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 Ideas for Legends Arcade 
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Bottle Cap
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So, Ninja Justin mentioned they're keen to hear ideas for what we'd like to see improved for Arcade mode. I thought maybe we could have constructive discussion here as to how we'd like to see it improved. Sadly, as a late backer I can't throw in on the page, but as Justin frequents this board I think it makes for a better place for long-term discussion anyways.

I'll start the ball rolling with something I threw into a different thread yesterday.

I'd like to see something along the lines of the old arcade deck, but comprised of a deck of cards constructed based on the monsters involved.
ie. IronScales are Defensive types, for each Def. Monster add 4 Def. Tactics Cards to the deck. For each Aggresive. add 4 Agg. Tactics to the deck, for each Sneaky Monster add 4 Sneaky cards, etc. etc.

You could having an overarching Tactic specified in the module (ie. Monsters target closest player with lowest Health/Armor). You would use this logic to affect targeting, while follow the instructions on the card/s drawn on consul turn.

An example:
I draw a defense card: Mobs regroup, all mobs with Blue (Defense Skills) use them.
I move the mobs close together and activate Shield Wall
I draw a sneaky card: Flank and attack
I move my mobs towards the lowest health hero, flanking and attack
I draw aggressive card: Special Attack
Monsters use Offensive Special Attack on closest hero with lowest health

Obviously, this is not completely thought out, but just a quick example of how I think something could be worked in to provide a more "Arcade" like experience, with non-PC controlled enemies.

Curious to hear others thoughts, either on this or your own idea on how a robust arcade style could be worked into Legends combat.


October 13th, 2017, 8:10 pm
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Minion
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While the idea of reintrodicung an AI deck seems the best option, there is a few problems I can see with a customised deck.

-Having to break it down and rebuild it for each Encounter. Look at the example adventure and there are two Encounters with differing makeup of enemies. So entering the second means you have to stop, break apart the AI deck and rebuild it according to whats appearing.
-In your 3 examples, are you drawing one card per enemy turn, or drawing until you get one of each type of enemy? Because if its the former then you have all the enemies standing there with Shield Wall up or ranged enemies moving closer to combat (totally against their combat style).
-What is "Flanking"...is it just moving around the Heroes to attack the weaker enemies? Because just saying "The monsters attack the weakest Hero" conveys does the same idea.

Though the concept of breaking monsters into types has merit....maybe into STR, DEX and WILL types, and have each card in the deck have 3 spaces and a different activation for each associated type. So for example:

STR part has "Combined Attack" so all STR enemies make melee attacks targeting the nearest Engaged Hero. If there are none, they attack the nearest Hero.
DEX part has "Aimed Shot" and make a Missile attack targeting the nearest Hero at DEX +1.
WILL has "Sorcerers Duel" so they all make a WILLvsWILL attack targeting the Hero with highest WILL stat.

Could have lots of different stuff on each card, but most will have 1 or 2 "Regular Attack" slots with only the odd irregular ability sprinkled here and there.

Examples of other slots:

STR - "Berserk Attack" attacks nearest Hero, +2STR and -1ARM till next activation
"Guarded stance" they dont attack but have +2ARM till next act
"Tackle" make a STRvsSTR attack against highest ARM Hero, causes Knockdown if succeeds

DEX - "Sniper Shot" Missile Range increased to 8, they move back and attack lowest health Hero at -1DEX
"Multi Shot" makes Missile attack against all Hero's at 1DEX
"Explosive Charge" makes a Missile Attack (Burst 1) against the nearest un-engaged Hero

WILL - I could imagine most regular WILL results 50/50 split as either a Magic Attack or Using an ability (since they usually carry the most)
"Cruel intent" Magic Attack +1 against lowest health Hero
"Channeled Burst" make a +2WILL Magic Attack against nearest Hero, then take 1 heart damage
"Flash heal" restore/remove (however you place them) 1 heart of damage from the caster and the nearest monster


This also can vary up the targeting, since a Wrath system is nigh impossible when all heroes go together (highest ARM would always go last, ensuring they took the token that guaranteed they had the most). While AI cards that target highest or lowest Wrath could be used, its easy to beat by having the tougher team-members position themselves at the most and least Wrath tokens.

Otherwise, most of the elements of Arcade brought in from the beta aren't really needed (MMC timer and Challenge decks to discourage turtling on tile#1).


