[SUGGESTION] - Make the Trogg levels less of a miserable chore.

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by invalidwerdz, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. invalidwerdz

    invalidwerdz Kobold

    The amount of armor they have is just god awful. If this game wasn't in beta, and I was just someone trying it out, I would simply put down the game after playing the Frozen Bridge and never come back. Armor is simply OP and the double stacked crude plates makes a single round take five minutes, just to get through the rolls. Five minutes of rolls that amount to the player having done ZERO.

    Most of the game has walked the difficult-to-achieve yet wonderfully rewarding razor's edge between difficult and punishing with great success. But setting up a situation where the player needs to have been building a armor pen deck from the beginning of the game to succeed is just frustrating.
  2. Pengw1n

    Pengw1n Moderately Informed Staff Member

    You're aware of penetrating attacks - and that Crude plates doesn't work from attacks form behind? Dissolving armor, discard enemy hands et c? I agree that stacked armor can be a pain in the butt, but even without a proper pen armor deck - you should have some tools to deal with those things?
  3. skip_intro

    skip_intro Ogre

    Also please be aware that the Trog levels have been nerfed once before and some of the lower level ones "pre-balance" did bring strong men to tears. Pengw1n is correct, there are ways around the problems with armour.
  4. invalidwerdz

    invalidwerdz Kobold

    I did get through it eventually, and it occurred to me that pen stuff would work - but at that level my resources were so limited that I couldn't really go to a shop and buy a bunch of pen items to make my deck work. I had been building my characters with what was available to be the best overall characters they could be, but that level required a set of cards focused on shredding armor. This level taught me the importance of having anti-armor strategies - but the game didn't really seem to leave me an avenue for putting that lesson to use.

    I tried all sorts of kiting to try to open up the trogs to attacks from behind, but the level is a bridge - there's not a lot of room to maneuver and it never felt rewarding. In general I have a hard time being able to look at the models and see which angle is 'behind'. Frequently they'll be facing on direction - after an attack for example - and I'll attack from the other side but not have the 'can't block' thing come up.

    When I won it was because I bum-rushed the trogs with my wizard and landed big hits before they drew their armor cards. It was pure luck. I actually got tired of trying and just went for what I figured would kill me fastest. I don't think that's the intended path to victory.
  5. Ultreos

    Ultreos Mushroom Warrior

    I'm convinced that saying their armor doesn't work from behind is a troll comment. Tell me, did you really use that strategy to any real great effect when you did those levels? At best what? One attack because you know they turn around right after? To face you so I am curious how you used your own advice to any actually useful effect.

    This stage is not easy, and suggesting a strategy that I have very legitimate doubts you yourself ever used to any reasonable effec,t is not offering advice. Yes we know it doesn't offer protection from behind. That doesn't make it a viable strategy to get behind them.
  6. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Please, please, please let the recent negativity settle down. It's just not necessary.

    To answer that last question, Ultreos:

    Do you recall the tutorial level where they taught you about Blocks? The idea being that, in the most extreme case, you could juggle a target between two characters of your own and keep hitting it from behind. Because this completely negates a Block, it is an encouraged strategy for everywhere that enemies have Block cards.

    Obviously, that method is an ideal and you can't usually manage it. But then again, you don't often need that many hits: you may have drawn exactly one strong Attack card on one character and then you don't care that the enemy turns to face you afterward.

    Or there may be an infinite array of middle-grounds, like using weak ranged Attacks to prompt the enemy to turn, allowing your melee to get in. Or Step cards. Or leading the enemy to make unwise moves, like having your character step in very close to prompt it to back up so you may stab it in the back at leisure. Or whatever else. Because you know how to deal with Blocks, you know how to make this work in other situations (the Crude Plates one) as well.

    Therefore, there is no "trolling" when it comes to making this advice. It's a reminder that you do, in fact, have the ability to manipulate facing (yours and the enemy's), just as you do elsewhere in the game. It's not just other people "using that strategy to any real effect": you've done it already.
    skip_intro and Pengw1n like this.
  7. Ultreos

    Ultreos Mushroom Warrior

    That's a lot of what ifs to be posing it as a viable strategy. A lot of I might have to call it a viable strategy. Especially for a level 7 area. Negative? You're darn right because this isn't real advice this is idealistic advice which for this level lacks viability. Show me with a screen shot this being done if it is such true advice. Show me it being accomplished and having meaninful effect.

