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  Click here to go to the first staff post in this thread.   Thread: Factions Live! Feedback - (Your experience and thoughts on Basic Units)

  1. #1
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Factions Live! Feedback - (Your experience and thoughts on Basic Units)

    Hi guys

    How has the live been for you? Did you enjoy it? Forums/chat was incredibly busy. What do you think of the new tutorials and that intro video? I thought they were friggin awesome!

    What has your experience been like starting from basic units and with the new players ? I've sent Arnie some thoughts on Basic units, and we came up with the fact that it might be better if we had some choice on how to allocate their stats.

    Do others feel that way too?

  2. #2
    Junior Member Darial's Avatar
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    Intro and tutorial were great. But the transition from the end of tutorial to the city was a bit abrupt. For a minute I thought my game froze.

    Starting from basic units was a drag, so I ended up spending some $$ to speed up the process. I definitely recommend allowing the new players the ability to adjust their basic unit stats for free so they can learn the process. This will prepare them for advance units and also level out the playing field a little when they fight against players with more advanced units.

  3. #3
    I literally got goosebumps when the narrator spoke the first few islandic words. Really talented people and the art was a feast for the eyes. Man, I think, I've never been so hyped about a game

    About the base units:
    Since the inclusion of the marketplace I only played with base units. Base-unit matches lack the huge dynamic of abilities, so decisions can be made faster. Fast enough to use the 30 second timer without too big problems. They are more brutal, because most base units have a relatively huge amount of willpower and often it just seems to be decided, who deals more damage in less moves.

    However, by now I played about ten matches with base units and it starts to be less interesting.
    Imho, the main problem is that you cannot change the stats of base-units. Every base unit of the same class has the same stats and those stats are far from optimum.

    Being able to tweak base unit's stats, preferably at a lowered cost would enable new players to experiment with different builds without being overwhelmed by the huge dynamic of endgame. They could learn, what's working and what is not.

  4. #4
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    Love the atmoshpere and the art of the intros. Also, it's great how you enter the tutorial as a continuation of the intro!

    On the base units - when I played my first match ever I remember keeping all of my unit stats as they were, simply because I didn't have a clue about the game. I assumed that it's better to play a few games first and see what other ppl use or what's better suited for each unit.

    I think the fact that you can't tweak base units is good for that reason and makes the learning curve less steep at the beginning. Having to restat on top of learning the game could be overwhelming. It's also a huge renown sink, so maybe better that new players can't waste their renown on silly things?

    On the other hand I can see where the frustration of not being able to change stats is coming from after we were used to advanced classes. I only had time for 2 short games yesterday and I need to admit that I didn't like the basic play much, but I'm spoiled after being able to try so many advanced builds already! The current starting set up is very archer heavy (and I'm not an archer type) and typically for stand-offs between archer builds the player who initiates combat first and gets into range of the enemy archers seems to be in a disadvantage. Not my style of play and I think I'll be checking out the starter pack sooner rather than later

  5. #5
    It is true that after playing over 100 games with advanced units (I played my 101st battle on Saturday! ), it is a little... hmmm, lets say less interesting to play the base classes. But I plan to play with them anyway, since I wanna see my team to earn the right to get promoted instead of just buying it. (Hope I will find enough battles against other basic teams!)
    Maybe it would be a good idea to allow to change the base stats after playing five games or so. This way new players do not waste there renown immediately without knowing the basics, but after some practice they can start to tweak the stats.

  6. #6
    The intro and tutorial on first login is excellent. I then went and watched the other tutorials as well. Really informative. I really like the tutorial integration as a way to draw you into the world. Perhaps I missed something though because I didn't really know why the big horned dudes kicked down the door. Not that it particularly matters.

    I started playing with base units and did fairly well against similar opponents, got steam-rolled when playing against advanced units.

    I purcahsed reknown, rather than upgraded units, then took my base guys with me on the journey to level them up. That has been really fun.

    The difference now that I have levelled my guys up, and playing against new players, is a problem though. People will be pulled against me in matchmaker, see my levelled up guys, and quit before the countdown is up. That's fine, that's their prerogative.

    I think that is an indication though of the power of levelled up units, and how much stronger they are than base units.

    Considering you get an extra ability and extra stats, and are able to redistribute your stats to your liking, the difference between Levelled Units and Base Units really is profound. It is much more than the 1 point increase on their point value indicates.

    Perhaps the matchmaker would have an easier time of pulling fairer fights if a promotion was worth 2 points instead. So 1 point for the promotion, then 1 point for the redistribution or whatever. So instead of each unit being 11 v 10, it becomes 12 v 10. The highest level play will be at 72 to base play at 60. That leaves a wider margin for matching up yes?

    so 10 is base, 11 for a promotion, 12 if you redistribute points.

    As your playerbase increases this may become less of an issue, however from my experience of playing against Levelled Units (it's not fun, but you do it for the grind), and my expereince of playing my own squad of Levelled Units and my oppositions reaction to that... I don't know. I feel that a lot of peoples first game may be too harsh an experience.

    I am basing this mostly on the frequency at which I am being matched up with lower level squads, which is much more frequently than I play against even squads.

