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Subject: Project Update # 89 rss

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Damo Damo
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Original thread can be found here.

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Hi Unkindled,

We’ve got another Mega Boss preview for you in today’s update as well as some information on the Darkroot Expansion. Monday’s update included some information on how we approached Mega Boss expansions, so we’ll open today with a brief overview of how we approached exploration expansions like the Darkroot Expansion.

In contrast to the Mega Boss expansions that introduce a separate phase to Dark Souls™: The Board Game, exploration expansions provide a wealth of new content leading up to those final showdowns. Each exploration expansion includes new enemy models, new encounter cards that put players in conflict with those enemies, new treasure cards, and one or more new bosses with their own behaviour cards, health dials, and loot drop treasure cards. The focus during development of an exploration encounter is not on a single standout experience but rather on how to seamlessly incorporate compelling new content into the broader experience of playing Dark Souls: The Board Game.

This has some obvious implications such as balancing the enemies and encounters against those in the core game, but it also has some less obvious implications. Adding a few new treasure cards, for example, might seem like a simple matter, but there are nuances to consider. Each exploration expansion’s additional treasure cards must have a comparable mix of card types relative to the core game. Additionally, we needed to adjust how the initial treasure deck is built in a way that would have minimal impact on the game’s setup time.

We’re very happy with how we’ve gotten all of the parts of the Exploration expansions to flow smoothly into the core game experience and are excited to see how players mix and match these expansions with the core game in order to tailor their own favourite Dark Souls: The Board Game experiences.
_____

The Four Kings encounter is one of the more distinct Mega Boss encounters since the party will eventually be facing multiple boss models at once. As in Dark Souls, the battle begins with just a single enemy combatant, but that quickly escalates. Each time one of the first two kings reaches the Heat Up point or is destroyed, the next king model is added to the battle until all four of them have entered the fight.

We kept the behaviour decks for each of the four kings very similar (just as these enemies have the same move set in Dark Souls), but we also added some subtle differences to keep things interesting. The third king, for example, has a little bit of added mobility whilst the fourth king has fewer weak arcs than his brethren. Let’s take a look at these royal pains.


Four Kings Front View - 75mm Base - Yes, you get 4 of these!


Four Kings Side View - 75mm Base


Four Kings Rear View - 75mm Base
_____

The most visually impressive aspect of the Darkroot Expansion is certainly the boss models. Sif and Artorias are both classified as Main Boss models, so players can choose to fight one of these new foes instead of facing the Dancer or Ornstein & Smough. Though we didn’t colour outside the lines as much with Main Boss fights as we did with Mega Bosses, we still made every effort to ensure they evoked the Dark Souls battles that inspired them. Sif, for example, is the only boss to have a “Cool Down” at the very end of the battle in addition to her “Heat Up” about midway through the fight, and Artorias has an aerial onslaught players won’t likely forget.

Let’s take a closer look at Sif, the Great Grey Wolf.


Sif, the Great Grey Wolf Front View - 75mm base


Sif, the Great Grey Wolf Side View - 75mm base


Sif, the Great Grey Wolf Rear View - 75mm base


The other enemies in the Darkroot Expansion add their own new twists to encounters as well. From the inexorable advance of the sturdy Stone Knight to the manic charge attacks of the Scarecrows, Darkroot provides some great diversity to these battles and requires players to figure out new strategies for countering these foes.

Darkroot’s new treasure cards provide yet another new element for players to enjoy. A couple of our personal favourites are the Mannikin Claws with their double strike attack style and the Golden Ritual Spear with its innate long range Soul Arrow attack.
_____

So that’s The Four Kings and the Darkroot Expansion. We certainly hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look at these Add-Ons that can be found in your Backer Kit pledge manager. When next we meet, we’ll take a look at Kalameet, Vordt, and the Old Iron King.

Praise the Sun! \[T]/
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Paul Liolio
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It's not that I have no faith in the designer. I think it's looking alright. Hope it'll be great.

But sometimes they say weird things that make me feel like they don't really know the source material...

Scarecrows... for example.. What?

Quick wiki reveals they're called 'Treant Gardeners'

 
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anthony dybacz
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They mean the Scarecrows from the Royal Wood.

It may just be me but I really dont like the 4 kings models; they just look weird without their legs.
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Nigel McNaughton
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CardboardAnt wrote:
They mean the Scarecrows from the Royal Wood.

It may just be me but I really dont like the 4 kings models; they just look weird without their legs.


Yeah when having to pick which few I could afford to get, 4 Kings was an easy one to pass on for that reason.
 
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Damo Damo
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BathTubNZ wrote:

Yeah when having to pick which few I could afford to get, 4 Kings was an easy one to pass on for that reason.


Agreed. Even with the "pre-render" which they showed in the campaign, I easily passed up on it.

That Sif model is looking quite nice though. I would like the right hind leg on the base though. In it's current stance, it looks awkward.
 
