Global Resource Stealing


#1

First off I was really enjoying the game. We played one round with 4 friends and then tried to loop in 2 more for a 6 man game on normal mode. The second game was keeping us really pushed against the wall and we are fighting to get organized and stay alive. The game starts out right out of the gate and your first moves are supremely important to try and create a defensive line. Some of us are more successful than others but we’re trading resources back and forth like mad just to keep above water. I like the teamwork aspect and the time management that needs to happen in addition to the resource management.

With that said, we encountered a zombie that appeared and immediately stole all of our valour, It’s a global ability that pops immediately upon spawning, and then every 24 hours. I think she got somewhere around 100 valour as I had JUST fought a battle garnering me 50+. I didn’t even have a chance to reach another town to spend it on settlements and it was gone, so I lost a significant number of troops in a fight and the reward to boot. A short while later (a few hours) another zombie popped up that steals everyone’s gold every 12 hours and that one probably got about 800 gold. Not a lot but enough that we’re losing at least a half dozen settlements we wouldn’t have with it.

So my point here is that I’m not sure what these creatures add to the game? There is no chance to stop the ability from going off at least once, you have no ability to foresee when it happens, and in a game where even the ability to spend resources has to be closely managed, you’re encouraged to spend it all as quickly as you can in order to avoid potentially losing it? I’ve got a 2500 gold cost Dragon card; how would I ever be able to and why would I bother trying to use that card in this arena?

These creatures (so far) are the only that I’ve seen that have a global reach and the abilities they have are not fun, and I cannot see them being a “challenge” they’re simply a nuisance. Best case scenario is that you get hit by them when they spawn, then chase them down to not be hit again. When you kill them you get a single valour. As they exist currently, they are the sole reason I don’t see myself playing this game again. Here’s some ideas I had:

  1. First off their ability HAS to be on cooldown as soon as they spawn and all should be 24 hours at minimum. Not everyone can get to the game fast enough to kill them in 12 when some troops take 6 hours to cross one hex and most people sleep 8 hours.
  2. Their ability should have a range and maybe affect only players with settlements within that zone. In addition you should have a simple way to identify the areas of effect.
  3. There should be a notification somewhere (in the chat log) when they first appear on the map. This would create at least a chance to negate their effect before it goes off for the first time.
  4. Upon killing them, you should get either all or a large amount of whatever they steal back. In that case they would be carrying the resource instead of it being lost entirely. This would create not only a delay in being able to utilize those resources but positive reason to kill them as opposed to the only one currently which is negating a negative effect. Maybe the resource could be consumed as part of the effect and the new collection would be available.
  5. Create an option in the setup to turn them off entirely.
  6. Personally, I truly think these characters should be done away with regardless of any potential changes you could make. At best they create a mandatory and immediate alteration to your game plan that should be evolving as the game progresses, not having bombs dropped randomly. These don’t fit any kind of zombie theme and are not enjoyable to deal with. Best case scenario even with everything I noted above, they cause a delay in being able to spend gathered resources. The game is not better in any way for having them included.

The only other thing I’d like to see; this game desperately needs a queue system for commands. It is so time sensitive that I need to be watching and logging in within moments of any army reaching a settlement in order to give it orders and move it to the next location. I should only have to log in to review new information and adapt not to provide orders I knew I wanted to give 12+ hours earlier.

I’ve got to say though that as the global resource stealing cards exist today, although I was really enjoying the rest of the game that’s a deal breaker.


#2

I have to say that except for when I have leavers (which I have a lot of) these boss zombies are the main challenging mid-game aspect. I like them to an extent. I do think that stealing valor is a problem since that is a more finite resource. Stealing money and mana I can deal with; they will come back infinitely if I stall long enough. I can’t get valor back without killing more of the limited supply of zombies in the game. I also agree that they shouldn’t fire immediately. They should be on cooldown (maybe even only half of the typical cooldown) when they appear so you have a warning to spend the correct resource, if you can, and maybe to get to them or at least head towards them. Even when I know they are going to spawn (see below) and so I start heading that way, I usually can’t get rid of them before they fire off a couple of times.

There is something of warning that they are coming already though; they only spawn when a mana pool falls. So if you are watching a map and see a winning force heading for a mana pool, you are in trouble.

On the note of them being a mid-game challenge, maybe mana pools should not be reachable by zombies for a day or two after the game starts.


#3

Thanks for the great feedback guys. Apologies for unleashing them on you before they are fully ready.

Absolutely will not allow them to fire for 24 hours! You should have a warning to spend the resourced before you lose them!

I was thinking I might have an on screen warning with a count down for as long as they are alive. “Warning Warning - You will losed your gold in xxxx time.”

I really like the idea of getting back what they steal. I hadn’t thought of that before. I will have a think about how it could be implemented.

If we can’t make them fun in the next few weeks I will just give them new powers.

Sorry we screwed this up. I will try and fix it right away.

I hope you will stick around to try the game again!

Jay.


#4

You provided a prompt collaborative response and even started coding (saw the new icon and love it so far) so I’ll definitely stick around. Based on this I’ve already got 6 folks and we’re going to start up a new game soon.

I wouldn’t call it a “screw up” as you were simply trying something new, something I wish more games did even if it doesn’t work out. That coupled with what I said above is alright with me. I honestly didn’t expect that kind of turnaround on feedback.

I’m glad you liked some of my thoughts, I’ll continue to provide them.

Thanks again, looking forward to the next game now!


#5

I ran into one of these as well where I thought there was a bug that caused all my mana to disappear; until I noticed the flame graphic to indicate a boss and saw his ability. I think that these boss zombies add an excellent dynamic to the game, but I also agree that they should spawn with the ability already on cooldown. That actually adds a lot of excitement, in that we’re given an immediate task (kill the boss) to complete or face a penalty.

With that in mind, it may be neat to have something like an event prevention mechanic where the players have to complete a task to prevent a boss from executing the event. The event could be something like an across-the-board x strength attack to all friendly units, and to prevent it the players have pay a running total of mana or gold or something. That adds some emergency to stop the event, and also to kill the boss to prevent the event from continually triggering and incurring additional costs.


#6

That was how I was hoping they would work, but there are not quite working properly yet.

What we are seeing in Multiplayer is that you just end up with heaps of them running around and they are not some special event, they are just part of your everyday problems.

I’m not quite sure what to do about it yet.