Bad design problem spread

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  • Bad design problem spread

    I don't want to make anyone upset but i want to share my 2cents.
    Apart from the "too complex" problem, reading some army book i found that there are too many limitations (and i think this is in all ABs). I mean there are things included into some category and that category has a cap, ok fair, but that unit has other restrictions like "0-x units" or "if this is included in your army then..." and so forth and so on...So i was wondering, if something needs to be limited twice ( or even more) isn't this just an expedient to cover the fact that the unit or the object or whatsoever is just badly designed?
    Moreover these limitations increase game complexity....

    The post was edited 1 time, last by federiko00 ().

  • I understand your point about complexity and I think that the caps limits fluffy armies to be built and played.

    However, I do think that there is a problem in all similar games where points is the main balancing feature. If the game designers were to design certain units so that they did not need extra limitations then the units choices might be severely limited for some armies. If high mobility and numerous monster units puts limitations on strong shooting it might be a way for an army book to get access to both play styles instead of missing one or get a nerf on both strengths.

    Some units might be perfectly balanced in point cost but could be very unbalanced when used in great number or in combination with another unit in the army list. Should one increase their point costs so they can not be used in great number? Hardly, as that would make a singel unit over costed. Some units have great synergies with other units in a specific army book. The choice might be to either remove one of the units or make a rule about how the inclusion of one unit limits the option for the second unit. The first option might invalidate old models that have been considered a vital part of the army for a long time.

    More over, I think that the great number of choices and customization in each army is what many players like about the 9th Age in comparison to games like Kings of War. Further limitations on choices and customization might drive players away from this project. My view is that as long as the complexity in army creation comes as a cost for individual customization and not poor army creation rules it is a strength. But as with all things, improvements can probably be made to the current system.
  • The restrictions exist to do one or more of the following:
    • Prevent a restricted play style
    • Prevent the army getting a restricted army strength
    • Prevent the army overcoming a restricted weakness
    • Prevent the army going over an arbitrary limit
    • Prevent a unit/model going over an arbitrary limit
    • Prevent a specific overpowered choice
    • be the easiest route to a balanced game
    So on the one hand, yes unfortunately it's bad design but it does get the job done and create a balanced game, which ultimately is the main focus.

    In future it will (hopefully) be tidied up and so won't need so many restrictions.
  • @theunwantedbeing i'm well aware about restrictions purposes. Limitation are just a quick fix to bad design, like sticking together with glue pieces of a broken mirror. The question is, is it really impossible the pursuit of balance through semplicity? The more the game becomes complex the more a small change can produce hidden effects impossible to predict and the more becomes harder to further balance.
    U write " in future hopefully" but realistically, how many are the chances to remove limitiations to a unit (item, weapon, rule etc..) that is capped, let's say, in in 3 ways without fully redesigning it? I think none, and more compexity is added the more semplification problem becomes impossibile to afford.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by federiko00 ().

  • another way of doing it would have been to increase the points cost of the unit by a certain percentage of every extra instance. So for example: first rock auroch is 475pts. Second rock auroch is 500pts. Then you don't need categories because the points cost incrcould be enough of a deterrent
  • federiko00 wrote:

    The question is, is it really impossible the pursuit of balance through semplicity?
    IMO no, it's not impossible at all to have both of these qualities. Just tone down the effect of everything till the synergies are either predictable or absent. However, that will obviously not be satisfying to everyone, and that's because people expect other qualities from the game. A more general question is: is it really possible to have balance, simplicity, rules clarity/robustness, immersion, high power level ("wow factor") and depth (options for list building => strategical depth, mechanics that offer meaningful choices in-game => tactical depth) at the same time? Well, I think that's pretty hard without compromises.

    % limits exist because there is inherent synergies at fielding similar stuff, as your opponent runs out of counters. By the same logic, within a category, taking multiple instances of the same unit frequently synergizes better than varying picks within a category, hence 0-X in addition. Spamming the same unit also increases the Rock-Paper-Scissors aspect of the game, which the designers have said they want to limit to a reasonable amount.
    This effect exists regardless of good or bad design, although of course it doesn't mean there aren't also entries suffering from bad design as you say. You could remove the 0-X choice and adjust down the % limit, but I think that all it would do is hurt list building even further (and that would encourage spamming the same unit even more).