Detailed Suggestions about RNG on Legend

Regarding VT2 and it’s difficulty, i really like a good challenge. I want to see the battlefield before me, assess it, and overcome it or die gloriously. My experience in Legend however has not been this. The flaws in the game have become blindingly apparent and I find myself spending more time on Champion not because Legend is too hard, but because it’s too tedious to bother dealing with. Success or failure often has more to due with luck of the draw then player skill. I offer these assessments and suggestions in the hope that FS will fix issues and make the game a true challenge for gameplay reasons and not for “roll of the dice” reasons. In all cases I’m referring to Legend difficulty. Thanks for reading!

Patrols:
Potentially the hardest of all random encounters, and while pugging I see more wipes that include patrols than anything else. The flaws in the game’s NPC stacking in particular make them, not challenging, but just frustrating to deal with. When multiple Shieldvermin stack/clip into the same space it becomes impossible to break their defense. If you manage to stagger one of them, the other 2+ (in the same space thanks to clipping) will still block attacks and prevent you taking down the vulnerable foe. I realize they are there specifically as an obstacle to be avoided, but sometimes they spawn in corridors with no exit and you have no choice but to face them head on. If the party has no bombs, there’s not enough space to flank them, and there’s no Saltzpyre with a flail, it’s impossible to defeat a patrol that spawned while you are in one way corridor. Essentially this is a failed mission due to nothing more then luck and there’s nothing you can do about it. This is all the more frustrating because it’s due more to bad pathing then to actual encounter design.

Suggestions: Improve SV clipping awareness so they make much more effort to avoid stacking and flank players. Polearm Vermin can actually stand behind a Shieldvermin and still have the reach to hit players in front with their overhead strikes; make them avoid stacking to do this on purpose. In terms of difficulty, the increased risk of being surrounded should offset the increased ability to pick off individual foes. Alternately, if that’s too technically difficult, make shield-breaking weapons work on SV, allowing the team carry a counter to them. Shield-breaking is not especially powerful anyway, since it requires 2 or 3 hits to de-shield a foe, so this would hardly be OP since there are 4-8 Shieldvermin in any patrol and stripping the shields from all of them will take some time. Alternately The 2nd, block patrols from spawning within the first 5 minutes of play so there’s a chance the party may have acquired some resources they can use.

Chaos patrols are far less frustrating, but still suffer from stacking issues. 3 or 4 Chaos Warriors in the same space are very difficult to attack, since while you are striking one another will be pushing and stunning you, and it’s impossible to time your strikes against all 3 at once. CW’s should not be allowed to clip into other CW’s. This would probably actually make them more dangerous, since they could box you into a corner which would be even worse, but it would be more staisfying gameplay because it puts more emphasis on the player staying aware of terrain and position. Manipulating CW’s into body blocking each other could be an interesting strategy if the game mechanics supported it.

Hordes:
Hordes serve a vital purpose by forcing you to be aware of your surroundings. If you use terrain wisely, they are trivial to defeat. If you don’t use terrain and try to fight them with reflexes alone, you risk being surrounded and killed or at least take unnessecary damage that will cost you later in the level. A horde encounter is thus decided early on; success or failure depends entirely on what you do in the moments between the horn sounding and actual combat beginning. This results in hordes becoming, not so much a challenge, but simply tedious. On Legend the number of foes increases to the point they resemble a fluid, and the duration of the horde increases vastly as well. Since the fate of the encounter is already decided early, this usually means nothing more then locking the party in place for an annoying amount of time while the horde is cleared.

Suggestions: Make the AI director aware of the progress of a horde. If a party clears the first wave quickly and with no damage, reduce the duration of the remaining horde event to be more in line with Champion or Veteran. The party has clearly mastered the spawn and making it last longer will serve no gameplay purpose other then annoyance. Alternately, adjust the remaining duration of the event from a “horde” to stream, with foes more spread out and easier to counter in the open, preventing the “party lockdown” effect and allowing the level to progress even during the event. Another option is to reduce the size of the horde, but mix in more elites to make each encounter more unique. If none of this is possible, simply reduce the frequency of horde spawns so we can get on with the level already.

