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Mansions of Madness: Second Edition» Forums » General

Subject: The lost Innsmouth expack? Odd choices rss

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Pat Mccrotch
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I find second edition an odd mix of working, and half-working elements. The basic gameplay works, as it did in 1e because the best part of it is purely move and explore, quick and easy. Combat is still an odd attempt at thematic inclusion (read a block of text for a mismatched result). Replayability and scenario tuning is the real make or break for the game, and coupling with the app is an iffy proposition.

REPLAYABILITY
As players on the forums can attest, there's little modification in play where it counts. Some tiles and monster placement may change, but whole rooms remain the same, so the "tree" the scenario hangs off of is the same (1 scenario skirts this issue by adding npc variance). Once you've played the investigation, you know it... though you may have different game end-text, there's n1 of the story variation in 1e. In first edition, each scenario had 3 possible clues/locations/stories and outcomes. The floorplan stayed the same but the clues (and monsters) and story could be wildly different depending on choices the keeper made. Second edition just removes this from the game, with the exception of the longest scenario, "Rising Tide" which has some variability through the npc choices the app makes. It's a poor shadow of what 1e could do because the scenario finishes basically the same no matter who's at fault. So for 4-6 hours you get a nod to story variability. Trumpeting replayability in the marketing literature is laughable when the company knows the expectations players from 1e have, yet take no pains to clarify it's differences. What's worse when asked specific questions the answer seem to be to act as if you've misheard the question and say it's the same because of tile, spawn, and conclusion text differences, in no way the same thing as seperate storylines.

SCENARIOS HIT AND MISS
Where first edition offered 5 scenarios with 3 storylines for each, second edition has 4 and only 1 of those has story variation. 2 of those (arguably 3) are set in Innsmouth. Why so few scenarios and based on the 1 setting? It seems a little like second edition is the Innsmouth expansion 1e never got. Since most customers will buy the base game and dependent on it's performance, determine what expansions to buy if any - wouldn't including a wider number of story types, adventure types, and yes, settings be a plus? Wouldn't a buyer new to the game be interested in exploring Arkham Sanitarium or Miskatonic University, in addition to the requisite Haunted House? It As it stands if some1 isn't interested in Innsmouth there's little reason to buy until other scenarios are added. This is a marketing quibble and isn't game breaking however.

Another issue is scenario objectives are sometimes incompletely stated. One of the scenarios gives you an objective, then gives you 4 more as it plays out - 1 of which is given only after the players think they've won. This is the second scenario most players try... As you're being chased across the map and you get to the end you're told to once more go to the other side of the map. It seems to me the only reason for this is to kill off the players who are playing it the first playthrough, to add "replayability". Add to that most players can't finish the scenario because the app crashes at this point. I completed it twice, but forgive me if I find this a completely unfair use of my limited gametime. Forcing players into an unwinnable situation by sending (pursued, wounded, likely insane) them across the map for an item at the end is horrible design, and is not fun. After learning how to complete the investigation and running it again you get a more favorable conclusion textbox for your trouble (not sure what I expected lol, stupid me).

If a scenario is this broken why not replace it with one that works more fairly or fix it for release? Do the designers think once players realize they are being killed off the first time around they'd not be annoyed this was how "replayability" was added? It's such an easy fix, add a clear objective at the beginning, or anywhere but the very end of the scenario. It would still be difficult but fair to play. Perhaps the decision was made to leave it unfair because they only had four not very replayable scenarios? This is also a bit of problem in "Shattered Bonds", where it's intimated you must use a location and spell to complete, yet it turns out to be more simple. Some clarification would be wonderful.

Another worry is since the base game sets the tone for expansions, which are usually leaner - are we to expect expansions will have fewer scenarios, with a single outcome, and less tested, i.e. perhaps lower quality?? This does not engender confidence.

APP CONUNDRUMS (a tad technical)
Lets be honest - basing a board game on an app is an iffy proposition. The apps do eventually age out of the tech and only gamers familiar with juggling OSes and emulators will likely be able to run the app in a decade's time. Most gamers aren't in this position and even if they were, what looks polished and supportive to the gamer now as an app will look laughable in the future. We'll wonder why there's no flexibility, and we're constantly waiting for the app to do it's thing instead of actually being in the driver seat. At some point, many customers will end up with a box of components without an app or device to run it on. Older players who've already seen this song and dance with old tech will likely wait until there's an appless playable variant, or just stick to 1e. Apps, when present, should allow us to play better and faster, not have us wait for the app to direct the game, which is what happens here. We end up playing an app, and moving models around a physical board instead of playing a board game with the app assisting. So even if the app is supported by an emulator or steam for decades, it won't have the novelty left, it'll either works or it won't. Since we want it to work well, lets focus on how the app works a bit.

So far, the app is slow and a bit crashy. Though the game-breaking crashes will be addressed, the app speed likely won't. This is a problem as players are often waiting for and looking at the app where it should be aiding group play. If the player is wasting a nano waiting, something should be cut. For example, for every placed element the app "pans" and/or "zooms" to the location, then there an animated text box, and a prompt for the player to confirm they've placed the token or tile. When showing a new area, this is done multiple times, so the process is repeated *up to five more times* depending on the contents. Consider a group that strives to remain attentive, having to pause en masse to read (including the placing tile text) between three and seven separate text boxes, with corresponding animations and confirmations to set up each room. Since most groups don't have the patience they won't read each token as it's placed and will consequently have to touch each item during their turn to familiarize themselves with the available items and re-read the text, making each player's turn longer.

