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Vast: The Crystal Caverns» Forums » General

Subject: Interesting game, but some decisions are odd rss

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meles meles
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I'm considering buying the game in the future. I mostly like it, but some design decisions sound odd. Quirky for the sake of quirkiness.

Dragon mechanics appear most contrived. Dragon as a whole behaves unlike a dragon. It's a hunted animal, some sort of Wumpus. There's even bow and giant bats (not to mention Zork reference(s)). What kind of dragon spreads gems around ? Why is it not laying eggs ? Because it would be too fitting ? Worse, the mechanics are inconsistent. Dragon is "underground" but Knight can hurt it. It can lay eggs dragon gems, but Knight, who's on higher level, can destroy them without using bombs she otherwise needs. And wouldn't it be more dragon-like if dragon's objective after waking up was to kill the knight ?

If the game was rethemed, it would make more sense to make it Dog(Knight) vs Cat(Dragon) vs Rats(goblins). I only watched one playthrough video without the Thief, but I think Magpie could work (raccoons ignore cat attacks). Certainly if you used anthropomorphised animals. It sounds like the word "dragon" was slapped on top because it would sell more.

Minor issue with goblins. Surely I'm not supposed to believe they reproduce so fast ? How much time does the Knight spend there anyway - months ? A better choice of words would be "overcrowding", not "overpopulation".
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Ed Hughes
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My interpretation is that the dragon is slithering around under gravel. The knight can penetrate the gravel with a bomb or javelin.

The dragon is hunted by the knight, true, but it can casually kill the goblins and thief.

My impression is that the goblins aren't breeding, but rather rallying errant goblins from around the dungeon into some semblance of order until they inevitably scatter. I agree overcrowding is more apt than overpopulation, but it seems like a minor quibble.
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Ivor Bolakov
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Quote:
I only watched one playthrough video
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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The dragon is kind of sleepwalking. It moves in sleep (or barely woken up) in the second level of caves (deep caves). Knight is wandering on the first level, but can see the dragon sometimes, through holes in the floor - but to hurt him, he needs javelin (to reach) or a bomb. The dragon isn't keen on fighting, he just wants peace of mind. Gems are fragile things, so it's understandable that Knight can just throw them at the wall to shatter them, no special equipment required.

Goblins on the mat are representatives of clans, so naturally, there are more of them, it's not like they're just three. Agree, overcrowd would be more fitting.

That's how I always pictured it. Never had a problem with it, really. I actually enjoy the fact, that even when reaching for generic fantasy, the game isn't following the most obvious trend of the knight going to kill the treasure, save the dragon and steal the princess. Wait, what?

And the game (maybe) *will be* rethemed - https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1752703/wip-vast-mysterious...
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meles meles
Poland
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rattkin wrote:
Gems are fragile things, so it's understandable that Knight can just throw them at the wall to shatter them, no special equipment required.


By climbing down on a rope, picking them up, throwing them at a wall, and ascending back ? Why not just attack the dragon while at it ?

Just how fragile are those gems ? Would she shatter them if she peed on them from above ?

This still doesn't sound convincing. I would prefer if, for example, dragon was shedding skin like a snake. Then it would make more sense the dragon is soft and vulnerable (but perhaps not as amusing as the idea of a sleepy dragon that needs a greenskin breakfast to wake up).

The way dragon is played sounds very calculating. Carefully making decisions to gain the most and avoid danger. Don't light too many squares because it helps the Cave, etc. That does not sound like sleepwalking. Maybe it's dumb by dragon standards, but not by human standard.

It's insisting on a traditional western dragon that irks me. I understand that it's playtested and works vell - people enjoy playing the dragon. Still, I'm a bit disappointed there are 0 (zero) variants that replace the Dragon. It could be a Chinese-inspired weasel-like dragon instead, with a long sticky tongue like an anteater or aardvark(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIOpu12zOrw). Then snatching goblins from above would make more sense (knight has a nasty, sharp sword, so dragon wouldn't lick her). It could be some crazy beast mashup like in a boardgame (card game) I've seen, I think it was on KS too. You assembled fantasy animals out of 3 cards, one for front, one for middle section and one for rear. And the kicker was, each section contained a part of a sentence. As you assembled those fantasy animals, you also assembled factoids about them. How about a winged serpent ? A phoenix dropping its feathers ? A giant catfish ? Catfish can weight more than 70kg and occasionally they attack humans, especially near their nests. Surely they would eat goblins. There are documentary videos and medieval accounts. Chinese dragons are benevolent, but Greek Cetus is vaguely serpentine. Or maybe a Loch Ness monster, a Water Watcher(tentacled) or similar aquatic creature. That would explain better why it can't be attacked directly.

