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Subject: Room for improvement rss

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Keld Hjortskov
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With 33 plays and around 70 hours of Gloomhaven goodness, I've noticed a few things that detracts from the continued enjoyment. Some of this can be houseruled easily but other things not so much.

My list of top things to be improved are:

1: Elements
Element shuffling from strong to waning etc. is just annoying and I forget it half the time.
House ruled to be "waning" when generated and "inert" when consumed. Other than that it doesn't change status.
Much simpler without ruining anything.

2: Lack of scenario variety
Around 25% of scenarios are "kill all enemies" (depending on how you count them) which becomes repetitive. We need some other incentive for doing these scenarios that don't further the storyline and contain little more then kill'em all challenge. Perhaps battle goals for the entire party or some other mechanism that brings more variety into it.

3: Leveling has no impact on the campaign.
Levels have little effect on the storyline.
The balancing system used makes any scenario a decent challenge regardless of your average levels in the party. Unfortunately this also means it doesn't really matter if you reach level X or not. Any scenario can be handled at any party level. Your only motivation for increasing the levels is to get new cards.
There should be scenarios with minimum monster level requirements to indicate a tougher challenge. You could try to beat a dungeon of level 3 monsters with your level 1 party but don't be surprised if you loose.

4:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Where's the epic story?
The big picture is missing from the campaign. Apart from going for handling your personal quests, what is really tying the story together? I may be missing some scenarios yet but after 70 hours I should have passed the prelude of the major plot


Mind you I've had more fun out of this game than any other game in years, so these are not major complaints, just gripes that eventually might kill my enthusiasm. Anyone with some good fixes to these out there? Do they need fixing?

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Phil McDonald
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Have 32 hours of 3p campaign in so far and have loved every single moment of it. Can't say how I will feel after 70 hours, but I'm optimistic based on what I've seen so far.
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Paul Grogan
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1. Elements. Are you saying that when you generate it, you move it to the waning column? Which means at the end of the round it would decay?
Or are you saying you skip the decaying step?

2. Personally, all the scenarios we have done, even if the goal is "kill all enemies" have been very different.

3. That's true, but this is what I love. If however, you want to mark some scenarios as "all players must be level 3", you can, but what would that accomplish? Personally, I find the world scaling around you is perfect. That makes every scenario playable with every type of character of any level at any time.
Other games like this dont do that, and it means you cannot play through the latter scenarios without also doing the first ones to "level up".
Also - you are aware that you can up the difficulty? So, you CAN try to beat a dungeon of level 3 monsters with your level 1 party - thats already included in the game.

4. We are only 13 scenarios in yet, and so far I've been very impressed with the story. It is clear that this is a non-linear campaign and evolving world. I've never really seen that done before. The "story" behind the path of scenarios we have done has been very interesting, and probably different from yours.
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Richard Ham
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Quote:
but what would that accomplish?

I do tend to agree with Keld on this topic. There's something to be said for discovering some side quest early on, taking a look, realizing "wow, that would destroy us if we went into that cave... let's steer clear for now and come back later when we're mighty", and then letting anticipation build for the day when you will face that seemingly unbeatable challenge.

GH is fine for not having this, but TBH the immersion in and excitement for the world is a bit weakened because it, IMO.
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Mihnea Cateanu
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I agree with you on the elements system, it`s pretty fiddly. I guess there`s a lot of potential for cool combos with some character classes (if you are good enough at the game) but with the other stuff going on I would have been okay with the element system missing from the game.

Fantastic game either way.
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Erik Burigo
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rahdo wrote:
Quote:
but what would that accomplish?

I do tend to agree with Keld on this topic. There's something to be said for discovering some side quest early on, taking a look, realizing "wow, that would destroy us if we went into that cave... let's steer clear for now and come back later when we're mighty", and then letting anticipation build for the day when you will face that seemingly unbeatable challenge.

GH is fine for not having this, but TBH the immersion in and excitement for the world is a bit weakened because it, IMO.


Right, but you also can set up a personal goal, for example forbidding yourself from attempting that side quest below scenario level 4 (meaning that you may attempt it a difficult level 4 even with a party with average level 2, if you dare).
 
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Chris Marlow
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Cosworth wrote:


3: Leveling has no impact on the campaign.
Levels have little effect on the storyline.
The balancing system used makes any scenario a decent challenge regardless of your average levels in the party. Unfortunately this also means it doesn't really matter if you reach level X or not. Any scenario can be handled at any party level. Your only motivation for increasing the levels is to get new cards.
There should be scenarios with minimum monster level requirements to indicate a tougher challenge. You could try to beat a dungeon of level 3 monsters with your level 1 party but don't be surprised if you loose.

4:
[o]Where's the epic story?
The big picture is missing from the campaign. Apart from going for handling your personal quests, what is really tying the story together? I may be missing some scenarios yet but after 70 hours I should have passed the prelude of the major plot.



