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Originally posted by Toren_S Also Friendly:
Do you play the games on Hard or Torment? I have to think about strategy a lot when I play any of them on Hard, which is what makes them fun for me. That and I genuinely enjoy Jeff's writing, I always have, and story's my primary draw. Hard is a big jump up from Normal if only for the fact that you can hit yourself with abilities, which makes positioning a lot more important. Torment's that and then some, it requires really making use of consumables and the admittedly limited crafting to manage your resources.

Like I said, I appreciate you find that stuff interesting but others like me don't, so I just wanted to give an alternative perspective without disrespecting your own!

What you're trying to express is to which Core Gameplay Aesthetics the game tries to appeal. This Extra Credits video covers the subject in some detail:

You are mostly expressing a desire for Challenge, and have one sentence that hints at Narrative. I am expressing a desire to return to the aesthetics of Discovery and Expression (and I certainly have enjoyed the Narrative, as well, even though that hasn't been a focus, here).


Yes, I play on hard. I don't play on torment, because it's just making the games even more tedious than it already is. Just giving the enemy more HP and dropping your accuracy ends up doing nothing more than demanding more min-maxing and maybe grinding more levels.

However, you're completely missing the point if you think the problem is that I'm just not playing the game with high enough difficulty. The problem is the combat is not fun for me if I don't feel it's anything but a matter of making my numbers bigger to match the bigger numbers the enemy gets when all of the core gameplay aesthetics that I enjoy are gone. Making the battles have EVEN BIGGER NUMBERS so that battles take EVEN LONGER grinding enemy HP down by going through the exact same cycles of actions over and over as I wait out my skill cooldowns in what become marathon endurance matches of my patience as a player more than my character's stamina isn't solving that problem in any way, it's making things actively worse.

If you're attempting to be condescending, I have to say, simply having positioning be important is not revolutionary deep tactical gameplay. I played the "Gold Box" AD&D games on the Commodore 64 when I was 4 years old, and learned how to position my fighters so that enemies would line up where I could have my wizard(s) dimension door to throw a lightning bolt down the line, or position fireballs around. (There was friendly fire in those games, too.) I have been doing grid-based RPG combat going back to literally before I can remember in my childhood. What you are holding up as the best aspects of this game that prove it is not boring are the gameplay elments I could master as a toddler. These things alone do not maintain my interest anymore. (Also, the old C64 games had much better spell selection than Avadon, even if fighters were more boring.)

If you enjoy the newer work by Spiderweb, that's great, but by the way you talk, you also make it pretty clear that you only enjoy the newer work, and only really played or at least enjoyed those games. Conversely, there's a lot of older fans that just don't like his work anymore, and have been voicing this consistently for years. The changes being made are ones that are obviously trading one audience for another, and this seems to be a rather deliberate choice. Maybe it makes financial sense, maybe there are more customers to be gained by abandoning the legacy Spiderweb created for itself than it loses, but it doesn't stop a lot of us from being sad to see it go. I would also point out, however, that Spiderweb competes in a more crowded market by trying to make these games less indie projects that appeal to niche audiences, and more mainstream gaming trendsurfing.

Exile, Nethergate, and Avernum (the first remakes) were hidden gems to a lot of people because it was really doing something different from a lot of games available, creating vastly larger worlds and more involved fantasy CRPGs in a time when that genre was rather barren. Now, Spiderweb wants to leap into the middle of the pack and scrub away everything that made it distinct or noteworthy.

To go back to that sense of Expression, I made my own character sprites in the older Avernum games. I went into the game files, and edited the images in an image editing program by hand. (It was a lot more time-consuming from Avernum 4 onwards, when they added more detailed images.) It was a major effort, and I didn't do it all at once, playing parts of Avernum 4 with out-of place graphics as I hadn't yet redrawn spell animations while playing, but it made me feel I had my own characters, and not just the same black-haired woman in a green dress as my wizard in EVERY. SINGLE. GAME. Likewise, I never felt any compunction to finish any Elder Scrolls game, because combat is boring. (I play stealth characters specifically because NOT fighting enemies but still looting the place is far more amusing than giving in and beating things to death.) Playing Pretty Princess Dress-Up or rearranging my furniture in my cool custom fortress is awesome, however, and I could spend a thousand hours in-game doing that.

Those things are just missing in these games, and because of that, a lot of people like me just stopped following Spiderweb Games.
The problem I have is that the encounters aren't meaningful or fun, and only become such if there's something interesting to explore, either in the mechanics or in the game, itself... and just loot with +2 something isn't going to cut it.

If I can't explore and theorycraft the rules system (or literally craft), there's not much reason for me to focus on the game, at all. If all my actual decisions are easy and obvious (as you just said, there's literally no reason not to make a mage dump nearly everything into INT and maximize the always-used firebolt before the sometimes-used specials that barely do more damage), then combat is boring. If the system isn't complex enough to engage, and is just a matter of having the highest numbers in the obviously most-important stats, then loot can't be interesting, either.

It doesn't matter how big your world is if there's nothing in it that can interest me.

By contrast, making that bomb that could one-shot kill the bonus boss in Atelier Rorona was a great time, because the rules for crafting in that game included that all materials had randomized traits that would be passed along to the final product. Many traits are generally useless (for example, "big" or "stinky"), but can be combined with other traits (performed automatically as long as the traits are there during the reaction) to make new ones that are more useful. Also, you don't get to select the traits that are actually passed on in Atelier Rorona, and useless traits have priority, so you need to actively weed useless traits out to make good products. I had to spend an hour or two just trying to find items whose traits could cancel each other out ("big" and "small" cancel out, for example), while also having ideal traits to make a perfect bomb.

And you know what? That was way, way more interesting than just mowing over another... whatever they were, I can't even remember, in Avadon. I actually had to think and use problem-solving skills and was engaged as a player with the crafting system. In Avadon, it was all autopilot all the time.
I don't so much mind having to go to a priest to mix the potions, it's the variety and sense of value it puts into exploration that I really miss when it's not there.

If you ever played the old Gust Corporation games, like Mana Khemia or the Atelier series, they did really fantastic work on making their crafting system the core of the gameplay. Going into a dungeon was a sort of expedition for crafting materials, where the materials respawn every time you leave the dungeons, but it's such a trip in and back that it still feels worth it. In Mana Khemia, they outright associated different resources with different minigames, like a mining mini game for ores, or a fishing one for fish, etc. In most fo the later Atelier games, you have a finite number of days between major events, crafting takes days, and each trip to areas to gather materials and even time spent gathering materials consumed days or fractions of them.

What I've always loved about the crafting system in Gust games is that they make resources not just a matter of having to find the specific thing a recipe calls for. What I really hate is how, in a game like Dragon's Dogma, they make you refine a pair of gloves using harpy feathers, but you can't find any regular harpies, and all the ice harpies and thunder harpies give the wrong colored feather, even though they're just palette swaps of the same monster. Basic harpies only exist in limited numbers in a specific area, and you have to hunt those specific monsters. In Gust games, most of the time, you don't need to do that. The basic healing potion is generally the first recipe every alchemist learns in every game, and is usually made from some form of water and a plant. Well water, which is available in infinite quantities for free from the tap in your workshop, plus spinacherbs, a dirt-common plant is the basic recipe in Mana Khemia 1. However, you can also find pure river water, and eventually even magical spring water in certain areas, and in later dungeons, you start finding magicherbs, all of which are upgraded versions of the same material categories, and when you use the same healing potion recipe, you can create higher-quality basic healing potions that have additional effects or added potency.

