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Subject: Why is this game so good? rss

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Christopher Markham
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I'm playing as the Overlord in my first campaign. We started a couple weeks ago. We're almost through Act I in the base game.

I've already purchased The Labyrinth of Ruin and Shadow of Nerekhall expansions.

My roommate is going to run a game for me on weeknights, where I play multiple heroes, and I'm going to start Overlording for a second group on Friday. I am soliciting some other friends to play a game, so that'd be campaign number four.

I think I've got a real problem. Is there a support group for this? Is anyone else having similar issues? Why is Descent so addicting? It's scratching that dungeon delving itch in just the right way for me.

Fantasy Flight Games is the real dark Overlord. I am clearly in their nefarious grasp.
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Marlene Thornstrom
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I'm just jealous you have so many people to play with!
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Neil J.
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I shared your enthusiasm for the game once. If you have the players definitely run your campaigns as long as you can! Unfortunately for some of us, getting the game back on the table after 12-18 months is not as enticing as it once was. I'm hoping as I find new players the excitement will come back.

So, play it now and play it often! cool
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Gaius wrote:
I shared your enthusiasm for the game once. If you have the players definitely run your campaigns as long as you can! Unfortunately for some of us, getting the game back on the table after 12-18 months is not as enticing as it once was. I'm hoping as I find new players the excitement will come back.

So, play it now and play it often! cool

Try the new Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition) – Forgotten Souls, I bet your friends would come back to try that out. IMHO, it's miles better than the core game...

-shnar
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Neil J.
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Thanks, shnar. I see this is now finally hitting stores for official sale. Definitely on my radar!
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Donny Behne
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shnar wrote:
IMHO, it's miles better than the core game...


It's only miles better if you are looking for a fully cooperative game which, if you are, you aren't looking for Descent anyway. It's repetitive and purely about killing stuff. The objectives are boring. Overlord Descent focuses on objectives, the GNK is just a monster slugfest. Once you've played it a couple times, you're done.
 
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Craig Bocketti
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kelann08 wrote:
shnar wrote:
IMHO, it's miles better than the core game...


It's only miles better if you are looking for a fully cooperative game which, if you are, you aren't looking for Descent anyway. It's repetitive and purely about killing stuff. The objectives are boring. Overlord Descent focuses on objectives, the GNK is just a monster slugfest. Once you've played it a couple times, you're done.


I kind of agree. It definitely fills the role of being able to play Descent solo which I really appreciate. But I still really like all sides having active players.

But seriously it is still pretty awesome.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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kelann08 wrote:
shnar wrote:
IMHO, it's miles better than the core game...


It's only miles better if you are looking for a fully cooperative game which, if you are, you aren't looking for Descent anyway. It's repetitive and purely about killing stuff. The objectives are boring. Overlord Descent focuses on objectives, the GNK is just a monster slugfest. Once you've played it a couple times, you're done.

We have yet to hit that mark, even after a dozen games. The core game is a boring race-fest, farthest thing from a dungeon crawl. In the GNK, each room you go in has its own objectives, sometimes it's kill the monsters, sometimes get an item, sometimes its free a captured NPC, etc. The objectives are more varied than "purely about killing stuff", and at least you aren't penalized for being heroic and killing monsters.

And at the very least, you have a full game in one night...

-shnar
 
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Donny Behne
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shnar wrote:
kelann08 wrote:
shnar wrote:
IMHO, it's miles better than the core game...


It's only miles better if you are looking for a fully cooperative game which, if you are, you aren't looking for Descent anyway. It's repetitive and purely about killing stuff. The objectives are boring. Overlord Descent focuses on objectives, the GNK is just a monster slugfest. Once you've played it a couple times, you're done.

We have yet to hit that mark, even after a dozen games. The core game is a boring race-fest, farthest thing from a dungeon crawl. In the GNK, each room you go in has its own objectives, sometimes it's kill the monsters, sometimes get an item, sometimes its free a captured NPC, etc. The objectives are more varied than "purely about killing stuff", and at least you aren't penalized for being heroic and killing monsters.

And at the very least, you have a full game in one night...

-shnar


Well your group just has a different experience then. I've played it four times and I've been bored the last two. It's predictable and repetitive. I find it far more enjoyable working against the mind of another player. I do like how unforgiving it is, at least it's a challenge. But meh.
 
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Stephen Williams
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In regards to the value of the co-op variant, I think there's definitely a place for it in the game, but it won't appeal to everyone. Much like the initial release of D2E divided the fanbase into "D1E die hards" and "D2E hopefuls," this co-op variant seems to be splitting people into "co-ops" vs "core gamers." I don't really see why it has to be one or the other.

As has already been stated, the benefits of the core game are an intelligent opponent for the heroes and goal-oriented victory conditions that change per scenario (although, to be fair, a lot of them do boil down to who gets where first.)

However, I also remember a lot of people complaining when D2E first came out about how the maps are fully revealed up front and there's no more exploration element. The co-op game sacrifices a certain amount of storytelling (and an intelligent opponent), but it restores a dungeon that has to be explored one step at a time. To some people, that's important. As an added bonus, it negates the need for one player (*coughcoughgameownercough*) to be the OL.

