Author Topic: My first impressions  (Read 975 times)

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Salvatos

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My first impressions
« on: December 06, 2014, 07:56:03 AM »
Having played the game for the first time last night without having kept up with development since the Kickstarter campaign, I'm going to give the perspective of someone coming to the game with fresh eyes. Right now I feel it's a frustrating experience, but I'm not actually frustrated as I understand how game development goes.

1. Learning the game
No surprise here, but the game could use more of a tutorial, even bare-bones and subject to change, or an in-game link to a forum guide such as the one linked in the latest KS update. The tooltips were useful, but knowing that amulets (or was it rings?) give you +2 Prestige or +2 Rot is basically useless when you don't know what these are/do. Tooltips on terrain tiles would be useful. I won't elaborate on this as everyone knows tutorials are important, but I also think they are worth making in early phases to motivate potential testers to try the game rather than wait until it's smoothed out.

As a side note, ending the game with a large "Defeat!" followed by "Prestige victory!" was confusing (for someone who had no idea what they were doing the entire game).

2. Pacing
My biggest issue right now, which isn't helped by the above, is the pace at which everything happens (only tested in a single player game so far). There's a decent amount of info that appears on screen when events occur and players play cards... but not enough time to read it. I struggled to keep up with the king's decrees and never really knew what the cards played against me did (I didn't even immediately realize they were being played against me when they appeared on-screen; it became more obvious when the AI made me discard my entire hand). I never had time to look at the Prestige rankings and such, but then again I wouldn't have known what it meant anyway. I also learned today that you can play cards during someone else's turn, but doing so would make it even more difficult to keep up with the game's progression since you might have to move the camera away from the action  or look at your inventory.

3. Combat
Briefly put, I felt that:
- The game should tell you at some point what each die face means, and that burning cards doesn't give you extra dice;
- It should be made clearer that the dice on top are hits, the ones on the bottom are blocks, and that it's not a "highest roll wins" but rather that both opponents take hits and... actually I don't know what happens (or rather why) if nobody dies;
- Sun vs Moon vs Wyld should also be explained, as well as all the rerolls that seem to happen all the time;
- It seems that three faces give you hits and only one gives you parries, which doesn't seem to encourage combat.

4. Transparency of other players' status
I think it would be useful if the game implemented a more obvious way for you to keep up with what other players are doing. Starting the game with a quick review of everyone's selected abilities and stats for example, and spelling out what the cards played do rather than just say "Player X played card Y." briefly before burrowing it under other action reports.

5. Interface
Aside from the above issues in combat, my only specific for the interface, which is otherwise quite awesome compared to what I've seen in other betas, is that it's not immediately obvious that you can sidescroll your inventory page. I almost reported a bug saying that it went offscreen but figured it out at the last moment. I don't think a scrollbar would look great, but maybe a stylish arrow on the edge to auto-scroll to the opposite edge of the tab?

I think that's all I have for now (then again, they're rather broad points so it's plenty as it is :) ). You'll notice I didn't say anything nice about the game, but that's because those things don't need more work and I'm rambling enough as it is. It seems to be coming along nicely and I'm confident it will turn out great!

Alvorn

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Re: My first impressions
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2014, 02:34:57 PM »
Having played the game for the first time last night without having kept up with development since the Kickstarter campaign, I'm going to give the perspective of someone coming to the game with fresh eyes. Right now I feel it's a frustrating experience, but I'm not actually frustrated as I understand how game development goes.

Hey Salvotos, I hear ya. It was like this for me initially to. While the game was fun, there was just a bunch of stuff that happened which I really didn't get.

1. Learning the game
No surprise here, but the game could use more of a tutorial, even bare-bones and subject to change, or an in-game link to a forum guide such as the one linked in the latest KS update. The tooltips were useful, but knowing that amulets (or was it rings?) give you +2 Prestige or +2 Rot is basically useless when you don't know what these are/do. Tooltips on terrain tiles would be useful. I won't elaborate on this as everyone knows tutorials are important, but I also think they are worth making in early phases to motivate potential testers to try the game rather than wait until it's smoothed out.

As a side note, ending the game with a large "Defeat!" followed by "Prestige victory!" was confusing (for someone who had no idea what they were doing the entire game).
LoG have a couple of plans in place (so I understand) to help resolve this. The tutorial system is due for a large overhaul I believe. There was also talk at one point about a Tutorial Video (as an aside I watched the one for the new Civilisation game the other day and it was exactly what I had been thinking we need for Armello. Mind you that game is WAY more complex than this one.  Check it out http://bit.ly/1w3yjG2 )

Also there is the Quickstart guide on the forums (http://leagueofgeeks.com/forums/index.php?topic=472.0) and we have a Unofficial Game Guide coming out ohhh so soon which goes into a lot more depth about each element of the game.

