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MaximillionMiles
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2015, 08:47:00 pm »

Elite Tac Squad goofing around. They just want to party all the time.  lol

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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2015, 03:12:33 am »

Hahaha. Wink

Yeah, in some cases they use decks that don't quite match their theming, like Rush. I don't quite have enough cards to make rush synergies across the MetroSec cards as well as the Anarchist cards.
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2015, 11:19:14 am »

Finally got to play it last night. The only small thing I've noticed for now was that Zeke has empty descriptions. Will continue playing more. Apart from that, everything seems to work fine, but I only did the first mission.
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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2015, 03:43:57 pm »

Good stuff! Just please apply the patch file I sent, will fix a few important things. Smile

@MaximillionMiles:

Crap, someone has reported that BlackJack was broken. Since that screen looks like it's from one of the late game Rush decks, they were probably a lot easier than they should have been. Doh.

Please patch asap, will fix that. Wink
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2015, 08:38:37 pm »

I've played through the whole campaign. Good stuff, story starts kinda slow but picks up speed and ups the stakes pretty well. It's nice also that you get to pick between different missions here and there, which increases the replay value. I will do another playthrough and write a bug chunk of more extensive feedback. This is just very preliminary feedback:

  • Myria does the "tick tock better get me those credits fast" routine even if you've already paid the debt. She also asks for her 15 000 even if, again, you've already paid her through the Story mission ""
  • I noticed some missions can overlap each other on the map. More specifically "Forensics Report" and "Lending a Hand 3" You can still clcik each one, but it looks inelegant.
  • Does Firepower 1 (the mission effect, not a card) affect the security turrets? I think they aren't but I am not sure if I did the math right
  • The last mission, the enemy has an effect going "when this reaches 0, win the game" . The counter did go down to zero, but nothing happened. Was that intentional? Because otherwise... DAMN! That guy will be hard to defeat in regular mode. EDIT - Oh, I see in your second e-mail you fixed this already. Ok, we'll see how that goes.

So, I went through the game and mostly went undefeated. So I will just record here the missions I was defeated, how many tried it took to win, and quick thoughts on the mission itself. For the record I mostly played with a slow-burn, top-heavy deck. Later in the game I switched to a full mech deck.

-CIT viral -1 defeat- I just had a shitty hand. Nothing serious

-Data Wipe SecureNet -3 defeats- Screw Aesir and Nil. Seriously. The first mission I had to create a different deck just to counter it. I called it literally Anti-Hacking.

-Second Wade ambush -1 defeat- So much damage. Interesting how the damage deck has come into its own.

Clearing a Path - Ghost - 1defeat- & Clearing a Path - Jinx -2 defeats - It's a little hard when you don't fully know the deck you're using, and those missions are no slouches on difficulty. Still, I like the idea of using different decks for those missions. Makes a good change of pace

MetroSec Tac - Cybercrimes - 3 defeats - Once again, I had to resort to my anti-hacking deck to beat this one. Similar issue to the Data Wipe SecureNet.

MetroSec Special Response Heavy Weapons - 1 defeat - Damage Deck once again. No big deal.

AmTech top floor security hub - 5-7 defeats(?) - Man, you did not go easy on that one, did you? 3 OP per turn effect plus Nil? Nasty. Even with my Anti-Hack deck it took a few tries to beat this one, and I still feel it was luck more than anything that let me win. I'll play the game once more before giving my full opinion, but my first impression is that there are only a few, certain strategies to defeat that mission and even then it's still a crapshoot, as you have to pray the opponent does not get a good hand. But we'll see. We'll see.

Overall I liked the game, and enjoyed playing it. There's a lot of content too. I barely had to replay any missions, only went on one tournament and still spent a good chunk of my Sunday and whatever I could squeeze on Friday and Saturday on it. Definitely impressive for what is mostly a one-man team. The story had its moments too. I will say right now the Ambushes and Bounty hunters were some of my favorite "characters" in the game. They drove home that the main character was being hunted, and what was at stake. The reality of being relentlessly hunted and why it was NECESSARY for the player to clear their name. Also, as the game progressed, they sort of became your nemeses, personal enemies in your fight for survival.

Will post more later.  Salute
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2015, 10:51:41 pm »

Started the game tonight, easy arena match. Used the take cover card, but I didn't get any armor bonus. Am I missing something?

EDIT: Just me not noticing an enemy agent reducing armor.

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« Last Edit: October 19, 2015, 10:54:16 pm by Oscar » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2015, 03:37:44 pm »

@Oscar: Heh Wink


@MaximillionMiles:

Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed it! And congrats, you're the #2 non-dev through System Crash!  Grin

Quote
Myria does the "tick tock better get me those credits fast" routine even if you've already paid the debt. She also asks for her 15 000 even if, again, you've already paid her through the Story mission ""
I noticed some missions can overlap each other on the map. More specifically "Forensics Report" and "Lending a Hand 3" You can still clcik each one, but it looks inelegant.

Noted, thanks.

Quote
Does Firepower 1 (the mission effect, not a card) affect the security turrets? I think they aren't but I am not sure if I did the math right

Yes. All direct damage Events and card abilities, including the turrets (and Condition effects).

Quote
-Data Wipe SecureNet -3 defeats- Screw Aesir and Nil. Seriously. The first mission I had to create a different deck just to counter it. I called it literally Anti-Hacking.

Heh. Yeah, a decent hacking deck is a PITA. I designed it to force people to adjust their strategy, so yeah, you'll probably need a specific counter deck.

Quote
-Second Wade ambush -1 defeat- So much damage. Interesting how the damage deck has come into its own.

