Late game activity in Blight seems dull

I’m enjoying Blight, but I find that the end game gets pretty dull once the majority of the threat has been neutralized. At that point, you’re just chasing down the last few zombies who pose little threat and are just running down the clock. In the late game, gold becomes useless because you don’t really need to bother recruiting more troops. Valor is only really useful to maybe buy more mana, and that’s assuming that you even care to take advantage of mana in this stage.

I’m not sure how to improve this. It would be nice if there was something that could be done to make gold still useful this stage in the game. Also, something that gives the player choices and risks, to make hunting down the last few zombies an actual challenge of some kind.

So here is what I’m thinking.

During the week I will add the ability to recruit the special monsters like the Dragons and Hydra. They will be very expensive, but very powerful. I hope you can then sink the gold into these mega troops and wrap the game up quicker.

The zombie bosses should make it more exciting in the middle of the game, but I’m not sure how to make the game more challenging at the end.

There’s always the traditional leveling/experience method. Give units experience the longer they stay alive and the more they see combat. As units level-up they gain in combat ability, though this does not necessarily need to be strength. The simplest implementation is however to just add a strength modifier for each level. Finding the correct experience-per-level and bonus-per-level is important.

Instead of giving a strength bonus, levels could give units special non-strength bonuses such as additional movement speed, ability cost/cooldown reduction, auras at high levels (5+), etc. This would add more variety. The bonuses could be only level dependent, depend on unit-type, or be randomly chosen from a leveled group.

Since zombies tend to spawn loads of armies, these special perks could be limited to the above mentioned bosses. If all bosses are dead then lower units could be promoted to boss units.

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Oh right, good thinking. I do have a note in my todo list that says one of the things players really miss from the very first implementation was the leveling. Every unit that survived combat got an additional dice in combat!

I do want to add some kind of experience system back into the game so this should help as well!

I’ll add it for both your heroes / armies and the zombies too!

there is a good blog post on the Magic the Gathering forum that talks about how the game inexorably draws to an end because the players get more and more powerful. (Playing new land every turn) so that the creatures and spells being cast are getting bigger and bigger until basically it all exploded and somebody wins!

I’d like this to happen in Blight as well.

I like the idea of a simple experience concept for troops that survive combat. That reminds me a little of the old Bungie game, Myth, where each individual unit would get slightly better for each kill they made and each map they survived. It was small, but made a difference, and gave the player pause about whether to throw away a unit or to guard them more closely. (it might even be neat to keep track of how many games a deck hero unit has survived; even if only for fun) That would also give the player more things to decide as the game draws on.

That’s something that I think should be important at the end: player choice. There’s not a lot of decisions to be made once the table has turned in the player’s favor. Blight games seem to start with a bang, but end with a whimper (which is kind of the opposite of Magic the Gathering).

Having powerful spell cards in the player’s deck might help. In addition to high powered but expensive units, there would be some high powered but expensive spells (perhaps they cost both mana and gold) which could drop a meteor on stack of zombies, wiping out all neighboring units. Something like that would have to be expensive, but to the point that you’re not likely to have enough resources until the end of the game, and allows you to wipe things up pretty quickly. Another similar spells could be something like a teleport, to jump a friendly stack right into the action. Or, perhaps a time warp spell to speed up the game clock. These could also be “artifact” cards rather than spells, or something like that, so that different “game ending” cards could use different resources (gold, mana, or valor), giving the player options in case they end up with lots of one type of resource but not the others.

I like the ideas above. Most of them focuses on making the player’s deck stronger and convenient. However, that means the zombies will become far too weak for an experienced player. Perhaps if you try to play on hard mode, then things will be a problem.

I’m thinking of this. Zombie hordes have their own zombie general, a zombie that can think for it’s horde. Zombie hordes have 10% each cycle to gain a zombie general. Zombie generals increases the strength of a horde and gives them special perks. The longer a zombie generals lives, the stronger the a.i. becomes. Eventually the zombie general will play strategically. However, the good news is that players can negotiate with zombie generals. Pay them tribute or negotiate a separate peace for a short period of time. Perhaps if the player gains enough favor with the zombies, then they ask the zombies to fight other zombie hordes. To prevent exploit and abuse of tribute, zombie hordes with generals will gain manpower moderately. That way zombie hordes will eventually need to be dealt with force.

That sounds like it would help make the mid-game more challenging and interesting, but I don’t see how that would make the end-game more exciting. Even with the general, the end-game is still a matter of watching the clock while you slowly chase down the remaining zombies.