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Subject: Better with 2 players, WoW TBG or Descent? rss

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Bobb Beauchamp
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When it comes to MMOs, I'm an Everquest/2 guy. I played the RTS Warcraft PC game, but got frustrated with WC3. I love dungeon crawls, and have plans to get Descent (sometime after we repair our failing water heater).

So, WoW gets closer to publication, and one day, I make the mistake of printing the rules. I'm a little intimidated by their length, to so it takes me a while to get around to reading them. One slow lunch break later, and I've read through them twice. I see a game that does a decent job of capturing the flavor of playing MMOs, some interesting combat mechanics, a fluid quest system that matches the pace of your characters, while imposing a final time limit/endgame. And a neat team/opposition setup that encourages cooperation was well as competition. Can you tell I'm starting to get hooked?

But I still love dungeon crawls. I had a chance to pick up Warhammer Quest once upon a time, but opted instead for other Warhammer games (le-sigh). So I'm pretty committed to getting Descent. Someday.

But here's the dilemma: With a newborn in the house, my wife and I don't really have the time to participate in any kind of gaming group. So mostly, it's just us. Occasionally, we can have a friend over, but more than that, and our place gets crowded. And with the baby, we don't travel well.

So, which plays better with just 2 people? WoW TBG, or Descent? Descent seems to have a built-in ability to have a lot of replayability for just 2 people: taking turns being the overlord, trying to get through all the scenarios with the same set of heroes, coming up with new scenarios, etc. WoW, despite being a game that I want to play MORE, seems like a game that I'll play less often once I've played it a few times, especially if it's mostly just 2-player games. Put another way, WoW seems to me to be a game that would be great if you had a regular group of 4-6 that could play it once a month. Wheras Descent would keep the interest of 2 players on a weekly basis.

Thoughts? arrrh
 
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James Stuart
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I think you've already got the right line of thinking. While you can vary up WoW by playing two-player coop, playing with two or three (or even four!) characters each. Same rough game, while you can keep Descent 'fresh' a lot easier, since you've got scenarios, campaigns, two different roles to trade off in, etc. Throw in your preference for dungeon crawls, and all the user-created content for Descent, and the ability to play, just like Wow, more than two heroes and it looks like a pretty easy pick.
 
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J. Green
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I tend to think that it depends on whether you like strategic versus tactical play. Descent is pretty much a tactical combat game. It's a lot more interesting to do tactical combat when it's a team versus the overlord, since you really *feel* like you're in a party of adventurers. Descent is impossible to play solo, in other words you *have* to have an overlord, since the OL represents the Game AI. There's no mechanism for random monster spawns, since the Overlord is there to create the living, breathing game world through card and resource management.

However, if you like strategic play, or character building/optimization, WoW offers you a game world and a system in which it's easily possible to have you and your wife play as opposing teams or on the same side versus the game system. You *can* play against each other, or you can just remove the events that trigger faction wars and bounties and tromp around together doing quests and see how long or short it takes you to defeat the overlord. With three overlords, 16 playable characters, and multiple choices of character development with talents, spells and items, there's a lot of replay value, *if* you like that kind of game.

To me, WoW has the gameplay of Runebound with the versatility of head-to-head combat available in Descent. Plus a great quest and treasure and event system, and a built-in time limit you can use or not if it's just you and your wife. Plus included rules variants. The random quest and event decks take the place of the scenario book in Descent. Me personally, I'm going with WoW, since I'm more into character development than tactical combat. The combat in WoW is more abstract; in fact it's like a mini-game in which you select dice, and then modify and place hits and other factors based on the results, and many of your items and abilities can modify the chaos or 'luck' of the die roll. It's a lot more interesting to me than just roll, add modifiers and see who beats the target number.
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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bookgnome wrote:
I tend to think that it depends on whether you like strategic versus tactical play. Descent is pretty much a tactical combat game. It's a lot more interesting to do tactical combat when it's a team versus the overlord, since you really *feel* like you're in a party of adventurers. Descent is impossible to play solo, in other words you *have* to have an overlord, since the OL represents the Game AI. There's no mechanism for random monster spawns, since the Overlord is there to create the living, breathing game world through card and resource management.

