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Subject: Personal missions/quests - room for growth rss

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Jeremy Glassman
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Hey y'all,

As stated here:https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1851295/legendary-items-mm-..., this is in continuation of my "Room for Growth" general discussion on M&M.

I think what's very motivating in most board games, is a sense of working towards something. Whether that's a new level-up, or accomplishing a specific goal, both are very important to maintain player engagement.

I think personal goals in M&M is severely lacking, and this could be a major problem for the game.

The only sense of growth, of toiling for something with a payoff is the level-up system. However, due to the nature of the level-up system in M&M, you are constantly balancing when do I want to level-up vs. when do I want to use my ability NOW. This is an essential question in M&M, and I think it's actually a very good design component in this game that's not seen really anywhere else. You are balancing, "do I want benefit NOW (instant gratification)" vs. "do I want to save (delayed gratification)".

Now this would be a stellar design component, if there were other tools players could invest-in/work towards, however there's really not. Now, one could argue that the in-game achievements offer some sort of incentive. However, these achievements are rarely beneficial enough to seek as they only last 1 chapter, and they mainly happen by chance anyway. For example, if Player A is going for the "roach master" achievement, and Player B kills a roach, this doesn't make Player A very happy.

I believe M&M needs a more strict personal-quest system or job board, which would very much solve this issue of not having anything to 'work towards' during a game session.

Included in the DWT expansion is a village. I believe this village has a lot of unused potential. DWT also introduces an element of keeping things in-between chapters (cheese) which sets a precedent.
When starting a chapter in the DWT village, there should be a random "quest board" for each mission. This could range from 'collect 3 acorns' or they could actually be things that happen in-game like "kill 3 roaches" or they could invent a new side-quest, "rescue X person". There could be quests that last for only 1 chapter, or stay relevant for multiple chapters.

EDIT: I failed to specify that these would be entirely optional for players.

By completing quests, these could give you Quest Points to spend at the shop, which you could trade in for powerful items, equipment, or even tricks/abilities. How interesting would that be?

I believe this would not increase complexity since it happens outside of normal gameplay, and acts as a 'break' from the tactical decision making.

I think M&M has a lot of room for growth that has not been tapped into, and I'm wondering what you guys think.

Thanks!
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David Hladky
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I like you are trying to think about how to make this game better. In my opinion you do not entirely understand the game philosophy though. It was designed as an interactive book for children. It is often played with 6 YO kids. For them any extra rules would make the game unplayable. Also more complicated story would not work well with them.

It is true my gaming group (42 YO average) enjoys MM as well and the simplicity is not bad for us, as after the whole days of baby-sitting we do not want anything too complex. We play Descent 2 as well, however the only rested person is the overlord, so he always wins. That is very frustrating.

A good game with personal achievements is Gloomhaven, I like it, but no one from my gaming group wants to play it for the reasons above. It is too complicated to start something new and complex when you are exhausted.
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Jeremy Glassman
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mrakomor wrote:
I like you are trying to think about how to make this game better. In my opinion you do not entirely understand the game philosophy though. It was designed as an interactive book for children. It is often played with 6 YO kids. For them any extra rules would make the game unplayable. Also more complicated story would not work well with them.

It is true my gaming group (42 YO average) enjoys MM as well and the simplicity is not bad for us, as after the whole days of baby-sitting we do not want anything too complex. We play Descent 2 as well, however the only rested person is the overlord, so he always wins. That is very frustrating.

A good game with personal achievements is Gloomhaven, I like it, but no one from my gaming group wants to play it for the reasons above. It is too complicated to start something new and complex when you are exhausted.


I completely agree with your statements. The reason I like M&M because it is so engaging and relatively relaxing to sit back and chuck dice - that is the essence of the game. But the other essence is getting pulled into an engrossing story.

I understand that the game is marketed to families and young kids, that is actually another core reason that I believe M&M is near perfect (I still rate it a 10/10).

My goal here is not to increase complexity, it is only to increase enjoyment.
Quote:
I believe this would not increase complexity since it happens outside of normal gameplay, and acts as a 'break' from the tactical decision making.

This feature could easily be ignored if the participants are too young to understand this and just, "want to roll dice." But I think even 6 year olds can comprehend working towards something. Like I said, these quests/personal jobs can be very broad from level of difficulty (like monster hunter). They could range from novice-advanced.

Furthermore, I believe this component should be entirely optional. A mouse player only takes a quest/job if they want to.

Most of the time, older players/siblings are helping the younger ones anyway. An 8-10yr old could definitely understand this addition.

Finally as stated above, this happens outside of normal game-play in the "shop time" segment. Therefore, it would be easy for an adult to just leave out for players who don't quite get it. OR even if it happened as an in-game trigger from a side-quest, it would be optional and could be ignored just like the Miz Maggie side quest. Optional components are already a precedent in the game, so I don't think this would be breaking design philosophy.

Thanks for your input and let me know!
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