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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: My Thoughts on The Banner Saga

  1. #21
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    Sexism is a touchy subject for some people...unintentional sexism...
    It seems like everything said (or left unsaid) can be twisted into sounding sexist, in a direct or indirect manner. For me, there's no such thing as pure white or pitch black; just shades of grey.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  2. #22
    Backer Mierko's Avatar
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    FIRST – Character Loss and Renown
    Renown reimbursement would make the game pretty easy. On my first run I lost Egil after he was Rank 4 and the entire basis of my strategy. Egil goes head first into all the heavy melee and absorbs damage for 4+ turns while I mow down everything on the other side of the board. When I lost him I reloaded for about 45m trying every conversation I could before I realized he was doomed. That was the point. You made a choice in a previous chapter and this is what happens. If I got the points back I could have just insta-buffed Rook, Iver, Odd or Tryggvi to Rank 5. The issue was never the kills it was always the Renown. You shouldn't be rewarded for losing one of your heroes.

    SECOND – Lack of Female Fighters
    I was expecting a shield maiden or a spear wielder, but it could always happen in the sequel.

    As far as TBS-Part One goes, if any character could have been swapped from a man to a woman (storywise) it would have been Tryggvi. I don't even think the dialogue would need to change apart from a few "him" to "her"s. Trygg is one of my favorite characters but I would totally endorse it and frankly the character could have been a bit more interesting.

    THIRD - Bellower
    Bello beat me the first time I tried on normal, but once I learned the mechanics, it was a breeze. Alette was only Rank 2 at the time and generally worthless, but as mentioned in another post I just kept ping-pong'ing him between ranged armor breakers while others rested to build up for a charge with full exertion on attacks. I am on my second play (Hard) so maybe it will be a different story, but if I am reading things right in another thread, in part 1 you don't even need to kill all of his bodyguards. You just wear down his armor and then special arrow. Personally I liked the Bellower fight, but I have a feeling that it will be a massive pain in the ass on Hard.

    I didn't try it but on part 2 can't you just position everyone in place and have Rook hit him with his ability so everyone gets a shot in? That way you don't get stomped every time you hit him.

  3. #23
    Junior Member Mhorhe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    In response to all the people claiming that my comments about the need for Shieldmaidens or the game being sexist...

    Sexism in a story can serve a purpose, just like racism can, or most other "-isms". But if you are going to include those things, you ought to actually make something useful out of them. Just because the story is set in a sexist world is not a valid excuse to says "Whelp, that's just the way the world is..." and leave it at that. You can use that narrative to bring up topics of gender inequality in a manner which is positive. As some of you pointed out, the game is not devoid some positive messages on equality, but they do seem outnumbered or inconsequential against the story as a whole.
    Your post here assumes that you have indeed proved the game sexist and asked for equality, and the evil conservative mob of gamers started clubbering you for it.

    Problem is, you've done nothing of the sort. You gave some examples that felt sexist to YOU, and very little or not at all to others. You have not touched in any way the explanations others have given to these situations you put a sexist spin on - it's like only your version of things is the correct one, all the others are just blind to the horrid sexism of the game :|

    Fighting in battle shoulder to shoulder with men except they're not using the same tools is not sexist, that's ludicrous. I think your determination to prove the game sexist outstrips your desire for truth.. Firing even a simple hunting bow, with accuracy and at decent ranges, is not a feat for the faint of heart. The bows used in Banner Saga are capable of penetrating Dredge obsidian (hell, you can even armor break with them ..) and those apparently armored shirts and pants everyone non-Dredge wears. This puts them on even grounds with the real live Gaelic longbows.. and those are not for the weekend warrior.

    People concerned about the welfare of their children or significant others when marching off to war against the most terrible foe imaginable is not sexist, that's ludicrous. When men protested, it wasn't in a manner of pitchforks and torches "WOMEN! BACK TO THE COOKING FIRES!". They weren't protesting the fact women were engaging in some prohibit activity, they were protesting their loved ones were to be marched off into dire danger! It's also interesting how you conveniently ignore the fact that the sexist, sexist farmers who did not want to see their wives turned into Dredge bait, did not protest Odd taking those women and girls out to train for an extensive period of time.

