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Subject: Scaling and Hero Power rss

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Ulari Ancient
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Hello,

I am very interested in this game, and plan to introduce it to my RPG group. One question I have is how the game scales as heroes progress through quests.

After reading the rules I see that heroes gain power/abilities/treasure by completing Story Quests... so I know the heroes 'grow'. What I do not see is any mention of how additional/later story quests will challenge the heroes.

Basically, I am asking if their is a mechanic to make additional story quests 'harder' so they keep up with the more powerful heroes?

Are the quests grouped by difficulty?
Did I miss a rule (would not be the first time )?
Any ideas?

Thanks!
 
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Michael Callahan
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I think the base game is set so that the Story quests are attainable with standard heroes and their abilities to advance through Gaining titles! and the deck manipulation option.

It appears that any scenarios can be made more difficult with the addition of new creature types that will be released throughout the year (but without knowing the stats on those, you can't know for sure)

Difficulty can be scaled on your own as well by how you set up tiles,.... If you are feeling like something is too easy,... Just drop in another lair,... There is a scale of difficulty that was discussed way back in the. KS,... I'll see if I can find it.
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Cory J
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I am sure some of the later story quests will add more difficult content, or you can always customize that yourself. Also remember that most of the bosses are decidedly endgame content that you will have no reasonable expectation of defeating without highly geared up characters.
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Michael Callahan
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Here is a little bit about the difficulty level of what you put on a tile; as well as an indication that new monster types beyond the orcs and bugs in the base set will be more difficult:

Quote:
The difficulty scales like this:

Roaming Monsters
1 Lair
1 Lair w/ Captain
1 Lair + Roaming Monsters
1 Lair w/ 2 Captains
1 Lair w/ Captain + Roaming Monsters
2 Lairs (same Monster)
2 Lairs w/ Captains (same Monster)
1 Lair + 1 Lair (different Monsters)

Anytime you add three Captains or three types of Monsters, things get pretty real, pretty quickly. And by pretty real, I mean you are going to die. This does not take into account the appearance of a Mini-boss during the course of combat.

It is all relative, though. For instance, 1 Skelly Lair w/ Captain is pretty tough. Easily as tough as say 1 Arachnid Lair + some roaming Orcs.
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Jonathan Patterson
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Skimming through the Stories in the rules pdf, they look like they do get progressively harder from one story to the next. For example one of the early stories ends with you trying to banish the Terror boss by activating quest items, meaning you are just trying to survive long enough to pull the quest objective off. The final story requires the players to directly kill that same boss.

Regardless, as others have said, you can always scale up the challenge with the choices you make when populating tiles. The stories make most of those choices for you, but they still leave some of the details in you hands.
 
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Chad Caughmann
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The heroes can only grow so much with the base set. They can get equipment, swap in up to 5 new cards, and have 1 active Title at a time. The difficulty options that are present in the base set (based on the options Yamato has quoted), should be enough to keep some challenge in the game even at the highest hero progression available.

For the expansions, we know our heroes will be upgraded with advanced classes, new equipment, and likely more titles. I imagine there will also be new systems available for customization on the hero side of the game. We haven't really been given any info about how the monsters will progress for the expansions. There will obviously be more enemy races beyond the base game, as can be seen in the Kickstarter stretch goals. The different races are supposed to offer a variety of power levels to face...but it's tough to gauge at the moment. We don't know if there will be new monster rules to offer more challenge for our heroes once their class upgrades.
 
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Arturo Cavari
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Tazzrok wrote:

Basically, I am asking if their is a mechanic to make additional story quests 'harder' so they keep up with the more powerful heroes?

The short answer is "No".

The long answer: this has been discussed in several topics on this forum, the game does lack an objective difficoulty scaling method but since it's free-form you can adjust the difficoulty however you like.

In my opinion this is a major flaw of the game, but since this looks like the best fully co-op dungeon crawler I'm going to buy it anyway.
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Jonah Rees
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thegrinder wrote:
Tazzrok wrote:

Basically, I am asking if their is a mechanic to make additional story quests 'harder' so they keep up with the more powerful heroes?

The short answer is "No".

The short answers is also 'Yes'!

If you want your quests to be harder then you use harder monsters, and more of them. It doesn't make the quests themselves harder, but it does make the completion of the quests harder.
 
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Arturo Cavari
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jonahmaul wrote:
thegrinder wrote:
Tazzrok wrote:

Basically, I am asking if their is a mechanic to make additional story quests 'harder' so they keep up with the more powerful heroes?

The short answer is "No".

The short answers is also 'Yes'!

If you want your quests to be harder then you use harder monsters, and more of them. It doesn't make the quests themselves harder, but it does make the completion of the quests harder.

That is just false, the OP asked if there is a "Mechanic", and there isn't... I'm not a boardgame scientist but I'm pretty sure "throw some more monsters in" isn't a mechanic.

There's a mechanic to customize tiles (purple lines etc...) but there isn't a single page on the rulebook that explains how to scale difficoulty.
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Jonah Rees
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thegrinder wrote:
jonahmaul wrote:
thegrinder wrote:
Tazzrok wrote:

Basically, I am asking if their is a mechanic to make additional story quests 'harder' so they keep up with the more powerful heroes?

The short answer is "No".

The short answers is also 'Yes'!

If you want your quests to be harder then you use harder monsters, and more of them. It doesn't make the quests themselves harder, but it does make the completion of the quests harder.

That is just false, the OP asked if there is a "Mechanic", and there isn't... I'm not a boardgame scientist but I'm pretty sure "throw some more monsters in" isn't a mechanic.

There's a mechanic to customize tiles (purple lines etc...) but there isn't a single page on the rulebook that explains how to scale difficoulty.

Without getting into a huge debate regarding game mechanics, mechanics are simply rules that allow for the game to be played. Therefore if you want to make the game more challenging then the rule (i.e. the mechanic) is to use tougher monsters, or to use more of them. I don't necessarily think it's a good mechanic (as it's a very simple one and doesn't show much thought in terms of mechanics) but it is a mechanic nevertheless. If you think of computer games like Diablo (which Myth reminds me of a great deal) as you get further into the game you face different monsters that are tougher, or tougher version of the same monster. We might see the latter with expansions (most likely in the form of new stat cards) but it's certainly not false that increasing the numbers, or difficulty, of monsters is a mechanic.
 
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Raphael Pigulla
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I disagree. Wikipedia defines the term mechanic as follows:

Wikipedia wrote:

Mechanics (Greek Μηχανική) is the branch of science concerned with the behavior of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment.

For me, this essentially translates to:

Quote:

Game mechanics is the branch of game design concerned with the behavior of game elements when subjected to rules or player actions, and the subsequent effects of the elements on the game environment.

If a player just says "this is too easy, let's do X", then this is not a mechanic inherent to the game as it was designed. It is an "external force", if you will. If you consider that to be a game mechanic, saying "that die roll sucked, let's just do it again" would also be one. You're free to play so, but calling that a "game mechanic" is ludicrous.
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Jonah Rees
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n3rd wrote:
I disagree. Wikipedia defines the term mechanic as follows:

Wikipedia wrote:

Mechanics (Greek Μηχανική) is the branch of science concerned with the behavior of physical bodies when subjected to forces or displacements, and the subsequent effects of the bodies on their environment.

For me, this essentially translates to:

Quote:

Game mechanics is the branch of game design concerned with the behavior of game elements when subjected to rules or player actions, and the subsequent effects of the elements on the game environment.

If a player just says "this is too easy, let's do X", then this is not a mechanic inherent to the game as it was designed. It is an "external force", if you will. If you consider that to be a game mechanic, saying "that die roll sucked, let's just do it again" would also be one. You're free to play so, but calling that a "game mechanic" is ludicrous.

If you're using Wikipedia it also has a section on Game Mechanics which states:

Wikipedia wrote:
Game mechanics are constructs of rules intended to produce a game or gameplay

So again, the construct of the rule intended to scale the difficulty (at present) is to use more monsters, or more difficult ones. As said, this isn't necessarily the best way to do it, but it is a very common way of doing so (I don't play a huge amount of board games but of those I do play Zombicide and SDE both do this). I'd also like to see the story quests themselves become more difficult, rather than just relying on what you fight. The easiest way is probably to have more situations that need to be met in order to fulfill the story.
 
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Chad Caughmann
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jonahmaul wrote:
If you're using Wikipedia it also has a section on Game Mechanics which states:

Wikipedia wrote:
Game mechanics are constructs of rules intended to produce a game or gameplay

So again, the construct of the rule intended to scale the difficulty (at present) is to use more monsters, or more difficult ones.

I really don't want to take sides in this debate...but they are arguing "official mechanics". Unless it's printed in the rulebook or some official FAQ, how is any random person that didn't follow the Kickstarter like a hawk supposed to know that MERCS said this one rule at some point, somewhere....but decided not to print it in the official rule book? By the definition you've given, any 'ole house rule is a game mechanic, but that's not what they are talking about.

Sure, for us that did follow all the Kickstarter hype and discussions, we may remember those discussions about scaling difficulty...but it still doesn't clear up the fact that if MERCS didn't bother to put this idea in the printed rules or FAQ, it's hard to argue that it's any official mechanic of the game. It's more like an unofficial house rule. Sure, it may be a "mechanic" in some sense of the definition, but it wasn't a rule in the printed book...which is the criticism (or at least I'm guessing it's not in the rulebook, based on the arguments...I didn't bother to validate if it is or isn't).
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Jonah Rees
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thetang22 wrote:
I really don't want to take sides in this debate...but they are arguing "official mechanics". Unless it's printed in the rulebook or some official FAQ, how is any random person that didn't follow the Kickstarter like a hawk supposed to know that MERCS said this one rule at some point, somewhere....but decided not to print it in the official rule book? By the definition you've given, any 'ole house rule is a game mechanic, but that's not what they are talking about.

Sure, for us that did follow all the Kickstarter hype and discussions, we may remember those discussions about scaling difficulty...but it still doesn't clear up the fact that if MERCS didn't bother to put this idea in the printed rules or FAQ, it's hard to argue that it's any official mechanic of the game. It's more like an unofficial house rule. Sure, it may be a "mechanic" in some sense of the definition, but it wasn't a rule in the printed book...which is the criticism (or at least I'm guessing it's not in the rulebook, based on the arguments...I didn't bother to validate if it is or isn't).

I see your point. But does the rulebook not state about placing spawn points to tailor the difficulty? I haven't had a chance to properly read it yet unfortunately but from my understanding this is included in the rulebook. Whilst it may not be the best mechanic, there's still an official mechanic to make the quests harder by adding more monsters.
 
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Tony Pecorelli
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jonahmaul wrote:

I see your point. But does the rulebook not state about placing spawn points to tailor the difficulty? I haven't had a chance to properly read it yet unfortunately but from my understanding this is included in the rulebook. Whilst it may not be the best mechanic, there's still an official mechanic to make the quests harder by adding more monsters.

I feel like the legend is the mechanic that raises or lowers the difficulty. The legend is mentioned in the rule book.
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Olivier D.
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Then again, defeating more monsters also means better chances at better loot. So you *will* want to challenge yourself, I guess.
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Michael Callahan
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The selected Darkness Deck and associated Boss are the mechanic that drives the difficulty,..... And that is in the rule book.

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Cory J
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I would be willing to bet that 'Legend' difficulty will include new and stronger stat cards for all the creature types to make things more difficult.
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Jonah Rees
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Amyrin wrote:
I would be willing to bet that 'Legend' difficulty will include new and stronger stat cards for all the creature types to make things more difficult.

That's my thinking. Releasing whole new minion sets for higher difficulty levels is not ideal as it means people need to buy more. But cards could make them all tougher (again drawing the Diablo comparison where you fight the same monsters on higher difficulty levels but they have better stats). Would like to see some other mechanics to change the difficulty too, but not entirely sure what!
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Cory J
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Also, if we can use this thread to brainstorm more difficulty mechanics, they could create a deck of minion items. After certain difficulty levels Captains and higher could draw an item when they spawn and be both more random and more difficult. If you want it as a more defined mechanic you could say that once the hero party gets cumulative X titles then they are forced to use this minion item deck.
 
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Michael Callahan
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Amyrin wrote:
Also, if we can use this thread to brainstorm more difficulty mechanics, they could create a deck of minion items. After certain difficulty levels Captains and higher could draw an item when they spawn and be both more random and more difficult. If you want it as a more defined mechanic you could say that once the hero party gets cumulative X titles then they are forced to use this minion item deck.

cool idea,.....

in fact, that would be an easy house rule,.....

you could draw a green item,.... the captain gets to use its benefits during combat, and then it is the dropped treasure.
 
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Ulari Ancient
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Hello, and thanks for the well thought out responses.

So far, I take away from this conversation that there is no rule that must be followed to increase the difficulty as heroes get more powerful.
And... there is a method in the game that allows players to voluntarily increase the difficulty.

From my perspective this is less than ideal. My personal reasons for this are: I play with a diverse group and getting everyone to agree on how difficult the current quest should be will be problematic. I would have been much happier to hear that the quests were arranged in order form easiest to hardest so there is no 'wiggle room' in determining difficulty.

So.. I think before I introduce this game to my group I will come up with a way to ramp up the difficulty from quest to quest and present it as 'the way we are going to play' so everyone knows from the outset and we can discuss/agree/modify it before we get deep into any story. For me (and my group) I predict there will be discussion about 'what's fair' and 'why can't we play the game as printed' and 'why make it harder'... with some folks all for escalating difficulty and some folks against it.

I do wish/hope for an official 'campaign rule set' that will specify how better equipped heroes progress to harder quests (because official rules tend to end discussions in my group). Until then I'll come up with something and continue to lurk here and see what other forum members come up with

Ulari
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Arturo Cavari
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Quote:
So far, I take away from this conversation that there is no rule that must be followed to increase the difficulty as heroes get more powerful.
And... there is a method in the game that allows players to voluntarily increase the difficulty.

It's exactly like this.

This game has too many evangelists. I aggree it's going to be an awesome game, but it's clearly not perfect.
 
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Jeremy Steward
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To scale difficulty there are several ways both mechanically and player choice.

The darkness deck
The story/act Quest
The tiles (obviously a 6x6 is easier than a 6x12-tho this is tied to the story quest if you are playing one)
# of lairs, type, and location of it.
The size of hunting pack & type.
The number of monster types on board.
There are also random difficulty elements such as traps and chapter quests.

It would be nice to get a guideline on difficulty but likely it is going to take experience to know what is easy, challenging , and impossible.
 
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Mike Malley
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Deadwolf wrote:
It would be nice to get a guideline on difficulty, but likely it is going to take experience to know what is easy, challenging, and impossible.
Experience which you'd think the creators of the game should have.
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