Two really frustrating things: Maul and "fake" quests.

By on July 21, 2012 12:54:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

leahzero

Join Date 09/2003
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Two things that really frustrate me:

 

- Maul. Still overpowered, both on enemies and players. Please, tone this down more. Maybe each successive hit does half the damage of the previous hit, or something. Or, allow a counterattack to interrupt it.

 

- "Fake" quests. I accept a quest and see that the quest target is killable with my low-level army. Great. Kill the quest target, walk onto the quest tile...and it turns out the questgiver doesn't have the payment he promised, so I decide to take it by force. Then I get into a battle with twice as many units as me, and two of them are Haunters who spam that curse that refills them to full health, and they wipe out my entire army.

Why am I not given a choice before attacking the questgiver? And why is a questgiver's army so much stronger than the target he'd sent me to kill?

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July 21, 2012 3:06:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting ,
Two things that really frustrate me:

 - Maul.                                                o  o  o  

 - "Fake" quests.                                   o  o  o    

It is  REALLY  tempting to play "Devil's Advocate" on both of the complaints you've made, and simply dismiss them.  I am pretty sure that you will get a number of respondents who will disagree with your views ...  That said, I'll try to provide the best (rational) feedback I can, that reflects my own viewpoints ... 

- Maul.  Honestly, there are a LOT of Beta testers who just LOVE this mechanic.  I fear you will not get much sympathy on this point.  Of course, most players would rather be able to use Maul, "whomping" their ememies; rather than have this scourge visited upon them!  BUT there are always going to be some traits, mechanics, weapons, spells, and abilities that seem to be over-powered.  Indeed, the whole flavor of the game (as Derek Paxton seems to envision it), incorporates the idea ( "Go Big or Go Home!" ) that the best way to balance factors that seem to be over-powered, is to create other ones, that give you powerful vehicles for counter-attacking. 

Personally, I could live with your suggestion that Maul be tweaked, to reduce the damage caused by successive hits ... But I just don't think the Devs, or a majority of the beta-testers, would agree with you. 

- "Fake" quests.  Honestly, I don't really think your characterization of this issue is particularly fair or reasonable.  They are not "fake" -- they are just different than you initially surmised.  You can't expect to be  omniscient  about quests!  There are always going to be some unknowns, and some risks.  Without them, the game would be too dull and predictable. 

In your example, a quest-giver may try to renege on the promised reward, but why is it realistic to think that this would never happen?   Even then, if you decide to take a reward by force, or kill the questgiver, you  ARE  making a conscious decision.  You are committing yourself to a (risky) new course of action.  You actually  DO  have a choice!   IMO, removing  ANY  such possibility would make the game too dull and predictable  ...   

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July 22, 2012 10:08:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think the quest he is referring is the Kill the Trolls quest that seems to be bugged. You kill the trolls, you get the reward, but then for some reason you have to fight another with what I assume is the quest giver.

 

Advice for this one. Just refuse it, unless you run across it with an uber hero. Then of course smile as spread their internal organs all over the tactical map. 

 

As for maul, this is the #1 cause of reloads in my games. Watching a 50 hp hero getting eaten is no fun. There have been a number of suggestions, including weighing maul more in the strength evaluation, that is a Cave bear should be listed as Medium, as opposed to weak. Of course there was the time I had a beast master sovereign, got my cave bear, buffed him up, and sent up rampaging against Circe's emerging empire and watched the carnage ensue.  

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July 22, 2012 10:58:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have no problem with reworking maul, its pretty annoying as is if you ask me .

The bugged quest.. oh that's annoying, mostly for a combat that you don't see coming (last time I played through it anyway)

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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July 23, 2012 4:29:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It's so very tough to balance this kind of game for the two types of players: those who are cautious, who only pick fights they are well suited to win, and those who push the envelope (for instance, taking quests that have a higher difficulty rating than their current army has--say, Medium rated quest vs a Weak army--in the hopes they can pull it off; often they can, which in turn makes the game too easy for cautious players).

That said, both your points got me my first play-through (shocked by the bear that brutalized what I considered to be a decent army, and then again when that second group attacked--and there's at least 2 other instances in the game where this can happen).  However, once I knew what to expect, they seemed overly easy (the only change being my learning curve).

