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Massive Darkness» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Beautiful but not playtested... effectively? rss

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Joshua Thorpe
United States
California
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The miniatures are beautiful.
The art is beautiful.
The characters are fun.
The classes are fun.

The game is not challenging.

The rule set is well written and fairly straightforward. However, it seems very little attention was paid to various interactions. A fairly common design response to RPG challenge level is "give it more health." That seems to be the core design philosophy with MD as opposed to a rote challenge fix.

Their fix was the "counter-attack" mechanic. Unfortunately, they made it very simple and easy for players to shut off.

I'm getting a bit nuanced. My group played two Quests in Standard Mode. It seemed a little easy once we got a few levels and a few items, but only "slight eyebrow raise" easy.

Standard Mode is the way to play this game. The rules are written to play the game this way. That being said, you will be in SOME danger early in the Quest. After you buy a few skills and grab a few treasures, you will be in little to no danger. Except from unlucky dice rolling.

We moved on to Story Mode thinking the game would become more challenging. We could not have been more mistaken. Remember earlier when I said, "you will be in danger only at the beginning of the Quest?" Well Story Mode makes all of the Quests into one Quest for the purposes of items and class skills.

We DOUBLED THE HEALTH OF EVERYTHING and let them use any item. The difficulty of the Quest did not change.

One of the characters can move twelve squares a turn and deal 4 damage the whole way! (You'd have to play to understand how and why this is absurd, but it works out to 24 damage just by moving his character)

One of the characters takes away all of the enemies' Defense dies every time she attacks.

One of the characters deals 60 points of damage an Activation regularly. (The most health anything in the game can have with max players is 42)

In summation, the production value of the game is amazing, but do NOT play Story Mode. Also, be prepared to throw in some house rules for Standard Mode unless you aren't not at all interested in there being a chance you might lose.
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Brant Benoit
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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Played twice....too easy.
My guess is you played the tutorial and quest 1.
Try quest 2 and we'll come back to the too easy comment.
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Christopher
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The tutorial and quest 1 are a cakewalk. Quests 2-5 are much more challenging.
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mortego
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IDK why I had this notion but Massive Darkness, to me from what I've read, was never meant to be a HEAVY RPG dungeon crawl. This was why I made the choice to get it/want it.

I have only played the tutorial & I really like the lightness of the game, it fires on all cylinders for me.

Also, I only like one-shot dungeon crawls, campaigns don't really hold my attention.

This game meets my needs & I'm glad I own it.
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Travis Patrick
United States
Missouri
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I play this game with my wife, and we play standard mode with 2 heroes each. Quest 2 and 4 were both very difficult and took multiple tries. The only house rule we play with is that transmute gives a card the same level as the lowest level card used for the transmute.

After we played quest 1, I was a little bit on the fence about whether I liked this game. Now that we are on quest 6, I absolutely love this game. I'm really not interested in playing less than 4 characters, even if I play solo. So I can't comment on how the game play is with less than 4.

I just wanted to offer my take on it since I see so many people with negative reviews.
 
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Andrew Moore
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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Gigarot wrote:
One of the characters can move twelve squares a turn and deal 4 damage the whole way! (You'd have to play to understand how and why this is absurd, but it works out to 24 damage just by moving his character)

One of the characters takes away all of the enemies' Defense dies every time she attacks.

One of the characters deals 60 points of damage an Activation regularly. (The most health anything in the game can have with max players is 42)



After playing the first 5 regular campaigns and 5 Crystal & Lava campaign quests, (unless am missing something huge here) I think you are playing the game very VERY wrong.
 
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Michael Dickerson
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MOORE112682 wrote:
Gigarot wrote:
One of the characters can move twelve squares a turn and deal 4 damage the whole way! (You'd have to play to understand how and why this is absurd, but it works out to 24 damage just by moving his character)

One of the characters takes away all of the enemies' Defense dies every time she attacks.

One of the characters deals 60 points of damage an Activation regularly. (The most health anything in the game can have with max players is 42)



After playing the first 5 regular campaigns and 5 Crystal & Lave campaign quests, (unless am missing something huge here) I think you are playing the game very VERY wrong.


This.

