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D S SIRIUS

Treasure Deck Balancing

37 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I've seen a lot of people complain about the treasure deck being too open to RNGesus deciding what type of game you will play. What do people think of this as a start to some rules to balance. 

I don't really want to mess with the amount of souls that encounters give for the sake of unbalancing the game. Instead, I opt to introduce rules bringing the game closer to dark souls 3 method of merchants. 

Basically when you start the game, you should have 10 cards flipped over which form the initial shop that Andre the blacksmith will sell. You could introduce tiered items in this equation to help balance further, or segregate consumables and upgrades (just need to play around with balance. My idea was that we could introduce ashes like the the video game that expand the shop that Andre has. So if you complete all the encounter tiles before the miniboss, you can discover ashes that allow 10 more cards to be revealed and expand the shop with items you can purchase without the need of random cards holding you back and forcing you to grind. 

Treasure chests still give random loot like the games and you can reset the bonfire to earn more souls (grind).

But in addition, I had a bit of an idea whereby you could seek more ashes instead of taking on the boss by using a spark and reshuffling the tiles and encounters to search a different part of the dungeon. This would eliminate having to over grind by keeping encounters more fresh and give the feeling of going deeper into the dungeon etc. 

What do people think?

 

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hmm, i quite like the idea, the number and distribution of cards will need to be tested a bit but over all I like it, especially the last bit about reshuffling encounters.

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Yeah, I thought the last part would be a good way to balance the grinding required. 

So to elaborate, you could still refresh the current setup to farm more souls, but if you want to find more ashes to expand the shop, you would need to search a different part of the dungeon. 

This could work really well with future expansions that have different tile designs etc. 

 

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I think 10 cards is a bit excessive.  The treasure deck is 65-80 cards at the start, depending on player count.  Clearing the encounters once gives you 20 cards.  That is an insane amount of gear that is too easily accessible.  Either buying the gear would have to cost multiple souls, or the amount needs to be dropped down to something like 4 or 5.  Honestly, to keep the game as close to base difficulty, I think 4 cards flipped over that cost 2 to buy, or the normal 1 to buy from the deck, would be the best set up.  Also, make it so you can wipe the 4 cards with the cost of one soul, and redraw the next 4.

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Treasure Deck

Find the common treasure cards and each chosen character’s five class-specific treasure cards. Shuffle them together to form the treasure deck, and place it face down on the Treasure Deck section of the Bonfire tile. Then flip (2 + 2x players in game) cards from the Treasure Deck and place them face up next to the Bonfire tile to form the Treasure Shop.

For example, in a game with three players, the Treasure Shop should consist of 8  treasure cards (2 + 2 * 3 = 8  treasure cards) and placed next to the Bonfire tile, as illustrated on the right.


Treasure Shop rules may be found in Blacksmith Andre section (p. 7).

Blacksmith Andre

When the party returns to the Bonfire between encounters, they may visit Blacksmith Andre to:

  • Purchase treasure from the Treasure Shop;

  • Change equipment by moving any treasure cards to/from their character’s board from/to their personal inventory;

  • Upgrade weapons and armor on their character board.

 

Treasure Shop

Starting with the player with the First Activation token, the players may purchase desired treasures from the Treasure Shop by spending souls from their personal soul cache. Spent souls are discarded. After all the purchases are completed, purchased treasure cards are replaced with new ones: draw the same number of top cards from the Treasure Deck, reveal them and put them in place of just purchased cards. From now on, these treasure cards may be purchased as well during follow-up visits. The players may purchase treasures from the Treasure Shop only if their character meets stat requirements of that particular item.

The Treasure Shop is formed during setup, initial and post Mini Boss, and consist of (2 + 2x players in game) cards. Treasures have the following costs:

Treasure Type

Cost

Common and class-specific treasures

1 soul

Transposed treasures

2 souls

Legendary treasures

3 souls

Embers

2 souls

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19 minutes ago, KaiinRetsu said:

I think 10 cards is a bit excessive.  The treasure deck is 65-80 cards at the start, depending on player count.  Clearing the encounters once gives you 20 cards.  That is an insane amount of gear that is too easily accessible.  Either buying the gear would have to cost multiple souls, or the amount needs to be dropped down to something like 4 or 5.  Honestly, to keep the game as close to base difficulty, I think 4 cards flipped over that cost 2 to buy, or the normal 1 to buy from the deck, would be the best set up.  Also, make it so you can wipe the 4 cards with the cost of one soul, and redraw the next 4.

It's definitely something that would need to be played around with, but I thought it would be a place to start. I liked the idea of having ashes tied to equipment that you earn by completing multiple tiles etc. 

