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Analysis plots of the Quests (Read 794 times)
Nicodemus
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Analysis plots of the Quests
06/14/17 at 1:12pm
 
It has been a decade since I made any Quests, and in preparation for making some new Quests I wanted to reacquaint myself with the creeping scale of the HQ Quests and also use the analysis to help plan.

Now figuring out just how "powerful" a Hero is is very difficult due to variables like access to potions, backup equipment, spells, etc. etc. So I opted to just take data from the Quests themselves.  In order I used:
The Maze
N American base system
Kellar's Keep
Return of the Witchlord
Wizards of Morcar
Against the Ogre horde
Elf Quest pack
Barbarian Quest pack
Dark Company (from HQ Advanced)

and then my two previous Quest packs:
The Gathering of the Hordes
The Destruction of the Tomes

Here's an easy one to start with: Number of rooms per Quest. The HQ board has 22 rooms, and if you look at the 4 boards that comprise the Dark Company Quest every room except two are occupied. The next closest is one of my 3 part Quests that spans 3 boards.
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Number of secret doors
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Now the number of secret doors depends a bit on how large the Quest was, so we should correct for the number of rooms to find the Quests with relatively large numbers of secret doors:
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We all know the equipment/armoury items are only really balanced to the attainable Gold for the intro Quests in the base system. After that you're left wishing there was a 2000 Gold spell book for your lowly Wizard to spend his earnings on, or a Tower he could buy to retire in. Here's the gold listed in the Quest notes, not taking into account rewards for completing a Quest or gold in the Treasure deck.
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To account for the Treasure deck we need to keep track of 1.) how many treasure cards there are, including growing the Treasure card deck once we get to an expansion with added treasure cards, 2.) how much gold there is to find when one complete exhaustion of the Treasure deck before cards are shuffled back in and the deck is remade (assuming you are strict and keep the deck static between Quests), 3.) how many rooms there are to search per Quest, and 4.) how many pits there are per Quest which can also potentially be searched. Once you add up rooms, or rooms+pits you can calculate how long it will take to cycle through the Treasure deck.  As soon as you've cycled through once you can assume that the maximum gold has been found -- if you allow Gold/gems/jewels, etc to go back in.

So here's what cycling through the Treasure cards looks like:
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And here's how much gold the party can find during the course of adventuring, including all gold listed in the Quest notes, rewards for completing Quests, and gold from cycling through Treasure deck (with and without taking pits into account). The "*" on the chart is the Quest where the notes say the Heroes lose all of their gold. WTF. Always thought that was brutal, but in the big scheme of things, as long as they've been spending most of it on potions, they can potentially earn a lot more.  This is the maximum though, in reality it'll be less.
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Related to treasure is also items:
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and artifacts:
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So now getting into some aspects of difficulty:
Traps
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Number of Monsters (by BP). In hindsight I should have broken this down into 1BP, 2BP, 3BP, 4-6BP and 7+BP. But oh well, this is still telling.
...

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So you can see there are some trends in the data. Of course # of rooms is usually consistent except for multi-part Quests, and the number of secret doors is usually somewhere between 15-35% the number of rooms. Monsters generally get tougher as the Quests go on, and the number of traps steadily increase as well.  

The risk-reward balance of the Treasure decks is another matter... as the deck only gets better for the Heroes as you go on (other than Wandering Monsters getting slightly tougher).  By the time you add on the Elf and Barbarian Quest packs you're up to 1.8 good cards for every bad on (N Amer ratio of the base game is 1.4). And the total gold in the treasure deck gets crazy. Certainly some room for rebalancing there!

The other "difficulty" thing I tracked but didn't plot is what I called "instant death" or Quests with an exceptionally high probability of death. Being required to jump a pit, where if you fail your character is gone, qualifies as "instant death". I also counted the solo Barbarian Quests with the Yeti, which will just squeeze you to death with no possibility of getting freed once he gets you. Again, brutal. Most of the Barbarian Quests have instant death, whereas before that it wasn't a thing... unless you count the bridge in Against the Ogre Horde, which says if you fall you're dead... but there's no real chance of falling.

~N
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Black_Drazon
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Re: Analysis plots of the Quests
Reply #1 - 06/30/18 at 12:52pm
 
Hey, I know this is a year late, but I'm just seeing it now and this is good stuff!  Thanks for all the hard work!
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Nicodemus
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Re: Analysis plots of the Quests
Reply #2 - 07/09/18 at 6:03pm
 
Thanks!  I went though this exercise in preparation for part 3 of my expansion Wink. Only about 15+ years late

~N
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