October 13th, 2017, 9:30 pm
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Bottle Cap
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I don't think reintroducing cards is a good idea. It's too... random :). But idea with monster types sound pretty cool.

Maybe there can be some kind of AI board that would contain cyclic AI command chain for each of the categories (something like in Arcade, but commands for categories can differ, with each having their own special commands where needed).

Alternatively each monster could have some simple individual algorithm assigned.


October 14th, 2017, 9:01 am
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Denizen
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I'm not yet familiar how new Warhammer Quest Silver Tower does co-op, but I assume it involves dice rolling. Something similar could be done here to have a true co-op feel with some randomness instead of guidelines or resorting to new decks. To minimize dice rolling, taking an action could be done by enemy type: Ironscale, Knuckleheads, Flingers etc. starting from the strongest (monsters should have some init activation order values). Each enemy of that type makes the same action, but hero target always remains the same if possible. For example a knucklehead's action could be "Move towards the closest hero and attack it with STR.". Other knucklehead might have an other hero closer to him, but he would join the fight along side his brother as long as he can get there. Actions can be universal or rather vary by encounter. Example actions below. First roll Amethyst dice for Dragon Priest:
* 1-3 Move as far as possible from all the heroes and attack the closest remaining with Flame Strike.
* 4-5 Move towards heroes so that Dragon Priest can target as many heroes as possible with Lance. Then attack with Dragon Breath.
* [symbol] Move as far as possible from the most wounded hero and attack it with Flame Strike. After this, Dragon Priest gets another action if it hasn't got yet one during this turn.

Since Gouger's is in the same Encounter C, his results should try to get him next to Dragon Priest and still be able to make an attack. Actions being encounter based, gameplay would be more varied in Legends Arcade. It just needs to be designed around this idea and there still is time to take that direction.

I'm not sure what monster upgrade deck is about. It's great if it allows Consul to buy some upgrades for his monsters (e.g. choose 1 of there random 3 cards). On the other hand, if each Encounter list hard coded monster stats separately for Explore/Arcade, upgrades might be highlighted for the Encounter ("oh these are elite knuckleheads! They hit our heroes harder :("). Possible cost savings for not needing upgrade deck and with a monster list included for every scenario, monster cards may not be that useful after all.


October 14th, 2017, 10:26 am
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Employee
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Thanks for starting this thread!

I'll be keeping an eye on it.

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October 14th, 2017, 3:33 pm
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Bottle Cap
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@Dantierre - Flanking would be like surrounding the chosen target, or being on either side of the target. SDE doesn't really have rules for flanking, others games give a bonus to attacks if you are flanking. I was just trying to jot down the idea fairly quickly and mixed that in.

Also, the intent there had been to draw X number of cards from a mixed deck, I just chose one of each type mentioned to illustrate how they could be different things. I do like your STR, WIL, and DEX breakdown and think your idea could work.

Alternatively, thinking about the card deck, you could construct decks for each type of monster and draw one card from each deck on the consul turn to direct monsters of that type on what to do. Once all the defensive monsters are dead, you stop drawing from that deck. With that method I think I think breaking into more types allows a more interesting mix of abilities and tactics by using the mobs with more granularity. For example, Grobbit Executioner I'd put as a straight Aggressive, an example of an aggressive card would be move and attack, and overall I'd have fewer regroup type cards and have them be more constant attackers. A Black Claw Assassin I'd put under Cunning, I'd have more cards to use abilities and more cards to regroup or gang-up to make use of their particular specials. Support, Caster, Cunning, lots of different potential groupings I could think of.

Either way, I definitely agree there all the cards should have meaningful activities to avoid monsters just milling about and actual actively contributing. I did have issues on a couple occasions where the old arcade deck gave my group some lackluster Consul rounds.

An AI board, mentioned by c2h5oc2h5, could also be cool and would keep the game more inline with standard Arcade which I'm sure would be appreciated by a lot of people not wanting to juggle too many differences.

I also really like nakano's dice idea, particularly since with that you could create actions per monster to really allow them to shine without trying to generalize groupings based on similar combat types. Since there's already synergies with the spawn groups you can make use of those well, as I expect in most encounters they'll be together even without the spawner. Also, dice can work with currently planned or considered components (Monster Stats in Book, Monster Cards, Adventure Text), without having to create more new components to further delay Legends.


