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Subject: This or Massive Darkness? rss

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Joe Phelps

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I am a miniature painter and a mostly solo gamer. With the addition of the App you can now play this pure solo I was considering jumping in with both feet... Then I saw the Massive Darkness kickstarter. While on one hand Descent is much better established with a ton of expansions the minis in Massive Darkness are frickin incredible. Any thoughts?
 
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JH
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Well, Descent is much better established with a ton of expansions but the minis in Massive Darkness are frickin incredible. So it kinda comes down to which is more important to you!

I've been playing D2E for several years now and it is a solid game I always have fun playing. I don't know how Massive Darkness plays. Road to Legend has given it a big shot in the arm. The collected Descent is probably more expensive than Massive Darkness, though, even if you get all the add-ons.
 
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Andy Dunks
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Playing Descent is a bit more complex, but also requires more tactical planning. The weapons interactions and leveling system are much less generic. which is interesting but also makes the play a bit slow-paced.

I too play mostly solo, and am enjoying Descent greatly with the free Road to Legends ap. I am considering backing Massive Darkness for those times when I feel more like a lighter, simpler game but (hopefully) one that still has meaningful tactical choices. I'm on the fence as to whether I'll trust that MD has this, but the pile of "free" stuff is growing to the point that I may take the plunge anyway.
 
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Jon Sharp
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I've really had to force myself not to back Massive Darkness. What it comes down to for me is that they are REALLY similar games, and I am fully invested in Descent (I went from 0 to all in when the app came out).

If I wasn't fully invested? I would probably still go with Descent. It is going to cost you a bit more up front to get fully caught up (though less than I paid, since they just reprinted all of the lieutenants). However, I have a lot of faith in Fantasy Flight's ability to put out a good game with continuous updates and full support. CMON has been a bit hit and miss with both their rules and their future support of games. Descent is proven to be a good system. Plus the app is amazing.
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gary gee
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my only concern..[actually it stopped me backing it on Kickstarter].is,that its just too much like zombicide:black plague.decided to stick with Sword and sorcery...but back to the OP question.different types of game really but D2 is a solid huge game world with solid gameplay and a massive community
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Christopher Lomas
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Massive Darkness seems like a dungeon crawl game from reading the rules (hard to say for definite without playing!). So you are creeping around potentially attempting to kill monsters and collect loot.

Descent is a quest game. You've got tiles and a specific goal. The monsters and the overlord player are there to stop you from doing this. That applies both to the app and the "normal" game.

There's heroes and loot in both games, so it depends what you prefer. I'd actually compare Descent to Arcadia Quest (!) rather than Massive Darkness.
 
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Jonathan Hersey
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I just went through this same process. Only it was reverse for me. I was thinking of getting Zombicide Black plague, then saw Massive Darkness, but ended up with Descent, and I am sooooooo glad I went with descent. I only got the game 11 days ago and I’ve played 12 times already with the Road to Legend App! Here are my thoughts on how these games compare.

At first I was smitten by all the goodies Massive Darkness had to offer. The sculpts, all those cards, the thought of cutting down waves of enemies. But then someone told me about the road to legend app and as I began investigating Descent, there were off putting things I began to notice about Massive Darkness. The character classes are so similar. I would say 80% of the content on each class sheet is repetitious of all the others. The wizard adds a die when doing a magic attack, the warrior adds a die when doing a melee attack, the rogue adds a die when doing a range attack. Each class sheet only has 1 or 2 unique moves. With Descent on the other hand the classes are Wildly different offering very fresh play styles that are unique and distinguished from the rest. The base game alone comes with 8 and with expansions you could get up to at least 12 more.

I'm annoyed at how many sculpts in massive darkness are similar. Look at how many of them are holding dual swords or how many have this weird leaning back type posture. I began to realize that if I had all those minis spread out they would blend in together. Worse still, based on what I read in the rules, the different creatures aren’t very different form each other. They all roll one of the two different attack dice and usually the only thing that distinguishes them is how they use bams and diamonds but behaviorally they are the same. With Descent all of the creates look unique and ACT unique. Many have different abilities and actions from the other creatures in the game and this difference only increases with the expansions.

