Difficulty scaling

Share your thoughts and ideas about Mordheim: City of the Damned
Simpking
Posts: 2
Joined: 09 December 2015, 19:13

Difficulty scaling

Postby Simpking » 09 December 2015, 20:29

I'd like to start by thanking Rogue Factor for delivering a great game, I've been enjoying it thoroughly (it even took away a few hours from my usual Fallout 4 play time, which is no small feat!)

However, I think there's a few, easy to implement adjustments that could greatly enhance the game's replay value.

First and most important: the difficulty scaling. When I first created my warband, I faced countless challenges. The battles were hard, I could barely afford any equipment, I struggled to deliver my shipments on time and any injuries to my leader was a major setback. I liked that. It felt like I had always something to do, difficult choices to make. However, now that my warband is well underway, making its 4th shipment, I've lost that feeling.

The main problem is that the A.I always field a warband matching mine. It takes away a LOT of my decision making. What happens if one of my great heroes is getting treatment for the next five turns? Nothing. I just field the 9 others, and the A.I will do the same. The battle isn't harder.
I have just suffered a crushing defeat and can only field 4 people? No problem, A.I will do the same.
I want to take 5 days to train everyone? No problem. A.I isn't getting stronger in the meanwhile.

It feels like my decisions don't have consequences. The shipments aren't hard to make and the A.I isn't growing without me. In the game XCOM, which uses a similar ''one mission a day'' type of gameplay, the enemy team was constently improving and would not adapt it's strenght to yours. You needed to outgrow the scaling. I felt the constant need to improve, to beat the game before it beats me, my decisions could have a lasting impact and a defeat meant that I would be fighting an hardcore, uphill battle to catch up. It was difficult but rewarding and very enjoyable. Im not getting that feeling from Mordheim. For lack of a better word, now that I've passed the early game threshold, I feel like im grinding. Im getting better units for the sake of it, but I really don't need to.

I'll add that it would be interesting to see how my impressive deal with 4 heroes, or any other team composition. Facing an impressive every time I field mine doesn't allow me to test my strategy against other type of team.

I am a seasoned gamer and maybe a constant scaling difficulty isn't enjoyable for everyone, but adding the option at the very least would make long playthrough way more challenging and interesting.

Second (and this one is a bit of a caprice), you've done a great job with the warbands units. I feel an attachment to my battered band of mercenaries, thanks to the threat of death, permanent injuries and customisation options. In contrast, the enemy warbands feel lifeless, they're all the same and, I suppose, always randomly generated. If some of them were preset (and maybe had a few bonus throw their way, to make them feel special), and would come back from time to time to clash with my band , keeping their wounds as I do, it would make me more invested as a player. It would help create an interesting, ever evolving world and give me a few battles stories to tell.


I'll stop there, my rant is long enough as it is and truth be told playing the game has been a blast so far.

What do you think? Would both of theses options be realistic/interesting?

Dragzal
Posts: 15
Joined: 08 December 2015, 11:49

Re: Difficulty scaling

Postby Dragzal » 10 December 2015, 01:21

It feels like my decisions don't have consequences. The shipments aren't hard to make and the A.I isn't growing without me. In the game XCOM, which uses a similar ''one mission a day'' type of gameplay, the enemy team was constently improving and would not adapt it's strenght to yours. You needed to outgrow the scaling.
Mordheim is endless not Xcom. So it's easier with Xcom. And in fact, when you have squad of 6 max level guys, you don't have to improve anymore. Some IA issues can help. But create and test an IA can take a lot of time.
If some of them were preset (and maybe had a few bonus throw their way, to make them feel special), and would come back from time to time to clash with my band , keeping their wounds as I do, it would make me more invested as a player. It would help create an interesting, ever evolving world and give me a few battles stories to tell.
I think i read something about this option on Steam forum and answer was
"This will not make it in the game due to low production time and how much it would cost to implement"

My answer is, maybe player can solve that. Be community, act like community and creates events. If as table top player i succeed to find other player, we can do it on the computer.

Twahn
Posts: 178
Joined: 20 November 2014, 22:49

Re: Difficulty scaling

Postby Twahn » 10 December 2015, 08:07

Yep. That's the answer and addresses all of your wishlist items. Multiplayer leagues.

I used to run a blood bowl league on fumbbl (before the blood bowl video game ever existed) that started with 20 players but has expanded to over 80 teams over spread among tiered divisions and over 30 seasons played to date (I no longer play but the league has a life of its own now with many dedicated people working together). The community there made for the greatest gaming experience of my life. With a good engaged community, epic stories evolve from the games and are shared with everyone. Units take on real character, with heroes and villains aplenty.

That's what you're looking for in my opinion.

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Drildgen
Posts: 564
Joined: 07 November 2014, 15:32

Re: Difficulty scaling

Postby Drildgen » 10 December 2015, 15:27

Hey guys,

I would like to clarify a couple things before we jump to a conclusion that doesn't reflect the reality.

First off, we, at Rogue Factor, DO read every single one of your thoughts, ideas and feedback. Trust me when I say we do. We really care for our community, our customers and our product. We try to be as available as we can for you guys and we take great pride on that. In some other places you would have a robot dishing out copy/pasted answers and that is not something we want to do. Every single answer is genuine and written by one of the devs (whether it's on the Steam Forums or here on the Official Forums, in occurrence written by yours truly ;) ).