Indeed. Try an Elite Assassin deck vs an Elite Firepower deck. It's just grueling. You basically just wipe out each other's agents then sit there trying to get something, anything down on the board to score OP with. I wouldn't say it's fun, exactly, but it's kinda amusing, in a groan-worthy way.

Quote
Clearing a Path - Ghost - 1defeat- & Clearing a Path - Jinx -2 defeats - It's a little hard when you don't fully know the deck you're using, and those missions are no slouches on difficulty. Still, I like the idea of using different decks for those missions. Makes a good change of pace

Yeah, that's exactly the idea, a change of pace toward the end, where people are likely to have built their favourite deck and are just plowing toward the end.

Quote
AmTech top floor security hub - 5-7 defeats(?) - Man, you did not go easy on that one, did you? 3 OP per turn effect plus Nil? Nasty. Even with my Anti-Hack deck it took a few tries to beat this one, and I still feel it was luck more than anything that let me win. I'll play the game once more before giving my full opinion, but my first impression is that there are only a few, certain strategies to defeat that mission and even then it's still a crapshoot, as you have to pray the opponent does not get a good hand. But we'll see. We'll see.

What do you have in that deck? You need the Countermeasures cards and to carefully hoard your Tactic destroying cards for when he pops Smoke Grenade. Late game Hacker deck relies on slowing you down via Smoke Grenade. Neural Backlash can also hit 'em hard to gain you some time to work. A few Assassinate cards for Nil/Surev are also good.

Quote
Overall I liked the game, and enjoyed playing it. There's a lot of content too. I barely had to replay any missions, only went on one tournament and still spent a good chunk of my Sunday and whatever I could squeeze on Friday and Saturday on it. Definitely impressive for what is mostly a one-man team. The story had its moments too. I will say right now the Ambushes and Bounty hunters were some of my favorite "characters" in the game. They drove home that the main character was being hunted, and what was at stake. The reality of being relentlessly hunted and why it was NECESSARY for the player to clear their name. Also, as the game progressed, they sort of became your nemeses, personal enemies in your fight for survival.

Will post more later.

Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!

Honestly, I can't tell you how much of a relief it is, after 4 years, to hear that it isn't terrible. Playing it for so long, you just completely lose perspective. I mostly just see the flaws now, where I feel I could have done better. lol
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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2015, 06:28:51 pm »

Hi Gareth, I'm here to report that I just completed System Crash this afternoon.  Time to transcribe my pages of handwritten scribbles into something which is hopefully useful to you.

First off, I would like to say that I really enjoyed your game!  The mix of deckbuilding/CCG gameplay mixed with the storytelling of an RPG definitely works well.  The pacing of the story and escalation of missions had the feel of a well done Shadowrun campaign.  I didn't run into any critical bugs and very few glaring issues during my playthrough.  I wish you the best of luck with System Crash once it launches, seems like you certainly deserve it.

System Crash prerelease test, build 1.3.2.0

General Impressions & Creative Suggestions:
- Introduction: Solid, fitting music and art.  Consider spicing up the opening story to grab our attention better.  The writing towards the end of the game felt much more engaging.

- Menu: Encrypting Stream was really cool, neat addition.

- Profile: Loved the quantity of portraits (later realized that they are all used as card art, but whatever).  Varying quality of some of the art stood out.  I also enjoyed the key click sounds while typing!

- Creative suggestions, Profile/First Deck: It would be interesting if you could add some variety to the starting deck based on selection of a class or perhaps by selecting a background for your character such as being a hacker, decker, having Yakuza ties, being a soldier or gun nut, etc.  Seems like it would be a relatively simple way to give players immediate investment in their character as well as customization.

- It was genuinely exciting unlocking new cards for a while.  I was PUMPED once I finally had access to the right cards to make my first Mech deck!  This feeling potentially came way too early, as that excitement is gone about half way through the campaign as you possess every desirable card at that point.

- UI: I have a concern that the gameplay looks fairly bland to those without CCG experience.  The existence of Hearthstone helps, but consider taking a few notes from that game such as the dynamic, loud and exciting combat.  Most combat sounds were fairly muted and without much variety.  Subtle graphic effects (if within your means) for various attacks, abilities and when cards come into play could go a long way.

- Glaring Issue: I paid off Miriam with 1 day left on the timer.  I was contacted by her after my next mission asking for money, which I no longer had, and had to blow her off and kill all of her thugs.

- Dialogue and story really nails the Shadowrun feel.  I enjoyed this aspect of System Crash better than most of the recent Shadowrun Returns games.  I absolutely loved the shadow community vibe, how all of the runners watch each other's backs and work together.

- Creative suggestion: Non-combat missions would be interesting if the various dialogue choices followed a choose your own adventure style system of having potential rewards or penalties based on decisions, similar to Banner Saga or King of Dragon Pass.  Bonus gold, cards, (dis)advantages in the following encounter or additional enemies could be worked into this.

- A "New!" tag over newly acquired cards would be of use.

- Encounter with Surev feels rushed and should be fleshed out, he could be a really interesting character but is quite bland as is.

Gameplay & Difficulty:
- Neon Arena: Played through with the starter deck cut down to 40 cards.  Easy wins through the easy difficulty and some of medium without making any deck changes through massive card advantage mid to late game.  A few synergistic decks, especially hacking decks, were problematic.  This led to the construction of a mech deck that carried me through the rest of the Neon Arena quite easily.  This was done soon after paying Miriam the $15k.  There seemed to be too few medium difficulty decks.  Perhaps I was unlucky, but I felt like every other deck was a combination of Criminals/Runners which played turn 1 Jessica Razor every match (which was fine by me, I'll gladly take that free card every single time!).