A possible solution: Reduce time the player has to look at the app wherever possible. The panning/zooming is the most wasteful and unnecessary at this point so consider removing it in most cases. The text boxes popup over the token selected so there's little need for the 1.5 second pan on every selection, players aren't getting lost or confused. The only time we need the app to pan is when a token in another room is selected. Likewise we do not need the board to be zoomed in at all times. Players should control this unless, as stated, a token is chosen in a different area, then perhaps a 1-time zoom to focus on this area is warranted. Outside that the player should control how much of the area is viewed, since it in no way effects the size of text viewed. This would save so much time during player turns and especially when placing items and revealing new areas!

Also remove every single confirmation click that can be. When activating a token, the only time the player should need to seperately click a confirmation box is when they receive an item or activate a puzzle. Merely looking at a token should not necessitate a separate "cancel" click like a "search" should. There should be a single "search" button and clicking anywhere else on the screen should clear the textbox. This allows quick looking from token to token. A timeout could also clear the textbox to keep from confusing players in case someone puts the app down. A cancel confirmation for each token a person reviews, is a huge waste of time per token, to say nothing of a player turn.

Also, after a room tile is placed and player confirms - all the room's elements could be placed simultaneously with 1 text box. Basic descriptions of the tokens can then be placed as token-superimposed text or as text labels in the ample dead space outside tiles. A separate confirmation and description for each token during placement (with panning and all) is not necessary. For example, "<room description text> <nl> A hatrack holds a bowler hat and a slowly-dripping overcoat. The porcelain sink's basin is streaked with what appears to be blood." After the player confirmation, the app would drop the tiles and provide a simple label for each ("hatrack", "porcelain sink"). Since the labeled-tokens denote both item and location, the location could be left out of the description entirely. To uncomplicate the layout, the labels could be hidden unless the the app/mouse is touched. The point is, if players paid attention during the "room intro" text where the items were introduced, the labels would keep them from having to check each one during their turn to remind them which item they were interested in.

Simply put, everything should be reduced where possible to one text box, one confirmation. Confirmations are only required on an "affirmative". "Negatives" should be denoted by perfoming any other action. Otherwise players are looking at the screen too long, playing the app, instead of playing the board and playing with friends. If the game was solo-play this would be no problem, but for groups it doesn't engender and aid interaction as it should. The app should wait on player input instead of the other way around.

WHAT DID THEY GET RIGHT? SHOULD YOU BUY IT?
While the game still works in it's basis and on a thematic level, the scenarios are greatly limited compared to the first edition. One is an introductory haunted house, one more or less kills you once to teach you how to play it (and unplayable at present due to crashes), and only one has a nod to changing storylines. This is a severely minimized experience from 1e.

Outside the mentioned crashes, the app is also very slow and excessively clicky. Players are forced to babysit the app for every choice, and of course for many players one day the app won't be available, so they can't play their game again without a great deal of trouble. And forget playing if the power's out or you're low on batteries.

And there are other questions - why no higher quality minis available? Descent and Imperial Assault are outstanding so an "Arkham Files" design is due. Since the bases are basically useless why not do away with them entirely? They are difficult to store, and block the art when playing. They track limited info that the chits and app can provide, and are ugly and difficult to store, so lets get rid of them.

Some things play better than in 1e. Setup time is nil once you pick your investigators, and combat, though ill-fitting, is faster. Room and item descriptions are a bit longer, but scenarios, which could be longer, more descriptive, and involved - currently only mirror the "depth" of first edition. Maybe that will change in the future. It needs to be mentioned however, that if 1e pursued the 2e methodology, namely that certain rooms always have the same clues without change, and each scenario had only 1 investigative outcome, the long setup times of 1e would fall to 15 minutes. This isn't solution by app, it's solution by redesign. And given that it curtails replay, it's not much of a solution. I hope one day the app supports divergent story possibilities within scenarios as it's something the app can do easily. It's shocking it doesn't already.

The app allows the game to be fully cooperative or play solo and that's a major plus, much easier than the fan-made variants for same in 1e. That said, $100 is a lot of money for four scenarios previously unreleased art and rehashed miniatures (some are saying aren't as good as 1e, I'm unsure). The game plays, but it can't compete with the best games out and likely will be of limited value on most's shelves. There is neither enough strategy here to turn on powergamers, or thematic storyline goodness after the first playthroughs to bring back the narrative freaks like myself. Unfortunately, if you pull it out at your gaming day it probably won't knock anyone over or be a sure purchase. If convinced once (bravo!) your in-laws or spouse's friends won't likely want to play again. Less plays per cost interred equals lower value to customers. If someone does like it the first time around and they end up playing the same scenario twice, the ruse starts to show and it's an even less likely sale. Only the most starved for Lovecraftian adventure would consider buying expansions after this first outlay over rehashed components. It seems gamers hungry for a Lovecraftian fix will be further forced to settle, until someone brings a superior entry to market. There's always hope somehow FF will see the folly of their design decisions and take this property seriously, then provide some scenarios with depth. Scenarios are what sell the game really. Such a shame, because a bit more tuning to make differing storylines, and one more strong scenario could've made all the difference. A price cut would be welcomed too.