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Geoff ...
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Maybe I'm being a little pessimistic, but in this update I read a major negative dressed up as a positive:

The dark root expansion is just more of the same. No new rules, no new mechanics, just a swap of minis and encounters. It fits "seamlessly" with the core game.

As for the Kings, I don't like the mid section cut off. They lose the elegance of the source material. That, and each mini is identical, no pose modification at all.

This is similar to the cost-cutting and/or laziness of the Gaping Dragon. They designed one half, copy/pasted/flipped it for the other half, and didn't bother tweaking the second half for variety.
 
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I am Abomination
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Is it just me, or does Sif just doesn't look like Sif at all? I mean, it's face is just a generic, angry wolf-face, but isn't even close to what Sif's face looks like in the game. At least not to my eyes.
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Rob Treasure
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Geoff wrote:
Maybe I'm being a little pessimistic, but in this update I read a major negative dressed up as a positive:

The dark root expansion is just more of the same. No new rules, no new mechanics, just a swap of minis and encounters. It fits "seamlessly" with the core game.

As for the Kings, I don't like the mid section cut off. They lose the elegance of the source material. That, and each mini is identical, no pose modification at all.

This is similar to the cost-cutting and/or laziness of the Gaping Dragon. They designed one half, copy/pasted/flipped it for the other half, and didn't bother tweaking the second half for variety.


I'm getting quite concerned about the tiles, lack of variety and exploration again. Hopefully the updates will put my fears to rest but I can't see how the current system will lend itself to campaign play much at all.
 
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Craig O'Connor
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While I wouldn't personally say I'm "concerned" with the ongoing news Steamforged are releasing, I'm no longer feeling the hype.

Translating something like Dark Souls to a board game isn't easy, especially since a major aspect of Souls is the atmosphere, so I'm kinda glad that I didn't fret too much about adding any of the megabosses (none of the selected ones I was overly impressed with anyway. I get why they chose the ones they did - for being mechanically different - but in terms of, I don't know, lore? Consistency? They all just seemed so random.)

As for the Four Kings renders, eh, I guess they did their best. But in game the Four Kings are really ethereal, which is something that's pretty impossible to capture in plastic. It'd be like trying to do a model of the Moonlight Butterfly.

Also, are people complaining about the bust style for Old Iron King? His legs are never seen in game, he's in a lake of lava...
 
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Geoff ...
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The Waspman wrote:
Also, are people complaining about the bust style for Old Iron King? His legs are never seen in game, he's in a lake of lava...

I'm not sure if people are complaining about OIK. I think a bust sculpt is completely justified for him, especially if you place him on a lava tile
 
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Nigel McNaughton
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No, I was fine with OIK.
 
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I find it extremely difficult to grasp how the mega boss are supposed to change the gameplay from the updates. First, because I still don't really have a clue as to how a boss battle plays. I mean, ok, you draw a card which tells you they attack, and try to survive and get behind them to max out damage. That's fine. But I don't know much else.
So, the info they gave us on the mega bosses kinda feel wasted on me. If I could summarize it, I would do it that way: they all have their own behaviours and attack patterns! Ok... Didn't they all already?

From then on, I guess it's all a matter of preference. I was about to add Darkroot, the tiles and Kalameet. Now I think I will wait until I receive my base game, and then decide whether or not I like it enough to want to invest money into expansions. Since nothing is exclusive, I no longer see the point of ordering expansions before they are released
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gary gee
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i backed this but decided against it..and pulled out.. not enough gameplay info.and it doesn't seem diverse enough.but I may pick it up on release...whenever that is ! [being a KS and all that].what worries me is the lack of locations if you just get the core set..without addon tiles [why aren't they part of the unlocks?].I would think the game will get pretty repetitive fairly quick?...im a big DS fan and part of the beauty of the game is the amount of locations in the games.
 
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This KS continues to disappoint me because I still feel like I don't know how this game plays. They are so vague with everything. At this point, I'm not raising my $1 pledge unless the full gameplay video they promised actually looks good.

And is it just me, because I'm not familiar with the IP, that isn't impressed at all by any of the renders? The monsters and characters haven't really said much to me which is something that has surprised me considering all the fans it has.
 
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Craig O'Connor
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Razoupaf wrote:
I find it extremely difficult to grasp how the mega boss are supposed to change the gameplay from the updates. First, because I still don't really have a clue as to how a boss battle plays. I mean, ok, you draw a card which tells you they attack, and try to survive and get behind them to max out damage. That's fine. But I don't know much else.
So, the info they gave us on the mega bosses kinda feel wasted on me. If I could summarize it, I would do it that way: they all have their own behaviours and attack patterns! Ok... Didn't they all already?

From then on, I guess it's all a matter of preference. I was about to add Darkroot, the tiles and Kalameet. Now I think I will wait until I receive my base game, and then decide whether or not I like it enough to want to invest money into expansions. Since nothing is exclusive, I no longer see the point of ordering expansions before they are released


I haven't been obsessively following this project, because it's kinda dropped into the background void for me, waiting for its release, but I do recall them saying that the reasons they chose the mega bosses they did was because they all had unique encounter mechanics.