October 14th, 2017, 3:56 pm
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Minion
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I can kind of get what you mean by pulling cards for each deck; say taking the Affinity colour combinations (STR = Blue, WILL = Red, DEX = Green) you would flip up a blue, a red and a green each turn, or what ever breakdown of those types of monsters are on the board. The problem could be when you get a turn where all the "good" cards get flipped up, so your STR enemies get their "Charge" card and increased STR, the DEX get a "Double Shot" and the WILL have "Arcane Conduit" and ramp up their WILL stat.....its an unforseen outcome that cant be prepared for, or can tip the scales way too quickly, as the enemies all activate at once, and cant be countered by the sheer weight of strong attacks raining down. Even during my few tests of the Legends rules the Kobolds were taking down a Hero almost every turn (more of a balance problem for now) but could see it happening a lot if the monsters were to pull 2 or 3 turns of good draws.


October 14th, 2017, 5:11 pm
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Minion
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I could see there being a couple of different cards of rules for the AI like: "ATTACK", "DEFEND" ,"HUNT", "ESCAPE"..etc.

Then in the scenarios it would say something like "Place 2 Iron Scales on the board at spots A, they use the DEFEND AI and are defending the gate. Place 3 Knuckleheads on the board in location B, they use the ATTACK AI. Place on Dragon Priest on the board at location C, it uses the HUNT AI targeting the shopkeeper NPC".

Each card would be a small flow chart of how to move a figure when it activates.


October 15th, 2017, 7:30 pm
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Bottle Cap
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I was thinking instead of a card based ai, more of a dice based ai. Since we will be getting a d20 in the form of the golden eye that's 20 possible outcomes of what the ai can do.
For example before the console turn roll the d20 and consult the encounter ai chart. So for example, with our starting quest it can be
Roll 1-4 move & attack highest wrath
5-6 move & attack highest wrath str user
7-8 move & attack highest wrath Dex user
9-10 move & attack highest wrath will user
11-13 move & attack lowest wrath
14 move &attack lowest arm
15 move & attack service Charles
16 move & steal chest
17 move & smash chest
Etc
I feel this could replace the ai that the mmc from arcade and be random enough to keep things interesting.

With all this there would also be a need for some wrath generation change, as there is no emergency potions to slurp. So how about
+1 wrath make an action
+1 wrath deal damage
+1 wrath knockout a monster
+1 use a potion
This way it encourages tanky types to be aggressive and not just sit back and slurp potions. Maybe put in some scenario specific wrath pluses as well. How about adding an additional wrath if you're carrying the chest or helping her Charles. Things like that


October 15th, 2017, 9:32 pm
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Ninja Corps
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Hapx wrote:
I was thinking instead of a card based ai, more of a dice based ai. Since we will be getting a d20 in the form of the golden eye that's 20 possible outcomes of what the ai can do.
For example before the console turn roll the d20 and consult the encounter ai chart. So for example, with our starting quest it can be
Roll 1-4 move & attack highest wrath
5-6 move & attack highest wrath str user
7-8 move & attack highest wrath Dex user
9-10 move & attack highest wrath will user
11-13 move & attack lowest wrath
14 move &attack lowest arm
15 move & attack service Charles
16 move & steal chest
17 move & smash chest
Etc
I feel this could replace the ai that the mmc from arcade and be random enough to keep things interesting.

With all this there would also be a need for some wrath generation change, as there is no emergency potions to slurp. So how about
+1 wrath make an action
+1 wrath deal damage
+1 wrath knockout a monster
+1 use a potion
This way it encourages tanky types to be aggressive and not just sit back and slurp potions. Maybe put in some scenario specific wrath pluses as well. How about adding an additional wrath if you're carrying the chest or helping her Charles. Things like that


A couple problems with this, and things similar to it in some cases. First off, all heroes are "str users", so that becomes weird and complicated. Second "highest armor" is a very clunky thing to figure out. Like, which of these is the "highest": 2R, 3B1W, 1R2B, 2B2W? It's perfectly possible to figure out, mathematically, which one has the highest average and what not. But it would be extremely clunky to have to add up the variable averages of all the heroes various dice to figure out which one averages 2.5 and which on averages 2.73 when it comes to getting attacked.