10 minutes ago, CuriousAI said:

Treasure Deck

Find the common treasure cards and each chosen character’s five class-specific treasure cards. Shuffle them together to form the treasure deck, and place it face down on the Treasure Deck section of the Bonfire tile. Then flip (2 + 2x players in game) cards from the Treasure Deck and place them face up next to the Bonfire tile to form the Treasure Shop.

For example, in a game with three players, the Treasure Shop should consist of 8  treasure cards (2 + 2 * 3 = 8  treasure cards) and placed next to the Bonfire tile, as illustrated on the right.


Treasure Shop rules may be found in Blacksmith Andre section (p. 7).

 

Blacksmith Andre

When the party returns to the Bonfire between encounters, they may visit Blacksmith Andre to:

  • Purchase treasure from the Treasure Shop;

  • Change equipment by moving any treasure cards to/from their character’s board from/to their personal inventory;

  • Upgrade weapons and armor on their character board.

 

Treasure Shop

Starting with the player with the First Activation token, the players may purchase desired treasures from the Treasure Shop by spending souls from their personal soul cache. Spent souls are discarded. After all the purchases are completed, purchased treasure cards are replaced with new ones: draw the same number of top cards from the Treasure Deck, reveal them and put them in place of just purchased cards. From now on, these treasure cards may be purchased as well during follow-up visits. The players may purchase treasures from the Treasure Shop only if their character meets stat requirements of that particular item.

The Treasure Shop is formed during setup, initial and post Mini Boss, and consist of (2 + 2x players in game) cards. Treasures have the following costs:

Treasure Type

Cost

Common and class-specific treasures

1 soul

Transposed treasures

2 souls

Legendary treasures

3 souls

Embers

2 souls

That sounds a good way of doing it, only, I'd probably opt for my ashes mechanic to add more stock to the shop rather than force all the loot be bought before it gets refilled. 

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14 minutes ago, CuriousAI said:

Treasure Deck

Find the common treasure cards and each chosen character’s five class-specific treasure cards. Shuffle them together to form the treasure deck, and place it face down on the Treasure Deck section of the Bonfire tile. Then flip (2 + 2x players in game) cards from the Treasure Deck and place them face up next to the Bonfire tile to form the Treasure Shop.

For example, in a game with three players, the Treasure Shop should consist of 8  treasure cards (2 + 2 * 3 = 8  treasure cards) and placed next to the Bonfire tile, as illustrated on the right.


Treasure Shop rules may be found in Blacksmith Andre section (p. 7).

 

Blacksmith Andre

When the party returns to the Bonfire between encounters, they may visit Blacksmith Andre to:

  • Purchase treasure from the Treasure Shop;

  • Change equipment by moving any treasure cards to/from their character’s board from/to their personal inventory;

  • Upgrade weapons and armor on their character board.

 

Treasure Shop

Starting with the player with the First Activation token, the players may purchase desired treasures from the Treasure Shop by spending souls from their personal soul cache. Spent souls are discarded. After all the purchases are completed, purchased treasure cards are replaced with new ones: draw the same number of top cards from the Treasure Deck, reveal them and put them in place of just purchased cards. From now on, these treasure cards may be purchased as well during follow-up visits. The players may purchase treasures from the Treasure Shop only if their character meets stat requirements of that particular item.

The Treasure Shop is formed during setup, initial and post Mini Boss, and consist of (2 + 2x players in game) cards. Treasures have the following costs:

Treasure Type

Cost

Common and class-specific treasures

1 soul

Transposed treasures

2 souls

Legendary treasures

3 souls

Embers

2 souls

 

I think that's the best way to house rule it.

Cause you can buy legendary Items, but you cant wear them cause you dont have enough stats.

Maybe the Price could be more for extended treasures.

 

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7 minutes ago, D S SIRIUS said:

That sounds a good way of doing it, only, I'd probably opt for my ashes mechanic to add more stock to the shop rather than force all the loot be bought before it gets refilled. 

I don't have it here, but I added another thing, suggested by @Danny, with which you can spend 1x[amount of players] souls to reshuffle the treasure shop at any time except combat. Also, the treasure shop is always reshuffled once any boss is slain.

2 minutes ago, ElToupe said:

 

I think that's the best way to house rule it.

Cause you can buy legendary Items, but you cant wear them cause you dont have enough stats.

Maybe the Price could be more for extended treasures.

 

I have an extension for campaign play with higher prices.

Treasure Type

Purchase Cost

Selling Cost

Common and class-specific treasures

2 soul

1 soul

Transposed treasures

4 souls

2 souls

Legendary treasures

5 souls

2 souls

Embers

4 souls

-

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7 hours ago, CuriousAI said:

I don't have it here, but I added another thing, suggested by @Danny, with which you can spend 1x[amount of players] souls to reshuffle the treasure shop at any time except combat. Also, the treasure shop is always reshuffled once any boss is slain.

I have an extension for campaign play with higher prices.