- Bad AI regarding Security Clearance.  Damn near every time I see this card played, it's AFTER the AI plays a ton of agents.

- First Declan fight is fun and challenging.  Wiped with 1 turn left vs a newly constructed Yakuza deck.  My Mech deck easily shut the board down and lasted until the end.  I can't see any deck but hackers winning without the time limit boon.

- Missions with pre-selected decks were a fun mix up late game.  Also effective at ensuring difficulty at a pivotal story point.  Hendrick's deck was a blast (lol) to play, had great synergy and I ended up building my own in it's image!  I hated Ghost's deck as it felt incredibly bland and had no real synergy beyond Haste (Blackjack and no Neonmongers!).  Jynx's deck was a simple, effective hacking deck, which felt about right.

- I had way too much money towards the end of the game.  This makes most card purchases insignificant, as most players will have every card they want fairly early.  I finished the game with 4 or more copies of 98 different cards, over $50k and nothing to spend it on.  I would consider doubling or tripling the cost of cards via the Black Market and perhaps gate important cards (Smoke Grenade, Nil, Overwatch AI, Rutger, HE Grenade, Shaped Charge etc)  behind story points.

- Despite genuinely enjoying the card game, there were simply too many encounters toward the end of the game vs uninteresting MetroSec.  The chief offender is 6 MetroSec enemies and 3 bounty hunters on the map at more or less the same time.  At an average of maybe 5 minutes per match, that's a lot of play time to advance a store which is obviously in the process of wrapping itself up.  However, I did appreciate the feeling conveyed by having so many opponents converging on the character, it made the setting feel right.

- AmTech Tower:  I had to swap out my trusty hacking deck at the top of the AmTech tower against the 3op/turn bonus.  I have a deck of 1c-3c cards that took it down super fast using Jessica Razor, Wei Lee, Jack, Yakuza Soldier, Nem0 and Attack bonus cards.  Encounter was really simple using this strategy as it simply outpaced and beat up the opposing hackers quite easily.  Smoke Grenade would have hosed me, but I didn't see the AI use it either attempt.


Deck & Card Impressions:
- Some general impressions on some of the decks I played, mostly tribal.  I didn't have the time to thoroughly examine many of the cards' power in relation to one another.
- I initially identified hacking agents as being very powerful, especially compared to other, similarly costed agents when comparing cost, attack and health.  My opinion of this held throughout the game, even more so with the arrival of the Smoke Grenade.  After acquiring a few missing components about half way through the campaign, I made my own hacking deck which I used to easily defeat every match (except top of AmTech tower vs AI w/hacking 3/turn mod) for the remainder of the game.  I don't see why any other deck would be played, as it wins almost regardless of what the opponent plays and is incredibly consistent through the power of Smoke Grenade.  Hacking decks can easily drop an early Smoke Grenade to protect your hacking agents, but, most importantly, keep those agents from wearing down the opponent's agents, keeping their board clogged with more or less useless agents that can't attack through the smoke debuff.  Smoke Grenade is the real problem - it is probably too cheap for the effect and duration that it has in tandem with hackers, in the rare case of it getting removed, I could reliably replay one with only a few drawing cards in the deck.  But even at 3c or 4c it would still be problematic, I feel that the effect last too long.  I would suggest either a shorter turn duration or a dissipating effect, such as -4 attack on turn 1, -3 on turn 2, etc.  That said, I found that hacking decks were fun to play as or play against since they are so different than basically any other deck in the game, which all tend to play very similarly to one another.

- I originally found Selina Monroe too powerful.  3/10 for 3c, card draw and built in tribal pump seems like a lot.  I never had much success when I tried Anarchs however, so perhaps the weakness of her tribe keeps her in check.  The agents in this deck are really fragile, especially buffed with The 9th Circle and simply didn't have the speed, card advantage or stability to push through most other decks.

- MetroSec Captain feels weak.  4/13 for 5c and +1 attack/+1 armor to Law tribe.  I realize that he grants +2 attack and +2 armor to other MetroSec agents through his buff and by virtue of also being Law, but I ended up preferring the other, cheaper MetroSec agents in my Law deck and ended up cutting copies of him.  Law decks are likely to be slow and have little card draw, mine won by relying on the high armor and survivability of the MetroSec agents.  Whenever I played the captain, he felt like a weak link, usually quickly dying due to low armor.  It's worth noting that Law plays almost exactly like Mech and that the cards even have some synergy.

- Mechs seem a highly effective, if slow to start deck.  I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of players end up running Mech (or Law) initially, due to how effective individual Mech agents are with built in armor or comes-into-play damage.  I ended up running 4x Security Clearance to get over the hump into my 4c+ Mechs, however a 3c Mech to smooth the curve into the expensive guys would be welcome.  This deck can easily survive early damage with Peepers (replaces itself) and Tarantulas (can easily 2-for-1) before dropping Overwatch AI and usually winning with those initial Mechs.  Filling a gap with a Myrmidon or X-32 Paladin under Overwatch AI is usually game.  Higher cost Mechs seem unnecessary against most deck.  Even with lots of removal, this deck had difficulty against hacking decks due to relatively slow speed and, of course, Smoke Grenade.



Writing & Grammatical Errors:
Neon Noir: - "...hot on your tail." The idiom is technically hot on your trail, though tail gets used in mistake frequently enough to make it more or less acceptable.
                 -  "You had to pay a black market body shop a fortune to graft you a new hand, to replace the one that you lost to that grenade..." The flow of this sentence feels really funky to me, something about "the one" and "that grenade" so close together.  It's your hand, though it feels so impersonal.  Try, "You lost your left hand to a grenade and it cost a fortune at a black market body shop to get a new one grafted.  A rush job, the color doesn't quite match."
                 - I'm not 100% positive on this, my note is lacking, but I have written, "[For?] six months..."  I think there may just have been a missing conjunction (for) here.