The other major problem with a dice based AI is that you could end up with only 1 or 2 options occurring, over and over, because a particular result can't "run out" or be intentionally balanced against other options. This could lead to, like 6 turns in a row of "retreat and regroup" or something like that that really shiouldn't happen more than once, probably somewhere in the middle, of an encounter instead of twice at the beginning and once when here's only one guy left, which could very well happen with random dive results.

Overall, i think it's going to be very hard to come up with a system for a GMless RPG that isn't overly complicated or very clunky. It'd be great to be proven wrong on this one. But, the system in general isn't really conducive to a fully co-op set of rules. I think any co-op options are going to feel tacked on because they were spoken of in the original kickstarter more than anything else. As I said, I would love to be proven wrong, and I will give what feedback I can. But this is a very difficult mountain to scale here.


October 15th, 2017, 9:57 pm
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Minion
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TBH I never really thought about how awkward figuring out a highest ARM or STR is at higher level, mainly I have been thinking of lower levels where you only deal with 2B or 1B1R.

So that leaves the only easily calculable "target" stats as: highest and lowest health, nearest and furthest away, suffering from a status effect and whether they are carrying/interacting with a mission vital item/NPC. Mostly its going to end up similar to what is already in the Grimoire: basic targeting rules for each Encounter.

I can imagine any Arcade/Co-op adventures being very limited to just a series of rooms with monsters in them, and maybe a very basic non-combat that boils down to-
Quote:
Make a STR/DEX/WILL/ARM test:

If you pass...yay or loot.
If you fail...no loot and possible loss of heart/items from backpack


Since you can see the outcomes as you setup the room there can be no great decisions on actions, you don't have that disconnect you have with a Consul/GM & Heroes. The only way to create a co-op within Legends, I feel, is to just provide the basic arcade combat rules and jettison the RPG mechanics onto the Explore/Consul gamemode. From what I can see of them the Legends rules can be pretty flexible in this, you can add or remove as much of the RPG stuff as you want.

There may have to be a divide drawn between the 2 types of missions, so Explore could be "Adventures" and Arcade are "Guild Quests", with the former featuring more of the RPG elements and the latter focusing more combat and more straight forward events as I outlined above.


October 16th, 2017, 12:14 am
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Denizen
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In the end I don't think random AI is best for Legends. At least in the first 2 scenarios monster goals are pretty clear. Randomizing could work better with monsters that have multiple attacks, but then again it can also be scripted (if Dragon Priest being able to damage 2 heroes attack with Dragon Breath otherwise with Flame Strike). Random AI doesn't work with escort missions. In addition since AI isn't the most clever, it should get some handicap. For example the AI proof of concept I wrote for Encounter C, gives extra movement step after Consul turn for Ironscales if certain condition is met.


October 16th, 2017, 5:51 am
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Ninja Corps
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I see people running up against the problem that there's an inherent disconnect between dynamic, scenario, roleplaying and a fully co-op mechanical version of the same.

That's the main issue underlying everything I think. it's basically "well, an ironscale would do this in this situation, but this in this situation, and this in this third situation" etc., etc.. And, to effectivly cover all this, you will have to create a scenario specific AI for every scenario. And that's an insane amount of work.

It may still be possible to boil down behavior to certain archetypes, and each encounter is classified as one of these archetypes. Like escort, guard, brawl, whatever.


October 16th, 2017, 8:38 am
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Minion
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I think generally archetype behaviour may create the best AI for this game:

Melee Striker - move next to then attack lowest health hero
Tanker - try to get next to as many heroes as possible then attack the one with highest attack
Ranged - move to place a hero at your maximum range then attack.
All: try to accomplish scenario speciifc goal

I think its critical for legends to keep this simple and light


October 16th, 2017, 12:04 pm
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Minion
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So would the best option be: the primary/default target for each Encounter is listed in the adventure text and then the actions monsters take either be influenced by cards/dice rolls/some form of random generation (to prevent dull encounter of enemies just moving and attacking the one target) with the odd action defining a specific target (highest health, closest, is engaged by a friendly monster)?