    Rook being preferred over Oddi is not a clear cut of "Bah, boobs, she can't lead us!" This is, however, the one case where you might be a shade correct. Except.. you're not being consistent. You're very annoyed by the lack of Shieldmaidens in this world that reflects the Viking world.. and you're also annoyed that this world that reflects the Viking world is a touch sexist! Yes, Nordic women had a lot more freedom in many respects than their counterparts of the age. Yes, Nordic women could be warriors, could even ascend to the heavens like their male counterparts (or honour of honours, be selected as a Valkyrie). Hell, Vikings even had specific punishments against rape that were revolutionary compared to their day and age. For all that, though, sadly women took a backseat in the Viking world as they did elsewhere in their day and age. And when using it for inspiration and flavor, you are unfortunately bound to borrow some of that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    (By way of example, since the Varl are essentially genderless, perhaps they might find the Human notion that women are weak to be completely idiotic.)
    This human notion being touted by some less wise in the real world, maybe? Because there is not one moment in the game where that happens - that is, someone decries women as "weak". None of the examples you gave come close to that even if they proved sexism. The most powerful human character in the game is Juno.......definitely the most powerful human character in appearance, and one of the most powerful of everything around fullstop (being a Valka).

    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    I must say your reactions have disappointed me. When somebody calls for a bit more equality and the crowd shouts back "That's insane! You're being too PC!" I think that says a lot more about you than it does about me.
    I think many people fail to realize how many potential gamers feel alienated by this consistent attitude that making games inclusive to all genders is somehow unnecessary or "not their problem". It's not about political correctness. It never has been. Stop trying to use that as an excuse for your own apathy about the subject of sexism.
    Way to take the moral high ground.

    The fact that you stroll in here, present some arguments and draw an irrefutable conclusion from them(actually scold the devs, no less), ignore any counterarguments to your point and proceed to casually insult everyone who disagreed with you, says volumes about yourself. And not recommended read volumes, to be sure.

    It's incredibly easy to put a sexist spin on things, and you're it doing here. Yes, sexism is a real issue, in games as in life, and we can talk it over as much as you want wherever the Stoic forums puts its off topic threads. There's plenty of bikini chainmail warrioresses and D-cup sorceresses and poor helpless game characters in need of a white knight out there. Banner Saga, though, ain't that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    It seems like everything said (or left unsaid) can be twisted into sounding sexist, in a direct or indirect manner. For me, there's no such thing as pure white or pitch black; just shades of grey.
    Quote Originally Posted by illathid View Post
    Yeah, and I would say that bringing up the "topics of gender inequality in a manner which is positive" is explicitly what the game is doing, at least in the two examples you mentioned. If you have some other example where that isn't happening, such that it outnumbers the two you listed or makes each of them inconsequential, that's another matter.
    I'd upvote these two posts if I had the option Well said.
    Last edited by Mhorhe; 01-21-2014 at 10:44 AM.

  4. #24
    Superbacker netnazgul's Avatar
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    When you say the game is being sexist, you are sexist too. Dodge that
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  5. #25
    I have played the game for long hours and the only time I saw gender coming up was with Oddi being the leader and again when she trains the archers. The leader parte was very well done. She fears that some will think that she is weak (even if she can't be sure of that) and that even if her village trusts her, people from other villages might think they are weak for being lead by a women and try to take advantage. It's a very good argument if you take into consideration the Viking theme of the game. And Mhorhe already did a very good argumento for the training of archers.

    So why must this discussions exist? It seems like every piece of media MUST be pro or against some -ism or another. There writers were only telling a story, and an excellent one. They are not concerned with matters of any type of -ism. I don't think this is the media to deal with those subjects. Can't we just enjoy a good story without stopping to think if the boobs are too big of if the color is too white?

  6. #26
    Junior Member Mhorhe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nelson Rosenberg View Post
    So why must this discussions exist? It seems like every piece of media MUST be pro or against some -ism or another. There writers were only telling a story, and an excellent one. They are not concerned with matters of any type of -ism. I don't think this is the media to deal with those subjects. Can't we just enjoy a good story without stopping to think if the boobs are too big of if the color is too white?
    excellently put.

  7. #27
    Superbacker netnazgul's Avatar
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    This is the exact time the discussion about the game lacking people of other skin colors should arise...
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  8. #28
    Lots of people in this thread have already done a great job of putting the sexism argument into context. I would also point out that there is an issue of development costs. Designing and animating the game's characters is by no means a simple (or cheap) task. Remember this is a very small studio operating on a limited budget, and it would likely have been prohibitive in terms of costs and time to create female versions for each class. Clearly, though, Stoic wanted to include female characters and so they dedicated archers to that purpose. This is a positive thing, no?
    Crest by StandSure, many thanks!

  9. #29
    Backer Korica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mhorhe View Post
    Your post here assumes that you have indeed proved the game sexist and asked for equality, and the evil conservative mob of gamers started clubbering you for it.
    Hardly anything that bad. I've found the discussion to be quite civil compared to a lot of other internet conversations I've had. On further reading it actually seems there was less disagreement with my accusations of sexism than I originally thought, so perhaps I was overzealous in my retort.

