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Subject: a few thoughts after the gameplay video rss

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trevor

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"Holy crap, the game isn't even out of it's KS campaign and you are talking about imbalances????? You need to chill out!"

- Okay I got that out of the way. But seriously, in a game like this, where pressure is so, so important and turn structure is even, doesn't the first player have a huge advantage? In the video (I know, I know it was only one game) but the first player had pressure pretty much the entire game.

Other thoughts :

- the game actually does look fun, albeit a little basic and "trashy", oddles of luck, with chucking lots of dice and card drawing, I understand this isn't a thinking man's deep, engrossing, strategy game.

- I wasn't too thrilled to hear about the tide deck, thinking it a little too swingy, but it looked good in practice, some big moments, and the theme of the crews comes through mostly trough this deck

- I really, really like the heroes. At first I maybe thought them too basic, with not alot of differences in abilities. But they are the base of the game, and I like that they are "squishy" enough that they can die in a turn or two. Since it looks like most games will be between 5-8 turns, this makes hero death a pretty big deal.

- While you can argue if this was "tower defense" or "MOBA", I think really both styles come through in the game, and for a pioneering effort, it comes through pretty well. I got a good sense of MOBA in the gameplay, mainly through the heroes.


Of course this does raise the "first player advantage" questions. I mean imagine if you were playing League of Legends and one team got a 3 minute head start. It seems the second player should get some kind of advantage also, maybe an extra coin on each hero to start.

"You are already making house rules for a game that is months from being released!"

Beat you to it, but I think it is a legitimate point......
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Dan M
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That was my initial thought also...But as I watched the video the advantage seemed to be limited to the grunts and the grunts really didn't make or break the game - They were a distraction but I don't think a huge deciding factor in the game (where three characters falling into the drink was). As far as the heroes are concerned I didn't feel going first really swung in either player's favor and that's where I feel the game is really decided - Through the hero play.
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Joshua Christensen
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It seemed that the players complete refusal to attack little Tom was more damaging then his going second. He let him sit there all game then towards then end tried one big attack through use of cards that was fended off by the opponents use of cards. Then he did a couple of more small attacks. The Brutes appear to be quite strong. They have a ton of hit points and would require all your heroes ganging up on them to take them down in one turn to avoid their very powerful I've taken lots of damage form.

I don't like how the tide decks work at all. Some sort of hand management or something to consider when playing them would be nice. As they are it's just play as many as you can so you can get their powerful effects and then draw a full new hand. The Kraken symbols were nothing to fear because the Kraken effected both players equally, the symbols a player had built up didn't matter only position on the board mattered. These are concerns that I brought up on the playthrough update but I am apparently the only person that has these concerns.

I don't feel like the 5 characters for each faction have a unified theme. The Brotherhood is supposed to be the all offense faction and the undead are supposed to be the hard to kill guys (the undead captain and quartermaster actually carry the undead theme pretty well) but that doesn't come through at all in the starting characters. The just revealed undead heroes in the undead 3 character add on pack carry this hard to kill undead theme really well and imo appear to be the most fun/interesting/flavorful characters to play as. When I saw the game I had a strong lean towards playing the Brotherhood because I don't care for playing undead teams (unless they are undead Egyptians) but after learning more about the game I would much rather play the undead and have really no interest at all in playing the brotherhood.

I also think the deckhands and bosuns are too easy to kill. Very few of them seemed to ever make it to the opponents boat. Especially once the Sea Dragon came out those deckhands weren't going any where.

Some of the undead guys seem really cool to me though. The base set undead quartermaster appears to be really good at being a dedicated sit on your boat taking out opposing creep while healing up any heroes that have taken damage and then when he has the coin (which seems like it will be often) he unleashes his Soul Storm attack dealing damage to all opposing crew member and generating a lot of coin for his team. But it will be tough to decide which quartermaster to bring. Daedalus looks really fun and can hopefully make deck hands and bosuns do something other then die and give coin to the opponent.

I get a kick out of how they are trying to sell this game as a super deep experience. It seems deeper then every other CMoN produced game I've seen but I wouldn't say it was deep, from what I've seen, by deep game standards. Also the way CMoN runs their kickstarters pretty much kills any possible future competitive scene which is very disappointing.