You still definitely need to go hunting for specific things, especially when going for ultimate gear, but it also gives the games a real sense of being able to ad-hoc the things you need out of the materials you have on hand when recipes can take flexible reagent types.

Likewise, because I decided just for the giggles to make one of every type of armor and weapon in Mana Khemia 1 (each tier of armor consumes a lower-tier version of the same armor, plus multiple intermediate products, creating an exponential increase in the number of materials it takes to complete a single set of armor), I wound up consuming something like 600 units of steel (which is purchasable), alone, going through the last batch of armors and weapons. I actually had to go on expeditions to early dungeons for dirt because I was running out of dirt, thanks to the fact that the recipe system was so flexible that as long as I used a few high-quality items to pass the ultimate desired traits and controlled for quality using the alchemy minigame properly, I could use bulk quantities of the cheapest basic items in the game to make the ultimate weapons. (It still took trips for very rare items to craft certain components, but those were in limited quantity, while the amount of raw materials being funneled into production overall meant that a large amount of the raw bulk could come from literally any kind of soil-type item or metal-type item or liquid-type item I could find.)

The end result is that you really feel a lot of weight gets put into the expeditions you take, and meaning placed in the choices you have to make to make ends meet crafting items, especially in the later Atelier games, where there's always that ticking clock, and a large amount of the game is simply trying to fulfill requests to craft specific items. With that ticking clock, you get a finite number of trips, so you have to memorize where to find what materials to make the objects you need. This makes you memorize the maps you cover, and get familiar with the land, making different areas more meaningful.

By contrast, a lot of the Spiderweb Games from Geneforge onward felt more and more like I was just trying to fill in the map, and once I'd seen something once, there was no reason to ever go back unless it was a shop, and even then, it was only to go back to dump loot. In Avernum: Escape from the Pit, the only locations I really kept going back to and felt that sense of memorized familiarity with the location were the places with regenerating herbs. The sense of exploration gradually dulls as it becomes less about actually discovering anything, and more about just checking off the box, because you're never going to find anything but another set of hostile quadrupeds and a nest with random trash in it around the next corner.

Gust was bought out by Koei Tecmo, but some of their games are up on Steam, as well:

I haven't played that one yet, but from what I've seen, it's supposed to carry on the traditions of the Arland trilogy/later Atelier games with more refinements to make the combat actually meaningful instead of a token check to make sure you're keeping your armor and weapons up-to-date so you can keep curb-stomping the competition. (The side effect of making crafting deep, involved, and complicated, as well as the core gameplay mechanic is that they also make it so that actually knowing what you're doing, and doing it well means that you gain equipment that lets you effortlessly devastate the enemy. In Atelier Rorona, with some extreme engineering, you could even create a special bomb that was capable of one-shotting the bonus boss.)

But, well, combat doesn't need to be hard in a game like this. I think that's another thing that Spiderweb has really gone off on the wrong track about. The core gameplay shouldn't just be combat, but exploration and character-building. Focus upon combat and combat alone has increasingly made the game "streamlined" where all decisions come down to just min-maxing. There's no point in playing outside of just seeing if you can figure out the best min-max formula to be able to play on the harder-than-hard mode. Then try to solo run it! All of that, however, takes away from the other aspects of the game that were more enjoyable than just mindlessly killing everything with the same min-maxed firebolt over and over.

I remember seeing discussions on game design talking about why they included stupid block puzzles or climbing puzzles in games like God of War. Stupid block puzzles are objectively not a great part of the game, but they're still actually necessary to make the game more fun overall, because just making the game a relentless button-mashing grind is monotonous and makes the extreme acts Kratos performs become boring by sheer overexposure. Hence, you need cool-down periods where the player has stretches without violence doing something like pushing blocks around to make the violence create spikes and troughs in the tension. In more modern Spiderweb games, there is no crest and trough in what you experience, it's all a very precisely metered-out flow that gradually increases in size by extremely precise increments. You know exactly when the next fight is coming up in Avadon because it's been a specific number of steps and blind corners since the last fight. You know exactly what you'll fight, because it's going to be either one more mook than last time, or one less basic mook and one more elite mook than last time to create the scientifically-formulated gradiation in the challenge diet. You even instinctively feel when you've gone far enough to come to that one part in the dungeon where there's some contrived reason to make a point of no return so that you can't just exploit the boring walk back to town to restore all your MP as a choice against the sheer boredom of doing so, and actually make you have to worry about resource management and maybe actually crack open a mana potion or two.

It all winds up making me feel like going through a new dungeon in Avadon less exciting and like it has less actually new to see than when I'm going through the same dungeon for the fifth time in a game like Mana Khemia, trying to shave time off my path to the magic fruit tree or quarry for some particular magic rock, and seeing if I can dart between enemy patrols that respawn between trips to keep the time down.

Variety is the spice of exploration. (It's also the spice of character creation, but that's an entire other rant...) Spiderweb has thrown away too much of the mechanics that made what you can actually find in its games interesting, and replacing it all with just the next fight and loot with "is this a bigger number than my current sword?"
Feb 13 @ 11:41pm
In topic The new "See more reviews" page is awful
I like reading reviews of games before I buy them. (Crazy, I know.) I like reading actually good reviews, not just ones that were posted in the last five minutes, so I have to scroll past a lot of them.

Clicking on the "more reviews" button, instead of just scrolling down and giving more reviews like it used to, however, does the same thing that it does for showing screenshots, with boxes of varying sizes thrown all around as though that would make text boxes more interesting. Well, first off, it doesn't because it's still just a text box that's only as interesting as the words within. Second, it just makes most of the reviews illegible without opening a new window and waiting for a few seconds for the inferior Steam browser to load. Third, the size of the text boxes are pre-selected completely regardless of the actual amount of text the review has, so I see a worthless, one-sentence "review" getting a giant screen-wide box made of mostly negative space, while an actually detailed review is crammed in a box 1/3rd the width that gets cut off nearly immediately.

I should also say I'm not really a fan of this new notion of "promote a percentage of good and bad reviews equal to the overall ratio" idea. Before buying anything, I *always* want to see at least a few good and bad reviews for something, even something very highly-rated, because that's when the smaller handful of negative voices tend to have something actually different and more interesting to read.

You already have a system where the reviews are split between left and right (although the right is out of focus and generally less helpful), so why not just make a review screen split between positive and negative reviews?

Furthermore, give me an option to just make any review that contains less than 250 characters not appear. I am not interested in any review that just says "Awesome!!!!" or "This sucks! :(", I need actual supporting arguments to see why I should value anyone's opinions.

Likewise, I'd like to see an option to bury "funny" reviews that are just memes.
Feb 8 @ 8:36pm
In topic Game mechanics are far too opaque
Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
All in all I think the end point about the revenge action is that we really don't care much for it. I don't care that it is there. I wouldn't care if it was removed.

Maybe, but again, I'm more interested in why it's there in the first place than it's actual effectiveness. As you say, you can see that those waiting bars are basically there to tempt you into spending gold coins on them, but that doesn't necessarily mean they actually get you to do so.

It's also a matter of how subtle they are, as well. Again, a lot of FPS games train you to think headshots are better on an instinctual level, such that you think it's wrong when other games don't include bonus headshot damage. That's a manipulation of player expectations, as well, since you're only thinking headshots are more effective than torso shots because that's what games reward, but it's one less likely to be actively questioned.