Also the equipment in MD looks super similar. Many of the pictures and the equipment shown in the demo video doesn’t have a special effect at all, it only provides dice; and the ones that do use a power often don’t change a whole lot. Now the level 4 and 5 equipment I’m sure has more unique attributes but right from the start the equipment in Descent provides far more variety. The different dice alone create a unique feel to each weapon but all weapons have at least 1 ability, some even have 3, and they’re not all the same either. Plus many of the classes reward you for using specific types of weapons

MD doesn’t appear to have a strong narrative. They haven’t said a lot on how the campaign system really works but from everything I’ve seen it look generic. With Descent you have rich, highly narrative driven campaigns. Each mission incorporates new and unique rules with story moments all throughout the mission. Already there are 1 ½ campaigns in the RTL app with more to come; not to mention there is a rich campaign available if you play descent the normal way.

Finally the app is awesome. It enables the enemy to be more competitive and balanced than is typical in full coop games (mind you it’s still not as balanced as a human player could be). Plus it adds a real sense of adventure from the world map that shows available quests, the town which lets you rest and buy new gear, the random events that take place while traveling, and to the progressive maps that become unveiled as move along.

I cannot stress enough how much better I think Descent is compared to what Massive Darkness will be. This doesn’t mean I think Massive Darkness will be a bad game; I get why people are getting it and I think I would have fun with it too, but Descent just seems immensely better to me.

Good luck choosing
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thiago k
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I totally lost my desire for any Zombicide product after season 3. Frankly I do not see any major evolution in the Massive Darkness gameplay.

Dont get me wrong, love the minis, its a great casual game with simple rules to play with friends and nothing more.

As a solo player, I indicate Descent without a doubt. It is a richer game experience compared to any other game in the same genre.

Since the app was released, my Zombicide collection is gathering dust, my friends are in love with Descent
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Christopher Lomas
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Jonathan68 wrote:

At first I was smitten by all the goodies Massive Darkness had to offer. The sculpts, all those cards, the thought of cutting down waves of enemies. But then someone told me about the road to legend app and as I began investigating Descent, there were off putting things I began to notice about Massive Darkness. The character classes are so similar. I would say 80% of the content on each class sheet is repetitious of all the others. The wizard adds a die when doing a magic attack, the warrior adds a die when doing a melee attack, the rogue adds a die when doing a range attack. Each class sheet only has 1 or 2 unique moves. With Descent on the other hand the classes are Wildly different offering very fresh play styles that are unique and distinguished from the rest. The base game alone comes with 8 and with expansions you could get up to at least 12 more.


I would completely agree that the massive darkness classes are really mechanical and quite dull. So many of the abilities are just + to a roll and nothing else.

However: many of the descent classes are quite weak and there's a few that we've never used even after hundreds of hours of games. Most specifically the mage ones - I'm playing a conjurer in my current campaign and it's the first time it's ever been played.

I think Imperial Assault did the best with this. There's a good variety of characters and the classes are "built in". They're as interesting as the descent ones but aren't pigeonholed into having to mechanically work in a specific way.

So yes the Darkness classes look a little dull but that does at least mean they're all likely to be useful. I've not played Black Plague but the Zombicide class abilities were always there and used constantly even if they were a little boring.
 
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Krzysztof RabidBlackDog
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The only thing I find tempting in Massive Darkness are the minis. Otherwise, Descent all the way.
 
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Jonathan Hersey
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Taear wrote:
Jonathan68 wrote:

At first I was smitten by all the goodies Massive Darkness had to offer. The sculpts, all those cards, the thought of cutting down waves of enemies. But then someone told me about the road to legend app and as I began investigating Descent, there were off putting things I began to notice about Massive Darkness. The character classes are so similar. I would say 80% of the content on each class sheet is repetitious of all the others. The wizard adds a die when doing a magic attack, the warrior adds a die when doing a melee attack, the rogue adds a die when doing a range attack. Each class sheet only has 1 or 2 unique moves. With Descent on the other hand the classes are Wildly different offering very fresh play styles that are unique and distinguished from the rest. The base game alone comes with 8 and with expansions you could get up to at least 12 more.


I would completely agree that the massive darkness classes are really mechanical and quite dull. So many of the abilities are just + to a roll and nothing else.

