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Default Expeditions: Rome - Dev Diary #7 & Showcase Trailer

September 19th, 2021, 13:50
Logic Artists have posted Dev Diary #7 on character progression, a few days ago. And THQ Nordic, their publisher, released a showcase trailer. Time to catch up with Expeditions: Rome!

DevDiary 7 - Metagame: Character Systems

Ave, and welcome to our seventh DevDiary. In DevDiary 5, we gave you a glimpse into the design of our conquest and legion battle systems. We explained how this made up just a part of our metagame systems, and that we would be dealing with the rest of the meta systems at a later time. That time has come!

Today we will discuss the game systems that pertain to character progression: levelling up and spending your skill points, and finding items and equipment for your characters. These are the systems at the core of any self-respecting roleplaying game - the features that give you that sense of personal growth and ensure a steady increase of strategic and tactical complexity as you grow familiar with the game.

[…]
Expeditions: Rome - Showcase Trailer

[…]

In this short sneak peak, Creative Director Jonas Waever and Lead Producer Sonat Ozturk give you a taste of what the combat system, the world of Rome and the decision making in Expeditions: Rome looks like.

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September 19th, 2021, 19:22
I thought Vikings was a big improvement over Conquistadors and I'm hoping for another step forward in the polish and immersion in this game. Looking forward to it!
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September 19th, 2021, 21:50
There are elements of the first two games that hooked me from the get-go, and I suspect this third iteration will do the same. And I'm really planning to revisit the Conquistador and Viking games again before Rome is upon us!
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September 20th, 2021, 12:31
Can't say I'm aboard the hype train but after watching and reading the various articles and videos, all I can is please take my damn money now. It ticks all my boxes.
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September 20th, 2021, 12:41
Keeping this one in a very low profile radar. I couldn't get into Vikings but I liked the concept. Hope this one is a little cleaner in general than the previous ones.
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September 21st, 2021, 15:19
Yep, for me Vikings was a step down from Conquistador. Still think I'm going to get this one.

Is there an ETA yet?
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September 21st, 2021, 19:44
I'm not far into Conquistador. I just found the game a little too linear. I should try it again and give it another chance, eventually, once I'm done with Pathfinder, Atom, Encased….
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September 21st, 2021, 21:41
That's a valid issue with Conquistador, yet I found enough was going on that it didn't curb my enjoyment. Having said that, I'm hoping that this game will be a bit wider at the get-go, let folks roam where they will.
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September 21st, 2021, 23:29
Conquistador was there first game. Vikings and Rome improved the formula.
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September 21st, 2021, 23:35
I couldn't bare Conquistador, I thought it was ok at first but grew to hate it by the 10th hour of playtime & quit. As such I never tried Viking, even though I do own it. I keep hearing positive things about it though, so might give it a whirl one day, but then someone did say to me once that if you hated Conquistador there's little point trying Vikings.
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September 22nd, 2021, 01:06
Originally Posted by lackblogger View Post
I couldn't bare Conquistador, I thought it was ok at first but grew to hate it by the 10th hour of playtime & quit. As such I never tried Viking, even though I do own it. I keep hearing positive things about it though, so might give it a whirl one day, but then someone did say to me once that if you hated Conquistador there's little point trying Vikings.
Just wondering, while I wasn't a big fan, I didn't get to hate it and I thought the whole concept was interesting and refreshing. What did you actually hate, about it?
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September 22nd, 2021, 03:05
Originally Posted by vanedor View Post
Just wondering, while I wasn't a big fan, I didn't get to hate it and I thought the whole concept was interesting and refreshing. What did you actually hate, about it?
It's quite a cavalcade of issues, so I hope you're not hoping for a quick one-liner, lol.

The first thing to get annoying is the fact that you can't travel very far before the turn ends. It uses the same travel system as Heroes of Might and Magic, move 10 X's and that's your lot. But this didn't seem to be much relevant to anything, it was just annoying for the sake of being annoying, there seemed little point to not having free movement out of combat.

Ah, but the resting mechanic. Of course, how does it know when to force you into a rest without travel being turn-based. And what happens when you rest? Nothing ever good, that's for sure. uninspired combat and tedious 'companion' conversations.

And that uninspired combat was mostly the fact that all the combat seemed to be human, doing the same stuff every fight. I guess beating up on natives because that's what happened in real life just doesn't satiate my desire for interesting fantasy combats. Sometimes you might fight a tiger or something, but it's usually just natives or other western interloper humans. After the first half dozen fights it had already got old.

And I say tedious companion conversations because it does that thing where it stiches you up from the beginning by ensuring that all of your party have guaranteed conflicts & the 'fun' of 'managing' your party is just you making completely arbitrary decisions about who you'll pretend to give a shit about in each 'internal conflict'.

The levelling up system is pants on head. it's like it's completely tacked on for the sole purpose of enabling the devs more leeway to call it an RPG. You get like 4 or 5 level ups the whole game and you get, like, +1 accuracy to muskets or some paltry shit. And there's no loot at all to speak of, the stuff you're 'rewarded' with is stuff like gold, resting resources and just loads of busywork stuff.

The map itself was, again, designed like Heroes of Might and Magic with it's big ol' chests just dumped around the place, completely jarring with the supposed preference the game had for 'realism'. It's picking and choosing what it wants as 'realism' and what it wants as purely 'gamey bullshit', and making completely the wrong choices IMO.

