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Thread: "...through the single player game... unlock new characters to use in multiplayer..."

  1. #1
    Junior Member Savakov's Avatar
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    "...through the single player game... unlock new characters to use in multiplayer..."

    I'm concerned about this claim that is on several websites advertising the banner saga:

    "Multiplayer Combat Enhanced - sharpen your combat skills in the free multiplayer game 'Factions'. As you play through the single player game you'll also unlock new characters to use in multiplayer."

    I've greatly enjoyed The Banner Saga and beaten it twice on Normal and three times on Hard. I noticed AMD was promoting it in my Catalyst Control Center and went to their page for it on their website to see what might be there since I'm such a fan of the game. To my surprise, I noticed this mention of unlockable characters in multi-player, and I since I hadn't played Factions since months before the games release, I reinstalled it, only to find it was, apart from a diminished player base, exactly the same game I had left it as far as I can tell. The mention of multi-player characters unlockable through the single player game is not on the Steam Store page for the game, but it has been on many other online store page for the game (Humble Bundle, GamersGate, GameStop, Uplay, though not on Amazon, Google play, the Apple App Store or GOG).

    Where are these unlockable characters? Why is there a mysterious class represented by a silhouetted avatar with a question mark for each list of the sub-classes that can be promoted from Raider, Archer, Shieldbanger, and Warrior?

    It took a day before I received the email with the link to activate my account, so in that time I messaged one of the developers about this issue, since I couldn't post thread replies or new threads. The message was sent on Decemeber 3rd, but he hasn't responded, though his account has been active since the message.

    I've searched these forums and used Google to look for anyone questioning or addressing this issue, but surprisingly I haven't found it addressed anywhere. I say it's surprising, since this is a matter of false advertising, which seems quite serious for developers like Stoic, who I have regarded thus far as a company of integrity. What if someone particularly fond of PvP had been playing The Banner Saga: Factions and bought The Banner Saga only after seeing the promise of new unlockable characters in the single player? If no such feature exists, why else but to dishonestly get more people to purchase the game would the promise of unlockable multi-player characters in the single player mode be touted?

  2. #2
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    A good remark, with a negative answer

    I believe it was Stoic's initial intent to support Factions, simultaneously along with Saga parts 1,2,3. However, this soon proved too much for such a small crew, so they completely dropped Factions to its fate. That particular claim is a left-over that should be seen removed, as things are. This feature might be implemented in the future, when/if Factions gets some support. Stoic's word is that "they're looking into ways to support Factions", but they won't actively get back to it themselves until after they're done with TBS2 and TBS3...

    Why is there a mysterious class represented by a silhouetted avatar with a question mark for each list of the sub-classes that can be promoted from Raider, Archer, Shieldbanger, and Warrior?
    Those were supposed to be the Eagle-Eye (Alette), Grudgewielder (Ekill), Champion (Iver?) and Wardog (Hakon?) classes, from the single-player game. But they never came to be...
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Savakov's Avatar
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    Hey I didn't realize they let this post through!

    Thank you for your reply, Aleonymous. I checked for this post to show up for weeks after 12-10-2014 but didn't see it. I thought the devs had filtered it. They have ignored it and ignored my messages to them about it. I guess they're above this sort of thing. I would like to mention though that the advertisement of features that were not actually implemented is a tactic that has caused great scandal with games like WarZ. I can't imagine why Stoic would for any reason choose to go down that road. I was going to inform the FTC about this blatantly intentional false advertising (either lazily ignoring the possibility of someone deciding to buy the game for a non-existent feature or intentional hoping to catch some extra cash from misled customers - neither possibility a pretty picture), but by the time the ultimatum I provided Stoic was up sometime mid-January (I said I wouldn't report them if they would give me any kind of response acknowledging their awareness and positive intentions concerning this issue), it no longer seemed like my responsibility, especially for such a relatively minor feature of the game (relative, at least, to the content of the singleplayer campaign, though it would greatly improve Factions).