Marty Tang: - "Hes got us through security." Missing apostrophe in he's.

JoJo: - "McNulty run a tight ship.  Strong security..." Missing the s in runs.

McNulty: - "Using the spinner for cover, you and Declan hold them off.  The aren't particular good shots."  Particular should be particularly.

Declan's Apartment: - "...prying eyes on Declan's floor.It only takes a few moments..."  Missing spacing between after punctuation in floor.It.

Wei Lee @ 9th Circle: - "...the way of her blade, narrowly avoiding disemboweling."  Disemboweling should be being disemboweled or disembowelment.

Ling: - "MetroSec react quickly..." I assume MetroSec here implies the entire organization, in which case react should be reacts.


Thanks for giving me the chance to try your game, it was a pleasure!  And once again, good luck!

« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 08:44:41 pm by skyst » Logged
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« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2015, 03:03:05 pm »

I'm glad you enjoyed it, skyst, and thanks for the detailed feedback, that's great!

I'm a little shattered from work today, so I'll post a detailed response tomorrow re: things like the balance. Cheers!
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« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2015, 07:08:28 am »

Right.

Firstly, thanks again for the comments, I'm glad you enjoyed System Crash!

And comments like this:

Quote
.The pacing of the story and escalation of missions had the feel of a well done Shadowrun campaign.

...make me very, very happy, as a developer! Smile

Onto the feedback:

Quote
- Creative suggestions, Profile/First Deck: It would be interesting if you could add some variety to the starting deck based on selection of a class or perhaps by selecting a background for your character such as being a hacker, decker, having Yakuza ties, being a soldier or gun nut, etc.  Seems like it would be a relatively simple way to give players immediate investment in their character as well as customization.

That's a pretty good idea. I'm considering introducing classes into an expansion. Something like Hearthstone, where class gives you unique cards and possibly special abilities. So classes like Hacker, Street Samurai, Soldier, Field Medic, Face, that kind of thing. It may be too late to put this idea in the first release of System Crash, but it's certainly something I'm thinking about for the future.

I hope to support and expand SC for a long time. Smile

Quote
- It was genuinely exciting unlocking new cards for a while.  I was PUMPED once I finally had access to the right cards to make my first Mech deck!  This feeling potentially came way too early, as that excitement is gone about half way through the campaign as you possess every desirable card at that point.

Quote
- I had way too much money towards the end of the game.  This makes most card purchases insignificant, as most players will have every card they want fairly early.  I finished the game with 4 or more copies of 98 different cards, over $50k and nothing to spend it on.  I would consider doubling or tripling the cost of cards via the Black Market and perhaps gate important cards (Smoke Grenade, Nil, Overwatch AI, Rutger, HE Grenade, Shaped Charge etc)  behind story points.

Fair enough. I wanted to err on the side of making sure players felt like they had enough options to experiment, but I think I can tighten up the mission rewards a bit. Folks who've completed the game have all reported having more money than they can spend by the end, so I've been a bit too generous.

Quote
- UI: I have a concern that the gameplay looks fairly bland to those without CCG experience.  The existence of Hearthstone helps, but consider taking a few notes from that game such as the dynamic, loud and exciting combat.  Most combat sounds were fairly muted and without much variety.  Subtle graphic effects (if within your means) for various attacks, abilities and when cards come into play could go a long way.

Yeah, this is an area that I want to look at closely. I agree, it could do with more sensory oomph.

Quote
- Glaring Issue: I paid off Miriam with 1 day left on the timer.  I was contacted by her after my next mission asking for money, which I no longer had, and had to blow her off and kill all of her thugs.

That should be fixed with the latest patch.

Quote
- Dialogue and story really nails the Shadowrun feel.  I enjoyed this aspect of System Crash better than most of the recent Shadowrun Returns games.  I absolutely loved the shadow community vibe, how all of the runners watch each other's backs and work together.

Again, this makes me really, really happy. Thank you!  Grin

Quote
- Creative suggestion: Non-combat missions would be interesting if the various dialogue choices followed a choose your own adventure style system of having potential rewards or penalties based on decisions, similar to Banner Saga or King of Dragon Pass.  Bonus gold, cards, (dis)advantages in the following encounter or additional enemies could be worked into this.

Yeah, agreed. I'm definitely looking at doing more with the story missions in expansions, I may be able to squeeze a little more into the base campaign before launch, will see. This isn't the last players will see of those characters. Smile

Quote
- A "New!" tag over newly acquired cards would be of use.

Good suggestion!

Quote
- Encounter with Surev feels rushed and should be fleshed out, he could be a really interesting character but is quite bland as is.

I'll see about spicing that up. Smile

Quote
- Neon Arena: Played through with the starter deck cut down to 40 cards.  Easy wins through the easy difficulty and some of medium without making any deck changes through massive card advantage mid to late game.  A few synergistic decks, especially hacking decks, were problematic.  This led to the construction of a mech deck that carried me through the rest of the Neon Arena quite easily.  This was done soon after paying Miriam the $15k.  There seemed to be too few medium difficulty decks.  Perhaps I was unlucky, but I felt like every other deck was a combination of Criminals/Runners which played turn 1 Jessica Razor every match (which was fine by me, I'll gladly take that free card every single time!).

