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Subject: Any word on future expansions reintroducing dungeon crawling to Descent? rss

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Christopher
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I'm a big fan of Descent 2e. It fixes all of the issues that have kept Descent off my table for years (play length, fiddliness, and unintended play tactics that work but aren't fun). In the process, however, it's essentially lost the elements that I think constitute a dungeon crawl (exploring and finding magic items/loot). I enjoy 2e as a great tactical skirmish game with character progression, but I really miss the dungeon crawling at the same time.

Has there been any word on future expansions reintroducing these elements to the game? Care to chime in Christian?
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Jeff Davis
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Though I have never played the first Descent, I am intrigued about the idea of adding in a lot of exploration to Descent 2. I like descent 2 a lot; however, as you say, it is slanted too much a tactical skirmish direction for it to be "perfect" for me.

- SK

EDIT: The latest expansion (Lair of the Wyrm) does add a small amount of exploration - but I want MORE! MORE I SAY!

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Thomas King
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This is definitely the single biggest reason I have yet to buy the game myself; I was really looking forward to a dungeon crawler. There are a lot of them out there, but many are just "okay" or do something odd that takes away from the primal dungeon-crawling design and feel.
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Jeff Davis
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Montag451 wrote:
This is definitely the single biggest reason I have yet to buy the game myself.


Sorry to hear you haven't bought the game yet because of this. Maybe you can reconsider? I really like the game in spite of the lack of exploration - very worth the money!

The Campaign system does it for me for sure - playing stand-slone quests does nothing for me (except to teach new players.)

I just want it to be "perfect"

- SK
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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sargonkid wrote:
The Campaign system does it for me for sure - playing stand-slone quests does nothing for me

Which, IMHO, is the biggest failure of 2nd Ed. They worked really hard to "streamline" the rules, make things play faster, smaller maps, easier LOS, all to play the game in 2 hours or so, but in reality to truly enjoy the game you have to play a 20 hour version of the game. So instead of playing a 5 hour dungeon crawl, you get to play a 20 hour tactical adventure. Not so sure that was a step forward...

-shnar
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Kelly Overholser
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SpoDaddy wrote:
I'm a big fan of Descent 2e. It fixes all of the issues that have kept Descent off my table for years (play length, fiddliness, and unintended play tactics that work but aren't fun). In the process, however, it's essentially lost the elements that I think constitute a dungeon crawl (exploring and finding magic items/loot). I enjoy 2e as a great tactical skirmish game with character progression, but I really miss the dungeon crawling at the same time.

Has there been any word on future expansions reintroducing these elements to the game? Care to chime in Christian? ;)


The problem is that "campaign" and "fast character advancement" are concepts that don't work together very well. You usually end up with one of three results if you try to do something like that:

-You need to have everything scale upwards constantly, both players and monsters. This ends up with a huge amount of cards and pieces for both, since you need to have enough rewards for each side to reach (and to keep them balanced against each other; if one side constantly gets stronger and the other doesn't, you'll have a very lopsided game.

-You need to have constant resets after each session, with all players going back to starting levels, or very close to it. You'll be able to go from a weak character to a powerhouse in one session, but you'll start the next session weak again.

-You need to have separate rules for campaign play and single sessions. First edition tried to do that with the campaign expansions, and while their quality can be arguable, the idea that you need to buy the base game and an expansion just to play a certain type of game doesn't sit well with a lot of people.
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Thomas King
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sargonkid wrote:
Montag451 wrote:
This is definitely the single biggest reason I have yet to buy the game myself.


Sorry to hear you haven't bought the game yet because of this. Maybe you can reconsider? I really like the game in spite of the lack of exploration - very worth the money!

I've considered it many times, but I'm not that big on tactical miniature games, and my brother really doesn't like competitive games, so Descent 2e is a really hard sell, especially for the lofty price tag.
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demonhanz demonhanz
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Montag451 wrote:
sargonkid wrote:
Montag451 wrote:
This is definitely the single biggest reason I have yet to buy the game myself.


Sorry to hear you haven't bought the game yet because of this. Maybe you can reconsider? I really like the game in spite of the lack of exploration - very worth the money!

I've considered it many times, but I'm not that big on tactical miniature games, and my brother really doesn't like competitive games, so Descent 2e is a really hard sell, especially for the lofty price tag.


You can get it on Amazon very cheap - Usually 40 -50 USD
 
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Thomas King
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demonhanz wrote:

You can get it on Amazon very cheap - Usually 40 -50 USD

That's a big discount, but I wouldn't call $50 cheap
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Graham Martin
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Montag451 wrote:
demonhanz wrote:

You can get it on Amazon very cheap - Usually 40 -50 USD

That's a big discount, but I wouldn't call $50 cheap


Can you cite any alternatives that give you what you are talking about at a significant discount from $50? i would love to look them over!
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Neil J.
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I haven't played Descent 1e, so I can't fully appreciate what 1e offered in terms of dungeon crawling versus what 2e lacks in that department.

