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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: You disappoint me

  1. #1

    You disappoint me

    So. I have played some faction. Regardless of what anyone might think I am a fairly patient person. Other people are less patient than I am. This is part of the reason why tbs:f is not going so well.
    The only patches you applied to TBS:F made the game worse (I am talking about balance changes obviously I know in a vague sense that you havent done a good job with factions and that it needs to be made less buggy but tbh that doesnt even bother me that much). I called it when you did it. When you split up the power levels. I went totally nuts. Ask Tirean or anyone else. I was literally pitching a fit IRL over a game. That is how much of a bad idea it was to open up power past rank 1 (as it splits a small community its portions too small to work). The thing is, when I got upset I actually believed within twelve months you would have a fourth specialisation for the existing classes, and two whole new classes or thereabouts. So in other words there would be things to attract people to the game to help balance the really really bad choice of splitting up the tiny community. Its not like the game caters for playing at under the power level you want to.
    Anyhows I kept my cool. I kept coming to the forums, I kept waiting for TBS. I kept trying to get back into factions. I went through a phase of trying to play at w/e power level with whoever was around.
    You see I kept expecting something. I admit I feel pretty sucker punched. Instead of releasing the best game of all time (which I actually bet someone irl money it would be) you went ahead and released TBS.
    Now here is a serious question. Are the people who made this game actually happy with results ? I realise you cannot answer me for real, but if you can just say the answer out loud to your monitor it might be good.
    OK im rambling. Issues I have
    1 The Banner Saga took way to long to come out. You claimed to be veterans of the industry. Mistakes like that arent acceptable any place I have worked.
    2 The Banner Sage was terrible. No challenge. Railroad Story. No meaningful player choice. No likeable characters. (my cognitive bias towards this game was very strong too)
    3 The Banner Sage Factions still has not been updated. You have taken peoples money for this product. Not in good faith though.
    4 Lack of communications. I feel like there is very little information about whats going on with TBS:F Maybe because you guys have abandoned the unfinished product people paid money for
    5 Deliberate sabotage of Factions. I realise you guys did not do this. If you had wanted to sabotage Factions (and factions could have been a popular game and industry leader for its genre) I would basically advice to do exactly what you have done. I am sure there are worse thing you could have done to the game. I just cannot think what they might be.

    To all of the fans of stoic and the single player game; Maybe you did enjoy the single player game. That doesn't make it good. Just means you enjoyed it. Good for you. The game still lacks meaningful choice and challenge. Please avoid troll responses. I am not trolling just because I dont like the game and dont agree with you. (i feel redundant pointing this out). My feelings on the game are above and they are just as valid as anyone elses feelings.

    ... Disclaimer : Yes there are good points(for factions, i hated the SP game). No I havent brought them up.

  2. #2
    Wow Khitchary, you went even more cynical psycho than I did lol. Although I can't agree with the excess in how you voiced your feelings, I think you'd be surprised to know that many of your sentiments are being shared by many people that still care to come here. Heck, I probably have the same complaints you have and more. However, I want you to pay attention to this because I only want to say this once: Your expectations of the game were too high. I don't blame you, I had those same expectations too. The reality of the situation is that the game was just made with three people with a (relatively) small budget whose priorities were more focused on bringing their "vision" to everyone in the world who could experience it (as indicated by these recent patches), rather than polishing the gameplay and adding more to factions. I can understand your frustrations (especially if you invested a lot of the money in factions and nothing changed!) but if you're going to express them is such a negative way nobody is going to want to listen to you, even the people that agree with you. If you could make a list of things that aren't just "YOU DIDN'T DO **** FOR FACTIONS" that you had SPECIFIC problems with, as well as some realistic ways to improve and make the game better, I would like to see them. If you're too frustrated and you don't want to make the effort because you just wanted to make this thread for validation, well I can understand that as well. I've been waiting too, and I just didn't have the courage (or foolhardiness) to express my frustrations like you did.

  3. #3
    Senior Member roder's Avatar
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    well Factions was started as a stepping stone to Banner Saga and exhibition of its combat system. It was a great game, and had a great community while it lasted. still has a few diehards that keep the torch burning. I only wish they hadn't promised to update it, it was over a year for some people waiting for a multiplayer update that never came. talks of new units from banner saga going to be implemented into factions after chapter 1 came out. big plans for expanding Factions, like city management, and Factions to be focused on in-between saga chapter releases. after a year of waiting, wait a little longer, they're on break after banner saga. wait a little longer, they're patching banner saga. then they say, we'll finish the trilogy first and then work on factions. thats a couple more years of waiting. Stoic makes great games, and it is hard to criticize them even now. but they have poor communication with community. many of the veteran players think this, they just dont say it publicly, we just say it to each other. they make great games, thats what you should expect from stoic. but it is better to look forward to their singleplayer releases, and not keep waiting for Factions update. fool me twice, shame on me...

    sorry for making this a rant thread...but i have to say it on behalf of many avid Faction players that have already come and gone, it was a big disappointment...
    Last edited by roder; 06-29-2014 at 01:04 AM.