    The major focus of that part of my review was simply to say "There isnít many female fighters. I expected Shieldmaidens and the game doesn't have any. You should add some in the future."
    My notes about the sexist world-setting were not the main point of that section, and certainly not the main point of my review as a whole. They also seem to have gone ignored by the people who are complaining about the accusations of sexism.
    Sexism aside, we can at least agree that Shieldmaidens would be a nice addition to the game, no?

    Points raised about Rookís leadership are completely valid, he most likely is the better leader, but not because he is a man. That really is not the issue.
    The issue is that in the conversation gender is used as the key argument for why Rook should be leader. Oddlief chooses to focus on the fact that a woman leading the caravan would be bad, rather than focusing on the multitude of other reasons that Rook should be the leader.

    If you were to paraphrase the conversation between Rook and Oddlief, it would look something like this.
    Oddlief: Rook, I think you should be the leader.
    Rook: Why?
    Oddlief: Because it would be a bad idea for a woman to lead the caravan.
    Rook: Oh, yeah, I guess youíre right.

    I am not suggesting the writer(s) intended for this dialogue to reinforce negative, sexist, ideas. But in the end, it is.
    They could have easily written it without the gender connotations, instead having Oddlief tell Rook that she doesnít want to lead, that he has the skills necessary for the job, and/or reminding him that the Chieftain wanted him to lead. You could easily alter the conversation such that gender is not involved at all, and the story would only be made better by it.
    The sexism doesnít add anything positive to the writing, but it does add something potentially negative. Thatís the problem.

    By way of counter-example, look at the ending of the game. Alette comes to Rook and asks him if she can fire the arrow at Bellower. This conversation does a much better job in not using Aletteís gender as a point of concern. Itís not about a woman asking a manís permission, itís about a child asking a parentís permission. You could swap the genders and the conversation would be completely unchanged. It brings nothing negative to the table.

    Itís all these sorts of tiny little details that make the difference.
    Sexism in this medium is not usually about vicious misogyny, but rather the misguided notion that these little things donít matter and arenít worth putting effort into changing. Small things like letting people choose to be a Female soldier in Call of Duty, rather than forcing everybody to be male. Small things like making NPCs have random genders instead of assigning them all the default of male. It might not make a difference to you, but it will make a difference to someone else, and the game is only made better by it. There is no advantage to knowingly alienating fifty percent of the entire population.

    Quote Originally Posted by simon280586 View Post
    I would also point out that there is an issue of development costs. Designing and animating the game's characters is by no means a simple (or cheap) task Ö Clearly, though, Stoic wanted to include female characters and so they dedicated archers to that purpose. This is a positive thing, no?
    The old argument of ďIt takes too much time/money to animate females!Ē is, at best, incredibly lazy, and at worst, intentionally dishonest. The devs behind games like Blacklight Retribution (FPS that includes male and female avatars) have come out as saying such.

    I would also add that saying ďHey, at least they included females at all, thatís good, right?Ē is almost barbaric in how sexist it sounds.







    All that said, I would really prefer it if the thread was not derailed to focus upon this one single topic. I consider it to be an important topic, worthy of its own discussion, but somewhere else. I suppose itís your choice if you want to keep talking about it here, but Iím done discussing it in this thread!

  10. #30
    Junior Member Mhorhe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    Hardly anything that bad. I've found the discussion to be quite civil compared to a lot of other internet conversations I've had. On further reading it actually seems there was less disagreement with my accusations of sexism than I originally thought, so perhaps I was overzealous in my retort.
    Glad to hear it then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    The major focus of that part of my review was simply to say "There isn’t many female fighters. I expected Shieldmaidens and the game doesn't have any. You should add some in the future."
    I don't see why it wouldn't be a good idea, but more on that later.


    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    Points raised about Rook’s leadership are completely valid, he most likely is the better leader, but not because he is a man. That really is not the issue.
    The issue is that in the conversation gender is used as the key argument for why Rook should be leader. Oddlief chooses to focus on the fact that a woman leading the caravan would be bad, rather than focusing on the multitude of other reasons that Rook should be the leader.

    If you were to paraphrase the conversation between Rook and Oddlief, it would look something like this.
    Oddlief: Rook, I think you should be the leader.
    Rook: Why?
    Oddlief: Because it would be a bad idea for a woman to lead the caravan.
    Rook: Oh, yeah, I guess you’re right.