Ambush:
This is basically just Horde Light. The idea of being attacked from all directions without warning is sound, but it doesn’t play out that way. An ambush persists through several waves and plays more or less identically to Hordes, just with a little less time to position.

Suggestions: Reduce it to a single but significantly larger wave, thus making it a significant threat as it opens and preventing it from progressing to a mere horde clearing exercise.

Bosses (Monsters):
Boss encounters are generally great, but they could perhaps use a few tweaks to make them more satisfying and varied from each other.

Stormfiend: A good fight, the area denial makes it a serious challenge in tight space while the dual weak spots make it short and sweet in open spaces. Well balanced and I have no suggestions.

Rat Ogre: A simple but occassionaly obnoxious fight, mostly due to his tendency to spin around without warning and knock people off cliffs. Suggestion: de-prioritize (but do not eliminate) concurrent spawning of disablers, since these compound his already strong CC ability. Losing due to stacked CC is by far the most frustrating way to die and should be rare.

Chaos Spawn: The least satisfying encounter. With the exception of the grab-and-bite-your-face-off move, he behaves almost exactly like a rat ogre, only uglier, and the strategy for fighting him is much the same. This boss needs reworked to make it distinctive. Perhaps de-emphasizing the charging and pounding attacks and doing more things with the left-arm tentacle, which would make this fight very sensitive to positioning and give it it’s own feel.

Bile Troll: The easiest of the bosses, but still well balanced and not trivial since you have to know his attacks and how to avoid them. A good party can down him in a few seconds, and he only becomes challenging in tight spaces or when other events run concurrently. This is not a complaint, having a ‘breath of fresh air’ encounter is good for variety.

Specials:
Ratling Gunner: This guy’s fine.
Warpfire Thrower: This guys fine. Just make sure he spawns at a distance from the party. I once saw him spawn in melee range and immediately blow the entire party off the ledge in Athel Yenlui. Bad luck should not wipe a party in a second.
Assassin: This guy’s fine. Please fix his pathing though, he likes to sprint in circles.
Hook-Rat: This guy’s fine. I only wish his ‘hooking’ animation was easier to see.
Leech: This guy’s fine, although I do wonder why he exists, since he’s almost identical in gameplay to the other disablers.
Blightstormer: His storm should dissipate if he doesn’t have line of sight to it. It’s possible for him to spawn out of bounds of the map (example: in the crags behind the first barn in Against The Grain) making it literally impossible to counter.
Globadier: Lets us see through the green smoke again. Seriously, it was fine. Put it back please.

Concurrent Encounters
Nearly all failures in Legend are due to multiple encounters spawning at the same time. These mixtures are not all created equal, and thus have a very RNG or “Luck of the draw” feel to them. Altering the AI Director to weight certain encounter mixtures could help reduce this feeling.
Horde+Boss: A top notch high intensity encounter that’s basically a difficulty multiplier on the boss. Gets out of hand if combined with area denial (Blightstormer, Mulitple Globadiers)
Boss+Specials: Lots of variation here, but generally speaking Specials that have the same effect as a boss (eg, area denial) should be disincentivized, or at minimum not spawn in multiples (eg, 2 Blightstormers and a globadier during a stormfiend should not happen).
Patrols + Other: Patrols should not spawn if another encounter is already in progress, or at minimum spawn at a larger distance. They are meant to to be spotted and avoided, not dropped into your lap during a fight already taking place.
Horde+Specials: Again lots of variation. Stacking of several of the same type of special (eg,4 simultaneous disablers) should be greatly discouraged. Consider adding a chance to queue up special spawns and release them in 5-20s increments to vary the pacing of the horde clearing.
3 Or More Concurrencies: Each currently active encounter should increase the time until the next one. A party that can’t clear quickly deserves to be punished, but that punishment should be earned by persisting in failure, not dumped on them in predictably timed increments.

