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Subject: Have you finished the campaign? rss

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Stephen Gibson
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CAUTION! This thread contains spoilers.

Just curious to hear from folks who have beat the campaign. What are your thoughts/theories on what occurs?

Are you pro or anti-Icarus? What do you think about what Althaia says at the end?
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Demetri Ballas
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I'm going to get spoilery here.

_______________________________________________________________

Ok, so 90% of this campaign is fantastic. The first three chapters ramp up dramatically, allowing players to snowball into tons of power with lots of upgrades, items, and most importantly signature spells. The signature spells and your archetype are as close as players can get to character customization, but they do a good job of offering lots of options.

Then you get to chapter 4 and everything is taken away.

This is fine! Yanking the rug out from under the player and forcing them to play the game completely differently is fine. I would have preferred if it happened earlier in the campaign, but whatever. Where I take issue is the very last part of the chapter, because it's an absolute Meat Circus of an ending.

When you get to the last location you're forced to roll dice until the right numbers come out. Then you're forced to either lose all of your health, EP, or items. Health is an absolute no-go and you don't have access to your spells, so as far as the player knows losing items is suicide. Then you're put in a situation where you just get hit by spells several times in a row, killing any players who made the health sacrifice and piling damage on everyone else.

You get your Anima back and talk to Althaia. You can also reset all of your signature spells, allowing for some last minute customization, then the fight starts. Althaia is the worst boss fight in the game and I'm going to list why:

- You can't use signature spells or offensive items on her. This fight completely strips away everything that makes your Grimslinger, the character you've been working on for the last 3 chapters, yours. It also reduces the combat to a guessing game.

- You wanted a cool, thematic showdown with the ur-Slinger who's mastered light and dark? Joke's on you, you have no skills even though you JUST GOT TO PICK NEW ONES. It neuters the player. You feel incompetent even though you just had your hero moment and got your mojo back.

- It splits up the party. The double buff peyote scorpion is actually fine. I have no issue with that. What I don't like is how the split works. A giant peyote scorpion is capable of wiping a party as is, but you need to kill it in one turn to dogpile on Althaia. Except...

- You're not allowed to actually work as a team. Only people who beat Althaia's element can do damage, and Althaia speeds up once you finally get everyone together. It's an anticlimactic fight where everyone just flips elements and reloads until the fight eventually ends, one way or another.

By the time we got to the end I didn't care what Althaia had to say. I'm pro-Icarus because he's pro-fun. He pushes you to go adventuring and be a rad wizard. Althaia is anti-fun on a card and I'm not going to run this campaign for anyone else until I house-rule the hell out of her entire section.

I'm being this critical because the entire rest of the campaign is really, genuinely excellent. It manages to create moments that I won't forget anytime soon, particularly in the combats. The game is at its best when you're allowed to run rampant. Ruining some quick bandits because you cast Pandora and drew Immolate out of the deck, then rolled a 6, is amazing! The campaign just needed to finish by letting the players really cut loose, and unfortunately it did the exact opposite.
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Stephen Gibson
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Vysetron wrote:
I'm going to get spoilery here.

_______________________________________________________________

Ok, so 90% of this campaign is fantastic. The first three chapters ramp up dramatically, allowing players to snowball into tons of power with lots of upgrades, items, and most importantly signature spells. The signature spells and your archetype are as close as players can get to character customization, but they do a good job of offering lots of options.

Then you get to chapter 4 and everything is taken away.

This is fine! Yanking the rug out from under the player and forcing them to play the game completely differently is fine. I would have preferred if it happened earlier in the campaign, but whatever. Where I take issue is the very last part of the chapter, because it's an absolute Meat Circus of an ending.

When you get to the last location you're forced to roll dice until the right numbers come out. Then you're forced to either lose all of your health, EP, or items. Health is an absolute no-go and you don't have access to your spells, so as far as the player knows losing items is suicide. Then you're put in a situation where you just get hit by spells several times in a row, killing any players who made the health sacrifice and piling damage on everyone else.

You get your Anima back and talk to Althaia. You can also reset all of your signature spells, allowing for some last minute customization, then the fight starts. Althaia is the worst boss fight in the game and I'm going to list why:

- You can't use signature spells or offensive items on her. This fight completely strips away everything that makes your Grimslinger, the character you've been working on for the last 3 chapters, yours. It also reduces the combat to a guessing game.