    I am not suggesting the writer(s) intended for this dialogue to reinforce negative, sexist, ideas. But in the end, it is.
    They could have easily written it without the gender connotations, instead having Oddlief tell Rook that she doesn’t want to lead, that he has the skills necessary for the job, and/or reminding him that the Chieftain wanted him to lead. You could easily alter the conversation such that gender is not involved at all, and the story would only be made better by it.
    The sexism doesn’t add anything positive to the writing, but it does add something potentially negative. That’s the problem.
    By way of counter-example, look at the ending of the game. Alette comes to Rook and asks him if she can fire the arrow at Bellower. This conversation does a much better job in not using Alette’s gender as a point of concern. It’s not about a woman asking a man’s permission, it’s about a child asking a parent’s permission. You could swap the genders and the conversation would be completely unchanged. It brings nothing negative to the table.
    Au contraire, I find that the way the Oddi - Rook conversation is phrased one of the few points in the game where you feel these are differing genders and not sexless drawings. It's in a slightly negative way, but so very slight. In point of fact, the Oddi - Rook duo gives this (mostly sexless) world some color in the manner of a believable man - woman interaction. There's even some very slight play at attraction at one point. By contrast, what you said - "swapping the genders and the conversation would be completely unchanged" - is that a good thing for any man-woman discussion? That IS the discussion between a man and his daughter. The discussion between Oddi and Rook is between a (presumably straight) man and a (presumably straight) woman, both of whom are single (albeit the latter is recently widowed and grieving). Variations between how each of them relates to their own gender and to the opposite gender should be obvious..

    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    It’s all these sorts of tiny little details that make the difference.
    Sexism in this medium is not usually about vicious misogyny, but rather the misguided notion that these little things don’t matter and aren’t worth putting effort into changing. Small things like letting people choose to be a Female soldier in Call of Duty, rather than forcing everybody to be male. Small things like making NPCs have random genders instead of assigning them all the default of male. It might not make a difference to you, but it will make a difference to someone else, and the game is only made better by it. There is no advantage to knowingly alienating fifty percent of the entire population.
    You're slipping into that exaggerated virulence mode again. And you're talking about other games. Old games if I'm any judge, can't remember a RPG that defaulted all NPCs to male..

    But sexism in this medium IS about vicious misogyny much more often than little details, at least for me. Booth babes and their ingame correspondents are what bothers me, not a slightly sexist world that is modelled after a real live medieval world. Or maybe the odd detail in an otherwise normal game that stands out (selling your wife in King's Bounty the Legend, for instance).

    But if you want to talk about small things, here's one (and it's not even that small). Alette, kidnapped by the Bad Man. Classical damzel in distress situation. Except, when the white knight(s) find her, the damzel stabbed the Bad Man with an arrow.

    If that doesn't put paid to any notion of sexism in Banner Saga (considering everything else at least), I don't know what will.


    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    The old argument of “It takes too much time/money to animate females!” is, at best, incredibly lazy, and at worst, intentionally dishonest. The devs behind games like Blacklight Retribution (FPS that includes male and female avatars) have come out as saying such.
    I would also add that saying “Hey, at least they included females at all, that’s good, right?” is almost barbaric in how sexist it sounds.
    Except, no, it's not.

    For one thing, they DID take time/money to animate females. On both sides of the fence. They just didn't choose the weapons you would have preffered But no, seriously, the fact that there ARE women in the game, fighting, invalidates your whole argument here.

    For another, you're forgetting this awesome slice of gaming was made by three (3) guys. 3! Purely cosmetical implementations like "hey let's make male archers and female, uh, axewomen, must have ranked pretty low on the list. You've got men, you've got women, shouldn't that be enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    All that said, I would really prefer it if the thread was not derailed to focus upon this one single topic. I consider it to be an important topic, worthy of its own discussion, but somewhere else. I suppose it’s your choice if you want to keep talking about it here, but I’m done discussing it in this thread!
    It would definitely be for the best.

  11. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    Points raised about Rookís leadership are completely valid, he most likely is the better leader, but not because he is a man. That really is not the issue.
    The issue is that in the conversation gender is used as the key argument for why Rook should be leader. Oddlief chooses to focus on the fact that a woman leading the caravan would be bad, rather than focusing on the multitude of other reasons that Rook should be the leader.

    If you were to paraphrase the conversation between Rook and Oddlief, it would look something like this.
    Oddlief: Rook, I think you should be the leader.
    Rook: Why?
    Oddlief: Because it would be a bad idea for a woman to lead the caravan.
    Rook: Oh, yeah, I guess youíre right.

    I am not suggesting the writer(s) intended for this dialogue to reinforce negative, sexist, ideas. But in the end, it is.
    They could have easily written it without the gender connotations, instead having Oddlief tell Rook that she doesnít want to lead, that he has the skills necessary for the job, and/or reminding him that the Chieftain wanted him to lead. You could easily alter the conversation such that gender is not involved at all, and the story would only be made better by it.
    The sexism doesnít add anything positive to the writing, but it does add something potentially negative. Thatís the problem.
    But you seem to be blowing past, what seems to me, the point of the entire conversation.
    It isn't about whether Rook would be the better leader or that she doesn't want the job, her qualities or willingness isn't at question here. It's about her realizing that leading the caravan as a woman could have a negative effect on it. Even if the village/caravan itself would accept her leadership, she realizes that the outside world might not and that this isn't the time to crusade for that.
    The fact is that Stoic intentionally made this scene to show that the world of The Banner Saga is somewhat sexist. I say somewhat here, because there are plenty of instances where we are shown gender isn't really that much of an issue.

