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Pandemic Legacy: Season 1» Forums » General

Subject: Anyone else kind of pissed about...(end of December spoilers) rss

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Mellina Huitema
Canada
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...the scoring? We scored 552. Three players, 17 games. The thing that did us in with points is the only search we didn't complete on the first try, which is Patient Zero. We easily won the game where we were meant to find Patient Zero. We abandoned the search because we were getting hurt on outbreaks and realized the other objective was going to be a cakewalk and didn't want to lose the whole game or increase panic in more cities to find him.

We thought we'd get another chance. We thought the reveal of "Don't worry, Team Bravo found him" was kind of stupid anyway. But when we found out we were losing 200 POINTS and bragging rights for not doing something optional, it put a pretty bad taste in our mouths.


There's no hint through the whole thing that points exist or what you'll be scored on, or we would have focused on different things. We felt a little burned by this.

Sure, ultimately the points don't matter, just the experience. Still the best game I've ever played. But really didn't like this aspect.

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Joel Eddy
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I kind of liked it, but it was a total shock.

"What?!? I'm being graded!?! Oh... oh no..." But, it worked for me. In real life (oustide of school) you're graded in a sense without knowing it all the time... if that makes any sense.
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Mellina Huitema
Canada
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I think they just threw it in for fun and didn't think people would take the points seriously. Which we shouldn't. But we felt like "WHAT? You think we're just AVERAGE? F*** YOU!!!!!!!"

Still a great game. Really. Kind of wish they either did the scoring completely differently (we got every other search on the first try! No credit for that!) or just eliminated it.
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Clive Jones

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One of the (to me) nice aspects of a game in which you only discover the rules as things develop is that it becomes important to pay attention to what's going on in the narrative and make thematic choices.

Indeed, the searches weren't mandatory. But the theme strongly suggested they were important and even urgent.

This is the write-up I did of our October. Note that I wrote it before we'd played November or December and before we'd seen the scoring system. We invested a huge amount in finding patient zero, even though we knew we were losing, even though the objective was optional, even though it would mean the objective wasn't available in our second October game, because we correctly believed we were close to getting a vaccine and that felt at least as important as winning one individual game.

For us, that was an awesome experience. But I recognise that delighting people who work it out has to mean disappointing people who don't. /-8
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Mellina Huitema
Canada
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Honestly, we probably weren't going to find him anyway, even if we purposely threw October's game. We got hit with epidemics pretty hard so we were one away from a Cold Trail even after aggressively searching and still not really that close. Sometimes it is just not in the cards to happen.

I mean, sure, obviously we knew it would be important too and wanted that vaccine, but you got another chance with every other search (not that we needed it, we got them all on the first try). You have to admit that luck can be a major factor in these things.

Plus, there was no punishment in game until the very end, as basically a footnote, for not finding him. They should have made that a mandatory objective IMO.
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Dylan Thurston
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mhuitema wrote:
They should have made that a mandatory objective IMO.
Either that, or give a smaller penalty for missing just one search.
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Rob van Wijngaarden
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We liked the scoring card so much that we bought a second copy of the game, and then tried to get a better score.
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Robert Stewart
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Yeah, the Team Bravo penalty has annoyed a lot of people. So has the penalty for having any Military Bases left.

The best fix I've seen suggested for Team Bravo is to replace "Optional: Find Patient Zero" with "Mandatory: Complete all remaining Searches".
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Dave S.
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We felt the same way about the scoring. At the end of the campaign, we did what we needed to do to meet our objectives, so in our mind we considered it a win. It was a rollercoaster ride of monthly wins and losses for us, and squeezing out a victory in December made us feel great. The tension that was there was fantastic!

Then we did the whole scoring thing and were bummed, so we promptly ignored it and enjoyed our win.
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Mellina Huitema
Canada
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I think ignoring it is the right thing to do, I'm sure it was just meant to be tacked on as a fun thing at the end and not taken too seriously.
 
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John Bedell

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I was definitely annoyed by all of this: only having 1 attempt, Team Bravo coming out of nowhere to basically reset the game for you, the losing 200 points.

The fact that you only get 1 chance to find him, combined with the search bonus being requiring a military base IN Atlanta. Even after we lost the search, we went ahead and built a military base in Atlanta so we could find him in the next game. And then BAM, Team Bravo, "saves the day". Now we have a military base in Atlanta, which was a terrible thing, considering the parameters of the next game... AND we get penalized for it at the end.

And I agree that the Team Bravo thing was stupid. Even worse, imo, it was a cop out. They didn't want to have to account for all the possible scenarios leading into the end of the game, so they just completed it for you and reset to a known state. I get that planning for all eventualities would be time consuming, but there are better ways to reset then just a card that may as well just say "pretend you did all this stuff you didn't actually do." For instance, make the searches mandatory objectives, or perhaps lower their requirements for each game that you don't complete them.

