RageLeague

The Democratic Race(Alpha) Available

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RageLeague    1116

The Democratic Race(Alpha), available on GitHub(https://github.com/RageLeague/DemocraticRace) and on Steam Workshop(https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2291214111)*!

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If you don't know, this is a mod that adds a negotiation based campaign to all characters, that adds a ton of new mechanics, new side quests and a brand new story. It is set in an alternative universe of Griftlands where no giant jellyfish died, and also the people in Havaria decided to hold an election to settle things democratically. For some reason. You can't just beat everyone to death, so now you need to use your wits, cunning, and your garbage fantastic debate skills to win the crowd.

Right now, two days are fully playable, with dialogs mostly finished, and side quests added.

Currently, it is in closed alpha, which means that you can subscribe to the mod only if you are invited. Which you are, if you are reading this post. By making it closed alpha, you can help me find game-breaking bugs before I release this to the public(of the general Steam user base).

* Note: It is unlisted on Steam Workshop, so you have to follow the link above to subscribe. I'll make it public in about a week, after last minute bug fixing is done.

Good news! The mod is now in open alpha. Anyone can find it on the steam workshop page. Still, if you find any bugs, or if you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Edited by RageLeague
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Playr10    67

The mod is brutally difficult to the point of often losing campaigns to a single poor mission. The biggest thing I'd suggest balance wise is to either
1: Give the player a boost in their negotiation power right at the start of the game or
2: Reduce the initial difficulty of Day 1/Nerf AI behaviors (I'm not sure whether or not you included difficulty level in AI behavior or not, but either way, quests like Preach are absurdly difficult, and will basically always lead to at least 4 people disliking you)
Also, a way to learn about the more in-depth mechanics would be nice.

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codyfun123    13

Going in blind, I feel like the assassin boss was way overtuned for an unprepared character on prestige 0. 5+11 turns of negotiation survival was too much for me even though I did fine in every previous encounter, and there was absolutely no way for me to survive 6 turns against a souped up Hanbi.

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To elaborate on this:

3 hours ago, Playr10 said:

quests like Preach are absurdly difficult, and will basically always lead to at least 4 people disliking you)

I personally think that 15 resolve per argument (not taking into account composure) that only lasts for three turns is a bit much (I think the difficulty was two stars?).

At least, that's how much resolve each argument had when I tried preaching. And, well, now I don't want to try it.

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RageLeague    1116

I see people has been playing the mod and thinks its too hard. I can think of a few reasons why that could be.

1. Right now for the preach quest on 1 star, if you focus on one argument, you can easily destroy it in 3 turns. However, if an argument wasn't destroyed, there's a chance that the person will dislike you. However, the results are too random, which may results in no one dislike you, or everyone dislike you. Definitely have to find a right balance.

2. For the day 1 boss negotiation, it is not required to win. If you lose the negotiation, you can still fight and survive for a few more turns until win con is triggered. However, it is not immediately clear to the player that you can do that. Definitely need to make it clearer.

Expect a fix either today or tomorrow.

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RageLeague    1116

This is why I need playtesters before releasing anything to public lol.

Here's a day 1 hotfix.

0.1.1(Day 1 hotfix lol)

  • Rework Preach quest.
  • Make end of day 1 negotiation clearer about what you can do.

Tell me if this makes the game easier. Or clearer, for that matter.

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Playr10    67

Player Advantage isn't really an advantage at all, (at least in the context of the Prove Me Wrong quest) it'd be best described as a Negotiation Timer, with a description of what will happen when it runs out.

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Playr10    67

2143167211_download(1).thumb.png.370f4ab544f2e830758f51a7a7ee27d9.png
got a game crash after ending my first turn on the Preach mission

cgAAAAASUVORK5CYII.thumb.png.d6b00fa3650d14e6e0a4d325aad423a5.png
also, maybe it's because it was a "Challenging" quest, but these resolves are impossibly difficult on early day 2.

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Playr10    67

It feels like all of the quests, but especially Roadside Preaching (for it's insane difficulty and repercussions) and Tea with a Benefactor (for it's lack of any real benefits) pale in comparison to the amazing effects of propaganda posters, which if done correctly can fairly easily get you 2-5 supports each freetime.

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codyfun123    13
On 11/18/2020 at 7:44 PM, RageLeague said:

2. For the day 1 boss negotiation, it is not required to win. If you lose the negotiation, you can still fight and survive for a few more turns until win con is triggered. However, it is not immediately clear to the player that you can do that. Definitely need to make it clearer.

No, no, the problem is that both were just barely impossible. I had like 3 turns left in the negotiation and 2 turns left in the battle, but failed at both. In the battle, I didn't really feel like I could have done anything better to actually survive it.

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RageLeague    1116
1 minute ago, codyfun123 said:

No, no, the problem is that both were just barely impossible. I had like 3 turns left in the negotiation and 2 turns left in the battle, but failed at both. In the battle, I didn't really feel like I could have done anything better to actually survive it.

Interesting.

