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 Playtesting Super Dungeon Arcade 2.0 
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Denizen
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Here are the highlights and insights from battle report #7.

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I started tile #1 with the Royal Paladin, Ember Mage, Hearthsworn Fighter and Glimmerdusk Ranger.

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In one turn the Paladin and Dwarf were able to neutralize the first tile. The Heathsworn Fighter's ability to make area attacks for (1) action point is clutch, especially since it circumvents elite models from pawning wounds off on their minion models.

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Second tile put up a decent fight..

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...as did tile 3.
The heroes took a beating in the process...

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...but emerged victorious in the end... (with the Dwarf taking the final kill)

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The one thing I took away from this game is that the Hearthsworn Fighter's ability to make an area attack for (1) action point is absolutely clutch... especially in arcade mode, where elites can pawn their wounds off to minion models. Pair the Hearthsworn Fighter with the Ember Mage's 'Fire-water' potion for +1 Blue dice and 'Fire' and he becomes a monster from turn 1 onward.


Last edited by Holy Cross on February 13th, 2018, 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.



February 13th, 2018, 7:10 am
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Mini-Boss
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Yeah, in Arcade you want someone with cheap sweep or lance attacks. It's great against the Claw Trainers, and their Drake Hound minions are so tough. It's almost unfair to pick them off with AOEs, but Arcade can be super brutal otherwise.


February 13th, 2018, 2:45 pm
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eternaldream wrote:
Yeah, in Arcade you want someone with cheap sweep or lance attacks. It's great against the Claw Trainers, and their Drake Hound minions are so tough. It's almost unfair to pick them off with AOEs, but Arcade can be super brutal otherwise.


It definitely felt a bit unfair. The Claw Trainers are a bit weak & rely heavily on their Drake Hounds to absorb wounds. Ever since SDE 1.0, the Hearthsworn Fighter has always been great for crowd control. He’s on a new level with these Arcade Mode rules now.


February 13th, 2018, 4:59 pm
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Ninja Corps
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This is a good example of (and i'm not being negative about it, I actually quite like it) player controlled arcade difficulty. Not all heroes, spawns, mini bosses and bosses are created equal. Especially when you start intercomparing them. So, choosing different heroes and spawns and all that can really alter the difficulty of a given game. The hearthsworn fighter is one of the better (E.G. more "easy mode") heroes for arcade because of the AOE rules and his 1 action AOE. Where as, for example, the riftling rogue is still a solid choice, but is an increase in difficulty over the hearthsworn in most cases.

I saw some folks arguing against this kind of imbalance in the past. about how every spawn point should be exactly as hard, but different, from every other spawn point, same for heroes, mini bosses, etc. I'm very glad they didn't go that way. I think that would create a very samey, dull, experience over the long run. Having the different power curves, on top of the thousands (millions?) of different possible combinations a game can take, creates a ton of gameplay diversity. Sure, you will probably have the consul player (in non arcade land) that will always pick the most killer spawn combo they can imagine. But, people that are playing to have fun, and not just win at all costs, will talk about parameters before the game...THEN try to win at all costs. To me, that's how you have a much more fun game and I'm very glad to see it go that way.

For super hard mode arcade, try all emerald valley spawns and no AOE...that is a hell of a time. XD


February 13th, 2018, 7:19 pm
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Usagi wrote:
This is a good example of (and i'm not being negative about it, I actually quite like it) player controlled arcade difficulty. Not all heroes, spawns, mini bosses and bosses are created equal. Especially when you start intercomparing them. So, choosing different heroes and spawns and all that can really alter the difficulty of a given game. The hearthsworn fighter is one of the better (E.G. more "easy mode") heroes for arcade because of the AOE rules and his 1 action AOE. Where as, for example, the riftling rogue is still a solid choice, but is an increase in difficulty over the hearthsworn in most cases.

I saw some folks arguing against this kind of imbalance in the past. about how every spawn point should be exactly as hard, but different, from every other spawn point, same for heroes, mini bosses, etc. I'm very glad they didn't go that way. I think that would create a very samey, dull, experience over the long run. Having the different power curves, on top of the thousands (millions?) of different possible combinations a game can take, creates a ton of gameplay diversity. Sure, you will probably have the consul player (in non arcade land) that will always pick the most killer spawn combo they can imagine. But, people that are playing to have fun, and not just win at all costs, will talk about parameters before the game...THEN try to win at all costs. To me, that's how you have a much more fun game and I'm very glad to see it go that way.