I believe it's been suggested elsewhere that the Maul ability further reduce the to-hit with each strike, but too much and the ability becomes worthless.  I'd be in favor of reducing it another 1-2 points per hit, and figure it'd still be useful, though it's a skill ruled by randomness as much as anything else.  Of course, you can easily counter the Maul ability with other abilities (blind and the like, slow/better initiative, decent dodge/armor, and ranged attacks).  These days, I simply assure that bears (or the zombie guys with the maul-type axe) never get the chance to hit my guys.

Also, I believe you will find that as you make a more balanced group and pay attention to your toughness rating (making sure you are at least Medium strength before doing those second level quests), I think you will find them to be simple.  With the polished game, I hope the difficulty ratings are more accurate and more emphasized as an indicator of what risks the player should/should not attempt.

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July 23, 2012 5:58:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I dont think the problem with the quest is the difficulty, but the lack of explaining why you enter the second combat...

And learning curve...
I still think the game should support giving an easier time to newer players, thats why I would remodule Maul abit, because the AI is too "dumb" to use it properly and the monsters who have it does not have too high accuracy...

But I still think maul is underrated by game terms and should be changed a bit,
I am not saying: "Nerf it to the ground" or something like that, I just find it very hard to accumulate dodge on my heroes without them being high level. as to counter a cave bear with that, or accumulate proper armor to be defended against said cave-bear.

On the other hand, an ability like "Counter Attack" is only viable against half the monsters in the world, because the other half have the random ability to be immune to counter attacks... So if you wanna keep maul being an evil ability, why have so many things immune to counter attacks?, is it so there is only 1 really good ability? -.-

And if "Blind" is the only counter, please put it on the kingdom spell list too
I too much prefer the ability to heal to play empire.. just a personal preference, but that shouldn't make the monsters harder IMO

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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July 24, 2012 6:39:25 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I will say one thing, and one thing only.  Maul stinks. 

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July 24, 2012 7:51:58 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

There is no way to defend against Maul except having super high hitpoints, high armor or high dodge - and even then you can still be unlucky (except if you have high armor - but it is very hard to get high armor early in the game).

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July 24, 2012 1:12:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah, these are definitely things that affect newer players more, but still--even when you know these dynamics are in the game, are they fun? Do they pose a challenge that can be conquered with skill, or can you simply get screwed by RNG?

 

In both of these cases I feel RNG plays too high a factor in creating the "difficulty" (unlucky failure to dodge a Maul, unlucky chance to get a "fake" quest when your army isn't strong enough to deal with it).

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July 24, 2012 2:30:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wouldn't it be possible to just have a higher penalty to each successive hit.  I think it is 3 or 4 right now, make a -5.  I also like the reduction in damage idea though.  It seems reaonsable a person would start getting tired after continually hitting something like that.  That being said, I would also be fine if they leave it alone.  Maul is pretty easy to counter.  The easiest counter to Maul is Blindness (that cloak that lets you cast it is pretty awesome), and if you are going into a fight with a cave bear, cast Evade on yourself.  The combination of blindness and evade weaken maul pretty significantly.

Quests, I just hope there are more of them.  I typically try to have one of those escape scrolls before I go into Quests.  I am fine if you try to take something in a quest that the level increases a notch or two, especially if the prize is really valueable.

 

 

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July 24, 2012 2:50:30 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I just think there should be more viable ways to counter the maul effect, if the gameplan is go big- or go home, (which sounds intersting) alot of these modules which is devastating, just needs one or two ways to counter them.
Also more modules like "Maul" to be devastating would help the mood if maul needs to be so powerfull.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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July 24, 2012 9:01:51 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think this is a good Discussion, and I am glad that we are having it!

I think there have been a number of excellent comments -- including a couple I particularly liked:  Gorde's Reply #5, and KingHobbit's Reply #10.

