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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: "Final Boss" Disappointing [spoilers]

  1. #1

    "Final Boss" Disappointing [spoilers]

    I found my opinions of the game on the fence during most of my play though. I liked the atmosphere, story, and caravan parts. The interaction between Armor, Health, and Damage is a really interesting concept; though the way the turn based system works (with enemies being pushed up in priority when a previous one dies, and smaller groups allowing characters to act more often) occasionally feels gamey. That is to say it feels more like you are trying to exploit underlining game systems or AI, rather then getting immersed in the narrative or playing tactically.

    For the most part though I was able to get over and and found most of the battles to be enjoyable. The only real criticism for the main body of the game is probably the pacing. If you took advantage of the second wave feature during some of the wars, you could wind up with a lot of back to back battles with nothing in between. Resulting in too much combat against a lot of the same enemies and nothing to break it up (like caravan choices, dialog, or even different types of enemies).

    But I found the 'Final Boss battles' to be both frustrating and also a culmination of the worst and most gamey-est elements from the battle system. To name a few of my frustrations...

    • The Arrow Bug: After reloading from checkpoint after losing the first fight, I found myself unable to use the arrow ability even when I had 12 str and Bellower had 3 armor.
    • Forced party members: I was forced to take my under leveled archer, even though I had chosen not to give her the arrow to keep her out of danger. This left me with effectively two useless characters in phase 2 of the fight. There was no real narrative reason or motive for her to be there.
    • Forced part member part 2: If I had known I was going to be forced to take both of them anyway, I would have given the arrow to the other character. The hunters ability would have been much more useful against Bellower.
    • Juno being annoying: She is constantly yelling at me to keep chipping away at Bellower, well before I'm even capable of reaching him. Can't move that distance in this amount of turns, can't get around the other enemies yet. It's also a constant reminder of the immersion breaking fiddly-ness I have to use to win this encounter.
    • Gamey mechanics: Because a 20 str Bellower tends to 1 shot most of your heroes, and he gets priority any time you directly target him (or indirectly hit him for str damage); it forces you to line up awkward positioning and indirect attacks. If the other enemies will co-operate, as several of them have positioning changing abilities or just get in the way (or dont get in the way) of you and each other. This doesn't feel like I'm tactically controlling a battlefield, it feels like I'm trying to figure out how to exploit game systems and computer AI.
    • Gamey mechanics II: Awkward turn order and positioning means there are times where you find you can't do anything with one of your characters, wasting their turn. Their path is blocked by either your own characters or enemies. While this is an issue the entire game, most of the other fights its not a big deal if you kill off some enemies sooner then others.
    • Gamey mechanics III: Because of turn order or healing mechanics, you can wind up with your arrow character having their turn right after Bellower; depending on how many other enemies you have killed or have been summoned to the field. Meaning he heals back up enough armor that you can no longer arrow him again. (assuming your arrow works.) ((This is even more exacerbated if some of the stone slingers managed to reduce the str of your arrow character.))
    • Poor Balancing: I eventually moved the difficulty down to easy. But this made the fight trivial. All of the enemies were weaker (several 6/7's), while Bellower was at 15/15 meaning he could no longer one shot my heroes. Phase 2 consisted of just Bellower 15/15 and two 6/6 throwers. There was a huge gap in potential difficulty range between easy and normal.
    • Poor Balancing Part 2: Funnily enough, I re-loaded and tried it on hard and found that mode to be easier then the normal troops layout as well. In this case Bellower was still 20/20 like in normal. And the new enemy unit makeup was easier to deal with then normal. So while Easy is a Huge step down in difficulty, Hard is actually only a small step up and may in fact be even easier then normal for this fight.


    By the time I restarted several times from losses, fixing bugs, and eventually messing with the difficulty; I was so broken out of the games immersion that I did not even care about the ending. The regeneration and force priority mechanics of the Final boss emphasis the worst parts of what is otherwise a potentially interesting combat system. The forced party, forced narrative, and bugs just add to the frustration. And there is no balance in difficulty between steam rolling the encounter on Easy to Massive fiddly-ness on normal, and slightly easier fiddly-ness on Hard.

    At the very least, it might have been possible to rebalanced the formation and enemy composition on those two fights to make the difficulty scale more smoothly.

  2. #2
    Junior Member ErKeL's Avatar
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    Yeah have to agree with everything in the OP after finishing my first campaign. I didn't know what the hell I was doing at the start but I still ended up steam rolling through it easily enough until the final boss just pulled this bullshit and stomped my team.

