[Poll] What are you willing to pay? (for expansion packs)

General discussion with other Mordheim: City of the Damned players.

How much are you willing to pay for an expansion?

< 10 $US
70
20%
10-15 $
90
26%
15-20 $
97
28%
20-25 $
35
10%
25-30 $
12
3%
>30 $
47
13%
 
Total votes: 351
User avatar
MasterN
Posts: 82
Joined: 16 January 2016, 10:49

[Poll] What are you willing to pay? (for expansion packs)

Postby MasterN » 20 January 2016, 00:09

Hi ppl, how are you doing?


There will be quite some text. For those, who dislike reading, here's the gist of it:

Money is the most effective motivator for a developer and a franchise owner. I consider this game to be not perfect but still very good. The longer version gives a lot of details about my personal reasoning behind that assessment and a lot of suggestions on possible improvements. While taken aforementioned improvements in mind, I want to present an example of a possible extension for the game an want to hear your opinion on how much such a package would be worth to you.

So I'd suggest something along the line of:

[*] 2 additional Warbands (for example orcs and dwarfs (for sake of a simpler campaign system) later witch hunters and undead (same reasoning) or others... there's lots of choice)
- Lots of effort required. Modelling and animation require quite some time.
[*] AI improvements (scenario, tactics and WB based)
- Lots of effort required.
[*] 2 additional scenarios
- Low to medium amount of effort required (if they were clever enough to model the entire city, and not just a couple of maps, otherwise again lots of effort and MAKE THE COMPLETE TOWN... it makes everything else so much easier in the future...).
[*] Continuous improvement of the base game by balancing and bug-fixing patches.
- Medium amount of effort over time (unless some major bug appears). (accessible for all players, not just expansion buyers (for example having new Warbands as opponents, yet not being able to play with them))


While I would gladly pay 25-30$ for proper improvement in that fashion over and over again, this most likely doesn't apply to everyone. So please let me and those who make it know what to expect.



Long Version:

Abbreviations:
GW -> Games Workshop
WB -> Warband
Tt -> Tabletop


I'm the overjoyed and disappointed owner of a copy of Mordheim for a couple of days now. Overjoyed, because I've been waiting for this for about 10 years (I would never have guessed that they'd be willing to actually make it). Disappointed, because I had to install steam (DAMN YOU!!! :D).

This game cost ~40$US. Even after only a couple hours of game play I could confidently announce: Worth every last cent to me.
(In the following Section I'll asses the game in two ways. 1st, as a video game. 2nd, as the video game adaptation of the Tt.
Each aspect will show a number indicating the MY PERSONAL importance of the aspect [1-10], 1 being lowest importance, 10 being highest. THIS ISN'T A QUALITY RATING!)


Assessed as a video game (of its genre):

Graphics [5]: It looks very nice (but not brilliant). The textures are detailed, the environment is beautiful. Some environment models seem to have a ridiculously low amount of polygons though, and when they curve it really shows.

Gameplay [9]: Brutal and unforgiving (love it... I won about 95% of all attempted scenarios and it never really feels like I've won. There is always a bit of a bitter after taste, even with a dominating victory). I have the feeling, that it's a case of easy to learn, impossible to truly master (love that too). Some possible improvements:
- I sort of got the impression, that many players dislike the fact, that even the 80% hit-chance may fail to deliver 10 times in a row (had that too). My suggestion would be to simply display all chances combining attacker and defender (hit, dodge, parry, resistance...) and then the true chance to deliver damage (no biggie).
- Voluntary Rout modification: After achieving all secondary objectives, offer voluntary rout with victory (compromise on several topics regarding at first the fact, that the only mission objective is always to make the opponent rout or to kill them, and at second the fact that the Tt always allows a voluntary rout.)
(non original suggestion: Item loss only if one or more characters are engaged in combat at the time of surrender. How about special rules for certain races?
- Skaven are treacherous: Item loss only on characters in combat at the time of rout, may also lead to injury or death of those units (executed or tortured by winners: roll on injury table).
- Possessed are barely controlled: May only voluntary rout if the leader is in action and concious.
- Sisters are prideful: Voluntary rout causes morale loss in the next scenario.
- Mercenarys are loyal: If units are in combat at the time of the rout, all gathered items are lost in exchange for the well being of the prisoners.)

