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Finished my first playthrough

feedback review v1.0.2

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#1
MaxQuest

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I have recently finished my first Deadfire playthrough (on v1.0.2), and decided to provide some feedback.
Posting it here, since it can contain a few spoilers.

First of all: I liked the game and yeap would bake a sequel.
Second: sure the game came out a bit raw, but definitely less raw than I expected after trying the betas. So here we go:

Things I liked:

  • the atmosphere and exploration. I really enjoyed the grim nature of PoE1, but the bright and shiny Deadfire was also great to explore.
  • the visuals. You guys made noticeable improvements to the game world, character models, lightning, shading and textures. 
  • the hook. It is always interesting to play your games from the very first minute. You find a way to get the player invested.
  • the story idea. And having to play a decent role in the gods conflict.
  • subclasses and multi-classing. When balanced well this really adds to the pool of possible builds and improves replay-ability tremendously.
  • sailing and shanties.
  • voice acting. Both characters VO and narrator. (* narrator has pleasant voice but could be a lil bit faster)
  • ingame music. While PoE1 exploration soundtracks were ok, I started to hate PoE1 combat music. In Deadfire through I liked both.
  • neketaka
  • the idea of relationship/camaderie system
  • humour. Both written and emerging.
    Spoiler

Things I'm neutral about:

  • factions. They are great in the first 3/4 of the game. Flavorful, colorful. Their imperfections make them more realistic. But... at the end of the game their faction leaders look retarded. The future of Eora is at stake and they quarrel about unrelated things. Or let's take their "ambush" at Ukaizo. In my case it was Furrante. I haven't really understood why he decided to suicide by attacking the Watcher.
  • ship combat. I was pretty excited about it when heared it first. Didn't expect it to be textual though. But.. can live with that. The thing is that something feels missing. Having all those trophies and no reactivity about it is kinda lacking Also capturing a ship and not being able to take it or it's cannons was really strange. Also maybe add some unlockable (on higher captain ranks) maneuver perks? And make some enemy ships travel in groups of two?
  • romances. Romances with both Maia and Xoti felt strange, with weird pace (i.e. they started immediately and after that 30h of radio-silence with no new dialogues) and not really satisfying ending.

Things I didn't like:

  • Main story was too short. The whole run took ~50h, but I have a feeling that critical path could be done under 3 hours. Faster with an SSD.
  • The sense of false urgency. It feels a bit strange when you need to follow Eothas, but... he can wait while you go for a trip to Splintered Reef, explore the map or do some faction stuff. Had to tell to myself that Eothas is moving very slowly.
  • But if so, couldn't Magran blow that volcano earlier? I.e. when Eothas has arrived to Ashen Maw, but before he absorbed the essence from the pillar? Without it and souls nearby to consume he could potentially halt there.
  • Also.. not really the problem of the game, but with all that built-up, was waiting for some big intense fight in the end (depending on the dialogue option / what to do with The Wheel). Because of this false expectation was sitting during the end dialogs and thinking oh well.. did I really expect to fight a god? And also: how could I convince him to delay breaking the wheel, while there won't be enough animancy advances in order to be sure that we can fix it once broken.
  • Some quest givers turning hostile if you don't want to kill for them.
  • Pallegina didn't feel like good ol Pal. It looks like time spent away from the Watcher affected her hard. Expected more light-heartedness from a pardoned Pallegina. Also where is Vielo Vidorio? Her only unique ability is quite lacking; and a wayfarer would be more useful in party.
  • tooltips that don't give you complete information. "Has a small chance", "inflicts a small DoT"? Rot Skulls and Nannasin's Cobra Strike tooltip not mentioning the DoT data.
  • bugs. Usually not a big deal. But that reload time bug was annoying.
  • weak bounties. In PoE1 many of them were quite memorable. And I can remember none by name in Deadfire.
  • weak bosses.
  • balance. So many OP abilities, especially in proper combination. Also so many trash options that are not worth the time spent to cast them (i.e. 3s cast time + 4s recovery and get 5 resolve? or deal 80 damage to 5 enemies?)
  • crowd control not being reliable and useful enough. Why try to charm the enemy when it's faster to kill him? In PoE1 it was great that you could make parties with completely different playstyles and they both will be optimal.
  • encounters are not diverse enough. I didn't feel the need to adapt, or change my combat routine. In PoE1 we would fight differently when facing: shades | ogre druids | kith druids / pwgras | kith | monks | dragons.
  • generally in v1.0.2 it wasn't even worth to watch the inspirations/afflictions and try to counter them.
  • inbalance between AR versus Defenses for damage mitigation.
  • the seeming imbalance between damage types. There seem to be quite more enemies with low crush AR and high fire AR, compared to other armor types.
  • confusion with speed/time and damage calculation. Specifically malus steps. Also it seems that confusion was not only in how the game processes this stuff, but also at the dev level; looking at how might became multiplicative then additive; or reloading becoming affected by recovery modifiers only in beta4.
  • some items had really OP properties. I was like "it's obvious that there is a broken use for it even before you finish reading description". Using it won't give enough satisfaction because it will feel cheap. And imminent nerfing will cause the dissatisfaction of players who use it. So why make those properties this way?
  • at the same time many of those items were overnerfed in v1.1.0. I mean it's definitely bad when an item increases your dps by 50% compared to alternative; and even worse it it doubles total damage just by itself. But if it does so only by 3-5% it's also not satisfying enough. 7-10% is a nice threshold to look at.
  • double-nerfing. Just an example: the problem with Swift Flurry was it's recursive implementation. Instead of taking recursion away, you dramatically reduce it's proc chance. After that make it only work with melee attacks. And in v1.1.0 giveup and make it impossible to proc recursively. Good but why not revert the melee-only change? Also since all hit-to-crit conversions were severely nerfed it's proc chance could be reviewed as well?