  3. #3
    Hi Darkwolf, I didn't face the problems you have. I just finished my first play through without reading any guide and will probably be playing through again because I've lost some characters along the way. What I did was, have Alette took the arrow to shoot Bellower and with that, my party consist of Rook, Alette, Iver, Hakon, another warrior and Oddleif. At some point during the game I receive the +3 shield breaker and gave it to Rook. My Rook level is at 4 and he himself had +3 shield break and +3 to his will usage.

    So all I had to do on first round was, Walk Iver up to the enemies (he had 16 shield and an item at the last market which gives +2 deflect str) and sit there for 1 round while the rest of the team walks up close. On second round, Bellower came down to wack my Iver (which only does 2 str damage cos normal mode Bellower has 20/20) Rook then goes up, breaks Bellower shield (he can break away 9 with Will power) and another warrior chip away his shield which will bring them down to less than 10. This will allow Allette to fire the Silver Arrow. So the first part of my battle ended in 2 rounds. Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rensei's Avatar
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    I love the system (it's official now) and don't really understand what do the whole lot of You mean by "gamey" - too visible mechanics? immersion breaking? feels like a game (duh)? So I won't comment on those.

    However I would like to point out that it is (important as it is) just one battle. They needed to make it different so it could feel a bit different from the 50 or so battles You fought beforehand. They needlessly added mechanics that made it waaay to easy (You might have misunderstood them seeing as You cry over the biggest one being a problem in point 5), but if You are looking for some additional challenge You can play "touch Bello only after all bodyguards are down" for some extra fun.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by darkwolf View Post
    I found my opinions of the game on the fence during most of my play though. I liked the atmosphere, story, and caravan parts. The interaction between Armor, Health, and Damage is a really interesting concept; though the way the turn based system works (with enemies being pushed up in priority when a previous one dies, and smaller groups allowing characters to act more often) occasionally feels gamey. That is to say it feels more like you are trying to exploit underlining game systems or AI, rather then getting immersed in the narrative or playing tactically.

    For the most part though I was able to get over and and found most of the battles to be enjoyable. The only real criticism for the main body of the game is probably the pacing. If you took advantage of the second wave feature during some of the wars, you could wind up with a lot of back to back battles with nothing in between. Resulting in too much combat against a lot of the same enemies and nothing to break it up (like caravan choices, dialog, or even different types of enemies).

    But I found the 'Final Boss battles' to be both frustrating and also a culmination of the worst and most gamey-est elements from the battle system. To name a few of my frustrations...

    • The Arrow Bug: After reloading from checkpoint after losing the first fight, I found myself unable to use the arrow ability even when I had 12 str and Bellower had 3 armor.
    • Forced party members: I was forced to take my under leveled archer, even though I had chosen not to give her the arrow to keep her out of danger. This left me with effectively two useless characters in phase 2 of the fight. There was no real narrative reason or motive for her to be there.
    • Forced part member part 2: If I had known I was going to be forced to take both of them anyway, I would have given the arrow to the other character. The hunters ability would have been much more useful against Bellower.
    • Juno being annoying: She is constantly yelling at me to keep chipping away at Bellower, well before I'm even capable of reaching him. Can't move that distance in this amount of turns, can't get around the other enemies yet. It's also a constant reminder of the immersion breaking fiddly-ness I have to use to win this encounter.
    • Gamey mechanics: Because a 20 str Bellower tends to 1 shot most of your heroes, and he gets priority any time you directly target him (or indirectly hit him for str damage); it forces you to line up awkward positioning and indirect attacks. If the other enemies will co-operate, as several of them have positioning changing abilities or just get in the way (or dont get in the way) of you and each other. This doesn't feel like I'm tactically controlling a battlefield, it feels like I'm trying to figure out how to exploit game systems and computer AI.
    • Gamey mechanics II: Awkward turn order and positioning means there are times where you find you can't do anything with one of your characters, wasting their turn. Their path is blocked by either your own characters or enemies. While this is an issue the entire game, most of the other fights its not a big deal if you kill off some enemies sooner then others.
    • Gamey mechanics III: Because of turn order or healing mechanics, you can wind up with your arrow character having their turn right after Bellower; depending on how many other enemies you have killed or have been summoned to the field. Meaning he heals back up enough armor that you can no longer arrow him again. (assuming your arrow works.) ((This is even more exacerbated if some of the stone slingers managed to reduce the str of your arrow character.))
    • Poor Balancing: I eventually moved the difficulty down to easy. But this made the fight trivial. All of the enemies were weaker (several 6/7's), while Bellower was at 15/15 meaning he could no longer one shot my heroes. Phase 2 consisted of just Bellower 15/15 and two 6/6 throwers. There was a huge gap in potential difficulty range between easy and normal.
    • Poor Balancing Part 2: Funnily enough, I re-loaded and tried it on hard and found that mode to be easier then the normal troops layout as well. In this case Bellower was still 20/20 like in normal. And the new enemy unit makeup was easier to deal with then normal. So while Easy is a Huge step down in difficulty, Hard is actually only a small step up and may in fact be even easier then normal for this fight.


