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Subject: Adventurers Companion: So What is the Plan? rss

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Brad P
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Ok guys, time to start making lemonade. I put too much of my money into this game to let end in this state.

I expect Jake and Mantic will get an Errata and FAQ that will cover a lot of the basic issues specifically in the front half through campaigns and the timer issues in uncharted and Solo but I think the core deficiencies are not going to corrected by them in any meaning way.

Here is my List:

Uncharted Dungeons: Layout

People have report some problems in physically building the dungeons which I am not sure what the issue is either the dungeon parts from different cards hit each other or they have a tendency to walk to go off the table. People should build some dungeons and take some pictures of the problems. Many of us still will be waiting on our sets to likely next month especially if mantic has the guys open the boxes to insert the pointless errata as it will double or triple the time it takes to process those shipments.

Uncharted Dungeons: Hero Power Scaling

Looking at the rules, it seems the minions levels for each zone should not be so random. I think after everyone has a lot more experience in the game this is less of an issue but if you get the core game and AC and you do not want to spoil the core quests as maybe you are mainly a player or something, this seems to be something people are going to faster than I think they expected. Currently the cards list something like 3-15 for the threat which would allow someone against zero level heroes to drop 2 werewolves on them in the first zone. While something like that is clear overkill, 4 armored zombies is only 8 total threat and while unlikely to kill your characters they are hard enough to bring down need three hits against armor 3 to waste more turns than expected.

While there will never be perfect balance and some variance between zones is fine I think the guide lines should be tighter. Those people who have gotten their pledges have a good number of balanced scenarios so I think those should be mined for data:

For each mission:

1. What is the estimated(not from their table but actually trying to make them) hero levels and how much value in magic items do they have?

2. What is the total threat in each zone? What is the distance between the zones.

3. What is your best estimate of the Boss level? This is the hardest part since the Boss Character thing is not really there and the bosses often have abilities that the characters just cannot get. Hopefully something will show up in the errata to help a little here as currently I do not know if I should just match levels, or the boss should be a little tougher since their are 4 heroes and he only has minions.

That is the starting point to try to generate a table which turn Hero levels into threat levels/Boss levels which can then be modified by the cards in some way. Then tweaks like mixed monsters (types from one card or from 2 different cards) can be explored in a Phase II.

If you think you have a good feel for Boss level vs character level start making some bosses for the for each of the different monster groups for a couple of level ranges. I told Jake that mantic should have already gone through their character range for KOW and made sheets for those guys as bosses.

Solo: Schizophrenic Monsters

I think the issue people are most concerned about here is not that the monsters do not always do the optimal thing once you figure out what the rules are telling you to do but they switch all the time. I personally do not think the monsters tactics should switch all the time both in action type and threat assignment. I feel the threat assignment should pretty much be determined by the character in the zone with the highest combined threat. They sort of force the others to do it their way. This should simplify applying the rules since you do not have to individually calculate the hero threat for each monster.

Next I think the tactics should be at most assigned by zone again. If the heroes get to the next door or some other major quest event they are making progress so a change of tactics would be inorder. Then each of the tactics classes will probably need a flow chart to better determine how they respond. Like what should surround do once it has completed that. I will probably have to sit down with some of the missions use the AI cards and try to figure out what I would do taking notes and pictures and see how to express that in more meaning way than what we have.

Designing a Dungeon: I think as this section says look to uncharted for information that is the plan. Once the uncharted data is available it would be useful here. More useful than all the text in this section of the book probably. Phase II.

Overlord Leveling: The overlord side of the campaign is weak but currently that is really only needed when you are going through custom scenarios and random dungeons. Neither of those sections are up to the level where it matters to be a priority. Phase II.

We can bitch and moan all we want about Mantic owing us a better book. Morally they do, legally they probably owe Hardback people one, but I think they have enough legal cover that at best if you explicitly bought the hardcover you might be able to get a refund if you sent it back or a refund on the entire pledge with return for other people. Otherwise it is too small potatoes in terms of injury vs class size for a legal matter and those take too long anyway. By the time anything is done they would be on Dungeon Saga 3.
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Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if Dungeon Saga Version 2 comes along in a few years. Mantic's already done this with Kings of War, and many companies using KS have released a new version of a game only a few years after their previous version. Not the first time backers on KS ended up with beta product. No, I didn't back OUYA, either.
 