    However, this incident has impacted my formerly high opinion of Stoic (TBS is my favorite game and still eagerly anticipate TBS 2!), as has today's release of a 1.2 gig patch with no official update and not a word concerning its content from the developer who popped into this thread (https://steamcommunity.com/app/237990...9405709440340/) at the steam community to let us know that the official announcement concerning the patch comes out tomorrow morning, persisting in the tradition of customer service that conveys some special, celebrity-esque status on the developers, either out of pure indifference to their fans or a bitter resentment of providing comprehensive customer service due to an artistic sense of entitlement that views consumers as more "out of the loop" the less immediately dependent upon their financial support a developer is.

  4. #4
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    The scope of the game definitely changed a lot during its early stages, both from the KS success (March 2012) and from the launch of Factions (Mar. 2013). In the case of Factions, both Stoic and the public weren't quite sure what it was all about, and that's where a lot of confusion and strife arose from. It was initially intended as a test-platform for the battle system, but it then grew to be something of its own. Then came the responsibilities of Stoic towards their KS-backers, i.e. to deliver the single-player game in time. Then it became apparent that Stoic (that didn't want to expand) couldn't support {a} Factions, {b} ports of TBS1 to various platforms, {c} development of TBS2, all at the same time... Factions was naturally the one that got dropped.

    Quote Originally Posted by Savakov View Post
    [...] the advertisement of features that were not actually implemented is a tactic that has caused great scandal with games like WarZ [...] I was going to inform the FTC about this blatantly intentional false advertising [...] for such a relatively minor feature of the game.
    I don't think Stoic intended any foul play there; they probably just forgot to "update" that info. Also note that Stoic partnered with Versus Evil as publishers somewhere in late 2013, who also took up all the public-relations and promotions of TBS1, however without having followed Stoic right from the start. That's partly the reason several such "threads" were neglected, especially those related to Factions, which was by then evidently set aside and thus not a direct responsibility of VE...

    Quote Originally Posted by Savakov View Post
    [...]today's release of a 1.2 gig patch with no official update [...]
    Well, the official update info eventually came, but, yes, Stoic/VE should probably have given out word before the patch actually goes live. Personally, I wasn't surprised at all, since (a) the Linux/SteamOS port of TBS1 was due, expected for end of March, and (b) they had said that they would simultaneously update the Windows & Mac versions of the game, (c) I was sleeping at that time so it didn't happen while I was online jk.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Savakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    I don't think Stoic intended any foul play there; they probably just forgot to "update" that info. Also note that Stoic partnered with Versus Evil as publishers somewhere in late 2013, who also took up all the public-relations and promotions of TBS1, however without having followed Stoic right from the start. That's partly the reason several such "threads" were neglected, especially those related to Factions, which was by then evidently set aside and thus not a direct responsibility of VE...
    But this isn't about Factions, it's about the advertising for TBS, such as on Steam. I can see how Factions could be abandoned since it's free, but the problem is with the advertising for TBS, not for Factions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    Well, the official update info eventually came, but, yes, Stoic/VE should probably have given out word before the patch actually goes live. Personally, I wasn't surprised at all, since (a) the Linux/SteamOS port of TBS1 was due, expected for end of March, and (b) they had said that they would simultaneously update the Windows & Mac versions of the game, (c) I was sleeping at that time so it didn't happen while I was online jk.
    Yeah it's not a really big deal if there was no possible way the new patch was going to effect save games or change gameplay in any way. It was mainly the cumulative effect that this style of PR has with everything else (like the complete silence from developers who have been active in this forum since I messaged them/posted on the issue of false advertising). I must say however that the changes made in the patch have had an entirely negative effect on the artistic direction of the game and its UI.

  6. #6
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    This is copied from TBS Steam-store front-page:

    Coming to SteamOS/Linux
    The Banner Saga will be available on SteamOS and Linux in March 2015.

    About This Game
    Live through an epic role-playing Viking saga where your strategic choices directly affect your personal journey. Make allies as you travel with your caravan across this stunning yet harsh landscape. Carefully choose those who will help fight a new threat that jeopardizes an entire civilization. Every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds. Not everyone will survive, but they will be remembered.