    By the time I restarted several times from losses, fixing bugs, and eventually messing with the difficulty; I was so broken out of the games immersion that I did not even care about the ending. The regeneration and force priority mechanics of the Final boss emphasis the worst parts of what is otherwise a potentially interesting combat system. The forced party, forced narrative, and bugs just add to the frustration. And there is no balance in difficulty between steam rolling the encounter on Easy to Massive fiddly-ness on normal, and slightly easier fiddly-ness on Hard.

    At the very least, it might have been possible to rebalanced the formation and enemy composition on those two fights to make the difficulty scale more smoothly.
    This. The last fight badly needed playtesting, and clearly didn't get it. I'll add that it's very possible to have wounded characters going in, and since the game forces them on you, things can go downhill rather quickly by the time you get to the second fight. Another problem I'll add to the list is that there's nothing stopping Bellower from doing his scream attack several turns in a row. In fact, my third attempt at the battle he did this four turns consecutively. Four. Turns. Not only did this constantly knock my archers out of range, it also dropped my varls to the point where the high strength dredge was able to cripple them in one blow. I *still* managed to make it to the second phase of the fight, but by then I had three wounded characters, and was down to five fighters. The whole fight needs a serious reworking.

  6. #6
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rensei View Post
    However I would like to point out that it is (important as it is) just one battle. They needed to make it different so it could feel a bit different from the 50 or so battles You fought beforehand.
    This.

    Personally, I'd actually like to have more boss fights, akin to that one, where the enemy's abilities (or combat mechanics) change dramatically and thus put you off guard and require for different tactics. For example, battles that you just gotta kill one particular enemy, or move one unit (or all) to a specific location on the map, battles where you gotta bring every enemy below 3-4 STR (thus "capturing" them alive) etc.

    Another note: The Scourge's "Summon Dredge" is also nice, but I'd like it to summon a random Dredge, and not always mediocre rank-0 Grunts.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Rensei View Post
    I love the system (it's official now) and don't really understand what do the whole lot of You mean by "gamey" - too visible mechanics? immersion breaking? feels like a game (duh)? So I won't comment on those.

    However I would like to point out that it is (important as it is) just one battle. They needed to make it different so it could feel a bit different from the 50 or so battles You fought beforehand. They needlessly added mechanics that made it waaay to easy (You might have misunderstood them seeing as You cry over the biggest one being a problem in point 5), but if You are looking for some additional challenge You can play "touch Bello only after all bodyguards are down" for some extra fun.
    First of all, there's no need to be rude and condescending. This isn't a competition. The OP found there to be problems with the last battle, and they made a list. If you disagree, fine, but at least state your reasons. However, since you don't understand what the OP is saying, maybe you should ask for clarification before posting again.

    I believe what the OP meant was that the reasons why the last battle is difficult have little to due with strategy or the difficulty setting itself. The problem stems from assumptions about the player's party at that point in the game. The game assumes a fairly narrow range of parameters for the final fight, and then forces them upon you with no warning.

    What happens if Alette is already wounded?
    What happens if the rest party is already wounded?
    What happens if both Rook and Alette are still level 1?
    What if your party has been built with high strength, high willpower, but low break?
    What if you've been rotating characters, and no one is above level 2?
    What if you have no items, or only low level items?
    What if you've been desperately trying to keep your caravan large and moral normal and hence have spent all of your renown on supplies? (There is an achievement for this)

    The list is (practically) endless, and it's a real shame that in a game that supposedly encourages player choice, the last battle forces you to use the strategy the game wants you to.
    Last edited by LaMort13; 01-25-2014 at 09:29 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Rensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    This. The last fight badly needed playtesting, and clearly didn't get it. I'll add that it's very possible to have wounded characters going in, and since the game forces them on you, things can go downhill rather quickly by the time you get to the second fight. Another problem I'll add to the list is that there's nothing stopping Bellower from doing his scream attack several turns in a row. In fact, my third attempt at the battle he did this four turns consecutively. Four. Turns. Not only did this constantly knock my archers out of range, it also dropped my varls to the point where the high strength dredge was able to cripple them in one blow. I *still* managed to make it to the second phase of the fight, but by then I had three wounded characters, and was down to five fighters. The whole fight needs a serious reworking.
    There is a limiting factor to his "scream" - aggro and willpower. If You present him with juicy target he is more likely to grab the bait and use up willpower to get to it and kill it.

    The stats on Your units don't really matter - You just need good breakers and 1-2 relatively well preserved dps. The stats, number and quality on the supporting dredge don't matter a tiny bit (unless You put archers in front and in range of dredge colossus with over 20 str, yeah - then it sorta matters).

