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Change is coming...

Let's talk about official announcements.
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Astralwyrm

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Re: Change is coming...

PostMon May 19, 2014 12:11 pm

There aren't 3 win conditions; theres 2. Killing all enemy units won't be a condition because who do you have to kill to do that? thats right the enemy hero. Killing all enemy units will only happen when it's strategically advantageous to do so; which means you need to have enough units left over to kill the enemy hero in the aftermath. So the strategies for this game mode will be focused around capturing the capture point/s or killing the enemy hero, and maybe a mix of both. If you wanted deathmatch, from what we know so far thats not what this game mode will be and it won't encourage you to kill all enemy units. At best one army will meet another army and fight over the capture point/s til one side has a overwhelming advantage. At which point either the weaker side tries to close combat kill the enemy hero or they retreat and try to range kill the enemy hero. While the advantaged side can accumulate points on the capture point or try to remove the enemy hero.
Last edited by Astralwyrm on Mon May 19, 2014 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Hod

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Re: Change is coming...

PostMon May 19, 2014 12:18 pm

What you say Astrawlym is true and it saddens me. Killing all the enemy units was what I loved best about the game. This new game mode better be fun, because a majority of the previous players were drawn to this game because of the Death Match and that will now be gone (minus friendly matches, but really how many of those do you play).
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Astralwyrm

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Re: Change is coming...

PostMon May 19, 2014 12:32 pm

Hod wrote:What you say Astrawlym is true and it saddens me. Killing all the enemy units was what I loved best about the game. This new game mode better be fun, because a majority of the previous players were drawn to this game because of the Death Match and that will now be gone (minus friendly matches, but really how many of those do you play).


The only way i can see them being able to bring a bit of deathmatch into the game mode is if say they had a morale win condition. I'm not sure how it would work out in practice but basically each side would have a certain amount of morale and once they lose enough units to deplete that morale they lose. So then the win conditions would be accumulate capture points, eliminate the enemy hero or wipe out a large portion of the enemy army.
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Dr.Ido

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Re: Change is coming...

PostMon May 19, 2014 1:48 pm

Hod wrote:This new game mode better be fun


True, no one can disagree with that.

Silverblade wrote:What I would hate to see, is having to play the game a lot to unlock certain strategic possibilities: the so-called "xp-based progression system"


You're not the firt to express this kind of concern. First of all, I want to say, that today, even though there's no lock on the units, most players need to grind out the ducats required to purchase them and that's an even worse limitation. And then, you need to level up your units...

We decided to remove the price constraint, you'll still need some ducats to purchase troops but prices will be around 100 ducats, it won't be a limit.
When you'll start you'll get 6 units per faction right away more than what you have now. Then, after just a few minutes you'll unlock a few more units. By then, you'll be way ahead of what you have currently after the same amount of time. And then, as you'll progress you'll unlock more unit.

I think I said it earlier, but we know that we'll need to find the right balance between giving enought content early to make the game fun and using some of this content to reward players for playing the game.
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Deuzerre

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Re: Change is coming...

PostMon May 19, 2014 2:12 pm

One of the things that you could remember is to keep the first units available as the "strongest", sort of the balanced one that's easy to use. The more you unlock units, the more difficult to use they become, but the more rewarding they become when you use them properly.

random example:
Mage of alahan "Base" (that you get at player level 1) that has celestial scourge. Reason: It has a long range, therefore it is easy to use, and they can't feel "this unit is OP, I'm starting and that guy can nuke me from out of range".

Mage of alahan "Unlocked at player step 2" that has chastisement of light (with only 2 squares of AoE). Reason: Still rather easy to use, but shorter range and unlocked rather fast. Trade range & damage for AoE.

Mage of alahan "Unlocked at player step 3" that has scourge of the impure (The buff against undeads) and Seal of Dellar'n. It is a support unit, brings in spells that require planning ahead, but can be very efficient.



With such a system, you should prevent new players from crying "P2W!", while slowly introducing new & more complex "rules" as they level up.
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Silverblade

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Re: Change is coming...

PostMon May 19, 2014 4:15 pm

Dr.Ido wrote:I think I said it earlier, but we know that we'll need to find the right balance between giving enought content early to make the game fun and using some of this content to reward players for playing the game.


Deuzerre wrote:With such a system, you should prevent new players from crying "P2W!", while slowly introducing new & more complex "rules" as they level up.


