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Subject: To keep or not to keep... That is the question rss

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CJ Ren
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Got kick starter.

Game seems to be getting massive negative reviews.

I just want a fun/quick dice chucking game. I have imperial assault for complexity.

Have heard it's finicky and not fun... But have also heard it's light fun

Any suggestions?
 
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John Bruns
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I am on the light fun side. My wife likes it and she hates fiddly and complicated games, so it can't be too fiddly. Take it with a light fun based attitude and it is great. You get a ton of treasure which you can keep trading in for better stuff. This is a lot of fun if you take you just enjoy it, but seems to be a major turn off for serious gamers.

I think it is exactly what you say you want and its failings is its not a hard core long term commitment type game.
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mark selleck
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tierdal wrote:
Got kick starter.

Game seems to be getting massive negative reviews.

I just want a fun/quick dice chucking game. I have imperial assault for complexity.

Have heard it's finicky and not fun... But have also heard it's light fun

Any suggestions?


Your reasons are the exact reasons I got Massive darkness, though my more complex dungeon crawl is descent (so pretty much the same thing).

I was a little put off by the negative reviews but went a head and picked up someone else kick-starter copy that they were selling (I missed out on the campaign)

Before I bought the game I watched a lot of play through videos which made the game look fun and seemed to counter the negative reviews. The play through videos seemed to present the game as being a light dice chucking dungeon crawl (which is what I thought the game was about) the reviews seem to criticize the game for not being more than this, though it seems the game was never meant to be.

Anyway after a couple of plays I have found it is indeed a light dice chucking dungeon crawl and guess what it is fun too. If it were more like other more complex dungeon crawl style games I would have passed on it... but it does exactly what I thought it would and what it marketed it self as
 
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Ray
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Read this thread and see where you fit.


The Dungeon Crawler Collector (2018)
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Tadej Vengust
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I like it for the same reason. It is lighter and after hard day at work, somtimes I just want to play, not thinking to much and kill some monsters
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Christopher
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tierdal wrote:
Got kick starter.

Game seems to be getting massive negative reviews.

I just want a fun/quick dice chucking game. I have imperial assault for complexity.

Have heard it's finicky and not fun... But have also heard it's light fun

Any suggestions?


You have the game? Play the core box.
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Spencer S
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Just get rid of it and play Tenzi or Farkle...

As for my thoughts on Massive Darkness, I enjoy it and feel satisfied that I backed it. Perhaps you should reread the game's Kickstarter campaign page to remind yourself why you backed it.

The only thing that was a flop to me, was the campaign mode. This is actually good news for you, since you said you want fun and quick. The main playstyle of one-off quests has been great fun. Can't wait to hear your thoughts after playing a few quests!
 
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Ian Williams
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I find it long, repetitive, with an overly complicated combat resolution mechanic and swingy, swingy dice. Plus several of the mission seem unplayable. The campaign mode has nothing to do with it. I'm only keeping it so far because of the crossover potential with zombicide. You should ditch it.
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Matthew Barille
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I have enjoyed it, and so has every friend I have played it with. It is light, though there is already a player made mod for bosses that looks to add complexity. It gives you everything you need to make some fun one off dungeon delves. The campaign is ok, it gets easy at the end. Lots of potential, looks amazing. I am keeping mine, even though 2 friends have it.
 
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David Griffin
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I think it's a fun little tactical dungeon crawl. It has it's flaws but I like it a lot. I've played through all the main book missions and am on the second campaign. I've done about 60% in normal mode and 40% in story mode. Normal mode is really where the heart of the game is.
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John Whyman
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tierdal wrote:
Got kick starter.

Game seems to be getting massive negative reviews.

I just want a fun/quick dice chucking game. I have imperial assault for complexity.

Have heard it's finicky and not fun... But have also heard it's light fun

Any suggestions?