2. Pacing
My biggest issue right now, which isn't helped by the above, is the pace at which everything happens (only tested in a single player game so far). There's a decent amount of info that appears on screen when events occur and players play cards... but not enough time to read it. I struggled to keep up with the king's decrees and never really knew what the cards played against me did (I didn't even immediately realize they were being played against me when they appeared on-screen; it became more obvious when the AI made me discard my entire hand). I never had time to look at the Prestige rankings and such, but then again I wouldn't have known what it meant anyway. I also learned today that you can play cards during someone else's turn, but doing so would make it even more difficult to keep up with the game's progression since you might have to move the camera away from the action  or look at your inventory.

You raise a couple of valid points. Right from the time of Alpha one of the constant feedback items to LoG was about needing more info. Info on why Hero's die, what other characters are doing etc etc. And they have added a whole lot more feedback in for us players, which is great.

But so far they have received limited feedback from new players. So your point above about not knowing what card is being played is a good one. As someone thats been playing the game for a while now, all I need to do is see the pic of the card and know what it does. But for new players like you, I can appreciate you may not have enough time to read the details of the cards played on you before they disappear again.
Not sure if this is something that the LoG plan on tweaking in the future but its good feedback.

On the counter side however Trent has pointed out that increased timings on things can cause impact to the length of the game. So for example if you add an extra 5 seconds to every card draw action, multiple that by the number of times cards are draw by all players and the total length of the game quickly increases.

Its very much a balancing act and Im sure over time it will get further and further refined.

3. Combat
Briefly put, I felt that:
- The game should tell you at some point what each die face means, and that burning cards doesn't give you extra dice;

That had me confused for my first couple of games as well. I thought burning the card gave me an extra dice. Again this comes back to the tutorial and again lots more info on this in the up-coming game guide.

- It should be made clearer that the dice on top are hits, the ones on the bottom are blocks, and that it's not a "highest roll wins" but rather that both opponents take hits and... actually I don't know what happens (or rather why) if nobody dies;

Lol.  Yup understand. I wrote this section of the guide just last night and Im still not sure I got it right :)

- Sun vs Moon vs Wyld should also be explained, as well as all the rerolls that seem to happen all the time;
Again something that the tutorial could cover and again something that is explained in the game guide.

- It seems that three faces give you hits and only one gives you parries, which doesn't seem to encourage combat.
Thats about the way of it.
Wlyd (the tree symbol) - Always count as a hit and "explode" meaning if you roll one of them, you get an extra dice to roll and this will continue as long as you roll wyld's. UNLESS you have become corrupted by the Rot, in which case Rot and Wyld dice behaviours swap.
Rot (the little worm symbol) - Always miss. UNLESS you are corrupted (4 or more levels of Rot) in which case they swap behaviours with Wyld.
Sword - Always a successful hit UNLESS you have the evade skill (see below).
Shield - Always a successful block
Sun - A successful attack during the day. A miss at night.
Moon - A successful attach at night. A miss during the day.

Evade - If you have the evade skill then all your attacks become defence instead.

Hope that helps :)

4. Transparency of other players' status
I think it would be useful if the game implemented a more obvious way for you to keep up with what other players are doing. Starting the game with a quick review of everyone's selected abilities and stats for example, and spelling out what the cards played do rather than just say "Player X played card Y." briefly before burrowing it under other action reports.

You can always open up the Hero Shelf and look at the stats and equipment of other players.
Its also rumoured (semi confirmed maybe??) that in upcoming builds you will be able to click on the name of the card in the status feed and it will show you that card.

5. Interface
Aside from the above issues in combat, my only specific for the interface, which is otherwise quite awesome compared to what I've seen in other betas, is that it's not immediately obvious that you can sidescroll your inventory page. I almost reported a bug saying that it went offscreen but figured it out at the last moment. I don't think a scrollbar would look great, but maybe a stylish arrow on the edge to auto-scroll to the opposite edge of the tab?

I think that's all I have for now (then again, they're rather broad points so it's plenty as it is :) ). You'll notice I didn't say anything nice about the game, but that's because those things don't need more work and I'm rambling enough as it is. It seems to be coming along nicely and I'm confident it will turn out great!

Thanks for the great feedback. Its always good to hear from brand new players that don't have the taint of prior builds :) You have made some good points and Im sure the LoG crew will have read and considered your feedback.

Alvorn