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Ok. After good few hours of playing the new build, time to give my two cents.
First the good things: (and there is many of them)
– I really like and appreciate barbershop customisation options
– New bigger map goes a long way to provide you with a feeling of being a part of something bigger happening.
– I like the noble houses and their own different agendas idea
– Opportunity to gain some additional money with a bit of trading
– Nice division of your reputation into how effective and how noble/honourable you are
– Different kind of settlements actually feel different now
– Skill values on level up finally not being set in stone.
However one really big issue I have with the current build is how miserly the skill rewards tend to be during the level up. On its own it might not have been such a big deal, but certain other changes tend to aggreviate the problem.
First there is the price of armor and weapons. It often takes several succesful contracts to buy one piece of good armor. During that time you pay wages, buy food, bandages and repair tools. After you finally have your armor it is not uncommon for your best guy to die in it and it gets destroyed. Because so many weapons now bypass the portion of your armor value and deal damage directly to health, the death of your guys is much more likely to happen. Because both their main attack and defense skills can now go up as little as a single point ( I know I was complaining about it being only 2 in the past. That will teach me to keep my mouth shut ;) ) you cannot reliably defend or quickly dispose of your foes to prevent it. One last thing is the fact that you can only field up to 12 guys that now can’t hit the barn door unless 3 other guys are holding it tight to overwhelm it, all the while your opponents can field over 20 deviously skilled goblins for example and it really becames frustrating at times.
Ok. I will do my best to clarify.
Before goblin faction was introduced in the latest (to the best of my knowledge) build of the game, when your brothers leveled up, you would choose three skills to raise and depending on your luck, they would go up for between 2-5 points. With the goblin build, different skills seemed to have been locked into certain level up value no matter how many times you tried. Ranged attack would always go up 3 points, but melee attack was locked on +2 every time you tried to raise it for every single brother. That meant that with 10 levels to gain, the maximum you could raise your melee attack skill was +20.
That is why I am hoping for the return of the former level up formula. I hope that makes it clearer to understand what I actually wish for :)
I agree with most of the things already mentioned in the feedback, I just wanted to add another voice to stress that having a locked +2 to melee skill on level up is an absolute fun-killer now, at least for me.
It is actually the first build of the game that I don’t enjoy playing, as I feel for the first time that despite all the choices and all the perks, I am forced to play a certain way, a way I don’t like.
If you add to it the huge hike in prices, making hiring even a single battle brother from a certain background absolutely impossible for a long time (and I am talking bastard, disowned noble and so on,) it makes for even fewer choices and a tougher initial grind.
Goblins… I am not even sure what to think of them. I haven’t even had the patience to play long enough through the frustrating level up process to encounter the more deadly kinds, the supposedly weaker ones wipe the floor with my men. I hope the labelling of their group changes because at the moment pretty much every gobling group is deadly early in the game.
Before I realised that I have been locked into having only +2 skill points to melee, I was actually going to suggest that now, with different kinds of challenges involved, it is very difficult to choose which stat NOT TO increase on level up, so it might be time to do away with 2 as minimum value for any stat. That way you would actually feel rewarded for surviving initial deadly early days.
Interesting as always to read other players’ approach to choosing different perks and ways to play. I actually had a very different opinion about usefulness of perks in utility tree and maybe more than perks themselves, their grouping together and steep requirement to choose 3 to unlock tier 2. There will be a reference or two to skills from other trees when I need it to justify my choices (so apologies in advance.)
First a little disclaimer though. As things stand now, I find quickhands perk not working fully, so maybe that is why I do not see it as game-breaking combined with bag and belts perk. At the moment I can freely change items, but only at the beginning of the turn. Changing back doesn’t want to work for some reason after I moved or attacked. Therefore “swiss-army knife” scenario is not actually possible for me :)
Bags and belts: Before the change to nullify weight penalty of items carried in the bags, I never picked that perk as I found it a waste. Now slightly more useful, but still only take it for the guys that have nothing better to do with last perk.
Quick hands: I use it often, but interestingly enough not for archers, or to be more precise, archers get it towards the end of their levelling. I mostly use it for my frontline guys, especially when fighting orcs (which I tend to do often) to switch between sword/mace and flail to bypass the massive shields of orc warriors.