    You are never "down to x fighters", You gain tactical advantage by strategically sacrificing wounded units to squeeze the best performance out of the remaining ones.

    I'm probably in bitch mode right now, but darkwolf's post made some points, Your's sound like You are having trouble with the game and therefore demand it to be easier for everyone, whether they like some challenge or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    What happens if Alette is already wounded?
    She makes an excellent Bello bait.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    What happens if the rest party is already wounded?
    You had few days in the final city to rest, bunch of fresh units from the varl caravan and the only ones who should be injured are the ones who fell while clearing the gate for them and Juno. One could argue that said battle was relatively easy and should not result in a full party wipe.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    What happens if both Rook and Alette are still level 1?
    One dies while shooting the arrow, other makes an excellent Bello bait. The game DOES try to hint You that Rook, Iver, Alette and Hakon are sortof important. For example it makes them it's main characters.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    What if your party has been built with high strength, high willpower, but low break?
    Then You make use of Your high str and take a few high risk - high reward shots that result in either a quick reduction of Bello's combat potency or a quick wipe
    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    What if you've been rotating characters, and no one is above level 2?
    You take 2 forced ones, 2 high str, 2 high break and start thinking really hard. Or reduce difficulty.
    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    What if you have no items, or only low level items?
    While items DO help a ton, they are not required. Also many level 4 and 5 items are far inferior to certain level 2 ones (they are more specialized and grant bigger boost).
    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    What if you've been desperately trying to keep your caravan large and moral normal and hence have spent all of your renown on supplies? (There is an achievement for this)
    Got the both achievements along with the one for fighting set amount of battles. I took all the fights I could - was still swimming in renown. As someone who starved thousands of varls for mere experiment, I can guarantee there is enough renown there to keep everyone alive and happy, while maintaining a fully operational party. Sadly You come few days short if You try to grab those AND the one for getting to the final city in less than 120 days.

    Any other questions?
    Last edited by Rensei; 01-25-2014 at 09:49 AM.

  9. #9
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    The problem stems from assumptions about the player's party at that point in the game. The game assumes a fairly narrow range of parameters for the final fight, and then forces them upon you with no warning.....The list is (practically) endless, and it's a real shame that in a game that supposedly encourages player choice, the last battle forces you to use the strategy the game wants you to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rensei View Post
    You are having trouble with the game and therefore demand it to be easier for everyone, whether they like some challenge or not.
    The combat system is so complex that taking into account all possible configurations and catering to all different play-styles and difficulty settings is impossible. So, I think that Stoic just went with tuning the battle difficulty around the most "obvious" (in their mind) protagonists: Rook, Alette, Iver & Hakon. Inevitably, people who invested on other characters are gonna have a hard time with red angry Bello. There's strategies to cope with some of the difficulties you outline, like Rensei suggests, but it takes practice and sometimes luck to get it right. I mean, why should the final battle be easily winnable by every player and with every play-through option-set? I, for one, am the more old-school difficult-game type; and, still finding the game kinda "weak" on hard

    I think that what the game needs is more & more diverse battle scenarios along the way, so that you get to play and learn and level-up all your characters/heroes/units. I am imagining mini-battles for some of your units, e.g. "Ludin, Yrsa and Bersi are in the middle of a heated discussion when five Dredge emerge out of nowhere and attack them"...
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Rensei View Post
    She makes an excellent Bello bait.
    And dies in one hit. Not to mention that for every "scream" she loses strength, which requires more turns to lower Bellower's armor.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rensei View Post
    You had few days in the final city to rest, bunch of fresh units from the varl caravan and the only ones who should be injured are the ones who fell while clearing the gate for them and Juno. One could argue that said battle was relatively easy and should not result in a full party wipe.
    Well, this one's patently false. You cannot rest during the last sequence of three battles, and for the others, the game makes it clear that you can either rest, or help Iver/the Ravens/the caravan, but not both. In my case, Iver was wounded during the penultimate fight, and hence, I couldn't rest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rensei View Post
    One dies while shooting the arrow, other makes an excellent Bello bait. The game DOES try to hint You that Rook, Iver, Alette and Hakon are sortof important. For example it makes them it's main characters.
    Just because the game has Rook as the leader of one caravan doesn't mean that I spent (or wanted to spend) the time and renown to level him up. I certainly didn't invest much effort into Ludin...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rensei View Post
    Then You make use of Your high str and take a few high risk - high reward shots that result in either a quick reduction of Bello's combat potency or a quick wipe
    He's got 20 armor. None of the units I ever had join had strength that high, but even if they had, my archers certainly didn't. And again, everyone else had 1 break. The only person that didn't was Nid, who, by sheer luck, I hadn't used yet, and so still had the 9 free character points the game gives you. Fortunately, I was able to retrofit her to have 3 Break, and even then, she was level 1, with no items.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rensei View Post
    You take 2 forced ones, 2 high str, 2 high break and start thinking really hard. Or reduce difficulty.
    For someone who thinks the last battle is fine as it is, I find it ironic that one of your first suggestions is reduce the difficulty.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rensei View Post
    While items DO help a ton, they are not required. Also many level 4 and 5 items are far inferior to certain level 2 ones (they are more specialized and grant bigger boost).