Treasure Type

Purchase Cost

Selling Cost

Common and class-specific treasures

2 soul

1 soul

Transposed treasures

4 souls

2 souls

Legendary treasures

5 souls

2 souls

Embers

4 souls

-

I didn't put on the refresh prices, however I just thought about the numbers a bit and they don't feel a million miles away in terms of balance, since the refresh is more items per player with fewer players, however larger groups of players can equip more loot generally.

 

If your first 12 cards drawn were not class appropriate it would only cost you 4 souls to refresh them in a 2 player game, which would be nice.

 

I do worry that people won't be drawing extra redundant armours and weapons once they have certain gear though...

 

Perhaps there should be a limit to refreshes, also? Something to incentivize using what's on sale rather than refreshing for old favourites constantly?

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I've been toying with the idea of having the store inventory refresh every time there's a Bonfire reset. 

Take the store inventory and treasure deck and shuffle them together then draw the new store inventory.

It should still allow for seeing more of the deck on each play through. I also kind of like the idea that it could create situations where players may want to buy items they can't use yet just in case they don't come up again later. On the other hand it still allows for player choice in making the best with what they have instead of always going for optimal builds.

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14 minutes ago, Ashraam said:

I've been toying with the idea of having the store inventory refresh every time there's a Bonfire reset. 

 

What I particularly like about this is that it would add the incentive to risk holding into souls for later... Unless you die and drop them, of course :P

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45 minutes ago, Danny said:

What I particularly like about this is that it would add the incentive to risk holding into souls for later... Unless you die and drop them, of course :P

Another good point! :)

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The most important part of any "shop" mechanic is the ability to refresh the available stock to reduce stagnation. I think the best way to achieve this without going overboard in setup and shuffling, and without allowing unwanted cards to take up valuable shop space for long periods of time, is to 1) reveal the initial cards in order and 2) upon refresh, remove the top card and add new cards. I.E. assuming a shop size of 6, reveal cards A, B, C, D, E, F -> party buys A and E, leaving B, C, D, F -> refresh occurs: [B (being at the front of the queue) is sent to the bottom of the treasure deck or (hard mode) removed from play entirely -> 3 new cards are drawn to return to a total of 6: C, D, F, G, H, I] -> and so on... (the deck is not shuffled during this process, except after a boss is defeated and new cards are added, as normal.)

The only question is when to refresh and under what conditions. I suppose this depends on the shop size, number of players, etc. It could be after buying any treasure, beating an encounter, beating the boss, dying, using a spark, or any combination thereof. It doesn't quite follow any precedent set in the video games but I'm willing to depart from the games mechanically if it means making the game more fun and fair.

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I think the biggest concern should be balance. It seems rather fragile to break it in this game. 

I definitely think there needs to be a better way of handling the treasure deck though. The RNG is a real fun killer when you just pull countless upgrade items, armour and shields and get no weapons. 

It's a shame they didn't have something like merchant cards that you can randomly find that offer specific items. At least then it could be balanced. 

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3 minutes ago, D S SIRIUS said:

I think the biggest concern should be balance. It seems rather fragile to break it in this game. 

I definitely think there needs to be a better way of handling the treasure deck though. The RNG is a real fun killer when you just pull countless upgrade items, armour and shields and get no weapons. 

It's a shame they didn't have something like merchant cards that you can randomly find that offer specific items. At least then it could be balanced. 

I dunno. Having to find that one random merchant that offers that one specific item seems like to lead to the same problem.

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A decent way to make it so you can go through more cards, but not in an over powered way, would be a multiple draw mechanic instead of a shop.  There are a few ways to balance multiple draws.  One way would be every time you buy an item from the deck, you draw two and have to pick one, then the other goes to a discard pile to be shuffled back in later on.  This would make people have to choose sometimes between something that is a slight upgrade, but can be equipped, and something that is a definite upgrade but can't be equipped right away.  The ability to mitigate crappy draws, even slightly, is balanced by the fact that you could be losing great gear.

 

Another variant of that same style would be a one soul cost three card draw.  You would automatically get one of the cards, and could spend another 2 souls to get one of the remaining cards.  This would prevent as much loss of good equipment as the first style, but still keeping it balanced by the cost and still one discarded item.

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My main problem I encountered whilst playing was that I just couldn't find weapons. I had a vast abundance of shields, armours and upgrades, but they were all pretty useless without weapons. Any system that ensures that there will at least be some weapons found is required imo. 

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4 minutes ago, D S SIRIUS said:

My main problem I encountered whilst playing was that I just couldn't find weapons. I had a vast abundance of shields, armours and upgrades, but they were all pretty useless without weapons. Any system that ensures that there will at least be some weapons found is required imo. 

Looking at my tiered decks, I noticed that there are fewer weapons with low requirements than there are ones with high requirements.

So you not only have to make sure you get weapons more frequently, but also that you get ones you can use early on.