For super hard mode arcade, try all emerald valley spawns and no AOE...that is a hell of a time. XD


Wow.... that sounds terrifying >_<

I agree though. Super Dungeon Explore is definitely a sandbox universe in that you have the tools to customize the experience, flavor and difficulty. Being able to link it all together (someday) will be magical :D

Have you taken a look at the difficulty cards? I haven’t yet but those could be interesting.

My group in North Carolina had 2 Consul players who had to win at all costs, so every game was Roxor/King Starfire, Kaelly the Netherstrider and Blaze Beetle blocking doors so heroes couldn’t get loot and the boss showed up and killed them every time. It definitely took the fun out of it.

I think arcade mode will be the mainstay of my house since no one typically wants to play Dark Consul.


February 13th, 2018, 9:02 pm
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Holy Cross wrote:
I think arcade mode will be the mainstay of my house since no one typically wants to play Dark Consul.


I think most folks will be using Arcade, dungeon delvers have to be either exceedingly good or simplistic to encourage DM/Consul/Big Baddie play, so they get an enjoyable game or its so easy to play as them its not always relegated to the owner of the game to be the baddie everytime :|

Case in point, Descent and Imp Assault are good games but I found me and my friends played a ton more and had a far better time once the apps launched. That and find myself drawn more to coop (or semi-coop) games such as Gloomhaven or Shadows of Brimstone.


February 14th, 2018, 1:18 am
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Danteire wrote:
Holy Cross wrote:
I think arcade mode will be the mainstay of my house since no one typically wants to play Dark Consul.


I think most folks will be using Arcade, dungeon delvers have to be either exceedingly good or simplistic to encourage DM/Consul/Big Baddie play, so they get an enjoyable game or its so easy to play as them its not always relegated to the owner of the game to be the baddie everytime :|

Case in point, Descent and Imp Assault are good games but I found me and my friends played a ton more and had a far better time once the apps launched. That and find myself drawn more to coop (or semi-coop) games such as Gloomhaven or Shadows of Brimstone.


Yup, unless someone loves playing the DM, it’s usually someone falling on the sword/taking one for the team. No longer though:D


February 14th, 2018, 2:01 am
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I've never seen being the consul as being "the GM". I don't play the consul to create an experience. I play to win. it's a competitive position. The new rules really help even the sides out and let both sides ply hard as well. At least I Think so. I didn't test it quite as much as arcade.


February 14th, 2018, 3:15 am
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I guess I’m using the term DM very loosely. That said, what you’re saying is in line with something I remember Justin saying regarding his vision for Classic Mode. And I agree wholeheartedly. Classic mode should be merciless with neither side holding back once the scenario is set.


February 14th, 2018, 3:59 am
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Explore mode isn't the best side of Super Dungeon to introduce new players due the competitive nature of one player against all other players. The one with task of control the monsters normally is the owner of the game and have advantage of detailed rulebook's knowledge while new players acting as heroes are in learning process. May not be a fair competition.

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February 14th, 2018, 1:12 pm
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Nephastus wrote:
Explore mode isn't the best side of Super Dungeon to introduce new players due the competitive nature of one player against all other players. The one with task of control the monsters normally is the owner of the game and have advantage of detailed rulebook's knowledge while new players acting as heroes are in learning process. May not be a fair competition.


I think this is true of any game. Brand new players would be discouraged if they got crushed on their first game. When I say SDE Classic should be merciless, I mean it assuming both sides are experienced.


February 14th, 2018, 2:07 pm
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When you play classic mode, and you are an experienced Consul player, I think it's easier to just set up a quick little tile with a few bad guys, and have them play through it, and learn what their characters can do, and sort of point out some techniques and hints that they might not know.

After you have played that tile with them, and your 4-5 monsters lost (OH NO) - you put them on the start point, and you tell them that it's you vs. them - make it a challenge. If you are playing like that against people who have no idea what is going on, then you must not like your "friends." lol

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February 14th, 2018, 3:29 pm
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Denizen
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Neph, I completely agree. Whenever I introduce new players to SDE, I always go pretty easy. I rarely win Explore, because I try not to.

Playing against someone with mad tactical chops would be awesome, but it doesn't happen often. It's kind of why I'm excited about Legends - I'll have a good excuse to let the good guys win.


February 14th, 2018, 4:03 pm
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Posting the highlights of game #8 Final Showdown on Dragonback Peaks, Heroes vs King Starfire.

Up front, the newest insights I took away from this game:

-The Heartsworn Fighter is still OP for Arcade Mode. I was hoping King Starfire and Kaelly the Netherstrider would slow my momentum/punish the heroes toward the end, but it was not so. I might need to start implementing the difficulty cards for this particular party build.

