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View Full Version : Highly Variable Diplomacy Difficulty?


Lizard
01-28-2007, 08:33 AM
I've been working through the huge, tangled, insane mess of plots and betryals that is the DE diplomacy line, and I've hit two parleys (One with the merchant called 'unnecessary people' or something, and one with Legionnaire Unpronounceablename, her second or third, I think) which were just frackin' NIGHTMARES. We're talking replaying 20+ times to beat them, and that only by sheer luck of low recharge times for cards. All the rest of the parleys took 1 or maybe 2 tries.

I don't mind a challenge -- if I did, I wouldn't have kept playing until I won those two -- but it seems odd to me that there's a few uber-difficult ones in the middle of n00b-appropriate ones. This is supposed to be the STARTER Diplomacy line, after all! It's like havign a bunch of non-aggro 2-dot mobs in the starts zones...and a few aggro 4-dots, just for fun.

Oh yeah: The bastiches seem to 'see' your hand. If I have no Red cards in my strategy, they play cards which give me Red. If I have no Flattery cards, they play cards which give me Flattery. When I shift my strategy to match what they give me, SO DO THEY, and they do this BEFORE I've played cards to let them know "what I've got".

Khaunshar
01-28-2007, 09:09 AM
You havent seen Banan yet. During the horse quest, they replaced a KOS NPC that was actually beatable before they made him KOS, with an NPC that plays a variaton of the no-cost 2 influence spam deck, and locks down Inspire. And has a solid headstart too. Mathematically impossible to beat, unless you can buy lots of cards somewhere I am not aware of, that dont require insane factionwork.

Matuse
01-28-2007, 11:44 AM
The way that they cheat and see your deck ahead of time is what really rankles me.

Took me aproximately 500 tries to beat the two Spiritragers in the Vulmane newbie diplo quest. It was really only a confluence of luck (low recycles for me, long for them, consistantly) and finding JUST the right strategy that let me do it.

Man what a pain.

DocSavag
01-28-2007, 11:54 AM
The way that they cheat and see your deck ahead of time is what really rankles me.

Took me aproximately 500 tries to beat the two Spiritragers in the Vulmane newbie diplo quest. It was really only a confluence of luck (low recycles for me, long for them, consistantly) and finding JUST the right strategy that let me do it.

Man what a pain.

Yea we encountered that scenario over and over in the Leth Nurae line. The know the strategy you are going to play before you play your first card and they seem to alter to counter.

Lizard
01-28-2007, 11:59 AM
The way that they cheat and see your deck ahead of time is what really rankles me.

Took me aproximately 500 tries to beat the two Spiritragers in the Vulmane newbie diplo quest. It was really only a confluence of luck (low recycles for me, long for them, consistantly) and finding JUST the right strategy that let me do it.

Man what a pain.

I understand that they don't want it to be totally formulaic -- if every NPC had the same deck played the same way, there'd be no 'game', just a litany of instructions to follow to 'beat' each parley. But the cheating is teh suxxor. Give the NPCs sme randomizer to their strategy, but have it be set before the parley starts.

Aruspex - SGO
01-28-2007, 11:31 PM
I understand that they don't want it to be totally formulaic -- if every NPC had the same deck played the same way, there'd be no 'game', just a litany of instructions to follow to 'beat' each parley. But the cheating is teh suxxor. Give the NPCs sme randomizer to their strategy, but have it be set before the parley starts.

We're no fans of the cheating either. There's a number of knobs and dials we are playing with the affect the difficulty. Right now it's a technical necessity that the NPC cheats 100% of the time, but we have a setting that reads your deck as you play.

Except in a few very specific circumstances, however, the NPC still plays with the same number of cards as you.

As for decks that are too hard - please let us know about them. A few slipped through our testing and we're eager to get them locked down.

o
A

waivren
01-29-2007, 02:45 AM
We're no fans of the cheating either. There's a number of knobs and dials we are playing with the affect the difficulty. Right now it's a technical necessity that the NPC cheats 100% of the time, but we have a setting that reads your deck as you play.

Except in a few very specific circumstances, however, the NPC still plays with the same number of cards as you.

As for decks that are too hard - please let us know about them. A few slipped through our testing and we're eager to get them locked down.

o
A

I don't know about anyone else, but I've about had it with the Honerable Deceased in Tanvu after two hours of trying to work through his no-cost/all influence deck.

I have tried fueling my own cards, letting him fuel my cards, playing my timers, building fuel to unleash massive influence at once.... nearly every combination I can come up with. I can make *some* progress, but never enough where there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

As others have said, challenge is good. But this is a significant speed bump in the diplomacy line when you compare it to all the other encounters leading up to it. I was having a lot of fun with diplomacy until I hit this encounter. These types of encounters need a chink in their armor somewhere.

Or make him attackable. I'd love to run him through with a sword right about now... ghost or not.

waivren
01-29-2007, 03:29 AM
Ok, so I did finally make it through the encounter - however, it was simply the luck of the draw once I figured out the correct collection of cards.

Honestly, I have no problem with diplomacy quests being this difficult - however - they should not gate you from progressing diplomacy completely. If this had been an encounter that allows me to receive a nice new card or a nice item, and the encounter was optional to progression - no problem here. But this quest seems to block all other diplomacy progress, and you get two poems worth what? 8 copper? I could have made many times that adventuring during the same time frame.

The problem is that the encounter requires such a different strategy than what the tutorial teaches you - the tutorial goes out of it's way to encourage you *not* to fuel the opponents arguments. In this encounter, that teaching is completely negated. The tutorial should prepare you better for this sort of encounter. Does that make any sense?

I don't want an easy game. But there is a threshold between frustration and enjoyment... and it seems to be at the 2-3 hour-stuck mark for me. :D

waivren
01-29-2007, 03:55 AM
After handing in the rest of the quest completions following this encounter, I'm convinced it's an evil Dev plot to make us *really* appreciate the Repeals cards. :p

I'm really torn. I hate to complain about the difficulty of the encounter... but it is so out of balance with everything up to that point. It almost seems like it should come *after* you get the repeals cards and it would illustrate the same points.

I don't know... I shouldn't have posted while I was frustrated with it. :rolleyes:

Anyway, leaving the comments in case they are useful feedback.