I can beat the negotiation easily on prestige 0 with no modifiers, but I developed the mod, after all. I need to gather more data points and see if it is too easy or too hard, but it's kinda hard to do where you can't just send metric data for mods to a mod developer instead of Klei.

How would you rank your skill level in regular griftlands? What is the max prestige you feel like you could beat easily? It is helpful for me to balance this mod, as while this mod is designed to be more challenging than the base game, I don't want it to be ridiculously hard that people who can beat higher prestige normally can't beat prestige 0 of my mod.

What does your negotiation deck look like at the end of day 1? That can help me determine how much work you have been doing to improve your deck enough to survive.

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codyfun123    13

I've been beating the vanilla campaigns somewhere at prestige 4-5 with perks on. Of course, for all of them I have the benefit of knowing their general layout. Still, going in blind on a much lower prestige level, I felt like the boss was disproportionately difficult compared to everything else I'd encountered on day 1, plus it asked you to go on the defensive, which is the complete opposite of what the preaching quest wants you to do.

I'd ended up with a deck focused around destroying arguments with Bluster, which wasn't good at holding out for the extremely long amount of turns the boss turned out to require.

Does the turns remaining on the boss scale with how many turns you have left on the negotiation?

Edited by codyfun123

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RageLeague    1116
2 minutes ago, codyfun123 said:

Does the turns remaining on the boss scale with how many turns you have left on the negotiation?

Yes.

Right now, for every one turn you have left on the clock, you need to survive two turns in battle. This is to make you surviving lots of turns in negotiation more impactful. I've tested it with one to one ratio, and you can survive the battle way too easily. Perhaps somewhere in between is good, but if you paid attention to math class, you know that there really isn't any integer between 1 and 2, and if I choose a decimal number, it would be very awkward.

By the way, if you go offensive on the boss, it will still somewhat work, as you can just destroy the distraction bounties over and over again and delay their attacks. However, after you destroyed the bounties a few more times, they will get way too high resolve, and that is when you need to go defensive to stretch a few more turns out of there.

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RageLeague    1116

Anyway, here's a new update. Let me know if it makes the propaganda quest too easy.

0.1.2

  • Rebalance the propagandanda side quest so that more cards are played each turn. Hopefully we can see the player win, and maybe they can keep winning for a few days until needing to take them down.
  • Added two new modifiers to propaganda posters: Superficial and Thought-Provoking.
  • Clarify wordings of various modifiers.
  • Fixed bug where propaganda poster modifiers aren't actually working.
  • Fixed strike organizing dialogs.
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Playr10    67

Propaganda doesn't need any buffs, it's borderline gamebreaking as is if you just play powerful attack cards and Doubt if you're Sal. I think a more fair rebalance of Propaganda posters would be to remove the random chance and when you go into a place with a poster, you are able to use 1 action to watch someone look at it, and this could only be used 1-3 times based on the grade of poster per location, but the posters would get torn down by someone who dislikes you or hates you after 2 or 3 free times.

Additionally, it'd be nice if battle grafts were removed from graft draw, and if the "Give Item" event was removed from socialize, since it almost always ends up being objectively useless, and costs 3 actions.

I also think the Preach quest could use another buff in terms of scaling. Taking out the randomness of the repercussions was a good first step, but it is still ridiculously hard on Day 1, and could probably use a new resolve scaling formula, like (4*difficulty)+4 as well as a decrease on amount of the initial support arguments early game, so you could just be dealing with 1 argument with 8 resolve at the start, and then up to 3 more appear over time on the first day. My thought process on Preach is that it's like a side-grade to Prove me Wrong, where it's a lot easier to lose support, and rewards a more defensive playstyle (while it's usually best to just go all out on Prove Me Wrong) since you can lose potential support even if you gain it at first (the argument gets destroyed after you take it), but it has slightly more potential to get you more support.

Also, consider removing or at least rebalancing the mechanic where your advisor can dislike/like you for your campaign efforts, because it helps to snowball a run.

edit: I revoke most of what I said about the Preach quest, it's not too bad on first quest now, but it does become a hell of a lot harder later on when arguments start deploying with like 20 resolve.

Edited by Playr10

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RageLeague    1116

Apparently I missed a lot of bug reports yesterday when I read this thread, so I didn't fix any of the bugs yesterday. I apologize for that.

Also, right now there's only like 10 non-unique negotiation items in the game, while there's like way more battle cards. It contributes to the problem where you're rewarded useless battle cards while socializing and given a gift. Right now I'm reusing the old algorithm, but repeat it until we get a negotiation card, but I'm wondering if it will be a better idea to write a new algorithm. What do you guys think?

For the preach quest, the arguments scales with {12,18,24,...} resolve, depending on the difficulty, but a person liking you or disliking you can change their starting resolve by 5 for each relationship deviating from the neutral relationship. Maybe I'll change it so that the resolve increases by 5 for each difficulty, and change the relationship delta to 4. See if it helps. Although I have to say, if your deck has a lot of aoe cards, you can easily get 6 people to like you on that quest, and that is ridiculous.

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RageLeague    1116

Anyway, here's a new patch that addressed some of the bugs and balance issues. Hopefully.