New Encounter Idea: Hunting Party
A group of mixed elites, perhaps with some appropriate specials mixed in (CW for chaos and Ratling/Warpfire for Skaven), that spawn at a distance and then chase down the players. Bonus points if they are smart enough to go after players that are separated from the party, or to wait just out of LOS until the party is busy before striking, forcing us to proactively find and eliminate them or risk being jumped.

edit: formatting

7 Likes

I have stopped playing legend and moved bck down to Champion, because;

In champion if we wipe it’s usually we did something stupid, - spread out or triggered too many ambients or didn’t use the terrain properly etc. In Legend more often it is the AI did something stupid and wipes the player with impunity with anger-management style specials spamming or something. I get very annoyed when we get wiped for a towering difficulty spike that is ridiculous to overcome.

I think a fair few of your points are as a result of continuous balancing = power creep. Hordes used to be a problem when they could completely hyperstack you into the floor in one hit - avoided by ranged spam = balance ranged weapons and changed temp health. Bosses are similar, in that the Troll used to be a complete ARSE to beat, especially with a reduced party. Now he barely tickles me as its so predictable and slow. I disagree about the Roger, as he is very often blown up, stabbed up and shot up before he even swings his first punch. To lose to a Roger is usually punched off a cliff or into a river (I know you mentioned that, but that’s quite map specific) = EXACTLY the kind of party wipe that makes me angry.

I’d like to see the spawn changed too. I think it would be very cool if it “spawned” some extra claws/chintin/snot as a result of the damage taken. I think it could be able to throw things at the player a la The Tank in L4D2. Picking up a passing Rat and lobbing it to knock over a player…

I’m sure there’s another Balance Pass coming at some point, with the new higher difficulty announced in “summer” we might see a full balance beta and difficulty tweak closer to that expansion.

3 Likes

In my opinion, most of these issues can be solved with a proper build and game time.

Bardin and Krubers handgun 1 shots SV, bypasses their shield. Sword and Dagger stab on elf also bypasses shields, same for flail on salty. As you play more, you’ll start to learn attack patterns and can predict what is going to happen.

Patrols are pretty trivial at this point. Most of the time QP groups just pull them so they won’t agro during a horde or boss. I believe just a few days ago there was a thread on here asking for them to be buffed.

As for hordes, again, people have been asking for them to get buffed as well. 1 person can very easily kill an entire horde them self. And this is kind of expected when you start doing twitch mode deeds. You can be dealing with 2-4 bosses at the same time, and one person needs to solo the horde while the other 3 players kite and dps down the bosses 1 at a time. Just make sure you’re block pushing and dodging back and forth to avoid hits. Once you get this dance down, hordes are nothing more than free temp HP.

As for bosses, nearly every character has a build that can solo a boss in a few seconds. They are not as dangerous or scary as they should be.

1 Like

with all this melee buff now i miss the old patrol from release of the game

Hmm.

I only play Legend. Because I am a GOD.

This is a followup post. Not so much related to the RNG feel, but I’ve been thinking about the game’s difficulty scaling and the coming DLC and have some thoughts I’d like to share.

Health: All the 100hp base classes are in 1-hit-down territory with 2 grims, making curse resistance and 20% health mandatory on gear. With peer-to-peer hosting it’s a very bad idea to have 1 hitting be possible, and mandatory gear choices are never fun. It’s only going to get worse with higher difficulty tiers. This basically means that these classes will simply not be played.
Suggestion: Increase HP on all classes by 25 points. Don’t change health potions; reduce kits to 70% of full hp (down from 80). This should give a bit more leeway in class selection and difficulty scaling without altering the attrition curve of a level much. Health gating (Borderlands 2 style) is also a possibility but I don’t like artificial mechanics on principle.