    The claims is that this is viable. So replicate it and share with the class. Otherwise I ask it stop being touted as a viablepiece of advice because I have tried to replicate it many many times.
  8. Ultreos

    Ultreos Mushroom Warrior

    Also I remember the tutorial. It was worlds more open then this level. So the tutorial didn't really teach for thids scenario it only taught that it could be done if a situation is optimal. Otherwise we both know the answer is piercing as well as armor destroying cards. Neither of which is necessarily available to the player at time of arrival and needs back tracking otherwise the level feels punishing.

    If this is truly viable advice it can be replicated and shown to the rest of us how good it really works. Otherwise its an ideal that does not really bare a lot of use for the level in question.
  9. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    I . . . what?

    Ultreos, please, this really isn't necessary. And I'm not saying that in the tone of voice of "Oh, please!" but in the very real sense. We are talking about defeating Blocks by bypassing them (and extending this to Crude Plates): you know how to do this because you are an experienced Card Hunter player, understand movement, and have good spatial sense of a game board. Likewise, because you can see the game board, you can imagine all the scenarios I detailed without some questionable screenshot--you can specifically see in your head the "move in close, let them back up, stab them in the back" technique because you know that Troglodytes love range 2. In fact, you know how I'd really need to record a movie to show you these techniques in action, as a single screenshot is not enough for such a visual setup.

    You're talking to the person who responded to you over here like so. Therein I quoted myself all the way back from January 22nd as saying:
    And in that response, the first words out of my mouth were to mention the "attack these people from behind" advice. Yes, I've been doing it "for easy gold and loot" for the past five months. What screenshot could ever convince you if five months of "easy loot" won't do it?

    Edited P.S.: I see you made another post while I was typing. Penetrating and Armor-removal cards are, of course, also important to the strategy, which is why we also always mention those. But as with so many other negative debates about strategy here, the argument "this is impossible at this level" doesn't work: Penetrating cards are available in time for you to complete the level 2 Wizard's Workshop. Same with Armor-removal. In an emergency, Priests have Wavering Faith in their default Divine Item slot. As such, all of these options (including back-attacks) are viable at level 7.
    skip_intro likes this.
  10. Ultreos

    Ultreos Mushroom Warrior

    I never said the words impossible I used the words punishing. Punishing in the very real sense that for a player lacking the cards at this stage it is in fact impossible if they lack the armor penetration as well as armor destruction that is easier and easier in number to come to you as you advance the game. For players that just reach this stage it is more then just "changing startegy" which is another buzz word I hear thrown around. They literally don't have the cards needed to win with any reliability which makes the level punishing.

    To further the blow the advice I see in here ranges from completely unusable "attack from behind" as you yourself said this does not happen reliably. To even less useful, change your strategy which could mean many things.

    The screen shot I asked for is not the other strategies. It is a screen shot asking for this attacking them from behind is a viable strategy because for players without the necessary cards they are going to try as hard as they can to make this succeed and fail repeatedly because the advice is simply not viable.

    Its being treated like its better then it is. Then I see half snarky comments like attacking these groups first make the battle ten times easier where players are literally banging their head against a wall. Usually from a lack of some of the more proper gear. Gear you and I have which trivializes the level by comparison. The advice of hitting them from. Behind is sound if hitting them from behind was viable or even somewhat reliable. Which for this stage, it is not.

    Just because we have better gear or got luckier drops at the time does not mean we should be trivializing the level. A great many of adventures that I hear many complaints about are adventures I fly through without a hassle, lord bradfords manor whatever that one is called that people claim such difficulty I breeze through. But I had some really top notch gear which literally trivialized the difficulty of the level.

    These people are most likely struggling to a lack of more necessary gear. Which is not something the experienced players should be passing off all the time as something as simple as changing your strategy. You can't just work with what you have and succeed some gear types you quite literally need to succeed. You need a certain number of attacks to succeed. And the advice I see so often seems to ignore that these players don't have those cards.