Massive Darkness is an underwhelming game due to the built in randomness, the rules and figure statistics. A great dungeon crawl has a well balanced story with plot twists. Since the game was a kickstarter, there are add-ons and exclusive figures. A set of stories could not be written that is made for the add-ons since many would find that extra expense prohibitive. The story could not be written just for the core game since that would exclude the add-ons and few would buy them. For those buying the game at retail, the stories can't have KS exclusive figures. So CMON made a game that randomly introduces figures, some of which in a well written story would be reserved for climactic conclusions.
The rules have some unnecessary complications. To gradually challenge to players, there are levels on the playing surface which are truly confusing. That aspect activates enemy figures from 5 levels of difficulty. The difference between each level is so minimal as to make it pointless. The hero players level up so much each game that they are un-phased by the most threatening foe.
The worst aspect of Massive Darkness is the statistics for the monsters and heroes. The monster stats have no relation to the size and threat of each figure. There are too many small figures with better dice combinations than the largest and scariest figures. The problem with the hero statistics is that they have none. A wizard can out barbarian a barbarian with the acquisition of heavy arms and armor.
The good part of Massive Darkness are the monster figures. The large ones are well detailed and look awesome. Yet the best ones are KS exclusives, so buying the retail game would feel like an insult. The small ones are above average but not much to excited about. The artists seem to have taken some shortcuts with too many monsters wearing skirts. I'd mention the lack of a dragon but that is another story.
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David Griffin
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scurvy duck wrote:
tierdal wrote:
Got kick starter.

Game seems to be getting massive negative reviews.

I just want a fun/quick dice chucking game. I have imperial assault for complexity.

Have heard it's finicky and not fun... But have also heard it's light fun

Any suggestions?


Massive Darkness is an underwhelming game due to the built in randomness, the rules and figure statistics. A great dungeon crawl has a well balanced story with plot twists. Since the game was a kickstarter, there are add-ons and exclusive figures. A set of stories could not be written that is made for the add-ons since many would find that extra expense prohibitive. The story could not be written just for the core game since that would exclude the add-ons and few would buy them. For those buying the game at retail, the stories can't have KS exclusive figures. So CMON made a game that randomly introduces figures, some of which in a well written story would be reserved for climactic conclusions.
The rules have some unnecessary complications. To gradually challenge to players, there are levels on the playing surface which are truly confusing. That aspect activates enemy figures from 5 levels of difficulty. The difference between each level is so minimal as to make it pointless. The hero players level up so much each game that they are un-phased by the most threatening foe.
The worst aspect of Massive Darkness is the statistics for the monsters and heroes. The monster stats have no relation to the size and threat of each figure. There are too many small figures with better dice combinations than the largest and scariest figures. The problem with the hero statistics is that they have none. A wizard can out barbarian a barbarian with the acquisition of heavy arms and armor.
The good part of Massive Darkness are the monster figures. The large ones are well detailed and look awesome. Yet the best ones are KS exclusives, so buying the retail game would feel like an insult. The small ones are above average but not much to excited about. The artists seem to have taken some shortcuts with too many monsters wearing skirts. I'd mention the lack of a dragon but that is another story.


Wow that is a really negative look at it. Yes there are some flaws, randomness regarding what monsters you draw and so forth, but I disagree with most of this.

Stories are minimal, but you know something (which is more than you know about Myth). I'd like more story, but I don't think it's needed for the game.

I think the rules are pretty good, and if they have flaws, it's mostly the edge cases that are omitted from the rules, leaving you puzzling over what they intended. Not too bad with this one. Not enough to damage the fun. The levels of monster DO matter, as do the levels of the gear they get. I found that out 2 games ago when I triggered level 3 before I was ready and got squashed.

The size of the figure is mostly hit points rather than military capability and the power levels wind up a little compressed due to the number of hit points the heroes have. You already have the problem of being one-shotted by the monsters with a good roll (and sometimes a bad defense roll), going from well to dead. That's annoying, but if the bigger monsters were also better from a military standpoint, the players wouldn't stand a chance. Not optimal perhaps, but still fun and an acceptable compromise so far for me.

Not all the classes have equivalent power for sure. Some are better than others and the same is true for the characters. A battle wizard like Elias (one of the best if not the best battle wizard) with sword and spell to make his melee weapons into magical weapons, dual wielding with fireball effects is an excellent damage dealer, especially with zap. Bjorn though has a better version of zap, excellent skills to deal damage and absorb damage without needing armor and definitely is the better close up warrior. Elias gets killed a LOT more easily.

My advice is to keep it, play it, and make your own decision.
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Jeff K
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It's crazy how many of these threads keep popping up. Gonna suggest geekbuddies, as I always do in these situations. Do people really put that much stock in random reviews? Case in point:

scurvy duck wrote:

A great dungeon crawl has a well balanced story with plot twists.