I'm also not some sort of purist who will say all microtransactions need to die. (Hell, I'm a massive fan of Paradox games like Crusader Kings, and their philosophy is to keep adding DLC to existing games for 5-10 years.) In a free-to-play game, they're just to be expected. In the mobile market, it's pretty much mandatory, even. I don't particularly like it as a more traditional gamer, but it's pretty clear that the more casual mobile gaming crowd is more willing to pay for games by getting into something free-to-play then dropping cash on it over time, and developers are just reacting to the way their customers apparently prefer to pay for their games.

That said, some of these practices are much more predatory than others. I remember seeing several reviews of Battlefront 2 talking about how the lootboxes are getting all the press, but that the game itself is also pretty crappy as an FPS. You see, they wanted to ensure that the game really was pay-to-win, so they also made all the guns fire wildly inaccurately. That way, more skilled players with worse gear couldn't beat players with better gear since their crappy guns wouldn't shoot straight even if they were setting up perfect ambushes. The game really was built around the pay-to-win structure by executive meddling first, and only afterwards were the developers allowed to maybe develop a game around that what was left. That, however, also turns off the hardcore FPS fanbase that the game depends upon nurturing. Inversely, however, Call of Duty has increasingly been getting somewhat incestuous, focused solely and exclusively to the hardcore FPS crowd to the point where you basically can't (and aren't even expected) to play the game without already being a multi-year veteran of CoD, specifically. You can't even get into the game as a fan of FPS games unless you are explicitly immersed in years of CoD multiplayer metagame.

Even if we draw this back to microtransactions in mobile games, there's a difference between, say, the EA Dungeon Keeper Mobile, where everything had a days-long wait timer and you had to pay money to experience any content at all, and a game like this that seems to expect most of its players not to spend a dime.

Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
This is how "Cosmetic" is always the way players want their cash shops to grow. To keep what is essentiall the game they want to play fair and promote healthy competation. And not around the players who have the money to fund a small army in real life(Exaggerated).

When you talk about cosmetics, then the thing is that you need to have something where players can see your characters regularly. Team Fortress 2, for example, introduced hats (which ruined the aesthetics, since they had specifically made cartoonish characters because their silhouettes were therefore distinctive - the Heavy for example is a triangle shape, a hulk that has a broad gun slung so low it's nearly on the ground and huge arms attached to tiny shoulders, or the Soldier being an inverted triangle, with broad shoulders and a large shoulder-mounted weapon, but cartoonishly small legs) and because players are always using the same characters, then those hats are really obvious. Overwatch skins are the same, they're the face of the opposition or teammates, core gameplay elements, so they're everpresent and obvious. Skins in a game like this would be more for the satisfaction of the player, themselves. (And the cosmetics in the shop are things like wallpapers, as well...)

I should also say that it's not a matter of "it's just cosmetic". I've always found that a faulty argument, since it presumes that the only thing games can ever be about is winning in PvP. That's really the case in games like Destiny 2, where the end-game content is basically all cosmetic, where gaining levels is only used for gaining Bright Engrams, which are exchanged for lootboxes, and players then started noticing that their experience was getting throttled up to 98% whenever they were gaining lots of experience in short periods of time through raids. Again, cosmetics are the only point of playing past hitting level cap, so this is why a lot of the problems with Bright Engrams are the cause of Destiny 2 being a constant source of bad publicity for ActivisionBlizzard.

Aesthetics (cosmetics) is the main reason why people spend godawful periods of time playing Minecraft. I personally have spent about 3 times as much time in the modding nexus for Elder Scrolls games as actually playing looking for new cosmetics or pieces of housing to play around with. I never finished any of those games, because I didn't see the point, it wasn't the fun part of the game, the exploration and customization and "just cosmetics" were.

I mean, again, look at this game, it's pretty clearly following in Kantai Collection's footsteps and wants to sell itself on its artwork of absurdly-dressed women. You can't look at the premise of this game, and think that cosmetics are just some triviality and getting to the top of a leaderboard that, as you point out yourself, there's really no reason to care about is the point of the game.

Likewise, even outright "pay to win" mechanics aren't necessarily a terrible thing outside of PvP. Especially with a lot of JRPGs, recently, there seem to be DLC explicitly to just plain buy experience points or better weapons. That said, it's also single-player and as long as you can beat the game without paying for those weapons, then it's really just optional... at least, as long as they really do keep them optional. Again, there's that lurking temptation to just make the grind so insufferable that you are supposed to feel the need to pay money, but are again more likely to just hate the game and quit.

After all, you point out yourself this game can be pay-to-win (or at least, progress), but then say it's not that bad. Even if you can buy an advantage in the PvP, it mostly just shunts you up to a higher tier with the whales or people who just plain played longer, and you're still in the same boat until you actually get to the absolute highest tiers.

Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
After all they still have placeholder art and not all characters are voice acted. the characters don't have a bio. That is with ignoreing Live 2D. I'm not completely aware of their company to talk down on them and say they should try harder. But i'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

Which is always rather funny. I mean, some of the characters are outright identical, they didn't even palette swap or anything, and some other still are an outright placeholder girl artwork. (Which is even dumber when they're the earliest tanks that are most likely to be seen by new players, and therefore drive them off.) On top of that, several of these are just earlier variants of tanks that have art, and they're obviously not shy about art reuse, so why not just use the Marder II's art for the Marder?!

Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
However i would think that this new look at it might reveal that they have to plan to prevent such tactics. As even though people frown on buying ingame currency.

Well, it's not like the legislatures that are dropping these laws after some moral outrage about gambling are just going to shrug their shoulders and ignore that their laws are being blatantly subverted by the whole industry. Some minor ones may get away with it, but if the companies that sparked the outrage try and pull the same thing to openly subvert the lawmakers, the lawmakers will just make a new law that casts a wider net across a broader swath of microtransactions, and "just to be sure" they hit their target, may well go so far as to make a majority of microtransactions, even non-gambling ones, illegal. They don't, after all, have much invested in "good" microtransactions as opposed to "bad" ones, but do have a reason to listen to upset voters complaining their 7-year-old was tricked into spending the whole checking account on some mobile game that had access to the credit card.

Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
You can see a more recent story of such fees impacting a company like Patreon where they wanted to put a stop to people only giving 1$ to an artist.

There's also YouTube basically saying that they won't pay content creators who don't get enough views to be worth their while. Patreon was the refuge of a lot of YouTubers that didn't want to put up with YouTube's abusive demands and absurd, self-defeating reward structure and Content ID system, but at the same time, anyone trying to flee to Patreon was caught between two different corporate masters.
Feb 8 @ 3:35pm
In topic Game mechanics are far too opaque
Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
As much as i agree with the sentiment that it will drive that mind set into spending more. You can't however buy blueprints with real money. And unless you do the special chapters you won't have anymore access to them as a free player would.

There are some resources you can't buy, but I was mainly focused upon the actual timer bar for the technology, itself. If you want to upgrade your tech, they have an ever-escalating amount of wait time.... But hey, if you want to skip that wait time, you can just pay 500, no, 1000, no, 3000 gold coins to get that +10% bonus power right away! Especially if there's a battle you could just almost win, but need just a little more to get there, that seems to be the setup they want.

