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Shadows of Brimstone: City of the Ancients» Forums » General

Subject: Conceptual Question - Win Ratio rss

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David Griffin
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Say you are the game designer. You design up a game like this one. Then you test 100 times with varying groups. You get X "wins" and 100-X losses. What is the right number for X?

Note that X is very different for SoB, Temple of Elemental Evil, and Ghost Stories. But what do most players actually want?
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Ben Turner
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For an ongoing campaign style game like this... I want around 80% wins.

Which, in my experience, is what you get with level 1-2 characters. Beyond that, it's a 95%+ cakewalk snore
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Max Maloney
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"If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." -Jack Handey
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carbon_dragon wrote:
Say you are the game designer. You design up a game like this one. Then you test 100 times with varying groups. You get X "wins" and 100-X losses. What is the right number for X?

This question has been brought up several times over the years I've been on BGG. I think there was even some polling on it. From what I recall, the average for coop games generally is around 50%.

That being said, I imagine players of a game like Shadows of Brimstone would hope for a higher win rate because of the campaign element. It's less fun to lose when character progression is a key part of the game. No one really wants to get bad injuries that make their character weaker. Getting stronger/better is a big part of the fun.
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Josh Murphy
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Phantomwhale wrote:
For an ongoing campaign style game like this... I want around 80% wins.

Which, in my experience, is what you get with level 1-2 characters. Beyond that, it's a 95%+ cakewalk snore


Agreed. We throw in a number of "hardcore" house rules to keep interest up.

To answer the OP, the simple answer is I prefer a 50% win rate.
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Miguel Guijo
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95% win ratio is really boring. I need to feel i can loose so I put thing touhger, more elite habilities, brutal enemies, higher threats. The new enemies help a lot, they are harder and better.
A good win ratio in a campaign game for me is 65%. In brimstone part of the fun is mutate, or get injuries and get past over that.
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Andreas Lieberoth Wadum
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Bear in mind that SoB isn't a binary win/loose situation, though. Having a character mad or injured can be pretty bad in terms of win/loss psychology, even if the party won the scenario.

But apart from that, I agree. The game has severe balance issues as the players level. The idea of elite abilities and brutal enemies is fun, but brutal just aren't brutal enough. By our tinkering, doubling HP or defense of brutal enemies seems to make fights challenging again - which is a lot!!

In the end, failure is an important part of game psychology.


https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/art-failure
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Dean L
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lieberoth wrote:
Bear in mind that SoB isn't a binary win/loose situation, though. Having a character mad or injured can be pretty bad in terms of win/loss psychology, even if the party won the scenario.


That, to me, might be the fundametal flaw in the game. Each mission is a binary win/lose condition, according to the rules. But you can lose and get some amazing gear, or win and get a hideous injury. And that works in many games, because both of those could vastly change your chances of winning or losing the overall campaign.

But Brimstone doesn't have a campaign win/loss condition, which makes those trade-offs far less meaningful.

It doesn't need a complex story-driven campaign but it would benefit from a few 'boss' missions, designed for level 8 parties and made to be tough. Then the objective of the game becomes "do missions to get to level 8 and gear up so you can beat the finale".
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David Griffin
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Deano2099 wrote:
lieberoth wrote:
Bear in mind that SoB isn't a binary win/loose situation, though. Having a character mad or injured can be pretty bad in terms of win/loss psychology, even if the party won the scenario.


That, to me, might be the fundametal flaw in the game. Each mission is a binary win/lose condition, according to the rules. But you can lose and get some amazing gear, or win and get a hideous injury. And that works in many games, because both of those could vastly change your chances of winning or losing the overall campaign.

But Brimstone doesn't have a campaign win/loss condition, which makes those trade-offs far less meaningful.

It doesn't need a complex story-driven campaign but it would benefit from a few 'boss' missions, designed for level 8 parties and made to be tough. Then the objective of the game becomes "do missions to get to level 8 and gear up so you can beat the finale".


For SoB if you are a role-player, the damage to the towns as a result of "losing" is not only inconvenient, it sours the experience for me because heroes are supposed to prevent that sort of thing. So don't overlook the psychological effects.
 
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Andreas Lieberoth Wadum
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carbon_dragon wrote:
Deano2099 wrote:
lieberoth wrote:
Bear in mind that SoB isn't a binary win/loose situation, though. Having a character mad or injured can be pretty bad in terms of win/loss psychology, even if the party won the scenario.


That, to me, might be the fundametal flaw in the game. Each mission is a binary win/lose condition, according to the rules. But you can lose and get some amazing gear, or win and get a hideous injury. And that works in many games, because both of those could vastly change your chances of winning or losing the overall campaign.

But Brimstone doesn't have a campaign win/loss condition, which makes those trade-offs far less meaningful.

It doesn't need a complex story-driven campaign but it would benefit from a few 'boss' missions, designed for level 8 parties and made to be tough. Then the objective of the game becomes "do missions to get to level 8 and gear up so you can beat the finale".


For SoB if you are a role-player, the damage to the towns as a result of "losing" is not only inconvenient, it sours the experience for me because heroes are supposed to prevent that sort of thing. So don't overlook the psychological effects.


I agree.

I also agree with Dean, that a campaign system would make the wins mean something and losses smart more. What's more, it would be more interesting to dive into the next story, to make up for the damage done e.g to the town or find the doctor who can heal your injuries. Losses mean more in context - some role-players are just really good at creating that context for themselves.
 
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Daniel Davis - Personal
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lieberoth wrote:
carbon_dragon wrote:
Deano2099 wrote:
lieberoth wrote:
Bear in mind that SoB isn't a binary win/loose situation, though. Having a character mad or injured can be pretty bad in terms of win/loss psychology, even if the party won the scenario.


That, to me, might be the fundametal flaw in the game. Each mission is a binary win/lose condition, according to the rules. But you can lose and get some amazing gear, or win and get a hideous injury. And that works in many games, because both of those could vastly change your chances of winning or losing the overall campaign.

But Brimstone doesn't have a campaign win/loss condition, which makes those trade-offs far less meaningful.

It doesn't need a complex story-driven campaign but it would benefit from a few 'boss' missions, designed for level 8 parties and made to be tough. Then the objective of the game becomes "do missions to get to level 8 and gear up so you can beat the finale".


For SoB if you are a role-player, the damage to the towns as a result of "losing" is not only inconvenient, it sours the experience for me because heroes are supposed to prevent that sort of thing. So don't overlook the psychological effects.


I agree.

I also agree with Dean, that a campaign system would make the wins mean something and losses smart more. What's more, it would be more interesting to dive into the next story, to make up for the damage done e.g to the town or find the doctor who can heal your injuries. Losses mean more in context - some role-players are just really good at creating that context for themselves.


Hexcrawl it. Far better than vanilla game.
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Zac Fox
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Or if HexCrawl seems to daunting, try out the Bootlegger's Campaign system. It's not nearly as in depth as the HexCrawl, but quite similar in design.

I've tried both, and HexCrawl was just a little overwhelming for me. Both are excellent options for fixing the 'no overall campaign' issues though. I'd take a look at both, and choose 1 that fits your comfort level/play style.
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