Realms are not fun

For Wizard Kings (and higher) to discuss the Realm Editor and the creation of realms.
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Stitchy
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Realms are not fun

Post by Stitchy » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:06 am

im putting this bluntly
ive tried very hard but i dont enjoy playing realms

First of all hiding the palace seems to be the most common difficulty maker.
I find it really tedious walking dead ends searching for a place to fight
Please do not do this because all you do is force me to spend 50gold to explore the map first, which is also tedious and time consuming.Also dont make huge patches of wood or mountains leading to nothing.
For the same reason making the time to be able to complete the realm too short, does not add difficulty but just frustration and annoyance for having to do the same thing again, because u came 10 days short (days which u lost walking dead ends yawn).

secondly
the taboos do not up the difficulty but are just annoying
sure is nice if you want to determine rules for a fight but since i can only pick my gear once i either can only do a cookie cutter build or again scout ahead, which is boring, or get a lot of mercs which makes most fights too easy, which is also boring.
so from a realm builder perspective it might add some thematic dreaming but as a player i find it annoying i cant adapt.


thirdly
do not make dead towers (teleports that teleport nowhere) ,because battling yourself towards one only to find that it leads nowhere is frustrating and annoying.


fourthly
do not make me spawn at the start point when i lost a fight
walking the same stretch more than once is tedious and again is relying on the time constraint to make the realm "difficult"


so overall you can see why i dont enjoy playing realms
i lose patience rather quickly because fighting an AI for me isnt challenging
ive tried with invader on but that is even more time consuming, and the fights arent the problem it is the outdoor experience that i find lacking

some solutions:
-i would like to be able to take more gear into a realm
-give me some way of buying a map beforehand, to spare me the tedious scouting
-make spawn towers look different from travel towers
-change the itemization to something rewarding (bosses drop (random) gear instead of shops)
-add something interesting to do to the map outside the battlemap, like crafting buffs or actually recruit other wizards to hold of marauders, or make your own teleports (spells) to be able to move around quickly
-do not let traveling affect the scoring because its tedious to find the shortest route to get the best score
i rather have 3 lives to complete a realm or whatever other mechanic
-if i volunteer as invader/ally i would like to see which fight im going in to, before i accept the fight
i do not enjoy stomping some low lvl guy nor do i enjoy fighting 2 maxxed out wizards with 10 mercs while having a gimped build without talismans.Both are just a waste of time.
-instead of a realm list maybe a nice 3dmap (globe) with all the realms on it as actual places might be nice from an esthetic point of view

i hope this wasnt too blunt

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Farious
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Re: Realms are not fun

Post by Farious » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:19 am

Stitchy wrote:ive tried very hard but i dont enjoy playing realms
Realms aren't for everyone.
Stitchy wrote:I find it really tedious walking dead ends searching for a place to fight
The location of the Palace can usually be found through a Rumour in a Town plus you have the Lift Fog spell.
Stitchy wrote:Also dont make huge patches of wood or mountains leading to nothing.
Often this is a sign that they lead to nowhere.
Stitchy wrote:For the same reason making the time to be able to complete the realm too short, does not add difficulty but just frustration
I disagree, but it is one of the few ways to make a Realm difficult & if Designers had greater control over how to win a Realm I'd imagine this would quickly become a less used method.
Stitchy wrote:the taboos do not up the difficulty but are just annoying
They do provided they match the staff of the enemy AI.
Stitchy wrote:sure is nice if you want to determine rules for a fight but since i can only pick my gear once i either can only do a cookie cutter build or again scout ahead, which is boring, or get a lot of mercs which makes most fights too easy, which is also boring. so from a realm builder perspective it might add some thematic dreaming but as a player i find it annoying i cant adapt.
You can buy equipment in Towns to counter & the enemy Wizard Lord tool tip tells you everything you need to know about the battle before you start it.
Stitchy wrote:do not make dead towers (teleports that teleport nowhere) ,because battling yourself towards one only to find that it leads nowhere is frustrating and annoying.
They are the Reconstitution Points plus non-active Towers may be activated later by an Encounter that you have missed.
Stitchy wrote:do not make me spawn at the start point when i lost a fight
See above.
Stitchy wrote:-i would like to be able to take more gear into a realm
This would in my view make Realms too easy as you could switch to counter equipment to counter your opponent.
Stitchy wrote:-give me some way of buying a map beforehand, to spare me the tedious scouting
You are meant to be able to do this with from fellow guild members but it is not implemented. Also most Realms have the location of the Palace listed as a Rumour in a Town which you can buy.
Stitchy wrote:-make spawn towers look different from travel towers
Well, they do once you've move onto them & Towers can be activated & deactived during the game by the designer. It's part of the gameplay imho.
Stitchy wrote:-change the itemization to something rewarding (bosses drop (random) gear instead of shops)
With guilds you are meant to be able to get gear from other members so having to buy them in shops is fine by me. In the kickstarter it says Realms will have collectable artefacts, if implemented this would solve the 'reward' aspect imho.
Stitchy wrote:-add something interesting to do to the map outside the battlemap,
If Realm Designers had control over how to win a Realm & had artefacts they could design, the possibilities would be huge. But unfortunately, at the minute, they don't.
Stitchy wrote:-do not let traveling affect the scoring because its tedious to find the shortest route to get the best score
I think it should be up to the Realm Designer. Imho they should decide how the player gets points and be able to set the victory conditions for the Realm.
Stitchy wrote:-if i volunteer as invader/ally i would like to see which fight im going in to
I would guess this would be very hard to implement. The only thing I can think of is to only Ally with Friends & then message them & ask.
Stitchy wrote:-instead of a realm list maybe a nice 3dmap (globe) with all the realms on it as actual places might be nice from an esthetic point of view
Hopefully they'd be too many for that :) & doing so would remove the 'fog of war.' But yeah, it would be nice if the Realm Table & Strategic Map had a graphical revamp. Maybe have a flying 3d outline of a Realms land masses but with the location of Towns etc fogged out until you complete it?
Stitchy wrote:i hope this wasnt too blunt
Nope.