First of all, I am glad that my concerns are being heard. Being not the only one expressing that, is also good, for quantity gives the point more emphasis. :D

The above quoted by Deuzerre would be exactly what I would not want in a strategy game. I prefer to "buy" the game (or maybe parts of it) and have all the strategic possibilities open to me from the start wothout being forced to pay microtransactions (as to heal injured units) or grind out skill points for units. I don't have the time to play the game to unlock "game mechanics". I would rather use the time I have to think about (all) the game mechanics and how to use them to my strategic advantage.
I don't even know if for a game like this the free2play-model was the most promising one. What Dr.Ido wrote in his last post almost seemed too generous as I find the units cheap enough (actually too cheap) as it is and the leveling past lvl 3 already too grindy as it is. By playing only up to lvl eight, which took me eight matches or so, and logging in every day over the course of two weeks, I was able to buy me a skeleton warrior, two gargoyls, two paladins and one priest. For investing 10 Euros I got two skull warriors and the flesh golem. For 10 bucks that is a starting army, which I will not complain about.

This is solely based on my personal preferences and my gut feeling as for what "kind of people" might be drawn into a game like this (not based on any statistical data whatsoever):
I would like to see this game sold either in one piece (pay 50 bucks, get ALL the content there is without any further micro transactions, not including upcoming expansions or DLCs of course - although I hate DLCs...) or sold in pieces as in buy each of your units seperately, maybe in faction bundles, or bundled otherwise for discounts.
If you insist on marketing the game as free2play, don't throuw too much stuff at the players for free. Make them grind for it if that is, what they like to be doing. Make getting the units in the first place more difficult, but don't restict their skill points if you got them. Handle them like tabletop pieces. The idea of having those three different AP brackets works well for that. Make the middle one the competative one. Give out units for free that are enough to play the "beginners' bracket" until you grind/buy enough units to play competatively, similar as to how the most successfull free2play and also most successfull competative games (league of legends) are doing it.

The problem of course is that those are tailored towards large masses of players and possible customers. I see a lot of potential in Dogs of War online, but do not forget that you probably aim for a niche market (of tabletop players who may have more money than time at their hands), which may as well explain why this game is not as "sticky" as you hoped:
Since it is free to play on Steam, many people may give it a try while then quickly becoming aware of tactical games not being their favored genre. Being on Steam is fine and all, but I would consider advertising this game more at tabletop conventions, once it is finished. (Maybe you already do so, I would not know.) Also the game probably is just not finished enough yet, to be "sticky". It is a beta still after all. I too, will put this game on hold, until I can see, how exactly it will turn out.

Besides whether I will like it or not: Please do not make the mistake as to design the game in a way that it may "please everyone". I have seen too many games (and movies - Starwars prequels, I am looking at you -) try that, ending up pleasing noone.

Please be as transparent about your price policy for this game as possible and do not use psychological tricks to squeeze money out of your customers. Although people do give in to these, they do not like it. I see many dangerous tendencies there as in buying a fake currency with real money to buy ingame stuff, but not having the chunks of ingame currency divide well by the prices ingame stuff costs. That leads you to having excess ingame currency you feel like you would want to spend. For doing so, of course you will need to buy more ingame currency only to find out that it will leave you with the same problem.
Or the injury system, making you eventually pay money to heal your units or slowing down your progression. Speaking of which, the "progression" should not be there in the first place. Up to this point I have only argued from a personal preference point or from, what I guess your target group may look like in tendency, but there are psychological reasons why a progression system a la "cow clicker" should not be used: It makes the players unhappy by playing the game (because grinding is not fun. It feels like work because you do not play the game the way you want it to play, but you play it instead to eventually have in a month or two the possibility to play the game the way you want it to play, not seeing that at that point even more content will have been introduced to the game, which you then again will need to grind for, for the new content seems all the more powerful and fun leading it to become the new way you want the game to play.) This kind of progression also makes players unhappy while not playing the game, for then they do not reach their "goal" (, which the game set for them rather than they did themselves,). Every minute not playing the game then feels like a "missed opportunity to 'progress'". This is a highly addictive and, unfortunately, highly successfull way of selling games. But in this case, your target group in general may just be too smart to fall for that (again rather an educated guess than a hypothesis based on actual data), but, what do you guyd have marketing departments for, eh. ;)
There is a lecture by Jonathan Blow on youtube on this topic, which I find to be very good and insightful ("Video games and the human condition").

