Chaos Expansion.

Notes from 2020 and beyond

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eli beaird
United States
San Leandro
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Scattered Nexus is getting ready for its soft release. Sadly it will only be for Set 1, the sad part is a lot of people really liked the chaos expansion (making it solo and co-op playable) as well as Set 2. We will be working on getting the Chaos Expansion out next, but while we are at it it seemed like a great time to do a little updating.

But before I start talking about game design stuff I wanna give readers an escape route. If you just wanna play the game, just know we'll be making a post later this week explaining how you can buy set 1 of scattered nexus from the “drive-through cards” website, we will have to skip printing the rule books and pawn because the printer we are using does not have that ability( however on that same note those seem to be the least needed elements of the game assuming you can download a PDF of the rules).

With that out of the way, I wanted to talk a little bit about some changes to the Chaos Expansion that I am working on. Well as some of you know players play with a deck of 39 cards, well at least they used to. We decided to shrink each faction from thirteen to twelve by cutting out one event card. Yes, that does seem small but, this helps with deck consistency as it makes it less likely for players to be stuck with too many events in hand, which is a problem for new players.

So with 3 factions with 12 cards each, players have a deck of 36 cards, and because their deck is their life, drawing until you have 5 cards in hand at the start of each of your turns means you start the game with 31 life=points that is steadily dwindling. We noticed that when playing against chaos we were putting those decks against an enemy with 75 life points across the current bosses. Level one boss has 20 + level two at 25 + level three at 30 and all three of them need to be defeated in order to win. We found with 4 players this wasn't so bad, however, a player playing solo had no chance.

So here is what we are doing, we changed the bosses a little and mostly changed their life points at their 3 levels. Now bosses go from 10 to 20 to 30. Only going down by 15, but having them starting off at 10 makes it much faster to get the first boss out of there, as well as making the surviving bosses level up to feel more impactful. And to keep the pressure up, we made sure that most bosses have a level 3 ability that passively hurts players, to prevent players from trying to stall out.

We also added a few minions. Bringing the minion deck from 17 to 30. Giving a bit more variety and suspense when flipping them out during the chaos summon phase. Also introducing a new ability for minions called “stacking”. When a character/minion is stacked, it acts as added offense and defense for that character/minion. Stacked means that cards are placed under or over other cards making a stack, the top card keeps all of its abilities but has a +1 impact for every card below it, and whenever a stack is defeated, the bottom card of the stack goes to the discard pile instead. This was an old ability used for the adventure faction in the early design of Scattered nexus 2 years ago when it was called scattered chaos, however, we could never figure out how to resolve situations when a stack was targeted by effects, they felt either too punishing or not punishing enough, thus the adventure faction was granted optional buffs instead. But using this for minions creates a great dynamic with the once fragile minions.

Some might be excited that we are doing away with our previous lieutenant minion subset and replacing them with a leveling minion system. “Lieutenants” were a group of 4 powerful minions that had an ability that made them unable to be hit or defeated by card abilities (which was beatable but still very annoying), to balance such a strong ability we made it so that they were erased from the game when players finally did defeat them. However, in this new system, they don't do any of that, instead, when they enter play they stack on top of the weakest minion in play, giving them an extra life. Also due to there being 4 in 30 as opposed to 17 minions, it becomes much less likely to come across them, thus they are allowed to be reshuffled back into the minion deck when it runs out of cards.

We are still testing these changes with chaos, but so far they are very promising solutions to an already fairly smooth system. Our goal is to make an artificial opponent that feels smart but that doesn't need a lot of babysitting. In these weird times, we think solo and group play are going to be more important than ever.

(this is an old blog, thus I will be posting an updated note very shortly.)
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Sun Nov 28, 2021 1:06 am
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