    This is my advice. Don't sell any equipment ever. You might actually need it. Don't buy gear from stores until you are struggling with a particular module, then buy gear to meet the need. Don't be afraid to go replay modules you found easy if you are struggling. The extra gear could help you.

    As for this module? Load up on armor penetration, and cards that raise your warriors damage such as unholy frenzy and righteous frenzy and healing cards to heal as needed. Likewise have your wizard load up on any armor penetration cards he can as well as acidblast if possible. If you don't have armor penetration go back and keep playing until you get yourself some choices in it.

    But the advice to simply change strategies? That's too vague to help a truly struggling player. Attacking from behind was also likely already known, but not useful for the level in question.
  11. invalidwerdz

    invalidwerdz Kobold

    I certainly started this thread with some frustration but I never intended for it to get uh... angry. I do have to sympathize with Mr. Ultreos though, being told 'You're doing it wrong' and 'You do actually have tools', is not much help. The goal here in beta, as I understand it, is to provide honest feedback while keeping an eye out for gamebreaking bugs.

    I played from levels 1-6 in a sitting. I completed every adventure in order of level requirements without repeats. I read every line of text I was presented with. I did not go on the forums first or read strategies or anything like that. I took the game head on without anything to guide me but the tutorial and Penny Arcade's words of glowing praise. My party wiped a few times before the trogg level, and I had more than a few close scrapes, but whenever I died I clearly saw I'd done something wrong. I felt I had failed and that the game had treated me fairly. Even with all the randomness inherent in a 'card' game, the game's fundamentals felt sound.

    The frozen bridge level obliterated me. I used all my retries for the first time yet and then had to pay to respawn. I wiped three more times and paid again, wiped a seventh time and walked away from the computer. I realized that I had to use the 'from behind' mechanic to have any chance at all, but the trogs all had spears and there was no room to maneuver. They also hit really hard and move in one thick pack. If, at any point, I got a character behind the lead trog (so he'd have to turn to hit me) then that character was getting hit by at least three other trogs as well. Even if my warrior got lucky and her blocks actually worked (hah!) she'd be dead inside one round of attacks. The lead trog, meanwhile, was nearly always able to survive what damage my wizard and cleric could put out. (usually just my wizard, as the cleric had maybe a Misguided Heal or a Bludgeon at best).

    I tried retreating back to those side avenues around the ice on either side of where you spawn. Using the little paths to make the trogs come at me one at a time - but this just gave them time to draw their plate cards. Once they had a pair of crude plates (I still don't understand why troglodytes with 'poorly made' equipment have the best armor I've seen in the game thus far) I couldn't do any damage no matter what. So it didn't matter if they came single file. Also the AI was good enough that it split the trogs into two and came at me from in front and behind. Add the spears to that equation and I had my healer getting double teamed.

    The next level, the final one in the adventure, was way way easier. I beat it, I think, on my first go. I might have wiped once but I never had to respawn. The adventures subsequent to this one (my party is level 8 now) were all easier as well. My wizard has acid and boiling armor and my warrior has impaler and pen strike... I've learned my lesson. This level does a good job of teaching it to you. I don't object to that, I just think it could be a little... gentler.

    Now, the next time the servers get wiped and I have to start over you can bet I'll be hoarding the early armor pen cards I get for when I need them... but a level that essentially requires you to have beat the game before to be able to handle it can't be the design goal right?

    All I'm really saying here is that a player bases his decisions off of what experience has taught him. This is, in many ways, a dungeon crawler. Dungeon crawlers have a number of core tenets that any PC gamer will have ingrained into the core of his being: one of those is sell excess loot. This game is also a card game, and tossing excess cards is madness... but the game feels like a dungeons crawler. It puts the two dynamics (so otherwise well synergized) at odds. Additionally, the inventory screen and the shop screen are both clunky and hard to manage. This encourages having a 'clean' inventory. So I was selling the items (cards) I didn't want to use and not valuing armor. My armor almost never, ever, works. When it does work it doesn't do anything. (Shave 2 damage off a 8 damage hit? Yeah...okay...) So I didn't appreciate what it might do for my enemy. Very suddenly they were absorbing 4 damage on every roll except a 1 or a 2.

