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Josiah Leis
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I just wanted to take a sort of informal poll on people's thoughts on the 2nd Edition small preview. Most of this is purely speculative of course and it will all change as further previews come out and actual game-play mechanics become more apparent.

Yuuum!

New tiles

The art on them is amazing, and they are all coded with numbers & letters which should improve setup time. And they aren't microscopic letters like ToI's.

Box cover art

This is purely a matter of taste, but I really like it.

Choosing starting skills & buying upgrades instead of random draw.

1E's skills weren't balanced for crap and the only thing that even attempted to alleviate that was the random draw (in theory you draw some worthless skills, some amazing). In practice though it could be very frustrating at times for heroes who drew crap and were stuck with it for the next 4 hours, or as the OL it was annoying when a hero would draw some insane combo and be unstoppable. Choosing at least implies that the skills are balanced and that is a definite step forward.

Non-combat skill tests

I always liked the feel of prolonged actions, though they were a little rough actual use they were still fun and it was sad that they were only used in 6 quests. This looks like a large step forward and I think will add a lot more theme and feel to the game. Not to mention interesting choices for OL, play that trap on the hero most likely to fail the roll for it, or the one has a high chance to avoid it but who is also very wounded and near death?

Conversion kit

This means that all minis in 2E will be brand new, but you can still bring along your old heroes and monsters with you. What isn't to love about that? It wasn't a move FFG had to make (they could've just reused molds), but I'm really glad they did.

More story driven

This could be quite fun. Part of Descent's enjoyment is the theme and if this adds to that it'll be great.

Campaign system

This is good to hear, though how good it will be in practice will be the real determining factor. Technically you could say 1E had a "campaign system" in the base box, but I'm sure this is a large step up from that. It remains to be seen if it will be as interesting and strategic as the Advanced Campaign for 1st Edition, but if it even comes close it will be a really fun aspect to have in the base game.

Rules on cards, not on a laminated Universal Head rules summary you printed out at your own expense that is frikkin' mandatory to play the game.

A little tongue-in-cheek, but I'm sure you get my drift .


Huh?

Shorter playtime

This could be really good or really bad. If they've gutted the game and thrown out it's epic feel in the name of shorter playtime that'll be very bad. If they've managed to break it up into short chunks with easy stopping points that still have a fun epic feel, it'll be very good. It sounds like the latter so I am optimistic on this point. I think if you want the longer epic feel it'll be easy to play through the stop points on quests and string them together into the campaign. But I suppose time will tell on this one, like everything.

Classes, archtypes, and class specific decks

Not really sure what to think of this, again it could be good or bad we'll just have to wait for specifics. If you aren't allowed to buy from other classes decks at all it makes me worry that the options for each class will be too limited. But without knowing that is the case or what the size of the class decks are, it's still way too soon to tell.





Nooooooooo gulp

No threat

Threat was an awesome mechanic in theory for the overlord to manage. I say "in theory" because "in practice" the costs on the threat cards were all too screwed up. Spawns were way too cheap and most power cards far to expensive. Thus I thought 2E would tweak the threat costs on cards, not do away with them altogether.

The preview makes it sound like they're going back to the Doom:TBG system of "play every single card that comes into your hand", but I don't believe that to be the case. Firstly the OL cards have numbers in the bottom right corner which leads me to believe that some sort of resource management is involved, and secondly that would be a huge step backward in my mind, threat was one of the biggest improvements Descent offered over Doom:TBG.

Bottom line, the Threat mechanic was a means to an end (resource management to create interesting decisions for the overlord about "Which" card to play, not just "When" to play them). If they can achieve that end better with some other mechanic then great, if they've abandoned the idea of achieving that end at all....well that stinks. Even on this point though I still remain optimistic that there is more to it than the preview implies.

Simplified LoS

How do you get any simpler than "center of one square to the center of another"? I just hope they don't do something silly like CR which is basically "you can see anything that isn't around a corner".

On the other hand if they've streamlined or removed the ridiculous number of rules exceptions while managing to retain the tactical decisions that LoS brought, sweet! For an example of the rule silliness I'm talking about, think of the "hero in a pit" scenario. The hero only sees the spaces next to the pit (and only if you read the FAQ to know that), but other figures can see him, but they cannot see through him even though he is in a pit. Not only does this make no sense from a physics or a theme stand point it is confusing to remember and difficult to explain to newbies (or vets half the time for that matter).

