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Dissatisfaction, Gutters, and Spite - The Mad Schemes of Dr. Tectonic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Dissatisfaction, Gutters, and Spite [May. 17th, 2013|11:54 pm]
I had a very unsatisfying day at work. I was working on getting this one dataset finally published, and the publishing software (which is maldesigned in my opinion) was being uncooperative. In the course of trying to solve that problem, I realized that there was something I had to fix with the vertical coordinates, which means I needed to recalculate one of the variables, and in the course of trying to do that I discovered a hiccup partway through that means I need to reprocess the entire dataset. Argh and harrumph.

So I came home and hosed out the gutter over the porch (which was overflowing the last time it rained), so that I could at least say I accomplished something today. That made me feel better.

Jerry and I just played another game of Sentinels of the Multiverse. Ra & The Wraith (me) and Nightmist & Bunker (him) vs Spite, in Megalopolis, with advanced rules. I continue to be impressed at how well the designers have used game mechanics to make the different decks feel different and character-appropriate. Spite is a serial killer, and his mechanics (especially on advanced) really push you not to attack him until he flips, and instead to concentrate on getting all your good cards out and rescuing victims while he powers up his drug-based superpowers. So gameplay very much has this feeling of a tense cat-and-mouse game building up to a grand climactic battle.* Whereas against The Chairman, there are all these layers of subordinates, and you're strongly incentivized to take out the weaker ones first, so the deck does a good job of simulating a story where you're fighting your way up the hierarchy of bad guys to the top.

*(So Spite was at full health when he flipped, but takes lots of damage for rescued victims. By the end of his turn, just from that and retaliatory damage, he was down by about 35 HP out of 80-- although we were all about halfway down, too. Then Ra unloads a big pile of damage, and so does the Wraith, and a bunch of his retaliatory damage is getting redirected to Nightmist, who's in mist form and immune to damage, and she just passes entirely over to Bunker... who has 15 cards under his omnicannon. Ka-blammo. I kinda wanna read that graphic novel, actually.)

[User Picture]From: drdeleto
2013-05-18 09:17 pm (UTC)
The hero design is great, but I'm consistently impressed by the villain design. The flipping mechanic and the different ways its used are really inspired. I wonder if they were inspired by video game boss behavior-switching or something else.
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[User Picture]From: baronet
2013-05-20 07:49 pm (UTC)

Spite Mistakes

I strongly recommend that you don't make Spite unable to deal damage any turn where he might flip over. We were rocking his world through his ears when Tachyon (IIRC) zapped him with a one-shot that left him unable to deal damage, just to be safe. That villain turn, he flipped, cleared out the safe house and did himself zero damage. *DOH* We were rocking him hard enough that we eventually won, but man it was way harder than it should have been.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2013-05-20 08:31 pm (UTC)

Re: Spite Mistakes

D'oh indeed! Yeah, that would really suck.

I like how there are a lot of things in the game (like "cannot deal damage") that can be good or bad, depending on context. We played a game against the Ennead in Insula Primalis where we got the Obsidian Fields environment card. And every time an opportunity came up to destroy it, we were like, no, keep it around! It's doubling our damage output! (Also, a velociraptor pack ate Set. So that was helpful.)
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