Atmosphere[6]: Great. Could be improved by (if it's already implemented, and I haven't noticed this so far, then I'm sorry.):
- Having weather (like fog) and day/night time influence view distance

Music[7]: Brilliant! Haven't got anything else to say about it.

Controls[3]: Requires getting used to... too much focus on mouse control. If I have/want to chose an option, don't make me scroll! As there are only 5 possible active skill slots, 5 magic slots and a couple of other actions like stances, how about the following:
- Press key, then number to select. 'r', 't', 'f' and 'g' for example. 'r' for active skill, then 2 for second slot (allow the user to assign and change the skills around the slots to customize which slot has what).

AI [10]: While I consider the AI to be the most important part of a videogame, I know how hard it is to make it good. If it ever is to be improved, I would be insanely grateful even if it is done incrementally.
- Couple of good points:
- Single (only remaining) enemy stuck himself in a building and refused to come out into my ambush.
- AI Picking up the unit-item of a fallen friendly unit in a "Marked for Death" scenario.
- Ranged units disengage close combat, when player unit is also in close combat with another.
- Points that can be improved:
- Single Rat(!) walked into a 5 man ambush. All units were visible to it before it made a move.
- Watched a single youngblood climb up and jump down at a single point 3 times in a row receiving 23 Damage in the process.
- Never watched the AI go properly for any secondary objective.
- Single unit (far away, only just visible) ran right past a cluster to attack 3 of my heroes and subsequently died in a single turn in a "Wyrdstone Rush" scenario.
- Rarely regroups.
1. AI for different scenarios (this is most likely an upgrade)
2. AI for different tactics (this is most likely an upgrade)
3. AI for different WBs (this should just be minor modifications for a different flavour)

Balancing [8]: Really difficult topic. The more races there are, the more difficult it becomes, if everybody needs to be equal. Luckily this isn't exactly the case here. A WB may fare good against one and badly against another. Most important is, that a single WB doesn't just fare well against all other). While there are voices of concern, that the skaven are overpowered, it (so far) feels more like they are just a bit alienated from the lore (and have continuous access to "rare" and strong weapons). I think most people will undoubtedly agree, that upping HP and damage output with a (significant) flat bonus isn't a good way to increase difficulty.
For what reason did you implement the WR-Rating, if opponent level, weapons and other equipment (right down to the quality level) are always about exactly equal (plus whatever bonus the difficulty demanded)? Couple of things:
- Start of with the current players WB-Rating and, depending on difficulty, add 0%(normal), 10%(hard), 20%(brutal) or 30%(deadly) to it for the AI.
- Different amount of characters (depending on most likely strategy). Gaussian (or similar better fitting) distribution for variety. (example at the bottom)
- Vary the amount of higher quality items. As items have an impact on the WB-Rating as well, make use of that.
- Have sometimes a character with a lower level (to simulate injuries or deaths) as replacement unit (sort of), and balance it with the other characters.

(-)Campaign: As I haven't finished the campaign with any WB yet, I sincerely hope, that it's not just mercenaries vs skaven and sisters vs possesed. If it is: I'm saddened by this! Adjusting a special scenario for a campaign is difficult and time consuming. Making different scenarios for different campaign runs with the same 'race' though would be the epiphany of awesomeness.


Assessed as an adaptation:

Atmosphere [6]: Don't know if it is even possible to screw up the atmosphere of Mordheim. First dozen pages of the rulebook are enough of a hint. Brilliantly made. I have no complaints at all. Character design, Environment, lighting.... all perfect. imho...

Combat Mechanics [7]: Comparing the Tt and the PC game is fairly simple. It feels incredibly similar. The adjustments made for the PC version were a good choice. Having just one wound point on almost all characters and a far lower chance to land a hit properly are not dynamic and exciting enough for the PC. Aside the fact, that one knows exactly how high the chance for a successful hit in the Tt is ahead of time (yet not in the PC version), well done. One a side note (since I have only observed indications), it seems that "out of action" warriors receive more dramatic wounds in accordance with how far below "0" wounds the last hit got them. If that's really the case: NICE TOUCH! (got a severed arm by being low on HP and getting hit with a double handed axe, and two deaths after being hit on low HP with a double handed hammer...)
*One thing though. As far as I can tell, a charge cannot be intercepted. Not even in ambush stance. That strikes me as odd. Having a decoy charged and ambushing the attacker is a basic strategy. Perhaps it's just bugged...