Again, they don't want to send people after those who are obviously much more advanced than they are, they want to send people after some kind of "nemesis" that is basically at their level, but which keeps messing them up. It's probably an artifact of just being a closed beta tester rather than in the general game, but even so, I kept seeing the same names repeatedly pop up. If half of my losses were to the same person, and they kept messing up my win streak, and that drove me to revenge, then it wouldn't matter if they weren't close to the top of the charts, their actions might be personally insulting to me.

And that's part of why having things sort of stall out by making players wait on power upgrades based upon things that are all based upon waiting really long periods of time can help play out - everyone's basically guaranteed to be at the same power levels so long as they are actively playing the same number of days.

Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
Because there is no real inscentive to hold your medal rank.

The only incentive people need for that is because it is a rank, and you can hold it.

To go back to Fire Emblem Heroes again, there's basically nothing for whales to fight for but bragging rights rewards, because the rewards for being at the top of the arena are things to upgrade lower-tier characters to higher-tier characters, and by being in the top slots, you've already proven you have highest-tier characters and have already hit the upgrading cap.

Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
Helpful advice. Most players tell you to ignore certain ammo types.

My team is the way it is because those were the purples I had, and that I invested in, and I don't have the resources to upgrade more than one or two units up to their level.

Dorothy/the Grille M was the first purple I got outside of Zoe/Sherman IV, she's been a staple of offense since getting her, and I don't really have an option not to use her, especially since nothing else consistently hits on plains maps. Compariatively, Leoni/ Sd.Kfz. 234/3 was a random forge drop that was my first rare/orange, and she's been trouble to use until I could get the extended-range shells and she wasn't constantly missing, and even without that, she's a real gamble to use, so I've been happier with Dorothy and Zoe doing my damage than anything else.

Inversely, I was using a Churchill Mk 2 for a long time since I had zero purple heavy tanks. When I finally could afford R&D for a Churchill Mk 3, and pumped her up to ready, and noticed that her chasis upgrade meant she was raising her stealth high enough that my LAV was taking shots, I tried adding what spall liners I could get from lifestyle (I'm not far enough in the plot to have any real choices in equipment for the upgraded slots from missions) and just filled every slot on the Churchill Mk3 with armor buffs and bought the bulkiest, most expensive armor available, and she wound up soaking every round of damage in even the Clash battles and still surviving. Her gun is still crap so she deals like 300 points of damage, but since she denies the entire enemy team their offense, it's good enough. Meanwhile, not having to make Zoe or Leoni tank means I can swap out their defensive gear for offensive ones, and focus on their own damage-dealing potential. My ATG is similarly built to be a damage-eater, but isn't quite as stealthless or as massively armored, and can actually deal damage.

If there's any armor type I'd be likely to ignore with the way I'm going, it's medium. Only Zoe actually uses it. This switch between lights and heavies is working pretty well for me. 70 stealth heavies eat all the damage, while 200+ stealth lights deal it and also spot. After pushing my stealth up higher and getting things like camofluage into the upgraded slots, I'm winning all the spotting phases, and getting free shots with the SPGs, generally taking at least one enemy down before they can ever fire. After getting the sixth slot, I bought a new SPG whose post-equipping stealth is 275, and I'm not sure she's been shot yet. And I mean, EVER. (She's got the armrest for more targetting and stealth, but those basically-useless infantry always get their shot off.) If they do take out my heavies, I'm pretty screwed, but that generally happens when I'm flat-out outclassed, regardless, and wasn't dealing any damage, myself.

Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
And i hear germany is going after loot boxes. If other nations follow, buying iron from gold to spend on what is essentially an RNG loot box might be considered gambling than we might not even see a few paid options in the future. But that is simply speculation. They might even just say if the games rated M for Mature they can still sell gambling mechanics.

I'm not saying that this game is like ActivisionBlizzard by any means, but I wanted to show that video because it showed the mindset behind a lot of these monitization methods.

Anyway, one of the ways that not-technically-gambling games get away with it so far is saying that you aren't paying money to gamble, you're paying money for a currency that you then convert to another currency and you then gamble THAT currency. This has been used, at least so far, to circumvent laws requiring they post the odds of gambling in games.

Also, if they wanted to make this a "mature" game, then... well, as long as Steam still allows for games with "mature" content that includes gambling, then I'm not sure how much it would impact this game in particular. (And while they're dancing a fine line with porn games, Valve is absolutely comitted to in-game gambling with the likes of CS:GO, so I doubt they'll do much more than use a trivial age gate on their content.) I mean, have you looked at the artwork in this game? A lot of these tanks (especially the Russian ones) are about three pixels of clothing short of being a porn game, already.
Feb 7 @ 10:50pm
In topic Game mechanics are far too opaque
Ah, sorry I forgot to respond to this...

But I managed to get the 60 in a row. I found a different "exploit" - you can just buy diesel with corn and mash through it rapidly in a single session, especially once you get to commander level 35 and can just skip the battles.

Also, Heavy Tanks OP:

That's against enemies that outlevel me, and I still basically only took damage from the artillery and the Panther.

And apparently, the IS line has even more armor....


Anyway, the main reason I think that they put in the mechanics they did was because of the notion of revenge. Again, that "get revenge" button is a big tell.

Basically, they want you to try to build up towards something until you reach like 30 or 40 wins in a row, then have you get beaten and have to start all over again, but also tell you who beat you and explicitly encourage you to retaliate against them.

But, of course, there's the problem of them being stronger than you, so obviously, you need to get stronger quick before getting revenge - better shell out real money for some upgrades!

See this for a good example of the mindset taken to an extreme:

See, the point of this system is that you have to make a team so good that it will never lose against anyone near your level. And as you pointed out repeatedly, getting technology upgrades is a great way to do that. How do those technology upgrades work, though? Well, they're tied to having tons of resources and waiting out a painfully long timer. You may lose a few hours here or there to not always being at your computer to press the button the instant the last timer cools off, but when timers last for days, you can basically be assured that everyone is basically upgrading technology at basically the same rate in the long run.

How do you get ahead, then? Well, you need to pay for the quick finish bonus. And what does that cost? The premium currency! So all you need to do to jump to the head of the pack is pay the premium currency.

PVP is always one of the best ways to encourage buying in-game advantages, since players can generally always find ways to beat the AI without needing help, but PVP is inherently going to be matching relative equals that are capable of evolving their metagame against one another in reaction to any sort of exploit while the AI keeps falling for the same tricks time after time. Hence, any kind of premium currency advantage becomes extremely desirable whenever you have some kind of PVP. (It's just a matter of making it subtle enough that you don't get a "pay to win" backlash the way that Battlefront 2 did.) Making power dependent upon waiting on a big progress bar while everyone else waits on it, too, means that it doesn't seem like you're, to reference Alice and Wonderland, running just to stay in place.
Feb 5 @ 5:31pm
In topic Player character class abilities?
Originally posted by Mr.E:
I'm still waiting on the comprehensive strategy guide authored by Wraith_Magus :iruse::nika::penalu::susu::univa:

You'll have to wait until I mine it enough that I actually have the comprehensive strategy. But hey, if you want to clamor for one, here:
Feb 5 @ 3:34am
In topic Next Annoucement?
They just released another statement that they are still fixing bugs, but that they still plan to go live "sometime this month".
Feb 4 @ 4:48pm
In topic Bug Reports (new!)
Trying to launch the game consistently causes Steam to crash. It seems to occur any time I've played any other game since the last time Steam has crashed, which is rather annoying since this game demands checking in twice a day.