You could sum it up by saying they have their own behaviours and attack patterns, but the mega bosses I think go deeper than that. They each get their own encounter tiles (unique boss arena's) and require the players to utilise the environments differently.

Personally, I would have preferred a more unified selection of bosses based on lore (the current ones are all too random for me, two of them are completely skippable in the video games) rather than picking them for a diverse set of mechanical challenges. That may be more interesting from a design standpoint, but it is turning Souls into more of a skirmish tabletop experience.
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Logus Vile wrote:
And is it just me, because I'm not familiar with the IP, that isn't impressed at all by any of the renders? The monsters and characters haven't really said much to me which is something that has surprised me considering all the fans it has.


I'm sorry to say but I think you have missed the point of Dark Souls in that case. It earned all it's fans with it's solid game design and deep lore, the fashion souls side of it is an after thought.
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vincentdante wrote:
Logus Vile wrote:
And is it just me, because I'm not familiar with the IP, that isn't impressed at all by any of the renders? The monsters and characters haven't really said much to me which is something that has surprised me considering all the fans it has.


I'm sorry to say but I think you have missed the point of Dark Souls in that case. It earned all it's fans with it's solid game design and deep lore, the fashion souls side of it is an after thought.

You're talking about the video game right? Because we know little of the board game side of it and I haven't read the lore so that's on me, but what I've seen so far from a board gamer perspective doesn't entice me. I usually don't read the lore of games I play but I like them when gameplay is compelling and it looks nice on the board. Fireteam Zero and Perdition's Mouth are examples.
 
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Logus Vile wrote:
vincentdante wrote:
Logus Vile wrote:
And is it just me, because I'm not familiar with the IP, that isn't impressed at all by any of the renders? The monsters and characters haven't really said much to me which is something that has surprised me considering all the fans it has.


I'm sorry to say but I think you have missed the point of Dark Souls in that case. It earned all it's fans with it's solid game design and deep lore, the fashion souls side of it is an after thought.

You're talking about the video game right? Because we know little of the board game side of it and I haven't read the lore so that's on me, but what I've seen so far from a board gamer perspective doesn't entice me. I usually don't read the lore of games I play but I like them when gameplay is compelling and it looks nice on the board. Fireteam Zero and Perdition's Mouth are examples.


The lore is deep but unless you look for it on the web you have to make out most of it yourself. That's one of the strong points of the game: you're not forcefed lore through cutscenes and dialogues. If you want to understand something, you had better read a lot of item descriptions and connect the dots yourself.

As such, I see no problem here.
 
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Logus Vile wrote:
vincentdante wrote:
Logus Vile wrote:
And is it just me, because I'm not familiar with the IP, that isn't impressed at all by any of the renders? The monsters and characters haven't really said much to me which is something that has surprised me considering all the fans it has.


I'm sorry to say but I think you have missed the point of Dark Souls in that case. It earned all it's fans with it's solid game design and deep lore, the fashion souls side of it is an after thought.

You're talking about the video game right? Because we know little of the board game side of it and I haven't read the lore so that's on me, but what I've seen so far from a board gamer perspective doesn't entice me. I usually don't read the lore of games I play but I like them when gameplay is compelling and it looks nice on the board. Fireteam Zero and Perdition's Mouth are examples.


Yes the video game sorry, it was in response to the renders not looking impressive claim "considering it having so many fans", so I opted to explain why the fans adore it

I assumed you were talking about the character and monster designs primarily which is why I mentioned fashion souls (a legit term btw used to describe the more glamorous items) wasn't what fans liked in the IP.

Sorry for the confusion and I hope I made myself clearer.
 
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Yes, I guess I did say specifically renders but I should have been more to clear to mean visually as whole with board tiles and the such. Also I'm not sure on the whole experience with the idea of one party member dieing and forcing the whole party to repeat tiles. Might be too "video gamey" for me. But I am still waiting to see the play through for final judgement.
 
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Logus Vile wrote:
Yes, I guess I did say specifically renders but I should have been more to clear to mean visually as whole with board tiles and the such. Also I'm not sure on the whole experience with the idea of one party member dieing and forcing the whole party to repeat tiles. Might be too "video gamey" for me. But I am still waiting to see the play through for final judgement.


I get that they didn't want to include player elimination here. It would be annoying if a player died right after the bonfire and everyone kept on for an hour to the boss. So the decision makes a lot of sense and I'm happy with it.

In the video game, the game lets you summon other players into your world to assist you. Should they die, they are sent back to their world to keep on trying on their own, but you can go on as if nothing happened (maybe a few tweaks to enemies HP but that's it.) If you die, you have to re-try and your summons go back to their world. So it sort of mirrors what happens if the host dies, but considers every one a host now. This isn't too farfetched. Again, I'm happy then went with that decision, although it will probably make the game harder, as you could have made a final stand on your own after the three other players died, which would have felt totally epic.

Nothing prevents you from house-ruling this point though.
 
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