New player's questions


#1

Hi, I’ve really loved “Into the breach”, and I also love “Chaos reborn” visuals and the “Law mode” principle, but I can’t get it how these “attack” and “defense” things work in “Law mode” (playing on the demo right now).

It’s not fully unpredictable since u can see if the opponent will die or barely survive before the combat, but is there a way to know what the formula is ? (nothing found in the wiki or forums so far).

For example, in the first tutorial, a lion on flat ground has 40 attack, how can he deal more than 40 damage ? How do you calculate damage ?

A second newbie question : very often, when I want to end a turn it pops “not all your creatures have finished their moves”, even after moving/casting/attacking with everyone, and when I have no more cards left. Is it a bug on the demo or is there really a hidden action I’m missing ?


#2

So ok, I’ve found some numbers :

Lion : 40 attack
Goblin : 30 defense
same height
Lion damage : (40 / (40 + 30)) * 125 = 71 dmg (out of 100 hp) (it’s actually 71.4 rounded to 71)

Lion : 40 attack
Rat : 10 defense
Rat : height 1, Lion Height 2
Lion damage if they were same height : (40 / (40 + 10)) * 125 = 100 dmg (rat insta dead)
Lion damage with the 50% bonus attack from height diff : (60 / 60 + 10) * 125 = 107 dmg (rat even more dead), by the way the “50% bonus” gives only 7 bonus dmg, this is really counter intuitive.

I think this system is only a tweak from the chaos mode and is totally not readable and unintuitive. In every other games (Starcraft, lol, hearthstone, Into the breach, …) you can anticipate the damage you will do in a much easier way with simple additions and soustractions, not with complex ratios (ok I know lol armor effect is calculated with a complex ratio, but it still translates into an intuitive concept : 25 armor => like if u had 25% more of your hp vs physical damage).

I’ll try chaos mode then, because this game is so beautiful, and I don’t want to quit.
Chaos mode is much more intuitive and understandable : Attack 4 vs Defense 6 = AAAADDDDDD, pick one random letter, if it’s A, you kill, if it’s D, you don’t. The new problem here is a Lion may miss a rat (20% chance to miss) but may instakill a goblin (57% chance to instakill), let’s see how it feels.


#3

Hey Tristan. This is just my opinion, of course, but I’d say that the true beauty of the game only really comes out in chaos mode. The points you bring up are valid and, honestly, there are many more where those came from. I think the addition of Law Mode was not very well-thought out and has done more to hurt the game than anything else. Chaos mode however is a really intelligent, balanced, and amazing game unlike any I’ve played before. Feel free to reach out in-game if you want to play sometime.


#4

Yes I totally agree. They should present “Law mode” as a tweak parameter in a settings menu and explain the game was not originally designed this way.


#5

+1 Chaos Mode is miles better.

Law mode was introduced as way to appease negative steam reviews which were being given by players who couldn’t see how to manage %s in Chaos mode/thought that the game was too RNG based (it really isn’t).


#6

Press the Tab key as a quick way to see what actions you still have to take.


#7

Agreed completely. Of the remaining players, I’d be very surprised if many stuck around for Law mode – it just lacks the nuances and deep thinking that went into Chaos mode’s design. IMO the game would benefit from Law mode being cut, since it would funnel people into the core of the game.

I feel similarly about realms, which are very underwhelming and provide a mediocre experience biased by mercenaries and containing limited strategic options. The mobile version IMO benefits from the fact that they cut out realms (for lack of resources). Even though that leaves you with a purely duel/match based experience, that experience is far richer than what realms misleads you into thinking the game is about.


#8

Press the Tab key as a quick way to see what actions you still have to take.

I’ve found a few “bugs” around this already :

  • If you click too quickly after your last action, you’ll get the popup
  • Sometimes you get the popup while none of your creatures/wizzard has the white circle, this always happens when you are mounted, but not only.
  • You get the “time to end turn” white blinking signals even if you have still actions to do (for example talismans to activate).

#9

@bluddy It took me quite a while to see what realms could offer, and they aren’t for everyone, but some of the best moments I’ve had in CR outside of mp battles have been co-oping realms. Some of the most experienced players we have spend a good deal of game time co-oping the realms.


#10

Here’s the problem with this statement: almost any game becomes better when playing with friends. Playing with friends is just fun, and the merits of a particular game don’t really matter that much once you start adding friends. You could take an extremely mediocre RPG and elevate it ten-fold just by playing it with a buddy. Therefore, you cannot judge a game by this kind of experience, since all games will provide a good enough baseline so long as there is basic co-op functionality. I don’t think that changes my opinion that the Realms are a very basic, limited and fairly confused system that doesn’t mesh very well with the tactical battles.


