Author Topic: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?  (Read 5313 times)

Offline Tridus

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2013, 06:10:36 PM »
Or just let salvage missions bring back a destroyed one, possibly with part of its previous kit (maybe depending on how well you perform during the salvage mission... sprinkle some cyropod-like things around the stage, perhaps).

Or that, yeah. :)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2013, 06:22:05 PM »
That argument would hold, except time spent trying to balance . develop toward these harder difficulties is time not spent balancing toward the larger majority.

Seeing as how we're talking about a flag in code, a checkbox on the game setup screen, and a fairly small amount of code to make bots not respond (and the game cope with that accordingly), this argument is absurd. There is no "balancing" going on at all. The game is not being rebalanced in any way whatsoever by this change.

The same could be same of _all_of arcen's games. All sorts of very minor things could be done, but aren't, simply because of limited time. All of arcen's games could use some "easy" thing to make the game better, so that fact given the limited time arcen has is not of much value in itself.

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If that is the goal, that some effort will be spent toward the minority, that is fine. However, I will not tolerate glancing over the fact. Be upfront. An disproportionate amount of time is time toward the minority. Again, that in itself is fine, as long as it is not denied it is at the expense (or at least, the ignoring) of the majority. It occurs in AI Wars all the time, it is true.

Technically time spent working on easy stuff is also "for the minority", since lots of players aren't playing on easy (and pretty much nobody is going to play there more than once).

More players will play on those easy modes then on the hardcores mode. Just ask about the "achievements" on AI war, and how few are done to begin with, and fewer still given to higher difficulties / hardcore plots as opposed to easier ones

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However, I will also argue that is why VotM sales were not...spectacular, given the lack of support the expansion got.


You'd argue that VotM sales were not spectacular based on... what? VotM gave the player several new toys. Core Turrets and their "spam these everywhere for virtually no cost" system make the game easier, not harder.


This is ancedotal evidence. In general, Arcen does there updates based on sales. When sales decline, a new project is done. VotM got by far the least amount of sales, given the amount of support in polishing it got. The majority of the expansion / advertising was for harder things such as the two new brutal plots / other advanced AI features. Core turrets were hardly advertised, if at all, so really didn't factor to sales in my mind.
Do we even know if VotM sales met expectations? Have they ever said so? Or did they simply decide not to make the big changes until Keith is working on the next expansion?

In previous expansions, tons (sometimes bordering on literally) of changes were done after an expansion. VotM in volume got the least from ancedotal evidence. Given just_how_fast its updates stopped (Yes, arcen, I consider VotM not particually polished, in fact, the least polished AI War game since 5.0
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Focusing on making a game harder simply doesn't drive sales as much.

FTL would disagree, and it's a lot more merciless than Bionic Dues is. XCOM would probably also disagree since it's reviving a franchise based on being remorseless about murdering you.  The genre is based on being hard, and you're not going to interest the genre fans if you're not. BD already has a solid difficulty scaling system, so it's got no problem appealing to people who want an easier game.

Was  FTL a runaway success? If they were, they would have an expansion. That is the most reliable sense if a game was reliable, if a game had an expansion. Profits don't lie, nor does the profit motive. Even Arcen of all developers acknowledges this. _One_ AAA game having an expansion does not make a successful genre. And I would laugh at the comparison of XCOM being a roguelike, even as ignorant as I am.
 

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If that is the goal, fine, but then don't mention disappointing sales in a similar time frame (I'm not saying anyone did, but it does tie in to the "mystery" of how this game didn't sell despite good reviews).

No, it doesn't tie in at all, because the premise that the game is too hard for people right now is false. You can make this a really easy game if you desire.

If the game isn't too hard, then what else would explain the game's poor sales? That it is poor to begin with? The game isn't poor according to reviews. Unless you are saying the game simply isn't popular to begin with (that I won't argue with)

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I stand-fast that making certain "challenges" coded will develop a game's popularity a fraction of expanding the base game to begin with. There are plenty of games which I've made informal rules to myself to make the game harder; even then, I would prefer the game developers pursue expanding the game rather then codify my personal rules.

Pick one: Difficulty, or popularity.

Again, that's false. What's made AI War last so long is that the only time anybody ever worked on a feature it was applicable to a newbie playing on 4/4. Stuff was added that keeps the game interesting for a long time, which gives it longevity. If you're adding stuff to a game, you need to look at stuff to draw in new players, and stuff to keep the existing players interested. Without them, who is going to tell the new people about the game, or buy expansions?