    Got the both achievements along with the one for fighting set amount of battles. I took all the fights I could - was still swimming in renown. As someone who starved thousands of varls for mere experiment, I can guarantee there is enough renown there to keep everyone alive and happy, while maintaining a fully operational party. Sadly You come few days short if You try to grab those AND the one for getting to the final city in less than 120 days.
    Sure, but I am talking about having a party of nothing but level 1 and 2 characters. It's one thing to spend the renown on your main party and then buy supplies, but I'm talking about the opposite order of priorities.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rensei View Post
    Any other questions?
    Yeah, why do you assume that I haven't beaten the game on hard? For that matter, why do you assume that I don't like a challenge? I don't say either of those things in my posts, and you have absolutely no information about how I played the game, whether I beat it, or what I enjoyed about it. Just because we disagree about the final battle doesn't mean that you're right and I'm wrong. (Or that you're the best player, and I'm the worst.)

  11. #11
    Backer Korica's Avatar
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    I understand that some of you are min-maxing master strategists who find Bellower rather laughable, but that does absolutely nothing for the rest of us. A bit like somebody who spends all their time at the gym looking at other people having trouble working out and saying "I don't see what the problem is, I find that incredibly easy."
    Last edited by Korica; 01-25-2014 at 11:16 PM.

  12. #12
    Maybe one thing that could be changed is that Juno could magically heal all your characters before the Bello fight?

    However, the fight seems fine otherwise. The thing is that if it was made easier, then that would make for a really disappointing finale. Right now it at least feels like the choices you make in developing your characters matter. If the final fight was equally easy regardless of the way you spent your points, that would mean that the strategy for spending those points did not matter. The game does hint strongly that you should invest in armor break. "From here on out, you will fail catastrophically" unless you first break armor is a good hint . But maybe this is a matter of taste - some of us just feel that the possibility of failure makes the game more interesting.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Rensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    Yeah, why do you assume that I haven't beaten the game on hard? For that matter, why do you assume that I don't like a challenge? I don't say either of those things in my posts, and you have absolutely no information about how I played the game, whether I beat it, or what I enjoyed about it. Just because we disagree about the final battle doesn't mean that you're right and I'm wrong. (Or that you're the best player, and I'm the worst.)
    Yeah it's my bad. I, once again, assumed everybody playing TBS had at least some experience in Factions and is well aware of concepts like armor break, party formations, party setup, str/arm relations etc.
    I'm not assuming others are worse players (though I might sound so - for that I apologize), I'm just surprised people are making such rookie mistakes.
    In my defense Your questions sounded (in light of experience) like You were doing everything to fail at this fight - pick the worst possible combination of injured, underleveled, badly developed characters and I assure You a boss in EVERY game will seem impossible to beat.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    Well, this one's patently false. You cannot rest during the last sequence of three battles, and for the others, the game makes it clear that you can either rest, or help Iver/the Ravens/the caravan, but not both. In my case, Iver was wounded during the penultimate fight, and hence, I couldn't rest.
    Just for the record You can choose Your actions during those last days. Doing anything other than fighting results in reduced injuries.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaMort13 View Post
    He's got 20 armor. None of the units I ever had join had strength that high, but even if they had, my archers certainly didn't. And again, everyone else had 1 break. The only person that didn't was Nid, who, by sheer luck, I hadn't used yet, and so still had the 9 free character points the game gives you. Fortunately, I was able to retrofit her to have 3 Break, and even then, she was level 1, with no items.
    I assumed You are a smart girl/guy and had a certain idea in Your head when planning Your party like that. I'm not saying it's wrong, I do agree it will be a pain to defeat Bello with such party, however You can take advantage of high str and high willpower by doing % to hit attacks, boosted with willpower. 10 str archer has 50% to deal 4 dmg - it's not much, but with a party like that it might be worth trying - instead of slowly chipping his armor while Your troops are falling left and right, You can quickly negate his killing potential and go from there.

  14. #14
    Junior Member dufake's Avatar
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    These problems had been addressed many times before.
    Challenges are good if they play fair.
    No one is happy if a thief stole all the supplies without a choice.