So, I suppose every DC that includes a random dungeon generator, which has literally zero story elements aside from the ones you make up yourself on the fly are not good dungeon crawlers? Does this assertion even make sense? Some great DCs have that aspect. I do not recall C'Mon ever making the claim that this was a story-book driven DC. People really need to read the KS'es before pledging. This game was always going to be more skirmish-ey than RPG-ish. This is not a surprise.

scurvy duck wrote:
Since the game was a kickstarter, there are add-ons and exclusive figures. A set of stories could not be written that is made for the add-ons since many would find that extra expense prohibitive. The story could not be written just for the core game since that would exclude the add-ons and few would buy them. For those buying the game at retail, the stories can't have KS exclusive figures. So CMON made a game that randomly introduces figures, some of which in a well written story would be reserved for climactic conclusions.

No. There aren't really any "story elements" for any of the monsters in this game. It is trivial to change anything written into any scenario to suit whichever monsters are at hand, with the possible exception of the spider in scenario 2. The exclusive figures are, in my view, a fantastic added bonus (despite what people may have thought during the KS). Because Roaming monsters appear randomly, and have variable powers, having more of them really gives you a lot more control of the chaos of this game. (Plus it keeps it from getting too samey, which is another drawback to the game. Although, to be fair, most DCs are fairly repetitive.) You could include/exclude them, or even rank them, to tweak the balance.

OP: Speaking of which, I completely agree that the game is super-swingy and lacks balance. In my estimation, there is no way to "fix" this in MD. It will always be this wild chaotic, unbalanced game. Only a complete overhaul will change anything. Not sure that will ever happen. So this game is definitely not for everybody (although no game is).

What MD does well, OTOH, is gives you this illusion of a campaign progression with leveling up without the long campaign slog. That is what the hook is here. There doesn't seem to be a good way to do that with great balance, although I can't really point to a game that has tried something like this before. The other thing is that I think C'Mon really shot themselves in the foot with this "story mode," which is hugely problematic (despite what I thought at the time they announced it, partway through the campaign). This game really wasn't meant to be played that way. Honestly, it is pretty unique among DCs in that it gives you a very quick playing crawl (relatively speaking) with lots of loot and progression. But as a result, games will either be exciting and tense, impossible, or a cakewalk. I don't think there is any way around it as the game stands.

However, fact is: you have the game. Play it! And then decide for yourself, I just can't see how it makes sense to do anything else. It's like ordering at a restaurant and then looking up a review. Your food shows up and you may or may not eat it, depending on the review you just read? In my opinion that doesn't make sense, but YMMV. I'm not trying to convince you on way or another, just make up your own mind is my advice, to you and anyone who has this question.
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David Griffin
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The only DC that isn't wildly uncontrolled are the D&D board games. The threat is pretty tightly controlled. Also real roleplaying games where the engine for managing the monsters and the world is human!

If you want to make this game SEEM tightly controlled, play Shadows Of Brimstone. One or two games of that should fix that swingy feeling.
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Jason Daniels
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tierdal wrote:
Got kick starter.

Game seems to be getting massive negative reviews.

I just want a fun/quick dice chucking game. I have imperial assault for complexity.

Have heard it's finicky and not fun... But have also heard it's light fun

Any suggestions?


No one can tell you if you'll like the game. People will give you reasons not to like it, others will give you reasons to like it. But no one knows you, or what you like. Random reviews by random strangers are just that: random.

If you can't tell by reading the rules, or possibly watching it played, whether you will like it or not, then just give it a shot and see. You spent the money on the KS version, so you either saw something you liked, or you got caught in someone else's hype.

Don't put too much stock in my positive attitude toward the game, or someone else's negativity.
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CJ Ren
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Thanks everyone.

Honestly I just want a game where I can throw down some tiles (not have to painstaking piece together maps like in IA) ... Spawn some monsters add Chuck some dice.

Sounds like that's what this is...

Def don't need a campaign game. I have IA and Gloom for that.
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tierdal wrote:
Thanks everyone.

Honestly I just want a game where I can throw down some tiles (not have to painstaking piece together maps like in IA) ... Spawn some monsters add Chuck some dice.

Sounds like that's what this is...

Def don't need a campaign game. I have IA and Gloom for that.


I've played core campaign IA and 2 missions (the 2nd one 3 times) of Gloomhaven. I like Massive Darkness better.
 
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I own and have played Massive Darkness, Descent (as well as the road to legend app) and Star Wars Imperial Assault. I have to admit that Massive Darkness is the most “fun” to play. It’s MUUUUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH easier and faster to teach (5 minutes maybe), but it DOES get fiddly and complex towards the end of a quest. I actually like this progression of difficulty though. It doesn’t get any more fiddly than the other two I mentioned (and those ones are fiddly all through out and a longer teach).