    So, perhaps matchmaker could be tweaked? Or perhaps this will sort itself out in time as more players come.

    It's an issue worth mulling over though.

    Onto more positive feedback: I'm having a great time. I really dig this game and the players I have met all seem pretty friendly, which is really nice as well. Good stuff.

  7. #7
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Wonderful stuff guys, keep it coming. Finjinimo, that's some really helpful feedback!

  8. #8
    Loved the intro movies and all, really awesome stuff. As far as base units go, I'm enjoying using them, the tactics are a little more basic, but it does allow the player to focus on more basic ideas such as positioning and maximizing turn potential. I have not yet personally been matched against an opponent with more than 2 advanced units, but believe from my previous experience in the beta that more than 4 advanced vs 1-2 advanced creates an advantage for the player that can only be surmounted by superior tactics, and this is something only vets will truly be able to do as their understanding is sufficient. I do not see such matches being much fun for newer players as it will seem to them no matter what they do they will lose, and they may simply come ot the conclusion there is an inherent balance and leave.

    As for a solution to this issue, I think something similar to Finjinimo's suggestion would work, or even a cutoff in matchmaking that simply does not allow players with certain team points to be matched against those with points above a threshold. As a part of this one could have an override button for slow days that would revert the matchmaking to the current system, (ie matching over all levels).

  9. #9
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veringatorix View Post
    even a cutoff in matchmaking that simply does not allow players with certain team points to be matched against those with points above a threshold. As a part of this one could have an override button for slow days that would revert the matchmaking to the current system, (ie matching over all levels).

    +1, I'm pretty sure it was suggested before in one form or the other, nevertheless I do agree with Ver!

    EDIT:

    that would be great if you could set a +/- in point difference of the team you are willing to play against, that would automatically adjust to a suggested value when you hit the versus banner depending on the amount of players in general (or at your tier), if unhappy about it you could change it, if waiting too long you could expand it
    Last edited by piotras; 02-19-2013 at 09:13 AM.

  10. #10
    Superbacker StandSure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenDread View Post
    I literally got goosebumps when the narrator spoke the first few islandic words.
    Absolutely agree. How cool is this!

    I had the chance to play 4 games last night (a big night for me, and went 3/4!). The thing that struck me with the base classes is that it does come down more to brute strength. One of my battles literally became line-against-line on the beach, hemmed in by the pilings, just wailing on each other. My advantage was my understanding of Puncture, so I was setting up my archers for big hits.

    The other thing that stuck out is that after 4 games, all of my characters had earned enough kills for promotion, but I really only had just enough Renown to promote one. As a result, I'm all freaked out about which one to promote and which class is the right one...I still have yet to pull the trigger. I was not ready for just how valuable Renown is. I suppose that is good since it stretches out the gameplay to truly build an advanced team, and also has me thinking hard about Marketplace purchases. With the level 2 and 3 characters coming, I'm not sure I can wait probably months to get there. You guys got me all hooked on advanced classes in the Beta, you sneaky dogs!

  11. #11
    I absolutely LOVE games where each player has two or three advanced class units, with the rest basic. Playing an all-basic except a skystriker lineup against an all-basic except a warhawk lineup was one of the most fun matches I have ever played of this game (The game basically swung on a single RoA)

    I also played a game with all basics (except the starting thrasher, natch) against a team that was 5/6 promoted and it was... hm... not fun. The line between a close game and a stomp is so frustratingly fine! I hope new players joining the game in a month or two after the bulk of the playerbase has leveled up can still find good games.

  12. #12
    Backer gaelvin's Avatar
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    I was wondering about the Underdog bonus... is it a set amount regardless of the power difference between the participants? Would it be possible to make it a sliding scale, so the more outclassed you are, the more of a Renown Bonus you receive for sticking out to the end of the match?
    Last edited by gaelvin; 02-19-2013 at 02:33 PM.
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  13. #13
    Superbacker DThrasher's Avatar
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    I loved the intro and the segway into the tutorial. it really set the stage for the game. Great work, Stoic!

    I'm actually enjoying going back to the basic units. Although I miss some of my special abilities, I'm really happy with the balance so far.

    Like others in this thread, I've been shocked by the slow accumulation of renown. It's nerve-wracking trying to figure out which unit to promote first, but it feels right. Hiring and promoting units should be consequential decisions. I feel more attached to my characters, having made deliberate choices about promotion and upgrades.

  14. #14
    Superbacker piotras's Avatar
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    What I find interesting is that due to heavy archer use in early basic games archers are usually the first in line for promotion. Which in turn causes people to carry on archer heavy tactics later on... very interesting behaviour that I didn't expect!

