Removing grindy aspect

A fantasy otome RPG about three young thieves with special skills
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jack1974
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Re: Removing grindy aspect

Post by jack1974 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:12 pm

I think the grindy issue was already fixed with the "run shop for X days" and the lower XP needed to level up. If people still think it's too grindy, I think it's better if they play it as visual novel? I am not sure how long it takes to finish playing the RPG part as well (even in Easy mode).

myoksy
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Re: Removing grindy aspect

Post by myoksy » Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:30 pm

my definition of grindy is maybe different from yours?

grindy for me is maxing out because it's possible - in my example the chance to complete a gem set. my normal play-through was maybe 20 to 30 hours? with lots of fiddling around to get the dynamics, fine by me.

you could always use a deus-ex-machina approach: you already use recommended levels for your story dungeons, those could be triggers:

say a player dilly-dallys (like me currently : )) and never started the first lvl 5 story quest while the PCs are already on lvl 9.

as soon as all PCs are one level above the recommendation a forced father/kids talk happens, with the father explaining he found a treasure map* and will be away a while as it is paramount to pay the guy with the hood as he want to see his wife again. one more level of the PCs (the players will not listen!) another forced talk: the father found/got the money and will visit hood guy. at the next night the story mission starts.

no idea if this implementable, though : ) [but a more or less good/in-story way to enforce a planable pace and progress]

* or a long-lost friend will lend him money, or he's expecting a huge heritage or whatever

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jack1974
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Re: Removing grindy aspect

Post by jack1974 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:23 pm

I don't want to put forced actions/events, since that was one of the most hated thing in SOTW (I had several people literally emailing me asking "WHY YOU PUT X DAYS TO NEXT EVENT NOOOO!!" :lol:).
I think with the changes I have done, it should be OK - I believe if people do the catacombs+plot missions, they should get enough XP to finish the game as well. They can run the shop to get the money as much as they want. For higher difficulty levels they might need also to grind a bit, but it's not different from doing the Loren's "city task" which people seemed to love so much :)

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Re: Removing grindy aspect

Post by myoksy » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:38 pm

to digress more from the topic at hand and outside of the grinding scope (QoT is imo fine, at least on normal difficulty)

"my" level-based story trigger and "your" time-based one are imho with a different qualia. iirc SotW combined the limited amount of actions with the option to level-up to the suggested PC level, and such a system feels artificial and outside of the story line: The game announces that the player was too stupid to play it the way it was intended (hyperbolic on purpose).

progress based on levels could be integrated in the storyline much more easy and natural: the PCs outlived the current step on their way of life - and it may be even ease the game design as the level range for every given chapter is more or less defined.

personally I like the freedom QoT gives, but see the advantages for game design with a more railroaded progress - and can accept this, if it feels coherent within the game story arc.

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jack1974
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Re: Removing grindy aspect

Post by jack1974 » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:54 pm

For SOTW I did it that way because it was supposed to be a more difficult game, since I got some complaints that Loren even in Hard mode was too easy. But here comes the biggest dilemma of game developers... who is right? is it a vocal minority? etc. It's impossible to know if even 10 people posting in forums "game XYZ is too hard" justify changing things.
Because I like to experiment (I never reused the same framework for two games, I always heavily modified it) with SOTW I decided to do that. In roguelike or harder games in general, you learn by your mistakes. Initially I didn't even want to say "you have X days before next plot scene", because in life you don't know beforehand how much time you have to do something (unexpected things happens). But then I thought maybe was too hard, so I added that indication, which probably was a mistake, or misinterpreted: was like telling people "hurry up ! clock is ticking! etc" which for most players was a big turn off.
Loren 2 will be very similar to the first game, in the sense that there will be a plot but you can decide what to do. You want to stay in town and do 150000 city tasks? fine :) Maybe I'll add some time / level limit only in Nightmare mode, but otherwise I won't force player to do anything.

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BobTheMob
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Re: Removing grindy aspect

Post by BobTheMob » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:07 pm

jack1974 wrote:Loren 2 will be very similar to the first game, in the sense that there will be a plot but you can decide what to do. You want to stay in town and do 150000 city tasks? fine :) Maybe I'll add some time / level limit only in Nightmare mode, but otherwise I won't force player to do anything.
Does that mean the return of grinder areas, like the Truth Temple or in the expansion the Cyclopes? :)

'Cause I personally loved having those available for levelin' up! 8)

And if there's opposition to that kind of idea like ya said w/ people complaining the 1st was too easy, maybe have something in the options of the starting menu that allows people to turn such areas on or off; that way everyone's happy. :)
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Re: Removing grindy aspect

Post by Anima_ » Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:32 am

Well the current plan is to allow limited grinding by using a level window. Basically there will be a target level throughout the game, we generally expect you to be that level and the game will be balanced for that level. If you're below the level you'll get more XP to catch up and if you're above it you'll get less. Until you reach 3 levels above where you won't get any.
That allows grinding if you want it, clearly communicates what level we expect, prevents you from accidentally over levelling and gives us an easier time balancing the game. It's also making sure that grinding is completely optional.
We'll probably add an option to play with the effective level a bit. Like treating you as x level higher then you actually are for low level challenge runs. Or treating you lower to make for easy grinding.
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jack1974
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Re: Removing grindy aspect

Post by jack1974 » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:17 am

Yes that's probably the best system, since otherwise the same people who complain it's too hard, then after grinding for 150h when they reach the final boss (Fost) they say the opposite "the final boss was too easy". Then I ask "what level you were, it was designed for a party around level 17-18" and they answer "Oh I was level 26-27!" :lol:

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Re: Removing grindy aspect

Post by Youshi » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:37 pm

There is certainly some "grinding" especially in the earn 25,000 and 50,000 areas but actually, I think the thing which made it feel "grindy" is that long before then, it seems, one has already played out the relationships (male, female or otherwise) to a point of forming couples so there do not seem to be any breaks other than wandering into the catacombs. It would have been nice if relationship "encounters" were to play throughout the game, including after a couple has gotten together, possibly even (where character appropriate) allowing the romantic partners to take part in some of the later adventures . One other question: it looks very much like there might be a sequel planned from the very ending concerning where all that money goes... Would strongly support this:)

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jack1974
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Re: Removing grindy aspect

Post by jack1974 » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:41 pm

Yes, the problem is that since many characters give bonuses related to robberies, we wanted to have them to end sooner to actually get some benefits from those bonuses.
Doing extra scenes at this point can't be done (there's already a lot of content). Not that is a bad idea, but first I'll see how it goes :)
I spoke with the writer and she has some idea for a sequel with Arianna and/or a DLC. The main issue is the artist that is a bit slow, but perhaps adding 1 CG for each romance combo could be possible in around a year or so.
Anyway nothing is decided yet, but if possible I would like to have another game featuring Arianna & her daughters too :)

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