"New combat system that reduces the tendency to math out attacks"

I really like the combat system and I hate change . Seriously though I'm not sure what to think of this, looks like they've retained the same feel with range, damage and surges on the dice. And I'm not opposed to defense dice either, sounds like it could be fun. I'm not so sure about the removal of power dice though. But again time and more previews will reveal further info and it is far too soon to decide about this.


So anyone else care to share what they like, hate or don't know how to feel about the preview of Descent 2nd Edition? And/or give an overall attitude of their feeling toward it? Though that may be obvious from what they post, in case you can't tell mine is one of overall optimism (I do believe a 2nd Ed was exactly what Descent needs and was hoping for one), albeit with a few reservations that I hope are cleared up with future previews.


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Christopher Paul
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Personally, I was really attracted to the components and the idea of the original (I was a big HeroQuest fan, and also a D&D player in high school...) but I didn't actually enjoy the game. It felt overly complicated for what it was (vs. stuff like HeroQuest and HeroScape). Even though I've long traded my copy, I've always had a soft spot for it - I now have my eye on the 2nd edition so my hope is that maybe I'll just enjoy it more!
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Don't forget "No Conquest on Heroes". May mean no conquest at all, or that each hero is worth the same conquest (or some other way of calculating conquest instead of a static number).

-shnar
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Jose Luis Rodriguez Mena
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Using of Healers.
I think that class of hero could be very interesting, ala World of Warcraft computer game.
 
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jose633 wrote:
Using of Healers.
I think that class of hero could be very interesting, ala World of Warcraft computer game.


That actually worries me more than it excited me.

I LOVE the randomness of picking the heroes in the first version. We would simply have each person pick ONE hero and then the group would decide which one - and only one - they could replace. (We have also done pick 2 and keep 1) - but there is something about making the group work with the randomness they drew... much more like a group of random heroes are sitting in a pub, suddenly an old man bursts through the door... then ACTION!

I DO NOT want Descent getting boiled down to the stale World of Warcraft feel of - ok - we need a tank, a healer, damage dealer, and crowd control... who's going to be what?

That would ruin some of the best of what the game had going for it.
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Josiah Leis
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shnar wrote:
Don't forget "No Conquest on Heroes". May mean no conquest at all, or that each hero is worth the same conquest (or some other way of calculating conquest instead of a static number).

-shnar


I forgot about this, it does worry me a little bit. Even with this though it's still too early to tell, conquest could be in just in some other format. Or maybe they went to something like "if anyone dies the whole party loses", which might not be as silly with re-spawning, but could open up a whole other can of worms. We need to more previews to find out just what the heck is going on....
 
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i love everything so far in the Second Edition.
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Sean Shaw
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I like everything I've seen except for the lack of plastic. If everything is improved like it sounds, I can forgive the lack of plastic easily.
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N S
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As someone who never played 1st ed.
What I love about the previews? Vitually everything. Always wanted to get into the Descent but didn't want a game with a 4 hour play time and a box the size of a piece of furniture. I feel like 2nd ed. was very much devised with folks like me in mind.

What I hate? Huge shoulder pads. Seriously. I just hate this trend in fantasy art. I blame Games Workshop. It all started with them. Then World of Warcraft imitated the style and WotC followed suit. Now the shoulder pad contagion has infected FFG as well. If the game weren't already at the printers I'd want to start a grassroots movement to change the cover art.
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Frank La Terra
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I hate the healer thing for 3 reasons:

1. Where did it come from? Runeworld (or whatever you want to call it) is pretty well defined by now and frnkly there is no such thing as 'healer' heroes. These belong in WoW not here.
2. Healers end up becoming too key to the party. Lose your healer and you're done for. Everytime you head out you MUST take a healer. They become the essential class.
3. They are BORING to play. Has a game ever made a healer class interesting to play? I can't think of any.
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Josiah Leis
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
I hate the healer thing for 3 reasons:

1. Where did it come from? Runeworld (or whatever you want to call it) is pretty well defined by now and frnkly there is no such thing as 'healer' heroes. These belong in WoW not here.
2. Healers end up becoming too key to the party. Lose your healer and you're done for. Everytime you head out you MUST take a healer. They become the essential class.
3. They are BORING to play. Has a game ever made a healer class interesting to play? I can't think of any.


