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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Let's Play: The Banner Saga PAX demo!

  1. #141
    If #1 does end up getting Alette killed, then I'll be honest and say I don't like that kind of thing. I'm all for decisions like this, but having a character die because of it just seems like a waste. Stick to things like having paths closed off, or losing the chance to earn loot, or getting ambushed in a precarious spot. If you get a character killed, it should be because you made a poor decision on the battlefield, not because you chose A instead of B.

    In this current situation, I would start a battle where the effects of your decision play out instead of having the game tell you what happens. That way, if you do make a bad decision, you have the opportunity to fix it instead of being told "Oh, you shoot Alette in the back and she keels over dead. Tough break." Instead, you'd go into a battle where Alette takes damage from your bungled shot, and then Alette and Rook would be facing the colossus with Alette already hurt.

  2. #142
    Quote Originally Posted by Boa View Post
    If #1 does end up getting Alette killed, then I'll be honest and say I don't like that kind of thing. I'm all for decisions like this, but having a character die because of it just seems like a waste. Stick to things like having paths closed off, or losing the chance to earn loot, or getting ambushed in a precarious spot. If you get a character killed, it should be because you made a poor decision on the battlefield, not because you chose A instead of B.

    In this current situation, I would start a battle where the effects of your decision play out instead of having the game tell you what happens. That way, if you do make a bad decision, you have the opportunity to fix it instead of being told "Oh, you shoot Alette in the back and she keels over dead. Tough break." Instead, you'd go into a battle where Alette takes damage from your bungled shot, and then Alette and Rook would be facing the colossus with Alette already hurt.
    But they have been pretty clear that perma-death will only occur precisely because of/during these kinds of decisions. Sometimes it may be an immediate consequence, other-times a delayed one (I assume),
    Last edited by Tychoxi; 09-06-2013 at 09:31 PM.

  3. #143
    Superbacker quartex's Avatar
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    We already know that units can't get killed in battle, and only get killed because of story decisions. We know that units wounded in battle won't be able to fight for X number of days. But it sounds like units getting wounded in battle won't affect the plot.

    So the only way units can die is in cases like this, because the player picked options A instead of option B. If units who were knocked out in battle died instead, player would be complaining about how easy for units to die in battle (most battles in Factions end with 3-5 units getting knocked out). Or would some defeats in battle lead to death and some just knock out a unit? How would the player know which is which? In short, if they don't go for death in battle, then story decisions are the only way for units to be mortal.

    (I'm assuming plot gets affected by if you win or lose a battle, or how long the battle takes. I suppose it's possible the story could vary depending on who is currently wounded, but that seems harder to plan for.)

  4. #144
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boa View Post
    If you get a character killed, it should be because you made a poor decision on the battlefield, not because you chose A instead of B.
    I am somewhere in between:

    -- I understand Boa's dismay at that the situation described "a Dredge appears out of nowhere to kill one of your friends ==> Do a coin-flip to see what happens" is not a very good plot element. Especially after a battle that went quite well for us -- nobody was knocked-out. It seems like the game wants us to "pay" something for not sending Alette & Egil to safety... If that's not the case, then we're surely in for a "caravan of sorrows" (sic), with no respite and troubles at every turn! Cool!

    -- On the other hand, with the battles being somewhat difficult, it might become increasingly improbable for the average player to take an optimal path in the story. I guess that making it to the end will offer some satisfaction, but if 70% of your friends perished in such ways, then you might as well through yourself off a cliff.

    So, with some players being good at battles while others at decision-making/management, then, I believe, that the balance should be somewhere in between, i.e. that perma-death could happen from situations: (1) If he/she gets something like a -5 or -10 overkill during a fight, or (2) if you do a streak of 2-3 poor decisions in a row, wrt to their welfare.

  5. #145
    Backer Slimsy Platypus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boa View Post
    If you get a character killed, it should be because you made a poor decision on the battlefield
    This definitely sparks an interesting conversation. One of the problems with having permanent death due to battles is that it can be really disruptive when writing a branching story. When characters heavily involved in the plot have the potential to die each battle, you would have to create a branch for every potential series of character deaths for every battle which obviously isn't feasible.

