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A game of survival, trade and exploration in the universe of Fallen London

Combat and Resource Management Review Messages in this topic - RSS

Spithas
Spithas
Posts: 8

1/12/2015
This is my assessment of the Combat and Terror - Supply - Fuel Management aspects of the game, which i find are too easy at least for what the game advertised itself to be.

Combat:

1) At the moment it's extremely easy to avoid combat and go about your business. You can easily sneak by monsters and pirates or speed through them if they do notice you. This makes exploring too easy. This is something which can easily be achieved even by someone with limited game knowledge.
Part of the reason for avoidance being too easy is fixed patrols areas so you know exactly where to expect everything and limited number of enemy ships and monsters.

2) Ships (Non Monsters) are extremely easy to kill even in the Ligeia Steamer with the first deck gun. Get behind them (veils helps a lot), shoot until they die while you lose 0 or minimal hp. This requires skill and knowledge but being able to take on any ship that doesn't have aft cannon (only 1 does i think) with the Ligeia with starting equipment is absurd.

3) Monsters can also be kitted too easily, though not as risk free as ships. Bring them to the edge of your deck gun from the left or right side. Fire of 1 or 2 shots go forward and left or right to move away until their ? goes away, rinse and repeat until they are dead. With patience the Ligeia can kill anything that doesn't have a ranged attack.

None of the above tactics for 2 and 3 involve much reversing. These are also tactics that can be performed in the starting ship with starting equipment. Better weapons and the Lump of Blue Scintillack only make them faster and easier. Good Veils also are extremely powerful for all 3 points.

Once you are in a Corvette with 2 decent guns and also a Blue Scintillack it's pretty much game over in terms of combat. No ship or monster can challenge a player that doesn't somehow mess up horribly on his own.

Terror - Fuel - Supply Management:

1) Supply is abundant and with the fact that you can avoid combat easily or learn how to kill without taking damage it's only there to feed your crew since you won't be using it for repairing much if at all. The fact that it's way too safe to run your vessel with 70% crew makes management even easier. In all of my play-throughs i have never been forced to eat my crew... i don't even know what happens if you run out of supplies.

2) Fuel is extremely easy to manage once you realize that your bridge light consumes it like crazy and turn it off (which you also do because it makes avoiding monsters and ships easy as mentioned). Though not as easy as Supply when it comes to restocking away from London it's still not hard enough, unless you got a very shitty map and ports with fuel or pirate frigates (aka free refueling stations) are not spread out enough, which is very rare. Basically the fact that supply is so easy to come by makes it easy for managing fuel as you mostly focus on stocking up on fuel and keep fewer supplies on-board.

3) Terror is the hardest resource to manage away from London. Basically in mid game after you have revealed all your locations terror is basically the determining resource of how long a journey you can perform. In this aspect it is well balanced as it doesn't get high too soon allowing you to go to multiple eastern islands in 1 voyage but also doesn't take forever to become a problem forcing you to return to London.
I don't agree with people in this forum who have said that Terror rises too slowly when you have the bridge light switched off. The problems with terror lie elsewhere which i will discuss in my suggestions.

Some Suggestions based what i discussed:

A) Lights Out. It's too damn strong. Allows you to avoid any combat and save fuel because you don't have to go that much around monsters or ships and also because fuel consumption is affected by having it on. There is also no penalty for staying light's out in combat specially if you use tactics like mentioned in 2-3 of Combat. The cost is increased terror gain. Benefits far outweigh the cost

B) Terror has no real incremental effects. Terror 1 or Terror 75 is basically the same thing. There need to be more effects on various levels of terror or more random events generated based on the level of terror that would shake things up and provide unplanned elements or situations to your voyages ranging from inconsequential to nearly catastrophic. In this way you can achieve much more spice and also affect the ease of Fuel and Supply management without actually touching them directly.

C) Add more monsters / ships in numbers and give them larger and more random patrol areas to make it less predictable where they show up.

D) Lump of Blue Scintillack. Yeah it has to go as a combat power up with unlimited uses. I would hate to see it go but it has to for the game's difficulty sake.

Conclusion:

At the moment the game is difficult only for the totally inexperienced. Once you become accustomed with the game's mechanics and concepts the difficulty almost disappears. Let me tell you a story:

Recently one of my Captains while on the last leg of his latest journey into the Unterzee had a harrowing experience. He was on his usual round trip of the Unterzee and had just undocked from Polythreme having loaded 6 Clay Men to ferry to London. He had planned to stop over at Khan's Heart to receive the latest intel from his spies and then go directly back to London.

He had a decent amount of supplies and fuel while terror was also in check. His corvette was badly hurt because he has elected to fight off multiple lifebergs at the start of his voyage but since he planned to avoid any further combat it wasn't much of a concern. All of a sudden one of the Clay Men went berserk and managed to kill 4 of the 10 zailors rendering the vessel manageable only at slow speed.

Now even under these conditions there was no cause for alarm. However slow speed meant longer time in the dark so Terror started to become a serious problem. Light would have to be on if he was to make it to London. But light would attract those Jillyfleur and those Pirates that were on his current course and he didn't have that much fuel or the time (terror) to go around them. The condition of the hull and the fact that he couldn't use cruise speed meant combat was not a viable option as victory was not guaranteed and escape an impossibility.

The choice was made to go lights out pass the enemies undetected and then Full Power, risking explosion and death, with Lights On to travel as fast as possible and reach Quaker's Haven before madness overcame them. It worked... barely making it to berth with 99 terror. But it was not over. Full Power and Lights on had saved them from madness but had used up every last drop of Fuel. But the Clay Man who put them into this mess had also provided us with the means to escape with our lives, those 4 mouths that were not eating all this time meant we had 2 remaining supplies in our hold. Thus through extreme planning and also a bit of luck he made it back.

The reason i am writing this is because this is perhaps my most memorable moment in Sunless Sea and unfortunately such situations occur extremely rarely.
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