I'll stick with the game for a bit but I'm really on the fence right now. I've disliked the two CMoN games I've tried and the other ones looked really bad for my tastes but this one seems more to my liking. Maybe a rulebook or more information about each factions tide deck will convince me one way or the other.
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Simone C.
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CMON answered in the comments section of the KS that after many many game tests the first player advantage isn't there because the second player has an advantage too, he knows which heroes the other played and can chose his accordingly, in fact if the first player will play too aggressive he will put at least one of his hero too far and could lose it and , if you saw the video, a KO hero is a HUGE disadvantage.
I won't be so arrogant to say that the game is unbalanced after a video, if you don't trust the creators or the playtesters or CMON so don't pledge
 
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Felipe Machado
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Let me just quote exactly what the creator said about that (or it'll get lost on those terrible, terrible, kickstarter comments):

Quote:
First player advantage (or disadvantage) is always a factor in games. Here, however, after concluding playtesting, we did not feel going first let to any real advantage.

Sure, it may seem scary seeing Deckhands coming over, but it should be noted that, by the way their movement works, the first player's Deckhands/Bosuns will always inevitably end up being attacked by Player 2's first (without Hero intervention).

If Player 1 is super aggressive (as actually seen in the gameplay video) then they run the risk of having their Heroes end up dead. If your goal is to push for early damage on Objectives Turn 1, then you're going to have to leave your Heroes severely exposed to do so (and we're not talking a major amount of damage here, even if you Cinderella it and your Deck Gun kills all the Deckhands protecting an Objective, you Rig over next to the point and dont fail, you're still talking about getting only at most 2 attacks in- and then leaving both those Heroes widely exposed).

It's very important to remember that Player 2 does not choose the Heroes they deploy until their turn- they will always deploy in reaction to how Player 1 is deploying. If Player 1 gets super aggressive and rushes your ship, deploying your Gunner, Swashbuckler, and your third highest damage dealer will punish him for it
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Asen Aleksandrov
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I don't know why I must rant on this, since the game is finished and even if it wasn't, my input is irrelevant to the design process, but this game fails to emulate one of the most integral features of MOBAs: customization. Don't get me wrong, it looks like it's going to be a very fun board game, but the feel of it is going to be so completely removed from what defines a game as a MOBA, that any suggested association would be inappropriate. The only similarities I can discern are visual.

First difference: splitting heroes into factions. MOBAs feature rosters of heroes in numbers varying from 30 to 100+ depending on the game, but they're not typically separated into factions. I don't know how many heroes R&B will ultimately have, but the number of possible team formations is massively reduced by the fact they cannot be mixed freely.

Second difference: no leveling? Correct me if I am wrong but all abilities are available from the start, so there are no skill trees. Your heroes will play exactly the same way at the end of a game as they did at the beginning of it.

Third difference: no inventory. You get a deck of cards (most of which, again, faction-specific; why?), from which you draw with no knowledge of what you will get. This is standard for casual games and sacrilegious for competitive ones, and MOBAs fall in the second category.

You can argue that customization options aren't the only source of strategy in this type of war game- most of it actually comes from positioning, timing, taking risks, etc. Except MOBAs have all of these things going for them, AND tons of customization options. Moreover, MOBAs have a natural build up in tension directly derived from the three factors I mention above: as the game goes on, heroes become stronger and gain better skills and gear, new strategies and moves come into play, the battlefield evolves, and engagements become much more dramatic and impactful, until finally one team's sequence of strong decisions culminates in a well-deserved victory. R&B doesn't seem to be making the slightest attempt to not be Nexus Ops in terms of flow; it starts off one way, continues that way, and then ends. Nexus Ops is a great game, and it doesn't call itself something it isn't.