Movement Mechanics [8]: The feeling of not knowing all enemy positions on the map at all time (unlike on the top of a table), in combination with possible trap screwed scouting during a movement phase, with the addition of proper ambushes and the way movement speed is realised by meters per strategy point leave very little room for complaints. There are times when one can't backtrack because of some structural corners and edges of buildings, and while traps are mostly obvious, it is (for me so far) impossible to determine at what position they trigger (don't know if it's supposed to be this way). There is possible room for improvement with an additional mechanic though, "stealth". If viewing and detection ranges were to be implemented, shady areas could provide cover for hidden units and reduce detection range of opponents.

Equipment [9]: So far I don't know for sure whether it is a good decision to make all weapons (sort of) equal. I like the idea though. And it was (more or less, don't know exactly) done well.
Couple of things though...
- The veteran system grants more starting money but little what to spend it on... On WB creation, the Tt allows your starting WB to be equipped any way you like with the equipment your race can supply. Items count towards the WR-Rating, so give full choice at creation and rare items rarely from then on. Having to scavenge for a damn dagger is humiliating. Let non hired sword units arrive empty handed.
- Warplock pistol, fighting claws and weeping blade for example are rare items in the Tt... for obvious reasons. Yet they've been dropping like crazy in the couple of scenarios(~50) I've completed so far (with all WBs, not just skaven).

Progress [10]: Levelling System is nice. Progress of attributes and abilities is about the same as in the Tt (by scale).
- First things first: If I don't like casters, don't bloody force my leader to be one! Leader of the bloody sisters starts with a spell based passive skill. Why? I want to make the choice. It is easy to let the player make the choice.
- The fact, that one cannot choose any sort of hero, and any number of heroes at WB creation greatly deviates from the Tt (and on a personal note: ticks me off). As the game balances with WR-Rating (in an odd, but predictable fashion (hopefully changed one day)) there is no reason to change the Tt concept. It wouldn't break the game, nor give an unfair advantage. My suggestion:
- Instead of giving more money to starting WBs, how about giving them more hero/henchmen/reserve slots and the other heroes/henchmen/hired swords with higher veteran levels?
- As there already is the WB-Rating, how about giving the WB-levelling something like increased market rotation something in exchange for the slots and the units?

Content [5]: I already mentioned, how additional scenarios would improve the game. On a different note though: The race characteristics aka Special Rules (some units have them) are nicely done.


Now to where I'm getting with all of this:
While there is a bit of room for improvement from the present state (concerning game mechanics), I'm utterly satisfied with what was presented for the price I paid.
Content wise there is a lot missing, which is understandable considering the sheer amount of content the Tt presents.
I wouldn't mind paying for additional stuff. Cash is a great motivator for a developer. And in this case, I'd much rather pay for more, than be done with what we already have.
I'll try to construct the shape of possible update packages and ask of you to vote at the top how much such a package would be worth to you.
I'll further try to asses how much effort it requires to implement such additions.

So I'd suggest something along the line of:
- 2 additional WBs (for example orcs and dwarfs (for sake of a simpler campaign system) later witch hunters and undead (same reasoning) or others... there's lots of choice) -- Lots of effort required. Modelling and animation require quite some time.
- AI improvements (scenario, tactics and WB based) -- Lots of effort required.
- 2 additional scenarios -- Low to medium amount of effort required (if they were clever enough to model the entire city, and not just a couple of maps, otherwise again lots of effort and MAKE THE COMPLETE TOWN... it makes everything else so much easier in the future...).
- Continuous improvement of the base game by balancing and bug-fixing patches. -- Medium amount of effort over time (unless some major bug appears). (accessible for all players, not just expansion buyers (for example having new WBs as opponents, yet not being able to play with them))


As I'd like this game to continue improving towards perfection, I'd personally be willing to pay 25-30$ for such a package. It would possibly amount to quite a sum if we are to indulge in 10+ WBs. But here comes the last comparison to the Tt: A fully equipped and loaded WB will set you back at least 120$ and lots of effort for painting and modelling. As there will never be a Mordheim 2 (assessed by GWs past actions with their franchise), I think that spending about as much over time for the PC-Version is little to ask for, especially considering its niche status.
What do you think? Please vote.


PS: If it is possible, I'll update this post if anything changes...