Honestly, I enjoyed the entire game... up until this little series of events. It just felt rushed and poorly planned. It kind of soured the end of the game for me. I had been recommending the game to all my friends and now I'm just kind of "meh".
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Beecher Greenman
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TwoScoopsOfHot wrote:
I was definitely annoyed by all of this: only having 1 attempt, Team Bravo coming out of nowhere to basically reset the game for you, the losing 200 points.

Two attempts, if you lose the first October game. But the game gives no indication of this, and that's definitely annoying.

I'm not so much a fan of making Patient Zero a mandatory objective, because it feels too heavy-handed: this isn't supposed to be a reading-comprehension game, but making any of the non-December searches mandatory seems a little too much like spoon-feeding. On the other hand, it's definitely the simplest solution to the issue. My own preferred fix is a bit more complex:

1) Move "Time Is Running Out" in the Legacy Deck, so that it gets drawn after your first game in November, rather than before it.
2) Add the following rule to the November Mission Briefing: "You can no longer win games unless Packages 6 and 7 have both been opened. If either of these packages has not been opened yet, place this card on top of any Mandatory Objective as a reminder".

Note that although the text of that second point is meant to sound scary (much like November's Mission Briefing), the timing of the Legacy Deck makes it much less of a threat than it seems, because Time Is Running Out will nullify it after one game. Its real purpose is to give the players one more chance to find Patient Zero, and hammer home the idea that they really, really want to get those boxes open very soon.
 
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Justin
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TheSpooniest wrote:
TwoScoopsOfHot wrote:
I was definitely annoyed by all of this: only having 1 attempt, Team Bravo coming out of nowhere to basically reset the game for you, the losing 200 points.

Two attempts, if you lose the first October game. But the game gives no indication of this, and that's definitely annoying.

I'm not so much a fan of making Patient Zero a mandatory objective, because it feels too heavy-handed: this isn't supposed to be a reading-comprehension game, but making any of the non-December searches mandatory seems a little too much like spoon-feeding. On the other hand, it's definitely the simplest solution to the issue. My own preferred fix is a bit more complex:

1) Move "Time Is Running Out" in the Legacy Deck, so that it gets drawn after your first game in November, rather than before it.
2) Add the following rule to the November Mission Briefing: "You can no longer win games unless Packages 6 and 7 have both been opened. If either of these packages has not been opened yet, place this card on top of any Mandatory Objective as a reminder".

Note that although the text of that second point is meant to sound scary (much like November's Mission Briefing), the timing of the Legacy Deck makes it much less of a threat than it seems, because Time Is Running Out will nullify it after one game. Its real purpose is to give the players one more chance to find Patient Zero, and hammer home the idea that they really, really want to get those boxes open very soon.


You say your not a fan of making the search mandatory, but then your solution does exactly that. I'm confused.
 
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Robert Stewart
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The major design problem is that you need to provide the ability to vaccinate early enough to give the players time to clear out C0dA, otherwise you'll get players complaining that December's objectives are impossible.

How many games should you give players? And how do you make sure the players have vaccination in time?
 
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John Bedell

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Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of making the searches mandatory either.

My only other thought was:
- bring out ALL of the searches at the same time as the first one
- give them some way to advance the marker for more than 1 at a time
- somehow make it easier to complete in the next game, if you don't complete it in the current game. Perhaps reduce the target every time you complete a game without this objective. Or perhaps let them carryover some search spots to the next game.

That way, they wouldn't be mandatory, but you would be incentivized to do them, and if you still haven't gotten them after all those games, then Team Bravo doing it for you doesn't seem like such a slap in the face.

The only other ways I can think of to do it all involve some pretty large-scale restructuring of the months and the storyline.
 
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Art Entre
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I had the same disappointment and same situation as the OP. It doesn't feel right that we scored less points for winning October than we would have losing to focus entirely on an "optional" objective.

If I were to redo it, I would house rule that every search in the game is a mandatory objective, and likely that 'Team Bravo' completes every search for you if you fail both attempts of a month.
 
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Oliver Koenig
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I knew about the scoring because - of course - someone spoiled it. But it had a funny effect on me. We were not perfect, we were 2nd category. My problem was I was absolutely SURE you would be penalized for using the nuclear bomb. Therefore I forbid to use it EVER. If I had only known it was totally ok .. There were zero disappointments for me in the game except one player dropping out towards the end of the campaign.
 
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Clive Jones

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Well, you lose the points for letting a city fall if you nuke it. You also sacrifice a game-end upgrade slot, plus you permanently make games one turn shorter.

But I agree that nuking somewhere feels like it ought to be even worse than that. (-8
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