So yeah, it's definitely a case of "different strokes for different folks." Both versions have their merits in my mind, and I really don't see any reason to pick one over the other. You can switch back and forth freely as the mood strikes you, since you need to own the core set for standard play anyway, and the co-op is only $15 more for those who are interested in it (or $15 saved for those who aren't.)
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Keep in mind Descent 2nd edition was never designed for co-op initially. But they released a co-op variant for it that is pretty damn fun and still hits the table more often than not.

Descent...

Well Descent seems to be pretty good at whatever it wants to do. Core rules system is pretty solid.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Stewi wrote:
Much like the initial release of D2E divided the fanbase into "D1E die hards" and "D2E hopefuls," this co-op variant seems to be splitting people into "co-ops" vs "core gamers."

I've never seen it as 1st Ed vs 2nd Ed, but rather Dungeon Crawl vs Adventure game. As evidence of that, the co-op has made 2nd Ed more of a dungeon crawler than the core game, and my group really enjoys 2nd Ed now. The 'adventure' side of the game, plus a lot of other minor annoyances, has kept my group from playing Descent. But with the co-op out, the game has hit the table quite often.

-shnar
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Sorry OP, but the turn in this post has piqued my interest. I've stayed away from Descent because it wasn't coop, required a player to be OL, and the pre set dungeon did not appeal to me. So after research, I selected the D&D adventure board games as my dungeon game. I have enjoyed them solo and in a group.
Even through this, the artistic presentation and continued support still has me interested in Descent. Now I know there is a coop / solo variant, I have to ask: for those that have played one of the D&D board games as well as the new coop Descent variant, which would you reccomend?
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Descent's co-op is a lot better than the D&D one, for a few reasons:

- Better exploration: each 'room' has a specific set of monsters and objectives. It's not just a room that has one monster. Each room has a different object, giving a more satisfying experience.

- Better Monster AI: There's a deck of cards that controls the AI, so there are 10 different things a group of monsters could do, as opposed to a set list of 3 or 4 things. Plus, some of these cards have synergies with other monsters.

- Skill/XP system is better: With D&D, you can maybe gain one more Power. In Descent, you'll gain a total of 6XP that you can spend on many different skills. There are 2 distinct times when you'll level up, so it's much less random than D&Ds.

- Better 'timer' system: D&D's "timer" system is their Encounter card, and they're randomly punishing. Descent has their own encounter cards, but they make more sense (spawn a monster usually, to keep pressure on). Their timer is the Doom/Fate, which advances if you linger too long, or fail objectives. Too many failures and you lose the game.

- Hero variety is greater: Even with just the core set, there are more heroes in Decent than D&D. If you have all the expansions (like I have), then you have a LOT more heroes and classes to choose from.

- Monster variety is worse: D&D system is a little better here, they have more monsters (Descent only has 4 different types in each quest).

- Quest variety is worse: There's only one quest right now, a second coming out soon. Each D&D game has 13 quests. Each quest is a lot more replayable than the Adventures in D&D though, so once there's a few more to choose from, then Descent will far outshine D&D.

- Game Length: This one is debatable either way. D&Ds are around 1 hour, Descent's around 3 hours. Descent's game is more epic though, and the 3 hours fly pretty fast. This could be seen as a pro or a con.

Overall, Descent's co-op is a lot better than D&D. It's much more satisfying from an exploration, experience, and game play fashion.

-shnar
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Thanks shnar. I thank you but by credit card winces!
 
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Neil J.
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shnar wrote:
Descent's co-op is a lot better than the D&D one, for a few reasons:

- Better exploration: each 'room' has a specific set of monsters and objectives. It's not just a room that has one monster. Each room has a different object, giving a more satisfying experience.

- Better Monster AI: There's a deck of cards that controls the AI, so there are 10 different things a group of monsters could do, as opposed to a set list of 3 or 4 things. Plus, some of these cards have synergies with other monsters.

- Skill/XP system is better: With D&D, you can maybe gain one more Power. In Descent, you'll gain a total of 6XP that you can spend on many different skills. There are 2 distinct times when you'll level up, so it's much less random than D&Ds.

- Better 'timer' system: D&D's "timer" system is their Encounter card, and they're randomly punishing. Descent has their own encounter cards, but they make more sense (spawn a monster usually, to keep pressure on). Their timer is the Doom/Fate, which advances if you linger too long, or fail objectives. Too many failures and you lose the game.

- Hero variety is greater: Even with just the core set, there are more heroes in Decent than D&D. If you have all the expansions (like I have), then you have a LOT more heroes and classes to choose from.

- Monster variety is worse: D&D system is a little better here, they have more monsters (Descent only has 4 different types in each quest).

- Quest variety is worse: There's only one quest right now, a second coming out soon. Each D&D game has 13 quests. Each quest is a lot more replayable than the Adventures in D&D though, so once there's a few more to choose from, then Descent will far outshine D&D.

- Game Length: This one is debatable either way. D&Ds are around 1 hour, Descent's around 3 hours. Descent's game is more epic though, and the 3 hours fly pretty fast. This could be seen as a pro or a con.

Overall, Descent's co-op is a lot better than D&D. It's much more satisfying from an exploration, experience, and game play fashion.

-shnar


This is a really good post, shnar. Thanks for your thoughts. I've been on the fence about expanding my dungeon crawler collection to include the D&D games. Sounds like I need to first blow the dust off of my Descent and try it out in this new co-op fashion. You might have just saved me a good chunk of money.
 
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