Greg's Design Blog

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Rage Update

United Kingdom
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Context: Dauntless Hunters

The rage update is finished, all of the factions now use the new rules and have undergone at least one solo test. I also took the opportunity to improve some of the faction powers to make the differences between them more noticeable and to re implement the "infiltrate" ability - now that periodic reinforcements arrive it's meaningful to have a character able to deploy into a wider set of areas.

If someone hadn't stolen the cable for my camera you'd see a picture of the dragon being chased down by a group scattered across the board. The periodic reinforcement mechanic, as well as addressing the fundamental problem, has had a nice knock on effect in increasing the importance of the spatial element of the game.

Overall the improvement has been significant, many more games are coming down to the wire rather than being subject to a runaway effect. The monsters feel more like an rpg boss fight in which the threat escalates continuously as you approach victory.

I'm not 100% sure what I think about the final stages of the battles. The hunters are often trying to land a couple of good hits to finish it, but the monster has all of the upgrades available for its remaining body parts and has reduced the odds of a good hit seriously. This leads to a lot of attacks not landing as the monster chews through the heroes, but it could end at any time to some lucky dice. On the one hand an understanding of cumulative probability lets one recognise that the final stage shouldn't be viewed as a series of individual rolls, but the culmination of a strategy that very likely awards victory to some well played hunters. On the other hand having everything change based on a single great roll will - subjectively - feel random, which can lead to negative gameplay experiences.

I think I'll have to put the new version of the game in front of some playtesters and see what falls out.

On a side note, the changes also moved the dragon from being the strongest opponent to being the weakest. I'll have to do a bit of work with it to make it into the fantastic threat that it's supposed to be, but that's a minor challenge next to getting the core of the game working in the manner that I'd like.
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