#11

I currently spend 100% of my time on asynchronous multiplayer battles, but I think the realms were a fun way to add “something different” to play around in a more relaxed manner, and provides a more entertaining way to earn your first talismans and equipment compared to the randomness of the item packs. Like a “game within the game”, while multiplayer is the main thing (I don’t think they compete).


#12

Yeah, I didn’t really mean it that way. You’re right, the implementation of the realms feels pretty thrown together. My remark was taking that as an obvious given. I mostly agree with your assessment, but, in my experience, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have something special to offer, especially in the curation of battles that are otherwise not possible in the other modes. There are many ways to enjoy the game and many of them involve playing with friends, the battles within realms offer a unique experience, though, and I appreciate them for that.


#13

I do think it would be interesting to consider what would have made Realms better. For that, it’s worth considering their issues:

  • The mechanics of dropping the king’s shield spell is simply a method to force a linear structure. It could have been finding a key to a door.
  • The variety of overland spells is astoundingly poor.
  • Fighting without a wizard is annoying, and therefore enhancing settlements has little meaning ie. that whole aspect of the strategy layer is unnecessary.
  • Mercenaries (on both sides) are a poor lever with which to adjust the tactical battles: they make battles too easy or too hard. Unlike X-Com, CR has an in-tactical-engine unit-creation mechanism, and messing with that dominates the battle too much.
  • There’s no power curve to the items in the realm because they’re the same items used in the multiplayer battles and need to be well balanced. This makes it so there’s no in-realm reason to ever buy anything unless you need it to complete your meta collection, which takes you out of the realm’s narrative even more.
  • The narrative structure provided for creators is too thin. Some text boxes and choices that mean very little aren’t worth diving into since they have so little impact on the framework of the realm. The strategy layer, poor as it is, dominates the actions that ultimately matter, with the narrative being just some flavor.
  • The day countdown discourages exploration, making it so you have to intuit where the ‘key’ (flux mana) is to the ‘lock’ (palace), or where they both are.

The easiest way to fix this would probably have been to let go of the weak strategy structure and let each realm creator create a full narrative and role-playing experience with its own goals. Some user-modifiable resource counter could have been provided to give some urgency if desired, but mostly the game would consist of narrative and choices, creating a choose-your-own-adventure style game where each realm could tell a unique story (your wizard is on trial and needs to prove his innocence; you’ve committed terrible crimes and must make amends; etc). Give realm creators the ability to choose not only taboos, but also (optionally) the available cards per battle, as well as the realm victory conditions. Even better, let realm creators script some action in the 3d engine, moving characters about and having them speak via text bubbles, in order to create an immersive RPG-like experience. This would be consistent with the effort put into the lore book.


#14

I forgot one of the biggest problems with realms, which is that if you lose a battle and therefore your mercenaries, you’re often screwed. If you lose a second battle and whatever mercenaries you could scramble to gather, you’re almost certainly screwed. But this isn’t how CR battles work – the probabilistic element means you’re guaranteed to lose some of the time. The key is to embrace that, but Realms make you hate that aspect of CR, which is probably one of the factors that led to Law mode being born, which caused a further splitting of the player base.


#15

You can use that the other way a bit. If you lose a realm battle once and/or the Wizard Lord/King looks like they’ve got some heavy merc reinforcements, go into the battle with the aim of only taking out their mercs, don’t worry about a victory for that match, just strip away their permanent support. Then, when/if you lose, recruit as well as you can and go straight back in for another match before they can get their merc count up again.


#16

That’s a good point. I’ve done that by accident, but haven’t targeted their mercs specifically.

Honestly though, now that I have all the talismans on both PC and mobile, I can’t find a reason to play Realms over a custom game, preferably with a live person. They’re just not very good. They do have excellent music though.


#17

Yeah, I know where you’re coming from… I didn’t even get a full set of gear in the end, I just couldn’t force myself to keep playing them.

I think the whole problem of realms is that the game is built around PvP combat, it’s not a single player at all. To which the only thing realms manage to do is to send the player from one battle to another. The realms themselves are starved of variety due to the constraints on realm designers.

You could probably just have static screen with a series of battles for the player to fight through similar to the tutorial screen design and you’d be no worse off.


