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 Playtesting Super Dungeon Arcade 2.0 
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Denizen
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Joined: February 11th, 2014, 10:03 pm
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Last night I playtested Arcade version 2.0 and I can honestly say I’m excited for this new version.

The Mighty Monster chart really helps the game stay on a tight timeline and it felt like the dungeon was constantly throwing curveballs at me. I can’t say exactly how long it took me to play since my evening was full of distractions, but a 4 hero game starting at 5:30pm was over by 9 (not counting stopping for dinner, taking my dog out, distractions from the wife, etc). I would estimate that with a little focus, this game can fit comfortably within a 2 hour play session. ( Maybe even 60-90min if you really buckled down and just played.)

The game is HARD too. It ended in defeat for me when the Starfire showed up, torched the Ember Mage and I didn’t have the Princess Coins to bring her back. Even though the Royal Paladin was sitting on two healing potions (thanks to Potion Bandolier) the Ember Mage couldn’t heal due to the active Arcade Plot card “Forsaken By The Goddess”, which required her to collect a gem further away than she could reach in time.

And time matters! The enemines will bog you down if you let them. I used to think the Riftling Rogue was just a so-so, but her Dimensional Draft was the only thing that allowed me to break free and kill off the 2nd and 3rd Spawn Points and grab the chests before Starfire stormed in. Her ‘Luck’ ability was super handy too, especially since heroes can now equip multiple red Treasure cards now.

The one thing I had a little trouble with was tracking wounds on multiple minions as my heroes got swarmed by Drake Hounds. The standup plastic wound markers helped a bit with this but a couple of times they would move and I’d accidentally leave the marker behind and had to guesstimate which model it belonged to. Occasionally I’d forget to move wrath tokens around and find myself trying to go back over the last turn in my head to remember who should have what in terms of wrath. These are just minor issues in what was otherwise a super fun play session.

After this play session I can confidently say this is the best version of Super Dungeon Explore yet. Arcade Mode really stands on it’s own and I will definitely be playtesting both this and Classic Mode a lot while I wait for the (sorely overdue) final product. If you have the time and means, I highly recommend printing out the supplemental materials and playing the new rules. I’m glad I did.

After the bloated mess that is Forgotten King and the endless string of delays on 2.0/Legends I can happily say I’m excited for Super Dungeon Explore again!


***Edit***

After several games here's what I'm consistently seeing from the new Arcade Mode:
-Game time is 2 hours +/- which feels like just the right amount of time for a dungeon delve
-Difficulty is brutal but not impossible. While the game punished me for making mistakes, I could immediately look back and see a better decision that I could have made.
-Loot and treasure do not get stale at any time. In fact everything is very tightly paced.
-To me this is still the best Super Dungeon Explore yet.


Last edited by Holy Cross on February 6th, 2018, 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



January 30th, 2018, 5:06 pm
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Denizen
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Thank you for this! I am so glad to hear a positive report. I'm very excited to play any new Super Dungeon, and hearing a glowing report like this is fantastic.


January 30th, 2018, 5:46 pm
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Denizen
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No problem! I may post some follow on reviews and observations in this thread. I welcome anyone else to do the same and share their experiences with playtesting 2.0


January 30th, 2018, 6:28 pm
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Mini-Boss
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I can't remember where I see long time ago somebody made a kind of consul's wound tracker, but thematic with location or combination of spawning points... the skill rings provided during NAS KS campaign could be useful with a table to take note of monters' wounds.

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January 30th, 2018, 8:30 pm
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Mini-Boss
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I did a LOT of playtesting during the beta for Arcade. It was actually what I was most excited about. I can't help but think that some of my feedback actually made it into the game too, which is very cool!

Arcade mode is a real challenge to be sure. I actually think it works best with 4 heroes as standard opposed to 3. Having the extra wounds to sling around is very useful. You also really need to keep on moving. If you try to stay and farm monsters for Loot, you'll get overwhelmed. Honestly, rushing into the 2nd tile early on can be advantageous. Having 4 heroes also helps you split up your party a lot better too.

What I want to experiment with a bit more is stacking the decks. You could cherry pick certain Challenge Cards to give yourself a specific experience. This could help theme your dungeon more towards the monsters and bosses you fight. What I'm most excited for are any expansions that will further tailor the cards towards the monsters and bosses... though that's obviously far ahead right now. First things first is getting it in our hands.