Bottom line for me: Massive Darkness is just different enough to sit in a collection next to a deeper, more complex, campaign style dungeon crawl. I don’t think it fires Descent at least. If anything Descent fires itself because if I can’t get a group to campaign with, than what’s the point? Massive Darkness is a super fun dice chucking romp that you can get started quickly with any group.
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Matthew Barille
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Alot of the fiddly aspects of this game can be mitigated by using tokens or something to denote who gets what bonuses. Especially if you play solo with 4 chars like me. I plan on using my extra token pack from sentinels of the multiverse so that I can at a glance know what die they roll, and what bonuses they get. As to the lighter nature of the game I do not know what people really expected. All these people who hate the game seemed to be expecting something much deeper than was ever offered. I think it is their own fault for expecting something super heavy from this game, no where did I get that impression. I think how swingy the dice are is actually pretty realistic, they monster could miss you, hit you, or give you a deathblow. I agree story mode is not that great, but it was tacked on halfway through because people begged for it. And even then its not horrible, just too easy endgame. The only real complain I have is they need more item cards, there is not a single mace at level 4 or 5, only 2 armor sets, and many of the items are not different from one level to the next. Though in a one off mission that wont matter, only seems to really hurt story mode.
 
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tierdal wrote:
Thanks everyone.

Honestly I just want a game where I can throw down some tiles (not have to painstaking piece together maps like in IA) ... Spawn some monsters add Chuck some dice.

Sounds like that's what this is...

Def don't need a campaign game. I have IA and Gloom for that.


The only real answer is to play the game yourself. All the "massive complaints" are purely subjective and apply to themselves.
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While it's true that people will have different views on the game, I don't think it's fair to totally disregard negative reviews. Some things can be more subjective like the swingy nature of the game. Some people may love this while other hate it. However, things like the game being super easy at later levels, too much treasure in lower player count games, or Story Mode being messed up are pretty much universal views the game has received.

Also, if someone has the game then just opening and playing isn't always the best advice. A sealed game goes for much more than an opened and played with game. If the person in question isn't sure, it might be helpful to point different aspects of the game out.
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David Griffin
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deathleech wrote:
While it's true that people will have different views on the game, I don't think it's fair to totally disregard negative reviews. Some things can be more subjective like the swingy nature of the game. Some people may love this while other hate it. However, things like the game being super easy at later levels, too much treasure in lower player count games, or Story Mode being messed up are pretty much universal views the game has received.

Also, if someone has the game then just opening and playing isn't always the best advice. A sealed game goes for much more than an opened and played with game. If the person in question isn't sure, it might be helpful to point different aspects of the game out.


I agree, criticism is healthy. I have some criticisms too, but I really like the game, despite those. I've almost played it as many times as High Frontier, and THAT game was really just to see if I could master the rules (at least enough to play). I'm playing THIS game just because I find if fun.
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deathleech wrote:
While it's true that people will have different views on the game, I don't think it's fair to totally disregard negative reviews. Some things can be more subjective like the swingy nature of the game. Some people may love this while other hate it. However, things like the game being super easy at later levels, too much treasure in lower player count games, or Story Mode being messed up are pretty much universal views the game has received.

Also, if someone has the game then just opening and playing isn't always the best advice. A sealed game goes for much more than an opened and played with game. If the person in question isn't sure, it might be helpful to point different aspects of the game out.


But as you pointed out, "Some things can be more subjective like the swingy nature of the game."

So the best advice IS for the OP to open it and play it so they can subjectively decide if the game works for them. The dollar lose on an opened game is negligible compared to buying and reselling the game without gaining any enjoyment from it. Plus his is loaded with KS extras. Shouln't be much of a problem whether the core is open or not.
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Jorune wrote:
deathleech wrote:
While it's true that people will have different views on the game, I don't think it's fair to totally disregard negative reviews. Some things can be more subjective like the swingy nature of the game. Some people may love this while other hate it. However, things like the game being super easy at later levels, too much treasure in lower player count games, or Story Mode being messed up are pretty much universal views the game has received.

Also, if someone has the game then just opening and playing isn't always the best advice. A sealed game goes for much more than an opened and played with game. If the person in question isn't sure, it might be helpful to point different aspects of the game out.


But as you pointed out, "Some things can be more subjective like the swingy nature of the game."


They definitely can be, but that's why good reviews will take the time to elaborate on these things. That way readers can better form an opinion and decided if they will like or dislike certain aspects of the game.