#18

I listed above their problems and how they could have been fixed. The strategy is too anemic to be any good, but it’s just enough to rob the Realms’ narratives of any value. Had it just been a ‘create an adventure with some choice’ we could have had some really creative role playing narratives stringing crafted battles together. But the need to mix these narratives with weak strategic elements that still dominate robs the narratives of their power.


#19

To me, realms mode was just shy of being something truly great! This sort of LITE Story telling strategy game that could’ve been perfect, if just given a bit more love and playtesting.

I feel like the weird dynamics that you’ve listed so perfectly, while disjointed and not functionable as a game in its current state, were so close to creating something really novel.

I’ll just list off the components and the things i’ve liked about them:
-Merc management: I felt that this was a fairly simple way to create a “party” or “squad” without adding any unnecessary clutter. Realm designers have the ability to name some of the characters that you come across and even tie a bit of story to them in the encounters (via flags/triggers that set off possible outcomes based on if the characters with you or an outcome that happened…a combo of both)

The only thing i felt it was missing was just the simplest of unit upgrade system…just a poof level up get +5 stats or whatever when you win a battle with them still alive. I feel like just something as small as that to register that you kept them alive and were able to distinguish them from casted creatures/villagers would have just been the aesthetic fix that was needed to make them pop a bit more. Also some sort of way to name creatures, like is super big in the xcom games, could have been a great way to make build a little connection with the random dudes you hire in the towns.

Not really gameplay stuff as much as thematic stuff, but sure it’s all gameplay.

  • Villages: What I really liked about this was the idea of having a sort of unit building/maintenance management, without the fiddliness of the full fledged strategy games. It gave the possibility of a unique LITE strategy system, that i could play when i don’t have a whole weekend to blow on a game (can’t remember the last time i’ve had time for that lol)

The constraints of how far you could move them was nice as well, unique.

Were I felt they came short was not being able to be integrated in the strategic game at all in any other way then to supplement your wizard, thus making battles painfully easy. Fully upgraded villages were also too easy to win battles with under most circumstances…or they’re just useless…I feel like having a few more viable options with them like: Having access to more spells, being able to upgrade the %'s of getting more useful troops, adjusting the tier upgrade system (maybe having a middle tier between “Not enough troops” and “Way too many troops”), etc could have been easier tweaks to making the thing work.


I’ll leave it at that, as I’m sort of feeling a redundancy of going too in depth with my thoughts on it, but as a realm designer (gotta add that to my resume xD), I’ve felt like i’ve spent alot of time (which designing realms in this game requires xD) to sort of stew over this stuff, and really hope to see a fully baked version of whatever realms are in some way in the future.

That said, I did take a few stabs at addressing the issues of the game with some of my realms. They sort emphasize the time management mechanic in the game, which tries to force decision making on time constraints. For instance: I’ll have objectives wired into encounters that force the player into a sort of puzzle that isn’t linear (i.e you have objectives that you must do to accomplish the realm, but you have freedom to come up with strategies on how to do it)

One of the interesting dynamics i’ve played with is having multiple villages on the map that are within range and can fight together. I’ll restrict mana/resources on the maps so that you’re sort of encouraged to build villager compositions of a little variety. Also, I’ll reinforce the lords in the map by a good margin, but place villages in such a way that you can recruit them (if your resource management is right) but risk wasting you too much time if you rely on them too much…This can result in having a village that only reinforces you with 1-3 troops, which is a nice balance at times against a lord with 3-6.

It’s hard to go into detail, but if your curious about realms that try to mitigate the problems that you’ve mentioned through design constraints of the editor tools, you can check out some of the ones i’ve published (I’ve named them in alphabetical order, Ahnaahn being my 1st realm in the series, Heron being the latest)
They are a bit wordy, in order to try to convey the varied objectives/puzzles of the realms through the story telling, but you might find them a cute effort at the very least xD


#20

I was thinking more about improving the Realms by ditching the strategy and letting the narrative dominate, but you could also go in the other direction and try to figure out how to make it into a good strategy layer. In a sense, this shows the conflict in the design: it’s trying to do both, and not excelling in either.

I like your idea of upgraded units, but I feel like given how battles can sway in either direction, it would be even more painful to lose your upgraded mercs than it is to lose your mercs right now. My general sense is that mercs are just the wrong lever with which the strategy layer should interact with the tactics layer. CR is a little like pokemon in that you have your creatures in your hand until you deploy them, and inserting your mercs into your card deck would perhaps have made more sense and wouldn’t have dominated the battles as much. The specific cards could then have higher percentages and be upgraded etc, just as you describe.

As for your other attempts to make the strategic elements work better, it sounds interesting, and I’ll be sure to check out your Realms.