Valid points. I hope they are "just another option" not "Well who has to play the boring healer this game?" I don't really mind if they're throwing them in there just to give players more choices, but that won't be too great if they are trying to force some sort of mandatory "balance" to parties. *Sigh* FFG should put out all the previews of the game now so we know what the heck is going on .
 
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I am a bit concerned about the 'story based' campaign system. I fear that it will be like Mansions of Madness: railroaded and essentially not very repayable. The cool thing about the RtL campaign was that it was just a framework and was open ended. It is essentially infinitely replayable. A story based card driven campaign system, not so much...
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Allan Clements
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I am sad that from the looks of it they haven't fixed the one huge issues I had with the original descent which was the fact you always had 1 in 6 chance to miss. No matter what weapons or items you had, if you rolled the X, your attack failed and nothing you could do about it. You would think you would get better at aiming as time went on..

Well at least it looks like we can still play with the house rule of having the X mean nothing and just add up the damage from the other dice (missing on the main dice lowers the damage by a lot but doesn't mean you just fail horribly against smaller things)
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Pauli Vinni
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Hmmm I am guite sure that they have taken much staff from Road to Legend and The Sea of Blood. The quest were shorter than in original game and so on.
Not sure how they handle threat issua but maybe all character are better balanced and there is fixed number, or the skill ha the threath number and you can buy more powerfull skills with bigger threat and vice versa.
The movement to Road to Legend direction is guite good, because I like a little bit shorter games.

 
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caadamec wrote:
I am a bit concerned about the 'story based' campaign system. I fear that it will be like Mansions of Madness: railroaded and essentially not very repayable. The cool thing about the RtL campaign was that it was just a framework and was open ended. It is essentially infinitely replayable. A story based card driven campaign system, not so much...


This is my biggest concern at this point as well. Making a game story-driven introduces what I call the "surprise factor". Meaning, once you know what little quirks the story is going to throw at you; how much does that affect the game if you want to play that particular scenario more than once?
 
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Chris J Davis
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Qslick wrote:
caadamec wrote:
I am a bit concerned about the 'story based' campaign system. I fear that it will be like Mansions of Madness: railroaded and essentially not very repayable. The cool thing about the RtL campaign was that it was just a framework and was open ended. It is essentially infinitely replayable. A story based card driven campaign system, not so much...


This is my biggest concern at this point as well. Making a game story-driven introduces what I call the "surprise factor". Meaning, once you know what little quirks the story is going to throw at you; how much does that affect the game if you want to play that particular scenario more than once?


Well, if you make the comparison to Mansions of Madness, I found that I actually *preferred* the game when playing a scenario/objective a second time. Although I knew the story, the game became much deeper. It became much more about the Keeper trying to bluff the investigators regarding which objective he had. Neither way to experience the game is necessarily better or worse, and I guess you can say that you can only experience the story side of the game (in an RPG-style way) properly once, but both styles of play are perfectly enjoyable.

And even my penultimate statement above is questionable; you could simply play the game again and chalk the foreknowledge up to differences between heroes who haven't got a clue what they're doing, and more experienced heroes who know what sorts of nefarious things evil overlords like to get up to.
 
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Anthony Martins
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Kartigan wrote:

"New combat system that reduces the tendency to math out attacks"


I wonder what this is. I played a bit of Descent, and honestly the mathing-out of movement and attacks is what made this a game I'd play on invitation but wouldn't buy myself. I didn't like how rewarding it was to count out all of the bad guys spaces and range and then move up just outside that threshold.

I really like Claustrophobia's room-to-room mechanic, where only the room you're in is important and not the exact spot in the room.

I still see a grid so I wonder what middle ground they'll find in this case.

In the description it mentions, "Defense dice," so... perhaps it's just de-mathing the attack die rolling and not the range part of that.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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that's all it is. Look at the hero sheets, they now have a brown or white "defensive die" (or maybe dice, since the picture of dice shows a few). From the pic of the dice, the white die looks like it has up to 3 shields, the brown die has 1. So most likely when you get hit, you roll your defensive dice and how many shields is what your armor is in the attack.