If the game's flaws were taken head on, it could be a real winner. As it stands, the property can't go toe to toe with the best out there, and it's price tag makes it more on the ridiculous side when equating playtime for dollar value. Worse, if you take the minis out of the box, there's not much left to account for that pricetag. Yet the minis themselves cost nowhere near the cost they're anchoring. The app is paid for by multiple properties, so some consideration of it's cost is warranted, but the minis were paid for years ago. So we're talking about man hours for writing and art for tiles and cards, and printing costs. Again, it seems like Innsmouth is the expansion that never came in 1e, so how many of these assets are actually new? More and more this seems like some parts that never made it to first edition, coupled with the new descent/ia app to turn into a bare "second edition" for cash. If there's 100.00 in the box, I'm having a hard time finding it. The real question is what is a fair price point for four scenarios, old figurines, some new cards, (possibly) old tile art, and data entry into a unity app used for two other properties?


SOLUTIONS
Fortunately, many of these problems are easy to fix. If we could fix one thing, it would be to create in-app the same storyline variability contained in 1e. Merely four scenarios is excessively cheap when charging 100.00, but with no story variability (yet claiming replayability and even telling customers it's like 1e) its pure bait and switch. Rising Tide has the most meager amount of variability but it's better than none. At least allow us that in each scenario, give us three plays without knowing how the scenario ends and the fans will kiss your feet.

On top of that give us the same number, five scenarios like in 1e. A good idea would even be to let the introduction subtly give away which "version" of the scenario you're playing. That way if you've seen it before you can restart. Ideally there'd be a method to restart from the intro screen instead of having to rechoose investigators.

If we could fix 1 more thing, iwould choose to drop the price in line with rereleasing old minis, some app scripting, some old (and some new) assets, and providing four scenarios as a new game. A fair price would be around $70.00. Better yet, drop the old minis entirely, but leave their information chits, and you could likely still milk the schlubs for $50.00. Provide a new monster mini for each scenario in box, and then the price of 100.00 seems more reasonable. Without divergent storylines for replayability though, four scenarios for $100.00 is a rip-off.

If one major thing could be reworked it needs to be the the app to boardgame balance. The app would be responsible for mythos phase monster actions, new room and token descriptions, and the odd story development after a phase. More would be handled by the players on the board, without having to check the app constantly. The app would look almost the same, with more information on screen for easy monitoring of progress at a glance, but less animations and prompts needed. Players could move attack and horror check on their own. They would have to click on the app when their turn ends, tokens are revealed, or when a monster falls. The main difference between the way it works now and this idea, is the app posits and displays everything in immediately, not through multiple text boxes and prompts. Designers need to decide if the app is the focus or the gameboard is, and design that way completely. Ideally the app should be fast, utilitarian and helpful. It's beauty is entirely secondary.

And again, not game breaking but it makes sense to provide a wider variety of settings in the base game. Why not provide a haunted house in Providence, a Sanitarium or Miskatonic University run in Arkham, and if we have the tile artwork, a visit to Rlyeh (Something big bold, sassy and brassy =P. Give the people what they came for!). Since some seem to love Innsmouth, by all means include it too. There's so much in the way of settings to use, spread it out a bit.


THE PERFECT VERSION
The first scenario - If i could repackage the expansion I'd take special care for the intro haunted house scenario. It needs to be of exceptionally high quality, because it's apt to be the shortest, most played scenario and the only one the purchaser might get parent's, co-workers, in-laws, spouse's friends etc to play to try out the game. If the scenario really works, they may be willing to try another at some time. If it falls flat or is nothing special, not only has the company missed out on a sale, the purchaser gets to play the game less. =(

I'd love to have 3 versions of this game available. $55.00 -app-less. A stripped down version like is used in testing. All pcs/npcs/monsters represented with chits and/or paper minis. For co-op play a "keeper" deck or track could be used to be revealed at the end of every mythos turn. If a deck, then a keeper could actually play in the pseudo-competitive way 1e worked. For scenario setup there would need to be more documentation provided, as in 1e. Obviously the 1 scenario = 1 storyline problem in 2e would need to be fixed before any of this. Since this box only contains cards and paper, it could be much cheaper. The gameplay would be what keeps people coming back and purchasing. For an "old school" or "stripped down" atmosphere the art could be all in black and white like pen and ink style (except the tokens, pcs, npcs, and monster chits - we need to see them on the board). If the same style as the current game $45.00. If done in alternate "pen and ink" style $55.00.

The $100.00 version would be what we have now slightly changed - app-aided, keeper deck/track and scenario documentation included for competitive and app-less (slower setup) play, scenario storyline variability fixed (obviously), five scenarios, and 8 newly designed monster minis (without bases). All other monsters/investigators/npcs in game could be handled with chits/paper minis. You can include the old investigator minis or entirely leave them out and sell them seperately. The minis don't effect the gameplay but having monster minis to look at adds to the effect. This means all players would have a basic set of monsters, but could buy investigators as they like (and at a price premium).