-Kaelly the Netherstrider died fast. I remember her being much scarier in SDE 1.0, not sure how good she was in SDE:FK, but here in Arcade mode she was fairly easy to overcome, mostly due to how miniboss spawning works. Coming in the dungeon exit nearest to the hero with the most wrath put her right where my melee fighters could waste her in one turn. I think she'd be scarier in classic mode with a human player controlling her, or with an altered house rule for minibosses with ranged attacks. Perhaps spawning in a dungeon exit further away but still able to reach and harass the heroes. Maybe the HS-Fighter killing off her support too fast didn't help.

-King Starfire is powerful, but my heroes were so well prepared for him he only lasted 2 Consul turns due to critical hits. This may be a second/third order effect of the HS-Fighter slayin' minions at a cyclic rate and over-buffing the heroes.

-Overall the game was still fun and threw it's share of curveballs at me. I finished with 3 of my 5 princess coins in hand. Next game I am benching the Hearthsworn Fighter and moving on to Von Drakk Manor. I'm also going to try out the SDE: Arena loot and treasure decks to see how they pan out.

With that out of the way, here are the highlight pics:

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I tweaked around my space management a bit. The game still fits snugly but comfortably on a coffee table at 3 tiles.

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The Ember Mage rolled hot on her AoE and killed 3 elite models off the bat. That same Hero turn the Hearthsworn Fighter came right behind her and killed the remaining 2. This bought me freedom to farm some loot and get treasure unscathed for the first 3 Dark Consul turns.

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The next wave of gangs shows up, but a challenge card has them "regroup" into a tightly bunched clump for the Glimmerdusk Ranger and Ember Mage to blast off the board. GD-Ranger has "fizzy beverage" and is able to loose two Sparkleburst attacks. Scary :shock:

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An unexpected treasure thief shows up. Her raid is short lived.

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The Hearthsworn Fighter shows his deadly proficiency in crowd control, brutally cleaving one wave after another of vicious drakes.

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Apparently this angers King Starfire. (side note, not only is this a gorgeous mode, it also balances very well and it's elevated nature means the heroes fit nicely around the base in melee.)

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The heroes are incredibly powerful at this point. The Royal Paladin and Ember Mage team up to make short work of the fiery titan. (This is their loadout prior to the final battle. They had a lot more wounds and some nasty status effects after the fact.)

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Did anyone else notice the Triforce in the Dragonback Peaks treasure pile?


February 17th, 2018, 11:40 pm
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Thanks for these, Holy Cross. Your models and the game itself are gorgeous, and your after action reports make me really excited to eventually get all this plastic to the table myself. (I have FK and the 2.0 rules pdf, just haven't printed/learned the game yet, as I was waiting on the KS...).


February 18th, 2018, 6:01 am
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lucern wrote:
Thanks for these, Holy Cross. Your models and the game itself are gorgeous, and your after action reports make me really excited to eventually get all this plastic to the table myself. (I have FK and the 2.0 rules pdf, just haven't printed/learned the game yet, as I was waiting on the KS...).


You're welcome! I highly recommend printing out the 2.0 rules and materials. It is definitely the best version of SDE yet.


February 18th, 2018, 7:18 am
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Well, despite not having the car today, I decided to walk to the local Staples (about 20 minutes) and print off the rules for Arcade mode. The pan is to play it around dinner time tonight. Will be a solo play, as I cannot bring myself to ask my game group to play yet another version of the rules until I myself have tried them. After all the betas we tried, they are starting to lose confidence in SPM rulesets.

So, Holy Cross, if these rules suck, then I blame you for making me go out and waste my time and money printing them! ;)

But, if they are as good as you say they are, then thanks to you for shining the light on this for the rest of us to see.

I am cautiously optimistic....

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February 18th, 2018, 7:44 pm
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I look forward to your feedback. Did you print out the dashboards and cards too? (Mighty monster , plot, challenge, boss fight etc)


February 18th, 2018, 8:02 pm
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Holy Cross wrote:
I look forward to your feedback. Did you print out the dashboards and cards too? (Mighty monster , plot, challenge, boss fight etc)


I did the rules, MMC and backpack. Did not see plot cards, challenge cards, etc.

EDIT - I found them now. Do they add a lot to the game?

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February 18th, 2018, 8:56 pm
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Spazzfist wrote:
Holy Cross wrote:
I look forward to your feedback. Did you print out the dashboards and cards too? (Mighty monster , plot, challenge, boss fight etc)


I did the rules, MMC and backpack. Did not see plot cards, challenge cards, etc.

EDIT - I found them now. Do they add a lot to the game?


they are very much central to the function of arcade and making a game a replayable experience. Soooo...yes :P


February 18th, 2018, 9:11 pm
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