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Subject: Might the game actually take longer at higher levels? Possible Spoilers rss

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Eric Bridge
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I'm curious because of the big bags of health that each enemy becomes at higher levels.

I did look through my Tinkerer's deck, for example, even though he just reached Level 4 in our last session. I was just so curious and couldn't resist.

No trying to spoil anything here, but there weren't some massive "Attack 10" cards at level 9 like I might have expected, based on the health level of some enemies as they level up.

So, for example, at end game, you have a party of Level 9 characters. At normal difficulty all the enemies should be Level 5. Level 6 if playing on hard mode. Some of these enemies at Level 5 have a TON of health points - bosses even more so. If our Attacks do not scale in damage that the enemies are gaining health, and condition immunities, and thicker shields - I'm wondering if scenarios will take longer to complete? For that matter, is it more likely that we'll run out of cards (since hand size never increases) despite having a hefty health pool?

Now there are of course other factors. A level 9 party should have access to the best items in the game (which I have not looked at, don't intend to), they should have ALL their perks, and they've probably also enhanced some of their cards.

Is the theory that this should be enough to keep the game working about the same as it does at lower levels? I assume level 9 parties were also playtested?

Please don't see this as a rebuke. This is still my favorite game ever. It's just that I'd rather the game not get any longer if possible.
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Daniel Berg
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I'm not sure if this will really be a concern until the very, very late game, when you have played all of the classes and exhausted all of the personal quests - if at all. Level progression (for the party) in Gloomhaven isn't linear. Your first couple of characters will usually retire far before hitting max level, and most assuredly not at the same time. Of course, prosperity is going to keep raising the average level, but that seems to be a rather slow progression. I honestly have no idea how balanced the high-level scenarios are, but the average level will be shifting enough that I'm not really worried.
 
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Matthew Schoell
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Has not been an issue yet, with monsters at level 3 and 4.

Consider by that time, you have accumulated items, enhanced cards, and often really done some profound things to your attack modifier deck. At least one character I had played had removed half the modifier deck and added in many many rolling modifier cards so sometimes he would turn over 4-5 cards in an attack.

To date, my strongest single attack has been 30 points (and it did include a 2x). Obviously I can't do that routinely, but...

Also remember that the best way to disarm a trap is with a monster. Push, pull, anything that lets you control their movement is awesome.
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Garou wrote:
I'm not sure if this will really be a concern until the very, very late game, when you have played all of the classes and exhausted all of the personal quests - if at all. Level progression (for the party) in Gloomhaven isn't linear. Your first couple of characters will usually retire far before hitting max level, and most assuredly not at the same time. Of course, prosperity is going to keep raising the average level, but that seems to be a rather slow progression. I honestly have no idea how balanced the high-level scenarios are, but the average level will be shifting enough that I'm not really worried.


Oddly enough, my groups first retirement, all 3 of us retired at the same time. One of us was level 4, one level 3, and one level 1.
 
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Eric Bridge
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My fear is that my Tinkerer is never going to retire We need to up the difficulty apparently, because my comrades just refuse to get exhausted

Only on 2 out of 15 on level 4 now.
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Luke
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ebridge wrote:


Now there are of course other factors. A level 9 party should have access to the best items in the game


A note on this. I'm 70+ plays in and my Prosperity is two ticks past 5. I've had a few level 7 and 8 characters and there are a large number of item cards still left to discover.

I have played with monsters at difficulty 4. It's tough, but doable. Enhancements and items make a difference as you've mentioned. While the base attack of your cards aren't changing all that much, your perks are probably raising your damage output significantly.

Level 1 monsters take into account that your damage is mitigated by the number of -1 and -2 cards, as well as all those zeroes.

Level 4 monsters take into account that you've got more +2s and you've probably ditched most of your -1 cards.
 
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ebridge wrote:
My fear is that my Tinkerer is never going to retire We need to up the difficulty apparently, because my comrades just refuse to get exhausted

Only on 2 out of 15 on level 4 now.