    How one game that comes to mind handles this (Fire Emblem), is that a couple main characters just give you game over when they die and the rest end up with permanent death. Firstly, it feels awkward to the player when someone is "allowed" to die while others aren't. Secondly, this results in limiting the characters involved in the main plot during writing to a minimum number, which potentially could be bad with respect to story telling.

    For me, the option to control your troupes' individual fates out of combat via decision making is actually exciting, and is definitely going to add some interesting replay value to the game. And honestly, I much rather prefer it to death during combat as forcing the player to feel like they need to play perfect every battle isn't the best way to make the combat fun (I'm flashing back to restarting Fire Emblem battles time and time over).

    My only thought is: what is going to prevent the urge to roll back to a previous save when you make a decisions where someone dies? This issue plagued XCOM resulting in some pretty bad feedback after release. Players will do very un-fun things in games to reward themselves, and (from my experience) if I have a bunch of fun carrots-on-sticks to chase after but have a miserable time doing so, I don't put the game down and remember the good moments.

    Regardless, I'm not sure we've seen enough to the Saga to know exactly where it will fall in the matter, and I'm feeling optimistic that the decision making will keep me fueled through many playthroughs!

  6. #146
    Quote Originally Posted by Slimsy Platypus View Post
    For me, the option to control your troupes' individual fates out of combat via decision making is actually exciting, and is definitely going to add some interesting replay value to the game. And honestly, I much rather prefer it to death during combat as forcing the player to feel like they need to play perfect every battle isn't the best way to make the combat fun (I'm flashing back to restarting Fire Emblem battles time and time over).
    quartex mentioned a few posts back about battles where a unit dies instead of being knocked out, and the problem of knowing which is which. I think battles like that would be a nice fit for situations like this. If you make the wrong decision, you're thrust into a battle where a unit's life is on the line. It would give players an opportunity to be spared the consequences of a wrong decision instead of being stuck with it. This obviously won't fit for life or death situations where no one is being attacked, and it's those kinds of situations that I'm looking forward to seeing.

  7. #147
    Waah! Those decisions are getting harder and harder. *flail*
    I've been pondering back and forth for nigh on two days now (and have no idea when you actually do the recording)...

    2: Shout at Alette
    I'll just assume that the game remembers that we've got an arrow nocked*.
    If not, it would be any one of the other two, but I ain't sure which one.

    *To emphasize: It's "nock", not "notch"!

  8. #148
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slimsy Platypus View Post
    One of the problems with having permanent death due to battles is that it can be really disruptive when writing a branching story.
    Indeed, it sounds a challenging task to accomplish. However, it highly depends on how you structure your story "tree" in the first place. For instance, you could group possible deaths in 4-5 categories and direct them all to a common story-branch; if its a text-based story (with "static" portraits and all), it seems simple to do. What I'm trying to say, is that this is another hard-decision that was made at the foundations of the game...

    Quote Originally Posted by Slimsy Platypus View Post
    My only thought is: what is going to prevent the urge to roll back to a previous save when you make a decisions where someone dies?
    That's a good question. I guess it will heavily rely on how the Save/Restore system is set-up with the Saga. I would seriously like this not-so-well-loved "one save-slot per Saga" concept. Some of you will surely hate it, but I gotta love it -- Whatever your choices and whichever branch you take, each saga will be unique, in its own way. Managing the impact of your choices and learning from your mistakes could make your following Sagas just as interesting as the first. And, for the re-playability POV, exploring all the possible "branches of the tree" will take much more time (and that's good) if only whole-thru-passes are allowed, and not back-and-forth ones...

    Quote Originally Posted by Boa View Post
    If you make the wrong decision, you're thrust into a battle where a unit's life is on the line. It would give players an opportunity to be spared the consequences of a wrong decision instead of being stuck with it.
    I agree with this. Let me give this examples -- Imagine that we "failed" this situation, and the Dredge does hit Alette. I'd throw the game in a "pillage" battle, where the Dredge acts first and maims Alette spending all its willpower. Then its Alette and Rook acting. If the positioning is right, you can still move her AWAY from the guy, and bring in Rook to protect her. Thus, you can be given a chance --via battle-- to compensate for a bad decision.

