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Old 11-19-2012, 02:01 PM   #1
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Enter the Fray in The Banner Saga: Factions beta test!

Hello everyone! The team at Stoic has been hard at work getting The Banner Saga: Factiosn beta to a solid state and it looks to be there now!

Our new Factions video is up! It's over 5 minutes of new footage and in-depth walk-throughs of combat, tactics, and character progression in The Banner Saga: Factions. Keep in mind, everything you see here is how combat is developing for the single player game as well.

Check out the entire article at:

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Old 11-19-2012, 02:26 PM   #2
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I dig the art style. Reminds me of an advanced version of Disciples 2 with the strategy of Final Fantasy Tactics.

The strength = your damage mechanics seems horrible tho. It's a rich get richer scenario.
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lockwoodx View Post
The strength = your damage mechanics seems horrible tho.
Just wondering, have you experienced this mechanic in another game and disliked it there? Or is this just an opinion based off of the video? Or something else?

Originally Posted by lockwoodx View Post
It's a rich get richer scenario.
Alex replied to a comment about this earlier on another site so I'm just going to c'n'p his answer:

In response to other concerns: we considered back and forth a bit about whether to charge for beta. We wanted to add players to beta for more consistent online numbers, but by offering it free we would be putting out KS backers who had paid money for access. Weíre using any money made here for contractor salaries.

We donít expect everyone to want to chip in for early access and thatís ok, too. Weíve been surprised by the way different segments of the community want to be involved, frequently getting requests for pre-orders or to get into beta because they missed a chance to back us on Kickstarter. Others dislike the idea of paying for testing, which we understand as well. If youíre not interested in paying, no worries! Weíll still be launching the multiplayer game for free and the full game later next year.
Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:56 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by lockwoodx View Post
The strength = your damage mechanics seems horrible tho. It's a rich get richer scenario.
This is how it's been done for 5 iterations of CIV so far; seems to be working for Sid.

It definitely puts the onus on extreme balancing: no abilities that allow mass armor or health degradation, because it would crush your opponent too easily.

While I understand they are 2 different game types, I would give it a fair shot before knocking it.

Bottom line: if it's not pleasing the customer, they will change it before release.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:37 AM   #5
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The community has been writing a variety of guides to help other testers out. Trevor has a section in his specifically in this that you may (or may not) find interesting. Instead of pushing you to the site, I'll just C'n'P that section here:

Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
The Fourth Tenet of The Banner Saga

Strength hurts Strength, Armor blocks Strength and Armor Break hurts Armor. Okay this is where it starts to get complicated, but Iíll try to keep it as simple as possible and just use broad strokes to paint a picture of the battle and how these things interact. When considering offense you want to use attacks where they will be most effective, attack the strength of low armor units and use armor break on high armor units. When considering defense you want to engage their high strength units with your high armor units, and to keep their high armor break units away from units which depend mostly upon their armor to survive.

"A Great Viking will strike every foe with all their might" - Great Warrior
"But, a wise Viking will wait and strike down such a warrior once he has no might left" - Humble Elder

Armor Break is most valuable stat at the start of the match, it removes the armor of an opposing unit, reducing their ability to survive strength attacks. Armor Break is more valuable the more armor there is on the target, as often armor must be overcome to do any damage at all. Armor Break is also more valuable the more strength there is on the target, as the more strength they have the more attacks it will take to kill them, and so the more times the benefit of Armor Break will be applied. At the start of a match there is more Armor and Strength distributed amongst the enemy team than towards the end of a match, so Armor Break is extremely valuable in these early stages. As the battle progresses the opponents Armor and Strength declines and so the value of Armor Break declines. Not all opposing units are going to have the same distribution of stats, so make sure you use the right amount of armor break on the right targets so that a) itís most effective b) enemy threats can be dealt with before they get out of hand.

Strength, is most valuable stat in the game, it comes close to rivaling turns in value, it is both a units damage and its life. That being said strength is not very valuable at the start of a match. Most targets will have high armor or will otherwise be inaccessible to strength based attacks. However, as the battle progresses and Armor declines, Strength becomes ever more valuable, until, at the end of a match, itís just about the only thing that matters. Remember that strength also serves a dual purpose, it brings you closer to victory and pushes your opponent further from victory. As such consider opportunities where dealing a small amount of Strength damage may cripple an enemy unit just enough to survive its next attack. Also despite generally not being useful early game, there are plenty of examples where strength brought to bear at the right time has decided the outcome of a battle, so keep an eye out for any opportunities to kill or cripple exposed opposing units.

Armor remains valuable throughout an entire match, it protects your units against strength based attacks. Armor gets its value from the thing it protects, if a unit is worthless then its armor is worthless, if the unit is valuable then each point of armor is valuable. Armorís value increases as enemy strength declines (to a maximum). It value decreases as the units threat declines (Threat approximates Strength + Armor Break + value of any Class abilities/passives). As a battle progresses both your units and those of your opponent lose strength, so on average these reductions cancel each other out. The result is that armors is always valuable, but it is most valuable when the unit(s) it protects are most threatening.

Willpower & Exertion are no doubt useful, but exactly how useful and how that value shifts across time I do not yet know. Hopefully soon an advanced stat guide will appear that tracks its usefulness over the course of a match.

Mathematics is also extremely powerful. All of my generalisations above are based on vague estimations of averaging values across all possible scenarios, but no single match is ever perfectly average. Furthermore, a lot of these generalisations ignore the many breakpoints which crop up, such as, it taking 5 additional armor rather than 1 to help a unit survive an additional hit from a Wildhawk. There are so many of these breakpoints that to further improve as a player you will have to calculate some of these scenarios yourself, or rely on the calculations of others. Only then will you know whether that extra point of strength is ever going to actually benefit your Back Biter when heís chasing down Sky Strikers.
If you do happen to be interested, check out his entire guide here:

Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:32 AM   #6
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Thanks for the heads-up Ashen. I forgot about this title. It looks great. I don't know if you guys have it, but I'd love to see you be able to choose variances in skin tone and hair as part of the base game. Anyhoo, I'll definitely check this out!
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stoic, the banner saga: factions

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