LUTHIERS - Skill Tiles and other updates
SKILLS (used to be called "studies")
With Pink's recent up & downs and difficulty to balance it due to its missing feature in its Financial District, I decided to finally add that feature which really adds interesting combos and new ways of scoring points.
These tiles, called SKILLS, provide unique abilities (permanent or immediate) or end-of-the-game Victory Points. Their cost varies from $1 to $8.
There are ~25 tiles in the game, but only 3 available at a time, with only 2 action spots per round to claim them. They reset & replenish between each round so timing to get the best ones is crucial.
When acquired, they must be placed on an available space on your playerboard. Each space give you an optional instant one-time bonus. These bonuses are :
Complete a contract (one that you already own - without waiting for the next Contract Phase)
Gain $5 (after paying the cost of the Skill tile)
I think that feature really balances Pink. We had trouble balancing it (it was either too weak or too strong) because we were always compensating for the fact that one of its key-actions was missing. Now its "unique starting resource" is simply $5 more than other players. So far I feel this is enough. While Blue has the "first pick" on Contract and Yellow at the Market, Pink now has a strong advantage with these Skills (and of course the Collector late-game).
There is now a MID-GAME SCORING happening at the end of Round 3. There are for the moment 7 different possible tiles, and 3 are drawn at the beginning of the game. They could, for example, give $5 to the player that holds the most Signature Tokens (ex-Inspiration). This has not been tested yet, but I know this works. It is just to help give some objectives and a little mid-game money boost.
STORAGE capacity has been reduced a lot, giving more importance to its Upgrade.
PRIVATE STOCK tiles (the pink ones) are now 2x4 instead of 2x3.
CELEBRITIES have been nerfed. The lowest ones now only give 2 Reputation, and I increased the Value/Reputation requirements for some of them.
The last level at the RETAIL STORE now gives +1 Reputation. I felt it was still very underused.
The biggest REPAIR tile is now 4x4 (the Production Upgrade is thus needed). It was made to create more interaction between the actions and a bigger puzzle. There are now also only 2 available (instead of 3).
2 & 3-PLAYER MODE
I continued playing a few games with the dummy players. So far it works like a charm! The game really feels organic and agressive, without having the full management an automa brings. However, I am still playing against myself. I will soon try it against another player and have a better idea of the feeling.