October 16th, 2017, 1:18 pm
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Denizen
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Scenario specific AI requires work (and designing fun games is what we're paying for designers), but I don't think an insane amount of it. It partially depends on how large an encounter is. The example scenarios are small so behavior script can be kept compact. Also as said monsters can have archetype behavior: Ironscale and Knuckleheads attacks the weakest hero. Flingers also the weakest, but one who hasn't Fire Token yet (and isn't immune to it) to maximize damage. Behavior may change a little by scenario if needed due to its goal or encounter's layout. Randomizing with dice rolls can be part of the equation when it's beneficial or can lead a monster having a special action which it couldn't perform in normal circumstances (AI can cheat a little for extra challenge - or for being able to be challenging...). However randomizing only for the sake of randomizing shouldn't be done. I don't think including a random behavior would be the best design for the 2 encounters we have seen (in Encounter A: it's best for the melee attackers to attack the same target). I personally take a well structured and challenging AI above a random and easier one.

Then if really needing to cut corners due to time constraints now, perhaps make AI only for Midnight Tower Campaign which is the official Arcade Box. It could be AI only campaign and not support playing with Consul at all. Then again when a normal scenario is designed and tested, it's not impossible to convert the tactics for AI unless an encounter happens in a large/complex area. This might be reason enough to have only other campaign supporting AI where encounters would be smaller. With digital scenarios I don't see similar time constrains.


October 16th, 2017, 4:07 pm
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Denizen
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Still one idea: If monster cards are printed, other side could be dedicated to Arcade's monster behavior. An encounter could have additional priorities told in the campaign book in a structured format (If Ser Charles is engaged, target it instead).


October 17th, 2017, 6:26 am
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Bottle Cap
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Scenario specific AI would be great and really capture more of the feel of having a Consul, but may be rough to sketch out and balance for each scenario vice balancing an overarching mechanic. Then again maybe not.

At the end of the day I agree with whoever said it shouldn’t just be random actions, as that would really water down the experience. I like the archetypes for that reason. While the scenarios have a specific goals for monsters (or kill the box, steal the treasure) I think this can be handled via monster priorities.

Ex.
Iron scale priorities:
1 Grouped Heroes (2+)
2 Lowest health hero in range
3 Ser Charles
When the iron scale gets an action to move toward de or attack a target it does do in priority order. If a group of heroes is in range it goes for them, if not it goes for the lowest up hero in range, if no hero is in range, it goes for ser charles. If neither it defaults to whatever fits the highest pro (ie moving towards heroes even if unable to attack)


Actions could potentially be introduced or tweaked to act similarly to wrath. Instead of gaining wrath a tank may gain a temp bump to priority for monsters.

I also think the point of keeping it light is right. There’s no consul, so there will be definite trade offs wherein lighter is better, but it should still feel fulfilling and true to scenario theme.


October 17th, 2017, 11:41 pm
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So I have a few ideas, but it would depend on the type of components we are getting in the game. I think reintroducing Wrath tokens into the game would be a simple idea. The mechanic could work the same as it does in Arcade, with heroes sharing Wrath and manipulating it. If monsters attack a hero with higher Wrath, they will use a more powerful attack or something. It might also be nice if monsters had simple commands telling them how to act during the encounter. Instead of drawing cards, maybe each monster would act individually. These commands could be simple so they are easy to follow. Something like:

Charge: Monster will move towards the closest hero, regardless of Wrath. If engaged, will attack the hero with most Wrath.
Fight: Monster will move towards the hero with the most Wrath and attack
Bully: Monster will move towards the hero with the least Wrath and attack.
Guard: Monster will move towards the target it's guarding, and attempt to remain adjacent. It will attack the hero with the most Wrath if in range.

So in the Crystalia Castle scenario, you could do something like this:

Ironscale: Fight
Knucklehead: Guard (Ironscale)
Flinger: Bully

So this means that the Ironscale will activate first, and it will try to move towards the hero with the most Wrath. Then the Knuckleheads will move to be adjacent to him while engaging the heroes. Then the Flingers will move to attack the heroes with least Wrath. I mean it's simple, and all it would need are a few more cardboard counters.


October 18th, 2017, 12:57 am
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A fast Arcade game rules set:

Like posted earlier: "The game takes too long to play."
So two tiles with the heroes pre-powered up. Should be easy to do since the game is set in stone. Just add it as a bonus PDF or surprise thank you in the

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October 18th, 2017, 8:36 pm
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