However: many of the descent classes are quite weak and there's a few that we've never used even after hundreds of hours of games. Most specifically the mage ones - I'm playing a conjurer in my current campaign and it's the first time it's ever been played.

I think Imperial Assault did the best with this. There's a good variety of characters and the classes are "built in". They're as interesting as the descent ones but aren't pigeonholed into having to mechanically work in a specific way.

So yes the Darkness classes look a little dull but that does at least mean they're all likely to be useful. I've not played Black Plague but the Zombicide class abilities were always there and used constantly even if they were a little boring.


I agree they are not all created equal but at least they feel unique. With the RTL App there is now a video-game-like quality to Descent in that you cam pick characters and classes to create new challenges and fresh play throughs. So I personally like how some classes aren't as good as others because they still give me a new experience and added challenge

I also agree that Imperial Assault did a better job with the class/character decks. They are more personally connected to the character which both enhances the narrative and makes the characters feel unique. But, I also like how in Descent I have a lot of possibilities between the character + class combinations and how the same class with a different character can alter my strategies quite a bit.

As others have said it comes down to what you are looking for. There is an appeal to Massive Darkness' simplicity. It will be easier to teach, probably quicker to play ( I don't know though), and those minis will be an easy draw for non-gamers. Descent will be more difficult to start up but will also have a lot more potential given it's structure and FFG's intentions for future RTL campaigns.
 
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thiago k
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I like a lot of adjustments made in the Imperial Assault, and some mechanics are really good and simplified (the app makes good use of some of IA concepts - turn order and the side quests pool). Though it is nice characters have their own class and skills, I find very limiting, as well as problematic think the lack of variety in the missions (just go to point A to point B, secure Objetive C and repeat).

But its my personal taste. Love the skirmish mode, love the theme, but do not feel compelled to buy anything but the core box. In contrast, Descent products are never enough, I need more .

And the more you repeat the same campaign in the app, the variety offered by combinations of heroes / classes, skills, items and monsters is huge. Each adventure becomes unique.
 
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gary gee
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kraisto wrote:
I like a lot of adjustments made in the Imperial Assault, and some mechanics are really good and simplified (the app makes good use of some of IA concepts - turn order and the side quests pool). Though it is nice characters have their own class and skills, I find very limiting, as well as problematic think the lack of variety in the missions (just go to point A to point B, secure Objetive C and repeat).

But its my personal taste. Love the skirmish mode, love the theme, but do not feel compelled to buy anything but the core box. In contrast, Descent products are never enough, I need more: P. And the app

And the more you repeat the same campaign in the app, the variety offered by combinations of heroes / classes, skills, items and monsters is huge. Each adventure becomes unique.
I had a real problem with Imperial assault...the heroes...STAR WARS=Darth Vader Hans solo Darth Gaul etc etc... besides Dialla the rest look like warehouse workers...some people it doesn't bother but to me it did I sold it along with both expansions as I never played it after first few weeks or so.dungeon crawler type games really need iconic/stand out heroes
 
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Christopher Lomas
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kraisto wrote:

And the more you repeat the same campaign in the app, the variety offered by combinations of heroes / classes, skills, items and monsters is huge. Each adventure becomes unique.


I have everything currently on offer for both Descent and Imperial Assault.

While it's nice to have options I'd much rather have 10 really different and useful options than 50 that boil down to 15 good ones and 35 that "create a challenge".

There's so many heroes that I've never touched. Lots of monster groups that never hit the board either. The app has sort of helped with the latter since it picks things for us, which is nice.
That still doesn't stop a hexer from being rubbish. Or stop Giants being super good monsters.

If you're playing solo like the OP is then perhaps that's okay. You're only picking for yourself and you're not going to get frustrated because one of your 2/4 heroes isn't pulling their weight. However if there's four or five of you playing and one hero feels like they're doing absolutely nothing then it's a big issue.

In my current game I've got Shadow Warrior, Knight, Disciple and Conjurer. The first three do so much more than the conjurer because really what matters is chucking loads of damage around or helping other people do damage. Being able to potentially see around a corner or be in two places at once is too conditional, too specific. If that character is all you control in the game it's not a lot of fun seeing the Knight and Shadow Warrior kill two monsters in one activation and you basically do nothing at all.
Especially if you've got Trenloe the Strong, Ispher and Lindel but you're playing as Shiver.