    Either make it easier, telegraph that it's coming, or give me a reasonable way to correct my armor-related oversights.

    Just my two cents.
  12. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Right, right, and here we see why I don't get involved in internet arguments. Half of the disagreement comes from underlying assumptions that could be addressed and resolved, but no one ever wants to do something as "fluffy" or "touchy-feely" as . . . what would solve the problem. The other half comes from talking past each other and ignoring what's really been said.

    Thankfully, I've long since learned not to fan the flames, and I'll just stop talking if you don't want to hear me. But if you want to understand my concerns here, Ultreos, here's one last shot.

    First, it LOOKED like you just ignored me. I pointed out that anti-Armor abilities are available by the level 2 adventures, but you continued to post as though I had not. I see you're discussing this by Zalminen's post over here (where he went with items level 4 or below, all but 2 of them Common), so I'll presume it was only a bad impression.

    Second, it looks like you're coming from different assumptions. Once I advise you (remind you, really, just as the in-game tips should per this discussion) to get behind the enemies, it is up to you as a player to see how this general advice fits into specific game situations (way more than a one-sentence statement can ever cover), or ask if the advice seems unclear. Hence I repeatedly mentioned my surprise you're not convinced by the "Stab them in the back" example. Here, let me say it yet a third time: you've known since level 2 that Troglodytes back up if you step near. Tons of people are traumatized by this, in fact. So, because you know this, you have a mental picture for what happens if you step near a Trog Gouger: it backs up, exposing its back. This is only one possible example, but you already know it . . . and it looks like you're ignoring me by not speaking about any of these. How could a screenshot "show it is viable" any further? Literally, what would the image show? Me standing there with one Troglodyte facing away from me?

    I mentioned the idea of a video showing off the strategy. Because I'm no fool about teaching things (I do it for a career), I know that not all methods of explanation work. If you honestly, truly, with all good faith, cannot see how to get behind an enemy, then watching somebody else do it is better than a million explanations. And WE AGREE on this. Right?

    If I'm lucky, then you're simply bringing up these points because you feel "giving the advice" isn't enough. That's a different fundamental assumption about the conversation. If there's nothing WRONG with the advice, just how its given, then we're not arguing about the advice! We can stop! But if (good) advice still doesn't work, then of course a good teacher will give that advice in a different way.

    But for many people, it's all they need: the reminder to implement techniques they knew before but forgot were relevant, or the kickstart to the brain to go and think in a new way.

    And likewise, good teachers won't JUST mention the "backstab" idea in isolation, but will also mention the gear matters and everything else. Which is exactly what happens in all these threads giving advice, so it sounds like you're coming from yet other assumptions, in this case ones that are incorrect.

    . . .

    I asked you before, with the honest word "please," to reduce the level of hostility. Just as everywhere else, us people with "teacher instincts" care about the people we're trying to help, and your anger translates directly into our pain.

    P.S.: invalidwerdz, I'm not ignoring you. I'm just waiting to see if I have reason to post in this thread again.
  13. Ultreos

    Ultreos Mushroom Warrior

    The advice itself is only accurate to the sense that if you hit them from behind their armor does not work.

    This advice, for THIS particular level though, I only have one simple question. Yes you can use it, yes it is possible to use it, now tell me, with all honesty, how reliable of a strategy has it ever proven over armor destruction and armor penetration. Since you want me to be more upfront with you.

    I ask for a screen shot of someone using the "Attack from behind" to great effect, not because you and I both don't know that attacking from behind means no armor for them, but because the people offering this advice, are often offering this advice to people that know about armor penetration, know about armor discarding, and this is essentially their last hope.

    The problem with the advice for this particular level is not that the statement is not strictly true. After all it is strictly true that if I use a cross walk when the light says I can cross that I should be able to cross safely. But if three cars decide to rush through the light and hit me at the time, that strategy was not really viable now was it?

    Now I will admit, I had been incredibly irked by the sheer quantity of comments that I need to reassess my strategies considering I have made my way to level 14 and unlocked my first level 15 adventure, and having another player tell me hey you need to reassess your strategies, when I do this, the matches are ten times easier! And I may have put that towards you with the combination of calling the stage in question "easy and on farm status" when we both know that we have such a wider selection of cards that it does indeed make it easier on both of us, but not for the players who lack the selection we have.