Secondly, all your ideas are shared among the team. To give you a perspective, the Lead Designer is sitting right in front of me, our AI-specialist/scripter/designer is directly beside me, to my left, our Lead Programmer and Project Supervisor is at the desk right behind me with two other programmers right next to him and our Art Team is like 10 feet away. When I read new ideas or feedbacks, the first thing i do it share it out-loud with my colleagues then, depending on the nature of the idea (or feedback) either an answer is given or a solution is discussed. Usually, it goes like this:

Me - "Hey guys, this player here is suggesting that we do this-and-that.. Anything planned about it?"
Lead Programmer - "Yeah, we have someone that's currently working on something along those lines, check with Programmer_01"
Me - "Hey Mister Programmer_01, can you tell me what's going on with this-and-that?"
Programmer_01 - "Yup, I'm working on implementing this-and-that thought this <technical term of doom> and it's a pain in the ass and it's gonna take a little more time than expected"
Me - "Ok dude, no worries... Can you give me something to say to the players on the forums?"
Programmer_01 - "Sure, tell them I'm working on it and it will be there after next patch!"
Me - "Cool beans! Thanks a lot!"
Me - /poke Lead Designer
Lead Designer - "Sup?"
Me - "Just spoke to Programmer_01 about this-and-that! He confirmed that it's gonna be available next patch. Can I go public about it on the forums?"
Lead Designer - "Yeah, no problem... I'll do the same on Steam so we're on the same page."
Me - "Roger that! Posting my reply now!"

But sometimes it can also go like this:

Me - "Listen up guys, we have this player reporting that this-feature-is-bad and we need to change it..."
Lead Designer - "Nope. Not gonna happen. This requires way too much work for Programmer_01 who's already working hard on bugfixes..."
Lead Programmer - "He's right, because this-feature-is-bad is involved with <super technical feature> and refactoring the system behind the <technical term> will make <uber technical restriction> come up and it will break the game like you have no idea."
Me - "Alright... I'll let them know that this cannot be done..." :(

As much as I hate scenario "B", it happens. It's not always exactly as stated above... Quite often it's about production time, sometimes assets are frozen and we cannot re-edit them as it would be too risky to break other things... Other times we're already overbooked with bugfixing that we don't have time to implement all your wishlist items... Occasionally, someone is already editing the assets or the code related to a feature, we can sneak in a quick change or a quality of life update you have requested into the game.

Lastly, I hope that your willingness to help us improve the game never stops. Like I said, we're always reading and discussing about your suggestions, it's really important for us. Keep challenging us, keep bringing new feature ideas and quality of life improvement suggestions! We really appreciate it guys :)

I hope this helps you understand our reality and the dynamics of the team. Keep up the good work guys and keep enjoying the game! :)
Good hunting in the streets of Mordheim!

-Drildgen

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hroch
Posts: 117
Joined: 25 December 2014, 19:24
Location: Middle-Eurpoe

Re: Difficulty scaling

Postby hroch » 10 December 2015, 15:47

If you could share some immediate road map (for very next and one subsequent patch) of bug fixes and features. This could clarify many doubts and show the community how hard you are working. You mentioned that you have some issue tracker, so it should not be so difficult to paste here some results. Obviously all of them could be subject of change.

Another thing could be faster and smaller iterations. I like idea of weekly updates as there is always something to look for. Space Engineers made very good job in this.

Third point is clear communication towards players about content of patch. I will use Space Engineers again s example - there was youtube video with overview for most of patches. User will watch 4 min video and jump into the game eager for trying those changes.
Gunslinger & Troubleshooter

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Drildgen
Posts: 564
Joined: 07 November 2014, 15:32

Re: Difficulty scaling

Postby Drildgen » 10 December 2015, 15:50

These are wonderful suggestions hroch!

I'll discuss about it with our general manager to see if it's possible to do so!

Thanks a lot and I'll check out what Space Engineers have done ;)
Good hunting in the streets of Mordheim!

-Drildgen

Dragzal
Posts: 15
Joined: 08 December 2015, 11:49

Re: Difficulty scaling

Postby Dragzal » 10 December 2015, 16:47

First off, we, at Rogue Factor, DO read every single one of your thoughts, ideas and feedback. Trust me when I say we do. We really care for our community, our customers and our product. We try to be as available as we can for you guys and we take great pride on that. In some other places you would have a robot dishing out copy/pasted answers and that is not something we want to do. Every single answer is genuine and written by one of the devs (whether it's on the Steam Forums or here on the Official Forums, in occurrence written by yours truly ;) ).

I hope this helps you understand our reality and the dynamics of the team. Keep up the good work guys and keep enjoying the game! :)
It is one reason why I have not stop Mordheim and not ask to steam for refund. Really thanks for your work with the community. I greatly appreciate (and I'm not alone).
Just, we are demanding because we suppose that you can do amazing things ;) .

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Evan_
Posts: 46
Joined: 27 November 2015, 09:43

Re: Difficulty scaling

Postby Evan_ » 10 December 2015, 17:53

Poor Programmer_01. We always forget to think about him when we bombard you with ideas. Hope he has Programmer_02 and 03 nearby. Or at least an Intern_0.8.

:D

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hroch
Posts: 117
Joined: 25 December 2014, 19:24
Location: Middle-Eurpoe

Re: Difficulty scaling

Postby hroch » 10 December 2015, 18:07

Drildgen steps into the dev lair. He stands next to programmer_01 to draw his attention.
Programmer_01 finally noticed Drildgen - he looks tired. But everyone are tired those days. We just released. But something else is wrong. Prog have suspicion, but he is afraid to ask: "hroch?"
Drildgen waits with the answer: "Yes" he finally declares.
Everyone knows that this will be long day.
Gunslinger & Troubleshooter

Astralwyrm
Posts: 256
Joined: 08 July 2015, 11:47

Re: Difficulty scaling

Postby Astralwyrm » 10 December 2015, 19:14

Should just buy one of those experimental A.I super computers that learns, then hook it up to the game. No one will ever complain it isn't difficult enough ever again. >=D


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