What makes AI wars enjoyable is its dynamic AI. It doesn't actively try to be, but the RNG, threat, and overall sense of the AI moving where it seems best is what makes it great. Extra units enhances this base AI, it doesn't magically replace it.
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Offline Kingpin23

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2013, 06:44:15 PM »
Rogue mode sounds awesome.
I like difficult challenges.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2013, 06:55:40 PM »
What wasn't polished about vengeance of the machine? As far as I can tell, we're still griping over champion missions, champion balance, and penalties incurred by using champions, and that was Ancient Shadows. Vengeance of the machine has a new way to win that provides yet another strategic path to take as well as much LOL from turning everything on and trying showdown devices.


Are you just feeling the contrarian role tonight?
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Offline Tridus

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2013, 06:57:50 PM »
More players will play on those easy modes then on the hardcores mode. Just ask about the "achievements" on AI war, and how few are done to begin with, and fewer still given to higher difficulties / hardcore plots as opposed to easier ones

That's true of every game, ever, because even the people who are playing hard are playing easy first to learn the game. Finding out what level people are actually playing at regularily requires metrics in the game, and a single player game that doesn't phone home has no way to report them.

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This is ancedotal evidence. In general, Arcen does there updates based on sales. When sales decline, a new project is done. VotM got by far the least amount of sales, given the amount of support in polishing it got. The majority of the expansion / advertising was for harder things such as the two new brutal plots / other advanced AI features. Core turrets were hardly advertised, if at all, so really didn't factor to sales in my mind.

Maybe those features just aren't sellers in general. If you look at what previous expansions added, they tended to be bigger things. Champions (like them or not) are a big deal that can really alter how the game plays. Light of the Spire adds a whole new campaign. No offense to the Shark Plot, but a whole new campaign mode with alternate victory conditions is a bigger selling feature.

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In previous expansions, tons (sometimes bordering on literally) of changes were done after an expansion. VotM in volume got the least from ancedotal evidence. Given just_how_fast its updates stopped (Yes, arcen, I consider VotM not particually polished, in fact, the least polished AI War game since 5.0

Wouldn't argue about VotM, it really got halted fast. I mean the dev version is halfway through implementing hacking. It doesn't sound like it's going to resume anytime soon either. But that doesn't mean sales were bad, maybe they changed development direction and now want to focus on new projects first.

Maybe Keith will tell us, since he's reading this.

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Was  FTL a runaway success? If they were, they would have an expansion. That is the most reliable sense if a game was reliable, if a game had an expansion. Profits don't lie, nor does the profit motive. Even Arcen of all developers acknowledges this. _One_ AAA game having an expansion does not make a successful genre. And I would laugh at the comparison of XCOM being a roguelike, even as ignorant as I am.

They said FTL was a success. I don't know what they're making now, they may have moved to something else. It wasn't a game that really needed anything else. When you're as small as a two man indie team is, sometimes it's better to just take the money and move on rather then keep going to the well.

As for XCOM, it's not a roguelike, but it has the element we're talking about in this thread. When your super powered psychic max level soldier gets sniped and dies, he's gone. Hope you levelled up some others to fill the empty space, because you're using a rookie if not! The game is unforgiving even at normal difficulty, and extremely so on "classic" difficulty. It was a selling feature.

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If the game isn't too hard, then what else would explain the game's poor sales? That it is poor to begin with? The game isn't poor according to reviews. Unless you are saying the game simply isn't popular to begin with (that I won't argue with)

That we don't know what caused it doesn't mean it's too hard. No reviewer has said it's too hard. No person is here complaining it's too hard (except maybe you). No people on other forums are talking about it saying it's too hard.

When *nobody* is talking about it being too hard, it's probably not too hard. Casual difficulty is a total cakewalk, and easy is really easy. I've seen more chatter that normal is too easy than that it's too hard.

Not making the featured rotating banner on Steam for Windows (the overwhelming majority of the market) probably has a lot more to do with it. Beyond that, who knows?  I think releasing games at this time of year is a crapshoot at best given how many AAA games (and new consoles) are coming out right now. There's a whole lot competing for the attention of gamers right now. February is a much quieter time of year. (Hell, one of the main reasons cited by Stardock as to why Sins of a Solar Empire was successful is that it was released after Christmas when there was no competition whatsoever for a month. It's a lot easier to get peoples attention with a good game when there isn't 40 other ones coming out at the same time.)