The "dream" Prestige version. $200.00 - app-aided, keeper deck/track and scenario documentation included for competitive and app-less (slower setup) play, six included scenarios (Oh my!), the aforementioned monsters included + two larger previously unknown monster minis for use in the sixth scenario. Include a base set of five investigator models. A less busy design but all cards, tiles, other art different than base version. Box made of better material, a well thought out storage system for minis and components in box, art on the box interior or perhaps faux-velvet like a cologne box. The sixth scenario could be completely unforgiving, the previously mentioned visit to Rlyeh, or something with fire vampires and Cthugha and things could start burning from the third turn ( just an example, not the best idea). If you own the prestige edition you can select it in-app for use of the new monsters and tiles. Would people buy it? You bet your ass they would!


THE SINGLE LARGEST PROBLEM
The biggest letdown is there is the lack of replayability and subsequently confusing it with tile and monster placement in its stead. The good thing is, it's not too taxing to have them write a few more intros and endings for each scenario, shuffle the clues a bit and have the app place the clues in a few more places - for each scenario included. It is some work, but it's hardly difficult. This would make a *colossal* difference in the value of the base game. But they'll only do it everyone screams for it and more than a few will have to intimate they feel a little ripped off. And this only works while the game is new and selling. Most of those that have already parted with $100 are for some reason making excuses for the game instead of stating clearly it does in no way have the replayability of the first edition, which is plainly superior for that reason. If you want a few more divergent storylines for each scenario, you could have it... but you're going to have to make some noise for it and stop excusing the game's flaws.
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ParisianDreams
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Another issue is scenario objectives are sometimes incompletely stated. One of the scenarios gives you an objective, then gives you 4 more as it plays out - 1 of which is given only after the players think they've won. This is the second scenario most players try... As you're being chased across the map and you get to the end you're told to once more go to the other side of the map. It seems to me the only reason for this is to kill off the players who are playing it the first playthrough, to add "replayability". Add to that most players can't finish the scenario because the app crashes at this point. I completed it twice, but forgive me if I find this a completely unfair use of my limited gametime. Forcing players into an unwinnable situation by sending (pursued, wounded, likely insane) them across the map for an item at the end is horrible design, and is not fun. After learning how to complete the investigation and running it again you get a more favorable conclusion textbox for your trouble (not sure what I expected lol, stupid me).



They released a patch yesterday to fix Escape from Innsmouth. I played it yesterday afternoon and it did not freeze up for me (Edit: I'd played it 2xs before and it froze both times). That said, it was bugged for some, but others were able to play it without any issues. I can only assume that this bug did not effect the limited people they allowed to play test it before release, otherwise they would have been aware of it.
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soak man
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Confirmation clicks are important as you can look at the description of a token before deciding to use your action on it. Only the confirmation buttons that have the action symbol actually require an action. Just a thought.

I get what you're saying, and I agree that the less you have to "stare" at the app the better, but there are some vital mechanics there in the way the UI operates.
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Pat Mccrotch
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soakman wrote:
Confirmation clicks are important as you can look at the description of a token before deciding to use your action on it. Only the confirmation buttons that have the action symbol actually require an action. Just a thought.

I get what you're saying, and I agree that the less you have to "stare" at the app the better, but there are some vital mechanics there in the way the UI operates.


My technical writing may not be up to snuff but I attempted to address that. The point was you don't have to click "cancel" on action you're not taking, when clicking another token, elsewhere on the map or even resizing the map is an "auto-cancel". Less input needed. But I did say that there should be confirmation of search actions.
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Fed Aykin

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I find it hard to give credence to your reasonable suggestions when you spend a bunch of time proposing not only lower pricing (which, hey, I'd like) but also a completely different packaging scheme. That is obviously not going to happen. You've already got an excessively long "review" here and you spend a ton of time talking about "solutions" that are not going to be applied to a just-released game.

In the future, try to be more succinct.
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R.P. Kraul
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I agree with a lot of what you've written here. The dialogue box in the app is too obtrusive, and FFG ought to come up with a way to hide it. Further, I'm not sure the app even needs a dialogue box for most rooms. Clearly show the tile, its name, and highlight all tokens on the board. The dialogue box is probably necessary only for thematic text and for NPC intros/behaviors. And even then, I need to be able to hide the damn thing.

The cost? I don't know that it's a big issue. Designer games are becoming more fashionable. Examples: Cthulhu Wars, Kingdom Death, not to mention the CMON kickstarters and their plethora of add-ons. There was a kickstarter late 2015 from a company that is unproven in board games, and some backers were into that one for $250+. I thought they were nuts, but I've dropped a load on Shadows of Brimstone. So I'm not so sure why people are griping about $100 for MOM 2ed. Unless, of course, the game is attracting buyers who aren't too familiar with the lifestyle/designer games in which a person can spend $500+. In the US, Mansions can be had for about $85. If this were the pre-Asmodee era, you're probably talking $75, so maybe the issue is the Asmodee policy and not the retail price.

