Development Diary #6
My Principality for a Realm!
I'll start this post off by saying resource systems are hard, especially one as interactive as the resource system in Kingdoms of Immacus. Though the system works just fine as is, I wanted to clean the board up a little bit because the end game feels a little cluttered with 9+ domains on the board for each player. There's a lot of turning, twisting, and tokens flying about, and anything I can do to clean things up would be a plus.
I decided to cap the domains on the board to 6 and make it so a player can upgrade their domains from a principality to a realm, which means they get double the resources and a little more loyalty in the process. This sounds easy enough, but the play test proved that things are not as simple as they seem. The problem came from the domain's interaction with the fomenter units. For this session, if a player placed a fomenter unit on a domain, the domain owner could kick the unit off the domain to upgrade a principality to a realm.
The opponent that had fomenter units spent a lot of resources to get the fomenter unit machine going, and the non-fomenter unit player was able to run wild and rake up Dominance Tokens in Brutality and Calamity. The secondary issue was that the decks are only built with 1 of every card. This doesn't lend to any strategy for the players. This choice was to help determine if any cards were intrinsically broken. From all the play tests so far, no randomized assortment of any of these cards has caused the game to break down. This does not mean there is not a game-breaking combo hiding in the bushes. This upper-tier testing will come once I stop fiddling with domains.
This leads to the play testing goals for next week. Each player will build a deck with a particular strategy in mind. This will eliminate the unevenness of drawing a card with no application for the current game. I know the Xizek player only drew a couple units with a hand full of modifier spells, and the Ethereals had a relic card stuck in their hand the whole game and there are no longer relics in the game (my mistake there).
In regards to the domains and fomenter unit issue, domains will be capped at 9 domains in the domain pile with any mix of realms and principalities the player chooses. Principalities can now only be upgraded if a fomenter unit is not on it. Also, it will cost 2 principalities of the same name to move up to a realm. The hope of this is to keep the purpose of the fomenter solidified in the game. It doesn't make sense to nerf the fomenters once they finally have their footing as an important aspect of the game.
The aforementioned changes is what is planned for next week's play test sessions. Once the relationship is settled with the fomenters and domains, I can move on to any other issues that stick out to me. Maybe adjusting the cost curve? Tweaking Prosperity method of play? For now, it's just chugging along. Choo choo.