    Also as Mhorhe said, this was made be a 3 man team, with a lot of care given to animating and creating the characters. I think the argument of it requiring investment is valid, if not money at the very least time.

  12. #32
    Junior Member Cystennin's Avatar
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    So, about the ladies... I believe there are two facets to the issue, which in this particular thread have been mixed together on numerous occasions, causing all sorts of confusion. The first part is about a woman's place on the battlefield both in the game's fictional world and in our very real one. The second part regards a woman's social standing and it's connotations. Those are two separate subjects. I put it to you that nothing in regard to part one is relevant to the gender inequity argument.

    Far from being "a common thing", female warriors were indeed a part of Scandinavian and nigh-Scandinavian folklore and perhaps even history, around which The Banner Saga is supposedly designed. While an image of a fearless heroine like Brynhildr is relatively easy to picture, the situation with her historical counterparts is quite obscure. For instance, here's an excerpt from an account of the legendary Battle of Bravellir by Saxo Grammaticus:
    Out of the town of Sle, under the captains Hetha and Wisna, with Hakon Cut-cheek came Tummi the Sailmaker. On these captains, who had the bodies of women, nature bestowed the souls of men. ... Wisna, a woman, filled with sternness, and a skilled warrior, was guarded by a band of Sclavs: her chief followers were Barri and Gnizli. ... Hetha, guarded by a retinue of very active men, brought an armed company to the war.
    Here women are not only participating in a battle, but also taking the roles of commanders. However, Saxo's narrative is abundant with mythological detail and his work's authenticity may be disputed. She-vikings might be also making an appearance in "Synopsis of Histories" by the Byzantine historian John Skylitzes. I couldn't find an English translation, so here's the gist of it. Once upon a time a Russian prince Sviatoslav led a small army of Varangians to raid Byzantine settlements in Thrace, but was eventually pushed back and besieged in a Bulgarian city of Dorostolon. Being massively outnumbered, the defenders attempted frequent skirmishes. After one of those, during a routine corpse-looting the Greeks discovered among the dead several female bodies in men's clothes. It remains unclear though if those women were a part of Sviatoslav's party, or just locals protecting their homes from yet another ravage. The first is doubtful, since the earliest Russian chronicle called "Tale of Bygone Years", while containing a record of the events in question, makes no mention of women among Varangian troops at all. Apart from these two examples, there's not much to tell about the so-called Shieldmaidens, but they are definitely a thing, and that, I believe, is more than enough for the purposes of a computer game based in a fictional universe.

    That said, I would bring to your attention one blatant stereotype, which is equally as popular as it is ridiculous. And that is viewing archery as a "woman's job". The roots of this notion, I suspect, lie in two false presumptions, the first being that shooting a bow requires less physical strength, than fighting with a melee weapon, and the second - that ranged troops enjoy more security on a battlefield. Firstly, any missile needs sufficient energy in order to damage it's target. Where does said energy come from? Why, from a shooter of course. Consider this: it order to draw a string on an English longbow in the Middle Ages one had to impart a force equal to that needed to pick a 50 kg (or 110 lb) object from the ground. Even if we halve this figure, due to TBS bows being seemingly less powerful, it would still be a lot. Especially considering that shooting in a real-life battle scenario was almost always repetitive. The point usually was to cover as much ground with arrows as possible. As for precision bow-shooting, it was only relevant while hunting, which is also a traditionally male activity. Secondly, since ancient times and until the advent of line infantry, ranged troops were comprised of the poorest people, because their equipment was the cheapest. As such, bowmen were considered less valuable on a battlefield and suffered heavy losses due to practical absence of armour. Not only were they vulnerable to enemy fire, but also risked being overrun by the enemy cavalry and in some cases - even trampled by their own allies. In fact, bows mix with women even worse than, say, a sword and a shield would.

    To sum up: is a shieldmaiden a good idea for the next TBS installment? - Yes, as long as steel bikinis are not involved. I for one consider this image very compelling.

    Originally at this point I planned to switch to the part concerning the social issues, but I now realize that I simply don't want to. This argument already shows every inclination to go to crap, and I want no part of it. In short, The Banner Saga being sexist is bullshit. Peace.

  13.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #33
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Well, this has at least been somewhat entertaining .