However, if you like strategic play, or character building/optimization, WoW offers you a game world and a system in which it's easily possible to have you and your wife play as opposing teams or on the same side versus the game system. You *can* play against each other, or you can just remove the events that trigger faction wars and bounties and tromp around together doing quests and see how long or short it takes you to defeat the overlord. With three overlords, 16 playable characters, and multiple choices of character development with talents, spells and items, there's a lot of replay value, *if* you like that kind of game.

To me, WoW has the gameplay of Runebound with the versatility of arrrhhead-to-head combat available in Descent. Plus a great quest and treasure and event system, and a built-in time limit you can use or not if it's just you and your wife. Plus included rules variants. The random quest and event decks take the place of the scenario book in Descent. Me personally, I'm going with WoW, since I'm more into character development than tactical combat. The combat in WoW is more abstract; in fact it's like a mini-game in which you select dice, and then modify and place hits and other factors based on the results, and many of your items and abilities can modify the chaos or 'luck' of the die roll. It's a lot more interesting to me than just roll, add modifiers and see who beats the target number.


I think you've hit my dilemma: I really like the system WoW has for character advancement over the game. Just from reading the rules, I think they did a very good job capturing the essense of what it's like to hear that "ding" of gaining a new level, new abilities, and most importantly, getting one level closer to going back to that high level zone and stomping all over those monsters that used to scare the piss out of you. Descent apes the Heroquest model of level up = better gear.

I know I'll eventually get both, so I suppose I need to figure out which one to start with. My wife did ask if we'd be able to play WoW co-op, and she likes the idea of an MMO-style game that we can start, but walk away from when the baby wakes up.

Thanks all for the response. Not sure which I'll end up getting...or when. But I'll let y'all know and post how my wife likes whatever we end up getting. arrrh
 
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T France
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Much to my surprise, my wife is actually quite enjoying Descent (although we have not played a 2 hero game yet).

Don't have WoW yet...
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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Thanks to all for the replies. We ended up getting Descent...last night. Not sure when we'll get to play...baby is starting to sleep more, but we need to catch up on a few other things. I decided that the late-game dice-fest that WoW seems to become might get tedious if it's just the 2 of us playing, and Descent probably has longer life, with the ability to create new adventures, or borrow from others. arrrh
 
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T France
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kingbobb wrote:
Thanks to all for the replies. We ended up getting Descent...last night. Not sure when we'll get to play...baby is starting to sleep more, but we need to catch up on a few other things. I decided that the late-game dice-fest that WoW seems to become might get tedious if it's just the 2 of us playing, and Descent probably has longer life, with the ability to create new adventures, or borrow from others. arrrh


My recommendation is that, the first time you play (trying out the rules and what-not), one of you plays the OL and 1 hero, while the other plays the other hero. That's what I did with my wife; I think she would have backed off at having to control 2 heroes.

After she sees how simple it is, she'll probably be willing to play 2 heroes (unless she wants to be the OL!)
 
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Bobb Beauchamp
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Titeman wrote:
kingbobb wrote:
Thanks to all for the replies. We ended up getting Descent...last night. Not sure when we'll get to play...baby is starting to sleep more, but we need to catch up on a few other things. I decided that the late-game dice-fest that WoW seems to become might get tedious if it's just the 2 of us playing, and Descent probably has longer life, with the ability to create new adventures, or borrow from others. arrrh


My recommendation is that, the first time you play (trying out the rules and what-not), one of you plays the OL and 1 hero, while the other plays the other hero. That's what I did with my wife; I think she would have backed off at having to control 2 heroes.

After she sees how simple it is, she'll probably be willing to play 2 heroes (unless she wants to be the OL!)


She may want to be the OL. She's more of an experienced gamer...we met while playing Everquest 5 years ago...so I don't feel the need to introduce her slowly. Plus, having her win her first time playing is often a good way to get her to want to play more, and I think the heroes have a good chance of winning the first scenario the first time through.

And since this is still a WoW board, let me add that this was a tough decision. Aspects of both games appeal to me, and we spent about 15 minutes watching a 4 or 5 player game of WoW last night before making our final decision. WoW just looks like such a fun game...but more fun if you have 4-6 people to play on a regular basis.
 
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