  4. #4
    Stoic did what they thought was best for them. You may not like it and I may not like it but they have a limited number of resources and have to use them as they see best.

    From what I have seen of steam sales, tweets and reviews of The Banner Saga it seems they have made the correct decision so far. Factions its for a niche audience of hardcore players like ourselfs. Once they are finished with the trilogy maybe we can convince and show they can generate a healthy interest for our niche audience.

  5.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #5
    Technical Director John's Avatar
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    Agreed with many of the sentiments here. We love factions and competitive multiplayer. However I am literally the only programmer on the project and these things are very time consuming. Just doing this localization patch has kept me 100% occupied for a month. We're looking at various ways to hire help in the programming area, both for Saga porting and for Factions improvements, but there are very few developers available with the specific skills we need.

  6. #6
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Fact #1: Every Sale on Saga brings people into Factions.
    Fact #2: Factions cannot keep these people interested for long.

    I think there are a couple of small changes/updates that can be made in Factions that would help keep people longer in the game. The most important problem that must be addressed is the splitting of the playerbase. Here's some direct and indirect way to fix this:

    • The best way is having new players enter the game at power-6. This will eliminate the low power-levels where people struggle to find matches, waiting for long times in the p1-p5 queues. This "fix" can be done very easily by giving all players a gift of ~300 Renown upon entering the game (instead of ~50), and displaying a message like: "Head for the mead-house & proving-grounds asap".
    • Another way to pack people in the mid-power levels, p6-p12, is a Renown-deflation (decrease promotion prices and kill pre-reqs). Promotion from rank-0->1 should be less costly, followed by rank-1>2. That will reduce the grind necessary for people to reach the "competitive" power level of 12. You could either directly reduce the costs, or give more per-battle renown, or increase the renown bonus for certain early-achievements (1st match, 1st kill, 1st victory etc).
    • Finally, another idea is re-uniting Quick+Ranked matches in one queue. This will allow Elo to be exchanged at all powers (instead of just 6 and 12), and thus keep the semi-casual players who don't wanna play in Tourney interested.


    From what I've seen in the game's code, the first two suggestions seem easily implementable. Nothing even close in complexity to the "Match Available Banners" that you introduced last summer... At this point, any change in Factions would help immensely. I hope you (John) can find it in you to invest the little time needed to make them!

    PS -- If you do come-round to actually make a Factions update, please consult us for a couple of stat-balancing tweaks (nerf Bowmaster & Thrasher etc).
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  7. #7
    Junior Member manevr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John View Post
    Agreed with many of the sentiments here. We love factions and competitive multiplayer. However I am literally the only programmer on the project and these things are very time consuming. Just doing this localization patch has kept me 100% occupied for a month. We're looking at various ways to hire help in the programming area, both for Saga porting and for Factions improvements, but there are very few developers available with the specific skills we need.
    I went here just to say "thank you" for the Factions.
    I learned about this game just week ago, and I love it. I wish with all my heart, that you will finish all your plans according to the single player, and will be able to return to multiplayer. Factions have a lot of potential, and more important, there is no games like this at the market:
    - it have hardcore spirit,
    - meditative (and in the same time - intense) combat system,
    - high decision dependency
    and beautiful graphics

    Good Luck!

  8. #8
    Like Khitchary, I was hoping for more from the Saga, in particular better choices to make along the trek. On the other hand, they never said it would be much good for replayability.

    I'm not that disappointed about their abandoning Factions, since it was what I expected from very early on. I'm very impressed with what they accomplished and hope they come back to it, but also would like to see them do well until then.

    @Aleo: Hiya! I don't think it's worth it to make "small changes/updates". No matter how effective or low-cost, ongoing work would be required to maintain the player base, and that's not in the cards. From steamcharts, it looks like the only way one can play is via friendly matches, so matchmaker tweaks in particular seem low-return.

    @Devs: Very cool to see you've released mod tools! I look forward to seeing what people come up with.

