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Author Topic: Demo feedback  (Read 43176 times)
Vince
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« on: August 11, 2009, 02:02:18 PM »

AoD combat demo feedback:

Annie Carlson's comments (scroll down)

Gareth Fouche's impressions

Brian Mitsoda's feedback

* * *

NOTE: I understand this is for the hardcore and I know combat needs to be balanced.  I definitely play my share of hardcore games and know that the audience likes to be challenged.  That said, impressions follow.

ART

    * pointer seems to be too big – a little unwieldy with the haft of the spear in there.  Reduce to 50%, maybe 75% at least?
    * If possible, do subset illustrations of body part under where item is supposed to go (light outline of torso under Body, head under Head, an open pouch under Belt Pouch, etc)
    * Maybe make HP have more screen real estate, or change color (as per Fallout) when it gets really low?
    * Iffy on the grid disappearing and reappearing all the time – jarring at first, but I did get a little more used to it (was like “whuh?” when it appeared during my Attacks of Opportunity)
    * Not sure where to put arrows/bolts in character screen
    * Scroll is omg so fidgety – in battle it doesn’t want to move down, but otherwise one nudge and it’ll move all over the place (implement screen scroll lock to a certain character boundary?)
    * Store scrollbar is too small
    * BUG: when I used the net, the sword I’d been using didn’t reappear in my hand (and I attacked thereafter with Amazing Invisible Blade)
    * Loot spot currently locked to feet – difficult to follow when body has fallen.  Is there a way to move this?
    * If possible, would like different color placed on item when there isn’t enough AP for an attack
    * Store could use a min/max button for quick sales of multiple items (like throwing knives)
    * Animations are really nice.  I like the death anims and the careful backstepping from backing up.
    * The trade window is nice, although I’d really like to be able to actively compare what I have equipped with what I’m planning on buying.
    * Options screen needs to visually define what the high and low boundaries are (I dunno if I’m turning shadows up or down right now L)  You probably already know this but I’ma BAWWWW about it just in case.

 

PLAYTHROUGH (played hammer & shield, dagger & shield [but mainly dodge], spear, bow, crossbow, axe  & shield)

    * I like the different attack options.  By and large those seem to work out nicely and be well-balanced with AP.
    * I feel like even with a very high skill, I’m missing all the time, and enemies are making a pincushion out of me even with a ton of points in Dodge or Block
    * I swear to god that crossbow guy needs to die.  Like for reals, and for all time, forever, in every single game ever.  Chasing around his bitch ass is a killer.
    * Having ranged stuff cause knockdown seems kind of insane – putting it essentially on the same footing as getting smacked in the chest with a sledgehammer seems really weird.  I know IRL a heavy crossbow round can nearly bowl you over, but it seems insanely frustrating to be knocked over with one measly arrow or bolt – especially when you’re using so much AP just to get close to the guy.
    * Speaking of ranged, it does way too much damage 4 reelz.  When it can compare to a sturdy weapon like an axe that I put a kajillion points in I feel confused, like I did something wrong.
    * A lot of combat – with ranged in particular – tends to feel more like luck than skill.  It’s like looking at a rock that’s JUUUUUST underwater.  I can see the influence there and it’s solid, it just feels like it’s obfuscated too much by a lot of missing and not knowing really how much value I’m actually getting from the points I put into a skill.
    * I really like the net.  I was all TOSS and then like MUAHAHA FUCK YOU CROSSBOW GUY and I like that weapon.  It’s very much worth the money it costs.
    * Having my shield destroyed feels like I just want to scream and reload.  Sometimes that’s precious coinage wasted there, and if you’ve poured your points into Block instead of Dodge, you are basically proper fucked.  If they could even just be repaired (and/or damaged so it only provides 75-50% of the cover) that would be at least a marginal comfort rather than a straight-up loss.
    * If crossbows automatically switched to the “reload” option after you fired them that would be helpful and awesome.  Even if you didn’t select it, it would be something reminding you that you needed to, and saving you the time of switching to it.  (This would be to the last ammo you were using, as if you wanted a different type you could opt to manually select it)
    * I worry that if you don’t put all your points into one thing, it seems like you’re kind of screwed, that you can’t diversify your skills.  I’ve seen other skills go up as certain ones do, but I’m not sure how that equation works out.
    * Would love it if Range was listed in Weapon Properties – and DEFINITELY if the weapon was 1 or 2-handed: not all of the descriptions make that clear.
    * Is there a shield bash?
    * BUG: dori (spear) says it can be used 1-handed but won’t allow me to use it with a shield
    * I wish I got more money L  Especially early on.
    * More HP?
    * BUG: blocking seems to make my character turn 180-degrees for some weird reason
    * QUESTION: what role will potions play in the combat in AoD?  Are they a quickslotted thing, is it expected that the player will have them as a common disposable item and use them a lot, or are they super-dee-dooper rare?
    * DR seems to be very carefully metered – almost to the point where a 1 point gain doesn’t seem worth it for some of the associated penalties.
    * There are lots of examples of better armor, but none of better shields L
    * Aimed Strike for Torso almost doesn’t seem worth it sometimes, as the reflected damage doesn’t seem worth the AP – better to just risk a Power Attack
    * Is the DR for the helms only for head attacks?  It seems like the AI never uses those
    * Argh the polearm guy keeps backing up and I don’t get my Attacks of Opportunity on him, what the crap
    * I can’t stand crits on the player – you get 2 of those and you’re absolutely screwed.  Will there be an option/mode to not allow that?  (I know, I know, BAWWWW.  But it seems less like “Argh I knew that would happen I left myself open there” and more like “wtf that lucky son of a bitch I will KILL THE WHOLE WORLD”)