    Bellower breaks the rule here.(Armor/Strength Regeneration, Full Area Harm + Stun effect, Instant React)
    There're three unique skills in one bag, and it feels "out of the place".

    In the other hand, Stonesinger is a great mini boss here.
    It creates new formulas to the gameboard.
    Future bosses could be stronger or smarter than other units like that.

    [edit]
    Some people can not enjoy such a fight if their builds can not win.
    Basically there are three ways to build your party.

    Armor break party, Strength maim party or Full melee party(Hakon)
    Bellower fight make the other parties fail in the end.
    Last edited by dufake; 01-26-2014 at 09:42 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member loveboof's Avatar
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    Tbh it does sound a bit like the people who have had a lot of trouble with the Bellower fight are making some pretty avoidable mistakes. Anyone who has played Factions will know that you are totally screwed if you have no armour breakers at all in your team! The use of a Warleader (Krumr) can utilise guerrilla tactics with archers/breakers, Eyvind can hit Bellower for 4 damage in your first move if you want - putting him at a more reasonable 16 STR. Maiming (rather than killing) the normal dredge will make them a hindrance for the enemy team, and has anyone tested the Skystriker trap with Bellowers turn skipping? (i.e. does it stop him?)

    I agree that the silver arrow UI bug is annoying, but I actually like the added challenge of locked-in characters for the final battle - it is a story based game; they need to be there! (it isn't unnecessarily 'gamey'). If you think about it, Rook and Iver are team locked for quite a while before that final battle, so there is no excuse for not leveling them at all imo!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by loveboof View Post
    Tbh it does sound a bit like the people who have had a lot of trouble with the Bellower fight are making some pretty avoidable mistakes. Anyone who has played Factions will know that you are totally screwed if you have no armour breakers at all in your team! The use of a Warleader (Krumr) can utilise guerrilla tactics with archers/breakers, Eyvind can hit Bellower for 4 damage in your first move if you want - putting him at a more reasonable 16 STR. Maiming (rather than killing) the normal dredge will make them a hindrance for the enemy team, and has anyone tested the Skystriker trap with Bellowers turn skipping? (i.e. does it stop him?)

    I agree that the silver arrow UI bug is annoying, but I actually like the added challenge of locked-in characters for the final battle - it is a story based game; they need to be there! (it isn't unnecessarily 'gamey'). If you think about it, Rook and Iver are team locked for quite a while before that final battle, so there is no excuse for not leveling them at all imo!
    Some mistakes are avoidable - for instance, focusing on armor break. There is a conversation in the first half of the game, with Krumr, where he flat out tells you to focus on breaking Dredge armor. I think it's fair to expect at least a few armor breakers in the final encounter. Other mistakes are not - for example, showing up to the end battle with no particularly useful items whatsoever. In almost every defense of the final battle I've read, the apologist talks about some +3 armor break item as though everyone should have it. I didn't have it. No idea where or how you get it. Yeah, would have helped, I'm sure. Also, almost every apologist lists a squad of characters that were unavailable to me. You mention Krumr, for example - I didn't have him. That's not an "avoidable mistake". It's a natural byproduct of the sheer number of things that can happen during the story, leading to wildly different endgame loadouts for different players.

    Incidentally, I played Factions. I know how the game mechanics work.

    But (silly me) I thought that the single player game would be about more than min/maxing your squad for maximum combat effectiveness. I thought it would be about the things you do in between battles - which it most certainly is not. Virtually every decision I made in the game resulted in negative consequences, and ultimately weakened my party more than strengthened it. I lost characters I had invested in and given items to. I lost supplies at every turn (whether I tried being nice or ruthless, didn't matter) which in turn resulted in low morale and loss of willpower. I wound up in the end with so little renown and so few kills and so many injured guys that I couldn't promote my party for the last battle into anything workable (I spent about seven hours doing it over and over and over and over and over). There's nothing you can do at the last minute to turn characters with no kills into top-notch armor breakers (hello, Alette). Nobody in my party except Hakon was even able to stand up to more than one hit from the high-strength Dredge after Bellower's turn-one scream, and few could take more than one hit from most of the others as well. None of those things can be considered "easily avoidable" (without save scumming, which the game goes out of its way to try to prevent). Basically, the way to avoid those pitfalls is to either reload an earlier save (again, the game is designed to discourage doing this), or restart the game. Those are not acceptable options. The only other option is to lower the difficulty, which as I and many others have noted, makes the final battle insultingly trivial.

    Again, I'd like to reiterate that it's not because I didn't understand how promotion or the battle mechanics worked - it's because I had (foolishly) thought that the story mattered, and that I should play the story as though there was actually a story happening. Now I realize that the "correct" way to play is probably to always charge into every battle, always give chase, never spend renown on supplies, and never invest in characters that you're just going to lose capriciously (hello, Egil).