But I do agree with your criticism of the miniature bases. They are the definition of awful, and I have no idea what FFG were thinking. The artwork in Mansions is brilliant, but those bases give the game a cheap, half-assed look.

As far as the app aging out in ten years--what would make you think that FFG wouldn't keep the software up to date? It's part of the business. I use a lot of different software on the Mac, and each new iteration of OS X, developers of all sizes--everyone from Adobe to the small companies known for a single product--have to do a lot of work to get their programs functioning under the new OS. System libraries can change all the time, even between OS updates. That's all part of being a programmer, having a product that constantly needs to change. Even inside the controlled environment of a large corporation, there aren't many programs and applications that remain in a fixed state. OSs change, libraries change, users make requests, etc. The IT world constantly evolves, and you know as well as I do that FFG aren't dummies. They knew what they were getting themselves into. They're perfectly capable of handling the logistics.

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Jonathan A
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lovecraftgeek wrote:
So far, the app is slow and a bit crashy. Though the game-breaking crashes will be addressed, the app speed likely won't. This is a problem as players are often waiting for and looking at the app where it should be aiding group play. If the player is wasting a nano waiting, something should be cut. For example, for every placed element the app "pans" and/or "zooms" to the location, then there an animated text box, and a prompt for the player to confirm they've placed the token or tile. When showing a new area, this is done multiple times, so the process is repeated *up to five more times* depending on the contents. Consider a group that strives to remain attentive, having to pause en masse to read (including the placing tile text) between three and seven separate text boxes, with corresponding animations and confirmations to set up each room. Since most groups don't have the patience they won't read each token as it's placed and will consequently have to touch each item during their turn to familiarize themselves with the available items and re-read the text, making each player's turn longer.

A possible solution: Reduce time the player has to look at the app wherever possible. The panning/zooming is the most wasteful and unnecessary at this point so consider removing it in most cases. The text boxes popup over the token selected so there's little need for the 1.5 second pan on every selection, players aren't getting lost or confused. The only time we need the app to pan is when a token in another room is selected. Likewise we do not need the board to be zoomed in at all times. Players should control this unless, as stated, a token is chosen in a different area, then perhaps a 1-time zoom to focus on this area is warranted. Outside that the player should control how much of the area is viewed, since it in no way effects the size of text viewed. This would save so much time during player turns and especially when placing items and revealing new areas!


I just want the app to stop force-zooming altogether. The panning and prompts, I don't mind as much. The multiple text boxes, I assume are broken up for ease of programming when multiple objects are generated procedurally. That's fine. But the first thing I do every time a new room is revealed is zoom out. Every time. Every room or forced event that pans & zooms, I feel like I'm constantly zooming out. I don't want to zoom in. In fact, I wish I could zoom out even more.

Also, I think you posted this on the wrong sub-forum. ninja
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Trumpeting replayability in the marketing literature is laughable

Stopped reading after this line, considering I've played the first quest 5 times, all had different experiences and I want to play it still again. Can't say the same thing about 1st Ed...

-shnar
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Justin Colm
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shnar wrote:
Quote:
Trumpeting replayability in the marketing literature is laughable

Stopped reading after this line, considering I've played the first quest 5 times, all had different experiences and I want to play it still again. Can't say the same thing about 1st Ed...

-shnar


If that's true for you then fair enough but that's only your personal experience versus his personal experience and doesn't invalidate his perspective. Everyone will have their own expectations for replayability and their own mileage for repetition. Yours is high: cool. His is less so: equally cool. You've no more reason to be high handed than he has and your experience is certainly not any more (or less) 'right' than his.

For sure, you don't have to read what he's written but to state you don't want to read it because he disagrees with you and then try to ridicule his perspective is incredibly banal and infantile. He at least took a lot of time to try and articulate his viewpoint, which to me makes his contribution a lot more substantial than most of the commentary here, especially comments like yours which are essentially saying 'I don't want to hear this. Go away'. What makes you think that was so much more worthwhile to read?
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Matt Brown
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I do agree that my biggest criticism of MoM 2e (aside from the price of course...but I have said my piece on that already) is that the app scenarios lack the narrative variability of the first edition, which is one of the things I loved about it. The base game came with 5 scenarios (which is one more than we got with 2e) and each of those 5 scenarios (and most 1e scenarios for that matter) had 3 different objectives that were determined by the story choices the Keeper made during setup. These story choices also influenced individual sessions in subtle ways as well by changing clue locations and the text of the narrative that was read through out the course of the scenario. Yes,the maps were fixed along with the Keeper power cards and the associated mythos cards, but the variance alone within the story itself for each scenario provided replayablity so that you could play a scenario three times and feel like you played three different story lines. With 2e, it seems FFG went the opposite direction which was to make the stories all the same for each playthough but introduce varied maps and monster spawns. You would think that with the app running the show, they could have easily done both. Imagine if in scenario one, instead of the same person being the protagonist every single time and all the clues leading to the same conclusion with the same ending, that maybe they could have varied who the person was and why they were doing what they were doing and made it so the end objective had different possibilities. They could have done all that AND kept the varied maps and monster spawns and improved the replayablity of the game immensely.