So this looks like a fun game with only the most minimal fraction of the MOBA appeal that the campaign is trying to imply. Armies moving along lanes and unique heroes are things many other board games have (the first one somewhat uncommon, but also largely inconsequential), not to mention there are MOBAs out there which don't rely on these mechanics. But virtually every MOBA out there has a very robust meta built around the variety of customization options available to players, and a lot of the enjoyment derived from these games comes in learning said meta and using that knowledge and the acquired mechanical skill to become a good player, devise intricate strategies, test them against other good players' strategies, and generally never have to play the same way twice. This being a turn-based game, there is no mechanical skill involved, and leaving the game so bare-bones in terms of customization is a missed opportunity, IMO.
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Joe Bowers
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peterpotamus wrote:
I don't know why I must rant on this, since the game is finished and even if it wasn't, my input is irrelevant to the design process, but this game fails to emulate one of the most integral features of MOBAs: customization.
First difference: splitting heroes into factions.
Second difference: no leveling?
Third difference: no inventory.



CMON is renowned for addons and expansions, I sure all of these issues can be addressed by those.
 
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Asen Aleksandrov
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Topdecker577 wrote:
peterpotamus wrote:
I don't know why I must rant on this, since the game is finished and even if it wasn't, my input is irrelevant to the design process, but this game fails to emulate one of the most integral features of MOBAs: customization.
First difference: splitting heroes into factions.
Second difference: no leveling?
Third difference: no inventory.



CMON is renowned for addons and expansions, I sure all of these issues can be addressed by those.


I am doubtful. Their design concepts for this game are very clearly aimed at making a straightforward dudes-on-a-map game with MOBA aesthetics, which is a great model, actually. The game bears a tag that competitive online gamers have a lot of love for, while remaining simple and accessible to casual players, which is most of them. I can see they intend to bring in lots of new heroes, but they appear to be split into additional factions- problem remains. Leveling won't happen because for it to work it needed to be implemented in the base game.

But they could add an inventory system, which would be sweet.
 
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Reese Henderson
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Okay, can I ask a noob question? What's does "MOBA" mean?

(This from a casual board gamer, not a competitive online player, obviously.)

Thanks.
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cinos
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Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.
 
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Frank Franco
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What is a good introductory MOAB?
 
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Lee Fisher
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
What is a good introductory MOAB?


Unfortunately Heroes of the Storm isn't really available yet (it is in closed alpha).
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T C
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You can try DOTA 2 for free:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/570/


The problem with most MOBA's is finding other beginner level players, or dealing with impatient to complete jerk team mates when playing with more experienced people. The games can be really fun if you can survive the overwhelming beginner phase. You can learn the basics against the computer though.

For DOTA 2 you can find a lot of strategy and advice info at http://www.liquiddota.com/
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Asen Aleksandrov
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morpheus133 wrote:
The problem with most MOBA's is finding other beginner level players, or dealing with impatient to complete jerk team mates when playing with more experienced people.

Very true.

Mr Skeletor wrote:
What is a good introductory MOAB?

A brand new, very minimalistic one is TOME. It's free and easy to get into.
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Gavin McClements
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League of Legends, also free, is my recommendation if you want to experiment with MOBAs. Anyway, this game looks like I'll need to research it more!
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Asen Aleksandrov
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Last year another game with a mildly MOBA-like feel failed to get funded on KS- Kingdom Blitz; the print-and-play kit is still available online if you want to give it a try. It's a super-streamlined ccg with armies of summoned creatures marching from two opposing castles across two lanes. It has none of the flash of R&B, but it delivers on options: 10 different races and 6 schools of magic to pair with.

edit: I apologize if it appears that I am trying to redirect your attention, I am not. I just thought it was relevant, since if I recall correctly that game also made claims to be inspired by the MOBA game play.
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Tim Bailey
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Kealios wrote:
League of Legends, also free, is my recommendation if you want to experiment with MOBAs. Anyway, this game looks like I'll need to research it more!


I also reccomend League of Legends. It is the most popular video game on the planet at the moment. I prefer Heroes of the Storm, but again it's still in closed Alpha.


As for the playthrough, it didn't seem as good as I was hoping. For starters, the squares on the board only seem to hold 4 characters, and you are going to have more than 4 multiple times during a game, so I see that being cluttered and somewhat ugly.
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Frank Franco
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LoL does seem like the granddaddy - how easy is it to get into for the inexperienced? Can I play against the PC or am I stuck getting my ass handed to me by koreans with 10,000 hours + experience.

