Recent posts by Sir_Valimont on Kongregate

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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Popular Questions

10. Friends List
This game was designed for social networks and therefore the friend system makes little sense on Kongregate. Except for the ones really close to your tower, your lands generate absolutely no income for you unless you undergo the rather irritating task of getting a “governor” on that land. To get a governor, you have to screw with your Kongregate friends list – basically adding as many Berserk players as you can to it – so that Berserk can auto-detect your friends list and allow you to invite those people to be your governors in-game. Information on how to do this for new players is at this thread: http://www.kongregate.com/forums/147-berserk-the-cataclysm/topics/387135-information-on-governors-and-income-for-new-players
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11. Land Organization on your Island
When someone tries to steal your land, he uses up portal energy. The portal energy he uses up is 1 per deck involved in the 1 or 2 fights required to take the land. So, you want to force your enemies to have to use the maximum (6 decks) for every piece of land they want to try to steal, to make it harder to steal your lands. When someone attacks your island he has to fight 1 or 2 battles. The first battle is the CURRENT OCCUPIERS battle. This can be your garrison, or if there is a Barbarian occupier, it will be a random AI battle with a random number of decks from 1 to 3. If you don’t have a garrison and there’s no Barbarian, the enemy doesn’t have to fight ANY battle here, making it easy to take your land. Lesson: Always have a garrison of 3 decks. The second battle the other player will fight is the LAND FORMATION battle. This always happens no matter what. It will be 1, 2 or 3 decks depending on how your lands are organized. Basically, the game looks at the element of the land being fought on, and sees how many other lands of the SAME TYPE that are also UNOCCUPIED are touching it (so Barbarian or enemy-player occupied lands don’t count). So, you always want to organize your island with same-element lands next to each other, because it forces players who will try to occupy your lands to fight using more decks, and therefore waste more portal energy, and thereby not be able to attack you as much or take as many of your lands. The best advice here is simply to visit the island of a veteran player and see how he has his lands organized, and then do the same yourself.
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Hope this was helpful. If anyone wants clarification on an item I didn’t include, just ask.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Popular Questions

Clarification on some points:
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1. Damage Types
There are 5 damage types. You can tell the damage type of a card by the symbol under its attack number. The damage type of a creature also defines its DEFENSE against other damage types. If you are a basic-strike type (you have crossed swords under your attack number), then creatures with throw (two spears symbol) or shoot (bow symbol) do +1 damage to you. Other basic-strike creatures (crossed swords), spell creatures (flash symbol) and lightning creatures (lightning bolt symbol) do normal damage to you. You yourself also do +1 damage to the two other types, spell and lightning, that damage you normally. For every type, 2 of the others will hit you harder and you will hit 2 of the others harder.
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5. Drop Rates
One thing to know about Berserk is that the RNG is not actually fair. Bytex has a systematic policy of giving no information and occasionally giving misinformation about the RNG too, so be warned. The RNG abuses are mostly in the AI’s management of shuffling and “random” targeting, with two goals: The first is attempted game balance, where certain cards are favored to appear early in shuffles because it boosts their utility. The second is in making AI battles harder because it outright cheats with skills like Delay and Magic Mirror not randomizing their results but always favoring the computer opponent. These obstacles are easily overcome if you are aware of them, and they do affect proper strategy in terms of defense-deck building and attack-deck building. The more important question is of course of rare-card drop rates when opening packs. One thing to understand about drop rates is that there is a standard drop rate which applies GENERALLY to cards within a rarity type, but which DOES NOT APPLY TO ALL CARDS OF THAT RARITY. In most cases, Bytex separates out the “good” cards (usually the ones most valuable in the meta game) and intentionally makes them harder to obtain, by nerfing the drop rates. There are plenty of cards in the system that have an intentionally biased drop rate but the way cards are distributed these days they don’t cost players money and folks don’t care (so it’s not changing). The bottom line is, if you think something seems rarer than it should be, and it’s a good card, it almost definitely IS rarer than it should be. Ask a veteran player in chat and he will tell you. Just to give some examples: Uncabus and Flying Fox are Ultra-Rare cards but they drop in packs only about a third as often as all other Ultra Rare cards.