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What makes AI wars enjoyable is its dynamic AI. It doesn't actively try to be, but the RNG, threat, and overall sense of the AI moving where it seems best is what makes it great. Extra units enhances this base AI, it doesn't magically replace it.[/color]

The AI only takes you so far when the game is otherwise the same every time. AI War has a lot of options to shake things up when starting a game, and that's why it's still being played this many years later.

Offline Tridus

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2013, 07:00:32 PM »
What wasn't polished about vengeance of the machine? As far as I can tell, we're still griping over champion missions, champion balance, and penalties incurred by using champions, and that was Ancient Shadows. Vengeance of the machine has a new way to win that provides yet another strategic path to take as well as much LOL from turning everything on and trying showdown devices.


Are you just feeling the contrarian role tonight?

Well, the way that the core turrets work is just weird and doesn't fit well with the rest of the game (primarily the "if you use this you can't use any other turrets on the planet" problem). It makes several of the turret unlocks a complete waste of time if you can get to the core controller instead, and it's the only case in the game where picking up an irreplacable builder actually flat out nullifies a knowledge unlock.

That's the most annoying example to me, but the way that Showdown and FS just don't play well together at all is also an issue. The Showdown is so absurdly hard with FS played to any length that it's something you want to avoid doing.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2013, 07:01:59 PM »
What wasn't polished about vengeance of the machine? As far as I can tell, we're still griping over champion missions, champion balance, and penalties incurred by using champions, and that was Ancient Shadows. Vengeance of the machine has a new way to win that provides yet another strategic path to take as well as much LOL from turning everything on and trying showdown devices.


Are you just feeling the contrarian role tonight?

Both of the added plots feel like sledgehammers, and the changes to anti-starship weapons are frankly stupid (it has been so long since I've played AI Wars, I gave up due to frustration). there are plenty of old wounds though, as you admit. Showdown devices in most cases simply are inferior if you play anything aside from vanilla of the time aside from bragging rights (this is an example of the quest for bragging rights has left the majority behind).
Zenith-siege (forget name) units are simply unusable in FRD mode.  The changes to exo waves have made me regress from my start of using minor factions, because they simply are not useful enough to deal their exo-waves with them when they stack with a CPA wave. I could go on.
When I first played AI Wars in 4.X I would give it a 8- 9. Now? A 7.5- 8.5 due to lack of polish.
The game, honestly, doesn't feel as polished as a whole, even as individually things has been smoothed out compared to 5.0. At least then I could claim I could win a 8.0 game vanhilla without that much cheese. Now? I would have to cheese a unit/ hacking to do so.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 07:09:18 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline Misery

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2013, 08:29:26 PM »
There are plenty of options in AIW that only a few players use, but which add to the perception of the game's overall awesomeness.

And while I agree that it could be readily simulated by the player, if that were a conclusive argument against the game enforcing it (when enabled), then why do we see hardcore/ironman toggles in so very many successful roguelike/roguelite/etc games?  It's trivial to simulate "dead is dead" or "when you die, game over, no reloading", but enough people don't work that way psychologically (who nonetheless want the rule sometimes) that there's a reason such toggles are added :)
And I will counter that one of the most common FAQ's of any of these "ironman" forced games is "how do I turn it off"

There is a difference between "perception of the game's overall awesomeness" and overall popularity. I don't know many players who say "AI Wars is terrible, but then I discovered hybrids". No. Rather, players like the base game, then a sub group of those players like the harder mode. The vast, vast majority of players of these "harder" modes liked the base game to begin with. Ergo, the base game, and not the extra features, contribute meaningfully to the game's awesomeness.

Harder / more intense /=/ a more popular game. In fact, evidence in the meta sense points to the opposite  ;)



The simple thing about all of this is:

If someone doesnt like it..... they dont have to use it.  If the devs like an idea like that at all and think it might be good to put in, then by all means, it should be put in. 

The only concession that would need to be made is that achievements should probably not at all be attached to such a mode, simply because it's the sort of thing that a smaller number of players would use.  It's the same reason why the Misery difficulty level in BD has none associated with it.