January 30th, 2018, 8:49 pm
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Denizen
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Nephastus wrote:
I can't remember where I see long time ago somebody made a kind of consul's wound tracker, but thematic with location or combination of spawning points... the skill rings provided during NAS KS campaign could be useful with a table to take note of monters' wounds.


That sounds pretty cool. Gloomhaven has an awesome wound tracking system. Each enemy is numbered and each stat card has a space corresponding to that number with room for wounds/status tokens. Something like that would be great for SDE.


January 30th, 2018, 9:32 pm
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Denizen
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eternaldream wrote:
I did a LOT of playtesting during the beta for Arcade. It was actually what I was most excited about. I can't help but think that some of my feedback actually made it into the game too, which is very cool!

Arcade mode is a real challenge to be sure. I actually think it works best with 4 heroes as standard opposed to 3. Having the extra wounds to sling around is very useful. You also really need to keep on moving. If you try to stay and farm monsters for Loot, you'll get overwhelmed. Honestly, rushing into the 2nd tile early on can be advantageous. Having 4 heroes also helps you split up your party a lot better too.

What I want to experiment with a bit more is stacking the decks. You could cherry pick certain Challenge Cards to give yourself a specific experience. This could help theme your dungeon more towards the monsters and bosses you fight. What I'm most excited for are any expansions that will further tailor the cards towards the monsters and bosses... though that's obviously far ahead right now. First things first is getting it in our hands.


Yeah I had to break out of that first tile. It was actually the last spawning point to go down.

Your idea with the challenge deck sounds cool. SDE is a great platform to add your own home brew ideas to. I set up an RPGesque campaign with one game group awhile back. Made my own hero dashboards and everything.


January 30th, 2018, 9:35 pm
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Mini-Boss
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I think larger hero games are better because you can better manipulate Wrath. I played a 5 player game yesterday for about 2.5 hours. The Mistmorn Shaman became our tank with loads of armor. We basically had the monsters chase him around into a corner while the rest of us snuck by. The tides turned. Though when we started drawing challenge cards that made us defend with other stats, the Shaman couldnt get rid of his wrath fast enough. Haha.


January 31st, 2018, 2:46 pm
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Denizen
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@Eternal Dream, that’s pretty funny.

I played again last night and won with 3 Coins still in the bank. Here’s what was different from game #1:

-My wife played too this time. She took the Glimmerdusk Ranger and Hearthsworn Fighter. I took the Royal Paladin and Ember Mage.
-Playtime was far more focused. We started at 7pm and finished by 930. Actual playtime was probably around 1hr 45min.
-Having 3 AoE characters helped a lot. Monster herds thinned out faster and loot was more plentiful. The Paladin was able to replenish his potion quickly after use too.
-The curveballs from the challenge and plot cards weren’t as severe this time either.

We both had a blast. Her biggest complaint with older versions of SDE was how time consuming they are. She enjoyed this one a lot and feels like it has a much better flow to it.

Also, in Forgotten King it often felt like we were swimming in useless loot by the game’s end. Halfway through the game getting loot was no longer rewarding. This is no longer the case as (a) you always seem to be desperately scrambling for loot, and (b) you can trade in 6 loot cards for a treasure card (which your heroes can now equip several) although we only were able to make that trade once last night.

2 games in and my wife and I both love it.


January 31st, 2018, 6:07 pm
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Mini-Boss
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What I am excited about is how much variety you can get in Arcade. Depending on which monsters, bosses, treasures, etc. you pick, you can really change the way you play the game. For example, the Salt Pillar spawning group is just a Loot fountain. Each Sorrow gives you one Loot, and they don't hit very hard. Other ones like the Rocktops are very hard to crack to get Loot.

When I read about Legends, I was most excited that they were including Arcade Mode rules for it. That's what I wanted from the beginning, to play programmed adventures different than a regular game. I think it will be very possible to do something similar with all the tools we are getting in the game now.


January 31st, 2018, 9:20 pm
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Denizen
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Holy Cross wrote:
Also, in Forgotten King it often felt like we were swimming in useless loot by the game’s end. Halfway through the game getting loot was no longer rewarding. This is no longer the case as (a) you always seem to be desperately scrambling for loot, and (b) you can trade in 6 loot cards for a treasure card (which your heroes can now equip several) although we only were able to make that trade once last night.