  15.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #15
    Developer Unconfirmed Account Drew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piotras View Post
    What I find interesting is that due to heavy archer use in early basic games archers are usually the first in line for promotion. Which in turn causes people to carry on archer heavy tactics later on... very interesting behaviour that I didn't expect!
    You're right about it being interesting! It's somewhat natural for ranged units to be promoted first because it's pretty safe, right? Stand back and take pop-shots. But as players start promoting "quicker" units, defensive units, and pushing abilities, the archers will lose a bit of their edge and strategies will change.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Jorgensager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finjinimo View Post
    Perhaps the matchmaker would have an easier time of pulling fairer fights if a promotion was worth 2 points instead. So 1 point for the promotion, then 1 point for the redistribution or whatever. So instead of each unit being 11 v 10, it becomes 12 v 10. The highest level play will be at 72 to base play at 60. That leaves a wider margin for matching up yes?
    I really have to support this idea. As a new player I didn't have time to properly familiarise myself with most of the upgraded units before the beta ended. As a result I get totally owned whenever I meet experienced players. However, I still get renown and time to upgrade some units before public release.

    So with the current system, I could knock off one stat from each upgraded character to get a team of value 60. Since I currently get matched up with better players my ELO will probably stay around 1000 (maybe even lower) until release, at which point I could, if I wanted to exploit the lack of value differentitation, have a level 1 team at 10/11 which will match me up with new players at basic teams and give me a really unfair advantage.

    Conclusion; Levelled units should have a base value, as proposed by Finjinimo.

    Also note that this exploit would not necessarily end by me gaining ELO quickly doing this, since when I get matched up with better players again I would lose the ELO and be allowed to continue.

    Note: If I intended to do this I wouldn't tell you about it, so take it as an illustration of how it could be exploited by a certain portion of the player base.

  17. #17
    Developer raven2134's Avatar
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    Yep, tnankie also caught this issue and it will be addressed. Thanks Jorgensager for pointing this scenario out too . Being transparent about it is cool and we appreciate it, no problem about the disclaimer at the end. Even if you did do it, as long as you bring it up, it's something Stoic needs to fix, and sometimes being able to capture evidence and show it, is also effective . Thanks for really being a sport about it though.

  18. #18
    Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed with how heavily the progression mechanics are going to factor in. In the beta, I loved it because teams were always even and the only thing separating players was their skill and not their renown. Now I feel like the player base is going to be fragmented all over the place based on when you start and how long you play, there won't be much experimentation with builds, if you make a mistake and promote a guy you end up hating, it's going to take hours to fix... I just... ugh. It makes it a grind when you can't play with the team you want. It makes it not fun.

    This was way more like chess, but now it's only like chess if you started off with pawns and had to work (or buy) your way up to a full set of pieces. If a chess game did that, no one would play it. It just takes away a lot from the game IMO, and makes me just much less interested in the MP. It's not necessarily the F2P aspect of it, but the progression. I just can't see how things can remain competitive, fair, and fun when you implement a leveling system into a MP game. People that get bored of the game because they don't feel like they're 'advancing', I just don't understand. Learning the game and getting better yourself is the advancement, and so few games today seem to realize that. Cosmetic stuff should be all that you grind/pay for.

    Ideally I would think everyone should just have a set amount of points to make their team with, and not have to worry about how much time you've played or money you've spent making a difference (similar to how 40k works, or in Shogun 2, starting out with 500 point armies, and ranking up to use 1000 point armies etc., a more fair sense of progression I think because it keeps lots of players within certain limits rather than spreading them out, and you can play in whatever tier you want by switching your army up). I get that some folks like the idea of having their team change with them, and that's cool, but that's what cosmetic stuff should be for.

    Anyway, sorry for the rant, but I put almost 60 hours into the beta and loved it, and though I don't think there's much chance of it changing drastically, just felt I should throw my opinion up somewhere. I'm going to play it some more for sure, and keep trying it out. I really want to love this game, because literally everything else besides the payment/progression system I think is perfect.

  19. #19
    Kord's suggestion holds a lot of merit, in my opinion. The progression seems awfully slow, and combined with the difficulty of learning the game (I, for example, have not participated in Beta and thus don't know any advanced units or strategies, nor do I know anything about point allocation) it might put off a lot of players from the very beginning.

    I think for an F2P to succeed, it needs to be the other way round: start with a fast and fun progression, show off cool tools and advancements, and then slowly have the progression rate decrease (so fine-tuning your units and tactics becomes more important). At the moment, with Factions it's basically a brick wall for a long time, and then all of a sudden a great endgame (apparently, as I haven't been there) opens up.

  20. #20
    I don't think the slow start is that bad. The start into the game needs some upgrades, but a lot of them are coming like achievements and restatting the base units (at least I heard so), so hopefully we will get closer to fun and fast progression. The progression system is something that most 'gamers' like, as they get some kind of progress for your efforts. Even now, it feels great, when you got those 50 renown together and get a new advanced unit with a cool ability.

    Even more important is the starting phase. Factions is extremely complex and every newbie in beta was pretty overstrained during his first matches, even despite all those veterans turning matches into personal tutorials. I don't have any data, but I can imagine that this frustrated some of them.
    Starting without all the abilities at once is certainly less of a brick-wall than it was before. And if we have achievements, you will hopefully get faster to your first two advanced units and that's the time when you can start playing around with advanced tactics.

    However, I would like a slightly faster renown-gaining as well. But from the developers perspective it's always better to start low and increase renown gain than decrease it. (shitstorm-wise)

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