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XP expenditure opinions wanted - Phantom Division

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Poll:I would expect to play:

10 times
3 33.3%
20 times
5 55.6%
30 times
1 11.1%
40+ times
No votes 0%
Total number of voters: 9 ( ZeeAyKay, Gary Sax, sornars, Turek, cdennett ) See more
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29 Apr 2021 09:52 #322682 by hotseatgames
Phantom Division is NOT a campaign game. It is, however, a persistent character game. Each completed mission grants XP that can be spent on character upgrades, and we are planning some other gameplay upgrades that can be purchased with XP as well. Sometimes you can actually lose XP; you can spend it to respawn if you die, and, for example, let's say you were supposed to defuse a bomb, but instead that bomb exploded. You would not get the reward for that objective.

My question to you is, in some theoretical universe in which all games are equal, how many times would you expect to have to play a game before you unlocked everything you could possibly unlock?

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29 Apr 2021 10:39 #322684 by Sagrilarus
Jeeze. Sucking air through my teeth at the moment. Can I walk into a room with a satchel charge and set it off the clear the path for my buddies? Optimal path becomes a monster factor in the game, leaving characters to die can be tactically advantageous if you can purchase them back from death. Drama drains from the system.

Setting that whopper aside, the question that immediately came to mind (particularly with the purchase your way out of death part) is "just how important are upgrades to completing missions?" Can I do all the missions with non-upgraded characters? If not, it's a campaign game, character development trumps the mission.

I'm fine with nudges, upgraded equipment, rank promotion. Skill enhancement is fine but were it me I'd tie those to gameplay, not an a la carte menu with prices. You defuse a bomb you get better at bomb defusing.
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29 Apr 2021 10:48 - 29 Apr 2021 10:51 #322686 by hotseatgames
Death is expensive. If you respawn, you will earn nothing from that mission, at best reclaiming the XP you spent and breaking even. It's more a concession to people who had things go awry on turn 2 and don't want to sit there watching.

And yes, you could play any mission without regard to any upgrades at all, using only stock equipment. They empower you, which can make the game easier, but in turn there are things that can be added that make the game harder.
Last edit: 29 Apr 2021 10:51 by hotseatgames.

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29 Apr 2021 11:15 #322689 by Sagrilarus
Eh alright. Point made.

But I'll just mention. If it's similar to Seal Team Flix having your character out of action on turn 2 isn't that big an issue. Your head is still in the game trying to figure out how to complete the mission with the people that are left. My character got badly hurt stepping through the door in scenario 2, waited outside. I still really enjoyed the session anyway because my brain was needed along with everyone else's.

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29 Apr 2021 13:06 #322693 by jason10mm
How deep is the character roster? This sounds kinda like fortnite or COD in that playing a lot earns you stuff but the basic gameplay loop is relatively static. In that case you are stuck, most players won't play much and that extra chrome is wasted, a few will max out what you have in the box immediately and no amount of chrome will suffice, but unless there are expansions forthcoming you can never appease both.

Maybe have an end goal item specific for each character earned after 10-15 good runs, then the hardcore players are encouraged to level up other characters. This way you can have a reasonable amount of stuff for most people to see once but character specific capstone items to occupy the persistent players that "gotta have it all". Is that workable? I'm blanking on the specifics of this game ATM.

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29 Apr 2021 13:12 #322694 by hotseatgames
There are no "characters" like in Apex Legends or Valorant. Everyone is a blank slate to be built as you desire.

My goal for this game is to remove roadblocks. For people who want to earn stuff, that is there. For people who want to just play with everything and kit out their character however they choose from the get-go, who am I to say they can't? You buy the game, do with it as you please. I want to maximize the potential for fun with the game, and minimize anything that gets in the way of that.
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29 Apr 2021 15:56 #322706 by Ah_Pook
if its not a campaign i personally dont see the value of gating things behind spending xp mission to mission? if the missions arent connected, why have the xp system to make things easier for people that have played the game a lot? give players the tools that are appropriate to the mission at hand during setup, and let them kit out within whatever parameters the given scenario is balanced around. adding in metagame progression seems like a strange choice to me personally, that would at best make people game the system in weird ways.