Ah...yes. My apologies, there were some issues with the config file, you weren't playing against the full selection of AI opponents in tournament mode. :/ If you apply the patch it'll update the tournament to give you more/appropriate foes to fight. Try it with the patch and let me know if you find it better. This might have unbalanced the game for you, if you got the higher tier Tournament rewards without facing the tougher decks.

Quote
- Bad AI regarding Security Clearance.  Damn near every time I see this card played, it's AFTER the AI plays a ton of agents.

Yeah, another tester mentioned that too, I'll look into it.

Quote
- First Declan fight is fun and challenging.  Wiped with 1 turn left vs a newly constructed Yakuza deck.  My Mech deck easily shut the board down and lasted until the end.  I can't see any deck but hackers winning without the time limit boon.

Yeah, it's a tough one. You basically have to build for survivability. There are other options, anything that slows him down a lot (like crippling, unsummons, stacking armor).

Quote
- Missions with pre-selected decks were a fun mix up late game.  Also effective at ensuring difficulty at a pivotal story point.  Hendrick's deck was a blast (lol) to play, had great synergy and I ended up building my own in it's image!  I hated Ghost's deck as it felt incredibly bland and had no real synergy beyond Haste (Blackjack and no Neonmongers!).  Jynx's deck was a simple, effective hacking deck, which felt about right.

Yeah, Ghost's run is not getting any love, I'll see about making her better. That being said...was your Blackjack bugged? He should have summoned Neonmonger Ambushers on play. Which is actually incredibly strong with Anarch synergies, IIRC Ghost's deck is a fairly strong rush deck. But it hinges on Blackjack. It's a little luck based, like most rush strategies, but with the right combo you win by round 7 or so. But I think few of the testers got to experience the fun of that thanks to bugged Blackjack.   Confused

Quote
- Despite genuinely enjoying the card game, there were simply too many encounters toward the end of the game vs uninteresting MetroSec.  The chief offender is 6 MetroSec enemies and 3 bounty hunters on the map at more or less the same time.  At an average of maybe 5 minutes per match, that's a lot of play time to advance a store which is obviously in the process of wrapping itself up.  However, I did appreciate the feeling conveyed by having so many opponents converging on the character, it made the setting feel right.

Do you mean uninteresting in terms of story or gameplay? Those MetroSec enemies use a variety of decks, I decided it would be too boring to just play against a Squad deck all the time.

Quote
- AmTech Tower:  I had to swap out my trusty hacking deck at the top of the AmTech tower against the 3op/turn bonus.  I have a deck of 1c-3c cards that took it down super fast using Jessica Razor, Wei Lee, Jack, Yakuza Soldier, Nem0 and Attack bonus cards.  Encounter was really simple using this strategy as it simply outpaced and beat up the opposing hackers quite easily.  Smoke Grenade would have hosed me, but I didn't see the AI use it either attempt.

Sure. You have to build a specific counter to it. Others have build anti-hacking decks, those work too. It does use Smoke Grenade, but it probably got unlucky draws.

Quote
- I initially identified hacking agents as being very powerful, especially compared to other, similarly costed agents when comparing cost, attack and health.  My opinion of this held throughout the game, even more so with the arrival of the Smoke Grenade.  After acquiring a few missing components about half way through the campaign, I made my own hacking deck which I used to easily defeat every match (except top of AmTech tower vs AI w/hacking 3/turn mod) for the remainder of the game.  I don't see why any other deck would be played, as it wins almost regardless of what the opponent plays and is incredibly consistent through the power of Smoke Grenade.  Hacking decks can easily drop an early Smoke Grenade to protect your hacking agents, but, most importantly, keep those agents from wearing down the opponent's agents, keeping their board clogged with more or less useless agents that can't attack through the smoke debuff.  Smoke Grenade is the real problem - it is probably too cheap for the effect and duration that it has in tandem with hackers, in the rare case of it getting removed, I could reliably replay one with only a few drawing cards in the deck.  But even at 3c or 4c it would still be problematic, I feel that the effect last too long.  I would suggest either a shorter turn duration or a dissipating effect, such as -4 attack on turn 1, -3 on turn 2, etc.  That said, I found that hacking decks were fun to play as or play against since they are so different than basically any other deck in the game, which all tend to play very similarly to one another.

Fair enough. Smoke Grenade, as you said, is the issue. It's been a difficult card to balance, I probably need to weaken it a bit. You shouldn't be able to walk through the entire game with hackers.

Quote
- I originally found Selina Monroe too powerful.  3/10 for 3c, card draw and built in tribal pump seems like a lot.  I never had much success when I tried Anarchs however, so perhaps the weakness of her tribe keeps her in check.  The agents in this deck are really fragile, especially buffed with The 9th Circle and simply didn't have the speed, card advantage or stability to push through most other decks.

See broken Blackjack. The's strong, but together with Blackjack and 9th Circle, she's pure murder. Pull out 9th Circle by turn 3, then either Blackjack or Selina to search for Blackjack followed by Blackjack, and it's often basically game over unless they have something like Smoke Grenade.

Unfortunately, my fuckup means people are missing the joy of this combo. Sigh.

Quote
- MetroSec Captain feels weak.  4/13 for 5c and +1 attack/+1 armor to Law tribe.  I realize that he grants +2 attack and +2 armor to other MetroSec agents through his buff and by virtue of also being Law, but I ended up preferring the other, cheaper MetroSec agents in my Law deck and ended up cutting copies of him.  Law decks are likely to be slow and have little card draw, mine won by relying on the high armor and survivability of the MetroSec agents.  Whenever I played the captain, he felt like a weak link, usually quickly dying due to low armor.  It's worth noting that Law plays almost exactly like Mech and that the cards even have some synergy.