Hordes Are Too Easy: I don’t disagree although I didn’t make it clear in my OP. They are trivial to a prepared group, except in certain rare circumstances. Making them a wee bit harder would help them serve their purpose of forcing you to stay aware of and use terrain.
Suggestion: Increase the damage of Clanrats and Marauders by 10 to 20%. This would make hordes just enough of a threat to take seriously, due to their attrition costs on the team.

Specials Are Too Similar: While their effects are distinctive, the strategy for every special is pretty much the same: Find it and kill it ASAP. Since all of them take only 1 shot from most ranged weapons (packmaster excluded), this is easy and they all start to blend together.
Suggestions:

  • Double the health on the Life Leech. Combined with his teleport behavior, this means that defeating him may mean knocking him back two or more times, and he’ll instantly re-position and become a threat again each time. This changes the encounter from a twitch response like Assassin to an awareness and endurance response.
  • Ratling should get either a damage or accuracy boost, it’s currently to easy to quickly snipe him even while in his line of fire.
  • Globadier should be harder or impossible to 1-shot in the body. He almost never goes into his suicide mode, and isn’t a threat even when he does, which is really a waste of potential gameplay especially considering there are voice lines for it. This would also give more value to classes that specialize in headshotting at range.

Problem with hordes are not really tied to their damage, alone rat can already do decent damage the fact just is that they are either too weak (hp wise) or simply get cleaved too easily. How you can tackle something like this is totally different story but attrition damage is really not a thing in V2 with how much you can generate temp hp. Even if you were to double slave rats damage it would not be a problem for most people playing at legend.

Actually, doubling their damage would make the game much harder. A lone slave rat can hit for 40 damage from the rear. Doubling that would be a 1 shot for nearly all careers with both grims.

1 Like

I was thinking that increasing pressure from hordes would make people realize that they can’t afford mistakes and need to take the horn seriously. Perhaps rebalancing weapons so there are fewer all-purpose choices would work better, since it would take away the option for everyone to take on bosses and hordes equally without giving up anything in their build.

I think a great way to increase the threat of hordes would be to simply sprinkle in more elites (clanrats and marauders, the occasional armor unit) instead of just bottom-tier trash. A few sturdier units will mean people have to play smarter instead of just repeating the same attack pattern until things slow down.

This is something the Onslaught does that is really fun to play.

3 Likes

Are people who are asking for increased damage considering the scaling of damage based upon the amount of enemies?

A clan rat thumping you from the rear on it’s own causes more damage than a clan rat in the middle of a horde as far as I remember.

Playing as Huntsman, getting thumped from behind twice is enough to put you in the skids in the middle of the horde. Having double damage would put you out of contention after a single hit. Although I understand HS with a handgun is a glass cannon, making a single mistake put you out of action is too steep for many many people.

The real risk for hordes is the players being unable to funnel or choke them somehow. Areas of Against the Grain, Athel Lenui and some parts of Empire in Flames can really cause significant problems as Hordes are allowed to spread and flank the players.

Currently hordes are a distraction tactic as they almost always happen at the same time as other stuff - Bosses, Specials or Patrols. Hordes on their own are usually trivial.

I heartily disagree with any buffs to diasblers unless you also introduce the mechanic for a player to wriggle free themselves. Disablers cause more wipes than anything else and buffing a Leech seems like a bad idea - the damage a leech causes when he gets you close enough is steep and can really put you on the back foot.

I do quite like the contents of the post of OP as I recognise a lot of the issues presented here, and I am sure Fatshark is well aware of them. However, I agree solely because I think fixing ‘stacking’ of characters to be excellent, as well as any other adjustments and fixes such as Blightstormers teleporting out of range once they’re done dropping a good rage storm.

However, I do disagree with the intent of these changes. Patrols are extremely trivial at this point, and as a returning player I was truly shocked with how weak they are. Back before the changes they were a genuine threat and really made you stop. Sure you may have suffered some losses due to accidental pulls, but you as well had great stories about the guy who soloed an entire patrol, a true testament of skill.