For instance I know several people have said how much they like the swingy nature of the game. For them, it creates a varying degree of difficulty and keeps each game interesting and unique. Maybe you will spawn a really weak guard with an unusable equipment card one round, only to spawn one of the tougher roaming monsters with a great piece of gear the next.

Personally I hate the swingy nature of the game. While I like each game feeling different, I hate the fact you can get unlucky and draw a card that will end the game for you without you having any sort of real control over it. For instance being a tankier class without a form of Slippery and having a guard like the Goblin Warriors (with an armor equipment card) ambush you at level 1 can leave you unable to do much of anything except hope for an amazing roll or die. You can't escape and hide in the shadows without Slippery, you can't get better gear, you can't gain any new skills, and you are going to most likely be rolling 1-2 attack dice yet trying to bust through at least 3 blue defense, all the while only having 1 blue defense dice yourself.

It's the same situation with event cards and Roaming Monsters spawning at level 1. You either hope to get really lucky when you engage them with your rolls, or you hide and hope a second RM (or Agent) doesn't spawn while you wait for them to path away. That is, if you aren't already engaged with another enemy. These kinds of things aren't fun for me because you have no control over them and no way to really beat them. Some people are fine with that though and just chalk it up to bad luck and mark it as a loss.


Jorune wrote:
So the best advice IS for the OP to open it and play it so they can subjectively decide if the game works for them. The dollar lose on an opened game is negligible compared to buying and reselling the game without gaining any enjoyment from it. Plus his is loaded with KS extras. Shouln't be much of a problem whether the core is open or not.


Opening anything dramatically reduces the price. Even if the core game would only fetch say $60 on eBay, opening it will probably cut that price in half. For a game you may absolutely hate and only play once, that's not really worth it imo.
 
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deathleech wrote:
Jorune wrote:
deathleech wrote:
While it's true that people will have different views on the game, I don't think it's fair to totally disregard negative reviews. Some things can be more subjective like the swingy nature of the game. Some people may love this while other hate it. However, things like the game being super easy at later levels, too much treasure in lower player count games, or Story Mode being messed up are pretty much universal views the game has received.

Also, if someone has the game then just opening and playing isn't always the best advice. A sealed game goes for much more than an opened and played with game. If the person in question isn't sure, it might be helpful to point different aspects of the game out.


But as you pointed out, "Some things can be more subjective like the swingy nature of the game."


They definitely can be, but that's why good reviews will take the time to elaborate on these things. That way readers can better form an opinion and decided if they will like or dislike certain aspects of the game.

For instance I know several people have said how much they like the swingy nature of the game. For them, it creates a varying degree of difficulty and keeps each game much different than the last. Maybe you will spawn a really weak guard with an unusable equipment card one round, only to spawn one of the tougher roaming monsters with a great piece of gear the next/

Personally I hate the swingy nature of the game. While I like each game playing differently, I hate the fact you can get unlucky and draw a card that will end the game for you without you having any sort of control over it. For instance being a tankier class without a form of Slippery and having a guard like the Goblin Warriors (with an armor equipment card) ambush you at level 1 can leave you unable to do much of anything except die. You can't escape and hide in the shadows without Slippery, you can't get better gear, you can't use any skills since you haven't gotten any besides your starting ones, and you are going to most likely be rolling 1-2 attack dice yet trying to bust through at least 3 blue defense, all the while only having 1 blue defense dice yourself.

It's the same situation with event cards and Roaming Monsters spawning at level 1. You either hope to get really lucky when you engage them with your rolls, or you hide and hope a second RM (or Agent) doesn't spawn while you wait for them to path away. That is, if you aren't already engaged with another enemy. These kinds of things aren't fun for me because you have no control over them and no way to really beat them. Some people are fine with that though and just chalk it up to a loss.


Jorune wrote:
So the best advice IS for the OP to open it and play it so they can subjectively decide if the game works for them. The dollar lose on an opened game is negligible compared to buying and reselling the game without gaining any enjoyment from it. Plus his is loaded with KS extras. Shouln't be much of a problem whether the core is open or not.


Opening anything dramatically reduces the price. Even if the core game would only fetch say $60 on eBay, opening it will probably cut that price in half. For a game you may absolutely hate and only play once, that's not really worth it.


Then the only game I can recommend as a dungeon crawl is the D&D games. Try Temple of Elemental Evil. It's a decent challenge, but the threat level is really well controlled. No real swingy nature. You could get more slightly more powerful creatures, but usually the threat level is stable game to game. I like these games a lot, but there is no wild variability.
 
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