    But there is going to be hostility, if the help I see offered, is in fact, not help, and being posed as help. People are telling people they have the right tools. This is not strictly true. I can personally confirm I did not have the tools at the time, and if I had not gone back and farmed former stages, any advice you offered me would have done nothing because I did in fact lack the tools.

    You yourself have a thread that is practically trivializing any complaints anyone has about any levels. Because everyone has a complaint about just about any stage, it just goes to show you maybe it's not as tough as you think, and this is the general attitude I get from this forum. So it trivializes actual difficulties, and ends up turning players away from the game as opposed to welcoming them.

    The advice to attack from behind, while this is strictly a true statement in that it works to make the armor not have effect. How reliable a strategy is that really? especially for a player that literally just got there, does not even have all their skills yet, and is probably missing vital gear to get the job done? How reliable is it to tell someone to hope the good monkey man turns it's back so you can get a good solid hit in? This isn't too much for me to ask is it? If it is not in fact a trolling piece of advice for this level, surely it has more reliability and capability to accomplish it then "once in a blue moon"

    I'm not asking you if the words "Attacking from behind will make their armor not work" are true. I am asking you, how useable is it? Because it's offered like the holy grail of advice for this level, and I'll be honest I can slaughter the level right now practically blind folded, and I still can't tell you where I should advise a player use it. I saw one opportunity to make use of it and it happened only by luck is the look of it.

    This level, I went back and played it, I can slaughter it, no I mean slaughter it. As in I could do it almost blind folded at this point, and I still wouldn't be able to tell you how attacking them from behind is a sound piece of advice for this specific stage. You mention you've been playing for months, which, you have likely found the best gear for the job by now, and you are not likely using the attack from behind motto. Not only because you don't need to, but also because the opportunity simply does not present itself reliably enough to make use of it, not to mention the safety.

    I didn't ignore you, but the arrogance in these forums about how "easy" or "hard" a level is based on "X or Y being the it factor" and then a piece of advice for a level I can personally confirm is not reliable enough to call advice for the specific level in question as a main stay strategy is getting to be a bit much.

    I know how hard the level is for a player who just got there. Not two weeks ago I was that player, and I can safely say the attack from behind strategy. Does. Not. Work. At least in the sense that it is reliable enough to be what gets the player through. The enemies simply do not present the opportunity often enough on this map to make this a viable strategy.

    Now as I said before. I had been more then a little irked by being told I needed to reassess my strategies, and that there are ways to attack the enemies that makes the mission ten times easier. This coupled in with your thread that seems to want to trivialize difficulty by making it seem like it's impossible for it to be all that difficult by saying well other people struggled everywhere else. Added to my overall annoyance. For that I can apologize for my level of irritation.

    My strategies work, and I know they work. I also know that the attack from behind strategy, for this particular level, is not a reliable strategy and should only be mentioned as, if they ever turn away from you hit them, and not be treated as though it is a strategy you can use to carry you to victory. Because it can't.

    I say this as a player, who if I had listened to your various advices back then and tried all these strategies instead of grinding for more gear improvement first, I likely would have put down the game, because I would have felt like there was nothing I could do, because everyone was telling me I had what I needed and that I simply had to change my strategy, and those changes just were not working.

    Am I just a specific type of case? Not really. I see other players in very similar situations posting here now.

    And because I see more and more people here venting frustration at the areas. I felt the trivializing of the difficulty of the game from the more experienced players here, needed a bit of a downturn. I see the trogs maps mentioned more then any other map in the game. People are going to need to start assuming in their advice that the player may yet need more gear to deal with them.

    I see this literally as being a point where players will give up the game because the level itself is not just hard, it is punishingly so if you don't have the right kind of gear yet to make it through, and the advice given here seems to trivialize the frustration, when you and I are players with such good gear we can just stomp right through it by comparison.

    I apologize for my earlier level of irritation. However I feel that as the more experienced players we need to stop trivializing player frustration because of how easy we found or now find it. Which when I am told I need to reassess my strategies when I have gone well and beyond such levels, tells me this board is in fact trivializing the difficulty.