I too am on the fence about Rum & Bones. Looks like too much of a dice fest based on the first 30 mins of the video. The biggest appeal so far is the $15 shipping to Oz!
 
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Michael Callahan
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This game really takes me back to the original Axis & Allies,.... where Russia and Germany are pouring loads and loads of tanks and infantry back and forth. turn after turn,...... but then again,.... I have not been playing any of the MOBA style games mentioned, so

It could be fun though,..... a little bit of a light-heartted PvP action.
 
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Simon
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
LoL does seem like the granddaddy - how easy is it to get into for the inexperienced? Can I play against the PC or am I stuck getting my ass handed to me by koreans with 10,000 hours + experience.

I too am on the fence about Rum & Bones. Looks like too much of a dice fest based on the first 30 mins of the video. The biggest appeal so far is the $15 shipping to Oz!


LoL and DotA are both derivatives of Aeon of Strife, a SC custom map.

There is no real good way to get into besides headbanging against a wall. Sometimes it's better with a friend. Sometimes it's not (especially if your friends are usually try-hards). LoL and Dota both have botmatches, but those might teach you worse habits than just bulling through other dudes. It is also unlikely that you will be matched against super-koreans, but you will be matched against people whose skill levels exceed your own, sometimes because of waiting times, sometimes because of smurfs (people who make new accounts to wreck newbies and make themselves feel better about their current skill level).
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Frank Franco
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Thanks Simon. I actually played downloaded and played LoL last night against bots. Can't say I really 'get it' - it just seemed like warcraft 3 with 70% of the game taken out. Apart from building combos with equipment purchases I couldn't see where the 'skill' is in this game which makes it an esport. Just seemed like I hung around towers until we had enough for a push.
I'll try playing against people tonight which I'm sure will change my mind. But so far it was a lot easier to get into than I was expecting.
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Asen Aleksandrov
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Thanks Simon. I actually played downloaded and played LoL last night against bots. Can't say I really 'get it' - it just seemed like warcraft 3 with 70% of the game taken out. Apart from building combos with equipment purchases I couldn't see where the 'skill' is in this game which makes it an esport. Just seemed like I hung around towers until we had enough for a push.
I'll try playing against people tonight which I'm sure will change my mind. But so far it was a lot easier to get into than I was expecting.


The basics are elementary, but there is practically no ceiling on how good you can get at your execution, and that's where things get tricky. Not to mention success in player-vs-player matches hinges completely on which team works better together. Then there's strictly meta considerations, like this hero beats this hero, unless supported by that hero, etc.

I would suggest you go here and watch a couple of tournament games, it will give you a clearer impression of the nature of the game.
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Jay Lacson
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
Thanks Simon. I actually played downloaded and played LoL last night against bots. Can't say I really 'get it' - it just seemed like warcraft 3 with 70% of the game taken out. Apart from building combos with equipment purchases I couldn't see where the 'skill' is in this game which makes it an esport. Just seemed like I hung around towers until we had enough for a push.
I'll try playing against people tonight which I'm sure will change my mind. But so far it was a lot easier to get into than I was expecting.
For a game against beginner bots (I'm assuming you played against beginner bots), that's basically how the game plays out.

As Asen said, when you start playing against people and even the intermediate bots, you'll notice the difference. Timing pushes, rotations, ambushes (i.e. ganks), and team synergy all play a significant part in the game....which oddly enough, is what Rum & Bones feels like it's missing for me.
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Lester Festertester
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One must remember that there is a difference between a game that "feels like" a MOBA, and a game which "simulates" a MOBA.
 
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Kirk Mathes
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After watching the first part of the new gameplay video, it's still the tide deck that is the main thing I feel is a negative to the gameplay.

To echo some of my thoughts from other threads, it just looks so random, there doesn't look to be any skill or planning involved, if you get the right cards for a good combo, you do it, and then if they have the right cards to counter it, they counter it.
There just doesn't seem to be any way to anticipate what your opponent will do.
This looks like a fun light game, but doesn't look like a competitive arena style game.
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