I do remain optimistic that FFG will update the original scenarios and add the narrative variance of 1e back in. Only time will tell...
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Dale Wilkins
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Thanks for telling me that I'm not really enjoying the replayability of this game and am only making excuses. Otherwise, I would've been under the mistaken assumption that I've really been enjoying playing the scenarios available multiple times with seldom the same map or narrative occuring twice.

And once I add the expansions I'm sure I'll just have to make even more excuses about replayability.

I look at this game and it's scenarios the same way I view Eldritch or Arkham Horror and it's Ancient Ones. I may know what the objective is but how I get there and the luck of the draw will make for different games each time.
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High Flying Bird wrote:

For sure, you don't have to read what he's written but to state you don't want to read it because he disagrees with you and then try to ridicule his perspective is incredibly banal and infantile. He at least took a lot of time to try and articulate his viewpoint, which to me makes his contribution a lot more substantial than most of the commentary here, especially comments like yours which are essentially saying 'I don't want to hear this. Go away'. What makes you think that was so much more worthwhile to read?


Given that this guy has been posting these rants in almost every forum that mentions the game, and is sounding more and more paranoid every time, I suspect that Shnar is not the only person who stops reading when they realize who the post is from
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D4L3W wrote:
Thanks for telling me that I'm not really enjoying the replayability of this game and am only making excuses. Otherwise, I would've been under the mistaken assumption that I've really been enjoying playing the scenarios available multiple times with seldom the same map or narrative occuring twice.


Aren't you part of what is obviously a big conspiracy to hide lack of replayability from everyone who doesn't have the game yet? I have only played the first scenario 5 times in order to dupe everyone else into believing this game is any good. I assumed you were in the same boat...
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Wow! It's like a negative review never gets attacked on BGG! surprise

With 1e, you had five (?) boarddgame layouts, and each layout had three or so different storylines. Each storyline had some variance (eg. different location where the whatever was buried). With 2e, you have four boardgame layouts, and each layout has one storyline. Each storyline has some variants. So, with 1e, you get fifteen stories, and 2e has four. Some BGG'ers are fine with this, some are not.

The good news is that all MoM 2e needs to add more play is for the app to be updated with new scenarios, paid or unpaid. That's definitely less work than waiting for a POD scenario pack like we had to do with 1e. Myself, I'd wait a few months as the shininess wears off, and we get a better idea about repeated play. No one's forcing you to buy the game NOW, unlike other games I could mention...!
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Sam and Max wrote:
Wow! It's like a negative review never gets attacked on BGG! surprise

With 1e, you had five (?) boarddgame layouts, and each layout had three or so different storylines. Each storyline had some variance (eg. different location where the whatever was buried). With 2e, you have four boardgame layouts, and each layout has one storyline. Each storyline has some variants. So, with 1e, you get fifteen stories, and 2e has four. Some BGG'ers are fine with this, some are not.

The good news is that all MoM 2e needs to add more play is for the app to be updated with new scenarios, paid or unpaid. That's definitely less work than waiting for a POD scenario pack like we had to do with 1e. Myself, I'd wait a few months as the shininess wears off, and we get a better idea about repeated play. No one's forcing you to buy the game NOW, unlike other games I could mention...!

To be far, 2 of the 5 scenarios of 1st Ed has severe game issues. Green-eyed Boy was just completely unbalanced game. Classroom Curses was tedious. That left 3 scenarios and of these 3 scenarios 2 objectives were broken. The only scenario for 1st ed with no issues at all was the first.

I agree the 2nd edition is expensive and an extra scenario with varying objectives would have been much appreciated by all. For me 2nd edition is good value but that's because I own both 1st edition scenarios. So, I'll be getting the first two extra scenarios for free!

Personally I think they should have left out the monster figures and reduced the price but I, also, think nostalgia is causing some to look back at the 1st ed with rose-coloured glasses. The scenarios in the 1st ed were far from perfect.
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Sam and Max wrote:
With 1e, you had five (?) boarddgame layouts, and each layout had three or so different storylines. Each storyline had some variance (eg. different location where the whatever was buried). With 2e, you have four boardgame layouts, and each layout has one storyline. Each storyline has some variants. So, with 1e, you get fifteen stories, and 2e has four. Some BGG'ers are fine with this, some are not.

It wasn't the contention of lack of story arcs, it was the fact that the OP stated that replayability is "laughable". I highly disagree with that, so much that I give no credence to the rest of his article. A game doesn't need different stories to be replayable. In fact, 2nd Ed is so much more replayable, in only 2 weeks, we've played it more times than 1st Ed with it's myriad of stories (including every expansion and every POD).

-shnar
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Well, I think part of the issue here is that FFG's originally sold the 2e on the premise that the App would allow for near limitless replayability due to randomized aspects of each scenario. Here is what FFG said about how the app based scenarios would function in their initial announcement:

Quote:
the app enables you to play a fully cooperative game, and shrouds each scenario’s randomized secrets in complete and utter darkness. Throughout every game, the app generates an entirely unique map, full of differing items to utilize, monsters to confront, and events to endure.


and

Quote:
Not only does the app take over the responsibilities of the Keeper, but it does so in a wholly unpredictable way, randomly generating the scenario’s map, the monsters that haunt it, and the paralyzing events you will have to endure, all in unique combinations every time.