* Changelog:
Jan, 20th 2016: Added possible bug, unambushable charge.
Last edited by MasterN on 20 January 2016, 22:43, edited 1 time in total.

Arganan
Posts: 54
Joined: 14 February 2015, 13:38

Re: [Poll] What are you willing to pay?

Postby Arganan » 20 January 2016, 09:17

good job. Nice report. Very well structured and argumentated, even when other people will have different points of view.

drenzul
Posts: 187
Joined: 29 September 2015, 12:19

Re: [Poll] What are you willing to pay?

Postby drenzul » 20 January 2016, 09:35

Really???

Graphics [5] - Well, I would have said a lot better, maybe a 7. It may not be the highest polygon game but what they did works quite well. A few bugs in the graphics engine and a few weird bits (Skaven are in places a bit TOO skinny for example)

AI [10] - Wow... ok... errr.... no. 10 implies if not perfect then nearly so. 5 would be a more realistic score, aka it does the job but barely.
If the AI was a '10' then we wouldn't have the increased AI damage on higher difficulty modes, the enemy AI would just play better.

Seriously... how can you give the AI 10/10 when it repeatedly runs into walls with impressive heroes and often normal models, sends individual heroes to suicide in against your war-band e.t.c.

The AI in general feels more geared to attempting to assassinate a few of your characters instead of either keeping their warband alive or actually winning the battle.

Other than the AI issues there are a few near game-breaking bugs, like disengage basically not working 80% of the time and climb spots not working right that really impact game-play.

I don't think the game is that well balanced at the moment. Chaos are a prime example, they start of weakest but get a band with the right mutations together and they are absolutely lethal.

User avatar
MasterN
Posts: 82
Joined: 16 January 2016, 10:49

Re: [Poll] What are you willing to pay?

Postby MasterN » 20 January 2016, 09:47

Really???

Graphics [5] - Well, I would have said a lot better, maybe a 7. It may not be the highest polygon game but what they did works quite well. A few bugs in the graphics engine and a few weird bits (Skaven are in places a bit TOO skinny for example)

AI [10] - Wow... ok... errr.... no. 10 implies if not perfect then nearly so. 5 would be a more realistic score, aka it does the job but barely.
If the AI was a '10' then we wouldn't have the increased AI damage on higher difficulty modes, the enemy AI would just play better.

Seriously... how can you give the AI 10/10 when it repeatedly runs into walls with impressive heroes and often normal models, sends individual heroes to suicide in against your war-band e.t.c.
Nonono... I'm sorry. perhaps I didn't state it clearly enough. The numbers are not scores of quality, but a measure of importance to me personally.
Graphics are not that important to me ([5]), and the games graphics are great. The AI however is the most important thing to me ([10]) and has it's issues. It's functional... and I don't want to be the guy who had to program the pathfind algorithms on these maps... ^^

drenzul
Posts: 187
Joined: 29 September 2015, 12:19

Re: [Poll] What are you willing to pay?

Postby drenzul » 20 January 2016, 12:10

Ah I see that makes more sense now and I agree :)

AI is very very important and yeah, path-finding without using massive resources is very hard (which is probably why AI turns take so long), but in general it does need a lot of work doing.

Brutal/Deadly modes would be a lot more popular to use if they were actually AI difficulty increases instead of the AI just cheating... I mean seriously.... +40% damage + demons is silly... if the AI wasn't completely retarded it would be near impossible ;)

User avatar
MasterN
Posts: 82
Joined: 16 January 2016, 10:49

Re: [Poll] What are you willing to pay?