But just to review the bidding (and to clarify  WHY  I said one of the things I said in my Reply #1), I wanted to provide the link to Derek Paxton's original Discussion Thread: "Go Big, or go home".  He first articulated this E:FE Design Philosophy, back on April 1, 2012, in the Elemental Development Journals .  Several respondents have since quoted it, in their own replies in various threads; but I understand how these things can get  "lost in the dim reaches of time".   So, for anyone wanting to review his extended statement, you can find his Journal entry here: 
http://forums.elementalgame.com/421004

While I am sure that Mr. Paxton genuinely embraces this idea -- he even said that he  "always get(s) excited when we start to talk about abilities that may be too powerful to balance" -- I also think that he is seriously concerned about making the game as much fun as possible.   And I think that he wants the game to include enough of the right kind of counters, or balances, to make sure we can always find one or more tactical (or strategic) paths to victory.  They may not be simple or obvious; and there is definitely a "learning curve";  but part of the fun comes from solving problems the Developers have placed before us. 

As Gorde suggests, it is very difficult to get all of these balance issues  just right  for a majority of the players, but I'm pretty confident that Mr. Paxton and his whole Development team (with lots of feedback from all of us !) are going to keep plugging away at it.         

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July 25, 2012 5:25:20 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Well, as mentioned, Blind seems a good counter to Maul, if you've got it. Poison/shoot-and-kite works ok if you have the patience. Maybe add some more counters?

 

Mostly, I just stay the hell away from bears...

 

Couldn't Maul just have a maximum number of hits? Like 4? That's still a lot of hits, right? I won't be crying into my coffee if I get 4 hits in a row on someone, but it removes those outliers where your hero goes from full HP to having his or her face smashed in and ending up with the worst possible negative trait.

 

I do like being face-slammed by the RNG, to an extent. Real strategy is found in the total disaster, I always say, and watching that impossibly vast beast-thing wander past my city and being able to do nothing but pray - that's a something that makes me love the game so much more. In the early stages, at least, we're not the big fish. We're nearly-extinct remnants barely hanging on, and the world belongs to much scarier doods. It gives the whole game an epic feel.

 

...but that just adds to the insult, I think, when a freaking bear eats your entire civilisation. C'mon. A BEAR? I could handle a rare big scary monster having something like Maul, and I have gushed to friends about the game's awesomeness using the example of my frequent Umberdroth-related enforced-urban-renewal programs, but "eaten by a bear" doesn't really say "epic heroic fantasy" to me.

 

So that's my other suggestion for Maul, if you want to keep it as is: please give it to something that's a bit scarier than a bear.

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July 25, 2012 6:46:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I would agree with Maul having a maximum of 4 hits each attack.

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July 26, 2012 6:58:10 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums


I do like the 'go big or go home' concept, but sincerely HATE maul. Not because it's overpowered but because it's totally luckbased. If I play boardgames I don't like them to be luck dependent either (no Risk for me). Sure a bit of luck is fine, but with maul it's over the top sometimes. Thing is that most players just do a reload after some incridible maul action badly injures their carefully nurtured hero. Therefore it doesn't have a real function as it is right now.

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July 26, 2012 8:05:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't mind Maul doing 0 (minimum) hits to 4 (maximum) hits every attack.  Normally you will (or the enemy) will get 2 or 3, but having a maximum of four allows some luck without completely submitting to the luck monster.

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July 26, 2012 9:01:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting StevenAus,
I don't mind Maul doing 0 (minimum) hits to 4 (maximum) hits every attack.  Normally you will (or the enemy) will get 2 or 3, but having a maximum of four allows some luck without completely submitting to the luck monster.

I agree with you there. There's still luck but luck you can calculate on.

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July 26, 2012 9:56:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My only issue with maul is that the maul doesn't maul.

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July 26, 2012 10:10:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Trojasmic,
My only issue with maul is that the maul doesn't maul.

lol... probaly a good idea to change the name

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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July 26, 2012 10:20:37 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting LordTheRon,

I do like the 'go big or go home' concept, but sincerely HATE maul. Not because it's overpowered but because it's totally luckbased. If I play boardgames I don't like them to be luck dependent either (no Risk for me). Sure a bit of luck is fine, but with maul it's over the top sometimes. Thing is that most players just do a reload after some incridible maul action badly injures their carefully nurtured hero. Therefore it doesn't have a real function as it is right now.