Not really sure how that's going to remove any of the "mathing out" of an attack. In fact, I think that just makes it more complicate but the mathing will still be done (i.e. the percentages state you will average 5 hits against 2 white dice, etc)...

-shnar
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Jim Cote
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shnar wrote:
Not really sure how that's going to remove any of the "mathing out" of an attack. In fact, I think that just makes it more complicate but the mathing will still be done (i.e. the percentages state you will average 5 hits against 2 white dice, etc)...

The harder it is to math something out, the more people tend to let intuition take over. "Whatever. Let's see what happens..."
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Josiah Leis
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My guess is that the primary way that they are trying to reduce the "mathing out" is by lowering the number of surges but boosting there effects.

As I recall I saw a photo of a weapon card with two 1 surge options, one for +3 damage and one to hit an additional adjacent enemy or something like that. Now having no idea which deck it came from it is hard to say, but those seem very powerful. With no power dice there are going to be less surges and therefore less "math" to figure out which effects you want to trigger with them. Then I would guess that the effects they do cause will be more powerful. This is all of course total speculation.
 
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Kamakaze wrote:
I am sad that from the looks of it they haven't fixed the one huge issues I had with the original descent which was the fact you always had 1 in 6 chance to miss. No matter what weapons or items you had, if you rolled the X, your attack failed and nothing you could do about it. You would think you would get better at aiming as time went on..

Well at least it looks like we can still play with the house rule of having the X mean nothing and just add up the damage from the other dice (missing on the main dice lowers the damage by a lot but doesn't mean you just fail horribly against smaller things)


I actually loved it - as both the OL and as a hero... how sweet was it when the OL was ganging up on your player and that LAST attack that should kill your player was a miss! Or as the OL and your final boss is taking a beating and you get one more turn to stomp the heroes cause of a missed roll...

We swing and miss in real life all the time - should be just the same in a dungeon swinging a sword!

I also liked it as one player in our group who was the most frustrated by die rolls was most often the one to roll a miss... became a running joke for us!
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Allan Clements
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SoylentRed wrote:

I actually loved it - as both the OL and as a hero... how sweet was it when the OL was ganging up on your player and that LAST attack that should kill your player was a miss! Or as the OL and your final boss is taking a beating and you get one more turn to stomp the heroes cause of a missed roll...

We swing and miss in real life all the time - should be just the same in a dungeon swinging a sword!

I also liked it as one player in our group who was the most frustrated by die rolls was most often the one to roll a miss... became a running joke for us!


I don't mind misses but I do mind that it is always 1 in 6 chance no matter what else you do. If it started off being 1 in 6 and gradually reduce I wouldn't mine, maybe down to more like 1 in 20.

It might be the case that a miss in this new version of descent doesn't basically mean you die.
 
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Frank La Terra
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Kamakaze wrote:

I don't mind misses but I do mind that it is always 1 in 6 chance no matter what else you do.


Not if you aim or dodge.
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Jose Luis Rodriguez Mena
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Mr Skeletor wrote:
I hate the healer thing for 3 reasons:

1. Where did it come from? Runeworld (or whatever you want to call it) is pretty well defined by now and frnkly there is no such thing as 'healer' heroes. These belong in WoW not here.
2. Healers end up becoming too key to the party. Lose your healer and you're done for. Everytime you head out you MUST take a healer. They become the essential class.
3. They are BORING to play. Has a game ever made a healer class interesting to play? I can't think of any.


I think that with this new edition, all heroes are essential. If you lose one of them, you're done for... I agree, but the same would happen if you lose your tank or your dps...
This time, you must work together as a whole.
 
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Qslick wrote:
This is my biggest concern at this point as well. Making a game story-driven introduces what I call the "surprise factor". Meaning, once you know what little quirks the story is going to throw at you; how much does that affect the game if you want to play that particular scenario more than once?


You could argue the same thing about the original Descent - the scenarios are story driven and once you've played it you know what is going to happen.

What I hope about the new campaign system is something like Road to Legend without the map, razing towns and lieutenants. So basically I would prefer a system that semi-randomizes dungeons that have a virtual "town phase" (or whatever) between them.
 
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