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Allan
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From what I gather this is really supposed to be Dwarf King's Hold v2.

If they decide to go the route of releasing a version two, I hope they consider at least making an upgrade kit for all the backers they've ripped off with this first outing. I just can't believe how grudging and tacked-on the current Adventurers Companion feels.
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Brad P
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zethnar wrote:
From what I gather this is really supposed to be Dwarf King's Hold v2.

If they decide to go the route of releasing a version two, I hope they consider at least making an upgrade kit for all the backers they've ripped off with this first outing. I just can't believe how grudging and tacked-on the current Adventurers Companion feels.


Here are plenty of forum posts for bitching. I have a ton myself here and to Jake. I even went so far as to comment after one of my own posts there that I had beaten the dead horse I have mentioned it there so much.

This one is for ideas. Clearly there were not enough of them in the book.
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bill corlett
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I see the AC as almost a set of ideas rather than a precise set of rules. Was this Mantic's inrtenetion, to be honest I do not know, but I think this is where a lot of high expectations may have been dashed.

Going forward, I can see a lot of people taking the AC and simply home brewing their own house rules etc, possibly if the community is string enough stuff will be uploaded here. One necessity is for Mantic to get the FAQ sheets up and running quickly and view the PDF release as a "living" rulebook.

Only dark cloud is that Mantic do suffer from a short attention span and I fear once Matt has got those missing adventures out next year, that they will be concentrating on their next "big thing2. I hold up Mars Attacks" as a good example, once the compendium was out that was it, even Jake no longer bothers - so no faqs , no new units, scenarios etc.

However, MA is more of a niche game, as DS is a dungeon delve it is possibly going to have a wider shelf life - certainly the model ranges are more extensive anddiverse. Guess it really comes down to us?
 
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Sam and Max wrote:
Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if Dungeon Saga Version 2 comes along in a few years. Mantic's already done this with Kings of War, and many companies using KS have released a new version of a game only a few years after their previous version. Not the first time backers on KS ended up with beta product. No, I didn't back OUYA, either.


And are now wrapping up Deadzone 2.0 too.
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Ciaran M
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Slightly connected to this theme of a plan to make the AC better/easier, I've begun putting together a character builder in excel to ease the process with art style in keeping with the general Dungeon Saga theme.

Preview:


Just need to add the Move/Combat/Shoot/Armour icons and work on adding the health/heart art so it displays the right image based on input (rather than just displaying health as a number) before I put up a test version on BGG.


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Bookkeeper Bookkeeper
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Since you pointed me here, my initial thoughts are:

Layout: is a bit tricky to do without starting again thoug it may be possible to come up with something.

Levels: the easiest way of doing this would be to create a table for each overloaded type, with hero level as one axis, and the other axis determined by card drawn. And the cells listing number and type of minion. Similar table could be used to determine bosses as well.

Schizophrenic monsters: Some level of AI simplification would be a good idea, my first thought would be do a simple close-ranged-unengaged vs minion type prioririty with the listed threat on the cards providing a bonus to minions (+1 frenzy, +1 sure shot, +1 move dependant on listed type), and to determine which model(s) during interrupts.
 
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ezeqiel wrote:
Slightly connected to this theme of a plan to make the AC better/easier, I've begun putting together a character builder in excel to ease the process with art style in keeping with the general Dungeon Saga theme.

Preview:


Just need to add the Move/Combat/Shoot/Armour icons and work on adding the health/heart art so it displays the right image based on input (rather than just displaying health as a number) before I put up a test version on BGG.



Looks good, don't forget manual entry will be needed for location and feat progressions.
 
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Ciaran M
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@Bookkeeper - thanks for the reminder on the location-based advancement options, had forgotten about those!

Both RACE and GENERAL Feat options are available from drop-down selection when building the character, otherwise the row is left blank for you to fill it in yourself manually during your characters life.


The format will change as I add the health artwork and nudge everything up.