Reload? Seriously just because the enemy mauled your 'carefully nurtured' hero. Take the defeat and move on. Adjust to the lost. This is a STRATAGY GAME people it is not HELLO KITTY where nothing bad ever happens, where your always suppose to win and get that trophy.  I suppose you would want the game to lose every battle and allow you to always win the game. 

No wonder games these days offer little challange, the players seem to want everything handed to them with little effort.

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July 26, 2012 10:41:17 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Still, going from full HP to dead based on luck is a bit much (say if an enemy gets 5 or 6 hits in), which is why a limit of four successful hits each attack might be a good way of providing SOME luck without providing MOSTLY luck.

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July 26, 2012 11:50:56 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Bellack,

Quoting LordTheRon, reply 15
I do like the 'go big or go home' concept, but sincerely HATE maul. Not because it's overpowered but because it's totally luckbased. If I play boardgames I don't like them to be luck dependent either (no Risk for me). Sure a bit of luck is fine, but with maul it's over the top sometimes. Thing is that most players just do a reload after some incridible maul action badly injures their carefully nurtured hero. Therefore it doesn't have a real function as it is right now.


Reload? Seriously just because the enemy mauled your 'carefully nurtured' hero. Take the defeat and move on. Adjust to the lost. This is a STRATAGY GAME people it is not HELLO KITTY where nothing bad ever happens, where your always suppose to win and get that trophy.  I suppose you would want the game to lose every battle and allow you to always win the game. 

No wonder games these days offer little challange, the players seem to want everything handed to them with little effort.

I asked for a HELLO KITTY enhancement once.  That is a REPLAY button at the end of every battle.  That way the HELLO KITTY players wouldn't have to reload from a saved game or others could try out different tactical strategies to maximize battle victory without having to reload from a saved game.  Here's hoping Derek still has that request on his WHITEBOARD.

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July 26, 2012 1:11:36 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

jesus christ people

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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July 26, 2012 1:47:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

This randomness in the quests is pretty good I think. Imagine they were all always the same. It would be boring. This randomness makes them a tad more interesting. I especially like that tempel quest where occasionally 10 golems spawn above.

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July 26, 2012 2:09:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Horsesfly,
This randomness in the quests is pretty good I think. Imagine they were all always the same. It would be boring. This randomness makes them a tad more interesting. I especially like that tempel quest where occasionally 10 golems spawn above.

I dont think its randomness that's the problem, but a quest that lacks some... description as to what the hell is happening around.
Also meaby an advice to "You are going to enter a battle" or something, and then a CHOICE to not enter the combat (run away, leave the treasure behind).
Then if you run away, make a follow-up quest to hunt down this betrayer of the kingdom/empire, in which you can complete when you have the man-power behind you again.

Imagine you lost your 2 squads of infantry battling the golem in the first half of the quest, due to the golem critting or whatever. And then just went "Oh, I still want to pick up the reward with my backup hero"... and he gets a serious ailment because the quest just decided to squash him with that death-squad it spawns out of nowhere.

Sincerely
~ Kongdej

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July 26, 2012 5:05:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Bellack,

Quoting LordTheRon, reply 15
I do like the 'go big or go home' concept, but sincerely HATE maul. Not because it's overpowered but because it's totally luckbased. If I play boardgames I don't like them to be luck dependent either (no Risk for me). Sure a bit of luck is fine, but with maul it's over the top sometimes. Thing is that most players just do a reload after some incridible maul action badly injures their carefully nurtured hero. Therefore it doesn't have a real function as it is right now.


Reload? Seriously just because the enemy mauled your 'carefully nurtured' hero. Take the defeat and move on. Adjust to the lost. This is a STRATAGY GAME people it is not HELLO KITTY where nothing bad ever happens, where your always suppose to win and get that trophy.  I suppose you would want the game to lose every battle and allow you to always win the game. 

No wonder games these days offer little challange, the players seem to want everything handed to them with little effort.

Sigh... I bet you never ever reloaded a single game of FE you played thusfar? I'm using it very occasionally but pretty much everybody does it sometimes when they feel something really unfair happened to them. Wandering monsters that attacked players but not the AI were a good example and maul is that too, because it feels unfair to a player.

BTW my daughters love Hello Kitty, but they like Disney Princesses better.

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