We have 20+ plays at this point, have used almost all of the characters (incl. KS exclusives and BP crossover), and have never seen anything remotely approaching your examples. I'm not saying there aren't some fringe cases where the right character, class, equipment, quest, etc. line up to make something pretty powerful, but this seems excessive.

Is it possible:

1. You may be playing something incorrectly?
2. The stars aligned just perfectly (3 times!) for your characters?

Your situations are certainly not something that happens "regularly".

Can you tell us which characters were used? Also, which classes were you playing at the time? What did they have equipped? Which quest?
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Andrew Moore
United States
Maryland Heights
Missouri
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lugnutx wrote:
MOORE112682 wrote:
Gigarot wrote:
One of the characters can move twelve squares a turn and deal 4 damage the whole way! (You'd have to play to understand how and why this is absurd, but it works out to 24 damage just by moving his character)

One of the characters takes away all of the enemies' Defense dies every time she attacks.

One of the characters deals 60 points of damage an Activation regularly. (The most health anything in the game can have with max players is 42)



After playing the first 5 regular campaigns and 5 Crystal & Lave campaign quests, (unless am missing something huge here) I think you are playing the game very VERY wrong.


This.

We have 20+ plays at this point, have used almost all of the characters (incl. KS exclusives and BP crossover), and have never seen anything remotely approaching your examples. I'm not saying there aren't some fringe cases where the right character, class, equipment, quest, etc. line up to make something pretty powerful, but this seems excessive.

Is it possible:

1. You may be playing something incorrectly?
2. The stars aligned just perfectly (3 times!) for your characters?

Your situations are certainly not something that happens "regularly".

Can you tell us which characters were used? Also, which classes were you playing at the time? What did they have equipped? Which quest?


Also here are some rules players tend to misinterpret that change the game's difficulty dramatically.

1st I think you are misusing the skills. Combat skills can only be activated when making an attack, or (once per activation when stated). It sounds like you are using all the skills simultaneously, as many times as you like, (I think this because no character should be doing 60 points of damage per activation regularly, not sure what you're missing but I know that is incorrect or "One of the characters takes away all of the enemies' Defense dies every time she attacks." I know is not correct.) Knight's armor takes away shields not dice, and some shadow skills take away dice but you have to be in a shadow zone and use a bam or diamond, but almost never all of their dice, especially greater roaming monsters.

2nd any enemy that you attack, once your turn is over, that enemy activates, and counter attacks.

3rd enchantments (bams and diamonds) are to be used like currency. One bam can only be used on one skill, OR one weapon enchantment (like stun). I will give you an example of how this can be used incorrectly. If there are three skills that take one bam to activate and you get one bam, it does not activate all three skills needing one bam, you have to chose which of the three you want to activate.

Lastly, I would watch a play through I think it would help you

Last minute edit: Bigger Picture: This game can be easy at times, and it can also be brutally difficult... when played correctly strategy definitely comes in to play, like attacking then leaving and hiding out of line of sight and in a shadow zone to stop a counter attack, or using a bam for a stun instead of more damage so that the enemy being attacked use their activation getting up and not attacking you (because maybe they are high attack and you are low defense) or maybe you want to stun them so you can move freely passed them without slippery etc. Or luring an enemy into a shadow zone to maximize the damage you do to it. I guess my point is, the game is fairly light and easy going but can be difficult at times depending on luck.
 
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Sebas Nolastname
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For those saying the stars aligned or he is doing something wrong. I'm experiencing almost the same thing.

I might have played over 30 adventures, three characters though story modes, I'm about to finish the crystal one now with a level 4 character that is way to overpowered. I think this might be my last play for this game.

My character is whisper. I don't have the game in front of me but for whay I remember I have:
the king's set (not that overpower, too easy to get it when playing with a group a couple of adventures where they really help you complete the set by looking for just level 2 treasures).
I also have the item that allows me to use my signature twice for free each round.

So I can move an extra from whisper, have two free movement actions.

I have a way of doing one damage when entering an enemy zone, and doing one damage when leaving the enemey zone, of course I have slippery.

Make the math if you want, but my character can reach the end of the dungeon to activate level 5 in the first round (to allow everyone to equip level 5 items) and will deal a lot of damage by just moving and avoid counterstrike by staying in shadow zones out of line of sight and on the opposite direction than the direction the enemy will be moving
 
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