  9. #9
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by franknarf View Post
    I don't think it's worth it to make "small changes/updates". No matter how effective or low-cost, ongoing work would be required to maintain the player base, and that's not in the cards. From steamcharts, it looks like the only way one can play is via friendly matches, so matchmaker tweaks in particular seem low-return.
    Some small changes can have a big impact on the "quality of life" in Strand, for those 50+ unique players that fight an average of one match per week. The prime example of that is the "Match Banners" that John introduced last summer. Speaking of which, the majority of matches are quick ones, as there's zero waiting-time in MM (matchmaker) once you click on "Battle!". Ranked and Tourney matches still require the regular ~30-60sec waiting time in MM, something that is enough to discourage some hasty players from experiencing the competitive side of Factions.

    Anyway, I agree that changes of the scale I'm proposing: (a) will not bring back old players, (b) will not keep new players interested for much longer, (c) will not help re-build a community. But, even so, I believe that if they are low-cost (e.g. 3-4 hours of John's work) they should be implemented. It's not like the community will start asking for more-and-more... We'll take any little thing that is given!
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  10. #10
    Junior Member manevr's Avatar
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    main aim should be - combine all ranked matches to one ladder, accessible to every player.
    high level player should play vs low level if there is no more matched variants.
    for example: power 5 searching for ranked match - he will get opponent 4-power (with less profit in case of win), 5-power or 6-power (with higher profit in case of win, "underdog bonus")

    single ladder with detailed statistic for every player, if he be able to see it, compare himself to others, looking for interesting stats (like- spend time in match for making decisions, average time, damage dealt, damage recieved, %win in arenas etc, etc.)
    - really fun and motivating thing.

    in starcraft2 ladder a lot of stats, graphs.
    in QuakeLive too (realized by community ranking system): https://www.qlranks.com/
    --
    i'm pretty sure that Devs have a lot of ideas too and have skill for realize that, but have no time\human resources.

    peace

  11. #11
    Backer Morgenstern72's Avatar
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    I understand the problems people have with Factions. I loved it at the beginning and then did loose interest very quickly since it was just not working.
    BUT
    I really hope they focus on Part 2 of the Saga. This should take much less effort and time than developing part 1 since they already have the engine, animations and so on. It will bring them money and (hopefully) more fame (that they have earned, I really like the SP). Then on with Part 3 and at the same time re-release Factions as official multi player part of the third installment. That would be my wish and advice.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Isterio's Avatar
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    I didn't find it necessary to open a new thread, but I don't direct my disappointment at Factions. The target of my "rant" is STOIC.

    STOIC did on several occasions imply that The Banner Saga is about creating art. It's about the love for making games of this genre and being independent. Then I read this:
    https://www.polygon.com/2014/7/24/593...-the-app-store

    1. Was the intention of this interview to damage the image of your company?
    2. If you're unhappy with the behavior of the app store customers, don't produce games for them. Don't say your possible customers are all avaricious bastards. Deal with it and don't blindly follow trends. If your game is good, people will buy it.
    3. Why is it that you complain about the income for TBS Factions? Did you or did you not get much more funding from Kickstarter, than you actually needed? Still not enough? Well, how about better planning? Pardon my language, but releasing Factions with Free 2 "Pay" was a bit of a dick move. Sure, you had your reasons...
    4. Before you complain about your customers, please remember your delays.

    So, is The Banner Saga about art or just about making as much money, as you can?

    That said, you have created a nice game. It IS artistic and I have enjoyed it. But please stop creating the impression that you're just another bunch of greedy suits. It makes me think twice of giving you more money, alright?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    I am gonna be honest here: I am also very disappointed with both Stoic as the developers and The Banner Saga as a released product, and i think everybody here including the devs know it! I share most of the points of the OP, but still want to re-iterate on what are the issues from my point of view:

    1st on my list: The Pre-Order exclusive ingame material stand you(Stoic) took. I spected this crap form a AAA studio who's only interest is money; but from you, an small indie team, who's game got crowd funded? I really did not spected so! My bad i suppose for having high hopes on where you morally stand!

    2nd: The terrible slow process of patching and bug fixing, specially when you decide to prioritize full translations into multiple languages and ports to other systems, before making the core game bug free. I do recognize that the bugs encountered have been minor in their majority, and that they were not that numerous to start with. but still, bugs are bugs.