Same goes for the hordes, honestly I think Legend at this point in time isn’t hard at all. And maybe that is for the best I guess, as I do not know how much of the actual playerbase has even reached Legend. Browsing lobbies, veteran and champion missions are far more frequent, by a massive margin. But I am merely speaking of self experience here.

I won’t complain too much however, as a geek such as myself have other ways to challenge myself in the game, such as running deeds, turning on Twitch et cetera. But I truly do hope the newly promised difficulity mode of Winds of Magic presents a challenge that isn’t just changing the scales of hitpoints and damage of mobs, and gives them new moves for me to react to, such as the way how Killing Floor 2 made its difficulity.

I do really like the queue suggestion of specials though, as I had a really funny game today where we got twelve blightstormers, what a ride that was. But again I am on the fence on this, having it completely random is fun. It makes it less mundane, and same case goes for the lack of restrictions of spawns during activities. I don’t think a patrol should not spawn while I am fighting a rat ogre. It is another challenge as to how I will approach the situation, and make a quick decision as to how I must act.

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I’m not against making hordes slightly more of a threat, but I really don’t want to go back to the days of having teams too scared to leave their choke point or ledge when the horn blows. I like the suggestion @Flinlock put forward - That a sprinkling of elites would make hordes and ambushes something to respect. Chaos hordes would probably be in a good spot just by adding a couple of shield marauders to each wave.

I’m hoping the beastmen might bring something to the table here. There’s already talk of more ranged enemies, so hopefully they do something interesting with the specials too.

I find that legend is much like champ in that regard, losses are much more often due to screwups rather than the director deciding it’s time to lose now. Even then, the director-induced losses mostly happen because people have made mistakes earlier on.

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I overall very much agree with the op, but at the same time, I feel like RNG is good and it is necessary to keep players engaged and worried about a multitude of things. The RNG factor keeps the game potentially fresh and challenging to even the best players, makes players prioritize and prevents them from learning a perfect universal algorithm for beating the game. Enemies stacking is a big problem though, and I can´t understand why it has not been solved yet.

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Actually, doubling their damage would make the game much harder. A lone slave rat can hit for 40 damage from the rear. Doubling that would be a 1 shot for nearly all careers with both grims.

Ye a lone rat does that but we got to remember when there is 20 rats aggroing you its closer to 10 damage per attack and doubling that to 20 would not really be an issue. Damage numbers aside my point was simply to illustrate that its not just as simple as bumping damage to 2x the value to get some meaningful difficulty.

I was thinking that increasing pressure from hordes would make people realize that they can’t afford mistakes and need to take the horn seriously. Perhaps rebalancing weapons so there are fewer all-purpose choices would work better, since it would take away the option for everyone to take on bosses and hordes equally without giving up anything in their build.

Perhaps, the game was noticeably different when it was first released and barely any weapon did meaningful cleave but it was also extremely tedious to play due to that. Some balance between the 2 might be a good thing but i personally like @Flinlock idea of just spicing up the hordes a bit more.

We also got to remember that an expansion is coming fairly soon and new difficulty with it so radical changes at this point might not be a good thing.

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Perhaps increasing the horde damage while leaving solo damage alone? When it comes to hordes, the thing I see most people have problems with, is the flanking. The horde is programmed to flank you, and a lot of times, a single slave rat or mob will circle behind you. The single rat in the rear can ruin your day. And a lot of people don’t know about the back stab sound. I had a guy the other day with hundreds of hours, tried to explain the back stab noise and he had no idea what I was talking about. The introduction tutorial should really explain these mechanics a lot better. Or have an advanced tutorial people have to do before moving to champion. There’s so many little things like push attacks that people don’t know about after a lot of hours in the game.

As for Legend RNG, I say we just wait and see what happens with the new difficulty. They have stated they’re increasing the level cap, what that means, I have no idea. More talents? More hero power? If that’s the case, Legend will become easy mode.

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