More defending player involvement

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Re: More defending player involvement

Post by cymruvoodoo » Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:34 pm

Also good points. I think that while I do appreciate the tactical benefit of the double move and then shoot, part of the point of having "move" as an option for a unit's action is to force a player to pick between modes of offense. Is maneuver more important than firepower? Vice versa? Is some third option prescribed in the scenario appropriate? If a player may safely maneuver and also fire reactively then I think that undercuts the very tactical decisions which must be made in the course of the player's own turn.

Now, I admit that if reactive fire is hampered by appropriate penalties then there is still a choice there and it has gotten even more multilayered but I am concerned that an appropriate penalty for keeping out-of-turn shooting less than in-turn shooting yet still worth doing if you so choose.

The other point I want to raise is one I've made in several different places, so it might well be very redundant by now but it seems relevant so I'm going to run with it. The tactical complexity of the game is just too difficult to gauge as a measure at the moment. We don't know enough about the different options various factions are going to bring to the table. I admit that when you get it down to just two factions involved in a specific game then the options are restricted more than in the abstract space of list design.

The problem I have with saying that the game design can keep players from getting bored when it's not their turn is that if people are going to get disconnected from the game when they're not actively moving pieces than they'll make decisions on whims. Check out a game of Infinity when one player has gotten disconnected - it's funny to watch, but it ends poorly, too. Good design doesn't keep people involved by giving them options they _can_ use - it gives them a options they _want_ to use. You keep people from getting bored, yes, making sure they don't spend half an hour twiddling their thumbs while their opponents make sacrifices to Ares and Diana to figure out what piece to move next. That is a defensive measure, though, and what we want out of a good game is offense, it's the attack on the gamer's mind such that they get drug in, they get excited, they want to hurry up and get to the next thing. Quantity, complexity, these things are great, but the game as a whole will stand or fall on the cleanliness, utility, and functionality of each and every individual rule.

Right now, I think we really need to see what comes next, the Salvagers, the Reclaimers, and get a feel for more of the game environment.

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Re: More defending player involvement

Post by dragon1010 » Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:26 am

though i like think that many of these ideas are good and could possibly be used, i have to agree with cymruvoodoo on this one. we just dont know which direction this game will go in when more factions are added. the reclaimers could be so different that these rules would no longer work fairly with them, either for or against. my vote is that we wait for the game to expand a little before we start adding in steps
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Re: More defending player involvement

Post by Roscoe » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:03 pm

@Cymru I understand your concerns about finding an appropriate penalty for keeping out-of-turn shooting less than in-turn shooting yet still worth doing. But if we were to manage this I'm adamant that it would make the game more tactical, like I say more variety in tactical choices for this game is paramount.

Your right, at the moment we pick between modes of offense but with the reactions you also have some control on what varying degrees of offense you want. A very offensive player may wish to leave his units in a good position for return fire, even if it means having to leave them in a vulnerable position yet one with a good view of the enemy to increase the effectiveness of return fire. Greater complexity of rules leads to more tactical considerations so not only do you have to think "is manoeuvre more important than firepower?" but "whats more important? Manoeuvre? Firepower? Manoeuvre with a little firepower? Lots of firepower?" This is only one example but there are many ways that this adds to the game.

I understand why some people are against greater complexity of rules, however a complex rule system adds so much to the overall game experience (as I pointed out earlier the pros and cons of "Starcraft 2" and "Halo Wars" as an example) hell my thumbing through of 6th edition 40k today is proof of that. Complexity of rules is only a danger when this complexity is too difficult for the average player to understand.

As for tactical complexity of the game being hard to gauge, Im not so sure about this, I think Salvagers will have some neat tactic enabling special rules but as for the Bandits and the Bioformed I think they will have some cool fluff driven faction specific rules but nothing that's going to be a game changer to substantially contribute to tactical possibilities, and faction specific rules are just that, faction specific they will not contribute to the core ruleset. As for your previous statement of rules developing organicly as more factions are made available I think this will be the case to an extent but to what extent remains to be seen call me a pessimist but again I don't predict anything major as new factions will be playtested to fit in the pre-existing ruleset.

I maintain that game design can go a long way to keep players from getting bored but it can do more than that, its not just preventing players from getting bored that we have to consider but also players being dis-heartened to the point of becoming disinterested with the game, in playtesting I found reactions to be great for player morale, the ability to say "oh killing all my guys are you? Well eat this suckah!" feels fantastic. I think this is part of the reason why in 40k you throw your armour saves not the enemy. That ties into your point about giving player options they want to use rather than options they can use, I agree this is important but I would argue that the reactions already achieve this:

Take cover - I'm holding an objective that if I continue to hold I win the game, only its my opponents last turn. This seems to happen a lot in 40k and from the playtests I've done I'm fairly sure there are going to be frequent close calls in Dark Potential as well.
Return fire/ Counter charge - It feels excellent to defiantly pull one of these off.
Rout - In many situations you really do not want to get into combat. (X'Lanthos Assassin springs to mind)

Infinity does not always succeed in engaging players your right, I would say that this is not entirely down to gameplay that people get bored, its lack of narrative driven storylines, awesome artwork, novels and all the other good stuff that is abundant in many successful wargames that has something to do with it as well. It might sound strange but don't underestimate what bringing the fluff alive can do to keep players interested. If DP has all this good stuff and has something to keep players occupied so they aren't twiddling their thumbs while all their guys die then I think we would have done all we can do to keep players engaged.

If some of these ideas are to be implemented I'm torn about the best way to go about it. I will say that there are a great number of benefits to adding reactions before adding in other factions as you raised, we would avoid imbalance as new factions would be balanced against the pre-existing ruleset. But yes it may be better to wait.

As a side note I had an idea for how reactions could work differently for Salvagers, as they use a central battlefield intelligence rather than multiple individual intelligences. I would suggest that when a unit has an opportunity to take a reaction another unit within 6" may take the reaction instead. Perhaps ill playtest with this when Salvagers are available.

Suggested changes to return fire in OP.

Anyway good discussion guys, good points.


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