For reference: Promos drop in the Super-booster pack at about 1 promo in 20 packs.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / **INFORMATION ON GOVERNORS AND INCOME FOR NEW PLAYERS**

No problem.

Also: If you are unsure about whether a player is active, try sending a private message to that player in the Kongregate chat window. Just type /w and the player’s name, and something like “hi.” You can first of all see if the player is online at that moment, and even if not, you can click on the player’s name (which is now a link) to see his profile. You can check the full profile for the last activity of that player on Kongregate. Sometimes you’ll find someone who hasn’t been online in over a week … that will be a good island to feast on!!

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Bug reports

Originally posted by Acrat:

Well after 2 days of game not working i deleted my friends list (once again) about 650 ppl and voila at least it loads again. Still works rather slowly compared to better times but …

So we return once again the thing that causes most complaints for this game… no friends management on kong or in game and massive slowdowns and other bugs caused by friends list.

Yes, the game is NOT compatible with Kongregate friends list. Bytex knows it is a big problem and they don’t even respond when you ask about it. Like any problem they can’t fix, they ignore it. Sometimes I find it amusing to ask anyway. Maybe I’m dreaming that one day they will become professional and at least explain that they can’t fix it (or even acknowledge the question) … well maybe “professional” is too strong. More like “adults” … but it has been 2 years so I’m not holding my breath.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / The Global Era: voting

Splitting defense was the only thing that made clan wars strategic and you never should have removed it.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Game news

- The principle of dividing defenders in not realized.

This is the ONLY THING IN CLAN WARS that provides strategy. WHY are you removing it? Can you please give us an explanation?

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Game news

Why poll us if after everyone says “NO” you go with “YES” anyway? It would be better not to poll us and just make the change, and let us be upset about the change. Now we are upset about the change but also even more upset because you didn’t listen to us.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Game news

Many people have complained about many things, including the color scheme of the game and the fact that battles play out automatically. My point is that there are much bigger game issues than this, and it’s quite annoying that they don’t even RESPOND to players saying “this is broken” when at the same time they talk about new fixes they are making. It’s a one-way conversation and not a good way to manage the community.

I agree that it’s useful to have heroes enhance faster. Slightly useful. You only have to enhance a hero once and it’s done. Fine change. Nothing major really.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Game news

Originally posted by bytex:

Dear ungars!
We’re eager to inform you that today something great has just happened. From now on you can Enhance your hero in Laboratory fast and effective! The function of enhancing in a few clicks is available now! All you need to do is to set up some filters and click on “Transfer” button, and your cards for enhancing will be chosen automatically.
Attention! You can choose not more than 200 cards at a hit to exclude processing power problems. We are sure that you will enjoy a new way of making a gaming process better.

Good that you fixed this because it was pretty bad. But it would be even better when players say “I have a problem” or “Here is a bug” that you respond and let players know that you are listening, and/or that you will fix the problems that they have, instead of fixing random things you think of that no one has complained about.

 
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Topic: Nightbanes / [Dev May 6th - Phoenix changes

Originally posted by Alithia451:

HI all,

I admit that the phoenixes have been the most difficult cards to design. We wanted a strong card as a reward for high-ELO players that has a huge effect on gameplay and is also a bragging right.

If I may offer a view, I would say that it’s clear your design team has good intentions — as you say, to reward high-ELO players with a bragging-right card. But I would encourage you to think in terms of unique mechanics or unique strategy instead of “things that are more powerful than other cards.” The integrity of your card game in the long run depends on the utility of as many cards in your system simultaneously as possible. It will never be the case that all cards are as useful as each other (just a basic truth of card games) but you should strive, as your card pool expands, to have the number of usable cards also expand. The reason power creep is the number one killer of card games is that it tends to shrink the list of usable cards while expanding the overall card pool! Avoid at all costs.

A parallel suggestion would be to allow players an avatar icon within your game that they can choose from a pre-set list (featuring card art is popular for this type of thing). That is a good place to allow someone to show off a phoenix, for example, without it harming gameplay.

I continue to watch this game develop from behind the scenes. :) By all means anyone send me a PM if you’d like to discuss design, game strategy, or card games in general. Cheers and good luck to all of you!