- You wanted a cool, thematic showdown with the ur-Slinger who's mastered light and dark? Joke's on you, you have no skills even though you JUST GOT TO PICK NEW ONES. It neuters the player. You feel incompetent even though you just had your hero moment and got your mojo back.

- It splits up the party. The double buff peyote scorpion is actually fine. I have no issue with that. What I don't like is how the split works. A giant peyote scorpion is capable of wiping a party as is, but you need to kill it in one turn to dogpile on Althaia. Except...

- You're not allowed to actually work as a team. Only people who beat Althaia's element can do damage, and Althaia speeds up once you finally get everyone together. It's an anticlimactic fight where everyone just flips elements and reloads until the fight eventually ends, one way or another.

By the time we got to the end I didn't care what Althaia had to say. I'm pro-Icarus because he's pro-fun. He pushes you to go adventuring and be a rad wizard. Althaia is anti-fun on a card and I'm not going to run this campaign for anyone else until I house-rule the hell out of her entire section.

I'm being this critical because the entire rest of the campaign is really, genuinely excellent. It manages to create moments that I won't forget anytime soon, particularly in the combats. The game is at its best when you're allowed to run rampant. Ruining some quick bandits because you cast Pandora and drew Immolate out of the deck, then rolled a 6, is amazing! The campaign just needed to finish by letting the players really cut loose, and unfortunately it did the exact opposite.


Great feedback! Thank you, and very glad you enjoyed the campaign.

Chapter 4 is really about testing how well you know the game (signatures, landmarks, elements, items, etc), and there are some things you missed. Althaia is actually quite easy to kill. Let me explain!

1. You can easily bypass the challenges of the vault by going to the Lone Titan and teleporting there.

2. When you select your signature spells before fighting Althaia, it's important to select ones that reduce guessing. This is something you wouldn't necessarily think of the first time fighting her. Also, signatures don't affect her per se, but they can still affect you. Choose magnify and foresight for almost guaranteed DMG against her. Unleash can also be useful, especially if bloodlust /hell's fury was used the previous turn to build up DMG.

Transmute, Evert and Resurrect are also useful for survivability.

3. Whoever isn't fighting Althaia should also choose their signatures wisely. Exalt and Rejuvenate will still help the player fighting Althaia.

4. Bring the right items. Hexilion Blade, Arcane Hand Cannon, and any of the elemental combine items for increased DMG (especially when used with signatures like magnify and foresight).

An Aether shard + Element Spell can do wonders if used with Foresight, even better when bloodlust was used the previous turn for a DMG boost. You'd basically KO her in 2 turns.

Hank the Hunter is also a good thing to bring with you for heals/dmg on the scorpion.


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Demetri Ballas
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Regarding support spells, they definitely did help. Foresight in particular is a huge boon, and Rejuvenate was one of my first picks in the regular campaign so it definitely saw use at the end. I didn't even think about the Lone Titan, I could see how that would help to an extent. Regarding Hank, of course having Hank is always better than not having Hank. He makes any fight smoother. <3 that lizardman.

It's not that the fight was even particularly difficult, it's that it forced a focus on the elemental spells when the entire rest of the game was about diversifying your options and not just relying on elements. You probably wouldn't want to play multiplayer where your only offensive options were elements. The same is true of Althaia's fight.

That said, it really is just one bruise on an otherwise delicious apple. I'll still eat the apple and share the apple with other people. I might just remove the bruise first.
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Stephen Gibson
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Vysetron wrote:
Regarding support spells, they definitely did help. Foresight in particular is a huge boon, and Rejuvenate was one of my first picks in the regular campaign so it definitely saw use at the end. I didn't even think about the Lone Titan, I could see how that would help to an extent. Regarding Hank, of course having Hank is always better than not having Hank. He makes any fight smoother. <3 that lizardman.

It's not that the fight was even particularly difficult, it's that it forced a focus on the elemental spells when the entire rest of the game was about diversifying your options and not just relying on elements. You probably wouldn't want to play multiplayer where your only offensive options were elements. The same is true of Althaia's fight.

That said, it really is just one bruise on an otherwise delicious apple. I'll still eat the apple and share the apple with other people. I might just remove the bruise first.


Totally understandable. It's good to get feedback like that and I don't think you're wrong either. Not sure there's a right or wrong lol, but I like your point.

Have you commented on the thread about potential expansions yet?
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Demetri Ballas
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Yep, yesterday. I stand by more spells/archetypes being the highest priority.
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