    TLDR:
    TBS is not sexist. It's too much trouble to break down and read too deeply into a conversation that's honestly just fine.
    Shieldmaidens are a good idea for a new unit.

    Good civil discussion.

  14. #34
    Backer Korica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raven2134 View Post
    Well, this has at least been somewhat entertaining
    I added a couple additional points to the Original Post, if you'd care to have a look at them >_>

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    I added a couple additional points to the Original Post, if you'd care to have a look at them >_>
    On your fourth point about Wars. There is a difference, though it's mostly to do with difficulty.
    The options determine the ratio of how many enemies your heroes face vs. how many casualties your caravan takes. Charge being the one with the most enemies and the least casualties, while oversee means you don't fight a battle and the casualties are determined based on army strength. It's no more than a difficulty setting for the Wars portion of the game.
    In the end, though, that means Charge is, in terms of Renown, the smart option.

    I hope they do more with it in the next chapters and give reasons to use the various formation.

  16. #36
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    I think the War system would benefit enormously from some randomly generated variations in events. Perhaps if you decide to Charge the enemy, a Second army might move in from behind to flank you, and you would then have to decide how to respond to it. Not to mention, it would be nice to fight things other than just Dredge. Bandit ambushes, perhaps?
    Yeah, Wars could do with some tweaking. An outlined idea:

    1. Each War is different from the other.
    2. Before the War, some hints about the geography of the battlefield (random or story-fixed) and the approximate number of foes is given.
    3. Each War is fought on three stages, i.e. three separate TBS-battles: (1) Vanguard, (2) Main Host, (3) Reserves/Melee
    4. Before the War, you get to divide your Heroes & Soldiers between those three parts of your army.
    5. Soldiers are generic rank-0 units, that swell your ranks and depend on Fighter & Varl populations.
    6. The three TBS-battles are fought consecutively, one after the other, each one affecting the morale of the one after.
    7. Once assigned, the Heroes cannot participate in other battles.
    8. At the beginning of each stage of War (each TBS-battle) you get some options (like charge/formation/retreat) that affect deployment etc.
    9. The overall renown gain, caravan casualties and/or supplies loss/gain is defined by your performance on all three battles/stages.


    That's the general context. It basically boils down to three small battles, but offers more flexibility and room for customization/randomness.
    Last edited by Aleonymous; 01-22-2014 at 01:46 PM.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  17. #37
    Junior Member Sol's Avatar
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    If they do something like that, it would be nice to have the soldiers level up as they participate in battles so as to encourage you to not use them as human shields (which could potentially result in permadeath for them). The player may be able to replenish their pool of fighters down the line if they make a mistake and lose a battle with them, but having units that grow stronger through experience (and that can be lost) forms a level of attachment to them and invests the player in keeping them around. Having a pool of names that they are randomly assigned would also help with this. "Yonn has died." rather than "-1 fighter"

  18. #38
    Senior Member loveboof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poison_Berrie View Post
    But you seem to be blowing past, what seems to me, the point of the entire conversation.
    It isn't about whether Rook would be the better leader or that she doesn't want the job, her qualities or willingness isn't at question here. It's about her realizing that leading the caravan as a woman could have a negative effect on it. Even if the village/caravan itself would accept her leadership, she realizes that the outside world might not and that this isn't the time to crusade for that.
    It is in this discussion where you can talk about what it means to be a 'strong woman'. Oddleif's decision not to push for the leadership despite it being her right can be seen as very strong! It sets aside any notions of pride and puts what is best for the people first in such a dangerous time. She isn't prepared to even take the chance of creating further division and concerns for her people - it is actually quite noble.

    I completely disagree with Korica's paraphrasing of that conversation (perhaps I made different dialogue choices...)

  19. #39
    Junior Member Zekram Bogg's Avatar
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    Ah a fan voicing many of my concerns as well! We are now concern bros as far as I'm . . . concerned.

    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    EDITED
    FIRST Ė Character Loss and Renown

    Iím not opposed to Character Loss. I think it adds a huge amount to these type of games, to be able to lose party members permanently. What I am opposed to, is the unintended consequences of punishing the player with game mechanics for a Character Loss. To put it more simply, if a player spends Renown to Promote a character, and then that Character dies, the player ought to be reimbursed in some manner.

    Renown is not really part of the story, itís not a tangible thing like gold, but strictly a game mechanic used as currency. If someone were attempting to play the game on Hard and ended up making a lot of mistakes about who to Promote, and ended up losing many of those Characters, it would be quite possible (I think) to reach a point where they would get stuck because their Heroes were too weak and/or too few. I would call that poor game design.