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Stitchy
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Re: Realms are not fun

Post by Stitchy » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:54 pm

eh i got a 1000hrs in this game so i had my share of buying rumors etc

just to add 2 things:

1. with 3dmap i meant something to replace the realmlist/table where u select the realm

2. I think there is too much focus on difficulty and not enough on fun

For me the AI is never a challenge because either i steam roll it or it has so many mercs and buffs and i am so gimped that it is impossible to win.I think there is no middle ground in this so i am looking for something else : a fun way to spend my time.
In my experience realms that try to be more challenging are usually just more grindy, which i find unfun.It is cheating in my book;prolonging things isnt making things more difficult.

But lets steer away from this 'difficult' discussion and focus on fun.
For me it is fun to design a build that counters another which immediately got the response:
Farious wrote:This would in my view make Realms too easy as you could switch to counter equipment to counter your opponent.
, which again prefers difficulty over fun ( making a counter IS adding another form of difficulty and skill, but more importantly i think its fun!)

Fun is also exploring and discovering things but in current realms discovering is made unfun since it cost you in your score, so the only places you want to go are the places that are relevant to completing the realm. If travel time did not matter i could go anywhere and travel allover the map exploring maybe towns and sidequests and such,which arent necessarily relevant for the completion/endscore but are just a fun past time. Ok you can argue forget about score and completion but even then you will be kicked from the realm as soon as the time is up.

If loot was dropped from bosses i could go to some forgotten corner of a realm and try to defeat a rat boss to get a rat staff (lets give it a 20% dropchance for a rat megaspell) without being bothered about completion of the realm, it would act as a minigame inside a realm. It would also add a thematic atmosphere to the realm since mountains will have dwarf/chaos bosses and forests lawful/elves or whatever you want.
I can hear people think:"oh but people are going to farm rat staves" but why is this bad? i think it is legitimate for a wizard to travel around the world to get certain items he deems necessary for his status. It again steers away from difficulty and focuses on fun (i find collecting stuff fun)

i can go on for much longer but let me summarize the main point: forget about difficulty and challenge (which only leads to grind due to the nature of AI) and try to make things fun instead.

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zamug
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Re: Realms are not fun

Post by zamug » Wed Jun 08, 2016 4:47 pm

Stitchy wrote: i can go on for much longer but let me summarize the main point: forget about difficulty and challenge (which only leads to grind due to the nature of AI) and try to make things fun instead.
I have to agree with this. To me, chaos is all about playing against humans, that
s where the challenge is. So when I play a realm I don't want something that's artificially made hard, I want some fun. I've played less than ten realm games I think, and in the last one I ran out of time one or two days away from the wizard tower, after exploring a huge map. I haven't played realms since then.

anjovi
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Re: Realms are not fun

Post by anjovi » Wed Jun 08, 2016 8:41 pm

I do find your 2nd point my biggest gripe so far...Not specifically taboos but just how the battles are paced, balanced, generated, etc..