    I'm rambling now, but I assure you I will be around later.

    Once again sorry for my level of irritation.
  14. Doctor Blue

    Doctor Blue Orc Soldier

    Yup. I stopped playing the campaign because of the Trog levels. You're only going to get people telling you how easy it is with this strategy and that strategy....eh, just save yourself the headache and jump straight to MP. That's my advice. :) You're not the only one complaining about those levels(and other parts of the campaign). Hopefully the devs will see that they've made the game way too hard for more casual players and make some changes. Until then, like I said, I'd just suggest playing MP.
  15. Blindsight

    Blindsight Ogre

    No worries and I think it's somewhat understandable. I think part of the problem is expectations. It is my impression that this isn't designed to be a casual game. It's much more difficult than that. It's also not an RPG/Adventure game as I've seem some people realize and complain about, it's much more of a puzzle game. Additionally, even mainstream games these days hand-hold players through the games which has led to a large portion of a whole generation of gamers with certain expectations for games. This game is more inline with an older generation's concept of challenge and difficulty and personally I think it's really refreshing and it has been well received by many others as well.

    Now, this isn't to say your expectations are out of whack somehow or that some aspects aren't incorrectly balanced or require a lot more effort than others. Various adventures have had their difficulties reduced and the developers have stated that they are taking analytics on things like how many attempts at each adventure, where people are failing, how long it takes them to pass them etc. I don't know the list of exactly what they are tracking and I'm not sure they'd share them, but they are there and we have been assured that they are, and will continue to be consulted.

    To defend the community (slightly) it's hard to take a lot of the "it's too hard" posts seriously when over the history of the game it has been screamed so often and loudly, only have the OP then go, "oh, I did this and now it's easy". Also, the long term theme is showing that lots of people are having a problem at certain parts of the campaign, but which particular part someone has problems with is quite varied. There doesn't appear to be one or two specific sticking points that can be easily identified as being overly difficult. Also, due to the nature of the 'puzzle' adventures, the random nature of the equipment also plays a large role, as does each players play style.

    Over all, it's a hard problem to adequately, and pleasantly, deal with. The overall conversation goes a little like this:

    New people come in (I'm not an old timer myself here) and say "OMG too hard WAI?"
    Community: "No it's not, just try this or this or this..."
    New player: "I can't", "It doesn't work", and/or "The random draws suck"
    Community: "Then you may need to grid for more items or change your party"
    New Player: "No it's too hard I shouldn't have to grind or spend the time to change my party"

    How do you politely say, "It's intended to be hard, and may require some grinding or starting over. If that's not okay with you maybe it's not a game for you." without upsetting them and just getting an argument back. And it would be a reasonable argument because they may never have played a game that made them work this hard to play it.

    So, to you personally, "Yup, it can be hard." I didn't actually have problems with trogs. Acid spray has always been my friend. I've never been able to use the attack from behind on the trogs because my characters were never robust enough to live while attempting to. I did eventually get stuck on the darn demon portal and I ended up creating a new party (2 Wizards and a Priest) which I could use more with my own play style now that I understood the game better. Not only did I get more items while I leveled up the new party, but I also became more practiced figuring out how I enjoy playing. Should you have to do this in a game? That's up to you. I didn't mind it and found it refreshing to get that experience from a game.

    You could avoid the issue and wait for them to nerf it, but I'd suggest (depending on what you want to get out of this beta) see what you can do to get through it. It will help the stats and show the developers just what it is taking to get through it for some people.

    --I'll stop writing my book here now. </wall of text>
  16. Sir Knight

    Sir Knight Sir-ulean Dragon

    Ultreos, my attitude continues to be that from my teacher's education: if it doesn't work one way, then a good teacher tries another. I'm glad you understand how we're both frustrated with the situation, but if I have anything to say about it, this will be more "helpful" than "insulting." If an exchange of advice goes badly, there are three parts involved: the advice itself, the giver of advice, and the recipient. Again, if people giving advice are doing so badly, then we are in complete agreement that they should do better (and they should not sound condescending).