It crashes Steam (with a popup saying that the Steam Bootstrapper has stopped responding) at the splash screen where it says it's loading 0/282. (The game then says something about how I'm not launching the game through the Steam API.)
Jamie taking more of a backseat compared to the original proof of concept is kind of a letdown when you pay attention to gender, since he's one of the more potentially interesting, and definitely could have been the "main character" in the stereotypical cyberpunk story you're an NPC in, since "cyborg mercenary" and "hacker" (especially named "Decker") are the two biggest cliches. The main male character left over is Tim, and he's not exactly made to be related to the same way that a lot of the girls were, or given the sort of spotlight Dorothy got.

Dorothy definitely runs away with the attention, and is the most provacative and complex of the characters, and the best that the game really has to offer... too bad they just didn't seem to plan to do anything with her other than tease that maybe she'll start seeing a ghost in the future.

Dorothy seems inconsistent on whether she wants to continue to be what she is. She's not shy about sex, certainly, but she's clearly unhappy about being wanted for being something she isn't. She seems to actually want to have an adult body and only stays in the child one because it's business, and she can't afford to "retire" and get the adult body she seems like she'd prefer. She's happy with sex, yes, but also carries illegal modifications to her body that puts her in fear of the law because she also has to be afraid of her clients. I think a lot of her attachment to Jill is just enjoying being accepted and understood. (Jamie reacted strongly negatively in the proof of concept.)

The psychology of the Lilims in particular seems a major point of worldbuilding that would be great to build the game around. All three of the lilims in the game are generally like people, but off somehow, with some kind of really overwhelming passion that drives them. Dorothy revels in sexual transgression. Then you have the dog-lover who's basically fine with anything so long as he gets to stay with dogs. *Kira* Miki is driven by the feeling of how she affects her fans to actually become the character her fans see her as being, even if it means discarding her former existence. These are all extremes in personality, even if they're all different extremes.

It's part of why I feel rather disappointed in the "main plot" basically having nothing to do with Lilim or the brain transferrance thing or the other major plot arcs that really interested me. It set up something really interesting, then didn't bother to actually do anything with it.
Feb 4 @ 4:25pm
In topic Player character class abilities?
Originally posted by adelicjimmy:
I don't have all of them,I was messing around with the channeler and possesser
But I can try to list them if you like, other than hunter as I haven't tried that one yet... and I don't know if Iruse's abilities and skills as a profession are the same as the other summoners are, which could be part of the reason there isn't a solid list yet.... Also at which level you get things could be tricky too as that is a lot of grinding...
But sorry to hear you stopped playing, I got back into it and am having a riot.

Well, I'll try to get back into it when I feel like doing a tactics RPG again.

If you are up to making a list, try to make a guide so that it's easy for others to find without having to search for a forum thread. Thanks for that!
Feb 4 @ 3:45pm
In topic Player character class abilities?
Originally posted by adelicjimmy:
So did you ever find an aswer to your question?

Not exactly, and I kind of stopped playing. All I know is that the New Game + function is your best bet.
Feb 1 @ 12:13am
In topic Game mechanics are far too opaque
Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
If you are going at this with the angle that they demand you accomplish all the tasks. If it was a demand wouldn't that task be made to impede progress? Which it doesn't So Achievements are actually optional. I don't think optional tasks make for bad game design even if your goal is to 100% a game. Unless it's like. "Watch grass for 10 hours" then i guess you can argue why?

The thing is, you're talking about and thinking about the game purely from the perspective of a player, having to deal with the system that was presented to you without having any input in why that system exists. I'm talking about this from a development standpoint. I'm asking you to think about this from the perspective of a game developer.

If you are a developer of a game, any time you spend time and effort creating rules or adding content or otherwise working on a game, you really should be doing what you are doing for some kind of reason. Every rule or mechanic or reward or whatever goes into the game as a means of changing how players see and interact with the game, and if you're good at your job, you will know exactly what each rule or mechanic you add to a game will do to change player behavior, and therefore, how the player responds to the game.

To give an example in another genre, consider a game like Call of Duty for a second. This was a game that especially in its first couple of games, before the single player really took off, was all about teamwork and not being some kind of lone soldier ultra-elite hero who saved the day all alone. The multiplayer games are basically all team battles instead of some kind of battle royale that was the default before Call of Duty really took off.

However, instead of making multiplayer entirely about whether or not your team wins and maybe how much you contributed to your team, the game scores you and your team individually, and basically will let you "win" even if your team loses if you got the most individual points from kills or whatever because you were a more super-elite player than everyone else.

Why does the game do that? The game, by its themes, should be focused entirely upon teamwork, and discount all individual initiative to work towards only having collective success or failure in exactly the same way that the military that those game fetishize so much actually would judge success or failure. And in clan play, where teams are well-established groups of friends who do practice teamwork to an incredible degree, that would be perfectly fine.

Call of Duty explicitly rewards showboating, however, because before someone will want to form clans in your game and spend the thousands of hours playing it to be the utter masters of the game fighting other utter masters, they have to get hooked by the game in the first place, and having your success or failure be reliant upon teamwork in pickup games with noobs that are yelling into their microphones about "DUUUUUDE! I am SOOOOO HIGH right now!" would be a thoroughly infuriating experience. Hence, the game's scoring system is designed for the explicit purpose of making the game say, yeah, your team lost, but that's just because those other guys ♥♥♥♥ING SUCKED, and YOU'RE THE ONLY GOOD PLAYER ON THE TEAM, BUT EVERYONE ELSE NEEDS TO GIT GUD! Or, in less tongue-in-cheek terms, you can still feel like you won some personal victory and that your efforts weren't wasted because you, individually, did your team a significant service even if the rest of the team were stoners or people too busy shouting homophobic nonsense to actually play the game.

Similarly, why do headshots result in so much more damage? Real-life military and police forces train to aim for center mass, because a shot to the heart is just as deadly as a shot to the brain, and you're more likely to hit a target that can't swing around as readily as a head. In games, however, headshots can be a mark of prestige, again letting players feel like they're super-elite players even if their team is losing, because "Hey guys check it out, I just did a 360 no-scope headshot!"

The mechanics that are in the game are there because the expressly guide player behavior.

So again, when the devs of Panzer Waltz made the rules for how success or failure were judged, they weren't forced to make you fail for reasons beyond your control unless you explicitly gamed the system, but they did so, and they did so deliberately.

In fact, Errant Signal just did a video on the nature of failure in games and punishment while talking about Getting Over It, which discusses this exact topic directly:

The question then is what were they trying to achieve by making explicit in-game failure states nearly unavoidable, at least without taking extremely counter-intuitive behavior?

Again, there's a difference between a failure in Fire Emblem Heroes, where, because of the low level cap and fairly tight matchmaking, everyone is generally on fairly equal footing. If I fail, it's nearly always because I screwed up, and that's nearly always because the AI did something I didn't predict. For that matter, to win with a defensive team, I generally try to use sets of skills people don't expect, for example equpping double-fury on (generally tanky) Eldigan so he loses 12 HP after one of his melee attacks, and then putting Wings of Mercy on two of my tome units, so that if people try to bait and tank Eldigan's attacks and drop him to low health after his fury drains his HP, my tomes then jump in and ambush the opponent if they didn't take the time to check if a Olwen had Wings of Mercy. It's not perfect, but it works often enough that I've never gone without a defensive win, even though I personally can go months without a single arena loss.