    3rd: The fact that the game itself, felt very short on what was promised and most of the gameplay mechanics are just shallow and very artificial( more details here .) And what makes that fact even worse is that you(Stoic), in stead of further expanding and improving the game like FTL did with the Advanced Edition, like The Witcher games have been doing for years now with their Enhanced Editions, like State of Decay have been doing with their Tittle Updates since release and now their upcoming Year One Edition, you Stoic, simply dropped the ball and limited yourself to only doing minor bug patches(who have been terrible slow as mentioned before).

    4th: Lack of communication and feeling of abandomness. At the beginning it was all cool, but since almost half a year ago you hardly ever communicate with the player/fanbase anymore. There is no real roadmap or way for us to know what you are working on, what your priorities are, etc, etc. It also took you 7 months before any news regarding the Linux port were released, how is that acceptable?

    It is truly a shame really, even with all the mentioned before, i still want this series to succeed, but sadly i see too much wasted potential on the game, and a developer team behind it, that so far has not impressed me gameplay wise nor bussiness-stand-point wise.

    I give you credits where credits are due:
    *I completely felt in love with the artwork and even the animations since the first time i saw them, and that alone is what really cached my interest and made me follow this project!
    *I really enjoy the freshed-out lore the game stands over, so much that it actually convinced me to read trough the whole game without skipping any dialogues.
    Last edited by Yellow; 10-02-2014 at 02:12 AM.
    "Forged by Fire; Empowered by Passion"

  14. #14
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    I find your post a bit aggressive, but it fits the "mood" of this thread For what it's worth, I am gonna post my opinion:

    Quote Originally Posted by Yellow View Post
    1st: The Pre-Order exclusive ingame material stand you(Stoic) took.
    2nd: The terrible slow process of patching and bug fixing, specially when you decide to prioritize full translations into multiple languages and ports to other systems, before making the core game bug free.
    3rd: The fact that the game itself, felt very short on what was promised and most of the gameplay mechanics are just shallow and very artificial [..] you(Stoic), in stead of further expanding and improving the game like [...], you Stoic, simply dropped the ball and limited yourself to only doing minor bug patches.
    4th: Lack of communication and feeling of abandomness.
    1. I am indifferent to this. Also, I should note that TBS was very open to modding, and the devs (John) were very helpful to those of us who wanted to mod the game, and unlock all those "exclusive" features.

    2. I found Stoic's reaction times (for bug support) reasonable. I wouldn't mind extra-fast bug-fixing, but I didn't encounter any terrible bugs either. Also, they started working on translations (and ports) after the first patch was shipped.

    3. Yup, there's quite a few paradigms out there from devs who chose to support and "perfect" a game before moving on. The difference with TBS is that there's two more parts to conclude the story. What would you choose to polish the first game to 100% at the cost of a delay of release (of several months) for the following parts of the story? Maybe you would, but, then, you'd have to face the anger of the restless ("Where's the rest of the story?") people...

    4. Here is where I totally agree with you. It saddens me to rarely see a dev post here (2-3 times a month, if we're lucky), not to mention showing up in the chat room. I think that Stoic "outsourced" all their PR, including interaction with fans, to Versus-Evil (their publishers), in order to focus entirely on development. But, that's hardly the same thing =/ Choosing not to support Factions also contributed to this.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  15. #15
    Maybe I waited too long (2 or 3 weeks after rlease) with playing the single player or maybe I had just luck...but I don't remember any major bugs, which prevented me from playing it. (although i remeber some problems with shooting this special arrow at the end, ok that one sucked) Therefore I, too, think it's not that kind of a problem, if there were/are some bugs, if the game can still go on. It's not like a e-games multiplayer thing, it's just for telling one, in my oppinion, very nice story. therefore i think it's okay, if some minor bugs weren't fixed right away..or in a suitable amount of time
    I share Aleos oppinion, that it would be better to focus on developing the second part. The whining about releasing it would be much bigger than the anger of not fixing bugs (and like said, no real gamekiller bugs imho).
    I can't say anything to how much choices in the game were promised or if the game isn't as good as stoic promised it would be, since i joined playing sinlge and multiplayer after part 1 was released :/ but for me it was a nice journey to play the single player. If it's a little dissappointing for backers, that's sad to know :/

    On the topic of factions i must say as one of the newer player, the game is quite playable. But of course i started playing factions without knowing there would be a patch or new content promised, therefore there's nothing for me to be dissappointed.

    All in all it would be nice to know, what was said during development and kickstarter-phase, but as a new player, it's pretty enjoyable to play

  16. #16
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    I find your post a bit aggressive
    I would not say aggressive per say, but a little passive-aggressive ? Yes! I clarify very well at the start of my post that i am unhappy and disappointing with the released product as well as with the path it took to get there.