For the most part it is really difficult to balance mercs, enemy reinforcements, villages because i feel their isn't enough options to tweak things. That said I do see the potential in the strategy that can be put in place when the factors line up properly stuff like:

-buying mercs = mitigates stacked lord reinforcements but are a finite resource
-villages = mitigates lord reinforcements but waste days/mana and are very vulnerable to marauders
-days trekking around = lost days, depending on how you gather kudos/mana/resources etc and the layout of the map it can provide interesting choices...days pretty much tie to everything from eventual game over, enemy reinforcements as well as the marauder spawning so in theory you probably could develop a neat little scenario that'd provide some strategy/puzzle solving to make the most of.

I feel like if all of these main components of realms were tied together a bit tighter, that the whole experience would improve across the board. Right now i feel like the villages and reinforcements are the main culprits right now...as..

villages right now = don't strike that balance inbetween too little or too plenty. Their pretty much just spend some days and completely obliterate the lords because you get so many. The only exception is when you create village fights that are mandatory to not have the wizard player present....and this isn't really ideal either in most cases.

reinforcements right now = really inconsistent and hard to balance a realm. sometimes you can get 5 reinforcements on the 1st lord, sometimes you get a sprinkle of 1 across all 12 of the lords....needs to be some sort of way to better allocate reinforcements. I do like the strategy that this can provide, say on this playthrough i decide to tackle things in a different order due to reinforcements spawning in a particular fashion...though their isn't enough counter balance to make this work consistently enough, even with very meticulous effort (at least i haven't really seen it yet)

A couple suggestions i'd add to this list is:
1)Fine tune the village totem battles to be a tad more interesting. When controlling a totem, I see the potential for an interesting dynamic. With your prespawned troops you sort of get this scenario of leveraging tactical locations from the get go this could allow for stuff like:
-Getting chokepoints, highground, requiring enemy to infiltrate your fortification
-Surrounding mana sprites so it's safer for your totem to teleport their
-The ability to kill enemy units to gain more mana

It's sort of this interesting reverse of controlling a wizard though i think some tweaks like giving the totem a means to generate spells, or even a mega spell could do loads to make controlling/fighting a totem more interesting.

2)Custom villages would be nice to, just a generic structure sprite on the map that indicates "hey this different from the standard villages in the realm guide". You'd basically set the perameters like:
-which creatures spawned
-which spells you could upgrade
-How many kudos it'd give when beaten

I feel like the village/totem idea is just a little under cooked right now and with a bit more love could do some pretty fun stuff.

3)A tier system of how to distribute reinforcements around lords. It'd be nice if i could have a way to better customize which lords more consistently got more reinforcements then the others. I find a good flow to a realm would be naturally having wizards getting progressively harder as you get deeper in the realm. Being able to set something like:
Tier 1 "gets the most reinforcements"
Tier 2 "gets the 2nd most reinforcements"
etc...

Would make it a whole lot easier to balance realms, right now when trying to balance things i simply have to throw up a village that says "5,6 reinforcements and you have no mercs? here spend some kudos/days to help you steam roll them" It's not the most interesting decision to make.

To me...the exploration aspect is pretty inconsequential, for me the most appealing thing is currently the named mercs..the little side objective of keeping them alive through a realm, for me making custom villages as a means to create other little objectives in which to keep my named mercs alive through would be a great way to help distinguish realms apart from each other.

Their are some interesting aspects that could really create that streamlined strategy game, that plays well with the chaos system as the battles inbetween.

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Stitchy
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Re: Realms are not fun

Post by Stitchy » Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:39 pm

ehm ok is all nice

but this is all talk about balance/efficient /pace/tiers while i am trying to change the paradigm to 'fun' ..wheres the fun?
I dont want efficient fights to be honest, i think the focus is too much on that, i want to do silly useless things
like do silly tasks that arent related to completion of realm, explore things, collect items and craft things

who cares if i can defeat an AI with my hands tied behind my back? i cant see the point
i dont want to move around a map with my moves being counted so that i have to move efficiently, again why is that fun?