 

Overall, please don’t let this tone mislead you.  The base format of the combat I find very fun and interesting, the world looks great, and I’m impressed with the dialogue (the fight barks get a little repetitive and Brian said that they had good curses in the HBO series Rome that mostly apparently had to do with dogs, pigs, and people’s mothers, and I suggested the phrase “a sweaty swine’s foreskin” as a fun little starter curse.  Hee.  I like to say bad things).  I wanted to run around and check out a larger world, and the demo made me crave this experience keenly.  I think there are a lot of things that need to be worked out with the combat to make it more challenging than frustrating, difficult but not overly punishing.  But I think those are definitely easily within the realm of possibility, and I’m looking forward to seeing that happen.


-Annie
« Last Edit: August 12, 2009, 06:16:28 PM by Vince » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2009, 02:09:25 PM »

That's some good feedback there, especially on playability overall.

Btw, this has surely been answered before, but will the demo be a part of the game itself or is its own thing to show the combat?

I imagine many points *might* not feel applicable to the main game since combat as I understand will be fairly rare (unless you actively go around attacking everyone)?

Keep up the good work though, looking forward to trying the demo out.
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Oscar
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2009, 02:11:46 PM »

It is its own thing to show combat. As a matter of fact...

(click to show/hide)
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Wrath of Dagon
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2009, 02:28:01 PM »

Quote
I think there are a lot of things that need to be worked out with the combat to make it more challenging than frustrating, difficult but not overly punishing.  But I think those are definitely easily within the realm of possibility, and I’m looking forward to seeing that happen.
Sigh, well, there goes another year.
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Vince
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2009, 02:29:41 PM »

Btw, this has surely been answered before, but will the demo be a part of the game itself or is its own thing to show the combat?
It takes place in the arena district you'll see in the game. It's fairly large but there are no quests in the demo. You can explore the district to see what the gameworld looks like. You can attack people if you wish, but you may not like the consequences. You'll have a choice to make when IF you become the arena champion.

I don't expect everyone to be able to beat the demo.

Quote
I imagine many points *might* not feel applicable to the main game since combat as I understand will be fairly rare (unless you actively go around attacking everyone)?
Might not. Each opponent in the demo is harder than the one before. In the game you can determine where you want to be and what your place in the hierarchy is. In the demo you have no choice but to climb up. Each fight will be a challenge.

We also give you a lot of skill points in the demo (in the beginning and per kill) to make sure you can try different things and fight the best fighters (tier 3). In the game you'll get a lot less points.
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suibhne
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2009, 02:35:36 PM »

We also give you a lot of skill points in the demo (in the beginning and per kill) to make sure you can try different things and fight the best fighters (tier 3). In the game you'll get a lot less points.

You mean fewer points overall, forever and ever, or just fewer points near the beginning of the game?

Re. combat barks - it would be great to have a huge diversity of those. Can the game engine handle that? If so, I bet you could outsource a lot of the creative work to the forums here if you gave us a starting point of a few examples. Wink

Thanks for sharing those comments - it's nice to have a window on what's going on.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2009, 02:42:43 PM by suibhne » Logged
Vince
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2009, 02:45:11 PM »

We also give you a lot of skill points in the demo (in the beginning and per kill) to make sure you can try different things and fight the best fighters (tier 3). In the game you'll get a lot less points.