3: It seems you can either have the monsters levelling up as you do, or set from the start. (Elder Scrolls vs. Might & Magic if you like.) There are well defined pros and cons to both systems, and it's a hard choice to say which is best isn't it. I personally think Gloomhaven is better with the Elder Scrolls route. Mostly because that makes it much better for our gaming group, with characters joining and leaving rather randomly. The difficulty setting system works very well if you do want a challenge.
Though I agree, you do miss out on some classic moments - returning to give the good news to some bandits that wiped you out when you where all just sprogs devil.

4: I think Gloomhaven does a pretty good job of the story aspect to be honest, best I've seen from a game with no GM?
 
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Matthew Coppel
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3. You could also set the lowest monster level to tat of the city level, though we have ours always above that anyways.

I would have loved some scenarios to have more set limits, monster level set to player level average, monster level X +, can't enter until city is at X type stuff.
 
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Phil McDonald
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Leave Isaac some wiggle room for Gloomhaven 2, I can't imagine that he wouldn't want to trump his own ace
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Brian Busha
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Element system is neat but really easy to forget.

Quests could up complexity.

Enchanting system could be used for blacksmithing.

It doesn't generate electricity in large enough amounts to power my home.
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Phil McDonald
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Gutrix wrote:
Element system is neat but really easy to forget.

Quests could up complexity.

Enchanting system could be used for blacksmithing.

It doesn't generate electricity in large enough amounts to power my home.


My home can be seen from space
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They call me Mister...
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Yes, this game with the huge number of scenarios (that open up a couple at a time leaving plenty to choose from) should work well with a few (not too many!) scenarios whereby you just HAVE to be Level 4 or more.

In saying that, though, there have been a couple of scenarios I have failed 3 times and decided, I need to come back to these with a new card/more HP/some item.

Maybe I'm just not very good?
 
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Chris Marlow
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Cosworth wrote:

My list of top things to be improved are:

1: Elements
Element shuffling from strong to waning etc. is just annoying and I forget it half the time.
House ruled to be "waning" when generated and "inert" when consumed. Other than that it doesn't change status.
Much simpler without ruining anything.


This is good isn't it. Gives you practically all the gameplay effect of Elements, with none of the hassle - love it .
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Andrew Sarnowski
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marlowc wrote:
Cosworth wrote:

My list of top things to be improved are:

1: Elements
Element shuffling from strong to waning etc. is just annoying and I forget it half the time.
House ruled to be "waning" when generated and "inert" when consumed. Other than that it doesn't change status.
Much simpler without ruining anything.


This is good isn't it. Gives you practically all the gameplay effect of Elements, with none of the hassle - love it .

It depends. So far I've liked the pacing it gives my spellweaver. Set an element, know that I need to burn it on my next turn. And that I'm not leaving that element charged for so long that it might enable an enemy. I can see it seeming fiddly and easy to forget if you never use the elements, but as a class built around them you Aon't forget and B:Would get a disproportionate buff from this.
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Richard Ham
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marlowc wrote:
Though I agree, you do miss out on some classic moments - returning to give the good news to some bandits that wiped you out when you where all just sprogs devil.

Yup, exactly. I have no issue with using the Elder Scroll auto-leveling approach, I just personally prefer fixed levels because peaks and valleys are inherently more dramatic than plains. And it makes the world feel more solid and "real" to me... I'm having to respond to the world, rather than it changing to cater to me. But it's not the end of the world... GH is still phenomenal...
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Marty McFly
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rahdo wrote:
marlowc wrote:
Though I agree, you do miss out on some classic moments - returning to give the good news to some bandits that wiped you out when you where all just sprogs devil.

Yup, exactly. I have no issue with using the Elder Scroll auto-leveling approach, I just personally prefer fixed levels because peaks and valleys are inherently more dramatic than plains. And it makes the world feel more solid and "real" to me... I'm having to respond to the world, rather than it changing to cater to me. But it's not the end of the world... GH is still phenomenal...

The other thing that set scenario levels would do is allow for scaled rewards based on scenario difficulty. It's great to get 10 gold when I'm level 2 but it can be something of a letdown when I'm level 7. Scenarios specifically designed for higher levels could also have unique item (or other) rewards that correspond to the power of the players.
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Troy Laurin
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You guys know that you can write your own set of scenarios that works on fixed scenario levels through the campaign rather than auto-scaling to the party level, right? Design it and pace it so players start a new party at level 1 to start the campaign, and get to level 7-9 (depending on bonuses from play) just in time for the end.

Do it right, and it would be awesome! Plus it might scratch more of the itch that some people desiring more legacy have felt lacking? The only downside is that it kind of requires the same players all the way through the campaign... much the same as other existing legacy games. That's something that Isaac decided he didn't want in the base game experience for Gloomhaven, but there's nothing stopping you from adding it as an expansion!
 
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Eric Bridge
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rahdo wrote:
marlowc wrote:
Though I agree, you do miss out on some classic moments - returning to give the good news to some bandits that wiped you out when you where all just sprogs devil.