Maybe instead of a marauder do a gold transport that u have to intercept before it escapes out of the realm. Efficient? no. Needed to complete realm? no. But would it be exciting and fun? yes! i think so

not trying to insult anyone but i think the basic premise of realm design should change:
dont think balance, challenge or difficulty.... think fun!


Remember when i asked for a practice realm, some place to test builds?
People looked at me as if i went totally crazy. "A realm that isnt meant to be finished? omg how inefficient unbalanced and without challenge" but that was exactly what it was meant to be! Exactly what i asked for! And thats why i feel Battle Camp is the best realm so far apart from the tutorial realm from rafiromero. Doesnt this tell you something?

anjovi
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Re: Realms are not fun

Post by anjovi » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:02 pm

I hear you, though a streamlined/balanced experience is the most likely thing to do the trick. Alot of the features that are already in the game are rendered inconsequential because of a lack of balance, which makes choices alot less interesting or fun.

Say if i was just allowed to to recruit a wizard, it could be just as boring of a choice to make as recruiting a village if the challenge isn't stacked right.

Alot of games with pretty solid foundations usually get buggered up by adding all of these extra features like crafting systems, upgrade tiers, etc.

I really don't know man, I feel like the realm mode is a completely different ballpark from the pvp mode...Others probably feel like it's more just a segway inbetween AI battles with some pvp features. Although it is interesting to ponder how one might go about making a strategy campaign experience out of chaos. I enjoy nerding out about this stuff though lol!

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Stitchy
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Re: Realms are not fun

Post by Stitchy » Thu Jun 09, 2016 12:01 am

well if everyone says realms are a lot of fun and only need minor tweaks i guess im just wrong
that happens :)

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Farious
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Re: Realms are not fun

Post by Farious » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:22 am

Stitchy wrote:well if everyone says realms are a lot of fun and only need minor tweaks i guess im just wrong
that happens :)
I'd like to make a lot of changes to how Realms work, but my opinion is just my opinion & one person's fun is an other's frustration. If there are not enough Realms that suit you one solution is to create your own. Realm Designers are obviously going to prioritise Realms they want to play or get as close to it as possible.

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SpiteAndMalice
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Re: Realms are not fun

Post by SpiteAndMalice » Thu Jun 09, 2016 6:46 am

I agree that there's a lot left to be desired about the realm play through experience and that's despite the best attempts of realm designers to make them otherwise.

As a realm designer myself I feel that my hands are tied behind my back in terms of what I can or can't do in creating realms.

As a player I feel that I can't play the realm that I want to play.


Changes that I'd like to see:

Realms that follow the classic rule set - Not everyone enjoys Equipped Mode and having no choice but to have realms be set up that way is a big turn off.

Realms that just have no presence of mercs and reinforcements - As you say stichy they just make battles way too easy or potentially too hard (though beatable after a couple of attempts to chip away the reinforcements). I've always felt that Chaos should be about wizard vs wizard battles. Not 8 giants vs 8 dragons or whatever, I find in some realm battles I end up just randomly clicking my way across the screen with an army of creatures, I'm not even thinking strategy any more.

Matches involving more than 3 wizards - If there's one thing that the custom game creator has shown us it's that 6 wizards = fun! I'm playing 2v2v2, 1v3v2, 2v4 it's amazing. Whereas realms is still just 1v1 1v1 1v1 1v1 oh look 1v2. I've not touched realms at all since the custom game creator appeared.

And then the other side of it - Some realms to play which are just stupid fun. I remember that Talisman designed realm which appeared pre release of the game, it was the one realm that I was most hoping to have a play off. And then it got pulled upon on release of the game. I was gutted :-( I think I've seen some well designed realms since then, but I'm not ever playing them and thinking, wow I'm having a whale of a time here. It's normally a case of lets see how quickly I can get this done so that I can get the talisman that I still bloody need so that I can play x, y, or z private matches with someone.

(Which as an aside is also frustrating, if you're playing in a private/custom match with someone, you should be able to select any set of gear in the game imho).

Even just being able to see more info about a realm before entry I'd love to know; is this one full of reinforcements and merc? Yep, right I'll avoid that then. What's the average time to complete this realm. Oh 30 minutes, well that's about as long as I've got available, let's go!

And then like you say stichy, being able to go hunt a shipment of goal, different quest types like that would keep things fresh, and being able to visually see the location of realms as they swirl around the cosmos would be a nice cosmetic feature.
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