Some thought this meant that every scenario would be completely random and produce a different experience every time it was played while many of us saw through this as pure hyperbole on FFGs part (as their marketing department are keen to engage in) especially since the next sentence said that the "objective would remain the same". Some thought that maybe the map would be procedurally generated, but this is also obviously false. In fact, really, the only scenario that can be said to have "random" maps is the first one and even then it is a static map pulled from a pool of about six (if you have all the 1e stuff that is).

Now, I am not saying I am not enjoying 2e, but I do miss the non-assured objective that was a feature of 1e. It seems like it would be pretty easy for FFG to add this aspect back in. For me, I think of 2e more along the lines of TIME Stories than Eldritch Horror or Arkham Horror. Sure, in those two games, you could say that playing against the same Ancient One is like playing the same scenario over again, but really, because of the randomness of the cards and, in the case of Eldritch Horror, the fact that you only solve at most 4 out of the possible set of mysteries, each time you play against the same Ancient One your objectives can vary each time and so the overall experience feels "unique". But with MoM 2e, it feels more like TIME Stories in execution. Each scenario has the same story each time you play with the same conclusion. The order in which you might progress through that story could be different each time you play, but you always arrive at the same ending and thus, once you have played it once you more or less know what to expect.

How we, as the players, respond to that is going to be different for each of us. Even with TIME Stories, there are plenty of people who have no problem playing the same scenario over and over while for others, after playing it though once, there is no reason for them to play it again. MoM 2e mitigates this to a degree with the random monster selection (and if you have 1e this is enhanced further) but then again, random monster spawns are not all that great when they produce nonsensical occurrences such as having a deep one spawn in the middle of a house. Again, this is all just a matter of personal preference. The millage will vary for everyone (yes, I know we are sick of having to repeat this). For me, I have a large enough game collection that I won't probably exhaust the "fun" of 2e for a while and hopefully within the next 6 months we will have more scenarios to help diffuse this feeling of "been there, done that".
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otakuon wrote:
Well, I think part of the issue here is that FFG's originally sold the 2e on the premise that the App would allow for near limitless replayability due to randomized aspects of each scenario. Here is what FFG said about how the app based scenarios would function in their initial announcement:

Quote:
the app enables you to play a fully cooperative game, and shrouds each scenario’s randomized secrets in complete and utter darkness. Throughout every game, the app generates an entirely unique map, full of differing items to utilize, monsters to confront, and events to endure.


and

Quote:
Not only does the app take over the responsibilities of the Keeper, but it does so in a wholly unpredictable way, randomly generating the scenario’s map, the monsters that haunt it, and the paralyzing events you will have to endure, all in unique combinations every time.


Some thought this meant that every scenario would be completely random and produce a different experience every time it was played while many of us saw through this as pure hyperbole on FFGs part (as their marketing department are keen to engage in) especially since the next sentence said that the "objective would remain the same". Some thought that maybe the map would be procedurally generated, but this is also obviously false. In fact, really, the only scenario that can be said to have "random" maps is the first one and even then it is a static map pulled from a pool of about six (if you have all the 1e stuff that is).

Now, I am not saying I am not enjoying 2e, but I do miss the non-assured objective that was a feature of 1e. It seems like it would be pretty easy for FFG to add this aspect back in. For me, I think of 2e more along the lines of TIME Stories than Eldritch Horror or Arkham Horror. Sure, in those two games, you could say that playing against the same Ancient One is like playing the same scenario over again, but really, because of the randomness of the cards and, in the case of Eldritch Horror, the fact that you only solve at most 4 out of the possible set of mysteries, each time you play against the same Ancient One your objectives can vary each time and so the overall experience feels "unique". But with MoM 2e, it feels more like TIME Stories in execution. Each scenario has the same story each time you play with the same conclusion. The order in which you might progress through that story could be different each time you play, but you always arrive at the same ending and thus, once you have played it once you more or less know what to expect.

How we, as the players, respond to that is going to be different for each of us. Even with TIME Stories, there are plenty of people who have no problem playing the same scenario over and over while for others, after playing it though once, there is no reason for them to play it again. MoM 2e mitigates this to a degree with the random monster selection (and if you have 1e this is enhanced further) but then again, random monster spawns are not all that great when they produce nonsensical occurrences such as having a deep one spawn in the middle of a house. Again, this is all just a matter of personal preference. The millage will vary for everyone (yes, I know we are sick of having to repeat this). For me, I have a large enough game collection that I won't probably exhaust the "fun" of 2e for a while and hopefully within the next 6 months we will have more scenarios to help diffuse this feeling of "been there, done that".

I agree FFG's marketing was misleading and helped fuel false expectations.

I'm glad, though, the designer did not go down the path of randomised maps as it would have led to weird and unthematic combinations. Maps need to be carefully crafted to fit the story.

I very much agree randomised monsters is not really great. The first scenario feels to me a bit like a monster-mash.