    Then there's the recipient. As is usually the case, within the special case of gaming or without, in the end it is always up to the recipient to apply the advice. The giver cannot possibly explain EVERYTHING the recipient might do in ALL situations, and often the recipient must actually work at it.

    Then there's the advice. So we don't disagree on anything except the "hit them from behind" thing, right? Okay.

    Can I presume that when you say "this stage," you mean the second map in Beneath the Frozen Earth, Frozen Bridge? Most people do. This is because the programmers, as usual, are smart: after giving you one strategic challenge, they twist it to see if you can apply your strategy in a different circumstance. Here, on the bridge, these darn "you have to hit them from behind" Troglodytes are coming at you face-on. This is the single hardest place to do so in the entire game--where you would WANT to do so. First map in The Throne of Strench? Shouldn't try this strategy, because you're supposed to use the bottleneck technique.

    So here's the "movie" I mentioned: I took eight screenshots across different turns in the first two rounds of a fight in Frozen Bridge. My decks were based on all my items from all my weeks of play. Doesn't matter: you wanted to see me hit the enemy from behind, so any cards will do as long as they are comparable in range to early-game material.

    My opening move was to pass and let the enemy move. Then I jumped into position:

    From behind 1.jpg

    You can see my opening hand was good. The Unstable Bolt is bad, but I got lucky as I sent my two Wizards into the corners. My Priest, of course, took my advice and ran in close. We'll see how long this lasts, because either those Trog Gougers have Crude Plates, or they have nasty Attacks. The Trogs use a moderate one to start.

    Next I test by firing the Unstable Bolt on the proper target: the one that cannot attack.

    From behind 2.jpg

    They do NOT have Crude Plates. For this demonstration, I have to mark with an X where the enemy would have jumped with the card available. I tested in another game, and, yes, the Trog would be standing at that red X and facing my Human Wizard now. And of course I wouldn't have had to do so much damage: in fact, with Crude Plates, I'd be counting on my other low-level spells like Force Bolt to fail.

    Anyway, the other Trog is the only one that can attack, so it does.

    Now this fight is utterly blessed, because my Priest has a range 1 AND a range 2 Attack. At the X, my Priest would have to use Predictable Stab. For now, I use Draining Touch from behind. First "Armor bypass" (with no Armor, but whatever).

    From behind 3.jpg

    Now what? Well, my good opening hand means I have even more Attacks than I'll need. I play a Powerful Spark on the same target and get this.

    From behind 4.jpg

    You'll see that an enemy with Crude Plates would be one square further back, at the X, facing in this manner. And, of course, even the lowest-level Spark card would do: you don't need my equipment to achieve the basic pushback from Armor. (Not that Powerful Spark is difficult to find.)

    Meanwhile, Gary is passing and I'm taking advantage of this like crazy. My Human Wizard springs into action, Walks up, and fires an Acid Spray.

    Note again that this awesome equipment doesn't matter for the demonstration: Fire Spray is low-level and would work just the same. You wanted to see back-attacks, and this is my second "Armor bypass."

    From behind 5.jpg

    An enemy with Crude Plates at the X would be in pain. Hey, a low-level Big Zap would have been good at this range, too. But now what?

    Again, because this was a lucky draw, I fire another Powerful Spark and get my third "Armor bypass."

    From behind 6.jpg

    Also my first kill in the first round, but that doesn't count because we were talking about Armored enemies.

    Anyway, new round.

    Now, at this point, let me say something: I had PLANNED to show you two scenarios. I was going to do this Wizard one and then come back later with two Warriors. They would follow the advice that I tell you for the fourth or fifth time: as you know, all you have to do is move next to Troglodytes and they will step away, exposing their back.

    But then in this demonstration I achieved something. Not with luck, but with my basic Move card.

    From behind 7.jpg

    I'd moved next to the Trog. New round: because I was next to the Trog, it stepped away and exposed its back. You can see I also cast low-level Bad Medicine: of course, I was prepared with low-level anti-Armor gear, but it also was a strategic choice to delay until the enemy backed up. Which it did.

    And, of course, my Predictable Stab was supposed to have been used to backstab "a Trog with Crude Plates" a few images ago. If I were stuck with Draining Touch instead, I might choose to run up and attack the Trog: it can't attack anymore, so it won't turn to face me.