It will also allow easy build of new races & professions as the world of Mantica is officially expanded upon and for our own community-led creations.

Input certainly welcomed!
 
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Brad P
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ezeqiel wrote:
@Bookkeeper - thanks for the reminder on the location-based advancement options, had forgotten about those!

Both RACE and GENERAL Feat options are available from drop-down selection when building the character, otherwise the row is left blank for you to fill it in yourself manually during your characters life.


The format will change as I add the health artwork and nudge everything up.


It will also allow easy build of new races & professions as the world of Mantica is officially expanded upon and for our own community-led creations.

Input certainly welcomed!


I would build the feat section into the advancement table so it is clear at what level the feat was taken so you can essential scale the level. Extra Columns with dashes (or 1 then 2 etc) and then when one is taken replace the number with the feat like level 2 would have Firestorm and at level 6 Unstoppable.

If you make this so nice I will not even need to write the advancement follow up to my starter character quickstart guide. I just finished collating all the advancement tables in so I can just copy the specific tables next to each other to visualize them. You certainly have out done me but people are often leery of excel documents online from classic macro exploits.
 
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bookkeeeper wrote:
ezeqiel wrote:
Slightly connected to this theme of a plan to make the AC better/easier, I've begun putting together a character builder in excel to ease the process with art style in keeping with the general Dungeon Saga theme.

Preview:


Just need to add the Move/Combat/Shoot/Armour icons and work on adding the health/heart art so it displays the right image based on input (rather than just displaying health as a number) before I put up a test version on BGG.



Looks good, don't forget manual entry will be needed for location and feat progressions.


I love the idea !! cool
 
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Alan Stewart
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eriochrome wrote:
people are often leery of excel documents online from classic macro exploits.
Maybe, but I would imagine that if any Excel spreadsheet were posted with exploits, it would be found fast enough and the alarm would be raised.
 
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seb seb2
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we can do that in Excel?how is this possible
i remember excel as a white & black thing with columns and numbers
 
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Iain Benson
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It sure puts my excel character builder spreadsheet to shame!

I could update it to look more funky, but now somebody else is doing so, there's not much point!
 
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Brad P
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iain_benson wrote:
It sure puts my excel character builder spreadsheet to shame!

I could update it to look more funky, but now somebody else is doing so, there's not much point!


Which sort of relates the to point of this thread. The character building outside incorrect implementation of the Marksman and Deft Throw to Ranged Attack Dice (Long)/(Short) and a little clarity issues is not bad. Honestly it is the only good part of the book if you ignore that the first 30 or so pages just repeat the rules from the main game box.

The rest of the book needs so much work that we should try to avoid unnecessary duplication of work by getting a little organized and discussing ideas up front. 20 different AI implementations tested by only by the person who wrote it might find a great one but it would be better to have all 20 of those people bouncing ideas off each other and only testing the best few. That way we can find something close enough to use the cards provided in some meaningful way but works better.
 
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Claire Bradshaw
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Ha ha we could set up our own Kickstarter to fix the issues of this KS campaign... I would have much preferred it if they went the Scythe route of "We've reached this amount, that's it no more stretch goals otherwise it's gonna screw up"

I got an email from Mantic listing the items I bought; they said I should have got a paperback book. Nope - hardback. But after having a more of a comprehensive read through yesterday rather than a flick, I was shocked at the shear number of xxx errors! I thought there was only a few.... they're everywhere!

At the very least they need to reprint this book and send it out, either HD or PB, to everything who backed it. Otherwise they should be reported to Kickstarter. I may be naive but I don't expect the product they sell on Kickstarter to be the beta version / test version for one that'll end up in the shops.
 
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Brad P
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FrankBradshaw wrote:
Ha ha we could set up our own Kickstarter to fix the issues of this KS campaign... I would have much preferred it if they went the Scythe route of "We've reached this amount, that's it no more stretch goals otherwise it's gonna screw up"

I got an email from Mantic listing the items I bought; they said I should have got a paperback book. Nope - hardback. But after having a more of a comprehensive read through yesterday rather than a flick, I was shocked at the shear number of xxx errors! I thought there was only a few.... they're everywhere!

