Author Topic: Stealth is boring.  (Read 2122 times)

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Buttons840

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Stealth is boring.
« on: September 11, 2015, 11:14:44 PM »
I thought Armello was suppose to deliver a play experience similar to a board game? It achieves this in many ways, but stealth is most often a negative experience.

The majority of any board game is watching g other players take their turns. This is the same in Armello, except the designers have chosen to use the enhanced abilities of the video game medium to hide the actions of other player. They have transformed the major board game experience of watching other players make interesting decisions into staring at an blank screen.

It is FUN to watch other players fight and roll dice and make decisions. Why take this away? Please turn stealth into a buff of some sorts, like you already have with the ambush mechanic, and take away the secrecy element. Watching blank screens is not fun.

Stealth is mostly a negative experience. This is a hard fact because for every one player sneaking around, 3 other players are staring at a blank screen, thus the majority of players are having a negative experience.  The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one sneaking player, and all that....

Even for the active player stealth usually doesn't matter. I rarely care about whether my character is stealted or not. Maybe 25% of the time stealth actually matters. But 300% of the time stealth makes players stare at a blank screen and feel disconnected from the game. There is no way around this, stealth makes most players stare at a blank screen while it is in effect. This is not fun. Watching other players is fun. Let me watch other players like in a board game.
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Trendane

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Re: Stealth is boring.
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2015, 11:53:14 PM »

An interesting take on the situation. Personally, I see it the other way around. While another character is moving around in stealth, I usually feel the rush of anticipation. Where are they going? What are they doing? Are they coming for me? Is their quest on this tile? Are they going after Thane? What should I do? Should I help them kill him? For me, all of this swirls into a whirlwind of anticipation. Not knowing what's going on adds an element of excitement and trepidation for me that I find fun.

I suppose you and I just see those particular moments differently.
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Buttons840

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Re: Stealth is boring.
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2015, 12:12:29 AM »
Sounds like you enjoy watching other players. :) So do I.

Let me ask: Would being able to watch the turn that other player is taking add to or take away from your interest?

Biologist

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Re: Stealth is boring.
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2015, 01:35:21 AM »
     I find stealth turns to be some of the most engaging parts of the game. First, the existence of stealth as a mechanic encourages me to pay attention to players' positions on the board (e.g. where does Zosha end up standing at sunset?). When another player is stealthed, I then watch everything carefully for clues to their location. The combat log is your friend; look to see if stealthed heroes attempt quests or face perils during their turn. Also check their health and AP meters. Did they just lose 2 AP? They must have stepped onto a mountain tile. Did they lose 1 HP with no quest or peril mentioned? They just entered a swamp. Did they gain 1 HP? Must have been a stone circle. Settlements are another huge clue, if you see a settlement change ownership, you know where the hero is standing. Added to all this is the fact that the positions of other heroes, Banes, and the King's Guard generally limit the actual number of possible destinations for a stealthed hero to remain stealthed. If you stay alert and look for clues, stealth should be anything but boring.

     As to this mechanic being weird in a board game, most electronic versions of traditional game types incorporate elements that only make sense in a digital format.  Hearthstone is a digital CCG that has effects that wouldn't make sense in a physical card game, such as summoning random minions not from either deck. Mario Party is a digital board game where player currency is earned primarily by competing in minigames. This wouldn't be impossible with a physical game, but it would probably be impractical (and exhausting).
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Kletian999

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Re: Stealth is boring.
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2015, 02:32:25 AM »
While I agree stealth can lead to some dry times if you haven't been paying enough attention to track; it's also been tactically rewarding against me when I haven't been paying attention.  Guessing the wrong start point for Zosha I dropped a Peril that no only missed, but killed me on my quest tile 4 days later.  Other times I thought I was walking a safe straight  to my quest only to blunder into an ambush because I forgot anyone was on that side of the map.

There is value in getting lost by the other players, if downtime needs more excitement, I wouldn't remove stealth to do it.

Buttons840

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Re: Stealth is boring.
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2015, 09:35:43 AM »
As you say, it's almost always apparent where stealth players are located. I think a well designed game will present the information the player is intended to have clearly. If the designers want us to have the information of where stealth players are located I wish they would present it clearly in the UI.

The other possibility is that the features Biologist mentioned are bugs which will be removed in favor of blank screens as mentioned in my OP.

Kletian999

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Re: Stealth is boring.
« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2015, 04:44:02 AM »
The question of whether "too much information" is given to help track stealth players in under debate among the devs. 

Bormac

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Re: Stealth is boring.
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2015, 04:48:30 AM »
Stealth is the only way some characters survive though, such as Zosha, only 3 health, lots of spells can take her out really easily.  And 4 health isn't that much better, Since most spells do two damage.
I think it is important that some characters have a way to avoid being jumped by the high fight characters, too. Since not everyone is geared to melee and someone like Sana is pretty easy to push around.

Buttons840

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Re: Stealth is boring.
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2015, 07:02:28 AM »
Good points. I agree and wasn't clear about this in my OP.

I do think stealth should have an effect on the game. Stealth is fun. It's making players stare at a blank eventless screen I have a problem with.

Stealth players should be protected from spells. Thematically, spell casters don't know where to target because the other player is hiding, etc. Stealth should also still give a combat buff like it does now. Maybe stealth should be given other effects as well. Whatever the case,  I do think stealth should have significant effects on the game. I just wish making other players stare at a blank screen (or infer information from obscure UI hints) wasn't the primary effect.

As stated, it's obvious where stealth players are located at most times thanks to the game design and UI bugs. Stealth isn't really much of a protection right now anyway.