If your goal is to see allies get exhausted, talk to them about that. If you can get them to take more risks and/or use their lost cards more, you'll see them exhausted more. They may be willing to help you out.

Alternately, stop healing them or using powers that let them regain cards. That should both make them more likely to be exhausted and encourage them to help you retire the character so that your next one helps out more
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Michael R

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mournful wrote:
ebridge wrote:


Now there are of course other factors. A level 9 party should have access to the best items in the game


A note on this. I'm 70+ plays in and my Prosperity is two ticks past 5. I've had a few level 7 and 8 characters and there are a large number of item cards still left to discover.

I have played with monsters at difficulty 4. It's tough, but doable.
...


Mostly this, but the games do become longer as you also get access to more items that let you retrieve discarded/lost cards, etc. Recently, a scenario took me more than 24 turns (almost 3 hours, with 2 characters solo). I did not enjoy it.

Luke, I am exactly at the same prosperity level as you are!!

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Luke
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tricil wrote:


Luke, I am exactly at the same prosperity level as you are!!



That's awesome.

Which scenario took 24 turns?
 
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Michael R

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mournful wrote:
That's awesome.

Which scenario took 24 turns?


If I remember correctly, it was #61. I still have not completed the follow-up scenario (#62) after three unsuccessful attempts.
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Michael Wilbur
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Hello,

So my wife and I are about to hit level 9 (468xp/500xp) with our Duo.
We are playing an unlocked darkness symbol class and a scoundrel.

We are playing at level 6 difficulty monsters, with very little effort.

The problem is, our characters cannot be attacked. We are perpetually invisible. - We have worked really hard to attain that -

Our only difficulty is doing enough damage, fast enough, to reduce the risk of running out of cards. (Stamina potions are king)

Outside of that RARE combo. When we play with 4 people, we generally play at difficulty 4.

This has created a heavy challenge for anyone else. But the speed is rarely an issue. It generally takes 1 more round per room than usual.

The biggest issue are parties or teams that already struggle from exhaustion will have to pay more attention to how effective they use their cards.

I think people are too focused on "Hand efficiency", rather than "Hand Effectiveness".

I term Hand Effectiveness the overall kill per card ratio of your plays.
This is a combat game. With some scenario differences.

I think that at higher levels, focusing on eliminating threats as effectively as possible will balance out the play speed, and Success ratios appropriately.

-We have played a total of 30% of the Main scenarios, about 10-12 of the supplemental scenarios, and 5-6 random dungeons as well as 2 of the class solo scenarios.-
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Ryan H
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We have been playing on difficulty 4 the last few scenarios. We currently have a level 9 spellweaver, and are having the opposite issue - she kills everything too quickly! We are going to bump up to hard mode next time as our current combo of characters feels strong. High level characters and parties are able to do much more damage due to the combination of higher level ability cards, better items, better modifier decks, and more synergistic abilities due to having more options.

I wouldn't worry too much about the extra health.

On the other hand, I do find that scenarios have been taking longer recently as we have been coming across increasingly complicated scenarios with more monsters (and monster types) on the board. We are something like 25 scenarios in, with the members of the party each having played some portion of that.
 
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Mike Oehler
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Attack cards do seem to have some scaling in terms of damage, even if it's not +1 per level or something. They get more AoE in many cases, or have more conditions. Or instant kills. Plus you can often rig up some great combos from the expanded card pool.

And that's on top of the perks and items characters will get. A level 9 character has 8 extra perks even with no checks, which will make a pretty significant difference in their combat performance. Consider the Scoundrel for example: an 8 perk scoundrel might have a null as the only bad card in her deck, and only a single +0 so she almost always pulls +1 or more damage. That seems like a pretty significant upgrade.
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Luke
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krovasteel wrote:
Hello,

So my wife and I are about to hit level 9 (468xp/500xp) with our Duo.
We are playing an unlocked darkness symbol class and a scoundrel.

We are playing at level 6 difficulty monsters, with very little effort.


That sounds like an awesome combo.
 
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