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Expeditions: Viking - historical Viking RPG from Logic Artists

Discussion in 'Expeditions' started by Infinitron, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Barbarian Arcane

    Barbarian
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    Prosperity unlocks the "peaceful" ending(remain neutral). You don't need neither maxed prosperity nor power in order to get the faction endings(the ones where you ally to either the picts or the northumbrians). I personally thought the faction endings were the best ones, believe it or not.

    Honestly unless you want to play some wild snownigger murdering peasants and monks I don't reccomend going the power route. I wouldn't start over if I were you.
     
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  2. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    i had the foresight to make a separate save file at dun phris that i could retreat to

    this contingency is known as the second brexit referendum
     
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  3. Jimmious Arcane Patron

    Jimmious
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    This time actually knowing what you're getting your self into!
     
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  4. Barbarian Arcane

    Barbarian
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    If someone doesn't mind refreshing my memory:

    Show Spoiler
    I remember a viking funeral ceremony at the game's opening scene. And then ou find your dad's corpse in the brittish isles. What's up with that? Or was the ceremony symbolic?
     
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  5. Avonaeon Logic Artists Developer

    Avonaeon
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    I feel a little embarressed that I don't remember 100% but I believe

    Show Spoiler
    that it's not your dad's body you find, just the place that he died, along with some corpses of his hird and an item confirming this. Your uncle Grimulfr still brought your dad's body back, though
     
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  6. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    That's also what I remember. It was still a cool moment, not overdramatised, and fairly realistic.

    Since around FNV, I started thinking that in a faction-driven RPG, the 'independent' ending usually ends up being a bit of a power trip. It's nice it's there and it feels cool, but story-wise, it really isn't as nuanced. Being forced to choose between two very flawed and very different factions for the future, instead of a "hey wanna see what I have in my pants its A GIANT ROBOT ARMY now I'll do whatever I want", is ultimately more interesting from a story POV. You get the same thing in Tyranny, where there's a moment when the super-powerful fiersome no-shits-taken Judge second only to the evil overlord suddenly goes 'hey dude you're cool im just gonna bend over'.

    Anyway, that's a long way to say that I agree, with Viking the faction endings were the 'best' ones. Either way, the whole 'return to the camp and receive arbitration' part is delivered quite nicely. It's like POE when you build up to this great moment where your actions and the actions of your enemies are on trial - except then POE decided to fart in your face with a retarded deus ex machina, while Viking more or less does go through with the arbitration.
     
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  7. Safav Hamon Savant The Real Fanboy

    Safav Hamon
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    I'd call it rewarding. If you spend most of the game raising your power level and gathering allies, being able to kick ass is a satisfyting outcome to your progress.

    I also disagree that having the option removes nuance. The Viking Conquest is the closest to an 'evil' ending in the game, and most players do not like being evil.
     
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  8. Tigranes Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Tigranes
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    Serpent in the Staglands Torment: Tides of Numenera
    Having it as an option doesn't remove nuance. As I said, I support having it as an option. I simply find that 'choosing x faction' and watching the various consequences, good and bad, is often more interesting than the power trip, satisfying as it may be in other ways.
     
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  9. Safav Hamon Savant The Real Fanboy

    Safav Hamon
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    Fair enough. Although as far as the factions go, Aethelred is a much bigger dick than Caustantin.
     
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  10. Barbarian Arcane

    Barbarian
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    He becomes somewhat of a bro after you save his ass. He also gifts you an Ulfberth sword.
     
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  11. Saduj Arcane

    Saduj
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    Haven't played this in a while but I felt that the game strongly urges you to go the power route with the way your potential allies treat you. Seemed to me that both were taking advantage of me and moving the goal posts every time I fulfilled their requests. They know you're trying to build an alliance. They let you run around like a fool doing some pretty big favors for them, knowing that you believe it will result in an alliance. Then they come back with "Well thanks but everything you did meant nothing. Win a war for us and we'll consider an alliance." Who is going to say "Oh yeah, l'm going to conquer a kingdom for one of these assholes now." Fuck that. I committed to the power route not even knowing if I had enough time to do it because there was no way I was going to do anything else for either of those jagovs.
     