    Basically, play at all times with an eye to earning kills and renown, and min/maxing the perfect party, and ignore the story. Duly noted.

    It just seems like (and maybe it's just me), if the game was actually well-balanced, it would have either a) provided some feedback during your journey so you can identify and correct any mistakes you're making before you get to the brick-wall final encounter, or b) provided some sort of catch-up mechanism in the end that allowed you to grind (and rest) until you have a suitably promoted party for the final encounter. Instead, you get zero feedback or correction along the way (I skipped along quite merrily, never coming close to losing a battle at any point until the final battle on normal - in fact, I felt the game was too easy for me to that point, probably because of my Faction experience), and the game is basically on a timer in the end. Sure, you can grind out those last few battles (if you completely ignore what the storyline is loudly urging you to do), but even then you can go into the last battle underpowered because it's too little too late.

  17. #17
    Skystriker trap stops his turn, as usual, if I remember correctly.

    Personally I struggled just a little bit, but mostly because I had to experiment with his ability first. It would have helped if the ability descriptions were more clear. Fortunately I had rank 5 Mogr with me, who was invaluable in the second part.

    And I was lucky enough to make good decisions for the most part, so I didn't really lose any too important chars, aside from Egil and Yrsa.

    But I can imagine that the fights gets really hard, if you have no good armor-break with you. The force to bring Alette along was pretty annoying. Just felt weird to have her killed at first opportunity (for turn-advantage), when I chose not to bring her to any fight during the whole game. Should be patched imho.

    Another option would be, if there was at least a hint that you have to bring her to bellower in the last chapter, so you can at least bring her up to rank 3, where she can be a decent breaker. Like a small conversation with Rook, that she will not stand back anymore.
    Last edited by GreenDread; 01-26-2014 at 11:35 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member loveboof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jawbone78 View Post
    Some mistakes are avoidable [...] Other mistakes are not - for example, showing up to the end battle with no particularly useful items whatsoever. In almost every defense of the final battle I've read, the apologist talks about some +3 armor break item as though everyone should have it. I didn't have it. No idea where or how you get it. Yeah, would have helped, I'm sure. Also, almost every apologist lists a squad of characters that were unavailable to me. You mention Krumr, for example - I didn't have him. That's not an "avoidable mistake". It's a natural byproduct of the sheer number of things that can happen during the story, leading to wildly different endgame loadouts for different players.
    Ok, well firstly if you're going to refer to me as an 'apologist' like I'm some kind of Holocaust denier, then I'm going to refer to everyone who is complaining as 'whiners'...

    Secondly, it seems we agree that avoidable mistakes were made which contributed to your difficulty with Bellower! The lack of certain items and characters is also certainly avoidable, but I agree shouldn't necessarily be considered as mistakes since they arise from decisions you have made through naturally playing the game.

    The +3 armour break item is Farthingjord, which you get from one of the God Stones (can't remember which one) - it actually used to belong to Iver, and so plot-wise is probably meant to be found. The fact you did not get it is not game breaking at all, although it is a brilliant item. I only suggested Krumr as part of my list of helpful hints for fighting Bellower; if you did not have him, just ignore that particular hint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jawbone78 View Post
    But (silly me) I thought that the single player game would be about more than min/maxing your squad for maximum combat effectiveness. I thought it would be about the things you do in between battles - which it most certainly is not.
    This doesn't really make any sense. Your difficulty clearly stems from the things you did in-between the battles: i.e. the story / dialogue decisions / party line-up / renown management (etc)

    The single player game is quite evidently about more than simply min/maxing a squad.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jawbone78 View Post
    Virtually every decision I made in the game resulted in negative consequences, and ultimately weakened my party more than strengthened it. I lost characters I had invested in and given items to. I lost supplies at every turn (whether I tried being nice or ruthless, didn't matter) which in turn resulted in low morale and loss of willpower.
    Yeah me too! That's the whole point of the story.. 'Talking 'bout hard times, Lord those hard times! Who knows better than I?' (~ Ray Charles)

    It may look a bit Disney, but it ain't

    Quote Originally Posted by Jawbone78 View Post
    Nobody in my party except Hakon was even able to stand up to more than one hit from the high-strength Dredge after Bellower's turn-one scream, and few could take more than one hit from most of the others as well. None of those things can be considered "easily avoidable"
    Well, Bellower's turn 1 scream happens after all your characters have taken their turns right? And it only does 1 STR /1 ARM damage with the push back... It isn't that devastating. And As I said before, Eyvind can immediately pop Bellower down to 16 STR if you choose (I didn't btw).