At the very least they need to reprint this book and send it out, either HD or PB, to everything who backed it. Otherwise they should be reported to Kickstarter. I may be naive but I don't expect the product they sell on Kickstarter to be the beta version / test version for one that'll end up in the shops.


Well it is the same version that they are sending to shops I am pretty sure as they were probably all printed at once for the volume discount but they might just eat the pre order copies before sending them out as it is easy for people to return retail products compared to kickstarter.

The book is dreadful and an embarrassment but we are highly unlikely to get a reprint so this thread is meant to see what we can do about making it a useful part the otherwise pretty solid DS experience that many of us put 200+ dollars into.
 
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Leigh Shepherd
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I'm happy to get involved - I would volunteer for the potentially foolhardy task of looking at the uncharted dungeon cards and trying to wrangle them - can do an example or two, though not until later this week
 
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Brad P
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Leigh Shepherd wrote:
I'm happy to get involved - I would volunteer for the potentially foolhardy task of looking at the uncharted dungeon cards and trying to wrangle them - can do an example or two, though not until later this week


That is great. I had the idea that if you photo copied them (assuming they are all to scale) you can then cut out the rough outline and build just with those instead of the physical tiles. Should be a lot faster and easier to take pictures of since it will be like 5*7 instead of a whole table.
 
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Sam and Max wrote:
Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised if Dungeon Saga Version 2 comes along in a few years. Mantic's already done this with Kings of War, and many companies using KS have released a new version of a game only a few years after their previous version. Not the first time backers on KS ended up with beta product. No, I didn't back OUYA, either.


Mantic is doing this with all their properties. Deadzone, Dreadball, Kings of War, all are getting new editions (or for kings of war already have).
 
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Brad P
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All game companies do. Otherwise they run out of ideas but the answer for us at this point is not to wait 3 years for the fix of something that was so obvious broke right now that anyone reading the book would have seen it. Dungeon Saga 2 could be a million times better than DS 1 and Mantic is unlikely to get more of my money without some serious effort in the now to address the issues. I do not see that effort forthcoming.

I really think that they only thought the typo issue was all that was wrong with the AC at first but even with them fixing the quick fixes where Jake knows exactly what he means they are still only delivering at most 75% of the content that should be there as Uncharted is total messed up, the Design section is useless as rules, and the AI is questionable at best in its current presentation. If that all gets sorted we are at about 90 percent so while more work will be done this part of the project would not longer be what I think most people agree is a total disaster of a product for a otherwise solid game.

But again I do not want this thread to be a bitching thread. I want an ideas thread so people who want to dig themselves out of the pile mantic dropped instead of the promised AC can do it together instead of one at a time.
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About 1/2 way through a draft for simplified I/O base cards. The system, I am currently working on has default behaviours for each of the minion types. The order determines if one or more minion types are checked for activation before the standard order of activations is carried out, and the threat has two effects 1) breaks ties, 2) gives a small bonus when attacking named hero type.

Hopefully post a draft up in a few hours, and people can see what works and doesn't and we can take it from there.

@eriochrome I am very happy to do minion vs level balancing but need to wait till I have my games to play test a bit, as room size will have a fair impact.
 
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Brad P
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Post it when you think you have enough to discuss. I would probably like to see what Jake has for clarifing statements for the AI before going to far in rewrite as their is still quite a bit of confusion as to what it is telling you to do.

Ofcourse he has gone dark again and Mantic appears to have no idea how to handle the issues other than deleting facebook comments to make them go away.

Tonight I am probably going to go through the quirkworthy comments and look for any that can be answered as people here ask a lot of questions that are clear or close enough that I can give a RAW answer with a but I think it is supposed to be this type answer.
 
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I actually don't think his IO Rules are that hard to understand, but they are complicated, and there are two many variables to make a quick reference table simple. I think you put it best with your comment on the minions personality. The hardest bit is the surround command which the intent is relatively clear, but implementing is quite difficult.

I am reasonably happy with my simplications, but definiately need further tuning with outside input. I think I will take your advise and see which way Jake goes with his help. If you're interested, let me know and I'll throw my thoughts up on my blog. I know you know where that is! But will wait before posting here.
 
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