Sometimes it can be very difficult to tell if you are winning, and furthermore you just can't see the impact of turn advantage in your head easily.
Of course my opinion is subjective. So is yours. We are making our opinions depending on our personal enjoyment of the game.

For example I've actualy found the Stoic system way easier. I've started vast majority of the battles heavily outnumbered. I knew that my guy will always act faster than the opponent he is facing, thus that I will be able to outmanouver him easily.



I don't think that means we need to coin the combat bad or call it a flaw. It's just the nature of the system. I find the question to main or kill rather compelling. I think a lot of critics of the turn order are simply falling symptom to the subjective feeling that its harder and unfamiliar because it's new and thus doesn't feel intuitive. For me personally after playing it hundreds of hours, it feels rather intuitive and fun
I've had an entire playtrough on hard trying to get use to it. I did not and thats why I try to discuss it. It seems that we totaly disagree with each other. You find it harder but intuitive. I find it easier and unintuitive.

Flaws i see in there:
-Side with less combatants have roughly the same damage output as the stronger side.
-Side with less combatants have higher manouvering power than the stronger side.

This is pretty unintuitive. After making fatal mistake and loosing several heroes, I was able to defeat remaining 6 quite healty foes with just Rook(rank 3) and Allete (rank 1) at start of chapter 2. I've simply outrun and outshot them as they were moving at 1/3 of my speed.
This leads to other weird behaviour:
-It's beneficial to leave your enemies at 1 strenght. It will severly cripple the enemy.
-It's beneficial to sacrifice your wounded heroes, so they don't slow you down (Injuries usually heal fast and for free, and are not that crippling should you be forced to fight).

Arizael
01-22-2014, 02:56 PM
Why don't You come over and try?
I don't enjoy competetive multiplayer that much. I find it time consuming without any actual feel of progress. On the other hand i realy enjoyed the single player part a lot.

There are people coming here and complaining about the battle system being too simple, too obvious, too transparent etc. all the time, so far none has made it in Factions. Somehow it's not so obvious anymore, and that 1hp guy, You left to gain turn advantage, ends up screwing You harder than well placed WarHawk. And I have yet to see a battle where one could point the winner based on first few turns.

Of course we always welcome absolute judgments coming from people who saw the system for the first time a week ago, we like a good laugh.
But I am not judging the factions. If I were I would make post in appropriate forum section. I am talking only about the singleplayer game.
In factions you have two players who preped their team of equal size.
In single player game you have one preped player team versus the outnumbering ai, which will always be more stupid than the player. How many times did the ai do more with their 1str than simple armor breaking?

The single player combat is way different than the multiplayer. Thats true to most games not necessarily turn based ones (i.e. Starcraft 2).

Zekram Bogg
01-22-2014, 04:01 PM
I think the core of the dislike for the system is that it isn't some other system that has been enjoyed previously.

I can't speak for anyone else, but that's not my issue with it in Single player. For me, it's about the pace and the momentum of the entire battle against larger forces than my own. The current initiative system slows that down because the same strategy relevant to Factions of mass maiming before you kill is still incentivized by the initiative system. In factions this is fine because of the even teams and the fact that in theory, the other player is trying to think around this, and is also doing it to you.

In SP, especially with the Dredge, the AI is more often trying to just hit your Strength and kill you, and more often relying on its superior numbers to be a threat.

Simply put, this initiative system doesn't work well with Asymmetrical gameplay.

That being said, I don't think it's THAT big a deal. For the most part it's fine.

I do wish there was an additional incentive added to the game to make me want to kill foes early though. One of the reasons battles against AI might become repetitive is that with the exception of bellower, the same general strategy remains effective throughout the game.

Rensei
01-22-2014, 04:21 PM
How does it slow anything down? You don't have to wait for entire/a proportional part of the enemy team to move - they get one, You get one.

I agree that outrunning and outsmarting the AI on the initiative order might be problematic for some, while maiming is a safe and idiot proof strat, but don't blame the game on it being also boring as hell.

Aleonymous
01-22-2014, 04:32 PM
I do wish there was an additional incentive added to the game to make me want to kill foes early though.

The de facto incentive for you to kill enemies is the Horn willpower. But, as you observe, in the Saga, this incentive is "asymmetric" since the enemy (AI) doesn't have a Horn to fill, and yet it keeps trying to kill your units... Well, a KO in hard is pretty nasty (6 days rest to recover), but it's not directly related to combat.