    Quote Originally Posted by Jawbone78 View Post
    Again, I'd like to reiterate that it's not because I didn't understand how promotion or the battle mechanics worked - it's because I had (foolishly) thought that the story mattered, and that I should play the story as though there was actually a story happening. Now I realize that the "correct" way to play is probably to always charge into every battle, always give chase, never spend renown on supplies, and never invest in characters that you're just going to lose capriciously (hello, Egil).
    The story clearly does matter, as it is the source of most your gripes. What you suggest may be an easier way of playing the game, but it's not what I did.
    I lost a level 4 Gil who was integral to my strategy; the same for Fasolt! I desperately tried to strike a balance between keeping my caravan alive (and in good morale) with leveling my characters. It was rare that I had any spare renown to buy items from the market without having to sacrifice elsewhere! Obviously I got a bit luckier than you with a few item drops, but the game was far from plain sailing for me - And it isn't meant to be! (That's the point of the story)

    The game isn't perfect and perhaps I am just 'an apologist', but my opinion is just as valid as yours. I liked the final boss.

    ________
    Quote Originally Posted by GreenDread View Post
    Skystriker trap stops his turn, as usual, if I remember correctly.
    Ah ok, thanks

    Well that is a pretty good strategy for the Bellower fight then!
    Last edited by loveboof; 01-26-2014 at 12:34 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Rensei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dufake View Post
    In the other hand, Stonesinger is a great mini boss here.
    It creates new formulas to the gameboard.
    About him (my private opinion, no insults meant).
    He sucks. He sucks so hard it makes me cry. He wanders aimlessly on the board, then takes a whole turn to reduce all his friends armor by 2. Gee - thanks. I imagine the str boost he offers in return could pose a treat, but by the time it activates the key targets, that could benefit from the said boost, are either maimed or dead. Not to mention he goes down in three shots and takes the buff with him.
    Quote Originally Posted by dufake View Post
    Armor break party, Strength maim party or Full melee party(Hakon)
    Bellower fight make the other parties fail in the end.
    Again my personal opinion, no harm meant.
    I imagine the last two types could help a lot with breezing through the game on easy, where armor on dredge is weak, and varl destroy them on sight, but on hard I somehow cannot imagine anyone having much of a success with them. Might be just me, but armor break is not an option in my book - it's a must. There is a reason nearly every character has at least one point already there.
    One alternative could be combining Hakon, Siege archer, Oddleif, Eyvind and both spearmen/thrashers for a willpower dependent skills based party, going straight for strength, utilizing AoE damage, careful positioning and control. Such party however is only available (in its full beauty) on the last fight.

  20. #20
    Junior Member Corvino's Avatar
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    I've just played through the game twice over the past 3 days and had very different experiences with the final battle. I had no prior experience with Factions and both playthroughs were on normal.

    The first time around I was pretty melee heavy and had decent success for most of the game with a group that usually consisted of Iver, Fasolt/Krumr/Gunnulf, Egil, Rook, Hogr and Mogr. I wanted to see how each class played so I swapped characters around and had quite a few level 3 characters on the roster. I had a certain pair of other characters in my party, so one of the usual lineup didn't make it to the end. As I was trying to be charitable, virtuous and keep as many people alive as possible I spent quite a bit of renown on supplies. Also, as Alette had basically asked not to fight early on I'd completely left her out of most battles. I was lucky to have enough kills to get her to level 3 when I realised she was necessary. My party was mostly level 4 with 1 or 2 level 3s. Everyone had maxed Armor break but I was missing a lot of key items and didn't realise how important Exertion could be as a stat. I got through the first battle easily but being melee heavy allowed Bellower to tear my party to bits in the second. I eventually had to turn the difficulty to easy, which was much too easy.

    After this I had a couple of looks at tactics guides and item guides. Then I replayed.

    The difference was ridiculous. I built the endgame party I wanted from the outset. No renown was spent on people who were going to die or not be useful. Every possible battle was fought to maximise renown and kills. I used archers more as I knew they'd be useful in the final battle. Iver, Egil, Krumr, Rook, Alette and Nid. Aside from Rook everyone was level 5 and had appropriate gear. Having Alette with 2 Armor break, a +3 Armor break item and 3 Exertion for a possible 8 Armor reduction in one turn was almost unfair. I think Nid may actually have taken him from 20 strength to dead in one shot once his armor was gone, and he didn't manage to kill anyone.

    The battle is very doable if you know what to expect of the fight and have built a party to deal with it. But the game doesn't really encourage you to do this - you fight more or less the same type of battle from chapter 2 to chapter 6 and then something very different gets presented to you at the end. I mainly played through for the story, art, music and atmosphere and normal difficulty was appropriate all the way through on both until the end - at which point you're a bit screwed unless you've been powergaming, metagaming or plain lucky.

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