Student: Problem with this perk is that it will inevitably feel like a wasted one when you reach a max lvl cap, but the way my guys are set up, there is not much else to choose from at tier 1 if you need tier 2 unlocked.
Shield bash: I find it useless in current form. Additional small bonuses are not worth it at all.
Pathfinder: Great skill. I give to all that can spare a point to have it. Must have for my 2-hander guys and archers.
Taunt: I have it for testing purposes on one guy and it is underwhelming. Game lacks clear feedback of what the range of that skill is, what it actually does in its current form and just how successful you were when your opponent is “43% affected” by it. If it actually made your opponents go mad and lets say… try to move away from close combat with your first line guys to chase after someone further away, thus providing you with free attacks of opportunity, then it would open up interesting choices. At the moment it feels like it does nothing.
That brings me to the current biggest weakness of utility tree in my opinion. Cost of 3 perks that you might not actually want/need just to open up next tier compares unfavourably to the other 2 trees.
Brawny: On paper looks great… however losing 3 perks just to get to it means that out of my 12 guys – NOONE has it. (I will explain where I actually put the points at the end of the post, so it can be skipped if desired, or read if someone is curious.)
Battle flow: Again great on paper, but if you have one relatively safe guy with rally the troops and high resolve, he can reset any fatigue issues for all your guys in one go and battle flow becomes obsolete.
Footwork: I understand its potential appeal for guys that suddenly find themselves in a place they rather not be, but quick mace to the head and step back, push with a shield from another brother, swap perk from defensive tree are all more viable options for me. Additional annoyance with this perk is its description: “…allows leaving Zone of Control without triggering free attacks,” so my idea was to use it offensively for a guy with 2 handed sword or axe to get in, swing and get out. Little did I know that it enables the skill that actually costs 4 AP, so no swing the 2-hander and step back, unless you have berserk from offensive tree and actually managed to kill someone, gain 4 points and use it for footwork, very risky and not viable in my opinion.
Captain: decent perk if you could get it early on, on someone with decent resolve… but that is the catch, either you will get it by the time that your brothers have no more resolve issues, or if you push for it early on, the guy that has it, will probably not yet have that great resolve himself either.
Weaponmaster: same problem as with battle flow. One guy with tier 3 perk rally the troops, solves your fatigue problems for the rest.
Fearsome: Interesting perk for 1-handed weapon users, just too many uninspiring choices required to get to it.
Rally the troops: The only reason why 1 of my guys had to wade through tier 2, just to get this one. Works great (for me at least,) taken on the guy with a billhook – close enough to affect everyone, far enough to safely use it.
Inspiring presence: This would have been great if available early it the game when your guys have low skill and that extra bonus to most of the stats matters a lot. Late on it’s just not worth it. Your guys will have high morale anyway brought on by not dying and killing the opponents.
As you can see, too many perks either not good enough, not available soon enough, or making each other obsolete.
This concludes the part for utility tree feedback. Below is how I usually spend my perk points after some trial and error:
1 captain guy to solve any fatigue issues (monk is good potential background for high resolve) – sundering strikes, fast adaption, colossus, taunt, student, pathfinder, footwork, captain, fearsome (not the best way to spend for 2-hander arguably,) rally the troops.
1 damage dealer with a billhook to quickly get where he is needed – sundering strikes, push the advantage, fast adaption, berserk, head hunter, colossus, battle forged, dodge, fortified mind, pathfinder.
2 ranged guys (one crossbow, one bow, set up differs slightly for that reason) – sundering strikes, executioner, fast adaption, berserk, head hunter/close combat archer, bullseye, killing frenzy, colossus, quick hands, pathfinder.
The rest is front line guys with slight variations along broadly one of these 2 possible lines:
a) sundering strikes, crusher, executioner, berserk, debilitate, colossus, shield expert, battle forged, fortified mind, nine lives.
b) sundering strikes, crusher, colossus, shield expert, battle forged, fortified mind, nine lives, rotation, return favour/indomitable, quick hands/pathfinder
He is indeed. Thank you for reply… and fix :)
Hehe I like the busts. I wasn’t sure at first, but they kind of grew on me and after several runs of the battle demo I get the feeling that legs are overrated ;)