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Subject: Difficulty Labeling for Scenarios Questionable? rss

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William Smith
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Does anyone know how FFG decides to identify the difficulty of different scenarios? I find some of their numbers highly questionable given my experiences playing several of them. Now admittedly, there is the variable of what deck and tactics you employ to beat a quest, but I still find their labeling erroneous.

Here are two comparisons from my own(and from what I have read on the forums, others') experiences.

-Hunt for Gollum(difficulty 4) I find eminently more beatable than Journey Down the Anduin(difficulty 4).
-Into the Pit(diffulty 5) I find much easier than The Seventh Level(difficulty 3).

Obviously other comparisons could be made, but I think either their number system doesn't work or their metrics that help them come of with these numbers is broken.

Anyone having similar experiences?
 
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brian
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I ask this in all sincerity: Why does it matter?

Surely it is some arbitrary number anyway that would count differently based on decks. I could build a deck that makes a 7 look like a 4 and that same deck might make a 4 look like a 7.

My guess is they have some inherent value to each of the sub-decks that go into a scenario. Probably a quick calculation gives them the ranking and leaves it at that.

Much like each Hero's threat is just a sum of their stats without taking into account their abilities.
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Viktor H
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
I ask this in all sincerity: Why does it matter?


Word.
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William Smith
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
I ask this in all sincerity: Why does it matter?

Well it matters for the following reasons...
1. Relatively new players will likely try to gauge which scenarios to tackle before others as they hone their deck-building skills. My assumption is, that is one of the reasons the game developers have the scale there in the first place(so its accuracy thus matters).
2. Players may become frustrated with an otherwise solid game if an "easier" or "medium" scenario is actually more challenging. This could discourage perseverence through the game,
3. FFG came up with a scale that seems to have some issues...so if nothing else its worth delving into how exactly they determine their difficulty level. If indeed it's all about deck construction then FFG is wrong to give the scenarios a difficulty at all(or perhaps they could have ranked them in more than one category).
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brian
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PKDuke wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
I ask this in all sincerity: Why does it matter?

Well it matters for the following reasons...
1. Relatively new players will likely try to gauge which scenarios to tackle before others as they hone their deck-building skills.

I agree with this for the new players but they should by sharpening their teeth on Passage through Mirkwood.

Quote:
2. Players may become frustrated with an otherwise solid game if an "easier" or "medium" scenario is actually more challenging. This could discourage perseverence through the game,

I am not so sure they would give up that easy just because of a number system. Again, a scenario that is perceived harder than its rating just tells me I need to tweak the deck or try another one altogether. Would the absence of numbers make them any less frustrated? Arkham Horror doesn't rate the different expansions and some games are easy wins in no time, and others are multiple hours of losing frustration. But I don't give up on the game.

Quote:
3. FFG came up with a scale that seems to have some issues...so if nothing else its worth delving into how exactly they determine their difficulty level.

So what do you propose in its place? I think it is all relative. A rating system can really only be used on one type of deck - something that is the benchmark. Some scenarios may focus more on fighting which makes questing decks that much harder to use. Or knowing the exact player deck in mind to beat a scenario may give the numbers that are assigned now.

I guess the only thing I can think of that would be an improvement is to give each scenario multiple scales. Seems the main components of the scenario are questing, attack, and defense, plus surviving to meet some goal. Perhaps a measure in each of these areas would give a better indication. But it would also have to be adjusted for the number of players and types of decks.

But even if you came up with a system, wouldn't you play them all anyway?
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William Smith
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ColtsFan76 wrote:
PKDuke wrote:
ColtsFan76 wrote:
I ask this in all sincerity: Why does it matter?

Well it matters for the following reasons...
1. Relatively new players will likely try to gauge which scenarios to tackle before others as they hone their deck-building skills.

I agree with this for the new players but they should by sharpening their teeth on Passage through Mirkwood.

I agree.
However, therein lies the issue. A player becomes comfortable beating Mirkwood, looks at the difficulty scale and says "Oh, Seventh Level or Journey Down the Anduin are next". I would counsel that player to attempt Hunt for Gollum or Into the Pit next. This is where the FFG scale is misleading.

Is it a game breaker? No. Does it reduce my enthusiam for this great game? No. Is it a legitimate beef with the product? Sure.

Perhaps the issue isnt just the scale itself, but the lack of true "2" and "3" quests to bridge that gap between Mirkwood and the greater challenges.
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Duke Of Lizards
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PKDuke wrote:
Perhaps the issue isnt just the scale itself, but the lack of true "2" and "3" quests to bridge that gap between Mirkwood and the greater challenges.


This is an interesting point. I'd guess that the forums here would be filled with people voicing their disappointment in a new adventure pack had a difficulty rating as low as 2 or 3. I bet we'll only see such quests in big expansions similar to Khazad Dum.
 
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Chris Corbin
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Simply for curiosity's sake, I do wonder how they come up with the ratings. A "1" or a "4" or a "7" all seem fine on the face of it until you realize there is no context for where those numbers come from.
 
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Colin Houghton
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IMHO I think it may have been better to just have three groupings: Easy (beginner), normal, and Hard.
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Viktor H
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Chou4555 wrote:
IMHO I think it may have been better to just have three groupings: Easy (beginner), normal, and Hard.

I agree, but that seems a bit to simple for FFG
 
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Colin Houghton
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I'm not a statistician but I always find it interesting the way experts want to create complicated assessment criteria and scoring systems to keep things complicated and special, so that only they can provide scores for things.

But loads of things can be reduced to just a few scores- in fact try to rate things in my diary just using a scale of three: good, indifferent and bad. Excting, OK, boring. Sober, nice, drunk. You get the gist...

Some gaming magazines still give scores out of 100. I get "Classic Rock" magazine and thankfully they rate new albums out of 5.

End of sermon/rant/meandering!
 
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Bart Rachemoss
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Rating quest difficulty is easy. Play the quest ten times. Count the number of times you burst into tears. That is the difficulty level.
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Colin Houghton
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Ha Ha!
 
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Troy Adlington
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PKDuke wrote:
Does anyone know how FFG decides to identify the difficulty of different scenarios? I find some of their numbers highly questionable given my experiences playing several of them. Now admittedly, there is the variable of what deck and tactics you employ to beat a quest, but I still find their labeling erroneous.

Here are two comparisons from my own(and from what I have read on the forums, others') experiences.

-Hunt for Gollum(difficulty 4) I find eminently more beatable than Journey Down the Anduin(difficulty 4).
-Into the Pit(diffulty 5) I find much easier than The Seventh Level(difficulty 3).

Obviously other comparisons could be made, but I think either their number system doesn't work or their metrics that help them come of with these numbers is broken.

Anyone having similar experiences?


There are no metrics, Nate said they just try and assess win rates using the same decks. Doe's it 'feel' harder

If the decks they use differ to yours the difficulty level will vary
 
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BitJam wrote:
Rating quest difficulty is easy. Play the quest ten times. Count the number of times you burst into tears. That is the difficulty level.



you only burst into tears 7 out of 10 times playing Escape from Dol Guldur?

I think the reason why DL doesn't make sense to lot of people is that they use control decks, rather than decks that can handle enemies from turn 1.

Try playing a control deck (especially Rohan deck, that relies on low threat and Dunhere's ability) against Passage of Mirkwood.

with 1 low threat enemy already in staging area + 10 low threat enemies in the encounter deck, there is very good chance you will be engaged by 2 enemies on turn 1, then you will be like "how is this scenario DL1?!?"
 
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