Fire Emblem Heroes makes loss a very temporary thing. When you lose, you merely lose a little stamina, then you can try again. Lose an arena battle, and that resets your win streak, but you can just try again. Sure, you need to use dueling crests, but those are so ludicrously overabundant that I'm getting near 500 in my inventory at this point. Arena Assault has literally no punishment for failure at all other than needing to start over and not getting SP past your first round of the day, and is a mode that can be played infinitely even when you've burned up all your stamina, seemingly designed explicitly to push players to have it as an option of last resort if they still want to keep playing the game even when all other ways of playing have been exhausted.

So again, why THIS system in particular? It's not just an achievement, it's also an in-game goal. You get rewards for not just clearing story missions, but also clearing story missions with S-rank wins, clear incentives to play through the game multiple times to get a perfect score because those in-game rewards make the next challenge easier. You get in-game rewards for win streaks including defensive win streaks in this game, so it's no more optional than any other part of the game like doing Lifestyle stuff is optional. Sure, you don't HAVE to do it, but you'd be crazy not to because it's lots of useful stuff for trivial effort.

The system that they built doesn't just reward you for consecutive wins, it explicitly wants to go out of its way to punish you for losing even when it's not your fault. The girls cry and apologize for their failure, you get an explicit "revenge" button, you lose all your progress that the game annoyingly keeps telling you how much progress you make, but then also resets you all the way back to start the instant something out of your control happens. Especially with the "revenge button", it's impossible not to see that as deliberate game design made to make you feel aggrieved when there is a loss, and to be paranoid about losing.

To use another game as a metaphor again, in the game The Castle Doctrine (a direct and explicitly meaningful reference to a guns rights slogan about how "a man's home is his castle" and that he (always HE) should have the right to kill intruders with guns), you play as a paranoid survivalist in a seemingly posh suburban neighborhood who has to rebuild his house into an elaborate deathtrap to put his family and the safe where he keeps his money (can't trust the banks!) into a tiny safe in a corner of the house. A condition of the deathtrap is that it must be possible for YOU to navigate your own deathtrap safely because you need to reach the tiny room where you stuff your precious objects (your money and your family), so your deathtrap has to have a solution anyone can theoretically get through if they can understand the method of defeating the traps. The trick to the game is that you're so busy forcing your family to live in a tiny hole and building deathtraps that the only way for you to make money is to steal money from your neighbors (who are other players) and kill their families for getting in your way. Hence, it's a big competition to murder the other players and their families while keeping your terrified and emotionally stunted family physically if not emotionally safe with your elaborate deathtraps (because your house is your castle). The game explicitly involves your character committing suicide if you fail to protect your safe and family, but gives you the name of the person who did it so you can explicitly seek to get revenge upon them in your next playthrough with your next family. (Get the metaphor yet?)

So again, apply this idea to the system that is in Panzer Waltz. Do you see what this system encourages players to do? (I mean, you're suggesting exploits, so clearly, you understand what it's pushing you to do, but do you understand WHY they wanted to push you to do that?) How it encourages players to treat each other, especially when it has an explicit "revenge button"? (You say yourself, it's for when players think they SHOULD HAVE won that round... and hey, if they just spent a little buffing up a level or two before getting that revenge, it wouldn't hurt, right?)

So again, why make this system this way, when other systems don't punish failure, especially failure for something seemingly so inevitable?
Dear Jeff Vogel,

I absolutely adored the Avernum games when I was younger. I loved Nethergate, as well. I felt that Spiderweb was getting on the wrong track with Geneforge, where the game seemed more focused upon real-time gimmicks and graphics and ultimately meaningless choices, and I didn't play past the first one. Avadon was just boring grinding constrained to a class-based straight jacket, with all the exploration of the I don't know, probably-still-huge world feeling more like a chore because I couldn't feel invested in any of the paint-by-numbers characters.

I know that there were obvious builds you had to take, especially in the higher difficulty levels, but there are so many aspects of the original Avernum series that you

I'm not asking for another remake, by all means, I'd love to see original work. Just please try to reverse this trend of stripping out player agency from the characters.

If it helps you understand what I mean, I've never finished an Elder Scrolls game, because beating the game seems to be completely beside the point. I play Elders Scrolls games to pick flowers because they make nice mana potions, only to get attacked by a bear, and when I'm done fighting, realize I just stumbled across its cave, pick up some loot from a skeleton, then dive for some salmon, then see another cave that's a dungeon, then accidentally stumble into a questline. I then spend 600 hours in the modding section of TESNexus playing pretty princess dressup with my characters and companions and rearranging the furniture like I'm playing The Sims.

I will always, always, always spend more character points than is sane in crafting skills like alchemy because making potions and hunting for ingredients makes the world vastly more fun to live in. Just killing stuff to fill out a map and move on is vastly more boring than trying to learn that bog beacon asco caps grow in the southeastern swamps near Black Marsh, or that the mushrooms for healing potions grow on the East side of fallen logs in the forrests near Whiterun, and I need to wait a specific number of days between pickings. Playing the new-new-Avernum 1, probably the most fun was that the alchemy system was still kinda-sorta there, and I could still test for which alchemy ingredients regrew.

Please stop stripping out every part of your game but making everything a complete min-maxing-fest, and let us make sub-optimal characters that can actually enjoy the world, rather than murdering everything and picking up yet more boring loot that just goes directly to the loot bag because of a simple comparison of numbers. That's not as much fun as waiting for moss to grow... and I'm serious about that.

Please make your next game one where the player can actually feel like they've created their own characters, rather than simply made the characters the game forced them to make, where the only choice is "do you fill out the left side or right side of the tree?"

If I can't feel like these are MY characters, and that building them has meaning, why should I give a crap about the world they're in? That's why I didn't finish Avadon 1 or bother with its sequels.

Make distinct characters if you must to try to create BioWare-style parties with canned chatter, but please, please, please, no more strict character classes. Crib notes from other indie darlings like Arkanum and let us actually have multiple ways to build our parties and solve (or choose to ignore) different situations in the game in different ways instead of just making everything a handful of fights with enemies that have +2 more stats but are otherwise identical to the last ones to get more items that are immediately forgotten and shoved into the loot bag just like the last ones.

Give me something that makes me actually care about the worlds again, not just yet more stupid mosnters and loot and +1 to the same abilities I already have skills.

- Someone who bought the old Avernum games full price from your store a long time ago
Jan 31 @ 4:34am
In topic Game mechanics are far too opaque
The thing is, games are just sets of rules and goals that exist to guide player behavior. Players want to achieve their goals, which usually means winning and getting validation from the game.

To go back to Fire Emblem Heroes as an example, I have completed all the story missions and chain challenge versions of the story missions and so on and so forth. I basically get no new content outside of new Grand Hero Battles and the (fortunately becoming more frequent) Tempest Trials. Arena mode is basically the only place an end-game player can feel consistent challenge. Even the extremely difficult Infernal mode Grand Hero Battles have solutions on YouTube that use nothing but F2P units.

The rewards for being in tier 20 (the highest tier) are kind of trivial. Initially, you ONLY got feathers (used for upgrading common units to higher rarity) for winning in arena, which meant that you could only get the biggest prizes once you'd already proven that you clearly don't need them anymore.

However, people don't need a prize to want to be in first place, even if it doesn't even confer a bragging rights reward when the rankings are wiped away almost immediately for the next week.

