30. July 2015 at 04:23 #5562stamos22Participant
I just purchased the game today on Steam and have really enjoyed my time with it so far. Anyway, I thought I would stop by here and offer my feedback from a full day of playing (ah the joys of being a teacher on summer vacation).
+ Game has a great feel to it! A pat on the back for your art/sound people. A lot of games have pretty graphics or nice music, but it doesn’t always come together into something that creates an engaging atmosphere. The last game I played to succeed at this was Darkest Dungeon, and I think you guys have found something similar here.
+ Attachment to my units. This is a funny one because it’s also one of the things I would suggest you improve on, but I thought I would list it in the positives because even though it can be improved, it’s still good compared to a lot of other games. When one of my units dies I feel bad (even if I hire a farmer as fodder). I think this is a testament to the first point of the atmosphere you’ve created. Right now my soldiers are little more than a name and a set of skills, yet I still feel for them. Part of this is the art style, and part of it is the difficulty and brutality of the fights (it hurts when you lose someone good).
+ Combat is simple yet well executed. I like that each weapon only offers a few skills. A lot of games put too many skills in to give a player choice. This is more like chess in that each unit is simple in what it can do, but complicated when combined with the whole of the board. I do look forward to the addition of more enemies etc to add more tactical situations, but so far this side of the game looks great.
+ The sandbox nature of it. I know there is a story planned, but I actually like the idea of just going out and carving a name for yourself. There could certainly be more to do (and I know that’s coming) but between the world map and the roaming bands, it’s a good start.
Instead of listing negatives I’m just going to put my one major suggestion, as it’s hard to be too critical of early access since I would probably say negative things about stuff that’s already going to be fixed/changed.
For me the biggest thing is attachment to my units. Like I said above, I already feel bad when someone dies, but that’s usually because he was a good soldier, or maybe he’d been with the company for a while. The latter is a better reason to mourn their loss than the first one from a design perspective in my opinion. I would rather be attached because of an emotional investment than just because the guy was good at killing. The only problem is, right now the only way for me to track this is their order in the roster. The thing I would like to see more than anything is some sort of ledger or stats page where it lists information about all my soldiers both fallen and fighting.
Today’s session is a perfect example of this. I’ve been playing ironman, so when someone dies, especially someone heroic, it is a tragedy (this is all relative to how long I played today but the concept remains the same). My first game was a learning experience. I think I got some guys to level 3 or 4 before a wipe to a group of orcs. My second game however, I took a risk and spent all my starting money (on hard) on an old sword master for my first additional companion. Gissalt taught nobles’ sons how to fight before fleeing some court intrigue. I thought, hey this guy can probably kill a few more orcs than my old fishermen and farmer group. And boy could he. In our first battle he killed all six enemies. Gissalt was a BEAST. RNGesus smiled upon him, and all day he killed, and killed and killed some more. I didn’t even give him armour. He wore the same arming sword and linen shirt for the entire duration of his life (he had a little goatee and long white hair, so obviously I had no choice but to make him fight like that). Then the fateful day came when we were ambushed by orcs and Gissalt fell. But he did not go quietly into the pixel sunset. While everyone around him was slaughtered Gissalt kept fighting. He killed seven orcs, the bodies piling up around him (mainly thanks to riposte) before he was finally slain.
Gissalt was the reason that I had to come to the forum and write a post. On the one hand he provided me with a day of epic stories, laughs, cheers and tears. Yet, on the other hand, I’m already forgetting him. To be honest, I think I got his name wrong in this post. I know it was Giss-something. I also have no idea how many he killed, or who it was that slew him, or where he died etc. He’s just a foggy memory that will continue to fade.
What I am suggesting is that we honour the memories of our heroes. I’d love to be able to pull up a graveyard where my top brothers are listed along with their accomplishments. For simplicity for now this could be a simple list with name and kills, but with some love it could be so much more.
I think a randomly generated name of his killer (grashnok, orc captain) or whatever would add to the flavour of it all. Tell me where he died, the fields of somewhere, or the mountain pass of that place etc. Let Gissalt be remembered forever.
I’d love to see this in a little entry instead of a table. Something like:
Gissalt the Sword Master died at sunset under the axe of Grashnok Rot-tooth. They buried him where he fell, in the Whispering Pass and at his feet placed the bones of his enemies, thirty-six of them all told.
The places and names of their killers can be completely randomly generated as far as I’m concerned. It’s things like this that give characters weight. Not just Gissalt, but all those who follow in his footsteps. Though this does open up other interesting possibilities. For example, if you the game generated Grashnok as the killer, have a chance of an orc with his name spawning whenever that company fights orcs. It doesn’t even have to be a special orc, or special loot, it just gives the player something to play for. I WOULD LOVE TO AVENGE GISSALT.
Another interesting thing in relation to the above is the equipment of a fallen champion. Had someone else lived through the battle, and I won, Gissalt’s arming sword would disappear into the inventory with the other loot, and I’d never know which one was his. That is a sword that means something to the entire company. That should be a named item, that should be something that we both fight for and fear losing. He brought us fame, and success, and that should be honoured. The sword wouldn’t even need to have any special bonuses, it would be enough to know it was his.
I’m just throwing random ideas out there, but I think the crux of what I’m trying to express is that for me, connection with my characters is paramount, and that is achieved through all the little lore touches. I really like the bios for the characters when I hire them, I honestly go more based on that than their stats, now you just need to keep fleshing that side of the game out.
Anyway, sorry for the long post, just thought I’d throw my two cents out there. Thanks for making a really fun game and keep up the great work!30. July 2015 at 10:05 #5563RusBearParticipant
Wellcome to elite :)
as far as I remember the issue of commemorative notes or even your cemetery of the fallen heroic brothers was already on the forum and the developers promised to think over these. I am sure this will definitely. Just now as you can read in their blog – they are working on an important update on adding a new faction with new mechanics. it’s a lot of work. So just waiting.21. August 2015 at 16:44 #5990SirGroggyParticipant
I agree about the attachment to characters.
It is already a strong point but can be improved a lot. For example by adding a lot more events and so on.
The devs said they will overhaul the quest system and open world system at some point so I hope they focus on interaction with the characters.
(Dialogue would add a lot… don’t know if it’s feasible)21. August 2015 at 17:32 #5993PsenBattleKeymaster
thanks for the extensive feedback. I think you are making some good points here and I will definitely take notes and see how far we can go with improving the player attachment.
A little thing we planned a while ago but didnt have the time to implement: Whenever Battle Brothers died in combat, little tombstones would spawn on the worldmap where they died. You could then hover over them and read the names of the fallen, whenever you pass by.
Small things like that add a lot to the atmosphere. A roster page/graveyard/statscreen whatever is planned but I cant tell yet what it is going to look like. We wil probably go with little “stories” instead of just numbers, like you suggested.
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