IA bypasses this to a degree. Your abilities are always useful (as in the character sheet ones) because they're tailored to your card abilities. MD also has recommended classes for your characters, again trying to bypass this.

It's easily one of my biggest frustrations with Descent and I hate that it feels as though I could just not bother with a Mage (other than maybe a Runemaster) and my party would be straight up better.
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thiago k
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Taear wrote:
kraisto wrote:

And the more you repeat the same campaign in the app, the variety offered by combinations of heroes / classes, skills, items and monsters is huge. Each adventure becomes unique.


I have everything currently on offer for both Descent and Imperial Assault.

While it's nice to have options I'd much rather have 10 really different and useful options than 50 that boil down to 15 good ones and 35 that "create a challenge".

There's so many heroes that I've never touched. Lots of monster groups that never hit the board either. The app has sort of helped with the latter since it picks things for us, which is nice.
That still doesn't stop a hexer from being rubbish. Or stop Giants being super good monsters.

This

If you're playing solo like the OP is then perhaps that's okay. You're only picking for yourself and you're not going to get frustrated because one of your 2/4 heroes isn't pulling their weight. However if there's four or five of you playing and one hero feels like they're doing absolutely nothing then it's a big issue.

In my current game I've got Shadow Warrior, Knight, Disciple and Conjurer. The first three do so much more than the conjurer because really what matters is chucking loads of damage around or helping other people do damage. Being able to potentially see around a corner or be in two places at once is too conditional, too specific. If that character is all you control in the game it's not a lot of fun seeing the Knight and Shadow Warrior kill two monsters in one activation and you basically do nothing at all.
Especially if you've got Trenloe the Strong, Ispher and Lindel but you're playing as Shiver.

IA bypasses this to a degree. Your abilities are always useful (as in the character sheet ones) because they're tailored to your card abilities. MD also has recommended classes for your characters, again trying to bypass this.

It's easily one of my biggest frustrations with Descent and I hate that it feels as though I could just not bother with a Mage (other than maybe a Runemaster) and my party would be straight up better.


Well, dont know, most of my frustrations as a Overlord are caused by good mage players using a conjurer or geomancer class . This learning process I love in games, you suck with a specific hero or class and another player shines with the same combination.


And if you dont understand how to play, or you take a choice thats not reflect your play style, you become frustrated, no matter which game is ...

I have some frustraded rebel players in IA for example that never wins
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Jonathan Hersey
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kraisto wrote:
Taear wrote:
kraisto wrote:

And the more you repeat the same campaign in the app, the variety offered by combinations of heroes / classes, skills, items and monsters is huge. Each adventure becomes unique.


I have everything currently on offer for both Descent and Imperial Assault.

While it's nice to have options I'd much rather have 10 really different and useful options than 50 that boil down to 15 good ones and 35 that "create a challenge".

There's so many heroes that I've never touched. Lots of monster groups that never hit the board either. The app has sort of helped with the latter since it picks things for us, which is nice.
That still doesn't stop a hexer from being rubbish. Or stop Giants being super good monsters.

This

If you're playing solo like the OP is then perhaps that's okay. You're only picking for yourself and you're not going to get frustrated because one of your 2/4 heroes isn't pulling their weight. However if there's four or five of you playing and one hero feels like they're doing absolutely nothing then it's a big issue.

In my current game I've got Shadow Warrior, Knight, Disciple and Conjurer. The first three do so much more than the conjurer because really what matters is chucking loads of damage around or helping other people do damage. Being able to potentially see around a corner or be in two places at once is too conditional, too specific. If that character is all you control in the game it's not a lot of fun seeing the Knight and Shadow Warrior kill two monsters in one activation and you basically do nothing at all.
Especially if you've got Trenloe the Strong, Ispher and Lindel but you're playing as Shiver.

IA bypasses this to a degree. Your abilities are always useful (as in the character sheet ones) because they're tailored to your card abilities. MD also has recommended classes for your characters, again trying to bypass this.