OhBollox wrote:
Quote:
I only watched one playthrough video


Yes, watching a 1h 48m video is a big time investment for a game I haven't played yet. Better that than start by ordering an unknown game that's not even released in my country. But I won't object if you send me a copy.
 
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Sebastian Zarzycki
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I guess I already responded here.

Sorry you're not convinced. Different people will have different "ideal" ideas about what all these roles should be doing. You haven't played the game so you're theorizing. Play it first, maybe. To me, this quickly falls into background. I know the setting and I'm ok with it, I really don't need the details. It's the cross-interaction that makes the game so amazingly good and fresh.

Please understand that the roles are falling under certain gameplay archetypes, design-wise, and Dragon is, to a certain extent, a less abstracted version of it. The Dragon or Knight, and others, are just tangible embodiments (sp?) for these roles. As such, the game (I suspect) wasn't ever created with particular Dragon in mind. It's just so happened that the Dragon kind of fit a particular role (the same way Spider does in Manor).

Quote:
Still, I'm a bit disappointed there are 0 (zero) variants that replace the Dragon


Not true. Nightmare Unicorn disagrees.
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meles meles
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Yes, the unique thing is it sounds like an ecosystem of sorts.
 
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Ethan Furman
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b0rsuk wrote:
Yes, watching a 1h 48m video is a big time investment for a game I haven't played yet. Better that than start by ordering an unknown game that's not even released in my country.

You're complaining and "fixing" a game you have never played? Really? Print out the print-n-play and try it, then come back and complain. At least then you'll have some actual experience.

And if you don't like it, don't buy it -- not every game is good for every body.

You might also check out Leder Games' latest offering: Root, a Woodland Game of Might and Right. It's also asymmetric, but more of a war game with every role able to directly interact with every other role. I believe preorders are possible until May 1st, 2018.
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Callum Baird
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Doesn't sound like you'd like it.

Thinking about theme, a cave comes alive, a thief has a curse that makes it groundhog day, a player can flip and orient tiles....the list goes on, but really, what game ever follows strictly to theme? And why can't the designers publish a game where a dragon is asleep in some sort of lower berth of a cave that thinks and changes? And why can't they require him to surface by moving to a crystal? And why would a knight or goblins have to smash crystals? Use your head and try to think why it can, instead of finding reasons why it can't. Don't stifle the creative world with narrow and overly literal thematic constrictions. In the world of Vast, dragons poo gems, and a bomb is required to attack a sleeping dragon. Vast isn't set in medieval Europe, and it doesn't exist in our plane of existence, much like every single other book, film, board game, video game in the fantasy genre.
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Peter S.
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The Thief also, if I remember an earlier dev post, was originally a thieve's guild, where every time one died a new one was sent down (and you only got to improve/change your character when that happened).

Personally, I've played enough RPGs where an ancient evil was "sealed away" and you have to go after it before it fully awakens... the dragon is crawling and slithering just out of sight, just out of reach, snatching goblins and yanking them down into the unstable fissures in the cave's floor, menacing and intimidating with its hiss, causing flames to erupt from the floor... the cursed cave's essence is already linked to the dragon and thief it traps, and it lures yet another into its maw. Is the dragon also its victim? Its bait? Was the Thief the prior fool led into this trap? Does he now seeking to diminish the cave's hold by tossing its curiously preserved magic items and glittering gems out into the sunlight?

...I dunno, I find it pretty easy to work with, myself.
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ErsatzDragon wrote:
The Thief also, if I remember an earlier dev post, was originally a thieve's guild, where every time one died a new one was sent down (and you only got to improve/change your character when that happened).


Wait, isn't there a *variant* thread that replaces the thief with a guild ? I think a guild that sends stronger and stronger thieves is a more sensible idea than a thief "cursed" with eternal life. It gives thieves an unique mechanic - although "suiciding" a thief to become more powerful is very game-y.

Quote:

Personally, I've played enough RPGs where an ancient evil was "sealed away" and you have to go after it before it fully awakens... the dragon is crawling and slithering just out of sight, just out of reach


Except this dragon appears toothless relative to the Knight. I would like it more if the dragon indeed got strong once it woke up, but no. And they technically start in the same place. Was there a good reason to make knight and dragon start in exactly the same area on the board ? Even if they can't really attack each other ? What does that accomplish ?

By the way the art direction kicks ass.
 
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