That's fantastic news! We have the same exact problem - by halfway through, you're looking at pulling a loot card and wondering 'why bother?' It's great they've made the loot feature more interesting. Man, I'm really excited to get this game!


January 31st, 2018, 10:41 pm
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Mini-Boss
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By the end of the last game, we had like 7 pieces of Treasure total. 4 from chests, 1 from a miniboss, and 2 from trading in Loot. It makes you think about equipping stuff willy nilly. If you can get by without that extra blue ARM, it might be worth it to get that elusive Treasure later.


February 1st, 2018, 2:48 am
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Denizen
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Here are a few highlight pics from the first game I played:

Image

Image

Image


February 1st, 2018, 5:00 am
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Denizen
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And the second one I played with my wife:

Image

Image

Image

Image


February 1st, 2018, 5:06 am
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Minion
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It's good to hear some love for Arcade. I love being able to play by myself but personally I'm not convinced by rules 2.0: the MMC is a good thing but Challenge and Plot cards complicate and lengthen the game (from by beta testing experience).
I will try it again when I have the real cards, I don't want to print and cut the lastest preview material and I have some house-rules I'm happy with.

Quote:
Actual playtime was probably around 1hr 45min.

I don't know what I'm doing wrong: in beta testing, my games were about 2h30 to 3 hours long.

Quote:
For example, the Salt Pillar spawning group is just a Loot fountain. Each Sorrow gives you one Loot, and they don't hit very hard.

I've house-ruled that for rewards, Sorrows count as minions (need 3 destroyed for 1 Loot) and minion Trolls count as Elites (each Troll give 1 Loot) as they are pretty hard minions with 2 health and Tough.
I don't know the Rocktops but it could work similarly.

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February 1st, 2018, 11:04 am
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Mini-Boss
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For me, what really helped speed up my game was fast rolling. I like to split up rolling by player, so each one will roll all their defense rolls one after each other before we move onto another player's rolls.


February 1st, 2018, 12:21 pm
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Denizen
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eternaldream wrote:
For me, what really helped speed up my game was fast rolling. I like to split up rolling by player, so each one will roll all their defense rolls one after each other before we move onto another player's rolls.


We do something similar. I’ll figure out how many attacks are being made them break them down.

E.g. my Wife’s Hearthsworn Fighter has the most wrath and has 2 enemies attacking twice each for 3 stars and 1 attacking her once for 4 stars.

She’ll declare she’s rolling 5 times, 4, for the 3 Star attacks and once for the 4 Star, then she rolls them real quick.
-good
-good
-failed
-good
-failed
Then we’ll apply the 2 wounds and any status effects.


February 1st, 2018, 4:28 pm
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I'd say thebiggest factor in playtime variance is the number of players (not heroes). More players means more stratigizing, more necessary communication, more oppertunity for distraction and delay. Overall, 4 players and 4 heroes in an arcade game will probably take longer than 2 players and 6 heroes.


February 2nd, 2018, 12:33 pm
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Minion
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Quote:
I'd say thebiggest factor in playtime variance is the number of players (not heroes). More players means more stratigizing, more necessary communication, more oppertunity for distraction and delay. Overall, 4 players and 4 heroes in an arcade game will probably take longer than 2 players and 6 heroes.

I play mostly solo, sometimes with my daughter, only 3 Heroes games.
It can be time-consuming (and sometimes headache-inducing) to check for every Hero how many stars to roll both in attack and defense, make sure I don't forget bonuses and effects.

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Ideas for "exploration" in Super Dungeon EXPLORE viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5653
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February 2nd, 2018, 1:56 pm
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Denizen
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Usagi wrote:
I'd say thebiggest factor in playtime variance is the number of players (not heroes). More players means more stratigizing, more necessary communication, more oppertunity for distraction and delay. Overall, 4 players and 4 heroes in an arcade game will probably take longer than 2 players and 6 heroes.


That makes sense. I’ll probably be playing a game with 3+ players this weekend. I’ll post how long it took and anything else of note on here afterward.


February 2nd, 2018, 4:35 pm
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