0.1.3

  • Fix bug where choosing ignore in a political dilemma causes game to crash.
  • (Hopefully) fix bug where game crash after first round of preaching.(I think it's because the max range is smaller than the min range? I'm not sure what caused it.)
  • (Hopefully) guarantee a negotiation card when offering an item as a boon.
  • Revert the change made to the number of cards played by propaganda each turn.
  • Filter out battle cards from gifts and graft pools.
  • Tweaked the preach quest a bit. Let me know if the balance is better now.
     
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Playr10    67

643328401_download(2).thumb.png.c3351f7f2a041c4701bdfd94069fafbf.png
Ran into this bug a little while ago.


997364122_download(1).thumb.png.0d2f8eeb4e27a27178217a087fd7ba8a.png
Also, it'd be nice if the quest draw checks if it chooses the same quest multiple times or not, sometimes you get left with this. I feel like NPCs shouldn't be able to give you a location you already know either, because it just wastes your time for no other reason than luck.

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codyfun123    13

Instead of a decimal multiplier to the turns remaining, would the number of turns remaining in the negotiation plus a flat amount work better? Also, Zyn is 1000x easier than Hanbi because he doesn't have a boss negotiation behavior while Hanbi does.

I finally made it to day 2 thanks to luck with Hanbi and some more experience with how this mod is supposed to play out. I noticed that day 2 "Change my mind" booths have a lower timer, which combined with the much higher resolve than day 1 yet again pushed things over the edge where I could hold out against them, but couldn't make them like me.

People looking at my poster at day 2 are also disliking me because the poster randomly self-destructs midway through the negotiation. It didn't run out of cards, I was specifically watching for that, so I don't know why it was doing that.

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RageLeague    1116
15 minutes ago, codyfun123 said:

People looking at my poster at day 2 are also disliking me because the poster randomly self-destructs midway through the negotiation. It didn't run out of cards, I was specifically watching for that, so I don't know why it was doing that.

That's odd. Do you remember what's on your poster?

If you have reconsider, perhaps it is time to reconsider your strategy(terrible joke, I know), because it will sometimes randomly remove your argument as a random target. It's not really something I can prevent.

18 minutes ago, Playr10 said:

643328401_download(2).thumb.png.c3351f7f2a041c4701bdfd94069fafbf.png
Ran into this bug a little while ago.

Also, I hate how by default, there's a cooldown to negotiations, and the game will softlock if you negotiate with someone multiple times through the same negotiation. I'm pushing a hotfix that should address this issue.

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codyfun123    13
4 minutes ago, RageLeague said:

If you have reconsider, perhaps it is time to reconsider your strategy(terrible joke, I know), because it will sometimes randomly remove your argument as a random target. It's not really something I can prevent.

Oh, yeah, there was an argument-removing card in there. I see now.

Also, I would like to second Playr's comment on the advisor's opinion on you snowballing the run too much.

Edited by codyfun123

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RageLeague    1116
29 minutes ago, codyfun123 said:

Also, I would like to second Playr's comment on the advisor's opinion on you snowballing the run too much.

Right now, there's not really many failstates in the game, since negotiations can't kill you. This is why this is added, so that you can actually lose before a "boss negotiation". However, it does kinda run in to the problem of snowballing, so I'm considering that maybe you can switch to another advisor if you don't like the current one(or they don't like you, for that matter). It will take a while to implement.

1 hour ago, Playr10 said:



997364122_download(1).thumb.png.0d2f8eeb4e27a27178217a087fd7ba8a.png
Also, it'd be nice if the quest draw checks if it chooses the same quest multiple times or not, sometimes you get left with this.

Yeah, this is kind of a problem before.

I copied and pasted the smith side quest spawn code when I first implemented this, and code tries to prevent a quest you've already done before from spawning. However, each day only 1 quest of a chosen type is given as side quest, and there are a lot more, so that wouldn't be a problem for smith. That is why you saw three of the same quest.

The new patch should prevent that from happening.

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codyfun123    13
1 hour ago, RageLeague said:

Right now, there's not really many failstates in the game, since negotiations can't kill you. This is why this is added, so that you can actually lose before a "boss negotiation".

A failstate makes sense, but the problem is that the advisor disliking you reduces your support, making it so doing moderately bad makes it harder to recover. I think the advisor should just remain neutral regardless of your performance, while still warning you that you are at risk of failing the campaign.

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RageLeague    1116
1 hour ago, codyfun123 said:

A failstate makes sense, but the problem is that the advisor disliking you reduces your support, making it so doing moderately bad makes it harder to recover. I think the advisor should just remain neutral regardless of your performance, while still warning you that you are at risk of failing the campaign.

Perhaps certain plot characters don't change your support level when your relationship changes. Support is intended to a mechanic that represents how popular you are with certain groups of people, the idea that if one person likes/dislikes you, they will spread their word about you among their friends with similar factions and wealth. However, plot characters don't usually do that. Your advisors will not badmouth you because your support is too low, that seems very counterintuitive. Maybe I'll do something that prevents support change from advisor relationship changes.

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