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / What is your favorite card?

Snegurochka.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / "Wide Horizons" competition

There are some amazing photos. I think #1 is the most creative and cool, and #15 is amazing,

…but the best photo is #18. AMAZING. So incredibly beautiful.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Black Widow, Grave Phantom. Voting.

Originally posted by Angelomon:

I vote for 5 The rarity should be changed to Ultra-Rare and an evolution stage should be added. :)

What that does is make the cards OP. First of all they will be stronger with another evo, and second of all most players WON’T have tons of them, so it will just be an unfair advantage for top players.

There is nothing to fix here. They should leave the cards alone.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Black Widow, Grave Phantom. Voting.

One concept that is difficult to understand in card game design is the difference between utility and overpoweredness. Just because a card is useful (and used frequently by extension) does not mean it is overpowered.

NEITHER of these cards are overpowered. The proof is very simple: top players do not always use either one. Many of the preferred decks in the game use neither and usually beat decks that do. There is no lower level of competitive PvP in which these cards are dominating either.

It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to change these cards and 4. should be the obvious choice.

 
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Topic: KingsRoad / My Thoughts on the game

I don’t really mean to implicate RG one way or another, honestly. I haven’t seen anything from them that makes me think their actual pay structure is flawed or anything — I think they probably do a decent job, really. But I think presentation plays a big part, and that includes community management and so on … so whether things are “too expensive” or not, I do think they’ve missed on some opportunities to present themselves the best way … Not that anyone’s perfect. Mostly I just wanted to point out in this thread that free players are a really good thing for game communities, and especially those MMOG-type games where paid and free players interact freely.

 
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Topic: KingsRoad / My Thoughts on the game

Originally posted by OldCW:

I’ll say it upfront. I’m a leech. I’ll play your game and spend no money on it. Ever. For that I deserve less from the game. I get that.

Your maturity and modesty are wonderful and I think we all agree that developers do need to drive sales and do need to incentivize them with content.

But the notion that free players are leeches is not accurate and it’s really outdated thinking. This can be summed up in one basic concept about game design that every player and every developer should know in their sleep, because it’s ultra important:


In a multiplayer online game, free players are content.

The more players you have, the better your game is, and it makes zero difference whether they pay or not.


IN FACT THE MORE FREE PLAYERS YOU HAVE, THE BETTER IT IS FOR YOUR PAYING PLAYERS.

These statements are not just aphorisms spewed out by philosophers: they are studied truths that manifest themselves across games, and top developers do know them (and write about them). I don’t want to get into great detail but I highly recommend for the casual reader an episode of “Extra Credits” (James Portnow / Daniel Floyd) all about how to run a MMOG with free and paid players (part of a larger episode about microtransactions — also stuff you should know if you’re interested in this industry).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXA559KNopI

 
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Topic: KingsRoad / How many times?

There’s a reason RNG-related benefits are an object of scorn in game design theory. You’ve uncovered it. Randomness is inherently unfair, sometimes in your favor and sometimes not … this is a case where the game would be better served to have some “safety valves” applied, such as forcing someone to get a rare at least 1 in 5 times, or similar.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / **INFORMATION ON GOVERNORS AND INCOME FOR NEW PLAYERS**

Well, the best way to know players are active is to see them in chat. Literally just add everyone in chat! Then once in a while, people remove their entire friends list, and repeat. This way they will eventually remove inactives.

Besides that, you can look at the membership of active clans — since clans filter inactives on their own, you can be sure that clan members are active players, and you should add all of them.

If you just follow these two strategies, you will have the majority of active players on your friends list, and not many inactives. This is a great way to start!

 
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Topic: KingsRoad / Do you have what it takes to be a KingsRoad beta tester?

Originally posted by mdccxxvii:

First people complain and ridicule the devs for not listening to players. Now they are adding a new layer of player testing, and an opportunity for more feedback, and you guys are still complaining.