    This is particularly true of scenarios where Character Loss is either unclear or uncontrollable. If you actively choose to let a Character die, you know what you are giving up. But there are multiple instances in the game of Characters being killed (or otherwise removed from your roster) without your consent. I think Character Loss without consent is actually very good for the storytelling, but the problem lies in the player not being reimbursed for any Renown they might have invested into the Character.

    In my own case, I had this happen a few times. I Promoted Gunnulf, and then he died on the cliff. I Promoted Ludin, and then had him sent away. I Promoted Eirik, and then let him leave. I Promoted Fasolt, and then he died on the bridge. Over time I became rather paranoid and started to Promote only Hakon, Rook, Oddlief, and Tryggvi. Not necessarily because I found them the most useful, but because I had confidence that they were the least likely to be killed off. In total I would say I probably lost about 80 Renown, and that is the part that bothered me. Not the Character Loss, but the Renown Loss.
    (And in case you were wondering why I sent Ludin away and let Eirik leave, it is because I was thinking about the story. I was making these decisions based on what I thought Hakon would do, rather than thinking about how many Heroes I as a player wanted in my Roster.)
    This is something I brought up in my thread as well. I think getting a refund on a dead character would work mechanically, but it would pretty much break the narrative intent of making the loss hit home.

    I suggest instead, an alteration to the injury mechanic, making it more of a strike system, so that characters can have the possibility of surviving "death events" if they haven't gained a lot of "strikes" yet.

    But this is certainly something I agree is a major issue. For I too, spent lots of renown leveling characters up only to see them immediately die before I could use them in battle - it happend four times in my progression - FOUR. I easily lost a hundred renown this way. It's VERY frustrating.


    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    SECOND Ė Lack of Female Fighters

    Sexism is a touchy subject for some people. Banner Saga seems to do what most fantasy stories do, and use our own view of history as a basis for its society, following more-or-less in the footsteps of traditional gender roles. But let us not forget that The Banner Saga draws huge inspiration from old Norse culture and stories. And those stories have ample amount of Viking women fighting alongside the men, with spears, swords and axes. Shieldmaidens were quite a common thing. There are female Heroes in the game, but they are all exclusively Archers.

    I highly doubt that anybody at Stoic stood up on a table and shouted ďThere will be no Shieldmaidens in this game! If women must fight, they will stand in the back and shoot arrows!Ē When I learned about this game and bought it, the thought never even crossed my mind that there might not be Shieldmaidens in it. I visited the Fan Art section of the Forums and the first three submissions I saw were all women with spears and swords, so clearly I am not the only one who wants to see this.

    If we look at the entire roster of Heroes, there are only 4 Women. By comparison, there are 10 Men. This is not counting the Varl, of which there are 9. Even if you wanted to, you could not field a team comprised entirely of Women, because there simply arenít enough. Not to mention the fact that since they are all Archers, they would be unable to form a very dynamic team.

    I would not say this game is overtly sexist, but I think it does carry with it some unintentional sexism which does it a grave disservice. A prime example would be when Oddlief, the Chieftainís Wife (who is a skilled archer) tells Rook that she believes he should lead because she is a woman Ė people wouldnít respect a woman leader, it would put the caravan in danger, etc. There are plenty of more legitimate reasons that Rook should be in charge, some of which are mentioned, but gender seems to be the one which is brought to the forefront and used as the crux of the argument.

    By now it may be too late to change these things for this game, but the story is far from over. You can better in the future, Stoic. I know you can.
    I personally think this is less of an issue. You're kind of imposing your modern world view on a setting that's very much in a medieval age. That kind of thinking is the definition of problematic.

    Besides, Juno, easily the MOST powerful hero character in the game is a woman. I really don't see how you can view the game as even sexist when that's the case. Plus, I can guarantee there will likely be some shield maidens in the next installment, it'd just make sense given the unfolding situation of the plot. You're kind of jumping the gun I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    THIRD - Bellower

    Yes, an entire section devoted to one battle. Because it caused me (and others) that much grief.

    I think I can summarize why the Bellower fight is bad in a fairly concise manner. The most basic problem is that it breaks the established rules of the game.

    First, it forces you to bring along Heroes that you might not want to. This is especially a problem if you never use those Heroes and they are still Rank 1. Additionally, when it comes time to fight Bellower, you are not given adequate ability to prepare. For me personally, all my best Heroes were injured from previous fights but I had no option to Rest. I was forced to use either Injured or Low-Ranking Heroes for the Final Battle of the Game.

    Second, it is an incredibly inconvenient fight which forces you to use one particular strategy to defeat an enemy, rather than letting you come up with your own solution.

    Third, Bellower is simply an annoying opponent to face. Boss fights should be fun, not frustrating. Bellower breaks the rules of turn-based combat by getting a free turn whenever attacked, not to mention his ability to regenerate Armor and Strength, or his ability to Damage and Reposition your entire party at once, while also denying one of them a turn. Gods help you he decides to repeatedly Stun somebody who is important to your strategy, like an Armor-breaker.