Postby MasterN » 20 January 2016, 17:13

AI is very very important and yeah, path-finding without using massive resources is very hard (which is probably why AI turns take so long), but in general it does need a lot of work doing.
I can't speak for others, but AI is of such high importance for me, because a game can easily outlive its creators (also common: outlive their creators care). Best example for me on that topic is Jagged Alliance 2 (Release July 23, 1999). The community around that game is still active. While the Game itself had its issues, the developer released the source code upon bankruptcy and the community made the improvements that were neccessary. Now that won't ever happen for Mordheim (GamesWorkshop.....) and is almost unheard of everywhere else as well. As there is always the possibility, that all interest in this game will fade in 10 to 15 years time, and only very few people remain to play it from time to time, it is much more important to concentrate on aspects that let the game have a long lifespan, like a very strong single player part.
Brutal/Deadly modes would be a lot more popular to use if they were actually AI difficulty increases instead of the AI just cheating... I mean seriously.... +40% damage + demons is silly... if the AI wasn't completely retarded it would be near impossible ;)
Wouldn't you agree that dumbing-down the AI would be a worse option than letting the opposite warband have more units on higher level with better gear than you (in other words a higher rating) for increased difficulty?
It would also dramatically decrease the required effort because they don't need to implement 4 different AIs. If required I could come up with a useful algorithm for increased difficulty based on warband-rating in no more than 3 days (in fact I will.... watch me! I'll use my suggestion from my opening post.). Only issue with that would be a warband with all units at level 10 complete purple equipment and full slots.
Then the only option would be to let the AI cheat and have more units than possible for the player. But I personally think, that that would still be a better option than the present solution.

time starts now! :D

Mr. Bear

Re: [Poll] What are you willing to pay? (for expansion packs

Postby Mr. Bear » 21 January 2016, 23:21

Good AI is, unfortunately, a very difficult thing to do and something that is beyond the resources of most game development studios. It really is just a really, really hard problem to tackle, especially in a complex game that combines teams of characters with different abilities and multiple objectives.

Not something insurmountable, of course, but unless you're a pro at this kind of thing... What we have is about as good as it gets unless you want to spend a LOT of money and time.

What I wish more games would do is expose an API for AI development. Let the community develop their own AI routines. You'd get plenty of support from college students (implementing a solid AI would be a fantastic independent study project), and you could host competitions between the algorithms as well.

As for the original question - what am I willing to pay? I'm willing to pay top cost, but the DLC would have to be worth the money. Smaller DLCs, less money. Bigger DLCs, more money.

prag
Posts: 46
Joined: 30 October 2015, 22:22

Re: [Poll] What are you willing to pay? (for expansion packs

Postby prag » 21 January 2016, 23:44

Better than AI? A robust pvp matchmaking system.

Probably willing to pay at least $5 or more for a new warband, maybe a few bucks for new map(s), might even throw out for some new character customization options. All contingent on not getting bored with the game before they're released.

It would take a ton of development work but I could actually see this game working as a f2p - with the Devs making their money off skins and character sales etc.. Feel like I mention pvp lot but, of course, that would require a vibrant pvp community. Although I would hate to see the game get less brutally unforgiving in order to appeal to a wider audience.

User avatar
MasterN
Posts: 82
Joined: 16 January 2016, 10:49

Re: [Poll] What are you willing to pay? (for expansion packs

Postby MasterN » 22 January 2016, 01:17

What I wish more games would do is expose an API for AI development. Let the community develop their own AI routines. You'd get plenty of support from college students (implementing a solid AI would be a fantastic independent study project), and you could host competitions between the algorithms as well.
jupp... AI is difficult. An API would be a great idea for development.
Better than AI? A robust pvp matchmaking system.

Probably willing to pay at least $5 or more for a new warband, maybe a few bucks for new map(s), might even throw out for some new character customization options. All contingent on not getting bored with the game before they're released.

It would take a ton of development work but I could actually see this game working as a f2p - with the Devs making their money off skins and character sales etc.. Feel like I mention pvp lot but, of course, that would require a vibrant pvp community. Although I would hate to see the game get less brutally unforgiving in order to appeal to a wider audience.
Haven't tried PvP yet... is it really that bad or does it come down to the system not having enough players to chose from?

If I apply your words to the example Package in OP, would that be about 15 bucks or more? I sincerly hope that people aren't voting on anything else but the example... otherwise it's not representative....


update on self-imposed challenge:
- more time consuming than I originally though... lost a day finding out the neccessary numbers for ratings and xp and so on (haven't got 100% but enough)...
- idea is simple, finding all the special circumstances and error cases and getting them solved bugs me a bit...
- get it hopefully done in time...^^

prag
Posts: 46
Joined: 30 October 2015, 22:22

Re: [Poll] What are you willing to pay? (for expansion packs

Postby prag » 22 January 2016, 04:19

PVP gameplay is very fun. The systems for finding and creating a match are bad to non-existent - which contributes to not having any players to choose from.

And I didn't actually vote cause I wasn't sure what to vote for, specifically to a single package like you list, I suppose $15 is probably right around the level I might buy without waiting for it to go on sale. I'll respond that in the poll.


Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron