The Pillow Demon
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I'm about halfway through the first solo dungeon.

First off, the experience is great. True, I've never played a boardgame solo before, but

1) I live apart from my family (and three brothers), so compared to my pre-college years, I find myself quite suddenly without regular fellow gamers.

and

2) Why go through the whole setup thing when you could just throw some water on the boiler for tea then boot up Steam?

Well, BattleCON has slipped into the top slot among my analog games, and I'm always eager to get it out on the table. Without human opponents I had to resort to...

BattleQuest
(Single Player Mode)


The first quest takes players through Baroness Ancella's Crypt, where zombies, exploding imps, ethereal wisps, werewolves, slimes, and a boss ghost await players. Now at one point I watched one of my younger brothers attempt this exact same dungeon with Clinhyde, but after getting mauled by zombies and after an imp exploded in his face over several retries, he gave up.

At first I was intimidated. I mean, we've conquered the tutorial level of Robinson Crusoe. We've beaten Dark Souls with only Thief gear, for goodness' sake. I am one of the FEW players on EARTH who got past the motorcycle level (the 2nd level) of SNES BattleToads. I was NOT about to get my butt trounced by exploding imps.

I pondered my brother's strategic flaws and came to the following realizations.

- He should've played Runika.
- Why bother getting mauled and exploded on by zombies and imps when you could instead clear entire rooms in ONE HIT?

The plan (kill everything in one hit) was simple (obviously). And all it really necessitated was one purchase: Legendary Weapon. Exchanging Shot for Cannon would do the trick. Runika's passive +2 Priority (due to her Hover Boots) guarantees that she'll almost always go first against minion monsters. Overcharge her Phase Goggles and you can cover the entire room in a purple blast of glory.

This is basically how the first two rooms went down:



Oh, and some neat things you can do to spice up the tabletop presentation:

- use other boardgame pieces to decorate dungeon rooms! (You can see a "Dragon Statue" at the top left of the board.)

- The Pathfinder Bestiary Pawns (which I happen to own as a Pathfinder player) work beautifully for substituting out the zombie markers for more accurate stands to represent all the different kinds of enemies.

But sometimes a graphics update just isn't enough.




So, I mean, that's it. I'm about to enter the Whispering Room. Shouldn't be a big deal. Monsters in general have certain passives and certain attacks that players need to anticipate when setting attack pairs. It's a puzzle with the thematic feel of an NES dungeon side-scroller, which is pretty awesome. Throw in a graphics update and you're in SNES sprite territory, which is even better (because the SNES is basically the best console of all time).

Stay tuned. I may or may not apply this comic approach to the entire dungeon. T'was fun but a bit of leg work.

Here's to clearing this entire dungeon in ONE HIT-

...

why do the werewolves have 12hp?

- - - -
- - - -

Edit 2/28/14: Proofreading and minor revisions.
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Ava Jarvis
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Don't forget how the werewolves leap off the walls out of your range on reveal and then hit you for six (or something) when they activate.

Don't forget how killing one of them results in the other gaining more power per attack.

Don't forget how they heal and then deal more damage next attack.

Werewolves, man. Werewolves.
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The Pillow Demon
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Werewolves that bounce off walls, have healing powers, and can trigger berserker modes? Sounds like I have to make a comic out of this dungeon run.

BattleQuest Issue#1: One-Hit Runika

cool
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Tracy Baker
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BATTLETOADS!

I always enjoy your write-ups. Keep 'em coming.
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edward wilson
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finding this kind of assured myself of something. I've been typing up a tier list of characters and Runika was the easiest S Tier character to place so far. Starting with ALL of her buffs way too good lol
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The Pillow Demon
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gunpowdersaint wrote:
finding this kind of assured myself of something. I've been typing up a tier list of characters and Runika was the easiest S Tier character to place so far. Starting with ALL of her buffs way too good lol


I lost my first two matches after a LONG winning streak last night against Adjenna and Alexian. Adjenna petrified me when she had 1hp remaining (I had 10). And the match against Alexian was very close- we were both at 4hp and I overcharged my hover boots to get in a strike... right onto his Hail the King finisher.

But yeah, she's great. Between Artifice Avarice and overcharging hover boots combined with her range passive, she's probably one of the best equipped fighters to shut down opponents that depend on mobility and priority, as well as any dash-heavy fighting style.
 
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The Pillow Demon
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gunpowdersaint wrote:
finding this kind of assured myself of something. I've been typing up a tier list of characters and Runika was the easiest S Tier character to place so far. Starting with ALL of her buffs way too good lol


Sorry for doubleposting (quoting the same post no less) but I gave your tier list commentary more thought and I think it's a great idea. The natural follow-up to that list would be a matchup chart - which I think would better suit BattleCON's system.

Consider the Super Smash Bros., Melee matchup chart:

http://supersmashbros.wikia.com/wiki/Character_matchup_(SSBM)

Again, the prerequisite to such a chart is a tier list. Fighters are then ordered per the tier list across and down the x and y axes. Intersection points between two fighters describe how likely the reference fighter (going right along that fighter's row) may win a match against an equally skilled opponent using the other fighter.

The matchup chart can be constructed in two traditional ways:

1) tournament data (which will usually align with official tier lists; higher tier characters will usually win tournaments more often than lower tier characters)
2) community consensus regarding specific character matchups

It would be a useful tool for BattleCON in various ways:

- feedback to the character designers regarding balance between specific character matchups.

I'm aware that the BattleCON: Devastation fighters were mostly balance-tested against the novice flight, while the Novice Flight Devastation characters were also balanced against the Beginner Flight War characters. I've also glimpsed commentary from playtesters regarding "mirror" matchup balancing (which is more nuanced than it first may seem - care needs to be taken that mirror matchups don't devolve into "who can do this combo first," etc.). Past this, however, there is little matchup data regarding the .... hundreds of other combinations out there. A character matchup chart that sees community contribution will help consolidate data for designers to view at an easy glance.

- prospective and advanced players will be able to see which matchups to avoid OR TO FURTHER TEST

This parallels some commentary mentioned in the linked SSBM matchup page: metagame constantly evolves, so it may be useful to see how certain matchups change over time through this evolution.

For example, I originally thought Kaitlyn would be a high tier character, since she has a wormhole "engine" that is difficult to stop once she's allowed to get it going. My brother who mains her was able to shut down my Gerard completely, 3 matches in a row, by cleverly predicting my maneuver-heavy (Hooked, Villanous, etc) combos and reversing them with Paradox. I recently found, however, that she's shut down pretty hard by many of Lesandra's abilities and familiars, which may bypass her wormholes altogether along with various methods to gain a priority advantage.

So for the matchup list, I might put Kaitlyn as having a favorable matchup against Gerard but having an unfavorable matchup against Lesandra considering equally skilled players.

Might be a cool thing to get started for BattleCON cool
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gunpowdersaint wrote:
finding this kind of assured myself of something. I've been typing up a tier list of characters and Runika was the easiest S Tier character to place so far. Starting with ALL of her buffs way too good lol


S-tier means that no reasonable player would choose anyone outside that tier, and a match with that character against a non-S-tier character is already decided (e.g. if Akuma was legal in tournament Street Fighter, or Luc from BC:War). You're probably thinking of A-tier, which means solid and potentially overpowered.

S: Broken, absolutely must be banned from all competitive play.
A: The standard "top tier" with favorable or at least neutral matchups against most common characters. This tier is generally a watchlist for the developers, and a threatlist for players.
B: Specialized. Often worth learning as a counterpick or simply an unconventional choice. Still viable, and should be considered as threats.
C: Rarely played. They might be a specific counterpick, but other than that don't expect to see them in competitive play.
D/F: Joke characters.

As for Runika, she's basically forced to use Artifice Avarice, if she doesn't, she has no endgame. This means if you can Pulse her into a position where she needs to counterpulse, you've created a massive problem for her. There's a lot of ways to disrupt her. Again, she is good, but S-tier is more than just good, S-tier means that her existence creates a degenerate metagame. It's essentially a call for a ban until a patch is released.
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