It's easily one of my biggest frustrations with Descent and I hate that it feels as though I could just not bother with a Mage (other than maybe a Runemaster) and my party would be straight up better.


Well, dont know, most of my frustrations as a Overlord are caused by good mage players using a conjurer or geomancer class . This learning process I love in games, you suck with a specific hero or class and another player shines with the same combination.


And if you dont understand how to play, or you take a choice thats not reflect your play style, you become frustrated, no matter which game is ...

I have some frustraded rebel players in IA for example that never wins


I don’t have experience playing Descent 2nd edition with an overlord (I did play the 1st edition and own both Imperial Assault and Mansions of Madness so I’m familier with the formula) but I think the RTL app will make some characters and classes become better than what they were with a human overlord. I’m currently playing with the Necromancer and I have so many tactical options to consider because of the familiar and the class powers that use it. A human overlord isn’t going to go after the familiar if your mage is on the doorstep of death, but the app might have the mosters target the closest hero (which as I understand it could include the familiar). There are many other examples like this where the RTL app will behave differently than an overlord would.
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It is a good side of the app. Each player can optimize decisions as appropriate.

My gaming group is formed by Descent veterans, the decisions are taken as a Overlord player, making the game really challenging.

However, when I am teaching new players, I take the best decisions for the players and just follow the app's instructions without think so much.
 
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Christopher Lomas
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And those good players would be doing even better if they were a runemaster. Or even better if they just chucked the mage altogether and played a skirmisher!
 
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Keith Hammons
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Interesting - while there are character/hero class combos that are clearly better than others, it is still a lot of fun to match heroes and classes to find interesting combos, even if they aren't the absolute best. Sure there are some that are outright terrible, but I'd say they have a pretty good batting average. Also if you're looking at playing with the Road to Legend App, there is an easy and hard difficulty so we don't feel the need to min/max every time and can get more out of the wide variety of characters and classes available.
 
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Jonathan Hersey
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kypatzer wrote:
I am a miniature painter and a mostly solo gamer. With the addition of the App you can now play this pure solo I was considering jumping in with both feet... Then I saw the Massive Darkness kickstarter. While on one hand Descent is much better established with a ton of expansions the minis in Massive Darkness are frickin incredible. Any thoughts?


So Kypatzer, did you end up getting Massive Darkness?
 
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Joe Phelps

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Yes, I backed Massive Darkness. Even if the game sucks I feel the minis are so great they are worth it (I am a painter first and formost). I am going to cop out however and buy Descent also! After watching several videos of RTL playthroughs I just cant resist. I am going to start with the core, labyrinth of ruins & Lair of the wyrm. Any further suggestions? I was considering going ahead and buying all the lieutenant packs for these boxes too (just because of my OCD ).
 
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kypatzer wrote:
Yes, I backed Massive Darkness. Even if the game sucks I feel the minis are so great they are worth it (I am a painter first and formost). I am going to cop out however and buy Descent also! After watching several videos of RTL playthroughs I just cant resist. I am going to start with the core, labyrinth of ruins & Lair of the wyrm. Any further suggestions? I was considering going ahead and buying all the lieutenant packs for these boxes too (just because of my OCD ).


Well, you're going to be painting a lot.
 
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Johannes Benedikt
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Taear wrote:
And those good players would be doing even better if they were a runemaster. Or even better if they just chucked the mage altogether and played a skirmisher!


I can't disagree more with you. Runemaster is probably the least flexible mage-class and easily dealt with by the OL (just make sure he either is too far away from your monsters for truly powefull attacks or focus him down once he is too near). All the other mages are much harder to play against and make it possible to play very different styles, really bringing forth the theme that you have to act intelligently to be a good mage. Be it zapping around with the conjurer and reliably stunning certain monsters at once, blowing up stones for nearly impossible to avoid blast attacks, or be it the hexer that can effectivly make the monsters kill themselves when they start engaging the heroes (of course that doesn't work so well with an all melee hero-team).
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Leeroy Porkins
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One thing to remember that MD lets you pair ANY Class with ANY Hero.
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Graham Martin
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Leeroy_Porkins wrote:
One thing to remember that MD lets you pair ANY Class with ANY Hero.


Odd necropost...
 
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