Yup, exactly. I have no issue with using the Elder Scroll auto-leveling approach, I just personally prefer fixed levels because peaks and valleys are inherently more dramatic than plains. And it makes the world feel more solid and "real" to me... I'm having to respond to the world, rather than it changing to cater to me. But it's not the end of the world... GH is still phenomenal...

Out of curiosity, how far are you and Jen in the story now?
 
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Luke
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Exo Desta wrote:

I use a token to progress from step to step at the end of each Round. It has kept me from frogetting the elements and so on. Maybe it will help someone else.


I like this!

I may have to craft up one of these. Paper and pen should work fine until I can make something fancier.
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Jared
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Exo Desta wrote:
I jerry-rigged my own end of round reminder to help remember the steps at.. the end of the round:

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Gloomhaven Round Order Summary

END of ROUND
• Need to Shuffle any Attack Modifier Decks (Character or Monster)?
• Need to Shuffle any Monster AI Decks?
• If there are Elements on the Track, progress them one space; and progress the Round Tracker if needed.
• Would anyone like a Short Rest? (Must have 2 cards in your Discard pile)

START of ROUND
• Card Selection: Choose which two cards to play for the Round; or you may play no cards and Long Rest (Must have 2 cards in your Discard pile).

FLIP CARDS and PLAY!


-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

I use a token to progress from step to step at the end of each Round. It has kept me from frogetting the elements and so on. Maybe it will help someone else.


Great idea. This works so well in games like A Feast for Odin.


Some good criticisms here and excellent ideas for the future of the franchise.

-I'd love to see a focused campaign of fewer scenarios with more branching, non-linear paths.

-Non-scaling enemies, especially bosses, could add more excitement (fear). You might get your butt handed to you and have to come back later.

-Crafting materials/gem enhancements can replace gold as more complex, more contested loot that offers an epic feeling of development.

-In addition to the party's story and decisions, individual player characters could get rewards and choices through something akin to guilds: long term, chosen battle goals that advance in difficulty, reward, and repercussions.

Having said that, I'm really enjoying the game and I have so much left to explore. It's an exciting design.
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Luke
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rahdo wrote:
marlowc wrote:
Though I agree, you do miss out on some classic moments - returning to give the good news to some bandits that wiped you out when you where all just sprogs devil.

Yup, exactly. I have no issue with using the Elder Scroll auto-leveling approach, I just personally prefer fixed levels because peaks and valleys are inherently more dramatic than plains. And it makes the world feel more solid and "real" to me... I'm having to respond to the world, rather than it changing to cater to me. But it's not the end of the world... GH is still phenomenal...


Just one thing I'd note on this, I think there's a little of it still.

For instance, at any level, I'd rather face 3 Bandit Guards than 3
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Night Demons


I'd also rather 10 enemies with low hp and poison vs 10 enemies with medium hp, shield, range and poison with a card at initiative 94 that can ruin your day.

I see the point though. I just think it's closer to Skyrim[all enemies level, but bandits will never be as dangerous as trolls] than Oblivion[all city guards might actually be the chosen one instead of you.]
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David Latimore
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Regarding #3 - scenarios could have a special rule that says all monsters are 1 or 2 levels higher than the difficulty level.

This breaks though if you're already playing at a very high level.
 
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J Karrde
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Cosworth wrote:
1: Elements
Element shuffling from strong to waning etc. is just annoying and I forget it half the time.
House ruled to be "waning" when generated and "inert" when consumed. Other than that it doesn't change status.
Much simpler without ruining anything.

3: Leveling has no impact on the campaign.
Levels have little effect on the storyline.
The balancing system used makes any scenario a decent challenge regardless of your average levels in the party. Unfortunately this also means it doesn't really matter if you reach level X or not. Any scenario can be handled at any party level. Your only motivation for increasing the levels is to get new cards.
There should be scenarios with minimum monster level requirements to indicate a tougher challenge. You could try to beat a dungeon of level 3 monsters with your level 1 party but don't be surprised if you loose.

1. Personally, I'm not a fan. Oh, I need fire, good thing I generated that 7 turns ago! It seems it remove the chaining aspect of playing and using elements.

3. I believe the 17 additional scenarios that Isaac generated have a level 5 minimum.
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Norwegian Singbird
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Cosworth wrote:

1: Elements
Element shuffling from strong to waning etc. is just annoying and I forget it half the time.
House ruled to be "waning" when generated and "inert" when consumed. Other than that it doesn't change status.
Much simpler without ruining anything.


Why not think of a variant that doesn't make the game easier? Because face it, elements staying around ad infinitum does make the game easier and to me seems to ruin a lot of the tactical play regarding them.
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Matthew Bachtold
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How about removing the automatic waning, but only allow one element to be active at a time?

That way you don't have to remember to check anything at the end of the round, only adjusting the elements when something infuses or consumes it.

You'd still have the problem of infusing fire 5 turns ago and it staying available, but there is a high chance of some other element replacing it in the meantime.
 
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