You mean fewer points overall, forever and ever, or just fewer points near the beginning of the game?
Fewer points for kills. In the game quests generate 80% of the skill points. In the demo we have to pay 10-20 points per kill just to illustrate the system and keep things moving.

Quote
Re. combat barks - it would be great to have a huge diversity of those. Can the game engine handle that? If so, I bet you could outsource a lot of the creative work to the forums here if you gave us a starting point of a few examples. Wink
//enemy spotted!
$phrase_enemy_spotted0 = "This should be fun.";
$phrase_enemy_spotted1 = "Prepare to die!";
$phrase_enemy_spotted2 = "I'm gonna fuck you up!";
$phrase_enemy_spotted3 = "Let's see how tough you are!";

//Combat
//threats
$phrase_combat_generic0 = "Come on, I aint got all day.";
$phrase_combat_generic1 = "You don't look like much.";
$phrase_combat_generic2 = "Let's get it over with.";

//NPC is hit
$phrase_combat_pain0 = "Fuck!";
$phrase_combat_pain1 = "Shit, I'm bleeding!";
$phrase_combat_pain2 = "You gonna pay for this!";

//successful attack on PC
$phrase_combat_good_attack0 = "Damn, you're slow, <charname>!";
$phrase_combat_good_attack1 = "Had enough yet?";
$phrase_combat_good_attack2 = "You're as good as dead now!";
$phrase_combat_good_attack3 = "That's gotta hurt!";
$phrase_combat_good_attack4 = "You're bleeding like a pig, <charname>!";
$phrase_combat_good_attack5 = "Just die already!";
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MaximB
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2009, 02:59:22 PM »

At first I was shocked because I thought "what the hell ? Vince played AoD Combat Demo just a few days ago ??? how could that be ?"
Then I saw "-Annie" which made me feel a lot better.

She really make valid points (assuming they true for everyone), I hope it won't take too much of your time to fix and balance  most of them.
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Morbus
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2009, 03:03:18 PM »

Some of the points raised here make me thing HP based combat is even closer to being outdated (it's still not, though) than what I thought.
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Vince
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2009, 03:05:33 PM »

At first I was shocked because I thought "what the hell ? Vince played AoD Combat Demo just a few days ago ??? how could that be ?"
I thought I'd play it and see what all the fuss is about.

Quote
She really make valid points (assuming they true for everyone), I hope it won't take too much of your time to fix and balance  most of them.
She made excellent points. Some things will be fixed, of course, some won't because they are exactly what we want them to be.

Some of the points raised here make me thing HP based combat is even closer to being outdated than what I thought.
Like?
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MaximB
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2009, 03:17:16 PM »

At first I was shocked because I thought "what the hell ? Vince played AoD Combat Demo just a few days ago ??? how could that be ?"
I thought I'd play it and see what all the fuss is about.

LOL !
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CandyStick
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2009, 03:22:55 PM »

I think some of her nitpicks aren't really a problem, I mean things like "big pointer"- who cares? "Outline of body in inventory" - who cares?, "Changing HP color as it get's lower" -nice touch, but no big deal. I do think it's a good idea to have weapons you can't use because of lack of AP show up in a different color, and some of her combat points seem good, but it's really hard to comment on them without playing the demo. Anyway, glad to hear you guys are getting there, game sounds great.  Smile
« Last Edit: August 11, 2009, 03:24:37 PM by CandyStick » Logged
Gregorus Prime
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2009, 03:31:59 PM »

I would say that changing the color of the HP to indicate that it's low, like below 25% or so, is a must. It's way too easy to lose track of your HP or AP in the middle of a tough battle. Just as long as you don't put in an irritating heart beat sound when you're close to death...
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2009, 03:53:02 PM »

This is very interesting. Good info on the current state of the game IMO. I saw a lot of point there which are certainly something that should be looked further into. E.g. like in fallout, combat difficulty should be scalable to your preferences (don't want to get your ass kicked all the time? lower the difficulty slider), also about shields instantly breaking beyond repair is pretty harsh. I don't know how they work anyway, but having a broken shield still give some protection might not be a bad idea. Also, piercing weapons like bolts and arrows should probably deal less damage to shields, and only certain weapons like axes have a real impact on them.

Anyway, to hope to be able to play it myself someday as well =) Overall, I like the sound of it.
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Nick
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2009, 04:12:55 PM »

looks like hardcoded. does your scripting language support property files? (any files?)

This *is* a script file, can be modified with any text editor and you'll get new NPC phrases on the next engine launch.
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