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Default Expeditions: Viking - New Patch Improves Difficulty

June 15th, 2017, 22:36
Expeditions: Vikings has been updated to v1.05. Check out the patch notes here.

Hello, and thanks for checking in with us again. Today we've released update 1.0.5 for Expeditions: Viking. In addition to some bug fixes, this version contains several major changes to game balance that I will outline separately before we get to the change log.

New caps on skill ranks
The most significant change we've made is to introduce caps on all skill ranks based on the total amount of skill points you've spent. Ranks 1 and 2 are freely accessible, but in order to upgrade a skill to rank 3 you must have spent a total of 100 SP. To reach rank 4, you must have spent 175, and to max out a skill at rank 5 you must have spent a total of 250 SP. Recall that you begin the game with 50 SP and that there is a total of just over 300 SP in the campaign. The result is that you'll have no skills above rank 3 when you go to Britain, and you won't be able to level up to rank 5 until quite late in the game.

This update trades away some freedom of choice to enforce a better levelling curve. Previously, we let you max out your weapon skills quite early in the game, with the predictable result that you would outpace the enemies before you even reached Britain, and the enemies wouldn't begin to catch up until near the end of the game. Now, you're forced to distribute your points among the different categories, perhaps buying some Utility and Passive skills for a more well-rounded character. This does have the drawback that characters will be a bit less specialised, but the improvement to the game's difficult curve is profound.

Surprise round on enemy initiative
A new feature is the so-called Surprise Round, which occurs when you trigger an encounter where the enemy acts first. Previously the enemy would get a full turn before you had any chance to position your hirdmen. Since there is no formation system in the game, this felt unfair. From version 1.0.5 and onwards, the player always acts first, but in encounters where the enemy would previously begin, the player will not have any attack action, nor a bonus action in the first turn. In other words you can only move or change your weapons in your first turn because your party was caught by surprise. This has also allowed us to change the initiative back to Enemy-first on all the encounters that were previously set to Player-first to avoid unfairness. The result is a slight but significant increase in difficulty in many encounters throughout the game.

Bear in mind that this update is not the final word on difficulty. These are major changes that will fix our difficulty issues, but they are not intended to increase the upper ends of difficulty on the Hard and Insane settings. The next update will contain more tweaks intended to make the Hard and Insane settings live up to their name, as well as the promised Iron Man mode.

And now for the full change list. As with the 1.0.4 update, I have divided it into two sections: one for changes and additions, and one for fixes. Since this update has a far greater variety of changes than previous patches, I've decided to further subdivide each section into categories based on the type of change or fix.

[…]
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June 15th, 2017, 23:23
Haven't touched this yet, despite my day one buy, since I've been waiting for combat difficulty to get sorted out. Looks like I'll keep waiting!

But I'm still playing Battle Brothers (300+ hours so far), so that's okay.
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June 15th, 2017, 23:26
Yea I was hoping to start with 1.05 but it seems more important improvements are coming so I guess I will wait a bit more.
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June 15th, 2017, 23:34
I've only played six hours from the first two days of release, I figure I may get back to this one around Christmas. Hopefully this holiday, and not next years.
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June 15th, 2017, 23:44
It's getting better.
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June 16th, 2017, 00:00
Anyone know when 1.05 will be on GOG??
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June 16th, 2017, 01:41
Originally Posted by DarkELVES View Post
Anyone know when 1.05 will be on GOG??
Usually a day or two after a patch is released on Steam. I've noticed you can often get the patches sooner if you use GOG Galaxy.
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June 16th, 2017, 08:21
Awesome news. Thank you for this newsbit, time to get my hands on it after this patch.
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June 16th, 2017, 09:48
They should have sorted out major rule/difficulty issues before they released the game. Will this break my saves? I have not yet left for England but I have spent quite a few hours on it and I am sure I have already come close to maxing out some skills that they will 'nerf'. So, what, they simply remove those spent skill points? Do I get them back? I was happy with the rule/difficulty balance they way it was - they should implement 'more challenging changes' for the 'hard' setting.They imply the fights were all trivial - I have not experienced that. Certainly not yet. Yes, I could beat most opponents, but I still had some challenging encounters with several players down…that's what I expect from the 'normal' setting.
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June 16th, 2017, 10:43
The game IMO needed removal of custom created additional NPCs before difficulty patches. But okay, it's awsome one way or another - at least to me.
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
Yes, I could beat most opponents, but I still had some challenging encounters with several players down…that's what I expect from the 'normal' setting.
If I understood correctly, the original idea was making nearly impossible to win certain encounters on normal difficulty and above. On easy, sure, let the player win, but on normal (and higher) some battles a player should lose - it doesn't stop the game.

However, thanks to maxing (camping) skills not needed in combat on those three additional NPCs so you can concentrate only on combat skills for other crewmembers, no fight feels impossible to win on normal difficulty.
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June 16th, 2017, 12:40
I've been playing on veteran difficulty and combat is so easy that I've lost interest and stopped playing. I can just breeze-click through battles without thinking without losing any party members, even without losing any hit points sometimes. What's the deal with that?
Also, I just got to England and I've already maxed out a lot of combat skills on most of my characters. Is that the intention?
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June 16th, 2017, 13:23
Originally Posted by Lemonhead View Post
I've been playing on veteran difficulty and combat is so easy that I've lost interest and stopped playing. I can just breeze-click through battles without thinking without losing any party members, even without losing any hit points sometimes. What's the deal with that?
Also, I just got to England and I've already maxed out a lot of combat skills on most of my characters. Is that the intention?


That's what they changed in this patch


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June 16th, 2017, 14:17
Originally Posted by booboo View Post
They should have sorted out major rule/difficulty issues before they released the game. Will this break my saves? I have not yet left for England but I have spent quite a few hours on it and I am sure I have already come close to maxing out some skills that they will 'nerf'. So, what, they simply remove those spent skill points? Do I get them back? I was happy with the rule/difficulty balance they way it was - they should implement 'more challenging changes' for the 'hard' setting.They imply the fights were all trivial - I have not experienced that. Certainly not yet. Yes, I could beat most opponents, but I still had some challenging encounters with several players down…that's what I expect from the 'normal' setting.
The patch won't break your savegames. Any skills you've purchased beyond the new skill caps you keep, the cap is not retroactive.
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June 16th, 2017, 18:56
This is the risk in this bold new era of iterative computer game development and crowd sourced Q&A.
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June 16th, 2017, 22:30
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
That's what they changed in this patch


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Well, I'm not pleased to have unwillingly beta-tested their unfinished game. I guess I should have waited longer to play this.
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June 17th, 2017, 00:27
Nowadays people pay money to beta-test games all the time, whether they realize it or not. It's called early access.
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June 17th, 2017, 01:50
Originally Posted by luj1 View Post
Nowadays people pay money to beta-test games all the time, whether they realize it or not. It's called early access.
Nah, the biggest beta test of all is called the Bethesda Project.
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June 17th, 2017, 05:46
Definitely good news - you shouldn't be able to max out combat before you even get out of the starter campaign. The initiative change sounds like a positive one, too.
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June 17th, 2017, 06:54
Originally Posted by Archangel View Post
Nah, the biggest beta test of all is called the Bethesda Project.
Howard did take it to another level, though.
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