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  12. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    [​IMG]

    Tl;dr good shit, had lots of fun from start to finish. While it's tempting to say that it can't really be compared directly to Conquistador, because the two are very different games (which they are), I'm p. sure it's fair to say that Viking's an objectively better game overall. I remember Conquistador getting boring from roughly around the midpoint, while Viking felt fun all the way through.

    That said, it does some things much worse than Conquistador. The main stinker is probably the exploration/travelling, which has been so butchered that it might as well have been axed completely. The only point to the overland map is going from point A to point B, stopping at the closest camping spot to point B to remove starvation and whatever wounds anyone could have taken during whatever random "[x] falls under the ice!!" events. Oh, and I guess to trigger some of the camping events like Grimnir or butthurt britons leaving the party. Tbh it's just annoying and pointless in the end. And it gets even worse for sea travel, because I can't even tell if it's particularly faster than going by foot, and to make matters worse it doesn't let you camp/heal while on board, which is an absurd oversight considering how likely you're to run into "x and y get hurt" events, especially that piece of shit random encounter with a jelling ship that always leaves two of your dudes severely/moderately wounded.

    Another thing I was missing a lot compared to Conquistador were the "set up traps and hold out" moments. There is very little to no reason or occasion to use traps in Viking, which is half due to its being easy overall, and half because they are just regular consumable items to use, and I'm pretty sure it's not particularly worth spending actions on them that you could instead apply on clobbering the enemy dead. Especially since the AI tends to play things safe and stick to its part of the map. Also, the idea that you are setting traps during the actual fight is just a tad too much for my sense of plausibility.

    Character progression was another thing that I thought was meh. This is probably connected to the butchered camping, since you can just keep pumping combat abilities for half your dudes that you always use for battle, and camping abilities for the ones you don't, with very little choice/breadth to be had. The fact that you also get to make a few custom dudes before leaivng Denmark whom you can specialise from the start into camping imps is pretty ridiculous as well. At first I also thought the progression tier limitation by maximum skill points spent was weird, but then I read in Tigranes's revio that this was unlimited initially and made things completely broken, and I can certainly see how that could have been true - again, because half of your dudes just spec in combat, the other half in camping. Gear progression is mmmmeh as well, especially for armour, because weapons on the whole tend to be cool and varied - and then there's also the craftung which is completely ridiculous and which I consciously avoided so as to not become even more ridonkOP than normal.

    And the final thing I really didn't like were the arbitrary power/prosper ratings, connected to arbitary homestead upgrades, arbitrarily governing endings. I was actually legit upset to find myself arbitrarily barred from initiating total brexit by the fact that I couldn't max the arbitrary power counter. Because everything about this is arbitrary, and none of it ever looks any important or meaningful until the game goes "Gotcha! Shoulda planned ur homestead more about power, lolololo!", and it's especially dumb that you can increase prosper with money, but not power - hello? Mercenaries are a thing? I'd also say it's even worse when you consider that so much verges on the pointless homestead in this regard, when Orkney feels much, much more like a tangible and significant/meaningful player HQ.

    Now to proceed to things I liekd.

    The combat I think is pretty serviceable and has a few cool bits. It might not be spectacular but it works, and I liked that the general combat abilities etc were kept reasonable and well-balanced, so they never felt like awesome buttons. Its biggest hindrance is probably that it's overall rather easy, but there are still a bunch of fights and setpieces that were very fun and kind of tricky. The church next to Perth that has like 15 dudes inside in close quarters definitely comes to mind. Others also include the fight against Skakki outside Caustantin's throne room, the barrow wights + angry mob in Skerninge, some wolf encounters, and definitely Aiblinn's rebels at Dun Phris - it might have been the coolest one in the game.

    General campaign pacing is probably the game's strongest suit. The way you start in Denmark and do the smaller preparation errands, then you land in Scarborough which has an excellent feel of being a stranger in a strange land, then you go around doing stuff for the Anglos and Picts, and finally there's the big escalation, coming back home and... plot twist!!!! (with Rurik - which I didn't actually see coming, but which was neatly foreshadowed on reflection - in general the game does well with foreshadowing certain events and leading up to them).