People just want to win instinctively, so they'll whale and spend tons of money making a Lv 40+10 seasonal limited-time-only unit, even when it doesn't even give them a rational in-game benefit above simply not winning sometimes. Those whales are driven by an overriding sense of desire to always win and always have the absolute perfect theory-crafted units at all time, buying more and more new characters as the power creep makes older units obsolete. (Hey, does anyone remember the time when Takumi was supposedly so powerful that people were scared of him? Yeah, I didn't get it, either. It's like they hadn't heard of Reinhardt before.)

Those achievements and that system of making players fail in their chain in Panzer Waltz are rules that exist to create the sense that players have done something wrong and failed at the game because their team lost. Maybe that's not what was intended, but if that wasn't intended, then the developers don't know what they're doing, because that's absolutely what the system they created does. I mean, if you just hit the replay button, then at the end, your girls start crying and apologizing for letting you down while they play the sad music. Why would that happen if not to tell you that you screwed up and should feel bad about it?

For that matter, why is there a "Retaliate" button? What possible reason could there be for a big red button that functionally says "get revenge on the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ that did this to you" other than to encourage you to feel aggrieved at your loss? From a purely rational standpoint, there's no reason you'd ever want to punch it, because what surer way to lose your silver than to deliberately pick a fight with someone who's already proven themselves stronger than you? That button exists purely because they are knowingly and deliberately trying to take advantage of the instinctive desire of players to want to avenge a loss. It's extremely difficult to come up with any way to interpret the actions of the developers in any way other than to say that they were trying to make you feel that a loss in the clash system was a wrong that needed righting... but then gave you no actual means of righting it. That's the problem I'm highlighting, here: The game tries to get you riled up and frustrated to get you motivated to do something, but it doesn't have a logical outlet for it.

Defeat in games, especially in competitive spaces, is part of gaming, and especially the idea of getting revenge against those players, but there's a key part of that: The loser has to understand why they lost, and see how they can overcome that mistake and defeat their opponent the next time they meet. That's how competitive gameplay loops work and keep players addicted. That's just not possible in this game, however. (At least, not anywhere below the level where just making stronger tanks by grinding more isn't an option, and you actually have to start theorycrafting.) Again, this is why FEH does this better; you can see what the opponent has in FEH, and understand why you lost, and when you see some new build you never thought of before, it's not impossible for you to crib their notes and copy it. (For example, my horse emblem team has Eldigan with double Fury from his refined weapon, and after seeing an opponent use the new Brash Assault seal with Desperation on Double Fury Eldigan, I realized the new synergy that seal opened up. Since I was using Eldigan as a tanky red to support my Gronblade+ Cecilia, it's a natural fit to throw him in as a fury-desperation blitz attacker with Brash Assault to make up for middling speed.) That, however, requires being able to see what stats and equipment that unit has, and again that brings up the problem of not being able to see these things in this game! You don't know why you lost, you just lose because shut up you did, and there's nothing to learn from the event, and there's no hope of setting this wrong right other than lowering your ranking so you go back to winning. See how this breaks the feedback loop these mechanics are generally employed to create?

That's why it's a problem when you create that system that punishes you for things beyond your control. Unlike with FEH, where it's an incentive to get you to open up your wallet and go for those shiny new characters with a few more spins of the gacha, there's simply nothing you can ever do to "make things right" and get a bunch of wins, other than deliberately fall in the ranks by losing... which isn't exactly getting that winning streak that players are conditioned to want, itself. The game just tells you that you screwed up because of something that isn't your fault and there's no way to make it right, not even trying to spend money. That just seems to be flawed game design, because again, the purpose of all the rules and goals in games is to condition player behavior one way or the other.

When you add in an achievement that explicitly tells players to want to get 60 consecutive wins including defensive wins, then it's basically impossible to think it's not deliberate. They could easily have left that achievement a "get X number total wins" or a "get X number offensive wins", and made it possible to get that achievement without explicitly making players have to adapt their playstyle to achieve the objective set out for them by the game's reward system and rules. They didn't, however, they explicitly want to make a defensive loss just as bad as an offensive one, to make players paranoid about losses and strive to do things to forestall them... but those things don't really exist beyond matching tank type to the terrain. You're just inevitably going to rank up faster than your actual power grows unless you're deliberately avoiding clashes altogether to avoid winning.

(Also, this is unrelated, but I find that the dummy/AI enemies tend to be easier than player teams of equivalent levels and have nearly twice as much silver, at that.... But then, I deliberately spend all my silver on whatever's at the port or upgrading armor on third-string tanks just so I'm not worth robbing, and I'm sure other players do the same.... Because that's what the game's system of being robbed encourages, now isn't it?)
Originally posted by Panzer Waltz:
if you want to use the proofread function you should click the confirg button then click the proofreading button and change the close button to on, then you can use it , if you still have problems you can email us here is our

The proofread function only applies to the story mode text. I have no apparent option to send proofreading emails through the game itself for anything but the story mode text or some of the spoken lines. (And believe me, I've sent tons of those...)

However, there are plenty of obvious problems outside the story mode text, such as the game referencing the act of consuming attires to power up units as both "strengthening" AND as "enhancing" (pick one term and stick to it), or referring to tank shells as "grenades" repeatedly in interface elements like the "Lifestyle" activity of "grenade assembly", or in the story mode text, where maidens and Beast Tanks are apparently shooting "grenades" out of cannons at one another.

Likewise, the terrain type "Dirt" should probably be called "Muddy". (It's effects are that the terrain is "Wet" and "Swamp", which describe mud more than regular dirt.)

Also, after battles, the game has as a tagline "Greatest Conflict In The Future". I question the validity of the tagline, considering as this game is supposed to be set in 1957, which was the past the last time I checked, but regardless, that should read as "The Greatest Conflict In The Future" to be grammatically correct.

Also, there are grammar errors in the text in the load screens. For example, there is a line that says something to the effect of "consider creating 2nd squad when your first gets tired". You are missing the article. Also, you should probably consider changing all "2nd"s into "second", as it's just more professional writing.

There's also the problem of characters having different names in the story mode text than they are identified by everywhere else in the game, such as Nelly Wagner in the game's interface and whenever she has a spoken line being called Nelly Rommel, daughter of General Rommel in the story's text.

Also, in cases like Vol 6, chapter 4, the interlude after the first battle, Sadie Ironside apparently says a line that is by context clearly meant to be said by the player character. ("You did. I'm the Commander for Frunze in this exercise.")

After the second battle, there's a similar problem with characters apparently vocally describing themselves to the eavesdroppers listening in on them.

Also, as previously mentioned, in 3-2-2, there were times when the player character was identified as "CMDR" when normally, they are identified as the player's screen name. (I.E. Wraith_Magus in my case.)

I should also point out I'm merely correcting grammatic errors. For me to actually try to proofread it as a translation, I'd also need to be able to read its Japanese or Chinese language script. I'm forced to presume that the translation is mostly accurate, here, but when I hear some of the spoken lines, I find that what the characters are saying in Japanese doesn't necessarily line up with the translation.

Beyond this, there's also text in the likes of item descriptions that need changes, for example, this description of N-sushi:
That should read, "A traditional food of Nippon, that only chefs that have attained a certain level of skill are able to make. Sushi requires quality ingredients, and as such, it is difficult to find quality sushi in the military. Only the lucky can eat fresh sushi."

