Having played some more over the past few days, I’ll add a couple things that snagged my attention…
World Map Fog of War: Exploring the map is fun, but the fog of war sometimes messes up pathing simply because the player has no way of knowing what the terrain looks like while it’s hidden. This is a problem since terrain is randomized, and if clicking on an area with water, the BB avatar will stop and wait for another command. I’d suggest changing it so the fog of war on the world map obscures the towns, villages, settlements, camps, and ruins, while at the same time allowing the player to view the terrain itself… sort of like a dark, semi-transparent cloud. This would solve most pathing issues on the world map, while still allowing for exploration and discovery.
Unique Items: Finding them is far too random. And completing sets is next to impossible. I’d suggest that, in addition to finding unique items from killed enemies, they should also be available for purchase from a special item shop. Instead of having random armorsmiths and weaponsmiths sometimes selling these, have them be available at a special shop called a Reliquary. This shop would be available only in the largest town on the world map (just one per campaign!). Also, to keep things balanced, the shop would randomly cycle through the relics, and would not spawn doubles. Furthermore, the items themselves would be quite expensive. This would allow players to complete their sets without praying to RNGesus every time they kill an orc warlord.
World Map Travel: Sometimes, it’s necessary to travel over large stretches of the game world, either for a quest, or to get to a remote city. Please allow the option to have the game continue UNPAUSED while the inventory screen is open. There’s no better time to fiddle with loadouts (or level up your Brothers!) than while traversing the world map. Currently, players are stuck twiddling their thumbs while watching the company march from Town A to Town Z.
Leveling System: Far too random. Also, quite unsatisfactory, since you feel like the game hates you when your main DPS Brother rolls 1s in Offense three times in a row. Please change this to a point-buy system. Simply give a Brother 10 or so points per levelup, and allow the player to distribute them as they see fit. This would not only allow more customization, but would also give players the ability to spec into highly-specialized glass cannon and tank builds (which is currently difficult, unless you find Brothers with 3 stars in the stat of your choice).
Pristine Enemies: Every single enemy in the game world is always 100% fresh, with completely pristine armor, weapons, and physique. This not only breaks immersion, but also takes away from the game’s atmosphere. I’m not saying enemies need to be crippled by wounds or burdened with thrashed armor, but a dented chest plate here or a clubbed foot there would do wonders for believability. Also, the amount of damage that enemies spawn with could be tied to difficulty. Personally, I’d love to see bandits without ears, orcs with gashed noses, and soldiers with dented armors. Not too much, but just enough to set the mood!
Terrain Height: In fights, it’s sometimes difficult to see ‘behind’ high terrain. This is mostly due to the angle the map is drawn at, which makes it difficult to target enemies (or allies) huddling behind a steep cliff. If at all possible, adding highlightable outlines to characters would solve this problem. Also, height difference plays an overpowering role in combat engagements – spawning atop a hill makes battles either trivial or impossible, depending whether it’s you or your enemies holding the height advantage. It might be a good idea to tweak the bonuses from height differentials a bit, ie., decrease the amount of APs needed to move up/down cliffs, and also decrease the to-hit advantage. Just a thought.
Well, that’s about all I can think of at the moment…
Also, if you guys need help writing more game events (the textual stuff), I’d love to volunteer! :)
Here’s a verbose text mod I did way back for Dragon Age 2: http://www.nexusmods.com/dragonage2/mods/2564/?
Drop me a mail if you guys need an extra hand; I’d love to do some item descriptions for BB!
When is Jayson continuing his YouTube Let’s Play? He has a very soothing voice, and I’ve gotten used to watching the vids while eating breakfast! :D