Fair enough, I'll look at that card again.

Quote
- Mechs seem a highly effective, if slow to start deck.  I would be willing to bet that the vast majority of players end up running Mech (or Law) initially, due to how effective individual Mech agents are with built in armor or comes-into-play damage.  I ended up running 4x Security Clearance to get over the hump into my 4c+ Mechs, however a 3c Mech to smooth the curve into the expensive guys would be welcome.  This deck can easily survive early damage with Peepers (replaces itself) and Tarantulas (can easily 2-for-1) before dropping Overwatch AI and usually winning with those initial Mechs.  Filling a gap with a Myrmidon or X-32 Paladin under Overwatch AI is usually game.  Higher cost Mechs seem unnecessary against most deck.  Even with lots of removal, this deck had difficulty against hacking decks due to relatively slow speed and, of course, Smoke Grenade.

I am seeing people favouring Mechs a bit, yeah. I may need to rebalance them. Having difficulty against Hackers is fine, that's by design. Hackers are intended to counter tough agents by circumventing combat.

It's a bit rock-paper-scissors. Tough/armored Agent decks do well against direct damage, having the toughness to survive. But they're weak against hacking. Hackers are strong against tough agents, but not as strong against direct damage or agent/tactic removal event heavy decks, like Hendricks. Rush decks are a bit of a wild card, they try to win before the other decks really get rolling.

I'll follow up on those spelling and grammatical errors, cheers.

Thanks again for the detailed feedback, and for giving SC a try! Much appreciated!
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« Reply #25 on: October 22, 2015, 05:10:25 pm »

Alright, finished it. For some extra challenge I've decided to not buy any cards and just use the mission rewards. I preferred hacking cards but wasn't 100% focused. Never got Smoke Grenade and ended with 395k in the bank. Only did one arena fight. Still the game wasn't very difficult, I had to retry missions occasionally but not too often.

Bugs and suggestions:
- The game freezes at the Neon Arena selection screen if you click the [<] button to go back and then try to enter again. Log attached.
- I think my first turn was automatically skipped in one match. Log attached (it would be the last match in the log). But I wasn't really paying attention so maybe I was just seeing things.
- If you piss off Miriam and defeat some of her goons before doing any other missions you can access the Black Market once using the message at the top of the screen. However, the Black Market icon in the corner doesn't appear so you can't do it again until you do a non-Miriam mission. Also, Miriam still sends you reminders.
- Your hand can get crowded at times. I once had 17 cards after System Crash. It becomes a little troublesome to sift through them then. There seems to be some unused (?) space on the sides, maybe it could be expanded a little. Being able to sort the hand by cost or type could help too, though it'd perhaps overcomplicate things.
- After selecting a card it should be highlighted in some way so it's obvious which one you're playing. Sure, you should know since you just clicked it, but some visual feedback wouldn't hurt.
- One of the Neonmonger Loiterers mission icons is hidden behind the Black Market icon. It's still clickable though.
- Card description for Williams: "On play, search your deck for a Deception card." Other cards follow it with "and put it into your hand", but not this one. Also, some cards say "When XXX comes into play", and some just "On play". Nothing important, but it's better to be consistent.
- It's not obvious when you lose the game by running out of cards. I was confused for a second when it happened, and new players would be more confused. The deck counter should turn red when it runs low, and the defeat message should indicate the game was lost this way.
- The game seems to use a single file per profile to save progress. If something goes wrong during saving, it might get corrupted. I once lost all my scores in Shoot the Bullet this way because of power failure. It was not a happy day. You can alternate between files or rename the old file before writing a new one. Disregard if you are already doing something like this.
- Victory screen music overlaps with the mission music. You should probably stop playing the mission music before the victory screen.
- If a card tooltip is shown at the end of a match, it will continue sticking to the cursor on the victory screen.
- On top of the mission selection screen, when hovering over the "AmTech Tower - Primary Network Hub" mission, "b" is cut off.
- Cunningham's condition card still says "When this condition's duration reaches 0, win the game." I'm using the second patch you sent (Blackjack seems to work correctly).
- The configuration window that appears when starting the game has some useless input options.
- Main menu: Encrypting Stream occasionally goes over border, a monospace font would look better there.
- Main menu: Copyright 2013. Might want to update that.
- It's too bad that the GUI doesn't scale to widescreen resolutions. Maybe try putting some art on the sides to fill the empty space.

Typos:
- Marty: "Amtech's 'Head of North American Oprations' apparently, whatever the fuck that is."
- Declan: "You know there there was a bombing here?"
- Declan: "Rules says I should take you in for questioning"
- Simon Turner: "Likes to come down to the undercity for thills"
- to Simon: "Maybe we can figure out a way to divert Blackjack and his Neonsmongers"
- Silhouette: "A member of the Special Investiations Unit. Detective John Declan."
- "but luckily there aren't any prying eye's on Declan's floor.<no space>It only takes"
- "You try not to think about the lethal assassin seated next to you,<no space>staring out at the neon ad boards flicking by instead, mentally rehersing what you're going to say to Akito."
- Madame Ling: "For now, let us find out what are in those files."
- Simon Turner: "Overcome any independent security forces you find on that level and sieze as much data as you are able."
- Madame Ling: "If we can divert their attention, the Tower itself is merely formiddable, not impregnible"
- "The hub's secure terminals will allow you administator level access to Thomas Cunnigham's personal accounts"
- "AmTech is too busy dealing with the internal repercusions to worry about coming after you, at least for now."