And yes, I know, harder games get less sales, but..... feh.   THAT logic is why I dont do console gaming anymore, because MOST (all) of those publishers think that way, and it's bloody boring.   Besides, that's not really a problem here.  One thing I like about Arcen's games is that they always put such a very wide array of difficulty modes into their games; I can get my super-high challenges, but those that want a more casual experience can easily have one.  It's a very good thing for any developer to do, and there's so very many of them that get this one dead wrong.   The "harder games sell worse" only truly applies to games that are ONLY hard, and have no easy modes, and such as that.  And it goes the same the other way around; players that need a challenge, such as myself, wont touch games that are only easy.  You put in both ends of the spectrum as much as possible, and you cater to more players.   


But the bottom line is..... again, it'd be a totally optional feature.  Nobody HAS to use it, it's their choice.  They can utterly ignore it if they'd like.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2013, 08:31:53 PM »

But the bottom line is..... again, it'd be a totally optional feature.  Nobody HAS to use it, it's their choice.  They can utterly ignore it if they'd like.

Nobody has to get achievements either, based on misery mode or this mode, but you yourself admit they shouldn't be based on this mode.

I simply find this line of logic...not a defense at all. It doesn't defend anything, it simply assumes "no harm, no foul" except the harm is time spent doing other things.

There's no such thing as a free lunch. Time spent on an unpopular feature is time spent away from popular features.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 08:33:32 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2013, 08:47:48 PM »
Sounds like the game just got too hard for you, and you didn't adapt very well. Sorry?
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Offline Logorouge

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2013, 09:06:15 PM »
Time spent on an unpopular feature is time spent away from popular features.
I'd rather they decide if a feature is worth adding depending on how good it is, not how popular it is.
This "Rogue Mode" for example, offers a pretty good bang for the buck. Adding even more replayability to the game without needing any major rebalancing. Even I would be doing a playthrough with it if they add it.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2013, 09:11:52 PM »

I'd rather they decide if a feature is worth adding depending on how good it is, not how popular it is.


They could also do an expansion to AVWW 1, doesn't mean it would be a good idea.

Of course they can do whatever they want. Making the game more replayable implies players already have the game...it inheriently acknowledges it doesn't get new players, which this feature won't. It would be fine if the game met game sales goals but...
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 09:13:29 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline Logorouge

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2013, 09:37:50 PM »
Of course they can do whatever they want. Making the game more replayable implies players already have the game...it inheriently acknowledges it doesn't get new players, which this feature won't. It would be fine if the game met game sales goals but...
I always check information on a game's replay value before I buy it. It's a very important criteria when I choose a game. Is that just me?

As for AVWW 1, Arcen already said they consider it done/complete and that additional content/features would most probably go into AVWW 2 instead. But I see your point. Still, you can't compare the work of an entire expansion and a tiny can't-revive-your-exos mode.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2013, 12:20:34 PM »
Bottom line is, adding Ironman modes is friendly to people play this genre without much development cost. We could sit around all day long arguing about what would generate income and what is just friendly to the players, but I'm going to say that one of the reasons I have every single title this company has ever made is because of how player friendly the games are. I can play every single one of these titles, and they have tons of options and details designed to make it friendly and fun for everybody. You can make it as hard or as easy as you want. If all we are going to do now is make a game and drop it every three or four months, that's going to lose more income because everyone's going to notice that the company doesn't care about the titles, and if it's broken they will not fix it.

Obviously not the case here, thank goodness.
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Offline Winge

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Re: Could We Make A Rogue Mode... ?
« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2013, 04:21:24 PM »
So, erm, back to what Keith was talking about:  I was thinking of a similar, less punishing method:
1.  Exo damage is only repaired by 10% each mission.
2.  If an Exo dies, it is unavailable for the next mission, but fully repaired afterwards.
3.  If the player runs out of Exos during a mission, it is a failure, their HQ loses an HP, and their Exos are fully repaired.

I call it persistent damage, and yes, it would be an optional toggle not considered for primary balance.


As far as the discussion between some forum members here:  there is another reason so few people have those achievements, and it's not just difficulty.  Each game of AI War takes a long time (especially for me; I move very slowly in that game)--I just don't have the kind of time anymore.  Valley 2 and Bionic Dues are a bit easier on my schedule as the 'missions' function as a small part of the game that I can finish in relatively little time.  That has nothing to do with the difficulty of the games; it's simply what my schedule requires.

My other bonus ship is a TARDIS.