Really a lot comes down to how good the first expansions are. What set the 1st edition back was most of the expansions in the first expansion (FA) were not good and the first two POD expansions were not good. By the time Call of the Wild was released many players had given up and moved on to other games. Incidentally, I was not one of them and spent a lot of time fixing some of the 1st edition scenarios more glaring issues and doing a few of my own scenarios

Hopefully the forthcoming expansions for the 2nd edition will be good. Otherwise the 2nd edition may end up like the 1st - a masterpiece which failed to live up to the players (perhaps unrealistic) expectations.
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Interesting that some of the posters (that stalk me from thread to thread to attack personally though I don't engage... Ridiculous to get personal about this) in other threads admit they've only played one scenario, or multiple scenarios once so far.

If they did indeed read the entirety of the post I'm unsure; but obviously there is some gut reaction to the points made yet they attack from a place of ignorance. We'll see how people feel after they've played the game more. Otherwise, how can we argue? I didn't, for example, say the game was "unlikeable" or something of that nature. De gustibus non disputandum est. Either way, still fair to post (informed) opinions, even if people disagree.
 
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The problems in the OP can be accredited to just playing too many sessions of the same game back to back. Same thing happened to me with Eldritch Horror honestly.

Personally I can't think of a single board game that takes more than 30 minutes that I want to just replay like that constantly, or at least without playing anything else inbetween sessions. So 2nd Edition is still fresh for me since I still have a lot to explore.
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Interesting that some of the posters (that stalk me from thread to thread to attack personally though I don't engage... Ridiculous to get personal about this) in other threads admit they've only played one scenario, or multiple scenarios once so far.

If they did indeed read the entirety of the post I'm unsure; but obviously there is some gut reaction to the points made yet they attack from a place of ignorance. We'll see how people feel after they've played the game more. Otherwise, how can we argue?


You'll still be in a different place in a few months though. Those people will have played the scenarios multiple times over a period of months, whereas you played each scenario 5 times in a week. Those are going to be two very different experiences. How much you remember from one play to the next will vary hugely. You're also far more likely to be burned out on it. Few games will stand up to sixty hours of play in one week.

It's going to take most people months to get to that point, so they'll have had a very different experience than you.

Interesting some of the beta testers, who have probably played as many games as you, just over a larger period of time, feel differently about the re-playability. In some ways their experience is more representative than yours, and in others ways less.
 
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vincentdante wrote:
The problems in the OP can be accredited to just playing too many sessions of the same game back to back. Same thing happened to me with Eldritch Horror honestly.

Personally I can't think of a single board game that takes more than 30 minutes that I want to just replay like that constantly, or at least without playing anything else inbetween sessions. So 2nd Edition is still fresh for me since I still have a lot to explore.


Not at all. It's not as if I went in with high hopes and didn't realize I was going to see the games detail, then got annoyed and wrote a review. I was testing the game, and I presented my issues with the way it was marketed and whether I thought that made sense or not. Unlike other players perhaps, I wanted to be objective, so there was never a need to make excuses for the game or designers. Giddiness about a new game, art, or any of that should never figure into it for me. What works does, what doesn't doesn't, and what the company tells us is there but isn't is left naked.
 
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Deano2099 wrote:
lovecraftgeek wrote:
Interesting that some of the posters (that stalk me from thread to thread to attack personally though I don't engage... Ridiculous to get personal about this) in other threads admit they've only played one scenario, or multiple scenarios once so far.

If they did indeed read the entirety of the post I'm unsure; but obviously there is some gut reaction to the points made yet they attack from a place of ignorance. We'll see how people feel after they've played the game more. Otherwise, how can we argue?


You'll still be in a different place in a few months though. Those people will have played the scenarios multiple times over a period of months, whereas you played each scenario 5 times in a week. Those are going to be two very different experiences. How much you remember from one play to the next will vary hugely. You're also far more likely to be burned out on it. Few games will stand up to sixty hours of play in one week.

It's going to take most people months to get to that point, so they'll have had a very different experience than you.

Interesting some of the beta testers, who have probably played as many games as you, just over a larger period of time, feel differently about the re-playability. In some ways their experience is more representative than yours, and in others ways less.


I'm not burned out on it. I just don't think it is what it purports to be, at least in the marketing copy. That doesn't make it a bad game. My point isn't that the few that attack me personally will agree on this review (as I said, I can't even be sure they read it fully), my point is they are apt to understand more where I was coming from. I certainly don't expect any mea culpas lol.

And let's keep in mind, beta-testers test whether a game "works", they aren't more or less objective in general about other things than any other player (beta-tested for years professionally actually, it's not rocket-science). This doesn't make them more wrong or right than I (to my point about opinions)... just an observation. And to be fair, I didn't play each scenario five times, more like 2-3 depending =).

The game is obviously replayable, my point is it comes in the box with less investigative replays than 1e by a huge margin. Also costs a lot more with less in box. Many people on the forums who've played it a lot seem to side with the idea that there was a lot less there than they originally thought, and they either feel taken, or are optimistic that FF will cure it all in app later at some point. I thought the public deserved this information, stated plainly, *before* they buy.
 
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I still don't understand how one can say a game has no replayability value if they've played it for 60 hours...

-shnar
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shnar wrote:
I still don't understand how one can say a game has no replayability value if they've played it for 60 hours...

-shnar


Funny, no one said either.
 
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