    With that said, i am clearly not trolling nor "hatting", i posted my thoughts in a cohesive and understandable way and even gave feedback on how to fix certain things.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    1. I am indifferent to this. Also, I should note that TBS was very open to modding, and the devs (John) were very helpful to those of us who wanted to mod the game, and unlock all those "exclusive" features.
    True that they were open to modding, and that is a + on my book.

    That said, if they had not taken the pre-order exclusive stand to begin with, then they would have spare themselves a lot of troubles and a lot of unhappy customers.
    Maybe for you it is not a big deal at the end, but for a lot of people i know, it is.
    Remember that there are lots of people outside this forums as-well that have been vocal trough Steam, Youtube, GoG.com and even the Kickstarter page.

    Not everybody is as forgiving as you, i know for sure that i am not

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    2. I found Stoic's reaction times (for bug support) reasonable. I wouldn't mind extra-fast bug-fixing, but I didn't encounter any terrible bugs either. Also, they started working on translations (and ports) after the first patch was shipped.
    01-22-2014

    06-20-2014

    Those are the dates of the 2 and only patches released so far. (beta builds ofcourse not included because: BETA) That is a whooping 5 months between the two patches, not to mention that the GoG patch was very delayed in comparison with Steam one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    3. Yup, there's quite a few paradigms out there from devs who chose to support and "perfect" a game before moving on. The difference with TBS is that there's two more parts to conclude the story. What would you choose to polish the first game to 100% at the cost of a delay of release (of several months) for the following parts of the story? Maybe you would, but, then, you'd have to face the anger of the restless ("Where's the rest of the story?") people...
    The Witcher series is a trilogy aswell, that has not stop them from releasing free DLC, extensive modding tools and Enhanced Editions for both games released so far, nor stopped them from working on their other projects: Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher Adventure Game and their upcoming Witcher IP MOBA for Movile Devices.

    State of Decay is just the first game on a "series" too( State of Decay 2 is being worked on), the devs there are also working on a "MMO" with the same IP as well as a Movile Device game, all at the same time, + they also had to port the game from the original platform Xbox360 to PC, and since then have released more than 6 free Tittle Updates, all of the above in the spawn of a year.


    Yes we can argue that Stoic is an small studio in comparison, with little founding, but is it really that still?

    To begin with:

    *It was never(maybe only the first couple of months) ONLY 3 people working on the Banner Saga, i as well as you and everybody else, saw quite a few more faces on all the kickstarter videos, plus they have said it themselves that there were a few other people helping from time to time, there is also the Versus Evil staff and Austin Wintory and all the musicians.
    I am also quite sure that they must have integrated at least a couple more of full-time thinking heads to their official ranks since release.

    *Regarding money, lets not forget that they got 7x times more money that they asked for on their kickstarter campain, also that The Banner Saga has sold very well so far. They also got a deal with Versus Evil, and i am sure Apple is cashing in a few bucks for their tablet port.

    It is not like CDPR and Undead Labs are giants on the industry with unlimited founds neither... But with what they have they have been managing to do a lot, and a lot at the same time!
    I dont see how Stoic who is only working on Chapter 2, could not spend a few extra hours and a few extra bucks on polishing a little bit Chapter One before abandoning it.
    Last edited by Yellow; 10-02-2014 at 07:45 AM.
    "Forged by Fire; Empowered by Passion"

  17. #17
    Superbacker gripho's Avatar
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    Yellow, about your 3rd point, you also have to remember that Stoic has promised to give parts 2 and 3 of the Saga to backers who pledged 50$ or more during the kickstarter campaign... thus, even if they did not give any schedule for it their hands are not totally free in the matter. I suppose Stoic might work on an "Enhanced Edition" of the entire Saga as a whole when they've released chapters 2 and 3 (making the first chapters benefit from gameplay enhancements developped in later ones, etc.), in any case I sure hope so, as this is what would make the most sense to me.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gripho View Post
    I suppose Stoic might work on an "Enhanced Edition" of the entire Saga as a whole when they've released chapters 2 and 3 (making the first chapters benefit from gameplay enhancements developped in later ones, etc.)
    I hope you are right!
    "Forged by Fire; Empowered by Passion"

  19. #19
    Junior Member docan's Avatar
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    If Stoic can already work in the latest edition, please be announced quickly. I do not want to miss the information

  20. #20
    Suspended Romance1984's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info
    viva9988

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