Likewise, there are frequently problems with the text overlapping or running out of bounds due to English not being as compact a language. In the Lifestyle menu, the text runs off the bottom of the screen. Click on the magnifying glass icon in the top right when looking at a unit in R&D, and the activity level, the "Firepower Lv 60" and the actual number for L60 FP all overlap with each other. The same happens any time you gain multiple items after a battle - text from the items you gain overlap one another.

I wrote an email to the bug-reporting email in the game's splash screen, but if you want me to send to that email address as well, that's fine.
Jan 30 @ 5:33pm
In topic Game mechanics are far too opaque
Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
Also i don't think you get more medals for beating people with an S rank or not. It's predetermined on what medal amount the enemy has.

I know, what I'm saying is that the game should throttle how many medals you get by your battle rating.

The game as it stands makes players fly up the ranks until they start losing, then makes the plummet just as fast. If the purpose of the mechanic is to get players to find their actual place in the rankings and give them matchmaking that is generally on their level, then if someone is getting B and C grades, they're in the right place in the rankings, while an S rank proves they need to be much higher, and as such, the mechanic would be better able to serve its purpose if getting an S rank gave you twice the projected number of medals, while a B rank gave you half, or some similar system.

Likewise, when I talk about the need to win a large chain of battles for an achievement, the problem is asking what sort of play behavior a mechanic like that incentivizes. (Because rules in games exist for the purpose of directing player behavior. From a game design standpoint, every rule or reward exists to guide player behavior, so you should be able to look at every rule and determine what kind of behavior the developer wants to encourage players to have.)

To give a counterexample, Fire Emblem Fates (which is a 3DS game, BTW), the multiplayer battle function rewards the player who invades other player's castles if they win the battle by siezing the opposing player's throne (which they do by fighting a battle in their custom castle, and the reward is the ability to buy a skill the other player possess on one of their defenders for themselves), but the defender gets the same reward ("battle points" towards special rewards) completely regardless of victory or loss. Hence, players set up their units with the most exotic skills and then set their defenders to not attack, and leave a clear, obvious path to the throne so that even vastly inferior enemy forces could sieze their throne effortlessly, because that gave players tremendous incentive to keep hitting those castles up for easy wins and access to powerful skills.

Meanwhile, in Fire Emblem Heroes (the mobile game), you play strategy RPG battles on maps when you attack, but your team is AI-controlled on defense, making it much easier to attack. (Although because there is a 10% score penalty for losing a unit, defenders functionally win and attackers often surrender if they lose even a single unit.) You need to win seven consecutive battles to post a high score on the attack. (Every "season" of the arena lasts a week, and your highest score for the week is posted and compared. Every player is in a tier, and you are ranked within your tier. A certain percentage of the best players in the tier go up a tier, and another percentage drop a tier based upon rankings, with the highest tier only letting the top 30% of players in the top tier manage to stay in that tier, and the other 70% of the top tier having to drop back down a tier and fight their way back up.) On defense, however, you only need to win once to get the maximum possible reward for arena defense. You don't get rewarded for doing well on defense (other than possibly denying a rival a win that might have given them a better score than you) so as soon as you get even a single win, it hardly matters at all. Even if you get no defensive wins, only your offensive score counts towards your ranking and most of the rewards - defensive score matters only for the defense rewards, which are just 900 feathers per week.

The main thing about FEH's arena mode is that merely winning every single battle isn't enough - you get matched based upon the rating of your units, and the score you get from victories are based upon the rating of the units you defeat. This means it demands you take an team that is actually worse in battle to get a higher rating (because rating is based upon raw total stats and skill costs, not actual utility - garbage skills like rising flame are higher-rated than extremely deadly ones like moonbow or glimmer) to defeat higher-rated enemies, because even getting a flawless string of victories doesn't matter unless you can get a higher offensive score than the other players in your tier. (This is also what encourages whaling - duplicate characters of the specific character you want to boost will give each character an extra level above the level cap of 40 up to "Level 40+10". Naturally, rare characters have higher base ratings, so you need to get duplicates of rares.)

By contrast, in this game, defensive battles are more serious and take more consideration than offensive battles (which you can always just reroll). They're also the one where you can actually choose the ground you can defend, pushing that even more into how you plan. (The current location to defend is 3000 unitless range, so I swapped in the Howitzer, even though she's an objectively weaker unit than my short-range LAV on paper.) However, you still just run into that wall that the better you do, the more they stack better opponents against you, so it's ultimately futile unless you've managed to make a literally unbeatable team (which basically requires being end-game, since any time someone can just have a tem from further into the game than you with much better tech, you just can't compete). (EDIT: Just checking in after posting this, I lost a battle with my Lv 24-27 team against a team of Lv 37-40 units that were the exact same units I always use in a E-grade failure where only one shot of mine dealt damage... Which shows the problem with the matchmaking right there.)

There's a difference there, where even when I'm not advancing in FEH's arena, I'm still at least winning the invidual battles. Here, you lose no matter what you do, even when you've basically done everything right.
Jan 30 @ 3:12pm
In topic Game mechanics are far too opaque
Originally posted by Nazrin OP:
The only reason i quit the game when i did was because i wanted to spend less time on my tablet. But now that it's on PC I can't use that as an excuse anymore.

Well, it runs minimized, so if you want to start a battle and then go to another window, you certainly can, so in that regard, it's not that bad as a PC game. Generally, though, I find a lot of mobile games to be more enjoyable as a portable game than a PC one, because the interface tends to be badly optimized for PC (left and right click do the same thing, here), and they tend to be more grindy and take longer, which isn't a problem for a waiting-in-line game, but can get annoying for PC when I have my full attention on it. Like I said, because things like clashes don't let you skip battles until you hit commander rank 35, I pretty much just whip out my phone or gameboy and play some Fire Emblem while waiting for the battle to be over.

Generally, I find watching battles to be frustrating, anyway. I get angry seeing my best units that can one-shot or nearly one-shot enemies waste their attacks on an enemy with 5 HP left, while my offensively almost useless Churchill tinks a shot off of their full-health heavies for 100 HP. Watching the battle, I think it's going horribly and I'm failing it, then the battle ends and it says hooray, I got an S rank. I'm just happier all around if I skip battles and read the transcripts afterwards.
Jan 30 @ 3:02pm
In topic Game mechanics are far too opaque
I don't think having some sort of balancing factor where you win until you get too high-ranked and then have to fall back to reach a balance is necessarily wrong, although it can be frustrating to have to lose to be able to win. (Also, why is every victory worth the same number of "medals" or whatever that ranking point thing is? Shouldn't S-rank victories prove you need to fly further up the ranks than a just-barely-made-it-through B-rank victory, which proves you are right where you should be?) The problem I see, however, is that this game has an achievement ticker that requires you to win 60 battles in a row, including defensive battles, which is an extremely tall order unless you're either blitzing ahead of everyone else by playing more than any other player so that no player can outmatch you, and choosing to only attack the weak (which is obivously only going to be successful for one person unless they manage to collude and agree to only attack AI accounts), or else to get up to level cap units, then deliberately drop down the ranks so that they can win a huge number of battles in a row while they skyrocket back up the ranks.

Making the achievement based upon total number of clashes, and then having a more reasonable number of "in a row" wins, or "in a row" wins that only count offensive wins, and disregard defensive losses would take away this demand to openly game the system.
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