  9. #149
    I suppose Stoic could opt for a regular save mode and then offer an "ironman" mode (the one save slot concept). I played X-COM in ironman mode and enjoyed it immensely, it added a sense of permanency to the choices made. I remember Stoic mentioning something about "rune stones" (save points) so players wouldn't have to backtrack a lot if they chose to reload and try a different approach.

  10.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #150
    Creative Director Alex's Avatar
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    Just a heads up everybody: we're all working through the weekend. The LP will continue Monday!

  11. #151
    4. Shoot Alette because its better for him to die at our own hands than our enemy!

  12. #152
    Superbacker Szpil's Avatar
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    I suppose Stoic could opt for a regular save mode and then offer an "ironman" mode (the one save slot concept).
    Not sure about this, a regular save mode could do more harm than good to a game like TBS. The game is all about decision making as Alex said in the Lets Play. Also Nathan put it quite well in his RPS article, that TBS is really about leadership and the weight it puts on your shoulders. A less consistent approach to the game could corrupt alot of this experience - which is so essential to the game. Most players are not accustomed to actually live with the results of their decisions and might have a problem with this at first, but it might pay off for them as well once they really get into the game. It is difficult to design such a game, but I'm happy to see that more and more developers seem to be going this path.

    Btw since you mention XCOM - I did not play on Ironman mode when I first played the game and it was quite an off-putting experience. Just because I could 'save scumm' I actually did it alot - it seemed to be nonsensical not to do so. I soon switched to Ironman and only then began to enjoy the game.

  13. #153
    Backer Javaman's Avatar
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    1) Stop thinking, Shoot already!

  14. #154
    Re. the discussion about death, I definitely support 1-game-per-save-slot idea. I know that at 8 hours this might make for a bit of irritation--but on the other hand, it isn't like this is a 40-hour epic. FTL had a similar feature, and it transformed the experience. On the other hand, a flaw of Heavy Rain was that I could just pause and replay it.

  15. #155
    Junior Member glraven's Avatar
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    Man!! I am excited!!!! Can't wait

  16.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #156
    Creative Director Alex's Avatar
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    Sorry guys, the next update will have to be delayed a little bit. We have a big build we're working on tonight.

  17. #157
    Superbacker mindflare77's Avatar
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    Regarding the save slots discussion, I think XCOM: EU probably handled it the best. Provide the Ironman (one save slot) option, but also provide a more lenient option for those who want it. That way nobody gets left out in the cold [and at the mercy of the Dredge].
    Avatar/banner done by StandSure.

  18. #158
    Quote Originally Posted by quartex View Post
    We already know that units can't get killed in battle, and only get killed because of story decisions.
    WHAT? When did we learn about this?! First bit of distressing news I've heard about TBS. The first battle went without any casualties, I figured that was sort of typical.

    I guess I'll just have to trust the devs on this, they appear to have made all the right choices so far.
    Last edited by sfeldkamp; 09-09-2013 at 05:35 PM.

  19. #159
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    This was mentioned way back even while the game was in beta, as people were wondering about permadeath.

    This design choice has some good justifications...
    1. If you played factions and understand how the game/turn mechanics and general flow work, you'll realize it is very very hard to ever finish a battle with everyone "alive." It's more common in Factions to win by 2 units left out of 6.

    2. Permadeath when arising out of battle, like in Fire Emblem, has some strange consequences on player behavior. It not only influences how you fight, which might not be a bad thing, but it's usually a lot more random. In the same ways that battle is less predictable and that is a good thing (cos you have some power to influence what happens) it's also this unpredictability which can be a detriment. A character might "randomly" get killed. In any case, the common thing this led to in other games was save scumming, something Stoic does not want to happen for the game.

    3. It's easier to design/write up the story of the game, if characters die due to decisions, than if you happened to lose someone in a battle. Most other games handle main characters dying via game over. Stoic will do this instead in a story way.

  20. #160
    Superbacker quartex's Avatar
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    Thanks raven for explaining the design decision much more eloquently than I could.

    I also heard that the game will feature about 16 main characters. Although that's a lot of characters to keep track, I think you'll be fighting with a lot more generic units. So it would be odd in combat if the named characters were really important to protect, but your generic units were expendable. I have that problem with heroes in other games, where they are stronger than normal units which makes me want to use them, but I lose if they die, which makes it safer to just protect them - which seems counter intuitive.

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