    Playing any such melee Attack is my fourth "Armor bypass." While the detailed juggling with crossed spells was pretty hard, this melee maneuvering is easy to understand, particularly since most players form nasty memories of Trog behavior back in level 2. Hence why I kept asking you to picture it in your head.

    From behind 8.jpg

    Done with two demonstrations.

    We'd spoken about the use of our gear and techniques at different levels. I . . . don't THINK that the gear here is too unlikely, aside from the Acid Spray (which, of course, behaves like other Cone cards). You'll see I didn't even bother using my Perplexing Rays, which I think are higher level. But, again, this isn't the point.

    You said that you doubted I would, or could, do anything of this sort at higher levels while I breeze through to "easy loot." I'm telling you: I've done this for months, and so can you. All you have to do is look at the spatial layout and use mobility, both yours and (in the case of stepping in close) the enemy's.

    . . .

    Now, I am quite tired from being involved in so much negativity. I hope that this post is helpful. I really, really don't want to have to post in the middle of an argument again anytime soon.

    Edited P.S.: I disagree with the idea that my other thread "trivializes" people's concerns with difficulty. Again, my goal is to help. I would be a terrible teacher if I didn't think other people's struggles were real.

    Giving perspective is just one tiny part of approaching this. Notice how quickly the thread turned into a "let's help people with 'that one level' here" thread. I still don't think those darn Astral Guardians can be anyone's definition of "easy," but I seem to be the ONLY person on the forum who feels this way, and a flood of the other folks came by to help me.

    Edited P.P.S.: I notice now that my Priest would have been in serious danger if the Predictable Stab/Draining Touch swap were to happen. I would actually have to, you know, fool around less and instead use those Perplexing Rays to reduce the risk. Or I could have asked anybody other than an Elf to be my single solitary shield against Troglodyte attacks. In other words, use strategy.
  17. Doctor Blue

    Doctor Blue Orc Soldier

    That's the impression I get as well, which leads me to wonder....should casual gamers just avoid this game? ...Or at least, avoid the campaign? Personally, I'd consider myself a mix between hardcore and casual gamer. I'm kind of hardcore when it comes to MP, but for playing campaigns, I'm more causal in that I don't like too much of a challenge(I don't like things to be too easy, either), but instead, I'd like to enjoy the story more than deal with great challenges. And sure, we don't have to even play the campaign...we can just jump straight into MP if we'd like to and play at max level and even get loot, but playing the modules seems to be a much, much better way to get loot. The problem is, for me at least, is that I can't even advance in the campaign because of how frustrating it is. It's loss after loss until I figure out the specific strategy I need to follow to beat a certain module, only to go through the same frustrating process in the next one. It's just too much for some people, and I'm one of them.

    I guess I'm just too casual for this game? Maybe I should just pack up my bags and head out. :(
  18. slyflourish

    slyflourish Kobold

    Agreed that this game isn't exactly easy. Constantly failing adventures. Most annoying is that it somewhat lags on my computer, making grinds even slower.
  19. skip_intro

    skip_intro Ogre

    Sir Knight, thank you for such a clear and useful explanation of how the game systems work together to get past "impossible" situations. Many more thanks for doing it in a calm and rational manner.
  20. Cymbaline

    Cymbaline Mushroom Warrior

    It's more an issue that it's guaranteed, guaranteed that when you mention difficulty on an internet forum, no matter the game, no matter the situation, there's always going to be someone who says, "oh, it's not hard, you're just doing it wrong." Sometimes they're right, and sometimes they're just doing the ePeen thing. It's maddeningly frustrating to see time and time again, though, and given that "it's not hard" is tossed out without thought time and again, it comes to feel like any difficulty complaint is trivialized and hand-waved away.

    Thanks for the explanation, though as someone who hates the Troggs, hated that series of missions, and does get the "attack from behind" thing, that strategy goes completely out the window if you don't have the right amount of move and attack cards on the right characters at the right time. Plenty of times I've ended up facing Troggs with two sets of crude plates, and I have nothing available that will let me handle the situation. The RNG can destroy any strategy.

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