That being said, to be fair to 2e there is a small element of exploration in terms of the search tokens placed on the board during each encounter. Granted, one may argue that 2e is still primarily a tactics game (which is very much is), but if you neglect the searching aspect the heroes will suffer greatly due to lack of gold and opportunity to buy better equipment. Gold cannot be reward for killing monsters and is only sometimes offered for successfully completing quests. IMO, this puts Descent 2e apart from other hack n' slash games, and that's not a bad thing.

In our campaign game, we use a lot of cool search-based abilities with our Scout Thief and it really has made searching a blast for the player. In fact, without our "searcher" the heroes would not be so well equipped and would not be doing nearly as well as they otherwise would be.

I agree that Descent 2e is not a classic dungeon crawler, but it has its own niche and IMO deserves a place in any fantasy wargamer's collection.

- Gaius
 
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Thomas King
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Grahamers2002 wrote:
Montag451 wrote:
demonhanz wrote:

You can get it on Amazon very cheap - Usually 40 -50 USD

That's a big discount, but I wouldn't call $50 cheap


Can you cite any alternatives that give you what you are talking about at a significant discount from $50?

Alternatives? I haven't found any in print. There were some good ones years ago, but they're now out of print (including Descent 1e, if you want to count that).
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Rafal Areinu
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I have descent 1st edition, but descent 1st edition was in my opinion more competitive and probably your brother would like it less. Also it takes hours to just set the game up(seriously, on my first try it took almost 2, and that not counting the time I spent sorting all the tokens from all expansions). I think it took 5 or so hours to finish first scenario in quest book.

In 2nd edition no matter who wins or loses the campaign goes on and the story unfolds. Sure, you're playing to win, you're directly facing the other side, but there's not so many hard feelings after losing, because "only last quest counts".

People who say "now you're required to play 20 hours instead of 5 to enjoy the game" forget that you can fold the game after 2 hours(1 quest) and then come back to it in 2-3 weeks. Couldn't do that with 1st edition, because the only reasonable option to "save" the game mid-quest was to leave it on the table

There was not so much exploration anyway. You saw whole map at the start, just didn't know what was in different rooms. Around 3 rooms per scenario? That's no exploration, that's only little irritating interruption in game, because now overlord needs to spend 20 minutes putting layout of the new room, and no one can help him, because quest book is secret.

Then there's the overlord trying to kill heroes with everything he has, all the time, with spawns each turns, 15 different types of monsters are being used during single game, which means there's a mess on the table and everywhere around it.

Sure, 1st edition was great, but you can't play it without total geeks, and most of my friends aren't on that level(or aren't on that level anymore).

Those Drittz D&D games have bunch of exploration, don't they?
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Thomas King
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I didn't mean to suggest that Descent 1e was exactly what I was looking for either, just saying that it was more of a dungeon crawler than 2e.

Areinu wrote:

Those Drittz D&D games have bunch of exploration, don't they?

There's revealing of new tiles, but I don't believe there's much to actually discover, you're mostly just wandering around looking for the end. And I don't think there's any leveling up or looting.
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David Wann
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Areinu wrote:


Those Drittz D&D games have bunch of exploration, don't they?


Yes they do have exploration but they are not very complex. It is a rather simplified version of DnD with some rather odd rulings that throw the believability of the game way off. If you are after a game that makes you think about what actions to take, where to move, what to do; then the DnD boardgames are not really it. There are not a lot of options to do each turn.

My 6 year old can manage to play DnD without a whole lot of help from me. She likes to try and play Descent2 but really needs me to explain what actions she can do, where she can go; basically I provide the strategy, she just chooses from the options I give her.
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Aswin Agastya
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Even if it's no Dungeon Crawler, Descent 2.0 is still very worthwhile collecting. I believe it's the ultimate fantasy tactical adventure game right now. It's got story, beautiful tiles, plastic, character customization... no other games do this in such complete way that Descent 2.0 does.

It's got all the ingredients, it's just need the right recipe to be a Dungeon Crawler. The foundations are all there.
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JH
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shnar wrote:
sargonkid wrote:
The Campaign system does it for me for sure - playing stand-slone quests does nothing for me

Which, IMHO, is the biggest failure of 2nd Ed. They worked really hard to "streamline" the rules, make things play faster, smaller maps, easier LOS, all to play the game in 2 hours or so, but in reality to truly enjoy the game you have to play a 20 hour version of the game. So instead of playing a 5 hour dungeon crawl, you get to play a 20 hour tactical adventure. Not so sure that was a step forward...

-shnar

Different strokes, I guess. For me, this same factor is its greatest success. The main reason I never got first edition (until after getting second edition, that is) was because I knew the people I'm typically able to play with would choke on a five-hour playtime. It's hard to get enough free time for a two-hour game. The campaign system is exactly suited for what I need in a game right now — bite-size chunks of a larger campaign that can be set aside until the next time we can convene. As it is we've only completed one-off quests, some of them only halfway, but everyone has had a grand time anyway. It's the biggest hit in years.
 