It’s far from the case that RumbleGames is the first offender or the worst offender but the new concept amongst developers that it’s ok to charge people money while in “beta” is as ridiculous as it is abusive. Kongregate is traditionally very sensitive to overbearing pay structures in games (as it has a strong strain of free players in the community, amongst other reasons), so making an appeal for “beta testers” after having so many players pay through the nose is not going to be well received. People will, and people should, complain in this context.

I will further point out that RumbleGames have helped themselves to a reputation of being jerks about their paying customers step by step … the decision to fix a design flaw for new players and ENFORCE it on veteran players (the bank space issue) remains one of the most insane choices I’ve ever heard of from a developer. Both the craziness and the stupidity of this decision have made RumbleGames many times more famous than any of their game content, as far as I’m concerned.

Kongregate is prone to complaints, and to overreaction frequently. But that doesn’t add up to you being surprised when people sneer at a developer that, during “beta,” spams its own players with pay-advertisements and follows by asking for beta testers. What do you expect? People are going to complain and it’s not the least bit surprising.

For that matter, RumbleGames shouldn’t be surprised either. I’m sure this is an honest attempt to connect with players — it’s silly to question their motives. But it’s also not rocket science to figure out how to deal with your community better and avoid the jeers and japes. You can start by not calling your game a “beta” when it’s not, and not literally shoving advertisements to pay for things no one wants or needs in everyone’s faces while they play the game. And you can apologize profusely for the bank space and related fiascos and make it right with the veteran players.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Game news

Originally posted by bytex:

Dear players!

ATTENTION! The principle of splitting defenders is not effective for the Platinum League.

This is also very, very, very, very stupid. Why change the rules? The only part of clan wars that was strategic is splitting defense … now it is even less strategic. What possible reason can there be for taking it away?

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Game news

Originally posted by bytex:

During the bloody fights Peres fell under the pressure of brave warriors. Today the event on clan wars map dedicated to 20 Era of Clan Wars has come to the end! The main aim of this event was to capture and keep Peres city by 4:00 AM GMT April 22. In Silver league it was Zeltennia clan that achieved this. The members of this clan will get a Promo-booster as a gift of 30 ounces. Congratulations to the winners!

Congrats to Zeltennia, nice for them. But of course it is completely ridiculous that there is no prize in Platinum. Very badly organized by Bytex.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Game news

People like me who spent hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours clicking “buy” are hurt a lot by this update … it takes away our competitive advantage. It was not well organized to add a buy-100 button after TWO YEARS without indicating that it would happen. Communication is not Bytex’s strong suit.

But, this is an excellent change for the community and I am very happy for it. So thank you for adding it. Please help make the game even better by fixing the governor invites problems.

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Bug reports

I currently have several broken portals also, which show non-numbers in the “time remaining” display.

 
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Topic: KingsRoad / Level Scaling Makes an Otherwise Great Game ... "ok"

Originally posted by Almandaragal:

Such an issue obviously hasn’t held hundreds or thousands of players from progressing and eventually hitting that plateau of level 60.

The issue easily could have held hundreds of thousands of players from playing. There is no way to tell. It is extremely erroneous (and counterproductive) to presume game mechanics are good without considering them independent of the whole. Maybe this is the exact issue that is holding back Kings’ Road from being a game with 300k players.

You will note that I have repeated many times that I think this is a very good game in many aspects. That in no way impeaches the strength of my argument here. Furthermore you’re free to disagree all you like but you did not address my basic premise, which is that the proof players find the game “pointless” before level 60 is prominently being displayed when we see the rampant cheating out of balance with what this type of game usually inspires. My entire point, in response to so many asking why there’s rampant cheating, is that the poorly designed game mechanics encourage it. My point is not that the game is “unplayable” nor have I ever said that. Just that from a perspective the gameplay itself before level 60 is pointless. (And that leads to boring gameplay for many and the decision to cheat for many others).

 
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Topic: Berserk: The Cataclysm / Bug reports

Originally posted by Sir_Valimont:
Originally posted by bytex:
Originally posted by Sir_Valimont:

This was happening with a group of 3 portals next to each other, each one cycling through players every time I tried to visit the island.

Is the problem actual now?

This continues to happen to me, yes. Especially with another player named “Aimma” for some reason.

The problem continues to happen every day with players named “Aimma” and “jaraxle9233.”