The map itself is also irritatingly awkward, specifically designed to be as irritating as possible for the movement limit each day. You want that big chest in that clump of trees? Yes, that one that's just out of reach to get there and back in one turn? Etc. And you have to keep trekking back to the home base to hand in quests and buy stuff and all that shit, oh joy, more clop clop clop, end turn, clop clop clop, end turn, rest, clop clop clop, end turn. Hand in quest. Clop clop clop, end turn, clop clop clop, end turn, rest, clop clop clop just to get back to where you were. All with nothing interesting going on but the endless companion bickering and tedious rest-interruption combats.

And after 10 hours of this shit one realises that one's only had about three interesting encounters and that's about the only thing one's memory has of 10 hours gameplay.

I might have the exact details wrong slightly as it was many years ago now and I have since mostly erased it from my memory. But, as you can tell, it did traumatise me enough to leave some indelible marks.
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September 22nd, 2021, 21:10
@lackblogger You may like Viking as a lot of your criticisms of Conquistador don't apply. Aside from still having turn-based combat on a hex grid Viking is a very different game, more of a true cRPG.

The travel is completely different. There is an overland map with towns, campsites, and other points of interest. For most of the game it is fairly limited in where you can go, but there are plenty of sidequests, areas which are entirely optional, etc.

Resting / camping is still there but it's more streamlined. You can assign your party members to a role and the only time you may have to tweak it is when one of them is injured. There's still some random events but not nearly as annoying as the ones I recal in Conquistador. There's companion conversations but of course whether you'd find them tedious I can't say.

The companions are more developed like say Baldur's Gate with a backstory, personality and some personal sidequest. However, if you find them annoying there's a certain point fairly early on when you can recruit some "mercenaries" that you create from scratch who don't talk so much. The companions will still travel & camp with you but you can leave them behind when you enter villages.

Leveling is a lot more involved (again more of a true cRPG). It's technically classless but you'll likely have each character specialize in a certain weapon type and take various social skills, abilities etc. And there's a proper inventory system.

It's still not a fantasy game, though there are a lot more abilities to make combat varied. "Witches" use poison attacks and various buffs, debuffs, etc. There's an English monk companion you can recruit who has his own set of buffs, debuffs, healing. No one will shoot fireballs from their hands (although archers eventually get the special ability to shoot fire arrows).

My main criticisms of Vikings are: 1. too many damn containers. There's a lot of chests, barrels, crates, etc. in every area to loot. (But at a certain point you can probably safely ignore them and just trade if you want to get materials for crafting).

2. The combat eventually become too easy for me even on "insane" difficulty. Not sure if they've done any more updates since I last played. But I suppose if you find combat becomes trivial you could just take along fewer companions. Generally most towns & areas have a maximum # of party members you can bring along but you usually don't have to take anyone but your main character, except for instances where it's a companion's personal quest or something like that.

You might still dislike the game but at least it'd be for different reasons.
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September 22nd, 2021, 23:07
Originally Posted by daveyd View Post
@lackblogger You may like Viking as a lot of your criticisms of Conquistador don't apply. Aside from still having turn-based combat on a hex grid Viking is a very different game, more of a true cRPG.

The travel is completely different. There is an overland map with towns, campsites, and other points of interest. For most of the game it is fairly limited in where you can go, but there are plenty of sidequests, areas which are entirely optional, etc.

Resting / camping is still there but it's more streamlined. You can assign your party members to a role and the only time you may have to tweak it is when one of them is injured. There's still some random events but not nearly as annoying as the ones I recal in Conquistador. There's companion conversations but of course whether you'd find them tedious I can't say.

The companions are more developed like say Baldur's Gate with a backstory, personality and some personal sidequest. However, if you find them annoying there's a certain point fairly early on when you can recruit some "mercenaries" that you create from scratch who don't talk so much. The companions will still travel & camp with you but you can leave them behind when you enter villages.

Leveling is a lot more involved (again more of a true cRPG). It's technically classless but you'll likely have each character specialize in a certain weapon type and take various social skills, abilities etc. And there's a proper inventory system.

It's still not a fantasy game, though there are a lot more abilities to make combat varied. "Witches" use poison attacks and various buffs, debuffs, etc. There's an English monk companion you can recruit who has his own set of buffs, debuffs, healing. No one will shoot fireballs from their hands (although archers eventually get the special ability to shoot fire arrows).

My main criticisms of Vikings are: 1. too many damn containers. There's a lot of chests, barrels, crates, etc. in every area to loot. (But at a certain point you can probably safely ignore them and just trade if you want to get materials for crafting).

2. The combat eventually become too easy for me even on "insane" difficulty. Not sure if they've done any more updates since I last played. But I suppose if you find combat becomes trivial you could just take along fewer companions. Generally most towns & areas have a maximum # of party members you can bring along but you usually don't have to take anyone but your main character, except for instances where it's a companion's personal quest or something like that.

You might still dislike the game but at least it'd be for different reasons.
That's interesting reading, thanks for taking the time to post it all, it has encouraged me to take a look at Vikings sometime in the future. As you say, it might not still be my bag, but possibly different enough from Conquistador.
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