[old attachment deleted by admin to save space]
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« Reply #26 on: October 22, 2015, 11:25:38 pm »

As a complete noob, I'm a bit of a loss on what's considered a good deck, or "especialist" decks. Not that I really mind, since I can experiment and I made a hacking build, but some guidelines would be nice to have when creating a new deck.
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« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2015, 06:35:22 am »

Thanks for the quality feedback, Niektory!

And yeah, I'm getting the feeling from general feedback that I've been a bit too generous with mission rewards. And possibly I need to make the ending harder (except for the Network Hub, which most players struggle a bit with).

Quote
- The game freezes at the Neon Arena selection screen if you click the [<] button to go back and then try to enter again. Log attached.

Thanks, I'll check the log. Was this before or after latest patch?

Quote
- I think my first turn was automatically skipped in one match. Log attached (it would be the last match in the log). But I wasn't really paying attention so maybe I was just seeing things.

Will check the log, thanks.

Quote
- If you piss off Miriam and defeat some of her goons before doing any other missions you can access the Black Market once using the message at the top of the screen. However, the Black Market icon in the corner doesn't appear so you can't do it again until you do a non-Miriam mission. Also, Miriam still sends you reminders.
- Your hand can get crowded at times. I once had 17 cards after System Crash. It becomes a little troublesome to sift through them then. There seems to be some unused (?) space on the sides, maybe it could be expanded a little. Being able to sort the hand by cost or type could help too, though it'd perhaps overcomplicate things.
- After selecting a card it should be highlighted in some way so it's obvious which one you're playing. Sure, you should know since you just clicked it, but some visual feedback wouldn't hurt.
- One of the Neonmonger Loiterers mission icons is hidden behind the Black Market icon. It's still clickable though.
- Card description for Williams: "On play, search your deck for a Deception card." Other cards follow it with "and put it into your hand", but not this one. Also, some cards say "When XXX comes into play", and some just "On play". Nothing important, but it's better to be consistent.
- It's not obvious when you lose the game by running out of cards. I was confused for a second when it happened, and new players would be more confused. The deck counter should turn red when it runs low, and the defeat message should indicate the game was lost this way.
- The game seems to use a single file per profile to save progress. If something goes wrong during saving, it might get corrupted. I once lost all my scores in Shoot the Bullet this way because of power failure. It was not a happy day. You can alternate between files or rename the old file before writing a new one. Disregard if you are already doing something like this.
- Victory screen music overlaps with the mission music. You should probably stop playing the mission music before the victory screen.
- If a card tooltip is shown at the end of a match, it will continue sticking to the cursor on the victory screen.
- On top of the mission selection screen, when hovering over the "AmTech Tower - Primary Network Hub" mission, "b" is cut off.
- Cunningham's condition card still says "When this condition's duration reaches 0, win the game." I'm using the second patch you sent (Blackjack seems to work correctly).
- The configuration window that appears when starting the game has some useless input options.
- Main menu: Encrypting Stream occasionally goes over border, a monospace font would look better there.
- Main menu: Copyright 2013. Might want to update that.
- It's too bad that the GUI doesn't scale to widescreen resolutions. Maybe try putting some art on the sides to fill the empty space.

All good points and suggestions, thanks! I'll take a look at them.

Quote
Typos:
- Marty: "Amtech's 'Head of North American Oprations' apparently, whatever the fuck that is."
- Declan: "You know there there was a bombing here?"
- Declan: "Rules says I should take you in for questioning"
- Simon Turner: "Likes to come down to the undercity for thills"
- to Simon: "Maybe we can figure out a way to divert Blackjack and his Neonsmongers"
- Silhouette: "A member of the Special Investiations Unit. Detective John Declan."
- "but luckily there aren't any prying eye's on Declan's floor.<no space>It only takes"
- "You try not to think about the lethal assassin seated next to you,<no space>staring out at the neon ad boards flicking by instead, mentally rehersing what you're going to say to Akito."
- Madame Ling: "For now, let us find out what are in those files."
- Simon Turner: "Overcome any independent security forces you find on that level and sieze as much data as you are able."
- Madame Ling: "If we can divert their attention, the Tower itself is merely formiddable, not impregnible"
- "The hub's secure terminals will allow you administator level access to Thomas Cunnigham's personal accounts"
- "AmTech is too busy dealing with the internal repercusions to worry about coming after you, at least for now."

Thanks a lot, fixed. Man, Neonsmongers, that just sounds dirty.  lol

Thanks again!

@Oscar: Fair enough. I want people to experiment and see what they come up with, but I think I'll add some basic tips in the deck building screen.

Generally, though, you want cards that work well together. Mechs are powerful, but expensive. So they work well with cards that lower their cost, for example.


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« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2015, 12:36:24 pm »

Quote
- The game freezes at the Neon Arena selection screen if you click the [<] button to go back and then try to enter again. Log attached.

Thanks, I'll check the log. Was this before or after latest patch?

After.
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« Reply #29 on: October 28, 2015, 06:33:33 pm »

Alright, time for the rest of my feedback. I was waiting until I completed the game once again, but the game is pretty lengthy and my schedule has been a bit tight lately, so you'll have to do with a playthrough and a half. I also played a bunch of SenseSim battles to see how card balance is at the moment.

First things first: if you hover your mouse over a card to see its description, and then the game ends, the card image does not disappear. You can click stuff and it's only a minor issue, but thought you should know.

Also, if you delete all your decks and then try to play a mission the game crashes. If you try playing the game with a deck of less than 40 cards it freezes on a weird battle screen. I know you're asking "who would do that?" but you never know. I would consider making sure the player always has at least one deck and decks always have at least 40 cards, just to make the game more idiot-proof and prevent bugs like these.