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29 Apr 2021 16:18 #322707 by Vysetron
I actually really dig this kind of structure. Shadowrun Crossfire's one of the few I can think of that did it well, albeit maybe not optimally since it took foreeeever to unlock high perks. Unlocking stuff, coming back to missions with new tools, and having reasons to run stuff again and again makes for a satisfying loop.

The right answer is probably somewhere in the 20-30 range unless these missions are really short.
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29 Apr 2021 16:26 #322710 by hotseatgames

Ah_Pook wrote: if its not a campaign i personally dont see the value of gating things behind spending xp mission to mission? if the missions arent connected, why have the xp system to make things easier for people that have played the game a lot? give players the tools that are appropriate to the mission at hand during setup, and let them kit out within whatever parameters the given scenario is balanced around. adding in metagame progression seems like a strange choice to me personally, that would at best make people game the system in weird ways.


I would say many of these unlockables follow a video game formula, for example a game in which you start out jumping a certain height. Maybe later you unlock the ability to jump higher, or get a double jump.

To give an example that is in Phantom Division: "KNIFE" is a standard action you can take against an adjacent enemy. On your turn you can take 2 standard actions and any number of free actions. There is an Aug that turns KNIFE into a free action. A tool for you to do more cool shit on your turn.
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29 Apr 2021 19:15 #322715 by hotseatgames

Sagrilarus wrote: Jeeze. Sucking air through my teeth at the moment. Can I walk into a room with a satchel charge and set it off the clear the path for my buddies? Optimal path becomes a monster factor in the game, leaving characters to die can be tactically advantageous if you can purchase them back from death. Drama drains from the system.


Pete and I have been talking it over, and we are going to test doing away with the typical "respawn" in favor of forcing another Phantom to come over to your body and spend an action to revive you. You would come back with 1 health, probably.

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04 May 2021 16:22 #322857 by hotseatgames

Sagrilarus wrote: Jeeze. Sucking air through my teeth at the moment. Can I walk into a room with a satchel charge and set it off the clear the path for my buddies? Optimal path becomes a monster factor in the game, leaving characters to die can be tactically advantageous if you can purchase them back from death. Drama drains from the system.


I've been playing with the REVIVE action. An adjacent Phantom can use a standard action to revive you back to 1 health. There is currently an Aug that lets you revive others back to 2 HP. Today I played a mission in which two different Phantoms were revived, and everyone STILL died, so not to worry, I don't think the drama is gone. :)

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04 May 2021 18:45 #322863 by ZeeAyKay
Just an idea about the REVIVE mechanic. The main downside is that you're stuck not doing anything on your turn, which is never fun. What if you allowed the "downed" player to do something like move closer to your teammate on your turn if they're down, but in a way that shows they're somewhat hindered? Maybe they have to be "rolled" on the disk instead of flicked, or you flick with your eyes closed, or your pinky instead of your index finger.

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04 May 2021 20:07 - 04 May 2021 20:26 #322864 by Sagrilarus
It’s a cooperative game. There’s no your turn. And if it’s like Seal Team Flix the turns are quick.

You press your luck to increase your chance of success. If the worst that happens is you only sort of half lose a turn by doing that, damn, I’m going all-in every chance I get.

You’ll need to up the difficulty in the scenarios to compensate. You may have done that already.

You can make the rules for this whatever you want because anyone can house-rule it in a New York minute. If I pick this up I’m playing Ironman rules every time. Getting shot sucks, proceed accordingly. One of my take-aways from Seal Team Flix was that you had skin in the game. In fact we had a conversation about it at the start of scenario two that I remember clearly. That gives the title a realism that matches its modern warfare theme. You may be going after a different vibe with this one.

Might be worth reviewing the rules for Fortune Points in the old Top Secret rpg. Adds a little something interesting to the thought process on this.
Last edit: 04 May 2021 20:26 by Sagrilarus.

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04 May 2021 21:08 #322865 by hotseatgames
We have simplified the difficulty system. STF had missions divided up by 4 ranks. PD has Easy or Hard, and you can play any mission at either difficulty. The variables that change are how many rounds you get, how many and what types of enemy, and how much Threat you can generate. Threat replaces the sound mechanic from STF.

Anyone who wants to make the game easier or harder than these settings simply has to adjust these variables to their liking.
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