    Key Features

    -- Player choice that drives your own narrative – every decision you make in travel, conversation and combat has a meaningful effect on the outcome as your story unfolds.
    -- Over 25 playable characters from 2 different races, human and varl, the horned giants – embark on your epic journey with a variety of characters from 7 different classes, each with unique abilities and upgrade options to fit your play style.
    -- Strategic combat with consequences - victory or defeat and even the permanent loss of a character depends on which characters you choose to take into battle and what decisions you make afterwards.
    -- The journey is as important as battle – your role in building and managing your caravan as you travel the vast frozen landscape is critical to not only your own survival but the survival of an entire civilization.
    -- An epic Viking saga brought to life in 2D glory – beautifully hand drawn combat sequences and animations, accompanied by an evocative score from Grammy-nominated composer Austin Wintory, will immerse you into a fantasy realm inspired by Norse mythology.
    -- Multiplayer Combat Enhanced – sharpen your combat skills in the free multiplayer game “Factions”. Compete against other players with many of the character classes you see in The Banner Saga.

    The Banner Saga is the first part of a planned trilogy. If you complete this game, your unique progress and storyline will carry over to the next part of the story.
    I agree with you that, excluding the elaboration and adjectives, there's plenty of things in that description that one might find partially incorrect/misleading. Personally I don't care because I expect these descriptions to be exaggerated, but I can certainly see the "holes". Of special note is the last paragraph in bold which was added (...to the bottom of the description, where it's usually hidden/folded in the Steam store...) only some months ago, after pressure from angry players who didn't know this is the first part of a trilogy...

    How do the changes of this patch mess up the artistic direction? Only the Escape-menu feels a bit awkward with the newly added items, but everything else is the same. Unless you're referring to the addition of extra GUI elements when using the gamepad; in that case, well, I wouldn't go into the trouble of redesigning the GUI either, just to cater to such a small minority!
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Savakov's Avatar
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    I don't expect descriptions to be exaggerated, but this is not only exaggerated it's patently false, particularly the one line that I quoted and made this thread about. False advertising is not only obviously immoral, it's against the law.

    Regarding the recent patch, I was referring to the alterations to the background of the main menu and the altered menus (including the save menu). Minor, but puzzling alterations, all of which detract in some degree from the sleek and immersive feel of the game. I agree with you on the gamepad issue. When Stoic doesn't have enough time to deliver their advertised features, you'd think they wouldn't spend time on adding strange features that are not advertised. How is playing TBS with a gamepad any sort of improvement? It seems like it would be clunky, cumbersome, and unintuitive.
    Last edited by Savakov; 04-22-2015 at 11:29 PM.

  8. #8
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    I also dislike the way they cluttered the ESC-menu with those extra unnecessary menu-items (review/rate game, purchase soundtrack etc). Only the gamepad menu was really needed there. They added all these extra menu-items but not the one thing we asked for: A button that somehow "links" Factions with the Saga, or just points to Factions Steam-page, so that it gets more visibility...

    About gamepad/conroller support: Several Steam-players asked for that (...for reasons of their own...) and it was also needed for the planned PS and XB ports, so that's how it came to PC too. But, I agree with you that it's a total pain to play with compared to mouse!
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  9. #9
    Junior Member docan's Avatar
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    What profit they make a mess ESC Menu?

  10. #10
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by docan View Post
    What profit they make a mess ESC Menu?
    They added a few extra buttons related to Steam Overlay functionality (unrelated to the game itself), e.g. to purchase the OST or write a Steam Review for the game etc.
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Yellow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aleonymous View Post
    I also dislike the way they cluttered the ESC-menu with those extra unnecessary menu-items (review/rate game, purchase soundtrack etc). Only the gamepad menu was really needed there. They added all these extra menu-items but not the one thing we asked for: A button that somehow "links" Factions with the Saga, or just points to Factions Steam-page, so that it gets more visibility...

    About gamepad/conroller support: Several Steam-players asked for that (...for reasons of their own...) and it was also needed for the planned PS and XB ports, so that's how it came to PC too. But, I agree with you that it's a total pain to play with compared to mouse!
    It would not be half as bad if at least those extra buttons looked good, but that ugly black background makes the whole thing look rather uninspired and unprofessional.
    "Forged by Fire; Empowered by Passion"

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