Now about the game itself:

The story, as most people mentioned, is pretty nice. I still feel the beginning is a little slow, but it builds up in tension rather nicely. There are parts of the game where you start feeling the fatigue, especially when it's Loads and Loads of MetroSecs. It's a good thing you gave them some variety, it helps, but I feel you need a bit more variation still in the game, especially around the areas where you fight the bunch of MetroSecs. I thought the pre-made deck fights, although slightly tricky, were still a very good idea. Maybe you could add more of those? Or perhaps add some big effects in a few of those fights. Also, as a suggestion, effects that change the PLAYER are more felt than ones that affect the opponent, so try some player modifiers here and there. Use caution, of course, as you don't want to throw the players completely off their strategies, but a little shaking up now and then is good. Variation is the spice of life!

Regarding general card balance, I will echo that hacking feels more powerful than it should be. Specifically, my problematic cards in hacking are:

1) Cards that involve the "console' ability. While I like the idea behind it, the cards themselves are too strong. Aesir lasts an eternity and gives a nice, strong boost, while Nil is the tankiest of all cost-2 cards. Point is, these cards are too durable for such a valuable ability. Lowering either the duration or the potency of Aesir (a little) and making Nil more fragile would be enough to balance it out, in my opinion.

2) Smoke Grenade. Need I say more? Smoke grenade is THE major reason hacking is unabalanced, and you can stall a fight for ridiculous amounts of time, especially because the enemy usually places their weaker cards first, and their weak attack power is not enough to punch through the debuff AND the general tankyness of hacking units. Of course the enemy may choose to wait until their stronger cards are out, but that just gives you free OP via your early cards attacking, which usually wins you the game anyways. And that's not even mentioning that Turner can get them into your hands, making sure you chain one smoke grenade after the other. Smoke grenade still needs more nerfs. Compare it to take cover, which adds a measly 1 armor to all your agents. I understand Take Cover is useful in more cases, but on a hacking deck, for the same price, there is no comparison. I think a debuff of 2 to attack and direct damage cards would be sufficient, for a good cost 2 card.

Also, cards in general skew slightly towards the higher cost cards. Which is not to say that low-cost cards are weak, but they definitely need a lot of synergy and a bit of luck, as opposed to the "put lots of big, strong cards" strategy. That might be why most people start running law and/or mech decks. They are simple and don't require the EXACT combination of cards to be reasonably effective. I think higher cost cards SHOULD be stronger than their cheaper counterparts, obviously, but the formula might be a little too skewed toward the higher-cost cards. Especially now credits are guaranteed every turn, rather than luck of the draw as it used to be, and the necessary OP to win is much higher.

Keep in mind though that  weaker cards still see use in all decks, if they have synergy or a nice special effect ( like Lab Technician's draw two cards ability) and that once the player has a wider selection of cards, many of the lower cost cards become useful again, as you can create the appropriate combos that use them. The point I am trying to make is that: Early game, stronger cards are more valuable than weaker cards, regardless of synergy or strategy. This might be why so many people favor expensive, strong cards in the start of the campaign.

So, onto the reward system. On paper it's a nifty idea. Random cards for that booster pack thrill that makes Magic more addicting than crack, and money to buy more of those cards as necessary. But in practice, as others have mentioned, things are not as rosy.  On one hand, money quickly becomes useless as the money rewards and card rewards are far more generous than your needs, especially if you home in one, specific strategy and build a deck around that (I finished the game with 358 K on the bank, and lots of cards I could easily sell). On the other hand, you can go the whole game without unlocking certain cards, which can completely prohibit the player from trying some strategies, period. In my first game, for example, I never unlocked Selina Monroe, which is one of THE best Anarch cards. And I only unlocked Smoke Grenade close to the endgame. What would happen if a player has bad luck unlocking strong cards with their favorite strategy? Do you want to risk that?

My suggestion to counter these issues, with the minimum amount of changes is:

1 - Make all cards available to players from the start. This means no player gets locked out from a card due to random luck.

2 - Increase the cost of all cards by a LOT. I would say around 8~10 times their current value. That way money will remain relevant for much longer, and will be key to building a deck just the way you want. But that will take a long time, and until then you have to supplement your deck with random cards rewards, making them still relevant. If you do that, then keep their selling value where it is, or double it at most. Otherwise players might sell their random rewards and get a ton of cash, unbalancing the game.

Problems with this solution:

1) Random rewards are no longer as exciting. In their current iteration they are vital to having a good deck, and unlocking a new, strong card can be a game-changer. They will still be very useful in my reward system, as strong cards are too expensive to be bought lightly, but they are no longer vital, for good or for ill.

2) The player might be overwhelmed by the huge variety of cards available at the Black Market from the start, and unsure what to buy, especially as everything is so expensive. Luckily the player gets more money as they advance further into the game, and at that point hopefully they will have a better grasp of the different cards and mechanics.

3) The magic dies a little when the player can see every card they might ever have, and their effects. No surprise at discovering a new card you had never seen before, either through random rewards or in the hands of your enemy.  By allowing players to peek at all the cards, you take away some of the mystery in the game.

It's not perfect, but I believe my method is a good balance of random elements, fairness and not requiring too much legwork from you. if you feel like doing some extra work, hiding certain cards from the black market until the player reaches a certain point in the campaign helps solve problems 2 and 3.

But it's up to you, Gareth. It's your game and all I have are suggestions, nothing more. Feel free to experiment yourself, or calculate the rewards the way you feel works best.

It's been a long haul, but the game is looking great, and I had a blast playing it to the end. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing it for sale in the near future.  Approve
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