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Zombicide: Black Plague» Forums » General

Subject: Character and equipment balance rss

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R. H.
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I watched the zombicide: Black Plague play through video. I haven't played zombicide, but from the video, it looked like the characters were unbalanced. One character starts with the skill "spellcaster" to use an extra magic action every turn. He was cleaning up. Especially after he got the vault spell inferno. Why would anyone take the Orkish crossbow, when inferno rolls 4 dice, and the crossbow only rolls 2? From those who played zombicide, are their characters/equipment that are nearly useless because they're so much weaker than the rest? Thanks.
 
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William Curtis
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There are many sub-optimal options... However one of the strengths of Zombicide is the ability to modify the decks... I could easily see removing the more powerful items from the search deck until later in a game, maybe shuffle a few items in at yellow, more at Orange and more at red... But also note that Black Plague puts level requirements on items as well... And I can tell you that a ranged based character would take the Orcish Crossbow quite often.
 
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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PTHoorah wrote:
One character starts with the skill "spellcaster" to use an extra magic action every turn. He was cleaning up.

Note that he got a Vault item early and that was the spell he was using to destroy tons of stuff.

Also note that one character killing everything by themself raises the difficulty for everyone.

As to overall game balance, we won't know until we see the normal game in action as this was a modified scenario designed to be played and completed quickly. Using the Necromancer cabal rules and all the extra abomination cards from the KS is bound to make the game harder, but by how much?
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William Curtis
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The LOST in Standard Zombicide tend to also skew the difficulty, I know my players tend to grab the Chainsaw and other such items quickly when the option presents itself... and man does it present itself... At higher levels we spawn an additional card when a Lost spawns to make it slightly harder...
 
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R. H.
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Thanks for the quick replies. It seems like the game balances by punishing one character taking advantage of being too powerful. I'd really like to see another, full play through video though. And do you think the characters skills will change at all before publishing?
 
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Jeffrey Nolin
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As to survivors, some people choose the ones they want to play, while others pick at random to avoid favoritism. Some survivors are great in some situations or at fighting, but average in others. Some are better early game, while others are better later. Most survivors do well enough if they have appropriate weapons, so everyone usually gets a chance to make the kill, so everyone levels up together. As to weapons, early on, juat having a weapon is good enough, but finding the best weapon may take some time. Also, characters like having both ranged and melee weapons, even when they are best at one of them, because you never know what kind of situation you'll be in. Being a cooperative game, we generally try to get a weapon to the character who'll wield it best and let those who fall behind in kills, pick up objectives for points. Having what appears to be unbalanced survivors and weapons is part of the puzzle to solve! We have so many survivors coming our way that I'm sure they haven't worked out all the skill sets yet. They will also probably be looking for ones that are too similar to differentiate them a bit more, but probably not changing them in the way your question implies. There will always be a perception of imbalance for some of them.
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Mark Livett
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I think if you pick the best characters and get the best weapons then it might be a bit unbalanced.

Fortunately there is enough randomness to ensure that doesn't happen everytime, even in my group there are people who want to run for the nearest exit without causing any trouble, people who want to kill as many zombies as possible and people who seem content to stay in one place just searching to see what sort of things they can find.

I think with the number of different characters available it will be even better, the girls in our group only want to play female characters so they always play the same survivor (Base game only Zombicide Season 1) . With more to chose from they will be able to try different survivors.

If your aim is to beat the game then you should be able to tailor the game for whatever difficulty you want.

We probably won't bother, so some games we will be slaughtered in minutes and some games we will waltz through, it is this variety that will keep us coming back for more. I guess as we get more experienced we might try and make it harder for ourselves but we will probably do that by adding on more boxes.
 
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dafrca
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Jislizard wrote:
I think if you pick the best characters and get the best weapons then it might be a bit unbalanced.

Fortunately there is enough randomness to ensure that doesn't happen everytime, ....

This is an important point. If this were an RPG or a War game I would worry about how unbalanced some items were or some survivors skills, or some monsters/zombies. But because the finding of equipment is random, and if you want to play this way the survivors selection is random, and the order the zombies span is random, the "balance" just does not seem like such a big deal to me. Some games I will get lucky and some I will become zombie food.
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ike jones
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wystan wrote:
The LOST in Standard Zombicide tend to also skew the difficulty, I know my players tend to grab the Chainsaw and other such items quickly when the option presents itself... and man does it present itself... At higher levels we spawn an additional card when a Lost spawns to make it slightly harder...


I agree. I didn't buy the box because I think that picking whatever you wanted from the deck is quite "cheap".
 
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William Curtis
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Initially I got it because I wanted the Zombivors, but I have to say I prefer the Black Plague Route and just make survivors tougher and no dropping items when you are hit...

As such we do play with the "Lost" but I think I may make it closer to the VIPs, collect 2-4 (need to tweak) and get a Pimp Mobile weapon. We also started putting the Ultra-reds in the deck now and people have been hoarding them and most have not even reached red....

 
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