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Thomas Dunagan
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Christopher, I looked over your collection and it seems to be missing Claustrophobia.

To me this may in fact give you much more of a dungeon crawl experience. While this game is not my favorite game...it is one of the few games I own that when I play it, I feel like it is flawlessly designed.

The flow of the mechanics and system of this game are perfect. For that I really appreciate this game and really enjoy it when it hits the table. So despite this being a game I don't play often enough, I think this is one of the best designed games ever. You should seriously look into it.
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Thomas King
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Sevej wrote:

It's got all the ingredients, it's just need the right recipe to be a Dungeon Crawler. The foundations are all there.

I agree very much with this, the pieces are there. It just needs some tweaking and a solid variant to turn it back into a dungeon crawl.

For what it's worth, I'd probably have a lot of fun with a fantasy-themed, competitive, tactical miniatures game, even if it is expensive. But my brother probably wouldn't, which is one of the other reasons we don't own it. Now, if there was a solo/co-op style dungeon crawler (no dungeon master/overlord), with a focus on exploration and character development, with rewards for exploring, killing monsters, and completing quests, I'd be all over it in a heartbeat, regardless of how much money I'd need to fork over!
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Sarcasmorator wrote:
shnar wrote:
sargonkid wrote:
The Campaign system does it for me for sure - playing stand-slone quests does nothing for me

Which, IMHO, is the biggest failure of 2nd Ed. They worked really hard to "streamline" the rules, make things play faster, smaller maps, easier LOS, all to play the game in 2 hours or so, but in reality to truly enjoy the game you have to play a 20 hour version of the game. So instead of playing a 5 hour dungeon crawl, you get to play a 20 hour tactical adventure. Not so sure that was a step forward...

-shnar

Different strokes, I guess. For me, this same factor is its greatest success. The main reason I never got first edition (until after getting second edition, that is) was because I knew the people I'm typically able to play with would choke on a five-hour playtime. It's hard to get enough free time for a two-hour game. The campaign system is exactly suited for what I need in a game right now — bite-size chunks of a larger campaign that can be set aside until the next time we can convene. As it is we've only completed one-off quests, some of them only halfway, but everyone has had a grand time anyway. It's the biggest hit in years.


Different groups. I've started 5 different campaigns now, not a single one has made it to the interlude. They're with different friends, so we couldn't continue other campaigns. In the end, everyone felt that the game has just as many "problems" as 1st Ed but after all that time, the heroes are still weak.

So, for me what's lacking is the epic feel in one night that was 1st Ed.

-shnar

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Rafal Areinu
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Killing most monsters in one shot isn't what our group considers weak

With some people it's hard to make it past interlude. I wish this game had hero exchanging mechanism built in, so each of my friends could have his own hero, and the balance wouldn't break when they change between quests. It's harder to do than it seems, and I consider lack of official rules for that one of biggest downsides of 2nd edition.
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Aswin Agastya
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Areinu wrote:
Killing most monsters in one shot isn't what our group considers weak


I've killed several monsters in one shot, mid-campaign .
 
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Raphael Pigulla
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Here's a thought: convert the missions from Doom: The Boardgame to Descent 2E. Doom had exploration and a pretty nasty ohmygodimgonnadie feel to it.

On the one hand, Doom is less of a dungeon crawler and (like Descent 2E) more a race against time, if I remember correctly. So that lines up nicely. On the other hand, I don't see how well the scenarios would work with a healer (was there one in Doom, I can't remember) or a necromancer with his painfully slow reanimate.

I'd say it's worth a shot. If only I had enough time to try it :-(
 
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Hubert AMG
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I am playing both editions. I like both - however from simply practical point of view - I am playing 2nd edition now more (time). I have to admit that I am not missing 1st edition length of play.
On one hand you are comparing 1st ed (which is a closed line, where you know how it works, all the expansions - giving you all the new possibilities, expanding base game to the limits ect) - to 2nd ed that only has a base game and half of expansion (you cannot call LotW a full expansion . I think you should give 2nd ed a chance. Once it has a bit more developed expansions (simply another 2 years that should give us another 4 expansions to currently two on market/announced) you will see that you have much more of everything. More complexity, you have to spend more time to play it, more discoveries, more crawling ect.

On the other hand, I don't think that 1st edition had much more dungeon crawling (apart from size of the dungeon and number of monsters used per encounter...)
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Jeff Davis
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Montag451 wrote:
. Now, if there was a solo/co-op style dungeon crawler (no dungeon master/overlord), with a focus on exploration and character development, with rewards for exploring, killing monsters, and completing quests, I'd be all over it...


Only in my dreams! Sigh...

If somehow one could combine the Ravenloft Series with Descent 2 -- oh my!

The Wrath of Ravenadlon Drizzt-Descent....

- SK
 
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