    The reactivity/C&C seem fairly stronk too. One of my favourite bits was getting the option to send many of the folks you meet to Orkney once you become the jarl, like the Roman larpers. The way the non-lethal toggle in wombat ties into this (and general quest design) is great as well, and the non-lethal toggle is something I've missed in RPGs since forever. It's the ultimate response to situations when the player feels strongly about clobbering someone over the head, but not strongly enough to kill them, or when you feel like it'll be more profitable to spare someone and capture him than kill him outright. And the game very often acknowledges those possibilities - and obviously while it doesn't do so always, because that would be absurd, it definitely manages do get it right for every time when it's very obviously needed. Also, obviously the C&C wouldn't matter much if it didn't have good quest design and set pieces to accompany it, and Viking is happy to oblige. The quest design might not be astounding (since the goals etc are pretty simple overall), but it presents you with some really cool events with multiple ways of resolving, and the way you should resolve them isn't always particularly obvious - by which I mean the choices you get are much less "moral" and much more pragmatic, which funnily enough makes it sorta similar to ELEX, which I've praised for the exact same thing. From the perspective of a playa playing a game, pragmaticism is a much more involved and practical layer of decision making than the petty moral dilemmas of pixel people. Still, one thing I found disappointing were the "big mystery!" quests like what happened to Urdad's expedition and Avalon. The former is the biggest "wait, that's it?" moment in the game, and the latter probably would have been just as bad if it hadn't given you one of the two most powerful waffen in the game.

    Story/writing/historicity are great as well, albeit with some hiccups, like with some depictions of christianity, but eh that's mostly sperg territory. What I liked about the overall "story" (I mean it's sorta hard to say the game even has that much of a story because it's very low key and more like just a premise, but I think it's very much to its favour) was that while the action is focused on Britain and you spend most of your time there, the overarching importance of your status and clan in Skjern is always there, and the way the game ends with the post-Althing events is IMO very strong and a testament to the good ideas on which Viking is founded. I feel like any other stupid game out there would have either ended the moment you left Britain (cutscene of Althing and everyone being soooo happy!), or would have some strongpowerful importantsignificant muh deep narrative going on in Britain, or would have the Althing being settled by... trial by combat! Also, the way Skule's dudes keep pestering you all the time in Bwitain while he stays offscreen until the very end makes for good pacing as well. And getting to finally murder them is extremely satisfying - in general, Viking has many satisfying moments when you finally get to shank assholes who've been a thorn in your side for months.

    Also, music. Music is universally great.
     
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  13. Safav Hamon Savant The Real Fanboy

    Safav Hamon
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    The music is good enough to have been in a AAA game
     
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  14. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    I actually kinda liked the character progression - liked that it was rather flat, with you acquiring new abilities instead of growing ridiculous numbers. But I think raising difficulty levels would solve a lot of the problems with it that you mention - then your fighters would get injured more often/more severely, so at some point you'd just have to take your camping imps to battle, so you'd have to diversify a bit. Another thing that'd improve the character system I think is making the cost of upgrade much higher, especially the passives. Currently, you get so many skill points that most of the decision-making boils down to "What is the least useless skill I can waste those points on before I can unlock the next tier of my primary abilities?".
    What I really didn't like are a lot of weird UI choices. Why can't I eat on the adventuring maps? It gets kinda ridiculous how on some of them you find NPC's camps, but can't set up your own. But even without the camping, surely if I have rations I should be able to just eat them wherever? Or at least find a tavern if I'm in a city? Also, unless I'm missing something, not being able to set up your chars abilities bar outside of combat is also immensely annoying. Or am I just dumb and it's all hidden somewhere in there?
     
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  15. Darth Roxor Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis

    Darth Roxor
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    Yep, and I'm pretty sure it worked like that in Conquistador, though maybe I'm misremembering.
     
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  16. Safav Hamon Savant The Real Fanboy

    Safav Hamon
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    Character progression is shit. It's the only major complaint I have with the game.

    If an RPG forces you to invest in skills you don't need or want, then the progression system is bad. Vikings is the worst offender.
     