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Would be tough to do that whilst maintaining balance. 

It's not easy solving this problem, but I'm trying to think of a good way to do it. 

Have you play tested with tiered decks? Do they work well in practice?

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22 minutes ago, D S SIRIUS said:

Would be tough to do that whilst maintaining balance. 

It's not easy solving this problem, but I'm trying to think of a good way to do it. 

Have you play tested with tiered decks? Do they work well in practice?

I tested them with some friends on the weekend and in a single player game yesterday.

With my friends we had the Problem of not drawing any treasure chests, so we had to spend many souls on drawing gear, which left us with less souls to equip the gear, so not all of us (me) were kitted out well for the Boss.

 

In my solo game I also added the house rule of drawing new encounter cards whenever I used up a spark (only on encounters I defeated though) so I had more treasure chests, leaving me with more souls to level up. I ended up only burning one spark to grind, which also wasn't that bad since I was doing new encounters anyway, then head out to the boss.

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I do think some mechanism to reset the encounter cards could be a good plan. 

I think I'll playtest my original ashes idea whereby Andre has a set inventory that you can purchase from that you can see, and you can reshuffle the encounter cards to expand his inventory. I kind of like that you get rewarded for progressing the dungeon in that way, and it kind of mimics the way you find ashes in the video game which expands what the hand maiden can sell. 

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10 minutes ago, D S SIRIUS said:

I do think some mechanism to reset the encounter cards could be a good plan. 

I think I'll playtest my original ashes idea whereby Andre has a set inventory that you can purchase from that you can see, and you can reshuffle the encounter cards to expand his inventory. I kind of like that you get rewarded for progressing the dungeon in that way, and it kind of mimics the way you find ashes in the video game which expands what the hand maiden can sell. 

What you might do, at least for the first draw, is shuffle all the weapons into a pile and place 2-3 (or however many) in the shop, shuffle the shields place down 1-2, same with armour and then the other items. Then shuffle the rest into one big pile again.

That way you'd have a some random cards of each kind available from the get go.

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1 hour ago, Ragnara said:

What you might do, at least for the first draw, is shuffle all the weapons into a pile and place 2-3 (or however many) in the shop, shuffle the shields place down 1-2, same with armour and then the other items. Then shuffle the rest into one big pile again.

That way you'd have a some random cards of each kind available from the get go.

That's a good idea! I'll definitely look at giving that a try!

Thanks for the input :)

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8 hours ago, D S SIRIUS said:

My main problem I encountered whilst playing was that I just couldn't find weapons. I had a vast abundance of shields, armours and upgrades, but they were all pretty useless without weapons. Any system that ensures that there will at least be some weapons found is required imo. 

I want to do a simpler test run of: your staring gear each has 1 upgrade slot.

 

When I was doing my second statistics post this turned ~70% of cards to be usable within 8 souls. Putting limited upgrades on your starting weapon might come back to haunt you later, but it'd be better than having no upgraded weapons at all, and it'd mean reintegrating the common loot deck back down to one deck.

 

I need to do some tests, though. It might horrifically imbalance the game. If I remember correctly the worker outfit has the same abilities as the starting gear of warrior, assassin and herald, but has an upgrade slot in exchange for the stat costs, so that would affect loot value for sure....

 

 

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On 2017-05-15 at 10:14 AM, D S SIRIUS said:

Hi all,

I've seen a lot of people complain about the treasure deck being too open to RNGesus deciding what type of game you will play. What do people think of this as a start to some rules to balance. 

I don't really want to mess with the amount of souls that encounters give for the sake of unbalancing the game. Instead, I opt to introduce rules bringing the game closer to dark souls 3 method of merchants. 

Basically when you start the game, you should have 10 cards flipped over which form the initial shop that Andre the blacksmith will sell. You could introduce tiered items in this equation to help balance further, or segregate consumables and upgrades (just need to play around with balance. My idea was that we could introduce ashes like the the video game that expand the shop that Andre has. So if you complete all the encounter tiles before the miniboss, you can discover ashes that allow 10 more cards to be revealed and expand the shop with items you can purchase without the need of random cards holding you back and forcing you to grind. 

Treasure chests still give random loot like the games and you can reset the bonfire to earn more souls (grind).

But in addition, I had a bit of an idea whereby you could seek more ashes instead of taking on the boss by using a spark and reshuffling the tiles and encounters to search a different part of the dungeon. This would eliminate having to over grind by keeping encounters more fresh and give the feeling of going deeper into the dungeon etc. 

What do people think?

 

I already am doing the shop thing.

 

I was doing 30 cards revealed, and they cost 3 souls to buy a regular 6 souls to buy advanced or legendary gear.

when you buy something something else gets put into the shop and then reshuffle the deck between mini boss and boss.

 

this allows you to plan your builds and honestly waste less souls.

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