Songs of Conquest , sing for me a song of pixely glory.

Too busy with Tactics Ogre Reborn to go back right now, but I am curious as to where the game currently stands. Before, I thought that the game had loads of potential, but that the strategic map was just way too busy. And, as I remember, limited information on mouseover, as to what all those icons meant. This situation cut into my enjoyment of the game, kind of wore me down.

Has any of this changed?

So this is on sale today for $20 in the Steam Sale. How close to fully cooked is this game now? Any recent impressions of the recent builds? It looks to be up my alley but last time I checked they were still making substantial balance adjustments and finishing things so it wasn’t fully baked.

It’s a great foundation - but if feels like it really needs a lot more content adding, and I’m not sure how much they’re going to be able to add. I haven’t tried the latest balance pass.

Read that as “Bacon Improvements” for a moment there.

Sounds great - kind of a bummer they are putting so much into Campaigns I’ll never play, would rather have the skirmish game completed and ready to roll out over the early summer and campaigns could come later, even as paid DLC as far as I’m concerned but I am also one that never plays “the campaign” in games like Heroes of Might and Magic, Age of Wonders, or the like. I’m just here for hundreds of hours of the board game experience.

This is the way.

Mine too, and based off this kind of news it might well stay there for long enough for me to forget why it’s there and just delete it.

I would love to dive in. However, the reason I am holding off is that I read these three things, which may be true, within the Steam forums:

  1. Enemy AI is notably poor
  2. An experienced Paradox AI game dev has been engaged to help improve the AI
  3. Delivery of enhanced AI may be a year away

Wait, what do you mean? It’s a fantastic game, what news turned you off?

I’ve no real interest in story content in this one any more than I do in AOW.

I only ever play random map against random opponents in games like these. So dev time spent on the story is as useful to me as dev time spent on MP (just to take another example of something steam forums are always always full of people whining about).

Which I agree with, but there IS a normal/random map mode with AI and no story and the like - that’s actually in the game right now and is the default way to play, just FYI.

That’s cool, and I saw they’ve got random map generation on their list of to-do’s so I’m definitely keeping an eye on this one but I’ve been in no big hurry because it’s EA.

For those who don’t generally like campaigns…

I’m not really interested in the story in most strategy game campaigns either, but a well done campaign can provide some fun, human designed challenges. You guys don’t enjoy that stuff if they’re well done?

This is probably the trick for me as I rarely find they’re well done imho.

For story telling and character development I read books and/or watch movies. For games I enjoy strategy/tactics and emergent game play.

The strength of PC games for me is their interactive nature and so I look for that from them because that’s their strength. The story is the one I’m creating by my game play.

As just one random example, I don’t need or want Old World to tell me a story, I want to create the story.

That’s why I said forget about the story. A hand crafted mission can be fun, it doesn’t need to have any story. It’s Ok is you still don’t want hand crafted missions, but I wasn’t talking about story.

Yeah, the whole argument of ‘I don’t like campaign in strategy games because I don’t care for the story’ is hilarious. As if that was the defining trait of a campaign. No one I know cared for the story in HoMM campaigns, or in Age of Wonders, or Company of Heroes, or Men of War. They are enjoyable* because
-they offer handcrafted scenarios that assure you varied situations, unlike in a random map where you may have something different, or maybe something samey
-they ask the player different strategies to use (although depending of each game, this may verge towards a ‘puzzley’ feel)
-the scenarios are ordered from easy to hard
-they may leave aside some mechanics in the first pair of scenarios, to make the learning process smoother

*: the good ones, at least. Also, there are a few rare exceptions from time to time where the story is worth it.

Exactly!

They also do offer a lot of context to the board game pieces you’re playing with (when done well). Personally I’d be happy with a series of scenarios as much as a campaign, but whatever. For what it’s worth, the story-telling in SoC is perfectly adequate, if not pretty good (certainly for the genre).

I need to try SoC again - last time I checked, it was a great foundation but needed a lot of work to ‘finish’. I’m hoping their recent pass on the unit balance and abilities was enough. But I think there’s more to do still. Especially getting a decent AI (or other single player experience - though it’s probably too late in the day for that).

Why I don’t like campaigns in games like this?

Escort Missions

< drops the mic >

I honestly can’t think of a single escort campaign mission I’ve ever had in a HOMM-like 4X game like this one. I’m curious about what game(s) you encountered them in.

Yeah, more endemic of rts/fps implementations than HOMM-likes although i do remember one in an X-Com game. My burning hatred of escort missions just transcends the bounds of game categorization.

My larger issue with TBS campaigns is more in regards to the scripted/artificial constraints they use to hide the fact that there is no dynamic A.I. of value competing against you. I rarely feel like i’m playing a strategy game against an opponent so much as just pushing through/revealing a cutesy puzzle-box of map/unit restrictions that once revealed holds no real challenge. It doesn’t help that i’ve been playing fantasy games of all types and been devouring fantasy literature at a ridiculous rate for nearly half a century and the ‘story’ aspects/writing of these campaigns make me want to claw my eyes out.

Just give me the crunchy combat bits and dispense with the silly scripted puzzle-box set-pieces and endlessly iterated ‘chosen-one’ back-story/adventures.