Kletian999
01-22-2014, 05:06 PM
The de facto incentive for you to kill enemies is the Horn willpower. But, as you observe, in the Saga, this incentive is "asymmetric" since the enemy (AI) doesn't have a Horn to fill, and yet it keeps trying to kill your units... Well, a KO in hard is pretty nasty (6 days rest to recover), but it's not directly related to combat.

Back to the OT, if you wanted to "mod" it, make it so that dead units still occupy a spot on the initiative, ending their turn immediately as if they were provoked by an empty space (also make them pass through, or teleport the "unit" elsewhere while leaving their picture on the ground). You'd get the death spiral back nearly every other tactic game has.

raven2134
01-22-2014, 07:01 PM
I think we also need to outline the balance objectives for the game and the differences between MP and SP intent.

Clearly the system works well in MP because it keeps both players in the game longer and because both start with even teams. In SP yes you are outnumbered and this is intentional because unless a player uses the innate mechanics of the game, and applies skill in this way, they will lose.

I don't think it makes a lot of sense for Stoic to go into a whole other combat system just for SP, rather than stick with what they developed, playtested, and iterated with Factions.

Could they employ even teams but smarter AI in Saga? Perhaps they could. However I don't think that would be a good idea or fulfill the intent for an SP game. Personally, I think part of the feedback the player should get, especially from playing on hard (at "superhaste") is that the battles are epic. Your small band/team are taking on a whole lot of enemies (a veritable horde) and are taking them down (like a Viking A team). Battles are where they are at because I would think the intent of the SP is not to keep battles close, but to make them challenging but still give players a sense of satisfaction from overcoming what would seem to be the odds set against them.

For hardcore gamers, it's very easy to lose appreciation for the fact that many will be knocking their heads against the wall when they play the combat system Stoic employed. Though, perhaps this means hard could actually play smarter if majority of this group feels the current approach doesn't approximate the challenge best. (Given there are people calling hard ridiculous/impossible though, I'm not yet inclined to think so)

Gren
08-20-2015, 07:12 PM
Played Factions when it came out. Bought the single player game the day it came out. Played through the campaign several times. Loved it intensely.

All that said, the turn order is fucking stupid, and by far the lamest part of the experience.

And the rest of you sycophants aren't helping the game improve by just telling the developers what they want to hear, that their game is best thing ever, it couldn't possibly be improved, and so on.

Fun fact: Easiest way to beat the game would be to only deploy your two main characters in every battle so that they level up super fast and you don't waste turns on low level scrubs. Because having less people makes your dudes exponentially faster, there's no reason to have 6 mediocre characters when you can quickly max out 2 guys and have them act 3 times as fast. This works fine for the giants campaign but even better for the humans, since you can just have hero dude and his daughter cripple everything with arrows, and when you're ready to finish mobs off just have the dude use his axe. Remember that the more you're outnumbered, the bigger your advantage is.

Aleonymous
08-21-2015, 04:49 AM
Yes, turn-order (and more specifically the exploitation of this "maim-dont-kill" strategy) is something that should be addressed. It's the one complaint that Stoic don't seem to acknowledge... I understand that changing this now would require re-balancing everything about the combat system (stats, abilities etc), but it seems that they take their time with other things (e.g. ports) so this shouldn't be so dramatically time-consuming.

As I said earlier in this thread, the simplest way to mitigate this problem (until it is fully & properly addressed) would be to match the number of enemy units to the number of units you chose to bring for each fight, and then tweak enemy stats (or types/ranks) to make the fight harder or easier.

Finally, I'd like to have something like what you suggested three years ago in this thread (http://stoicstudio.com/forum/showthread.php?422-Okay-so-I-decided-to-re-phrase-and-quantify-what-I-was-trying-to-say-about-turns), even if it's unlocked only in a "cheat/dev" mode or something, so that modders can experiment with it. It doesn't seem like something so hard to do, tweak how the turn-order works that is.

spicykorean
08-22-2015, 09:15 AM
But wouldn't that mean that Banner Sage loses its "uniqueness" versus other Turn-based strategy games? This weird turn-order is what set it apart from others in my opinion.