Generally I would argue that, although many people do give in to those psychological traps, they do unconciously feel cheated in some way. Not enough to make them aware of it, maybe, but the slight negative feeling remains.
In the case of Dogs of War online as it currently is, you have many of those tricky systems implemented, but disarmed them so much, that it may as well just unconciously annoy the player without you getting the monetary benefit:
The progression as in getting Ducats for buying new units is too fast for the player to feel the need to buy most of the units (based on my own experience), but the system being there prevents me to have the units I want right away, which leads to the feeling of annoyance nonetheless: I still have to grind, even if the grind is redicoulously short (and may only consist of logging in once a day, do send another Gargoyle on a new mission --> I feel "forced" to log in. Noone likes to feel forced. We all like our freedom. But it takes only seconds for me to log in, send the Gargoyle on the mission, log out. I have the slight negative feeling of having been slightly forced to do so without you getting anything out of it. You could have just given me the Ducats for free, leaving me with less a negative feeling ;) ).
The injury system is just annoying. It is obviously designed to sell healing cards. The injury system itself does not add any depth to the game in any form or shape.
Then the feeling that I have to pay cent amount of money for everything: More company slots, more unit slots, reskills, healing cards, renames for units. Seeing all this stuff at first made me very suspicious. It gave me the feeling of "oh no, this game just wants my money" before realizing that I do not need to buy any of that stuff and, what I needed to buy, was actually dirt cheap.

My opinion on this is: Get rid of all of that.
Make your prices fair, treat your customers with respect, and they will treat you with respect and more happily buy and play your game. :D

I for my part will keep a curious eye on your game for the time being and am interested in seeing how it will turn out.
And again besides I will like it or not: I wish you all the success you can have with this title.
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MhBlis

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Re: Change is coming...

PostMon May 19, 2014 11:17 pm

The thing is this is a strategy game. Deathmatch is so boring and uninteresting compared to the strategic options things like KotH, Capture the flag, Defend and Contest offers with the same armies. Sure you can play kill everything nothing is stopping you but it adds a whole extra layer for those players that want to push it that step further. I would advise offering Death match as a separate mode since it is popular for many people.

Multiple scenarios also actually helps with balance since some playstyles just lend themselves to different objectives. IF all you have is DM then you actually limit variety since you will prevent certain armies to play to their strengths. Who is going to play an army that is at a disadvantage or units that don't have a function.

I'm actually glad that the devs are using beta in the way it is intended rather than as a soft release bait.
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Hod

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Re: Change is coming...

PostTue May 20, 2014 6:28 am

MhBlis wrote:Deathmatch is so boring and uninteresting compared to the strategic options things like KotH, Capture the flag, Defend


From my experience on these forums, I would say you are in the minority with that opinion.
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MhBlis

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Re: Change is coming...

PostTue May 20, 2014 7:01 am

I know from reading the forums I really am in the minority. I can even say that for the longest time in my table top games that was my feeling as well. It wasn't until I started to play at a competitive level that I realized how much more interesting, intense and strategic everything became when I had to build lists around scenarios.

Trust me there are some scenarios and some match ups that will always be hateful and just be awful to play but to be honest I can say I refuse to play straight kill games these days.

And like I said that there is nothing stopping someone from playing that style of army even in scenario games. If you kill your enemy they can't score. It just means the scenarios need to be balanced in a way that the scoring is slow enough to allow it while not so slow that you can't win by score.
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Deuzerre

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Re: Change is coming...

PostTue May 20, 2014 11:05 am

Koth & VIP are imperfect, so deathmatch became the most interesting one.

i however really like multiple objectives. Have a look at Warhammer 40K (totally imbalanced game, but that's beside the point): In 6th ed, you get various objectives and "side" objectives.

Drawing first blood gets you 1 victory point.
Having a unit in the enemy spawn gets you 1 victory point
Killing the "warlord" gets you 1 victory point

then there are the scenario objectives: Controlling objectives, killing guys... So in practice, even if you don't succeed particularly well in the battle' objectives (securing flags for example), you still have a fighting chance by accomplishing other objectives. It also means that the player that "wins" with the main objectives still has to be on his toes, to watch out and not wait it out.

In DoWO, it would also mean that you can build your company for different goals, with focus on different objectives, or generalistics. Do I want to get an assault to maybe snipe his VIP, or do I buy two of them to be sure to kill it but become vulnerable in terms of deathmatch conditions?
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