5. March 2016 at 06:41 #13010Jason LutesParticipant
First of all, what an amazing thing to see the promise of this game being realized before our eyes. You folks at Overhype are hitting this out of the park; it is poised to be one of the great SRPGs of all time. All of the new art is beautiful, and it is incredibly gratifying to explore a world that feels even more dynamic than predecessors like Space Rangers and Mount & Blade. I LOVE THIS GAME.
So keep up the great work, and take the following (somewhat random) notes with a grain of salt:
Multiple contracts. It would be nice to be bale to have more than 1 contract going at a time. Maybe max. 3, maybe unlocked with some sort of reputation progression. There is satisfaction to be had from planning ways to maximize efficiency, as demonstrated by quest-driven RPGs and the like. I found myself slightly annoyed at being stuck with one at a time.
Intelligence report. It was really hard for a while to figure out how tough enemies were going to be on a given contract, and easy to get slaughtered as a result. I know you can use the monetary award to get a rough idea, but In the early going I had no notion of scale. Maybe when you get the assignment the name of the target (bandits, grave robbers, etc.) could be color-coded according to your current power level: purple/red/orange/yellow/green from hardest to easiest. This could be applied to enemy site labels and enemy parties on the world map as well. You could still have poor intelligence in some situations, and indicate that by color-coding enemy names in gray.
Events. I like them a lot, but I’ve had a few repeats so far. I know this is to be expected because it’s still early days, but I am going to lobby for literally hundreds of events, or a robust event generator. For instance, I had the “man alone with cart, take his stuff or help him out” event at least 4 times by day 40. The writing is great, but rereading the same flavor text multiple times both reduces its impact and makes each event feel less unique. For me, too much writerly detail actually interferes with the emergent qualities of the game. The incredibly fruitful void between all of the dynamic elements gets constricted by writing that’s too specific or repetitive, making the game fell less like a player-driven narrative. Let me be clear: the writing itself is very, very good; but I will only read a given well-written passage once.
Contract acquisition. Along similar lines, the two full screens of text when acquiring a contract seem unnecessary. I love the descriptions of the different ways my mercenary band gets contacted a bit of setting color, but I will only read them once, and then they become a screen I have to click through. If I was presented with some sort of meaningful decision on that screen, I wouldn’t mind it; as it stands, after half a dozen times it’s just something I need to click past.
I assume there’s going to be a more interesting negotiation mechanic down the line for contracts. Right now, there’s no reason for me to not ask for more money than the initial offer. I’ve never been refused. Maybe I’m taking a reputation hit when I demand more?
Attacks of opportunity. These feel too brutal to me. APs and fatigue are such precious resources, and I am so conscious of the cost of every single move I make, that multiple free strikes at a disengaging foe breaks the suspension of disbelief, and feels overly punishing in an already brutal game. I like having to worry about when my guys are getting to get locked into engagement, and having to use the push/pull mechanics to free them up after they get locked in, so I wouldn’t want to lose that. I just want each adjacent enemy to get only one attack of opportunity per round, and when I move out of engagement I always move out, but each adjacent enemy gets to take their shot (unless they’ve already used it up for that turn). It feels really off to me that I try to move, get hit, stay stuck, try to move again, get hit, stay stuck. If I’m moving away from an enemy, why does his hitting me keep me in place? At the very least, when I’m engaged and I mouseover a destination hex, I would like the mouseover text to include a warning (in red) that I will suffer an attack by trying to move, along with the percentage chance for successfully disengaging.
Pursuit. I would love to be able to click on a moving target and automatically follow that target, instead of only being able to do so by repeatedly clicking.
Shallow water. Given the nature of the map generation, units obviously need to be able to cross shallow water as they do now, but it’s weird to imagine them swimming in the same places where boats are sailing past. I imagine this is probably already in the works, but a different graphic tile for shoals or shallow water would help the water crossing on foot be more believable. Much lighter blue, with rocks visible under the water to make it look like a fordable crossing, that kind of thing.
Rivers. Again, these may be in the works and my in the end be purely cosmetic, but the maps are so lovely — really, in all parts of this game your artist is doing an incredible job — that I miss the inclusion of rivers and streams. I can hope, can’t I?
To reiterate: I LOVE THIS GAME. Thank you for all of hard work, thought, and obvious care you have put into it.
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