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  17. Azalin Arcane Patron

    Azalin
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    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018 at 3:31 PM
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  18. DarkUnderlord Bringing that old Raptor magic. Patron

    DarkUnderlord
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    Completed it. It was good. Generally.
    I liked:
    Dialogues. They were generally quite well done and so where the characters.
    Combat. Although hampered by a few things below in the negatives.
    The soft time limit that doesn't become overbearing nor become too unimportant to matter.
    Quests. Generally quite well done and fun.
    Having to manage the morale of your party.
    Music. Gud.
    World. It was pretty, I just wish that you could go out and explore random places a bit more. It just felt like there plain wasn't enough out there to explore, overall the places you could enter were limited.

    I didn't like:
    Balance [​IMG] . It felt like the game really didn't tolerate many playstyles other than 2 archers, one healer and 3 shield carrying sword/axemen.
    Archers in particular are probably the best unit in the game and everything else out there is just to serve them, their abilities later on are easily the best in the game and they practically fill every role out there. Their damage is probably the best, they have unlimited disables and they have some absurd abilities like fire arrow and hailstorm which are both luckily only limited to one shot per fight, but both it and poisoned arrows can go through shields even if they are blocked. Hailstorm allows you to fire at one target hex and will then randomly shoot at 3 other hexes around the target, the range is absurd and if you have a witch give you weapon poison all of the arrows fired will give the poison effect too. It's lucky that there are not many encounters out there that have archers good enough to use hailstorm.
    Also it's probably a bug but I swear to fuck, the rules of where and how the AI can fire vs where I can fire are borked as hell. In the fight I will complain below I had an archer shoot me through a wall.
    Oh, did I mention that you should only use 2 archers, one healer and 3 shield carrying sword or axemen? Because that is what you should be doing. This game REALLY hates dual wielders and two handed weapon carriers (aka zerkors), primarily due to how strong archers are. You will just get targeted to hell by archers and the real kick in the nuts is that 2 handed axes and dual wielding don't really do wildly more damage than anyone else, and your zerkor also has less effective HP because his total HP pool is the same as any other warrior and he doesn't have a shield to block arrows either.

    Progression. The game has a system where in order to actually put points into the things you want to put them in, you are forced to also put them into things that you don't want to put them in. The game gates you from progressing beyond a certain point by forcing you to spend a certain amount of points before you can go back to progressing what you actually wanted to in the first place. My beefcake warria doesn't need camping skills, the only thing I want him to do is go and beat people up with a big axe, but nope he's gonna have to become the chef too because it just happened to be the least useless thing I could pick at that moment. That is what it really devolves into, you will just be spending points in the least useless things possible to you at any given moment so you can go back to spending points in what you wanted to. It's a really shoddy attempt at grant value to things that otherwise would have none.

    Some of the encounter design. It was good but there were a few weak ones. I sperged out in shitbox earlier about one in particular, where the game pits you against 9 enemies (you only have 6 on your side) with 5 or so more coming in 4 turns from the same place you entered from and you can only move through roughly a 3 hex wide space to attack your enemy but you can access 4 more friendly units by getting the gate open that is behind the enemy, which you can't really reliably do because you are in a 3 hex wide space. Your enemy also has one unit that will block like 95% of your attacks unless you have an ability called shield hook that disables shielding, which is exclusive to units that specialize in axe fighting. So your only way to defeat him is to shield hook (assuming you even have an axe fighter in the first place, which I was lucky enough to have) and gang up on him with all you got.

    Equipment management. It really, really isn't fun to deal with. Having to keep track of 6+ people and their equipment and make helmets, armor and weapons for all of them is quite annoying and so expensive that you probably can't even afford it due to how much other stuff requires salvage and hides, which isn't helped at all by the fact that you won't actually be able to craft anything decent until you get tier 3 or more crafting and armorsmithing skills (which will take quite a long time, probably at around the 10-15h mark in a 25-30 hour playthrough) and many of the things you found earlier on will probably last so long that by the time you are able to craft a weapon better than it, you have already managed find something better than you can craft.

    I know it's a lot easier to complain about the bad things rather than praise the good ones but regardless this game was pretty fun and you should play it. I hope I can play it again in the future and I won't have to drop difficulties at fights where the odds are stacked so high against you and I will actually know what will work and what won't.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018 at 10:25 AM
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  19. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    A short soft look at Expeditions : Viking.
     
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