    I played through the entire game losing in Battle only once. I lost to Bellower about 15 times, even after I turned the Difficulty down to Easy. Iíve seen quite a few other people making posts about them having difficulty with the Bellower fight.
    Yeah, Bellower is totally OP. I'd tend to think that's fine since he's a boss, but you are correct in that the game's peculiar initiative mechanics really make this fight ludicrous. I had to retry it a bunch too, I think everyone does.

    I was trying to address the weird pacing of the battle for SP, and I came up with this, what about a Battle Rhythm Meter so that whenever a team goes through a full "revolution" of its members (thus the usually larger Dredge hordes would have fewer activations at start of battle) it adds a point to the meter (with each defeated team member increasing the number of points needed to fill the meter by one to encourage quick kills), and when the meter fills the player and/or the enemy side gets one full revolution of "Pillage" mode before returning to a standard turn order? This would let the player who gets a couple kills in on Bellower's Dredge team earlier in the fight get a pillage round before eliminating ALL of the dredge, and that can be used to set up the arrow shot.

    It's an idea anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    FOURTH Ė Wars

    I was extremely excited for the Wars. Battles are fine, of course, but the fact that extra fighting was added in, fighting that made the caravan seem relevant, was an awesome bonus. But I found myself disappointed with the Wars when I finally experienced them, for two main reasons.

    First, the Choices you are given seem to be rather pointless. I tried them all once or twice and really did not notice any significant differences. Iím sure somebody smarter than me has either looked into the code or run enough experiments to determine what exactly is the difference between Charge and Formations, but I couldnít see it.

    If you give a player a multitude of ways to response to something, and the player cannot see any difference between the outcomes of those choices, I think that means you have failed to deliver the dynamic and interesting experience that it was meant to deliver.

    Second, the Wars lacked any variation. Every battle goes the same. You are approached by X number of Dredge, you Attack or Flee (as if there is any real reason to not attack), and then you move on. The repetitive nature of the Wars is demonstrated in excess by the chapter in which Hakon leads his Varl caravan through War after War after War.

    I think the War system would benefit enormously from some randomly generated variations in events. Perhaps if you decide to Charge the enemy, a Second army might move in from behind to flank you, and you would then have to decide how to respond to it. Not to mention, it would be nice to fight things other than just Dredge. Bandit ambushes, perhaps?
    This feels like an optimal space where the player could organize almost Total War style battles with multi-soldier units of fighters (divided between Raiders & Archers) and Varl (divided between Warriors and Shield Bangers) on a field before the battle starts from an aerial view, maybe even on various terrain maps that affect possible strategy, then select targets for each unit (divided into 4 main types themselves - Grunts, Slingers, Scourge and Stoneguards respectively), and movement paths to attack then hit go and watch the battle play out from the aerial view, with the tactical battle occuring either before this (if charging) or after (if selecting formations) and adding its respective modifiers.

    Now, such a system would pretty much be like adding a whole new game, so probably a bit too much for what's pretty much a different means of creating a tactical battle, but one can dream, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Korica View Post
    FIFTH Ė Kills for Promotion

    Not a huge issue, but definitely something worth noting. I've seen some other people talking about it already.

    A total lack of any sort of Assist system means that the only way to rank up is to directly get Kills. This means it is possible to bring a Hero into every single battle you encounter, and if by some stroke of bad luck they never land the final blows, they can never be promoted. It inadvertently forces the player to focus less on the overall strategy they might want to use, but rather on setting up the fight so that certain Heroes deal the final blow, which is simply silly.
    Yeah I've found this frustrating in Factions, especially for my backbiter, who I can effectively work into an overall battle strategy to win, but not to effectively get kills with.

  20. #40
    Backer Korica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zekram Bogg View Post
    This feels like an optimal space where the player could organize almost Total War style battles with multi-soldier units of fighters (divided between Raiders & Archers) and Varl (divided between Warriors and Shield Bangers) on a field before the battle starts from an aerial view, maybe even on various terrain maps that affect possible strategy, then select targets for each unit (divided into 4 main types themselves - Grunts, Slingers, Scourge and Stoneguards respectively), and movement paths to attack then hit go and watch the battle play out from the aerial view, with the tactical battle occuring either before this (if charging) or after (if selecting formations) and adding its respective modifiers.

    Now, such a system would pretty much be like adding a whole new game, so probably a bit too much for what's pretty much a different means of creating a tactical battle, but one can dream, right?
    That would be beyond awesome. If they ran a Kickstarter just so they could implement that into the game, I'd dump money into it.

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