View Full Version : Game balance issues

02-09-2014, 12:34 PM
So I just finished my first play through. I played on Normal up until the final fights against Bellower where i had to reduce the difficulty to easy. I switched to easy hoping that it would remove the injuries of my characters but it didn't remove already active injuries. But it did make the enemies so weak i just rolled through them.

The end of the game is just cheaply difficult from injuries not being able to be healed before the fights. Also the forced character usage, Alette sucks compared to Nid, and Rook really isn't that useful of a character so right there I start off with 2/6 weakened position. Then fill in my varl who are all injured and just it's hard not from difficult but from just being cheap.

The other major balance issue, for the lack of renown received you cannot viably upgrade your entire crew, so you focus your spending and then when those are injured you have no viable replacements. Related to this, humans vs varl is no contest. The varl are so much stronger than the humans, the humans basically don't need to exist. I'm not really sure what you can do about this one, probably need to greatly increase the strength of special abilities for humans or their speed such as humans get 2 turns to 1 varl turn. Addressing this will be hard to not capsize the game however. But as it stands varl members are the only ones worth while and worth upgrading to level 5, all humans are just fodder to fill in spaces for when you run out of varl to field. Nid is probably the only exception with her huge bow range, but even Nid suffers from the fact archers are just globally too weak to matter. They just don't do enough damage. The only times archers are useful is when you have completely stripped the armor from an unit which at this point it doesn't matter any way because it's 1 varl hit from being dead to begin with.

02-10-2014, 08:48 AM
Hello darkened :)

I personally enjoyed that final fight very much. However, a lot of people have complained about the following "issues":

Forced party members (Alette & Rook) -- Problem when they are under-leveled
Can't heal/rest -- Problem when you got a lot of injured units from previous fights
Bellower's special mechanics -- Regeneration (first round) & turn-snatching (second round) require for re-adaptation of your tactics.

The combination of the above makes the final fight more difficult than all the previous ones. Isn't that what a boss-fight is supposed to be? :D

On the other issue your raise, I agree that Varl are generally more valuable that humans because of their higher stats. Archers are generally very useful to have about, but you gotta keep their STR high; Nid is the queen there. However Varl are scarcer that humans (on Rook's caravan) and suffer higher injury-penalties when KO'd (at least on Hard). That's why most human abilities are kinda OP:

Eyvind (Mender) -- Formidable abilty: (1) ARM-bypass damage, (2) multiple targets, (3) huge range. Not to mention the ARM-repair ability...
Rook (Hunter) -- Hybrid melee/ranged attack & awesome active allowing for cool combos
Oddleif (Skystriker) -- AI ignores her traps and will always walk into them, once you figure the AI out
Egil (Raidmaster) -- AI can't see his stonewall and keeps hitting him for no damage
Yrsa (Siegearcher) -- Her slag-and-burn has a tremendous damage output, even for just 1WP (rank-1).

Other human classes (Bowmaster, Sharpshooter, Grudgewielder, Thrasher, Backbiter, Spearman, Warden) have useful abilities too, but the ones I listed above are --for me-- the most useful in the field.

02-11-2014, 03:32 PM
I think Spearman class is worth keeping in your party too, for the awesome combo with Battering Ram (Strongarm's ability), and the vicious effect on slingers (3 free additional damage when they run)

On theory I find Eirik's ability quite useful, but in chapter 3 you can always keep great morale so you should almost never lack willpower even without him...

02-11-2014, 05:29 PM
I've been meaning to write a whole post on this topic, but after reading many posts on dissatisfaction with the final fight, I think a big part of the issue is the game learning environment. This is going to stray into game design theory a bit, but basically the idea is that the experience of 'fun' we get from games is actually just us being (chemically) rewarded by our brains for learning something (we set out to learn) optimally. Thus 'games' can be reduced to learning environments, and 'good' games are ones that are good at teaching the player (to be effective at that game), and keeping them learning continuously. By extension, the experience of 'frustration' occurs when the player is faced with a scenario for which the game has not properly taught them in advance how to succeed at. Note: this is not to say that players want to be able to breeze through their games.. *some* amount of challenge (usually described as the feeling of "mild frustration") is necessary in order to teach the player (i.e. too little challenge, and players get bored/quit, too much challenge, and players get frustrated/quit).

I really do think the final battle may be a case where the game has not properly prepared/taught the player the skills to be effective, and/or not adequately helped them transfer what the game has taught them to the new scenario. As Aleonymous mentioned, there are three specific and fairly unique aspects of the fight, that for the most part don't come up anytime before this in the game: 1). forced party members - throughout the game, the player is taught that they should generalize their party (because specific high-value/importance individuals may be killed, or be too injured to fight at any particular point, and renown is a very limited commodity), and should rely on the breadth of their roster (rather than a small number of specific heroes). 2). Can't heal/rest - there are one or two points in the game where multiple fights in a row happen without resting, but in general the player is taught that they will have the opportunity to rest (with essentially no penalty, due to the minor effect of lack of supplies) as needed, and 3). regeneration and turn-snatching, both new mechanics the player has never faced before.

On their own, I think the 'new mechanics' of the Bellower fight are interesting, and do require some adaptation/transfer/learning to master (a good thing). But requiring this to happen while simultaneously changing two other key aspects of the game is by many accounts a recipe for (over-) frustrated players. This particular combination also has the potential to force first-playthrough players to restart their whole game (because they arrived at the final fight ill-prepared for it, with the wrong heroes leveled/healthy, not enough levels/items, etc.).

02-14-2014, 02:33 PM
There's already a Bellower thread. You are welcome to curse things there. I believe mid-bosses are good, but we don't really need a giant boss in the end of the story to prevent players to complete the story. Most fights can pass if we lose, but why can't we lose the last fight? Failure could give us a bad consequence, but don't kill the game for it.