 

Overall: it's a great game, a solid 8/10 with potential to get up to 9/10 with extra polishing and fine-tuning, and even more with expansions.

In any case am already planing a new run on v1.1.0)

 

P.S. Some party stats for the curious:

Spoiler


Edited by MaxQuest, 15 June 2018 - 04:05 AM.

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#2
KaineParker

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Someone did a speedrun in less than half an hour. I assume most players wouldn't do that, but critical path is anemic and probably clocks in around 3 hours, including the starting island.
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#3
MaxQuest

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^ Yeap, seen that mentioned on PoE twitter. 26 minutes :)
That's probably less than all loading screens in my playthrough combined)
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#4
JFutral

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Someone did a speedrun in less than half an hour. I assume most players wouldn't do that, but critical path is anemic and probably clocks in around 3 hours, including the starting island.

 

I didn't do a speed run, but about what I would consider half way through, I pretty much didn't care anymore about the factions or even the bounties or side quests anymore, and just plowed through the main story line. I didn't even hit the level cap. I also went with the story line that didn't have the PoE1 companions. I thought that might have affected it, but so far with my next runs I don't think I missed anything.

 

The positive result, though, has left a great deal of the world to explore this playthrough, so that's the upside. I don't feel like I am playing exactly the same game as I did with PoE1.

 

I do feel like there should have been a pro-Eothas faction that either sought to disrupt my progress or maybe even eventually join against the rest of the world. That could have introduced some more points of conflict other than the sidebars with the other "gods".

 

Or maybe there was and I missed it? The Dawnstars?

 

Anyway. Good run down, Maxquest.

 

Joe


Edited by JFutral, 14 June 2018 - 10:14 AM.

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#5
E.RedMark

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Or maybe there was and I missed it? The Dawnstars?

yeah , the Dawnstar are pretty much the Eotha faction . If you do 'Éder' personal quest...you can see more stuff about them . 


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#6
Mannock

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Good summary! I agree with most points you've made. I don't have that many remarks on combat though, but combat is secondary to me in a game like this.

The only thing I'd add to the list is the loot drops. I still don't see the point with enemies dropping 50 swords, shields and armours which I place in my unlimited stash. It doesn't make the game more "realistic" nor more fun. It's a drag and it's pointless. I really think they should move away from it.





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