Combat - Just 'Unbalanced'?

[li]my opinion of the combat system is evolving, and for the better.
i’m wondering if the main issue is not with the system itself, but in the balance.

at game start, my stats were jack.
the only options realistically available were flare, shoot, or flee.
any enemy capable of handling that had my butt in a bag.
so i either had to run away (craaaab!!) or the fight was a total curb-stomp (not bats for dinner agaain…)

but now that my stats are up and i have decent VEILS combat has become an intricate dance between light and shadow, punctuated by sharp attacks.

i can EVADE and it actually does something.
i have options and planning and timing of moves actually counts for something.
couple days ago i spent over a minute going back-and-forth with an Unfinished Pirate.
avoiding his illums, him evading mine, wild shots between, a potent flare (from them!) when they couldn’t break by evades …
in short, it worked.
it was an engaging, chess-like challenge.
i’ve had similar experiences since with zee-beasts and (strong) boats.

trouble is that i had to get jacked-up stats to make it possible.
without good VEILS, you’ve got nothing.
and MIRRORS, oddly, doesn’t seem to count (for &quotobserve&quot only??) - doesn’t help you get better illumination points, so far as i can see.

maybe there just needs to be more balance between skills and results.

either way, there’s a marked difference in play as skills go up.
i dunno - it might be that if my stats get up into the hundreds, we’re talking about curb-stomping everyone again and its a bore.
(excepting Lukes & Nomad, nats.)[/li][li]
edited by Psst! on 8/5/2014

Mirrors does help though, with my current stats I can illuminate almost everything in 1 Flare.

[li]i’ve gone from mirrors-50 to 84 and noticed nothing.
i mean, it’s great for challenges & jazz, but junk for combat.

in contrast, the difference in veils (30s to 40s) is night & day.
it’s like, veils under 45 is useless in combat, but once you cross that threshold, the whole world opens up.

veils in the 50s is even better, but 50-60 range, while better still, isn’t as much of a game-changer.

and that’s part of the lack of balance that i’m feeling.
to be ‘good’ you have to get veils over some basic threshold & everything else is … trash. inconsequential.
but if you don’t start as Urchin, it’s a slog to get your veils up there.
meanwhile, your capacity for combat remains strikingly limited as your other skills just don’t translate to combat.
even iron needs VERY high numbers (off starting base) before it starts to show real impact.

net effect on the game is that you start weak and stay weak for an extended period of time (unless you veils-focus hard).
and while your veils is low, the combat play is extremely straightforward.
but once you break that base in veils the entire system changes character on a fundamental level.
it gains the complexity and depth of action it lacked earlier.

as an aside, it also feels odd that the quality / price of a gun matters less to damage potential than your net skill with guns.
sure, you expect a skilled gunner to shoot better than, say, Cousin Joe, who likes to microwave his head after a shower.
but a fool with a bazooka is still a fool with a bazooka.
whether you hit a tank or the azaleas in grandma’s garden shed behind it, it’s goin up in flame.
to twist the old proverb, a fool might only be right once a day, but with said bazooka, you only NEED to be right once.

To be honest I’ve never had a problem with Veils, my background has always been Urchin. The Iron thing can be explained as the big weapons from the Masters give you a huge boost for each of them and both can be equipped. As for mirrors it does take a while to get it up there but between secrets and other events its really nto that much of a grind. Besides as long as one has good veils and fights cleverly it doesn’t matter for a long time.

[li]right - so the ‘irony’ being that the iron bonus for campaigner (a guy who seeks and is skilled in battle) is effectively worth less to combat than veils, the skill of getting away / don’t notice me. it’s like, don’t fear the giant, over-muscled ape-man with a 50-pound battleax and gattling gun; watch out for the 90-lb thief with a paperclip and wet underwear.


That’s the Zee for you. After all what use is it being an ape-man when your up against the beasts of the Neath? Especially the ones in the Zee! It fits perfectly.

Yes, I agree; there is a sweet spot for some beasts where combat is like an engaging dance. For the others, it’s either you crush or get crushed. At least, until you get your stats up. Once they get over 100, pretty much everything is &quotFlare, shoot, done.&quot Sometimes you have to shoot a second time. Exceptions are Mt. Nomad and the Colossal Fluke. Fighting Mt. Nomad is actually fun because you do have to watch its moves and respond accordingly, using both Flee and Evade when appropriate. Still, once you figure it out, Mt. Nomad is pretty easy to kill even if it keeps you on your toes.

I don’t want to enter in a too much technical discussion about combat, but I would like just to say that Observation, like it is now, is useless. It makes you lose time and become vulnerable to illumination and attack of the enemy, you have to repeat it several times and at the end it gives basically nothing.

Well, once all your relevant stats are above 100 even Mt Nomad and the Colossal Fluke eventually fall to flare/evade/salvo/evade/salvo/evade/salvo/evade etc…

Though you still have to watch out.